Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ball Game

Last week the boys' school was given lots of free tickets to a rugby match at Suncorp Stadium. They needed adults to supervise. The Big Fella has taken them to the footy before but I have always demurred due to my delicate sensibilities/ babies/ pregnancy/ having a night off.

All very gladiator-esque really.

This time I thought I might just go. It's been a long time between matches. The transport was all arranged and we were allowed to bring ring-ins. ie. Fishy got a gernsey too. There was much excitement as they mustered in the bowels of the stadium with buff security guards and famous players who I did not know. The boys were thrilled at the event and a little appalled at my ignorance.

What is this thing with black short socks and sports shoes lately. It all smacks of Jerry Lewis to me.
Turns out they got the free tickets so that they could don a jersey from each club in the state and  mosey onto the field all professional-like waving their flags as the music swelled and the stadium filled up. I was nursing a nose bleed in row trillion and twenty one but still got a tad misty at the sight.

Then we watched the game. There was much waving of flags and standing and yelling at goals. Tiny men ran around knocking each other down and hoiking a ball around. It was apparently a very good game.

As much as I enjoyed the rugby, it was watching my three watching the rugby that was the most fun. I loved that they sat together and looked after the Little Fella. Their excitement was infectious. It may not have awakened the dormant rugby gene that my mother insists lies in my heart but it did ignite a love of taking the boys to the stadium.

 I'll be back.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Annie, put the kettle on

5.30 am Boil kettle for tea. Deliver B2 to swimming. We have a nice chat when it is just he and I in the car. There is always a beautiful sunrise. Sometimes it stops me seeing the road as it refracts on the grime of the windscreen. He has forgotten breakfast money. We stop at the petrol station for cash and I get out of the car to remember I am in my jama pants. It takes a lot to embarrass me after being bald and eyebrow-less for six months. Jamas are small potatoes.

6-6.30 am. Make lunches for family. We are all very different aren't we, dears. Lunchboxia-eclectica. B2 is rolling six bread rolls a day usually with salad although he sometimes goes continental and has cheese and jam. No lumps please, Mum. Put Shorty's in the fridge so it stays cold. Boil kettle for tea. Arrange assorted muffins, Tiny Teddies, popcorn, rolls, fruit etc in various plastic boxes.

 6.30 am. Shower, dress, do hair in 30 seconds flat. Loving the whole pixie cut thing if only it had the pixie body to match. That reminds me to take oestrogen suppressing, barge arse promoting tamoxofin.

6.45 am. Walk loudly around house getting people out of bed. Make my cereal and watch my daughter eat it. Boil kettle for tea.

7.00 am. Drive to school to get note for child's excursion out of his desk so he can go today. Get teary at sight of school registrar's grand baby when she arrives to open school. (Secretary, not baby.) Babies still make me cry and get goosebumps. It's a disease, I tell you. Take that, oestrogen suppressor.

7.10-7.20 am. Say good-bye to Big Fella. Find things, feed people and chickens, dress people not chickens, dress salad for lunch. Tell B1 to get dressed. Put salad in fridge. Boil kettle for tea.

7.20 am. Deliver strings children to string place. "See you later, have a good day, don't forget to go to (insert place here) after school, have you got your lunch, love you, bye."

7.30 am. Back home. Tell B1 we are leaving, put Shorty in car. Tell B1 we are leaving. Get Shorty's lunch, check I have everything. Tell B1 we are leaving and to put his pants on. Leave.

7.40 am. Drive into kindergarten car park where tree is being lopped by large lopping truck across thoroughfare. Do a u-turn, drive against the arrow and go to rear car park. Deliver Shorty and note truck is now leaving front car park. Shorty has forgotten her hat and her yoghurt is still in the fridge chilling, unlike me.

7.50 am. Almost on time today. It's a miracle. Ask B1 to please put his shoes and socks on before we leave the house next time as his knee is in the gear stick. Get to school gate. Remember I have left B2's lunch at home. He'll starve after swimming. We pull a u-turn again. B1 is aghast!

8.00am. Should be arriving at work but instead pull into our driveway. No lunchbox in kitchen. Find it in back of the car where I put it twenty minutes ago. I have no recollection of doing so. Must be some dead brain cells in the lunchbox retrieval area of the brain. Drive back to school. Note twitch in left eye. Do arm exercises while driving as I forgot when I got up. Poke B2 in ear while extending forearm.

