Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 - bring. it. on!!!

Counting down the hours until we can tip-i-toe out of 2010 here - don't tell 2010, but we never exactly hit it off.

Don't get me wrong - there have been moments of joy and moments of mirth (mostly black humour) but it has been hard work finding the gems. Thank goodness I have children!!!

Just to remind me not to get above myself in this 2010 world, I overruled V in the "is it more auspicious to mow before the year is through" debate, but the mower (okay, and the soggy lawn) sided with him.

Instead, I shall take my frustration out on the weeds (of which there are many, and make such a satisfactory sound as they escape the sucky soil), clutter (we are filling a car to take to the donation centre for the flood victims) and kicking any negative 2010 type thoughts to the back corner of my mind in case they should try and blight these last 12.75 hours.

2011 - now that is another matter.

2011 I have plans for. I know. Never been attempted properly before, but 2011 is going to be littered with goals and dreams.

I hope everyone has a joyous and safe New Year.

And 2011 - be seeing you soon.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In case you were wondering

where all of this water was going:

(Not for us - highset house and excellent drainage to the Pacific out the front)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bad weather - guest post by 'Salina

This is just outside our house. Normally the water doesn't overflow the bridge, but for the last few days, it has nearly overflowed every high tide...

In town, its a different matter.

Yesterday, we went for a drive to see...

We tried to go around via the Causeway, but as you can see, it was a little bit flooded.

This is water flowing over - no cars were allowed to go through.

(Mum put up a video I took of the pond near Paris' childcare)

I thought the golf club could have been a water land - there were so many ponds instead of sand traps..

On the way to town, the paddocks had turned into ponds.

The paddock on the other side had just been picked of its sweet potatoes.

Here is the Sweet Potato field..

We drove along past the cricket fields - or rather cricket lake.

At the park (which we didn't photograph this time around) the toilets were under water!

The skate park was part of the water world also. There were people swimming, but the thought of the toilet water mixed in there meant I didn't even want to walk in the mud!!!

Of course, most of our sightseeing was actually like this.

And our faces are looking like this after a few days of this rain...

But in the darkest places even in bad weather you can stil find a smile.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Paradise

Its been a bit wet - not as wet as some, but if you want to see where all that water flowed...

Good thing we weren't planning a picnic in the park - or indeed a boat ride....

that chain in the distance - yeah, where the boats are launched from.

Our first opening was actually last night. This awesome book arrived for the girls - The Night Before Christmas has always been a favourite in this house, but the added bonus of it being in Grandberta's voice makes it exquisite.

'Salina spent nearly 20 minutes in a queue for this to be wrapped by the charity ladies in the mall, about 16 hours anticipating and

2 minutes "helping" Paris unwrap a surefire winner.

Not that there was a lack of things to be unwrapped this morning... We all scored well,
ate well and got to view far too many Christmas Day movies. Note to self - no matter how cynical this hard shell of the outside of me pretends to be, it only takes 10 seconds to find tears welling if Santa gets his way...

or looking back to how far we have all come, baby...

Merry Christmas to all from Paradise XX

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two days late

and no doubt a few dollars short!!!

In pictures, with very few words - as I am exhausted.

Only one more shopping day until Christmas and the only day of opportunity to take 'Salina and Paris out to get those last minute fripperies - if I don't get around to it (because I will be continuing that fine tradition of wrapping the whole of Christmas Eve) I hope that everyone enjoys the festive season safely.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

While I could have been...

It appears I have been very much missing from this space.

I have been here - I have even, on occasion, been at the computer - but bereft of ideas to expound...

'Salina has finished year 6 - she got a decent report card and a major haircut. She also got 2 ribbons at the swimming carnival - 3rd in freestyle and 1st in backstroke.

Paris is going through another round of antibiotics for ear infections - but we have cut out her other medication, because there was an instant effect, and not a pleasant one - of massive tantrums. In the middle of the night. In bed.

I am working - unfortunately none of my work stories are decent yarns. There are only so many ways to pretty up numbers in the left matching numbers in the right...

V finally got to mow the yard, after weeks and weeks of rain. He has an assignment due next week - on the 24th of December - who would do that?

Anyway, as you were.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Paris' bid

Apparently, all the big boys are having a shindig in Europe to see who wins "Destination Soccer Twenty-twenty something", and we are coyly trying our hardest to impress them enough to bring their balls and play with us here.

Here is our bit to help the cause.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November Wrap

There are other posts I have written - or half-written - but be glad that the "post" button was passed over in favour of good taste (and the fear that the Gods of Irony will track me down and SMITE me for going close to taunting them).

Enough said that November has created a few new records in tripping us up. If it weren't for the whole "oh my, birthdays and Christmas and more birthdays" -ness of December I would be all for the referendum to get some December-savings-time installed round these parts.

  • I put my sewing machine in to get a service. Long story short, I don't have a sewing machine any more
  • We put the mower in for a service. It now does work better - granted - but the off position is now full throttle and the start position is about a whisker away. However, the Mower Man we took it to - disappeared.
  • We discovered the kettle was not so much overboiling and leaving a puddle through excitement as it was just plain leaking. Not an attractive trait in a kettle.
  • The car is still going. Hooray.
  • The lights in half the house keeled over last week. On the plus side, very romantic dinners (as romantic as dinners get with an eleven year old and a 10.5 month old). The electrician did come and patched them up. We need to get him back as our electricity bill is double the average, and we are frugal. When he comes back, he may never leave...
  • and then today - well, let us just say the mantra "its only money" is being fervently recited whenever we start to twitch

As my father oft used to quote, the "Cow's gone dry and the hens won't lay" sort of month around here.

Still, its not all doom and gloom.

Both of my new jobs are going a treat, and my clients are all quite happy in my off-time work. My main job has a NAB bank account - NAB is one of the biggest banks in Australia and they stuffed up HUGELY this week, and the role I am most loved for by my colleagues - payroll - wasn't such a winner for them when it came Friday and there was STILL no change in their bank accounts... That being said, the boss shouted us all dinner and drinks at a swank restaurant for Christmas. I left V at home with the sick baby and pre-teen, but had VERY firm instructions to come home... Apparently the aim of the game was to get hammered, as it is an annual tradition, but I had a good excuse this year. See, I don't do hammered these days...

'Salina is growing up and learning lessons - not all of them are painful. She got her ears pierced for her birthday and oh my! doesn't it make her look all grown up...

Paris started a new daycare and hasn't been kicked out yet. Of course, in the 5 days she has been booked in to attend, she has missed 2 due to ear infections - and very nearly missed a 3rd because Mummy accidentally took Daddy's car keys to work. Oops.

V is going well and being an excellent house-husband - he even cooked his first ever lamb roast (and it was beautiful).

And we got to walk - for free - to the beach - for free - this afternoon and revel in Paris' first day enjoying sand and splashing. Hooray for no whistling wind, no more ear infection and a sunshiney day - and the freedom to revel in what really matters in Paradise.

If you want photos, head over to my sister's - she has some gorgeous ones of Paris!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The long-winded saga of cars, me and McD...

I have owned four or five cars in my life. The uncertainty in numbers is because I am still in transition.

