Tuesday, February 24

Taking a break

Ok, I give up. I am totally overwhelmed and really need to drop a few things for now and sadly blogging is one of them.  I don’t know how long I’ll be gone but I really need to do this for my own sanity (or what’s left of it).  There is too much going on that needs my full and undivided attention and I need to do a little ‘work’ on my mindset while I’m at it.

Hopefully, it won’t take too long.


Ok, I’m not actually going fishing, nothing could be of less interest to me, it’s a metaphor.

Monday, February 23


Mentally that is.  Not very focussed right now, feeling a little lost and bewildered and unsure of what the future holds for me.  I feel change coming, or maybe I just hope there is.

Tom and I had a quiet weekend at home (it was his birthday on Friday) the girls were away and we spent a lot of time doing not very much at all. Cooked some nice food, drank some nice wine, had conversations (uninterrupted) watched a couple of movies, read the papers and our respective books.  Just a lazy weekend really.  Nice.

I had a horribly sleepless night on Saturday, one of the worst ever.  Usually insomnia catches me in the middle of night, I get to sleep ok but then wake up and can’t get back to sleep for hours. This time I couldn’t even get to sleep at all.  I tossed and turned and paced the house and made warm drinks and did some meditation and tried mindful breathing etc etc etc. Nothing.  I last looked at the clock at 5.00am, I must have fallen asleep soon after that but woke again at 6.10 then again at 7.40.  Felt pretty crappy yesterday and although I slept ok last night I’m still tired and fuzzy headed (before you say it.. more than usual) today. 

So until I catch up don’t expect anything coherent from me…and even then I can’t promise….


Sunday, February 22

National Day of Mourning

Today is a National Day of Mourning for those lost in the Victorian Bushfires. Memorial services have been held all over the country.


The publicity may have died down a bit, but it’s not over.  There are fires still blazing (some have been burning continuously for more than 2 weeks), homes and property threatened and evacuation plans in place.  With more heat and strong north winds forecast for this week (‘perfect’ bushfire conditions)  there are still a lot of people facing a difficult times.

Saturday, February 21

Things Adelaide Learned from the Heat Wave of 2009:

I’ve borrowed this from this month’s GAPSA newsletter

§ The best parking space is determined by shade instead of distance.

§ Hot water comes out of both taps.

§ You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

§ The temperature drops below 32c and you feel a little chilly.

§ You discover that in February it only takes two fingers to steer your car.

§ You discover that you can get sunburnt through your car window.

§ You develop a fear of metal car door handles.

§ You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:00am.

§ Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and get cooked to death?"

§ You realise that asphalt has a liquid state.

§ Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to prevent them from laying hard-boiled eggs.

§ The trees are whistling for the dogs.

§ While walking back barefoot to your car from Apex Park, you do a tightrope act on the white lines in the car park.

§ You catch a cold from having the air conditioner full blast while you sleep during the night.

§ You learn that Centro plaza isn't a shopping centre it's a temple to worship air-conditioning.

§ Sticking your head into the freezer and taking deep breaths is perfectly normal behaviour.

§ A cup full of ice is considered a great snack.

§ An electricity blackout is life threatening because your air conditioner and your fans no longer work and you are seriously going to be cooked!!

§ You no longer sit on a couch, why would you when you can lie down on the cold tiles instead.

§ You need a stubby holder to keep the beer cold, not your hands warm

§ No one cares if you walk around with no shoes on.

§ You keep everything in the fridge, including potatoes and bread etc....

§ People have enough left over beer cans to make boats out of and have a whole regatta with tin can boats like Darwin...

§ The effort of towelling off after a shower means you need another one right away

§ Standing naked under a ceiling fan is an acceptable way to pass time.

§ You wait till it starts raining to go for a run!

Thursday, February 19

A lot can happen in a week

However in this case it didn’t. Life is very busy but without blog fodder. Just work. Nothing else. Even the weekend was busy in one way or another.  The weather was lovely mind you (don’t often hear me say that do you?) sunshine without the heat.

Perfect weather for eating every meal outdoors.

But other than that nothing. Working. Madly.

This weekend the girls are away and Tom and I will be home alone.  Next week he is away to the Gold Coast for a conference. He’s staying in a nice hotel that apparently deliver fruit platters to the room – we think the girl comes with it. For some reason he wasn’t keen on this girl and said the colleague that is travelling with him can have his.  He’ll keep the fruit platter though.

imageSo everyone is getting away except me.  Which I think is a bit unfair.