8.10 am. Start walking to office. Go back to car for laptop. Find I have left my own lunch in the fridge with Shorty's yoghurt. Eat cereal for breakfast at work. Boil kettle for tea.

The day begins...


One of the best things about being back in an art department is remembering long lost tidbits from the cobwebby recesses of my mind. Information from fourteen years ago will pop back into my head as though somebody flicked a light switch. Meanwhile I still can't remember that I put a lunch box in the car five minutes ago. The dodgy short term memory is resulting in much driving back and forth for forgotten objets. However some old memories have plugged back in to have some fun. 
When the teachers got new blank aprons last week, one suggested we do a little bit of decorating. I could not remember a thing about silk screening then it just popped back in. Flick!
The students are drawing lots of animal skulls at the moment so I thought I'd go down the sugar skull route.
Cut it out.
Make a practice print to stick it to the screen.

Pull the paint across the top with a squeegee.

Get a little carried away with the whole excitement of printing something again.

Add some twiddly bits.

The next one is going to be a few words I received on an e mail when I started working. I'm thinking it might be nice on a canvas but can't decide what colours to use. Thoughts?

Saturday, February 16, 2013


There have been lots of early starts from around 5.30 am. Now a year ago I would not have believed you had you predicted such a thing but this ol' body clock has been rewound and is enjoying the new schedule. There is an earlier bedtime now (after many years of pottering at night) but also the experience of the lovely mornings. Who knew? It's nice to get some alone time with individual offspring as well.

Meanwhile here are some more gratuitous Queensland art gallery shots. On another school excursion I stumbled across some Grant Featherston and this gorgeous sideboard by somebody called Schulin Krimper. His name is almost as spectacular as his sideboard. If this stuff is in the state gallery it is clearly out of my price range. Do you think one might turn up on Gumtree?

How lovely that it was in a family home all those decades before being "acquired"by the gallery. 

The old Queensland Art Gallery is a treat to  wonder through. After spending a lot of time in the Gallery of Modern Art it is good to go back to some of the old favourites again.

 Something about this steamy one really appeals to me. Perhaps it is relief that we don't have to do this any more and that even five loads on a Saturday is fine when it's automated. Mind you at least the laundry was sociable back then.

The whisked up egg yolks from last week came back as a rather tasty treat of blueberry, choc chip, vanilla ice cream. It has provided me with some pleasant moments of escapism. Everyone forgot we made it so I haven't shared this batch. It's my 9pm, late night indulgence.

What they don't know....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Artistica Eclectica

It's been a big week with this full time working thing going on.
On the week end we just seem to go very, very fast catching up on laundry and reconnecting with the offspring and maybe sneaking in something just a little special to make it all feel worthwhile.

Last week the girls and I nipped over to the Tennyson Powerhouse park to check it out. There was much swinging of child and skating of board to be had. Sometimes standing and pushing a swing for an indeterminate amount of time can be quite therapeutic for both the swing-er and swing-ee.

Below is the motto of a local school that has left its mark there. No banging on about success and winning and achieving, just being the best we can be. Says it all really. Might have to print this one out for the fridge.

It seems the new job sometimes requires me to go to GOMA during my work hours to supervise and further peruse the art. You know how I feel about GOMA. Did I mention that this job really suits me?
This is a teeny tiny canvas of a huge room of many other teeny tiny canvases that all put together form a narrative about a dessert.

This one just draws me in every time. It's big and lush and bold.

Meanwhile as this was happening Lala was dreaming of running off to join the circus. She has since reconsidered and will stay on in the north wing of the farmhouse as she pursues her dream of aerial greatness. 

Best thing about Lala's circus class? It's down the road from some lovely galleries and Matt Blatt.Yes,  I know it's repro and not high end but with five children my end will only be getting lower and lower. So I will squint and enjoy the repro as much as the real deal.
Where do you stand on that whole debate?

The classes are also down the road from a most spectacular patisserie. Lairy lured me in and tempted me with tiny quiches of the addictive variety. Even the patisserie had some good paintings in it. It's a theme I tell you, a sign... That new red bag is a souvenir from GOMA with a wistful Francis Bacon postcard in it to remind me of the BIG retrospective in Sydney right now. Sydney-siders get your skates on and report back to us Northerners, please.