Anyway, I have a bit of a habit with cars. It seems I generally buy them from family members. Its not that I plan that to happen, it just happens that when the "I need to get a new vehicle" bulb goes on in my brain, the yin and yang of the world spins and a family member has need to offload and heigh-ho, everybody's problem is solved.

My first car was my sister's first car. And the first part of the saga involves "Tess" (hey, a girl's car has got to have a name), a wedding, a fateful decision - and a disaster.

Twenty-two years ago, I was making an awesome blue suit for a wedding that I was set to go to. I had a tendency, in those days, to make my own clothes in my own style, and I was quietly quite impressed with my awesome blue suit, but getting a little tired and a little hungry and, rather than down tools to address kitchen issues, I made THAT decision.

Fast-food. Designed, I justified, for moments like this. Drive-thrus. Ideal for a girl in paint-spattered house-clothed, unbrushed hair and barefeet to economise on "getting ready to face the world" time.

It had been timed, and it only took 7 minutes to get from where I lived to where such an outlet was, and I grabbed my keys, my purse and gave myself for 15 minutes of reprieve from pins and needles.

5 minutes into that drive, a car jumped out of nowhere and peeled back the 4 passenger side panels of my darling little car.

My car d'jour isn't actually my car. Well, not yet. My car, which was my aunt's car, is a sedan - and the combination of baby and sedan and long weekends to my extended family is somewhat limited.

My parents have recently upgraded their own car, but failed to trade in their old one - a station-wagon. As of Monday, I have been testing their older car to see if it suits.

Friday was one of my "three client" days, and by the time I was on my way to my third job, I had been required to add several words to my phone dictionary just to describe one bank encounter ("nazis", "effigies" and "serene") and was running an hour late.

I went to the bank (because the above encounter was unsuccessful - the "serene" was tongue in cheek) and actually wandered INTO the food court before thinking "hmmm"...

Fast-food. Designed, I justified, for moments like this. Drive-thrus. Ideal for getting my passenger-seat filing done while waiting for service.

The first story involved police, a race riot, the fraud squad and a packed pub full of onlookers.

Friday's story was nowhere near as spectacular - but in its own way, indeed easily as embarrassing.

I had collected my toy and softdrink and was waiting patiently at the last window for my kid's meal (heck, I am the QUEEN of self-justification) and the car stalled.

A slight worry, but I grabbed the box of food and started the engine.

It stopped. I started it. It stopped. Hmmm. Not so simple.

Luckily, the kitchen at McD is filled with energetic youths designed to push a broken-down car. Unluckily, it was peak hour so no parks, the car had no power so no power-steering and so I ended up in the waiting bay. Where everyone going through the drive-through gets to go past - slowly. Where everyone chosing to walk into the store gets to walk past - slowly. Where all the traffic going in - and out - of the establishment gets to go past. It did seem as if they all did so slowly.

I am a member of the RACQ, the state-wide breakdown service - one of those no-brainer decisions made when I got my first car. Unfortunately, I am a common member, which means they offer me roadside service - for my car.

My father is a member of the RACQ. He is an elite member entitled to service for any car he is driving.

Fortunately there was an operator on the other end of the line who was understanding enough to bridge that bureaucratic gap, and I was told to expect a man within the hour.

An hour is plenty of time to eat all of your kids meal. Plenty of time to do your passenger-seat filing. Plenty of time to people watch. Plenty of time to text your husband with new words for the phone dictionary.

Luckily, an hour was enough time for a knight in the guise of the RACQ man to make it to McD, and I am sure he had a chuckle on the way in to investigate my predicament.

He had a post-chuckle look on his face as I popped the hood and explained the scenario and my laymen diagnosis (because we all know what a blocked fuel-line sounds like, don't we?).

He had the hide to suggest I might have run out of fuel (ha! This car has a "distance to empty" measure and we had only just entered double figures) and agreed to listen to my problem non-verbally.

Well, you know what happened next, don't you?

I got back into the driver's seat, he had his head over the engine, I turned the key, the car started and...

The darn thing stayed started.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Up for Air

I am a tongue thinker. V is a tongue thinker. Therefore, poor little Paris had no choice but to stick her tongue out while concentrating. That or she is teething. Continuously.

We had a pool party for 'Salina's 11th birthday - which doesn't happen officially until Wednesday. I won't post a photo of 'Salina, because all the ones of her include a dozen other kids - including one we don't know. Go figure.

'Salina and V did have fun carving a pumpkin and getting together goodies for Halloween this evening. Its moments like this I miss Boy Next Door and Girl Down the Road - there are no playmates in cooee now for her to garner into a Trick or Treat posse - so we hosted a scary balcony and gave out goodies.

I worked my first Saturday at one of my new jobs on the weekend (so V got the joy of getting the girls ready for the party - he he he) (This tactic did backfire on me as I met him at the pool, as Paris was clad in a blue worker's singlet and a brown MCN. Quite rightly, he points out it is her fanciest MCN, but definitely a fail in Party Girl status!!)

However, a few Saturdays ago I wasn't working and we and some visiting friends went on a walk we have meant to do since - well, since being in Paradise.

'Salina has her Aunt's photographic eye, don't you think?

She is also a dab hand at Directing...

Yes, Paris has learned how to play!

Anyhow, back to tail up and nose down - 13th - its a date, right?

Monday, October 25, 2010


the hours alloted to awake time between work and travelling to and from work and being my big daughter's confidante
as she walks trepiditiously towards adolescence and being my little daughter's Mummy as she teeters towards walking
and being my husband's wife and being the budgeter and the peace-maker and the apologist...

Apparently not so much the blogger, hey?

Still alive, still afloat (and paddling like crazy), still enjoying my family and the joys of paradise (growing luciously and enjoying the reprieve of a lawnmower undergoing servicing - again) and food (oh my, I must admit we still eat like royalty.
We can do cheap feasts like nobodies business) and contemplating the 13th of November because that is the square that has nothing written in it (yet)...

Hope everyone is well out there - this is the banality that is life in paradise with gorgeous creatures.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Hey ho, hey ho

Not much going on here of late - because a bit too much going on out there.

The good news - I have got some regular work.
The bad news - I have not got rid of my irregular work just yet.
The ridiculous - I am working daytimes and evenings...

The good news - Paris is getting very mobile.
The bad news - Paris is getting very quick.
The ridiculous - going through our house is an obstacle course.

The good news - 'Salina didn't have appendicitis.
The bad news - she missed some quality horse time at her favourite place in the world.
The ridiculous - what made 'Salina so sick is a vague and "could have been anything" diagnosis...

The good news - V is getting a lot of quality Paris and him time.
The bad news - V is not getting any study done.
The ridiculous - he is studying evenings.

Hope the world is keeping you all well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

V Dreams

(V is currently studying, and has a very difficult design assignment due.)

He came out this morning and said "I had very vivid dreams about lions and sheeps."

How very Aesop Fablish of him, I thought - so I said so.

He burst into laughter. "Lines and shapes, not lions and sheeps."

Monday, September 27, 2010

'Salina Guest Post - wanting to eat the t.v.

at the moment i have to fast, so i'm watching a show that was taped. On the tape after that was junior master chef, and they were cooking what looked like an angel [not realy, it realy looked like a block of custard pudding with a beautiful sauce, any way...] i felt like eating the t.v. so then mum says 'clear the tabel for lunch' i was think 'but i can't eat mum!!!!!'.

i'm telling you she's torturing me by eating, but i have to go for another 3 hours wthout food or water, i'd like to see her go for 6 hours without food or water.

