Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spring Vegetable

Bethany has been talking about the Spring Vegetable  for a while now. It turns out that she means Spring Festival which is a new celebration at school. On Friday afternoon from 1 til 5, the school held a festival for the students, parents and anyone else who wanted to come. There was lots of food, animals, music, plants and stuff (Jossie's favourite expression).

The kids took money to buy themselves some lunch and anything else that took their fancy. Toby and Bethany spent all their money on food but Joss invested in these glasses.

We did think about buying a brother for Milo. He's a baby toy poodle and he is very, very sweet. I'm sure Milo would love a brother but I'm not sure we would love another puppy. They are hard work! He also cost $600....

Bethany asked if we could have a lamb. That was an easier decision.

We waited half an hour for Bethany to get her face painted. She wanted to look like a Chinese person. Nice cleavage shot.

On Thursday night I went to my friend Liz' house for a Stampin Up workshop. I made this card! As a non-crafty person, I was pretty impressed with my efforts and I really enjoyed it. Check out Liz' blog to see the other card I made.

It is raining again today and I am so pleased. It has meant some double handling of my washing but it has finally reduced the pollen in the air so the hayfever is manageable. It also makes for lovely cooking, reading and television watching. By the end of today I will have made bolognese, minted lamb patties, lemon crisps, chocolate pavlova and proper custard (what else would I do with my leftover egg yolks?). I will have almost finished Little Dorrit (SO GOOD) and will watch the first episode of the eighth series of Spooks. I have watched all the other series on DVD so am sure it will be awful having to wait a whole week to see the next one. What will happen to Harry? Ruth is coming back! I'm so easily pleased, aren't I?

Spring in Wagga

There are lots of lovely aspects to spring in Wagga. I love bringing flowers into the house from my own garden.

The jasmine smells divine.

Colour really brings life to the non-gardeners' garden.

The weather is much warmer for Milo to frolic in.

If it wasn't for the hayfever, this might be my favourite season. Autumn doesn't make me sneeze endlessly or want to scratch my eyes out. Autumn also doesn't lead into summer but takes us out of it so I'll have to name autumn as my favourite season.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dean Spanley

I have emerged from the thick fog of marking and am free again. My camera and my phone are being very unhelpful as neither has any new photos on it to share. I went to Sydney for work on Friday, made another batch of matcha and white chocolate friands yesterday to take to church and have been busy at work creating summer reading clubs for youth and adults. Looking for photos on istock is very amusing. I wanted a photo to put on the front of some bookmarks with suggestions of good reads in the fantasy genre. Typing fantasy into istock brings up a diverse range of photos ;) I did manage to find a great one for our youth summer reading club, the theme of which is zombies - Zombie Reading Club: Great Minds Taste Alike. The photo is on a drive at work but I'll share it with you later.
I marked the last assignment after bible study on Wednesday night leaving my day off free for relaxing! Actaually, I had to write a quick article for Public Library News and, as it was Margot's first day back at work after 5 weeks off, I thought I may as well go in to work and have coffee with her as well. I'm so pleased I did because it was great to see her back and also because a huge number of DVDs had come in including my own request, Dean Spanley.

Before a DVD can go on the shelves it needs to be catalogued, tagged and labelled but Lynn was so very sweet as to let me take it home first. So, while I had planned to read and make cake, I ended up watching a movie, and what a movie it was. I laughed, clapped with delight and sobbed my heart out. Laughter and tears do come easily to me and, seeing as I was on my own, I was able to respond fully, unrestrained by the presence of others (who can find my emotional outbursts embarrassing) but I think that this really is a moving film. It is quirky, a period piece and has Jeremy Northam in it so I was always going to love it. Mum recommended it to me and I'd love to know what anyone else thinks of it. You can borrrow it from Wagga City Library :) (as soon as I return it and it gets processed).
My pile of books to read has grown while I have been marking in every spare minute. I am part way through the JD Salinger biography and A Confederacy of Dunces (still) and Jeannie, my lovely new library friend and colleague, has lent me the second and third books in the Millennium series so I don't have to wait for library copies, as well as I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes by Jaclyn Moriarty but I have no room in my head for any book other than Little Dorrit. Like many classics it is long and dense, but unlike many, it is light, funny and so endearing. There are just under 800 pages of tiny print but I am absolutely loving it.
This week I'll have to come up with a theme and photo for the adult summer reading club. I don't much like the idea of picking a genre specific theme as that might put some readers off. I am thinking along the lines of relaxing reading....... any ideas?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The deluge

I am still marking but as the last ten assignments I am going to mark this year are late, I can watch Poirot tonight and post a few photos on my blog.

I have, as usual, been busy apart from the marking. I am making another wedding cake this year, so, along with my own Christmas cake, I have need of 4.6 kilos of dried fruit. It is all, now, getting thoroughly drunk on brandy and rum in enormous green jars.

Bethany went to the school disco.

She and Jossie chose new pyjamas - one of the two was more pleased than the other to be twins.

Of course, the big news around Wagga has been the flood. On Friday night, after dropping our younger children at the school disco, Narelle and I drove down to Wagga beach before dropping the elder kids at kids' club. The river covered all of the beach and we were most impressed. As it happens, that was nothing. The very next day the entire BBQ area and carpark were completely submerged. The beach is on the other side of those trees.

This is the caravan park. You can see a tiny cabin in the distance.

The majority of the cabins were towed up the hill.

You can see the playground in this one.