Friday, February 13

Grace in Small Things 4

1. Unexpected visitors – there is a creek at the bottom of the garden so we have frogs visiting regularly. It’s always pleasing. Ok, there was that one time that it wasn’t quite so pleasing, but usually it is.


2. Friends.  Since birth…all of them. 


3. My mother-in-law’s home made apricot jam on still warm grain bread.


4. Rock stars doing Abba Karaoke in their underwear.

5. Stella (can we pretend this is an arty shot that’s supposed to be blurry like that?) she’s wriggly…it’s hard to get a non-blurry one. DSCN2928 

Wednesday, February 11

It just goes on and on…

Experts are reporting that more than 10,000 native animals have been lost in the bushfires, as well as domestic pets and livestock.

Some animals have been found and rescued and are receiving treatment in the hands of wildlife carers.

‘Sam’ is one of the lucky ones….

imageShe’s now with a carer and while badly burnt she’ll recover and will probably eventually be released back into the wild.

There’s more about her rescue here including a video taken on a mobile. The compassion of these fire fighting volunteers knows no limits.

Tuesday, February 10

Grace in Small Things 3

The highlight of my week is the cool change. It’s positively chilly and really quite wonderful.  It’s warming up again in a few days time but until then I am enjoying the cool weather and finding the Grace in Small Things like…..

1. Needing a jacket this morning on the school run.

2. Putting on socks because my feet were cold while working at the computer this morning.

3. Sleeping snuggled under the quilt last night.

4. Warming my hands on my cup.

5. Grey, cloudy skies.

Monday, February 9

Nothing today

There are really no words.

image Anything going on in my life is trivial by comparison and I have no heart for blogging today.

If you can…please donate.  Victorian Bushfire Appeal

If you can’t, please hold in your thoughts the families of the 108 173 victims and those still missing.

Sunday, February 8

Spare a thought…

…and a prayer (if that’s your thing) for those lost and those who have lost loved ones in the terrible fires in Victoria and New South Wales.

bushfires 3

The Premier has declared a state of emergency and defence force troops are being brought in to assist.

Many fires are still burning and being fought by the Volunteer Fire Services. Can you imagine how exhausting that must be wearing heavy fire fighting gear, temperatures of 45C+ and a blaze raging around you?

Firefighter In Victoria arsonists are re-lighting the fires. There 66 confirmed dead so far (I say so far, because more are expected to be found), cars being found abandoned by the side of roads, occupants missing, whole townships wiped out, families, livestock, wildlife and pets gone.

bushfire 2

It’s tragic, sobering, unimaginable and very, very sad.

Photos from ABC online http://www.abc.net.au/

Friday, February 6

Friday – Huzzah!!!

I love a Friday. It means the weekend is here (in case you didn’t realise). Also, Friday night is ‘murder night’ on the ABC – usually it’s one of the many British police/detective/murder mystery series. Tonight it’s ‘Trial and Retribution’. To be honest I’m a bit ‘meh’ about ‘Trial and Retribution’ but beggars can’t be choosers. I much prefer Midsomer, or Miss Marple or Poirot.


I feed the children early and we get them off to bed and Tom and I settle in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some dinner (plates on laps - peasant behaviour I know). I’m making Korma tonight with pappadums. Tom tolerates my ‘British Murder Night’ – I don’t think it’s really his ‘thing’ but he humours me and never complains.

This weekend Hannah is away overnight on Saturday and Tom has something to attend so it’s just Aislin and I at home. We’ll watch a movie and eat popcorn I think – well she will, I’m not keen on popcorn. I really hope she doesn’t make me watch Dora the Explorer.

I don’t have much else to report today. It’s hot…but you knew that didn’t you? ‘They’ are telling us a cool change will come through around midday tomorrow. I hope so because today I almost killed someone who stole my parking spot and then I nearly punched an old man who pushed in front of me in a shop. Lucky I wasn’t armed.

Thursday, February 5

Today’s weather report

It’s hot, I’m tired and I need chocolate.

Anyone got a problem with that?

The bureau told us it was going to be 40 tomorrow and 34 on Saturday. Now they say it’s going to be 43 tomorrow (only getting down to 32 overnight – sob) and 41 on Saturday. They are liars. Later I’m going to down to the bureau to punch someone on the nose.

Apparently the cool change will come and it’s going to be 25 on Sunday. That would be nice….but I’ll believe it when I see it.

In the meantime let be known that I am heartily sick of this stifling ‘record-breaking’ heat. I am a Scottish person…we’re not made for this kind of weather.