:] :]

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nurse Jeanie gets confused

Poor 'Salina - her week at Bush Babe's was cut short by 3 days because she had a pain in the tummy so bad she was crying and off her food. BB took her to the doctor's, who said it might be the onset of appendicitis and get her back here where there is a hospital and medical care available. (Yep - bewdy Qld Health - they live in an area of over 2000 people - the majority elderly - serviced by 1 locum. They have to travel over 200km before they hit a permanently placed doctor, let alone a hospital)

So my yesterday was spent in the car for hours (as opposed to my tomorrow, when I was going out to collect) to meet them half-way and bring her home. She was fine by the time I saw her, well enough to have dinner and sleep.

At 2.45 this morning she woke me in tears because it was back, and so after a chat to Mr 13Health gave her a panadol and then took her in to the hospital when there was no improvement.

(Side note - the $40 million upgrade to the hospital includes the BRAND NEW emergency department. Still shows blood on the floor, though - enough to show just how shoddy the attempt to clean up the trail of blood from a previous client truly was. Acoustics are still the same the world over - its only in emergency you get to catch up on the social life of the nurses of the world. We all agreed the male nurse would just have to let go of the argument about his girlfriend adjusting the shower head.)

The doctor (who I think studied medicine about when Menzies was elected) with very squeaky shoes gave her a thorough checking over, to declare it was NOT appendicitis but Intestinal Colic - a common ailment cluttering the hallways of Emergency Departments the world over, and adequate pain relief should cover.

5am we left to see the sunrise, learn that special machines are used to polish the pedestrian crossings, find out my blood alcohol level was indeed 0.00% and chortle over the foamy fountain some prankster had added detergent to.

Since getting home, Dr Google has told me that Intestinal Colic is a symptom, not a diagnosis - and (as the doctor advised me) from a myriad of causes; many (including our GP's receptionist) have given me anecdotes about how no-one should ever rule out grumbling appendixes (appendici?) as they can flare without warning and cause many anecdotes (if not death); and dd has had another attack to the point of tears.

Aargh!! Of all the strings to my mother bow, medical matters are totally absent (I will change channels should anything medical ever surface on my screen - heck, I will walk away from the television and do the washing up rather than watch such stuff) and therefore I am clueless.

What should I do (other than offer pain relief and hope she will get better)?

(And oh yes, I am still (obviously) imperfect...)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Hell Freezes Over

I know this week when I am being all loud and proud about the slattern that I am(courtesy of Picklebums challenge), one of my examples being a houseworky task that I have actually knuckled down and done seems a tad - well, airbrushy - doesn't it?

Never fear - I have not surprised the borrowers too much yet with such shenanigans. As usual, there is a story attached...

For a while now - for a very long while now, the "little freezer" has been in need of a good defrost.

For all of that while, I have had a daily mantra of getting whatever out, saying to myself "I must defrost this soon" and going on with my life. Obviously verbal reinforcement only has so much impact on my consciousness.

Weekly, I have added a "...before I do the groceries" codicil - which has as much impact as opposition policy - and weekly, I bring home groceries to fill the undefrosted freezer and added "...(expletive deleted) - next week".

No doubt, the freezer doubted my follow-through, because yesterday it took the matter into its own hands (?).

At some point, one of us accessed something and failed to give that little nudge between "slightly ajar" and "sealed".

A few hours after that point, I was traversing the kitchen and stood in a puddle. I know - there have been occasions over the last few years where I have traversed the kitchen and stood in puddles (most notably after V has attacked the washing up - so most days) but on this occasion, the puddle was quite cool.

"hmmm" I thought. I investigated. I saw the slightly ajar door - and knew my day of reckoning had come - and thought "I will deal with this later" and shut the door again.

Later did actually come - and on the same day - because I knew that once you have puddle-formed in the world of ajar-doored freezers, you are entering a world where food safety standards can become compromised (oh, and okay, you are entering a world where you can no longer shut the door without fear of the ajarity).

The first task is always to rehome everything. I did an awesome job of spatial stuffing with the upstairs fridge. I had to take a photo because it was indeed a masterpiece - especially when you consider it coincided with a massive cookup of freezer cubes of standards for Paris.

Anyhow, to round off the imperfections.. V had a spatial problem with the downstairs freezer, and so placed his charges in the fridge section. If anyone wants pies or fish fillets, they are now thawed for your convenience...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Flaunt the Imperfection

Kate at Picklebums had a great post last week - go on, read it - I'm not going anywhere.

Do you know how hard it is not to gloss over the little fissures that make up my life and just give you a glib "nothing to see here" - and how easy it is to not post at all when life is not peachy or easily glibbed?

As a result, day 1 will be a gentle stroll into the dark side...

Title of the above - "Naked Paris Enjoys Cracked Ice Yoghurt".

That will get the search engine numbers humming...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Get a tree!!

(Warning - this post has the potential of going outside of the G rating zone I stick to - there is sex, tail tagging, near death experiences, swearing and horror. There are even pictures.)

Our household consists of two adults, two children (one big, one little) and a cat.

Because we have the cat, the fly screen to the kitchen is permanently open - so our household would consist of two adults, two children (one big, one little), a cat and a million flies were it not for this guy:

So really, our household consists of two adults, two children (one big, one little), a cat and a gecko.

Anyhow - as of today, our household consists of two adults, ONE child, a cat and a gecko because the big child is on holidays at Auntie Bush Babe's for the week.

Resultantly, all humans currently in the household were in the kitchen this evening, preparing a lovely meal of tuna, onions, garlic, lemon, tomatoes and feta (it was delicious) when we found out something about our household.

It is not a household of two adults, two children (one big, one little), a cat and a gecko.

Indeed - it appears to be a household of two adults, two children (one big, one little), a cat and at least two geckos...

Yes - a household of two adults, two children (one big, one little), a cat and potentially many, many geckos.

It is hard to concentrate greatly on the doings of the dish when the doings are stuck to the ceiling and going at it like - well, like tantric dummies really. The gecko has staying power, I must say, but as to the mutual joy I admit I heard no sighs and saw no cigarettes...

Anyhow, at some point the cat joined us in the kitchen and after a moment or two, with a loud THUNK the geckos disengaged from each other AND the ceiling. This perked the cat up no end - and he pounced on the less fleet of foot.

Gecko 1 was last seen sneaking off behind the microwave, no doubt feeling a bit stressed that the afterglow of passion was diminished.

Gecko 2 was cornered by the ginger ball of fluff, and did what geckos do in such situations, dropping its tail which wriggled across the linoleum. Unfortunately the Eddie is far too dense to be taken in by such shenanigans (okay, he probably didn't notice it) and pounced on the remaining 7/8s of gecko 2.

I screamed. Paris was intriged.

V was dispatched to open a window and arm himself with the dustpan and brush. He hunted Eddie and his prisoner down into the lounge room and somehow freed the prisoner (my hero) and gave Gecko 2 an express trip to the wilds of outback Paradise.

Bloglines is closing

I have not been around the blogosphere much of late (you may have noticed) but when I do have downtime, I go to my Bloglines and click on the few who have over 50 posts waiting for me (having over 10000 posts waiting for me is a bit bad, I admit).

