Monday, January 28, 2013

Wild and Woolly

Good ol' Australia Day was wild and woolly again! Australia seems to like to take this opportunity to remind us what a tough cookie she really is. Flood and fire seem to have become the new normal in January.
The Big Fella woke very early this morning to don his new uniform and spent the rest of the day getting it very dirty. We are very proud of him and all the other volunteers who are working in this deluge tarping houses, cutting trees, sandbagging property and making tea and sandwiches and fried rice.
There's your Australia Day spirit, right there.

Back home, we got up later to find a white out over the mountains, water everywhere but the wild winds had thankfully eased a bit since yesterday.

The last day of holidays with five chillun hunkered down in the house proved to be fairly chilled out although there may have been some cyber baby sitting by day three. Pale but interesting, B1 ironically has peeling shoulders from the heat wave last week!

Others may have had too much screen already and amused themselves in other ways.

There was important bomb diving to be done to empty the overflowing pool...

and it was finally cool enough to finish connecting the squares on the everlasting radioactive rug. This is the woolly bit. When it was finally all joined up I began the less tedious job of hooking a big, wide border around it. If it stays cool it might get done this week!

For the first time in nine years I did not wrangle Contact paper and cover books. One year, I suffered two full days and a plague of flying ants to cover and label all their stuff. This year the youngest two insisted it was way uncool to cover books in year 5 and year 7. I paid them $5 each to label their own stuff and am not even going to check it. NOT!

Between loads of drying and heating pies and pizzas and cups of tea, I had my own screen time to enjoy. After some of this it was time for a fillum.

"Annie" was promptly  canned before Lala's 187th viewing and I got to choose MY film. You tell me which was more appropriate! They all skulked out within the first half hour but I cared not. For I had my hook, my three year old and Debbie Reynolds to keep the day humming along. 
Vo-do-dee-oh, vo-do-dee-ody-ody.....

Our thoughts are with all of those without homes at the moment, hoping it is over soon and that nobody is alone in this.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Further Fishy Adventures

It may be pouring this week with the long awaited January rains but last Saturday it was still summer at the beach. 
We had forgotten how much we loved Coolum...what with babies and friends who move overseas and lumps in breastage and whatnot.

Even after a few years though it is lovely to know that some things stay exactly the same.

Other things are decidedly new. We found some dragon fruit at the markets there and brought one home for the kiddos to try. It looked more like an exotic tropical fish than a fruit or a dragon.

Some tried it, some liked acquired taste I think. It might be nice in home made ice-cream?
Anyhoo it was SO pretty to look at, the taste didn't matter.

Mostly we hung out at the house or mooched at the beach. I revelled in my first surf in over a year. It was strange and liberating and very healing to go in monoboobular for the first time. I should have done it ages ago but needed a quiet beach for the occasion.

The girls were nonplussed.

It takes a lot to put us off our beach swimming...even the various odd jellies on the beach were not worth thinking about too much when there was fun to be had!

This is Silicone Sal, my new chest friend who is very like a flesh toned jellyfish. She had to stay on the sand as I don't know if she is waterproof. I waited till the walkers had passed by then whipped Sal out of my rashie and bolted for the water. It was a self conscious moment overcome immediately by the sheer joy of having a surf again in the perfect clear glassy Pacific. I later suggested to Lala that a smaller jelly fish might fill the job just as well but she did not share my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


When we were at Julie's house, I bought one of those house magazines. We were laughing at the twee comments accompanying some of the photos.
eg. "who lives here?
A Tai Chi and Qi Gong teacher, who is also involved in a boutique timber company, and a copywriter and food coach. Plus, Lucky the spoodle." Real Living Jan Feb 2013
No doubt these people are real but it was a little too good to be true. 
It should occasionally read:
"who lives here?
Angie, a teacher's aide and Andy, a public servant, who likes to take his kids to the movies. Plus, Barry, the mongrel pup from the markets."

It's all relative isn't it? I think my mate's house in Coolum is a cracker of a pad and deserves as much of a write up as the Qi Gong teacher's.

"We like to lie beneath the stars crooning Hawaiian lullabies to our gentle boys on our harmonically tuned ukeleles." The niches have been a few years in the making but have become zen islands of calm for family mementos.

Julie's eclectic taste is evident throughout the 50's bungalow, with her carved fish sourced from a Samoan artisan and star clock from the Sydney markets. The light fitting was a gift from a grateful 'houseguest' and the wall units designed by Julie and made by the Domestic Surf god's friend. Vintage desk from op shop. Tissues from Coles.
Jarrah niches custom made by the Domestic Surf god are filled with a spicy set of glass vessels from a local garage sale.

The Domestic Surf god has left his personal mark on the breezeway between laundry and boys' room.
Painting by Julie. Floors by the surf god.

Art by various friends and family members is displayed throughout the house.

Various friends' children with their Samoan weaponry are displayed throughout the house.

The boys' room is filled with light and lego and the quiet strains of Jimmie Little at bedtime when the brothers snuggle under their block printed bespoke Samoan quilts.

