Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moment behind the photo

At the library we have been working with Sonya Gee from the ABC, learning to record video and audio material. For the last three sessions we have worked on making something for The Moment Behind the Photo project. It has been such fun and we are very keen to do more so we don't forget how to use Final Cut Express and so we produce some fabulous videos for the library.

We edited each other's stories so mine was uploaded to Vimeo by Margot. Cute baby, but not nearly so cute as the little ones on Tim's blog!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Front page

Toby made the front page of the paper again today. Last year he was photographed during the eisteddfod and this year he was photographed beforehand to promote it. Monday is my looong day at work so Andrew brought the kids in so Toby could show me. I asked him if anyone had requested his autograph. He said that he hoped they would!

Our church will be putting on a street fair on the first of October and my friend Sheree will be face-painting. She brought her paints in to church yesterday to practise and transformed Bethany into a cat.

We were waiting in the car while Andrew picked up a BBQ chicken and she told me that she ought to be in a box in the boot. She doesn't do things half heartedly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prune tart

One of the great things about Canberra Women's Christian Convention is that it only goes from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, making it so much easier for women, particularly those with children, to get away. There were women there from Wagga who got up very early and drove the three hours on Saturday morning but we took a more civilised approach. We left Wagga just after four and arrived at seven, ravenous. We walked down to the fabulous square at Kingston and had dinner at Madame Woo's, followed by a gelato. We stayed up late (for some, I'm a night owl) playing games and chatting.

We got up early (for some, one of us wakes at 5 every morning!) and rushed down to Silo in the hope of a table for six. We got one and had the most fabulous breakfast.

The conference was at a school in Canberra, a great venue, and we had a fabulous day of learning from God's word, singing, eating and chatting. Jenny Salt spoke on Ecclesiastes, best known for meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless, and encouraged us to enjoy life and all the good things God has given us but not to put our hope in those things because death will end them all while Jesus has conquered death for us!

On the way home I ate the little prune tart I bought at Silo. What a way to top it off.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alex the lion

I am madly cooking, packing, preparing my Kids' Church lesson and doing the washing so that I can go away to Canberra tomorrow afternoon! I am going to Canberra Women's Convention with five women from church and am looking forward to it very much. We're staying in my favourite suburb, Kingston, which means a trip to Silo!

Bethany was super excited last Friday to have been bestowed with the honour of bringing Alex home for a stay at our house. Alex is the class lion, who stays with all the class members over the year. Adventures are encouraged, photos are taken and a page is coloured in to record the excitement.

Bethany has clearly been looking forward to this all year. She is very attached to Alex, he went everywhere with her.

Milo wasn't keen on being ridden. He did have a little chomp of Alex's leg - no damage done.

Toby had the idea of teaching Alex to plank (I thought we had passed through that phase).

Bethany returned Alex today, most reluctantly, saying that her giraffe was going to miss him very much.

I said no three times but eventually caved in and agreed to mark for a new lecturer who had no-one else to ask. The assignments arrived this evening, just in time for me to go away, so I'll be a very busy woman next week. Sigh..... thinking of all the stamps I can buy with the money does help, though!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Week in Spring

Liz, Megan and I hadn't been to a market with our cards for ages. We hadn't really found one that was completely worth our while. We're not talking about making lots of money here, not at all. Making cards with Stampin' Up is not a terribly cheap hobby but it is one that saves you from buying cards and does allow you to sell a few so you can buy more stamps! On Sunday we went to our first ever Muddi Boutique Markets. I was a touch nervous as it costs $90 to have a stall at Muddi - more than we had made at any of the little markets we had been to.

Liz was away and I was at church all morning so Megan was on her own in the morning (I had helped set up on Saturday). I didn't get any good photos because it was so busy.

 It was so much fun! We have found the markets for us! Now I just need to get online selling up and running. Some spare time would be handy....

The weather is really lovely at the moment. Still cold in the mornings and evenings but warm and sunny during the day. The blossoms are out.

They're pretty at night too. This is just outside the library as I rode home after work last night.

The warmer weather is great for Book Week parades as fairy costumes and footy kits are not winter clothing! Despite being a great lover of books, I am ambivalent about Book Week. Finding three costumes is a huge pain for the non-crafty, time poor parent and the focus isn't on books, it is just a costume parade. Computer Game and movie characters everywhere - I don't mind the comic book characters. Jossie and I have been re-reading Harry Potter and Bethany watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone so she wanted to go as Hermione. After all I just said about movie characters, I crimped her hair just like in the movie. Of course, Hermione really has bushy hair, not crimped. Bethany did love the crimping - thanks Mum for giving Joss that awesome hair kit for Christmas!

Toby was going to go as Leo from Emily Rodda's Rondo Trilogy. I was going to make a music box but he and Andrew didn't think that was a very masculine prop! So, I got a Football Academy book from the library and he wore soccer gear. Jossie went as Jodie from Jacqueline Wilson's My Sister Jodie. The orange feathers represent hair.

