Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Well we finally did it - Harriet finally found her little ginger tabby friend that she's been searching for.  We were wandering through Marrickville markets and there he was.  As is his wont - lying back, resting, chilled out, but with enough of a sparkle in his eye for us all to sit up and take notice.

He was due to have his vet visit the following Wednesday, so we went back the following weekend to pick him up, fill in the Maggies Rescue paperwork and officially become his new family.  He is a perfect fit.  He is confident, affectionate, energetic, adorable and even gets along well with Squeezmo.

See?  Here's the proof!  Squeezmo and Hobbes have now even become friends.  The other morning Hobbes jumped on my head while I slept and miaowed frantically at me.  I woke up in a blur and realised what was going on.  I sat up and found out what all the fuss was about - Squeezie Boy wanted to go out the front door and Hobbes was waking me up to make it happen for him.  Adorable!  But also - let the damn mother sleep, cats!

And it's all very full on over here in the house of new cats.  The end of term sees everything due in and what has been dubbed the 'week of horror' starts next week, where everything is due for every subject. So if next time you see me I've become two inches shorter and am wearing inside out clothing, remember - it's not forever.  Well, there's at least five days between the end of assignments and the start of prac where you might find me looking less than exhausted - that's about all I can commit to. (But still loving it,  people).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Faces While Dying

 Yesterday, while Harriet and I were trying out new poses to balance each other's body weight against the other's (what?  You don't do the same on a Sunday afternoon?), she spontaneously announced we should embark on a photographic shoot together.  She labelled it "Faces While Dying".  These are apparently the faces one might expect to experience when dying.  And as much as I am loathe to do what seems to have become a blog standard and post a whole pile of photos without text, in this instance I think it's warranted, since that was what Harriet intended.

The first is my favourite.  Look at them nice and big.

Edited to add:  For some unfathomable reason Blogger is applying a sepia to the bottom two.  I can't seem to work out why and I would hope you would know that sepia is not part of my standard MO.  Will work on the why and rectification of this horror as soon as I can.

Edited again to add:  Well it turns out that uni has impacted on the blog! The reason for the sepia effect (mmmm....) was the Google account I had to create for a group assignment had a photo enhancing mechanism turned to 'on'.  The internet is scary.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Star Wars...Again.

*sigh*  Well at least he's being creative with it.  This is the stop motion animation Ted made tonight.  He needed a guiding hand from James just to make sure he remembered to keep the camera in one place, but other than that it's all Ted.  The jumping around and sudden reanimation of Greedo is due to Ted's waning interest in sticking to his original plot points.  After all, today was the first day he's been home before 6pm in a while.  The poor child is exhausted.

We are all adjusting to the brave new world of me doing full time study.  It involves a lot of waiting around for buses, we've found.  Most afternoons we are waiting for about 40 minutes for the bus.  Nope, that's not an exaggeration or an exception.  The $12 all-day student parking near the children's school is looking mighty appealing.

 The other activity we have found joy in has been our weekly catch up with two other families for the evening meal of a Monday.  With six rambunctious children and five talkative adults (well, perhaps the double Js aren't quite so much in that camp), it's never dull or quiet.  In fact it's all sorts of pleasant and social.  I'll be quite sad when the weather forces us to change our routine.

The thing I love about this shot is that Ted asked me to take a photo of him with his friend.  They were walking over to the wall, preparing to stand their with their arms around each other.  Sweet.  Then A's big sister comes over and enthusiastically 'styles' them.  She managed to actually pose them like this and then they stayed in position for me to take the photo.  She was awesome!  I love this shot.

Meanwhile James has been away for three days for his MBA residential.  I have about four assignments due in as many days.  The children are exhausted from the ineffciencies of the public transport system.  But it's actually all working out.  It's none too shabby.  Ted has a toe that's about to be horribly infected, but other than that we are all eating well, (mostly) getting along - the exception being Harriet snapping at Ted but that's due to tiredness - and I'm even getting to run regularly.