Today I discovered that Bloglines is closing down on October 1.


Its like letting go of a security blanket...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Something's missing

Time. Inspiration. Sentence structure. Cohesive thought.

Me on this blog much.


Still working like a chihuahua paddling the Pacific - feels like I am going nowhere but at least we haven't been dragged under.

To make life just that little bit more interesting, Paris isn't going to Daycare any more. 8 months old and already she is having problems with authoritive figures...

How is next week for you? I intend to give myself a half-day SOMEWHERE to do fun stuff (like mow the lawn, clean the house and maybe blog).

Missing you all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

'Salina's Gift

When we first moved to Paradise, a lot of my decision in moving here was because of 'Salina.

I wanted to be closer to my extended family so we could contemplate regular weekend visits rather than longer but more sporadic journeys. It meant that P's family were no longer around the corner - but it is always a joy when they visit us or vice versa.

I wanted to not be stuck in traffic trying to get her to and from school. These days, I can watch her on and off the bus in my dressing gown (all too often) from the top of the stairs.

When I first met V, I must admit that a fair bit of that was for me - however, I wasn't tossing my lot in with someone who didn't have 'Salina front and foremost also. My first phone discussion with him involved the words "package deal" and we have always worked on the principle that, while the he and me things were excellent, they were only ever possible with the he, me and she thing all gelling also. Luckily, they have. Not always easy, a few teething issues and occasional maintenance required.

When I first got pregnant, we were very unsure as to how 'Salina would react, as it would be a large deviation for her.

She played it well, holding all cards very close to her chest as to her reactions to the news - trepidation was the major key with occasional hues of potential sufferance.

And now...

Well, let us just say that if 'Salina told her baby sister to jump, she would be asked how high.

All is well with her world!

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I am a bit disconcerted that August is already upon us - here are a few pictures while I catch my breath.

Do you know that I typed the above statement 3 days ago - everything takes a little while extra.

Even when you have the best helpers in the world, things just don't get done with the same single-minded determination.

Still, life goes on - if you let nature take its course, it will provide...

Of course, sometimes it provides yet another job to do.

I have to smile though - there are always things to smile about.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Going Commando

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Leonine Resurrections

Not really, but after the rough deal Cancer (the astrological aspect) has been giving me of late, I am all for bringing in a new sign.

This is a quick update to say:

I am getting better - in that it has been over 24 hours since unexplained rashes have appeared on any part of my body, and nearly 3 days since I have had the whole Adams Apple imitates tennis ball moments, so is good, yes?

As the medication stops tonight, I will be seeing a doctor tomorrow. This is all very bizarre, because I don't do unexplained crap with my health.

I am either sick or well - preferably the latter.

I have a sister who is allergic to the slightest change in season and can trumpet in the Spring. Wattle season was always fun growing up. (I didn't think you would want a link with that one, did you sis?)

I have a brother who carries adrenalin on the off chance an insect finds him appealing.

Me - I am hale.

I once got a rash from the swimming pool when I was about 5. I had green medicine that tastest wierd, clear medicine that tasted foul and pink medicine. They never found out what caused it, or indeed what made it go away.

Now - I have a big pill to stop me from getting sick from the little pill that is working with the other little pill to make the rash not only stop but begone. They all taste foul and have no colour.

I should be getting richer - which isn't as difficult a feat as one would imagine, as once a little cash gets injected into my accounts we will hear the echoes.

To this end, I am spending quite a bit of time in front of other people's computer screens and far less time in front of my own.

I have quite a mix of work on at the moment - real estate lawyery stuff, historical feelgood stuff and dead people stuff. But all of this stuff charged at an hourly rate and eventually, once I match the invoices with the cheques with the deposit slips, I will (hopefully) be able to view the budget without the red wash clouding my judgement.

One of the blessings of hitting a lean week every so often is you find the most amazing things in your freezer. I have now converted V to the wisdom of miscellaneous filing of unlabelled leftover meals.

We have eaten like comparative royalty this week - surprised royalty, but extremely sated.

Speaken of eating, the youngest child has cut her first tooth. It was not an ejoyable experience, given her review.

Along with this rapid development corner another milestone was met on Saturday.

Sissie 'Salina had an engagement at the horse theatre with one of her friends, and so it was just V, myself, Paris - and Eddie.

Eddie thought he was out of range. Paris found out how to direct herself and motor. Now, I am not saying that it is a pretty conveyance as the chassis is still firmly on the carpet, but she can commando crawl at a fiersome rate.

Her favourite target is Eddie. Eddie allows a certain latitude, but he has his own resources - we prefer him to use the evasion technique and are on constant alert in case his fiersome big cat responses react to her "gentle" persuasion.

Her second favourite target is the DVD/VCR player. The pretty thing with lights doesn't move.

It will be as soon as Daddy V gets his DIY hat on...

No pictures, as it is late and I have to sleep. Doctor and dead people work tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beware the Ides of July

Warning - very long and eventful.

Actually, really long and eventful. Feel free to scroll to the end, hit "comment" and tell me to learn to edit.

No one died in the creation of this post.

It all began on Bastille Day.

Wednesday, Paris goes to visit her FDC Mum Lorikeet and play with her two new friends. It was the 3rd time she had made such a jaunt - the first time she was bemused, the second time was cut short due to visitors - isn't third time the charm?

Wednesday, and I had been at a meeting the night before for one of my part-time jobs for a local community organisation. Much, much bureaucratic work is required of me in a very short time-frame - with many "I never saw it", "I didn't have it" and "I gave it to you" moments regarding the actual files and folders that are the difference between winging it (yeah right) and just tweaking a bit of this and that...

Therefore, first job on my agenda was to do a treasure hunt in the office. The office is approximately 3 strides long by 2 hops wide. There are 2 doors - but one door is covered by one of the two cupboards. There are also 2 filing cabinets, a desk, 2 chairs and 12 archive boxes. Cupboards are full of files, archive boxes and obsolete computer equipment. Filing cabinets are full of files. Archive boxes are full of files and obsolete computer equipment. The computer is empty. The airconditioner doesn't work. Its okay - its winter.

I began the treasure hunt with the archive boxes, recording what is in each so if ever we need to find the letters regarding a certain project in 2001, I can lay my hands on them. Nothing is younger than 6 years old.

I move then to the first cupboard (after looking briefly into the second cuboard and seeing another 4 archive boxes and a shelf of obsolete computer equipment). Again, I record what is there, so if we are looking for projects ranging from 1998 - 2005, I am your girl.

As I get to the bottom of this cupboard, I notice that I have welts appearing on my midriff. Of course, I give it a good itch, shrug it off and keep going. I have to find what I can and I am sure if I set my mind to it, it will go away.

As I get to the bottom of this cupboard, I also notice more bloddy obsolete computer equipment. Disks that slots are no longer built for, answering machines for phones that no longer exist - and a box with an external hard drive.

My interest is piqued. I plug it in to the computer and emit a "Eureka" as all the files I will require are contained on it.

I also notice that I am no longer scratching the welts across my tum - I am scratching my shoulder - and my leg - and my arm - and my boobs - and my ears...