Wednesday, February 4

Grace in Small Things 2

Today is one of those days when I really need to stop and reflect on the Grace in Small Things. I’d experienced a few of those little irritations that just prove what a horrible, impatient and cranky person I am. For instance, my fuel light was on (if you’ve read my 100 things page you’ll know I have an issue with putting petrol in the car). So after dropping the girls at school I headed for the nearest service station to fill up. When I got there I found queues at every pump, but that was ok, I wasn’t in a big hurry so I joined one of them. After some considerable time I noticed that my queue wasn’t moving (ain’t that the way?) I craned my neck to see what was going on and noticed that the person filling their car was at the closest pump…there was another pump in front of her…empty, no-one filling up there. That annoyed me, massive queues and a pump sitting unused…of course no-one could actually get to it because of the other cars. So I waited. And waited. I craned my neck again…she had finished filling her car (how much petrol can it possibly hold?) and now she was washing her windscreen…then her back window. The she started fiddling with her back tyre…W.T.F??? I was almost ready to explode but thought maybe I shouldn’t explode. Maybe I should contemplate the Grace in Small Things. So like a right little goody goody that’s what I did and here are today’s 5 things...

Cheaper petrol – we do quite a bit of commuting and petrol here has been up around $1.70ish a litre at times which puts enormous stress on the household budget. Today I filled up for $1.14 a litre. I’m happy and grateful for that.

My car – it may not be my dream car, but it is a reliable and comfortable little vehicle that has safely delivered us to our destinations for a couple of years now. It makes long trips with no complaint and probably doesn’t get nearly as much TLC as it deserves. Thank you car.

My iPod – I listen to it in the car when I’m not listening to Radio National (which I listen to because I am a huge nerd). On my iPod I have music, podcasts (of my favourite Radio National programs that I missed), meditations (I don’t do these in the car though), audio books and various inspirational bits and pieces. It keeps me sane. I love you iPod.

I can drive – what freedom there is in being able to drive. My mother never learned to drive (well that’s not entirely true, I do recall her having lessons but she never followed through and didn’t get a licence) and consequently she was very dependent on others, mostly Dad. When Dad died she was really left with no transport. I appreciate that I can drive and love the freedom and independence it gives me. I do not take that for granted for one minute.

Commuting – admittedly I do sometimes wish we lived closer to the school and eventually we will. Sometimes the last thing I feel like doing is trundling down the freeway morning and afternoon. However, my commute is beautiful. It may be a 3 lane freeway but it is through the Adelaide Hills and on either side there are trees and hills and greenery. It is not through some smoke filled city or barren industrial wasteland or housing estates or dull suburbs. It is here….

Adelaide Hills

and here…..


Thank you God of Commuters.

Tuesday, February 3

Blog makeover

As you can see the makeover has commenced. It needs a little tweaking here and there but ultimately this is more or less how things will be. I’m quite happy with it so far.

I’m particularly pleased with my new 3 column look. I like 3 columns. Better use of space. I’m somewhat happy with my new header…it’s more ‘me’. If you are interested in creating a third column there are loads of tutorials online, I used this one…it was excellent - very quick, very easy and nothing went wrong.

There are a couple of new posts for your perusal. The new ‘about me’ page and the new ‘100 things’ page which I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for.

I have also discovered the most wonderful thing for writing blog posts…I’m writing this post on it and I am beside myself with pleasure over it’s efficiency. It’s here and it’s free to download.

You can write your blog posts from your desktop and it deals with all those annoying formatting issues that come with blogs…especially where it doesn’t like stuff you cut and paste from Word or when it gets all messed up when you insert a picture. When you press ‘publish’ as if by magic your post appears on the blog. Seriously, check it out. It’s brilliant.

So I still have a couple of little bits and pieces to do here, a few images that need updating. I also have plans to purchase Bridget’s Flame it’s very own domain name – clearly the relationship is serious, it’s time I made a commitment.

Monday, February 2

Name that tree **Updated**

There is a lovely tree in our back garden that I enjoy sitting under with my morning coffee. Unfortunately I have no idea what it is.

Does anyone know?

Prizes for the winner (not really).

It has these pretty leaves and sort of catkin thingies.....

...this bark is quite papery....

...and the branches are somewhat 'weeping' which creates a cosy little cocoon for me to sit.


P.S. If you don't know, can you direct your readers here to have a look please...someone must know!

Ladies and gentlemen we have an answer! Dave thought it might be a Silver Birch and Kate confirmed that it is indeed a Silver Birch. Thank you!!!