Plus I should probably mention that I am loving my course.  OH MY GOD.  I love it.  LOVE. it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finally - I'm Back!

Well it's been a long hiatus I will admit.  Not intentionally mind you - I have acquired a new phone (did you know you can use a phone now that can access the internet?) and that meant I was offline telecommunications-wise for a little while because we changed providers over a weekend (which I wouldn't advise).   I then needed to find a quiet time to set-up my voicemail and since that took about ten days, I haven't been able to access voicemail messages until about an hour ago.

I also had the Photoshop/Bridge uploader issue of 2014 (otherwise known as The Month My Visual Life Broke) and then, in the last week of my break before uni starts I have had an unprecedented number of contacts regarding shoots before my photography business has a break.  It turns out that when you say you're on a hiatus, it's absolutely the best marketing tool.  Who would have known?  Well, I guess the ubiquitous, perpetually closing down carpet stores have known that trade secret for a while.

So - life has been busy but also sort of rambling, slow and relatively easy.  A lovely combination, to be honest.

On the weekend just gone we decided to get out and about in nature.  It had been a little while between long green drinks to fulfill the soul and we were all feeling it.

The children insisted on bringing their swords and we insisted on not carrying them.  The children were fine with that since, as it turned out, there was much exploring and clearing of forests to be done during this expedition.

Harriet brought along her 'explorer' bag and what has since become her 'explorer's outfit' - a bag stuffed with a notebook and pen, magnifying glass, torch on a long rope, scavenger's notebook (from Keri Smith) and I'm sure a few other items I am not privy to.

As Ted ran ahead with the whoops and cries of a Medieval frontline, Harriet ambled, observed and noted.

And let's just pause a moment to consider how these disparate approaches may impact on a family group, shall we?  Ok, let's move on.

We had been to this location before, maybe about eighteen months ago.  We had made it about halfway around one circuit last time we arrived - this time we managed to complete the other three-quarters of the 4km trail,  The children enjoyed scrounging around in the scrub, climbing, observing owls in trees, being horrified by spiders about the size of a frying pan and triggering potential cardiac issues by refusing to adhere to the 'stay on the left' rule when sharing the trail with enthusiastic mountain cyclists.

Looking at this photo, I really want to pop some big googly eyes on that rock, to complement what looks like a huge smile near its base.  What a happy rock!

We stopped for some lunch at around 4pm, where the clearing we surprisingly found ourselves in presented the ideal environs for a spot of jousting (minus the horses, of course).


Of course all that this means was the children had a focus to their running around. That focus being they held a sword aloft as they ran.  The remainder seemed to be as per usual.

We started to make moves back towards the walking track and we stumbled into Tirade Harriet.  We really didn't mean to bring her along with us, given the enchanting environment we found ourselves in, but it turns out she popped along inside that explorer's bag we think.  

The exploring fun of Saturday left the children at a slightly loose end on Sunday.  They were too tired to enjoy their own company and Harriet was particularly fractious.  Turns out that the real problem was that she had too much hair.  So we got rid of it.  See, that's the offending pile on the floor, there.

It came from here. 

And this was the result.  Harriet was most adamant that she wanted to look like a boy.  She was thrilled.  I received many stomps and tears when I inadvertently mentioned she also carried off the chic Parisian look with hair this short.  Note to self: don't compliment daughter.

And there has been a birthday!  Teddy turned five!  I will be back to write about that magnificent milestone very shortly.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No Photos!

So in other news - February is the opposite of January so far.  My computer has regurgitated all ability to open or work with image files and so here I am, stuck without photos.  It's a travesty, especially considering I have uni to start in a couple of weeks and I can't afford a backlog before I even begin the academic year.  Cue freakout about now I think.

Hopefully I will be back online soon.