Finally in the words of Real Living itself, "this home is certainly a true blue (ocean) beach beauty." 
It is so lovely to see it hugging its real family again after their Samoan sojourn and so very lovely to have them back in our lives.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Very Fishy Birthday

Fishy and his friends wanted to see this film for his birthday. He also requested they be able to go on their own for the first time. Overcoming the strong desire I had to spend two hours watching a thug called Wreck- it Ralph wrecking everything, I succumbed to my son's wishes and went to find MY bliss.

When I emerged, released into the wild without a single child attached (!!!!), it was a little overwhelming. I had a yen to sit in a peaceful place like...say... Matisse's garden. 
If you squinted and ignored the soaring temperatures it could be a French Boulevarde- or Grey Street in the morning rush.

So I ducked between some buildings and found myself here, reacquainting myself with the Bouganvillea trellis path and the river side.

Hello there, Brisbania! How pretty you are in the morning. Sorry to have lost touch but it is lovely to see you again!

Under the bridge and around the spiral walkway brought me back to this old dear...

The original Queensland Art Gallery which I'm afraid I have been spurning in favour of her newer, flashier little sister, GOMA. 

Hello perennial frangipanis,

hello dandelion fountains so beloved by my once- toddler boys...

and, hello, lovely garden of zen in the middle of the city's miasma of noise. A coffee, a view, still water, a fountain in my ear and a couple of perfect puffy clouds. For a moment it looked like a child was going to make big ripples in my mirror like calm but he was quietly moved on. Yes, please!

I have always loved this large hall with the watery exhibits it houses. Does anyone else remember when it was filled with a floating sea of silver balls?

There was still time to check out some favourite old masters and their perfect rendering of clouds. A little handmade object shop had some precious bits in it too.

Sandra Bowkett ceramics

 I filed some away for reference as there will be access to a kiln this year.

Murray Topham ceramics

I was waiting at the doors of Wreck it Ralph, probably looking a little more serene than when we had parted company. Dad had the pizza and cake waiting at home and then we dropped the extras off and headed for a friend's at the coast. Fish got one of his wishes there which was to cuddle Dee Dee his long lost mini schnauzer friend. 
Our babiest boy was all of twelve and pretty darn pleased about it!

As Grandad Bill would say, "Happy Birthday, dear Finley, Happy Birthday to you! ... and a tiger!"

(We don't know why he has always said that but we like it.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Badly Drawn Boys and Girls

 The Shining may be the only song in the world written and recorded specifically with the cello and euphonium. However, it was difficult to find a video version of that song for my last post with the eupho (hipster for euphonium) and cello actually playing on it.  Maybe eupho players don't like live gigs.

There is a small window of time where two of mine still play those big boys.

 However I did find this rather lovely bunch of primary schoolers singing their version. It was a timely reminder of how good teaching CAN make you feel.

Dare you not to get a little something in your chest....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Away with ye

Time to get out of Dodge! With Brisbania sweltering around the mid-thirties, we headed for the hills to visit the 'Woomba Bartletts. Even the sky was bleached out in the heat dotted with tiny gasps of cloud that promise no relief at all.

The further we got into the country the more I felt the tightness around my heart unclench and some relaxation seep in. I grew up on the Darling Downs so it makes sense.

There were dear friends to catch up on, a dog to smother with affection,

cooking to be done,

Note the Bartlett thumbs

the highest levels of hygiene to be maintained.

 It was a lovely couple of days. There should be more photos of Anna painting, me gessoing my skirt, swimming in their school pool, talking till 2 a.m.... However I was too relaxed to take photos and the phone was being used by Lala to take rather a lot of obsessive photos of Maybe, the dog. 

Driving home in the dark with sleeping offspring to the melancholic strains of Badly Drawn Boy was kind of delicious in itself. 

 You know I do like me a bit of euphonium and cello!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oh Frabjous Day! Cull-oo, cull-ay

Apart from the Great Heatwave of 2013 which is apparently not a heatwave, we have been experiencing the effects of the Great Cull of 2013. It started weeks ago in 2012 when the hats and wigs were sent packing because they made me feel sick- literally! Then I did the rest of my wardrobe then the offprings' clothes and toys.

 The deChristmasfication of our home was also most pleasurable. 

 It was a perfunctory Christmas for me this year. Decorate, buy stuff, give stuff, undecorate. I didn't feel the spirit "move" me this year although I wanted my children to feel it. So you do it anyway, right?

Santa has left the building.

They are the ones I cherish not their "stuff". 

It was still in the car when I visited the Breast Clinic and it turned out the young nurse there was having her first baby and had nothing. Linen, pouch, clothing...the mother load! It was serendipitous and much easier to let it go than to an anonymous inheritor.

Opaque, yellow mystery bags have been regularly leaving the house en masse. This is the fifth load and it was a small one. I have filled a boot on previous runs. There was a pile of baby stuff that had dodged previous culls.
You know it is really summer when Christmas is packed up, springcleaning almost done and the first rhinoceros beetle lands in the kitchen. 
This is a gratuitous shot especially for the gentle Euro-folk over the sea. They hiss, you know!

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