Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's not all about me

I suppose it's about time I gave an update about the kids. We had parent teacher interviews on Tuesday evening and everyone was given a good report. Bethany isn't even talking too much! It is very good to know that they are all coping well with school and that they enjoy it - long may it last!

After we went to Rachel's party last Saturday Bethany had a second party to go to. It was held at the Handstand Factory and the children had so much fun. Bethany gave Sophie one of my little cards and she wrote inside and drew a lovely picture of a princess.... with an evil hand. "I'm good at drawing evil hands" she said.

Jossie stayed in the car with me as we dropped Toby and Bethany at school one morning last week. She had an orthodontist appointment which wasn't until 9.30 so we popped in to the café I go to from work. I had a coffee, Jossie had a juice and we talked to the owner and other patrons about the many thousands of dollars that they have spent, are in the process of spending and that we will spend in the coming years on the position of teeth.

I didn't have a photo of Toby doing something interesting so I just took one at dinner. He is busy devouring the Percy Jackson books (he has read six now) and we are reading The Wizard of Rondo together. He is looking forward to soccer season (sigh) and his first piano exam later in the year.

Did anyone watch Strike Back? I watched all three episodes on iview because I'm often out or busy on Saturday nights. I'm not sure whether I really liked it or not. Obviously, Richard Armitage is a favourite because of North and South and he is also in Spooks, although his character in Spooks isn't a patch on Mr Thornton. Strike Back was reasonably amusing but I think they sacrificed character development in order to make it so very action packed. There was a lot of killing and swearing and I wasn't terribly attached to the main character. It was nice to see Toby Stephens (he played Mr Rochester in my favourite Jane Eyre adaptation) until he opened his mouth - he played an American! Still, I quite like that they had the Americans played by Brits. Spooks starts on Saturday night and I must confess to being very pleased about that.
Bethany is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid (it is a chapter book and she is plugging away but it is a bit beyond her level), Toby is reading Heros of Olympus and Jossie has just finished Heidi which was my favourite book as a child. I'm up to The Ghost Road, which is the final book in the Regeneration Trilogy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cards, cards, cards

I'm sorry if you're frightfully bored or were, in fact, never even slightly interested in my latest hobby. I am supposed to be organising an online shop for these and the creations of Liz and Megan but this is so much quicker and easier and I am so tired. I think I'll go to bed.

I can make any of these cards for you, if you'd like me to - with whatever sentiment you like (Happy Birthday etc.)

Popping in

It is almost time for me to get the kids up and get ready for school and work but I have been sadly neglecting the blog so am quickly popping in to catch up. We have been busy (no surprises there) with school, work, reading, bike riding and card making. On Saturday morning Andrew went for a very long ride and the rest of us went to Collins Park to celebrate Rachel's 18th birthday. Where did the years go?!

Sandy gave a lovely little speech. They have every right to be very proud of all their daughters, such a wonderful family.

There were cute babies who make me miss my baby nieces and nephews very much.

Bethany had a great time - she is a party sort of girl and doesn't mind if the guests are mostly adults.

Christina brought a little beagle who captivated the children. This little girl shares my name. Up until this point she has cared little about our bond. She has only frowned when I say hello. Last Sunday I waved to her and she shocked me by waving back. On Saturday morning, and here is the evidence, she smiled at me!

The dog's name is Alfred.

This card reminds me of Linda and the fact that one day I would like to meet her in Paris. I think it is more likely that I will be in Paris again than she will be in Wagga. I would, of course, travel to Sydney to meet any of my far flung blogging friends if they happened to get that far!

I don't suppose I can give this card to my own mother now! If you would like me to make a Mother's Day card for you, just let me know, I will post one anywhere :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Jossie has been coming out in the mornings with the most beautifully intricate hair. I wish I had taken a  photo of the bow - she made a bow out of her hair, not a ribbon. These hairdos are the reason why she is in her room so long in the mornings but it doesn't get any tidier. She looks unimpressed because she doesn't like having her photo taken while she still has sleepy eyes.