Monday, February 03, 2014

January 31st

So here it is - the last day of January!  And considering that I failed to achieve any large, meaningful projects over the break I decided to jump up on Friday morning and tackle the scariest room in our house.  The cupboard.  As you can see, even entering the cupboard is a matter for negotiating life insurance and calling the Public Trustee.

Mostly the cupboard is, obviously, the place of no return.  There are items in here that are actually used daily, others used weekly and others that should have been removed from the home years ago.

As a result we are forced to negotiate the space regularly, whilst simultaneously holding it as a place-of-no-return.  Orwell's doublethink has nothing on this state of mind.

The weird thing is that I do regularly tidy it up.  But I guess I'm never ruthless enough with what is in there, what we use it for and what we want to use it for in the future.  Combined with our need to clear out the bookcase in the lounge room, I was on a mission to get this space cleared for my own mental clarity.

This photo was taken halfway through.  At the very start of the morning I had started on the cupboard and was immediately made aware of the twin issues I face - the cupboard held many bulk dry goods and the pantry in the kitchen was in a similar state of disarray.  So I swept my broom of organisation through the pantry first, and then set to task on the cupboard.  By the time I was at this stage I'd been working hard and fast for a few hours and I realised that I hadn't eaten for the day.

Of course as soon as you realise that you suddenly feel as though nothing can be accomplished until you eat right then and there.  But I knew my energy would flag, so I pushed on through.

I filled the recycling bin.  I nearly filled the rubbish bin.  I filled the back of the car with an op-shop delivery.  And I finally crashed at about 12.30pm, just in time to lie down on the bed, eat an egg sandwich and read some more of The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

The result is a lot more accessible for everyone.  I placed all of our board games on the bottom shelf, the music box on the floor, our tubs for food were cleared of all that were of odd and unused sizes and even a jigsaw puzzle spot was created.

I was exhausted.  But I had also vowed to run down the road and take some photos of the local 'corner' store that was closing down after a generation of serving the local community.  However after racing down there I was unceremoniously rebuffed in my requests to take some photos - understandably they were upset at closing down but I was a little sad that I didn't get a chance to take some photos that I could have passed on to them as well of their last day in trading.

The change in plans did mean that I had some extra time to do little more than sit in a cafe and read some more of my novel.  Ted was pretty tired too, as you can see.  But there was no exhaustion that could abate our excitement at watching the final of TAR which we watch all together on Friday evenings.  What started as an accidental watching of The Mole with Harriet when Teddy was hospitalised with croup one night has evolved into a Friday night meal watching a show together.  It is actually quite pleasant, especially considering how Fridays used to previously be an evening of writhing and screaming in exhaustion; now they are calm and focused.  We all talk throughout the show on the behaviours of the teams, about the cultures and mores of the countries they visit, and the geography of their flights. 

So the end of January saw us with two school children, a clean cupboard and pantry, and luckily, no Max and Katie winning the race.  Stay tuned for Teddy's Amazing Race birthday party in February!

January 30th

So today was one of those days where it seems like a real waste to spend a whole blog entry on it.  This was a day where I sat on the computer and wrote up blog entries for previous days, edited photos, browsed soft furnishings online and did very little else while the children were at school.

And you know what?  It was terrible.  I was bored out of my brain.  I wasn't switched on enough to grapple a project such as my book or something around the house and consequently I ambled around the place feeling less than inspired by anything.  It definitely highlighted for me that I am not one for a life of leisure.  Not only that but I felt so icky and zoned out by sitting in front of the computer for so long that I vowed to make sure that I didn't turn on my computer for a while after this.

It was such an effective vow that I am now writing about the thirtieth of January on the third of February.  I decide to flick it on when I realised that I should seriously assess the blog situation and finish off my January Project.  

Ted and Harriet were tired, but not exhausted.  Ted found energy to run around and play loads of pretend play with me after he had a quick snack of grapes.  He loves his new sports shoes - it turns out he had chosen the ones we bought because they "look like Gangpa's".