I have to go home to pump in the absense of Paris anyhow, but I have to find two more paper files for the last of the "must do" list. I "eenie-meenie-minie-mo-ed" the filing cabinets and struck gold immediately.

I pack the external drive and relevant paper files and go out to the car, noticing my hands are swelling and very itchy. I think perhaps the oldness of the paper or something has dried my skin out, so I hydrate heavily on the drive home.

When I got home, V had lunch organised and, although my hands were still itching all else was good so I took a Clarrytyne (spelt incorrectly for a reason), chalked it up to "stuff happens" and filed it all away.

Paris - well, they say third time is the charm, but I have the feeling she didn't spend a great deal of energy on charming Lorikeet...

Thursday dawns, and my hands are so itchy. This happens from time to time, so I take another tablet and it limits itself to just being annoying beneath the fingernails. I had a bit of a run around morning planned with my own bureacratic dealings. Paris was a bit narky at me and quite uncompliant in the "going to sleep to let Mummy get organised" phase of the morning, but otherwise it only took about twice as long as it should have, as is the wont of bureacratic dealings.

I also got a phone call for some more work required, so I made plans to meet with prospective client Friday. Woo hoo - I can't actually chase full-time work while I have my other temp job going this month as the client's are overseas and I place a great deal on the honour of holding their fort.

I made a phone call to an electrician, as I have organised installation of a new kitchen for the P&C (I am to learn to SIT ON MY HANDS and have no more bright ideas in meetings) and, as they are due the next day want to make sure someone is around if they have questions. Electrician will call me back with a more precise time. I call the school to ensure that if that doesn't happen, someone will have a key there at any time. I call the convenor to see if she wants to add anything. I think I have every base covered.

By lunchtime, my feet are itchy as, so I dose up with the anti-histamine again, give Paris to V and head off to my other job. This job is in an office that is a beautiful old Queensland cottage sadly in need of a renovate.

Again, it involves lots and lots of paper, some of it quite old and a lot of it very messy. This is a very busy job with phones and faxes and instruction through email and Skype and fanning fires and putting out fires. The alternate afternoons I am contracted to keep this office running while the bosses are overseas are extremely full on. As the bosses are touring Europe, my afternoons are their very early mornings.

By the end of the 3 hours I am wiped, and duly send of my timesheet to the agency and close down the computer. "This computer will install 4 updates. Please do not turn off. It will turn off automatically after installing." Great. Except that I have to unplug and put the computer in a safe place before leaving.

I tidy the desk. 1 of 4 updates installed. I look at the sea of tidying required in areas I tiptoe through - and remember the maker of such mess requesting I not tidy it as "he knew where everything was". 2 of 4 updates installed. I check the front door - funny, it hasn't latched properly after I checked the mailbox at the beginning of my stint. It takes a bit to get the lock to latch, but I get it done and deadlocked. Side note relevant later - This door can only be locked from the inside, as there is no handle on the outside to shut it..) 3 of 4 updates installed. I fill the fax machine and ring home to tell them I will be late. 3 of 4 updates installed. I go to the toilet and look at 4 more areas desparately in need of a good tidy. 3 of 4 updates installed. I straighten up the files I am in charge of and put notes in all the right spots. 3 of 4 updates installed. I stare at the computer. 3 of 4 updates installed. I stare at the computer. 3 of 4 updates installed. I stare at the computer. 4 of 4 updates installed. Yaaa hoo. I put the computer away.

Only 20 minutes late. 20 minutes that aren't on my timesheet and aren't approved by my client. 20 minutes I could have been with my family. 20 minutes I could really do with the money from. Still, its only 20 minutes and the balance sheet of life will even out.

I deadlock the back door, check I have my keys and put all of my stuff outside. I set the alarm - I have seconds between this action and getting outside. I dash outside and pull the door shut - and it won't latch. I pull - click - not locked - and pull - click - not locked. Expletive deleted.

I go back inside and switch off the alarm (remember - only seconds between movement and alarm set allowed), check I have my keys in my hand, try to latch - click - not locked - click - not locked - click - not locked. I look carefully at the latch and determine the problem is not a case of sagging hinges (as is often the problem of old doors) but rather the opposite (which would indicate shifting frame). I pull and put my immense bulk behind a judicious push downward on the latch - click - it locked!!!

I undeadlock the door, set the alarm, race outside, pull down hard on the door - click - not locked. Expletive deleted.

I go back inside, switch off the alarm and contemplate Plan B. I dig out the computer again, switch it on and log onto Skype. Skype won't start. Try another Skye shortcut. Skype won't start. Click every shortcut for Skype I can find. Click on Skype program from the program list. Eventually 4 Skypes open all at once - but they all say one thing. The client has left the virtual building (and didn't have to worry about latching locks) and probably is enjoying a croissant in the French countryside.

Darn, darn, darn, darn, darn. Plan C. I toss out the tempting thought of just setting off the alarm and scarpering, making it the security company's problem. I contemplate the client's elderly parents and look at the numbers they have given me - none of which have "in case the house won't lock, try..." Finally, I rang my agency and asked what I should do.

The boss immediately offered to hop in his car and come and assess the situation. While waiting for him, I tried a few more click - didn't lock combinations (always ensuring I had the keys on my person - its not THAT sort of adventure).

The hundred and eleventieth try, it locked. Of course, I hadn't done the whole "set alarm, deadlock door" routine beforehand because I no longer believed in the possibility. I went back in and deadlocked, set the alarm, pulled - click - didn't lock. Aaargh. Alarm off. Wait for Agency Boss. Patient-expletive deleted-ly.

Agency boss arrives, tries the click a few times and agrees it is a problem. However, he was a man with a solution - a 7 inch solution. He drew out a screwdriver and, with a little leverage we got it to lock. Hoo-ray. Oh.

Unlock, go back inside, check deadlock, set alarm, race outside, pull with judicious placement of screwdriver, click - and latch.

5 o'clock. An hour late. 1 hour that isn't on my timesheet and aren't approved by my client. 1 hour that I could have been with my family. 1 hour that I could really do with the money from. Still, its only 1 hour and the balance sheet of life will even out. Won't it?

My hands are so itchy on the way home, but after all that working with old stuff and the last hour, stress will do that.

Darn. The electrician hasn't called. As V has been really relied on in the past week while I have worked, I wanted to organise the morning out so he can get a few hours study in (he is doing Building Design - a natural progression for a kneecapped bricklayer with attention to detail). Oh well, if the electrician advice isn't an entertainment option I have an ABA playgroup I can take her to. Cool idea.

I email the clients telling them my adventure (in a much shorter fashion) and offer my services to facilitate a handyman as I will be in town around 1 for a business meeting.

Then I settled and enjoyed an anniversary evening with my husband (we celebrate many, but this one is 4 years since meeting IRL) of sleeping in front of the television and holding hands, then joined by a no-longer-sleeping-through-the-night Paris.

Friday, and lord my hands are itchy. V threatens the doctor but it must be just stress. No electrician call, so I cook pikelets for the playgroup, gently nudge 'Salina towards completion of an avalanche of homework (first week back) a meltdown, take another tablet, feed Paris who decides, contrary to the Thursday experience, she will sleep well and early for the morning nap.