Phew, that's over. Next year Jossie will be in high school and I will only have two costumes to come up with!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Last Monday my Granny died. We knew she was very unwell so it wasn't a shock, but it was terribly sad. We stayed with Tim, Shona, Pumpkin and Gumnut on Thursday night and the funeral was in Sydney on Friday. It was, of course, lovely to see all the family, if not the best reason to get together. I gave a little tribute to Granny at the funeral, and thought I might give it here too. 

I am very lucky to have had my Granny until I am almost forty years old. Lucky because she was a wonderful grandmother and not everyone has their grandmother so long. Lucky because it has been a great joy to have my children know her and they are old enough now to always remember her. I also feel lucky because I have known her as an adult. I have grown up enough to realise that Granny didn’t come into existence when I was born, she didn’t always have grey hair. She had quite an extraordinary life.
I love looking at photos from when she was young. So beautiful, and while I know that the war was far from glamourous in reality, it is hard not to think of her involvement with Winston Churchill, MI6 and the Enigma machine and not imagine it to be glorious like an episode of Poirot, complete with whirlwind romance with a handsome Australian. Then, coming all the way to the other side of the world to start a new life.  It must have been hard and shows how strong she was.
I know that she and Bamma did a good job of raising their children because of who they are and the children they have raised – a family to be proud of and I know that she was. Granny said that if she had known I would be her only grand-daughter, she would have spoilt me more. She spoilt me plenty and I loved going to their house in St Ives. So much so that I ran away from home when I was very young and walked several kilometers to Granny’s.
I loved the plum tree out the front, the flocked wallpaper down the hall, reading Up the Garden Path and Peter Pan in the spare bedroom, squeezing the bath pearls, the Lladro figurines I was careful not to touch and, my favourite activity, trying on Granny’s jewellery. Everything was beautiful at Granny’s and smelt so good too. If Granny gave me a tissue from her handbag it would smell lovely like her. I had little jewellery bags that she gave me and they smelt like Granny for years.
The food was always good at Granny’s too, chicken casserole with almonds, hazelnut crescents and my Christmas was all about mince pies, Quality Streets on a little plastic tree and Granny’s Christmas Cake.  I only liked the marzipan and icing as a child but now I love it all and am thrilled to have Granny’s recipe and will make it every year and think of her. My children loved visiting Granny and Bamma for the food too. Granny always had special things for the kids. I was thrilled when Jossie was born so that Granny would have a great granddaughter and she had plenty of girls in the end. You could tell from all the photos around her house that she loved her family as we loved her. It was wonderful for her to spend her last years living with family, being so well cared for, and where we could come and spend time with her. My favourite photo was taken last Christmas with Bethany sitting on Granny’s knee, each looking at the other, so happy.  Goodbye Granny, we love you very much.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Spring came early last week. Bizarrely high temperatures had all the library users talking about the glorious weather. I was, of course, indoors for most of it and, not being a summer person, was rather suspicious of it. If it starts getting hot in early August, what's going to happen in January and February? I needn't have worried, winter came back on the weekend with rain and cold. Perfect weather for a bushdance.

Our friend Narelle had her fortieth birthday party at Downside Hall which is only ten minutes from Wagga but in the middle of nowhere. A ramshackle old hall with a long, skinny room off the side with tables for three parties. There were children everywhere and we had a fabulous dinner. It was quite hard to take photos as it was packed. Jossie did manage to take this lovely portrait of me.

At eight o'clock the band started. I understand that this band has been playing once a month at Downside for thirty years! Now, I'm not naturally inclined towards bushdancing but it really was a lot of fun.

Bethany was in her element.

Jossie even had a tall, handsome partner with an earring. She knew we were going to tease her about it.

Even Toby danced! It was such a great night out for the whole family, which sounds like an ad, doesn't it? I mean that everyone had something fun to do - the parents weren't putting up with something that the kids enjoyed and the kids weren't asking to go home while the parents were having fun.

It was a late night too. We were amongst the first to leave and got home around 10.30. The car trip was also confirmation of how much fun Toby and Bethany had outside, playing with the fire - the whole car smelt of smoke!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Victory and now success, what a positive blog I have at the moment! Toby has been playing the piano for a few years now and had his first grade exam yesterday morning. It was very handy that it fell on my day off. Andrew was so nervous for Toby he was glad to have to be at work. Toby was nervous too.

We had a little time to kill after dropping Jossie and Bethany at school so went for our celebration hot chocolate and caramel slice before the exam. Toby has worked so hard on the piano, practising so much that I really was confident that there would be cause for celebration.

He got an A! It really was well deserved. I don't know where he gets this perfectionism from, any good marks I ever received (at least as a child..... perhaps also as an adult at uni) were despite my poor effort.

Congratulations to Toby, I am looking forward to his musical development. And some new music.