And while Teddy and I played together, Harriet was pregnant with triplets while she had a one year old.  Since she was homeless and (obviously) poor, they decided to camp under the table for their shelter.  

A day of little note. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 29th

So drop-off for school yesterday was fine.  It was the start of the more standard waiting-in-the-playground method of drop-off and it went off without a hitch...well, except for the fact that none of the Kindy teachers made it down to the playground in time and the children had to wait for them.  A sweet little lesson in the fallibility of adults.

So it was on to a quick cafe trip for me to celebrate/commiserate with two friends who had their first day of being two child free.  And then I was free myself.  So free I had no idea on what quite to do.  I have a few chores I need to get done around the house in preparation for some new things popping up around the house, but before then I thought I'd pop in to the local op-shop.  

I haven't been there for a while but...but...OH MY GOD!  Look at what I found for three dollars.  Oh yes indeed, a measly little three dollars.  This delicious Lotte dish is a decent size too, about 20cms long and about 5cms deep as well.  I was smitten.  I grabbed it and felt like Gollem.  I'm already visualising my display cabinet of Lotte goodies in the future.

As all parents know the school day isn't really that long.  By the time I got home it was after 11am and after editing photos, blogging and reading I didn't have much time to do much else until it was time to leave at 2pm.

Ted was exhausted.  He was so exhausted that he ran off with his friends and leaped like wild animals all over the little alcove near the entrance to the school for twenty minutes.  He did devour a sushi roll and wholefoods raw bar and two big bunches of grapes while he did so, which I guess was enough to secure his energy levels.

Since he was in such a bright happy mood, I decided to push my luck a little further and take both children into the local shoe store to get their sports shoes sorted.  That experience went quite smoothly, although the wheels started to fall off as we were leaving.  Ted ran the wrong way down two major travelators and kept running away, screaming, from us a I endeavoured to move us in a direction that would allow us to grab some food for dinner.

The trip to the supermarket ended with him screaming, wildly thrashing and hitting me all the way back to the car. Fun times.

We drove home without a sleep which was a bonus.  However the less-fun after-effect of this was that Ted was vicious and horrible in the afternoon with Harriet.  Thwacking her with a long plastic pole that was meant to be part of the marble run saw me throwing the marble run in the bin. 

Harriet found out a couple of big things yesterday.  One of her very close friends from school is going to be moving schools this week.  In a small way it was a slight relief since it also relieves her from ongoing obligations with a mutual friend she didn't really enjoy the company of.   But of course it was devastating in every other way.

She also found out that her current homeclass teacher is only a temporary replacement for her actual teacher, who, it turns out, is the art teacher she had last year.  You may remember that they had a very special relationship and Harriet just adores her.  So of course the idea that she would be her home teacher is just wonderful.  However the reason she isn't teaching this term is that she has been on extended sick leave since before the end of term last year and may not return until next term or even later.

We are all devastated to hear of this news, so we will be putting together a small care package for her over the next week or so.  In celebration of the awesomeness that is her art/home teacher, I subscribed Harriet to this fantastic magazine.  I'd love for her to have a hand in the art world which I feel completely disengaged and uneducated about.  In fact she already knows and enjoys much more about art than I do now, and it's such a gift to have that knowledge, experience and exposure; not just from an occasional visit to the Art Gallery or an art class each week, but with ongoing daily connection with someone who can impart much more knowledge and passionate engagement than she would harness through other arenas. 

I remain in my literary world however.  I read Holes by Louis Sachar as I mentioned yesterday, and have now also finished The Giver by Lois Lowry.  I loved The Giver and thoroughly recommend it for mature readers from about 9yrs.  It has all the qualities of being an introduction to dystopian fiction for those in that age group, by offering an insight into what an alternate society might be like without issues that could be too too confronting or terrifying for primary readers.  

Only two more entries for this year's January Project!