I rang 'Salina's teacher to ask about a meeting to get a few strategies together for the ever so helpful to everyone in her class 'Salina and discover that most kids got the wrong end of the stick with the avalanche, and were only required to outline the project.

By the way, administration wants to talk to you as the electrician has arrived. As I am assuring administration that I will be there in 5 minutes, my mobile rings - it is the school. I reject the call. When I hang up the landline, it rings again and wakes Paris. It is another member of the administration team telling me the electrician has arrived. I advise that I will now be there in 10 minutes, as the baby is awake.

As I am only going to be there for a short time, I leave Paris with V, dress and race up to the school. The electrician they have sent is not the electrician who put together the quote.

He didn't know he had to cut a hole for the stovetop. He has never cut a hole before.

He didn't get them to unlock the storeroom door as he didn't know he had to do stuff in there. He can't install the range as the range has to have special fixtures to make it pretty and we don't have special fixtures. He can't install the range as it has to be higher than if he attaches it where it needs to be attached. He can't work out that if the range is set into the cupboard above both problems are solved. That would require cutting a hole. He has never cut a hole before.

He needs the manhole. The manhole is in a second storeroom that the key I have gained to open the first storeroom won't open. He goes to get his lecky tools and I go for another key - and another key - and finally the fourth key works.

The electrician doesn't return. I call V to see if all is well with Paris. No answer. I call the convenor to see if she wants in on the electrician fun - she is coming up to check it out.

The electrician doesn't return. I rearrange the first storeroom so he can work in there. I rearrange the kitchen so boxes aren't all over the place. I call V to see if all is well with Paris. I can tell by the tone when he answers that the whole "morning of study" I had promised him was an option he had been in a mindset to pursue.

The electrician doesn't return. The convenor comes up and we finish unpacking all the boxes in the kitchen. I start to contemplate the abduction of the electrician. As I decide that I should call his employers and see if an emergency is holding him up, he saunters back.

As the convenor is there, I feel confident to go and collect Paris before I come back to see if the work is going in the right direction, because thus far the electrician hasn't filled me with confidence.

I go home for a timely snipe with V, collect Paris and a few pikelets for the convenor and return.

During my absense, it has been determined that the electrician and the convenor have certain hobbies in common and he will be fine giving us a call when he finishes for us to move the fridges into position and sign off on the project. As the jigsaw is screaming and I am feeling a bit itchy - no doubt from stress - I agree to this, reminding that I have a work meeting at 1 which I am assured is okay, as it will be well before then.

I return home, V and I resolve our spat and Paris requests a feed. As I am feeding her, V and I discuss her current bowel status (the romantic talk of parents of babies) and I mentioned that I wasn't actually feeling crash hot. As I thought about it, I realise my throat is sort of - well, not really sore, but a bit tight. The itchiness is back in my hands - and as I removed Paris from the boob, see that my whole bosom is bright fire-engine red.

I mention it to V - I am not dying or gasping for breath, but it isn't normal. I rang my family chemist - she recommended seeing the doctor. I rang the doctor - how does Thursday next week sound? Running late and overbooked. Darn. Everything itches now, and the red is moving down my stomach and my hands are swollen.

As Paris has just gone down, I decide I will drive myself in to the hospital for someone to look at it, with a "I promise I won't be a martyr and will call 000 if I start to black out" to V. My car had the baby seat in - but as it also had the fuel in and V didn't need to go anywhere with Paris, I drove my car.

I rang the potential new client to advise her of the possible movement of her appointment, but she had her phone switched off. There are still hours until the meeting so I am cool with that.

In emergency it took an age before triage (I eventually rattled the administrative staff up - who had looked back at me for 20 minutes - asking if I was meant to be at another place). I would have placed me between the "time wasting - not going to die today" and "my goodness this is dire" categories myself, but once she heard the words "throat tightening" she acted with alacrity and found me a gurney in the hallway behind the scenes.

I confessed to breastfeeding but having a baby that will take a bottle if required. They stuck me with needles that meant she would have to take the bottle option for a day. They gave me tablets. They inserted a line and said "this will make you very drowsy - can someone come and collect you", at which I had to admit no - so gave me a fancy version of the tablets I had been self-medicating with.

I then had a long, long time waiting for the rash to start clearing. By this time, it was raised and livid up my throat, down my arms, all over my torso, on parts of my thighs and, from the feeling of my scalp, all over my head.

I learned a lot of enlightening things during my wait. The World Cup was rehashed (as many of the doctors were from all corners of the globe it appeared a spirited point of commonality). Someone had a glass in their throat. The baby on the other gurney in the corridor was so cute (affirmed by every passing staff member). I am so lucky. Someone had trouble understanding that alcohol shows up in the blood tests they had taken for her. I am not pregnant (one of the "we have to rule this out because we have no idea of the cause of the rash" things). Tattoes do not look good when set off by lilac hospital gowns. When someone is pronouced dead before arriving at the hospital, their details aren't put into the emergency system. One of the nurses is going to have a boy in seven months. Another has 5 grandchildren. The ambulance brought in a man in work clothes with something solid being held from his stomach - from the blanket outline, I am assuming a dagger. No doctor was officially assigned to me, hence the wait.

Anyhow - now nearly Saturday and I have a sleeping baby (so bottle feeds, crying because no access to boob and self-settling has its upside) I have just resettled Paris who has decided that Formula will no longer be contemplated as an option, so we have a finite amount of expressed milk to play with - and a blooming long unedited post for you to wade through.

I didn't get to my 1 pm. I explained to her why I had disappeared off the face of the earth, and I could hear her struggle between the "oh my, you obviously aren't dead, come and meet me for work anyway" and "oh my, you could have died - but you didn't so come and meet me for work anyway" and "oh my, I suppose throwing a baby into the mix is so pathetic, when are you coming to meet me for this work" camps. I didn't get back to the electrician. I explained to the convenor, the principal and the administrative staff why I had disappeared off the face of the earth and wasn't contactable. They were more sympathetic.

All well here now, however. Still getting little itchy flares and the occasional red showing up here and there, but the drugs are battling hardy, and I am sure that most of it is psychosomatic or my hypochondria kicking in.

Interesting juxtaposition

This morning, while having my "thank goodness the baby is sleeping so I can organise my day" coffee and checking my emails, a headline about a baby being delivered caught my eye.

I clicked the link and read the story.

In case the link is dead for you, here is the story:

Dad Delivers Baby Girl

A dad has helped his wife deliver their baby girl at home overnight while being instructed over the phone by an emergency services dispatcher.

The baby, the couple's second child, was delivered in the Mackay home at about 3.40am (AEST) before paramedics arrived.

The 24-year-old mother and her baby were then taken to Mackay Base Hospital.

Meanwhile, fire brigade officers south of Brisbane rescued a man who was trapped in his car after hitting a cow.

The vehicle struck the beast at 6.15pm (AEST) on Christmas Creek Road, west of Beaudesert.
The driver was taken to Gold Coast Hospital with an injured wrist.

I am wondering what got them to splice the two stories... Was it the involvement of emergency services? Or were they thinking of the cow?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Where is the time...

Well, it seems another few weeks have whizzed by - I know that the years get quicker the older you are, but frankly I am in mortal fear of the speeds they will reach if it continues at this rate!!!