Now can we say the drought is over?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reader of the week

As I have probably mentioned hundreds of times before, I put together a library page for the weekend edition of our local paper every fortnight. A regular section on that page is Reader of the Week. Silly name really seeing as the page only appears once every two weeks and I have to leave the section out entirely when I  forget to ask anyone can't find someone to fill in the form. I once had all three of my children as readers of the week at once but Jossie has been asking if she could do it by herself. I do try and make the reader of the week fit the article on the rest of the page so when it came time to promote our school holiday programme I finally gave Jossie the chance.

I promptly forgot all about it so we didn't even buy a copy of the paper. Luckily they have them at the library :)

Do email me if you would like to be in the Wagga newspaper. You don't have to be local. You just have to read. Once, when I was desperate, I rang someone in the council to ask if he would do it. He said that he hadn't read a book since school and asked if rugby league magazines count. Do they even have words in them?

I have just been to Sweden, finally reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I waited for a good while before putting my name on the reserves list. I think I went in as number 13. I do know how to put my name at the top but I don't rort the system ;) As I don't usually read crime I wasn't in a desperate hurry but I actually enjoyed it. I read for setting and found Sweden a fascinating place to go. I also read Dirt Music by Tim Winton for the first time (shame). I loved it, though I'm not as keen on books set in Australia. I also read for character and language and they are strengths of Mr Winton. Always one to have too many books on the go at once, I am reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole - one of the more controversial of our book club books. I have chuckled out loud several times but it isn't making me want to stay up all night. Little Dorrit, on the other hand, is delightful. If only I didn't have 38 more assignments to mark, washing to do, dog to walk, family to relate to....... I'd just read all day. Except for when I was watching DVDs. Have I banged on about Miranda yet? Such fun! I loved it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Short long weekend

It went so quickly! After picking Joss up early from a slumber party we drove up to Sydney on Friday. Now that the kids are older it is a much easier trip, I don't even dread it anymore! We listened to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader on CD. I don't think Bethany was really listening, we need more practice with audio books, but the rest of us enjoyed it. It is probably my favourite book in the Narnia series and I did get very teary over Reepicheep, despite the silly voice.

We had a very good run, making it all the way to the Southern Highlands before stopping for lunch, and the slowest part of the trip was the end of the M2 and Pennant Hills Road. Honestly, it's very nice to visit, but who would live in Sydney?! ;) We arrived in Wahroonga, had a catch up with the Heaps and drove just five minutes to the Blue Gum for dinner with my side of the family. Such fun!!

Oh, the joy! It was so lovely to see everyone and several of us hadn't met the twins. The children all played together very well. I think they'll get better at photos as they get older.......

The twins are growing up beautifully and they put up with being passed from person to person (I did find it hard to let go). Phil was still en route from Melbourne so Kristin was flying solo and doing a fabulous job.

Pumpkin is as beautiful as ever and said all our names. She especially likes saying 'bubba' which is very handy as she will be getting one very soon.

The Blue Gum was a great place to go. The food was very good though the portions were gargantuan. I had lamb cutlets with harissa, haloumi and salad and managed to eat it all (it was called a 'light meal') but Mum had ribs and her plate was so full I think it was a whole beast's worth. Kristin had a piece of sticky toffee pudding that could have fed a family of four (she shared it). You know I love to eat but I think they should give you the option of having a smaller serve.

Wouldn't you know it, I was hungry again by morning! Thankfully, Sare and Ty asked us over for breakfast. What a breakfast it was too! We had pesto stuffed tomatoes, spanish omelet, berries and gluten free french toast - delicious. The real treat, of course, was getting to meet Samira and playing with Xavie.
We also shared our favourite You Tube songs (The Duck Song for us and Annoying Orange for them).

Sare and Ty had a wedding to go to and we went to Hornsby. We all look forward to going to the big shops, though I confess that it is hard to amuse all of us all of the time, and we got our fix and ran in to Tim and Shona.

We had a little rest before getting ready to go to the wedding. I didn't take any good photos. I was much too busy having fun. It was great to see all the family and yet to be without the children :) Henry, Finn and Fletcher were there (my cousin's children) as Henry and Finn were being page boys. They slid down the stairs while waiting for the ceremony to begin. This is poor Mel, running after them.

They did their job perfectly even though they are so young.

Mais looked beautiful and the venue was great. The wedding was supposed to be in the garden but it was pouring and cold so was indoors. We sat on the cousins' table and had loads of laughs. Mais is from a Palestinian family so there was lots of dancing, great music and a belly dancer. The food was great, though I thought they could have done better than plain fruit for gluten free dessert - curse this two month gluten free trial!

And that was the end of our trip to Sydney! It was so very quick that we decided to go to Canberra on the way home. We booked an excellent room at the last minute.

Toby slept on these couches, pushed together to make a double bed.

We were on the 8th floor and enjoyed the view, though didn't want the kids hanging over the railing of the balcony.

On Monday morning, after a lazy start, we parked over the road from Floriade. We haven't been for years.

The flowers were, of course, spectacular.

I like the riot of colour but preferred the more subtle plantings.

Nice balloon placement......

In the afternoon, by popular demand, we went to Questacon.

Lots of scientific fun.

We waited at least half an hour to go in the earthquake house which was, all things considered, rather tame. This slide, however, was hardcore. Those legs belong to Toby, of all people!

It's called the free fall.

He did it twice!

Two and a half hours later we were home. I have just received the first 16 of 40 assignments so had better get to it. Sigh.....

What's your favourite book or character in the Chronicles of Narnia?