Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 18th


Just thought I'd start this post with a photo of Miss Harriet since she was neglected on the 17th.  Isn't she gorgeous?  This was taken when she still had a full set of teeth - a situation that was to change by the end of the day. 


 It was a late start.  It was rather incredible, actually, because James and I were up and sitting in the backyard chatting for a full hour before the children woke up.  In his usual, delicate manner Ted could be heard screaming for me from the very back of the yard over the additional noise of our conversation and a powered garden tool from next door.  That child is not winning any awards for subtlety. 

Funnily, in much the same way that Harriet was in an obvious must-explore-and-push-boundaries mood the other day, Teddy awoke in a similarly focused must-create-and-do-projects kind of mood.  One of those project ideas was to make something from the woodworking book that we bought the children for Christmas, along with a basket filled with woodworking tools - a mitre box, a hand saw, screwdrivers, sandpaper, plane, hand drill and some other little bits and pieces.  

Ted was the instigator for the affair, however Harriet was soon caught up in the idea too.  Conversely Harriet woke up slightly out of sorts, quick to anger and unable to really focus on anything.  She soon returned to her (expanded) Katawungu game and left Ted to continue with the details.

After choosing the project (a rope cat toy stand), measuring, sawing and clamping, there came the time for painting.  Teddy was thrilled to be offered some of the sample pots of paint we had been choosing from for the exterior of our house.  With great power comes great responsibility.  He was encouraged to disrobe and employ the sage protection of the painting apron.

While this was going on, I was reminded by a friend that we had been invited over to their house that afternoon and, so, like, what the hell was happening?  Were we going along or not?

Well as all of you who know me and love me (remember, you love me!) can attest, my capacity to retain information and reliably reply to you all is a tad on the hopeless and unreliable side.  So I kicked into gear and, during the project making experience, set about preparing the details for leaving the house. 

This is a photo of the daily yield of cucumbers from our insanely prolific cucumber plant.  Luckily there is a salad in one of our favourite cookbooks that was comprised completely of cucumbers and mint.  Bingo!  Salad complete - all as local as our backyard.

Once it was that the many swimming bags had been topped up with the required contents, drinks, food, camera, and miscellanea were tallied, we were able to set off into the wilds of Newtown.  And once we arrived we were greeted by this - a warm, crusty, gooey, creamy, cheesy pot of goodness.  Oh my, such goodness.  Just...there are no words.

And so by the inclusion of swimming bags you would have guessed our hosts had a pool.  But not just any old pool.  This is a pool they didn't have in their backyard a mere fortnight ago.  This pool is big enough to be packed away at the end of summer to reclaim your backyard real estate, but still enormous enough to hold many adults, multiple children, inflatable toys and instills a need for goggles.  It is fair to say that our recently purchased $15 paddling pool did not rise to meet any of these conditions.

When we first arrived it was all children into the pool, like ants on a cake. No pausing, no discussion.  In and wet.  Slowly it dawned on them after an hour or so that they were all actually starving.  Out they popped at an individual pace, to eat whatever they could, before returning to the relief of their inflatable oasis. 


After a few hours they decided on play that had less osmotic impact.  Ted, oh joy of joys, found the lightsabers in a bedroom.  You can imagine how thrilled we were.


The three girls found their own rhythm.  After a Sylvanian experience, they moved on to the establishment of their own coven.  Unsure of what they were playing all I can safely report is that one girl would appear to meditate in the middle, whilst the other two walked slowly around her narrating a tale of some kind.  Watch this space for the Luna Lovegood Appreciation Society.

Ted and his two friends also made great use of the trampoline.  There was much throwing of oneself against the edge of the trampoline, lest we were feeling complacent about safety.  Ted wouldn't want us to occupy that space for too long.

And while all of this was happening, we adults sat around and talked and talked and talked and talked.  I'm not sure there was a quiet half-second the entire day - and that's not including the children.

By the end of the day, Harriet had had enough of her wobbly molar.  With a determined YANK, it was extracted, passed around for examination and carefully secured. This then meant that she, along with everyone else, was free to enjoy their snow cones with homemade fruit flavours (lemon was the winner of the day with my two) without pain.

It was with much discussion and regret that we decided to end the evening at around 8.30 or so.  We all could have talked longer, and played longer, and swum longer.  Thank you, my lovely friends, for such a beautiful afternoon. 

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