We have been busy - although it tends to be busy-ness taking up our time because the checked boxes at the end of each day don't seem to reflect the huge amount of effort in getting through - and the "time spent relaxing on the computer" has been slashed hugely.

I am now working two part-time jobs while keeping a beady eye out for something more substantial (and financial) to kick in come August when the larger of these two ceases. V is now upping his study-load. His "good" knee decided that, after 2 months of wet weather it didn't really want to go back to work and so threw a hissy fit - although the report from the scans don't use the words "hissy" or "fit". We had always planned he would go back and attack his study properly - but the plan had a "when Paris is a little older" that has been kyboshed.

Currently (theoretically), Paris is with me mornings while V studies, with him in the afternoons while I work and has one day at Family Day Care.

One of the boxes ticked of late that has been looming was rearranging a bit of furniture. In all, the spare room/office is now working, 'Salina now has a real dressing table for her pre-teen preening (her great-grandmother's) and Paris' clothes are in a tallboy (the other great-grandmother's).

'Salina has grown up so much this holidays - half of it were spent at her aunt's where she got to ride horses, play with horses, plait horses manes, and plot with Dash (her words on return were "Dash and I have a bright future planned" - I believe it involves horses), while the other half have been dealing with her social life and being a huge help to us with Paris as we juggle work/study and parenting.

When we brought up the tallboy from the garage, it was rather grimy. 'Salina offered to clean it and set about it lickety-split. I asked if she needed anything to help, adding "although it looks like you are doing a pretty fair job with elbow grease". Very seriously she replied that all she had used was a bit of water - parents can be so silly sometimes, can't they?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A lesson for new players (and those a bit rusty)

Note to self (and V - and 'Salina).

If Paris does something really cute, think very hard before laughing.

Very, VERY hard...

Meals are now a several-washcloth proposition. That being said, she has fallen in love with everything - if you want to see a child not so enamoured of what is offered, check out Max at Tamsyn's.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just Dusting

I apologise - I have been very very slack.

Sigh - the way I start far too many blog posts this year. And last.

I am afraid it isn't going to get better any time soon.

My average day:

Wake early. Potty. Feed. Clean. Vacuum. Contemplate the day. First nap. Read emails and open blog window. First nap ends too soon. Feed. Clean. Washing. List. Feed. Clean. Second nap. Work. Second nap ends too soon. Feed. Clean. Fold. Cook. Bathe. Feed. Clean. Get baby to bed. Get older child to bed. Tidy up. Contemplate romantic evening with V. Go to bed.

Some days are different. Some days I go grocery shopping - or into the garden. Some days I go to work and V has a few of those cycles. Some days I don't get to contemplate.

I am so glad I only do this baby lark once every decade because otherwise, I would fall down.

But then every day I get love and smiles and it really is all worth while. She plays, she learns - and to see her face light up when she sees Eddie - or 'Salina - is truly delightful. She is still beautiful and has the best big sister in the world. A big sister who is at my big sister's for the week.

So here is something to make all of us smile - excuse the singing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do you believe in magic?

I have a bee in my bonnet - and I suddenly remembered that I have a blog, and therefore I can spread my bee-bonnety thing across the world. Ah, the beauty of modern communications!

Anyhow, of late there is a new show on Network Seven over here regarding some masked man exposing the secrets of magic to the unwashed. I know. Shock!! Horror!! What will our magicians do?

Personally, I haven't yet watched the show. I am sure I will - I am the mother of a 10 year old girl who BEGGED for it to be taped for that future video watching occasion because it is very important that she watch it. Apparently.

But I have learned enough about the content - and no, its not because I am magic and can look at the outside of a video and unlock its secrets, but because Network Seven have plugged the show on EVERY SINGLE SHOW they have any creative control over.

In the mornings, we currently watch Breakfast Television, and because Carl Stefanovic gets right up my left nostril and because digital television has been the crushing disappointment that it is and because I refuse to allow children programming on until all hoops have been jumped through and because I don't speak Turkish or Greek or Russian or whatever language the SBS news of that hour is I am forced to endure the pleasure with Mel and Kochy on Sunrise.

As a result of the enlightenment that Sunrise offers, I know that it is SHOCKING the magic world that one of their own is dishing the dirt - they even went to the extent of getting someone from the magic world to say just how SHOCKED they were, and spilled a few sour grapes on how it must have been a failed magician who peed in the pool because there is a code.

If I had missed the opportunity of learning this from Sunrise, its okay because they have a subsequent program called The Morning Show that I occasionally fail to change the channel on or even turn off because the remote is too far away. The good news is, there is lots of information available on The Morning Show.

As a result of the enlightenment that The Morning Show offers, I know that it is SHOCKING the magic world that one of their own is dishing the dirt - they even went to the extent of getting someone from the magic world to say just how SHOCKED they were, and spilled a few sour grapes on how it must have been a failed magician who peed in the pool because there is a code.

The best news of all is that if, for some reason (like, I don't know, having a life) you miss all morning television, don't fret - you could tune in to their "current affairs" programming, Today Tonight.

As a result of the enlightenment that Today Tonight offers, I know that it is SHOCKING the magic world that one of their own is dishing the dirt - they even went to the extent of getting someone from the magic world to say just how SHOCKED they were, and spilled a few sour grapes on how it must have been a failed magician who peed in the pool because there is a code.

It is such a pity that I don't watch their soap, Home & Away, because I would love to know how they would work it into the storyline.

From all of this enlightenment, I have learned that when the magician puts the cloth over the lovely assistant, waves his wand and says his hocus pocus, she doesn't really disappear. I know. I too am shocked. Rips away all your suspended belief systems, doesn't it?

No indeed, while the magician is doing the "waves his wand and says his hocus pocus" bit, the lovely assistant opens the trapdoor, climbs into the secret compartment, contorts herself into impossible angles and closes the trapdoor - all the while doing it really, really quietly and without touching the cloth to give anything away.

Do you know what I think? I think magicians are not so stupid as to think that their audience is so stupid as to see these snippets of enlightenment and never go to another magic show. The beauty of a good magician is to get the audience gobsmacked wondering how it is done - it is a very rare person over the age of 10 who hasn't figured that there are indeed tricks.

I think magicians are worried, however. After this, everyone is going to be looking at the assistant and thinking how awesome now.

And do you know what else? I am so jaded that I realise that Network Seven probably aren't the only Network in the world to air this drivel and push it like little pills on their unsuspecting audience.

On that note, here is something magic from another Network Seven show...

(And yes, the credit should really go to Selina, shouldn't it? Great name, by the way...)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Splice Yarn

Thea, a twitter acquaintance, put up a blog post recently about a wedding she attended, which brought to mind a wedding adventure I lived through once...

Many moons (a lifetime) ago I was a child-free career girl in Sydney town. Amongst friends and acquaintances, my flatmate Aniqa (an occasional commenter here) and I knew many people formerly of a small African nation.

Through coincidence, there was a month where we happened to be invited to celebrations for several of these folk - and while they all offered cultural diversity and small group intriges, there was one that has stood out from the blur of weddings attended in my memory banks (and no doubt, those of everyone who attended).

It was an early wedding - we had to rise at the crack of dawn and be at Lady Macquarie's Chair - where the bride and groom were to be spliced - for an 8am service, followed by a breakfast overlooking the harbour. Ahhh - sounds divine, doesn't it?

