Monday, January 16, 2012

15th and 16th of January

 15th of January

Tricky day, this 15th of January.  There was a fine timeline we had to work to, because I was baking a cake to take to the blessingway I was attending in the afternoon.  Our plans to catch up with Jay et al seemed to be in jeopardy when we realised we had a cartoon level flat tyre on our car, and the cake was yet to be baked.  But we pulled it all together by leaving the cake to bake at home, James changed the tyre in double quick time, and we all raced the Bellingen arrivals in their car down the road (who also held Miss Jenna inside who hadn't driven from quite as far as Bellingen).
We were all gagging to try the new local cafe Cornersmith, which just happened to be started by friends of Jay and Scott's.  It was incredible - you know you're at a place of similar mindset when the sugar is rapadura, the flours in the background are in the same bags you have at home, and the cafe has a 'bottling day' where they close the cafe to make their own produce.  They even have their own beehives to make their own honey!  I'm really interested in bees, and am on a mission to try and incorporate an urban beehive into my life in the near future.

However great the cafe was though, the experience was a tricky one.  Jay and I were trying to have a meaningful conversation whilst around us children were on the slightly crazy side.  Ted was very, very tired and had fallen down and given himself quite a scrape on his knee which rendered him sore and sad.  I'd dressed in a long sleeved top and jeans but it was horrifically humid when we finally made it outside, so I was really uncomfortable and I felt quite overwhelmed generally.

So when we all moved to sit on the street it was a lot more manageable.  But of course still crazy.  As these photos can attest. 
I got a chance to take a couple of photos with Jay's 50mm f1.4 lens and really enjoyed it's clarity.  Unfortunately it's not that practical a lens for work so I won't be purchasing it any time soon.  Bummer!  When Ted is tired you can really notice his wonky eye a lot more too. 
The walk back up to the cars was crazy too.  There was some fence walking, shoulder flying, photo taking and, of course, laughter.  Then there were tears at the goodbye and on to the blessingway.  Ted and Harriet were taken by James to one of those indoor playcentres and I had a few hours of hanging out with lovely women and amazing food.

But oh my, when I was picked up, it was obvious Ted was not long for this world.  He was BUGGERED!  We decided to acquire dinner ASAP and stepped into one of the Vietnamese restaurants we'd been eyeing off on Marrickville Rd for quite a while.  But what a disappointment - the food was terrible, just really bland, and Harriet was sulky and sad when we asked her to be gentle with her words to Ted (as he ran back and forth grabbing 'grapes' for us from the fake, plastic grape vine wrapped around the rear pillar of the dining area - to remind us of the vast Vietnamese grape growing community I guess).

Bring on the 16th!

16th of January
Awoken earlier than I would have liked by Ted, and feeling a little grumbly, he led me outside to push him on the swing.  As I stepped outdoors my bad mood was swept aside as I looked up and saw a gorgeous, refreshing rainbow spread right across the sky.  We stood there, both of us, taking in the sight.  I then saw the rain-soaked cobwebs shining in the bright sun, and this massive dragonfly just sitting there motionless, as they are wont to do.  I knew it was going to be a different kind of day today.

We still had to deal with the tyre thing though.  While I worked at getting us all ready to leave the house, Harriet found the recorder.  Oh recorder, bane of the primary school parent's existence.  Your shrill, piercing whistle can strike fear into the hearts of those who have been there and played, and those who have been there and been forced to listen.  Neither side of this musical fence is pretty. 
She was actually interested in playing it though, not just producing that singular screech popular with those of little fingers.  I explained how the air enters and exits, the importance of completely covering the holes, and how to breathe.  After about three hours of little more than the odd hit at a correct note...well, I don't think focus was her thing.  Perhaps tomorrow, after a better night's sleep.  The age of recorder has, however, begun.

So off we traipsed, ready to wait out the interminable period between booking in and picking up.  Just long enough to be too long, just short enough to be not long enough to do anything special, and just far away enough from everything, including public transport.

But wait we did.  And it wasn't *that* bad. 
Of course these faces tell another story.  Please note the omnipresent recorder. And Ted's expression.  The face paint is courtesy of Ted's rainbow party held at home this morning - he decided to draw a rainbow on his face in honour of the occasion.  And when Harriet saw that magnificent art option, she had to join in as well.  Hence the two rainbowed children who were with me all day today.

We had a lovely little sojourn into Newtown afterwards, safely driving on four full tyres.  Bumped into Regan, Amelia and Will all within about 100m of each other.  It was almost like the Newtown of old (except I was wearing shoes and didn't have holes in my clothes).

Since it had been over 24hrs since I'd last seen Jay, it was time to rectify that particular issue.  Jay and Ilo came around for some water play, secret squirrel discussions, blueberry eating, and much admiration for our outdoor setting.
The afternoon also saw the evolution of a new game that's sweeping the nation (err....playroom).  It's called...well embarassingly neither James nor I can remember what it's called at 11pm.  However it's a great game.  Basically you throw the ball down. Then you kick the ball.  Then you yell out loudly "NAME OF GAME!" (it was something like Juhspoy or something - anyway I'll ask Ted tomorrow).  And then "GOAL!".  And then you grin happily and do it all again.
Harriet's game of choice in the evening though was Monster School.  I'm not even sure how it started but suddenly there I was, a teacher at monster school, teaching two small monsters on their first day.  We drew pictures of monsters, discussed different types of monsters and even had swim school (read: bath) where you had to slather your body in 'swim slime' (read: soap) in order to swim properly (read: wash yourself).  Then it was reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to both of them before Ted fell asleep in about three minutes and Harriet tearfully insisted that she WASN'T tired and DIDN'T need to go to bed and...and....zzzzzzzzzzz......

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