Another perk of this job is having to peruse many lovely art books. Near my desk I found a whole David Larwill book. He's an artist who I have only seen in fancy mags beside high ends. I'm thinking this pink number would look mighty fine above my bath!


There were more humble creative pursuits at home. Many things were aerated it seems. We fluffed up some yolks for ice cream, whites for pavlova, cream for the pav, butter and sugar for a cake.

We also made hoagies. These are soft rolls with holes poked in them and vege laden spag bog mince spooned inside. They are highly recommended as fillers for carb sucking boys. I don't know what a real hoagie is but remember it from the  Cosby show when I was a child. We stole the name for our rolls when the boys were too little to say mince roll. Plus it sounded tastier.

 The hogies fuelled up Fishy who changed codes and went over to the dark side, abandoning his soccer for a year of rugby instead. Will this be another year like the 2011, the Year of the Great Bone Crushing, where each boy broke a bone at some point within four months?

Note the kind provision of a little laundry soap for getting the blood and gore stains out of the costume. 
Maybe I should poke some calcium supplements in the hoagies this year!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Go Ask Alice

Two weeks ago I started my first full time job for a long time. It was a little daunting but turns out to be most enjoyable and in fact rather satisfying. For the first time in twenty years I will not work as a teacher. Instead I am the art technician for a large and luscious art department down the road. (artistica) This is less demanding than teaching but deeply nurturing for the soul. I am like Alice the maid for the art block, spending my days  surrounded by walls of delicious media which makes my mouth water at least hourly.

There have been mixed responses from friends. "Really?" "Are you crazy?" "You need to be careful." "Don't overdo it.""It's perfect for you!" I like this last one best.

Here are my three golden rules for working mother perfection. (domestica) The trick is to be in complete control at all times on the homefront. 

1. Laundry will be washed, hung, folded and ironed daily. 
Alternatively, it can be scrunched in small balls deep in one of five baskets for later reflection. The laundry talismans seem to be stranded in Caloundra in an ark with the Noahs unable to get back and do my washing. 

2. Everything will have it's place.
Weeks of painstaking culling and reorganising of drawers has been undertaken to insure that no PE shirt will be lost, no goggle misplaced, no sock left abandoned by its partner.
In torrential rain, only two mornings out of four saw a wet and quivering mother twitching at the door as lost items were searched for, ten minutes after we should have left. That's two for two...not bad.

Why is it so?

3. No unpredictable or difficult situations should be permitted to disrupt the smooth cogs with which the domestica will whir along.
Mini tornadoes will please desist from laying waste to the flora.
Alas, poor Lady Marmalade Grevillea, I knew her well. In fact I may have inadvertantly given her the kiss of death by standing and admiring  her for a while the day before she was wind- whacked.

 Please peruse a last token of Lady Marmalade Grevillea's gorgeous blooms.

Et tu, Candlenut tree?! Dripping with fruit, shady and pretty and native...

she too has gone to the big Woodchipper in the sky.

                                     Did you ever notice Alice the maid toting a chain saw? 
Suddenly, in the context of life under con-Troll*, these lyrics finally make sense!

*con-Troll: [koh n-trohl ] n. evil nemesis of Control; enemy of organisation; lifestyle description

January's Child (5 =5/52=1/12)

"A portrait of my children once a month, every month in 2013"

Some friends have been doing this weekly portrait with Jodi. I looked back to realise I don't take enough portrait shots of this lot. They are more likely to be photos of what they are doing or what is happening round them. Not just them. At that moment.

So I'm going to attempt to stick at this project but will be following the example of Mel to post the link monthly because, in our families,  that still works out as sixty photos. 
I'm am hoping there is an exception clause for those who have had four on the floor under four or more at any time. 
There will be big changes this year. Lot's of ends and new beginnings.
I hope to use my dear old camera more, instead of her usurper, the i-phone. 
We'll see how it goes.

1. Lala, watching 'Annie' AGAIN.

2.  B2, stepping into a man's clothes, a deeper voice and a calmer way.

3. B3, mooching and listening to "Thrift Shop".

4. Fishy, turning 12,  it's the last year of a non-teen boy in the house.

5. Mei-mei, Edwina Scissorhands in her last year before big school.

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