We arrived, bleary-eyed but in our Saturday morning finest, with about 1/4 of an hour to spare. There were the usual gaggle of women - Anglo and African - laying out the tables for the breakfast, there was one lost-looking marriage celebrant - and there was us.

The minutes ticked down, and as the time passed the marriage celebrant was becoming more and more lost-looking. Kick-off time was set for 8 - and nary a named member of the party to be found...

With seconds to spare, two suited men, formerly of Sierra Leone, arrived. As the celebrant was booked out all day, she set them to fill out the paperwork required for the day while we all waited for the bride.

African time was a term I learned during my years in Sydney - it means it will eventually happen, just not to any timetable. The bride was not just marrying a man from Africa, she was well and truly embracing the concept. Five past eight came - and went. Ten past. Quarter past. Half past.

Each rotation of the second hand saw the marriage celebrant get more and more agitated. African time might be something to be contemplated in the melange of multiculturalism, it wasn't working for a woman who had 6 couples to join all over Sydney town that sunny Saturday. She had another couple lined up for 9.30 - and with travel time, she had to leave by 9 - and she couldn't marry a couple when there was half a couple lacking.

Ten minutes to the celebrant's leaving (and 50 minutes after the scheduled kick-off), a car arrived at a leisurely pace, and out from it hopped two bridesmaids, a groomsman, the father of the bride - and the woman of the moment herself, done up in full costume.

It seems the Aussie father of the bride had taken his chauffeur job quite seriously. So much so, he had booked the car in for a service. On the day before the wedding. With some bloke he knew down the road. Obviously the whole African time concept was embraced by the bloke down the road as well, because it wasn't ready for collection until well after they should have shoved off.

The celebrant explained that she couldn't actually perform a wedding in the 10 minutes left, and so a deal was brokered that she could jump off the boat (that was the venue for her 9.30 wedding) at Circular Quay and splice them at the other end of the Royal Botanic Gardens at 11am - and when she said 11am, she meant 11am!

This caused a new problem, as the best man was due at work at 9.30 and would not be able to attend the new time - and the paperwork that had been filled had his name attached... I have no idea how they negotiated that, because we (and the rest of the guests) migrated to have a Wedding Breakfast BEFORE the wedding.

Fortified (and if I may add, slightly tipsy from morning champagne), we were gathered to walk around the harbour to the new venue by 10.15. By half past, and well less than halfway to where we had to be, we were a rather well-dressed jogging group. We were within sight (and our glow more perspiration than inebriation) when we saw the boat arrive to deliver the celebrant. With much haste, a quiet (and quite pretty) corner was found and finally the wedding took place.

Epilogue - 6 years later when I was living in Melbourne, I bumped into the groom - sans the bride... It seemed that a rocky start doesn't always = a smooth marriage...

So what is the most interesting wedding you have attended?

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Remind you of anyone?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Paris is doing very well on solids these days.

Her list of things on offer is growing - and we are yet to meet a gag response to anything. Of course, 'Salina didn't actually know she could refuse anything until she was a toddler, so I am adopting the same tactics with Paris.

She is not yet fully vocal, and so this is the closest she can get to foot in mouth at the moment.

Which is just as well - because genetically, she is programmed to have it provervially hovering.

In fact, I just had to save myself from a rather embarassing "blog foot in mouth" moment by illustrating my point.

There are a few things we aren't going to really offer her for a while.

In fact, we are still scientifically working out when she will (ever) be able to have TTs. We gave 'Salina one when she was 7 that resulted in a 4 hour comedown - although that was compounded with a few other factors (including the fact they were the "pink" flavoured TTs). Currently reserved for weekend activities with plenty of daylight and space to get rid of the after-effects in the under 12s (and still not at alls to the under 2s, much to her dismay).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When Milestones Collide

As you know, I was the poster mother for crunchy granola with 'Salina.

While I still hold firm on a lot of what I did with her (breastfeeding, baby-wearing, pottying) with Paris, there are some things I am not so hardline with Paris (nappies, solids, cot).

'Salina developed her own routine during the day (and I was able to follow it easily - of course, it helps to not have to conform to ANYONE ELSE'S timetable there) but with Paris it has not been so easy (as I have whinged about previously).

In the last week, we have decided on a daytime routine and imposed it on her - partly to get her to sleep better, partly because from next week, there will be blocks of time when V has her by himself without access to the boob-solution.

She has taken it like a duck to water.

In fact, yesterday she had it so down pat, she wasn't letting a little offering of solids stand in the way of the 9.30am nap...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Still trying to find my blogging mojo - must have put it in one of the boxes I have yet to go through when I was sorting out the office.

Paris is 22 weeks and 1 day old. We have been yes/no double guessing ourselves with solids for a few weeks. Yes because when she has access to it, she devours it and wants more. No because her once a day waste disposal habit (IYKWIM) seems to S.T.O.P. and I reread all the literature and feel like I am torturing my child.

Currently, we are on a yes cycle, and on Saturday I bought a pumpkin. Pumpkin is one of those vegetables that is part of our family folklore. Actually, it is the only vegetable that is part of our family folklore.

Apparently, my aunt used to be a rather fussy eater and not a great "doer" when a baby (read modern day lactose intolerance symptoms without the diagnosis) and so being introduced to pumpkin saved her.

My father also has a tale about fattening bulls for sale on pumpkin.

I also remember a stigma attached to it when I was a child of certain families referral to it as "pig food" because they would never contemplate putting it on their own table.

Being a Queenslander, Pumpkin Scones are also inextricably linked to a (now) historical figure in our state psych.

Before V came to Australia, Pumpkin to him was a vegetable only ever found in pies.

My pumpkin soup recipe is dead easy, and is one of those "collective subconscious" recipes where the copyright belongs to everyone.

Put some butter and olive oil in a pan (because you feel like a chef when you mix up the start like that).

Add some roughly chopped onion and garlic (good cooking is all about starting with onion and garlic, isn't it?)

Add peeled and chopped pumpkin (toss out the seeds - go on, I know you also have that little "I could roast them" voice but the whole cleaning them and then doing it - FAR TOO DIFFICULT. Oh, and if you put them in the compost, be prepared to overcome the whole "what a waste" little voice as you pull out the million pumpkin seedlings that are in your future.)

Add stock (I am a convert to Vegeta myself - sprinkle and add water, but pretend you are all faluting with saying "add stock")

Boil until all mushy. Mush.

Eat. We had some leftover garlic butter so I tossed crusts that 'Salina chopped off her lunchbox sandwiches (which I save in the freezer because that little voice sometimes gets through) and baked them - BEST CROUTONS EVER!.

Of course, Paris gets a version without the oil, butter, onion, garlic or stock bits - and her mush is much more sieved than ours.

Check it.**

(Anyone else wonder what bulls look like after eating pumpkin? Must ask BB if she could photoshop us something.)

So - tell me (or blog it and link me) YOUR best soup recipe.

** (oh, and yes, we got a new highchair - decision making was one of $$ as there was this one, and then the ones that were over 3 times the price. Of course, degree of difficulty was we didn't like the colours available - just the display one. One of the pluses of living in a smaller community is that you can ask for the display one and you will find out you KNOW the manager who you have to ask and he will do it then and there for you...)