A few weekends ago we had planned a big social day for the children. Sadly, Bethany was ill and we had to cancel three play dates and miss out on a birthday party. As this weekend was free of commitments I decided to invite Eden for the weekend for Jossie, Jacob over on Saturday for Toby and Bethany had a birthday party on Saturday. While Jossie, Eden and Toby were at Kids' Club on Friday evening I took Bethany on a 'date' with Narelle and Hannah. Narelle had a couple of jobs to do so I took the girls to McDonalds and bought them a happy meal. I was jostled in the queue by some twenty-somethings who really ought to have something better to do on a Friday evening, or at least something better to eat! The girls finished their dinner and Narelle had just bought me a chai when Bethany looked stricken and declared that she felt sick and wanted to go home! I put her straight to bed and after a fair bit of moaning she went to sleep and that was the end of it. She said that she never wants to go to McDonalds again which is fine by me!

I was most pleased to have her feeling hale and hearty on Saturday morning. She waited, sometimes patiently, until 2pm for her party. Jossie and Eden had a party at exactly the same time and I did something I have not done before - I let children use my Stampin' Up stuff. Jossie made a card for the birthday girl and this Easter card which she plans to send to Granny.

Eden made a birthday card for her sister.

And this card for her mum. It feels good to share. Jossie wants to have a Stampin' Up party when it is her birthday and I think that's a very good idea but I will do all the cutting out beforehand!

Jossie and Eden were dropped off at the pool for their party and Bethany went to her friend Louis (pronounced the French way) for a spooky party. We have plenty of princess or superhero outfits but, as this isn't America, nothing spooky. I drew scars and bolts on with eyeliner and sent her as Frankenstein's monster, not before giving her a lecture about how she wasn't Frankenstein but the monster created by the scientist named Frankenstein.

As it happens, when she was asked who she was, she just said that she had forgotten. I'll make her read the book one day.

As for what I am reading, I am half way through Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. It is very funny and is about literature while also being a bit fantasy/sci-fi. I am reading, for the very first time, C.S. Lewis' sci-fi  books, the Cosmic Trilogy. Of course, Lewis is one of my most beloved authors so it isn't surprising that I am loving them. I am also about to start on the Regeneration Trilogy, recommended on Sarah's blog. It's a shame I have to go to work tomorrow as I have a lot of reading to do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Last week Sydney, this week Cootamundra. The life of a public librarian is a thrill a minute week! Five of us piled into Claire's car and drove for one hour and eighteen minutes to attend a meeting. Some of us had not had our coffee and were a bit sorry that the Junee Licorice Factory doesn't open until 10. I haven't spent a lot of time in Cootamundra before, I may only have driven through it, so I was keen to see it close up.

We were a bit late and had to sit around the edges of the council meeting room. Entering the building was like stepping back in time. Someone pointed out that it smelt like a church but I was very quick to say that my church doesn't smell like that!

Classic carpet.

It poured during the morning session. It was so loud the speakers had to speak up. I kept peering through the curtains to watch the rain (I have always loved it) and saw the lovely buildings they have in the main street.

The day ran late and we decided to skip the library tour (many of our party had already seen Cootamundra Library) and head back to the Licorice Factory before it closed.

Some of the girls had never been before, though it is only twenty minutes away!

Everyone made purchases from the wall of deliciousness and I mentioned the fact that we often come just to go shopping upstairs and even those who had been before had never been upstairs!

These are Crocs! If only they had a pair in my size..... they're like Minnie Mouse shoes. I think Jeannie should have bought them but perhaps she is saving her money for more stamps.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Garth Nix

Being a night person, I do find getting up at 5 am difficult. I also do that thing where I wake up thinking I have missed the alarm when in fact it is still the middle of the night. I did that at 3.50 am, certain that Jeannie was knocking at the door. I went back to sleep, finally, and was ready for her when she came at 5.30, all set for a big day. We started with coffee at the Lindt Café (at least I had coffee, Jeannie and Sharon took advantage of their specialty and had a hot chocolate and a mocha) before walking up to the State Library to hand out name badges and direct people to tea and coffee.

The seminar was so very good. You can search twitter with the hashtag #ra2011 to read all about it. I learnt lots, got lots of ideas and then got to meet Garth Nix who was an entertaining speaker and lovely man. This isn't the best photo ever..... I think we're both better looking than that ;)

We finished around 4.30 and walked down to the Strand Arcade to make a little purchase at Haighs. We ran into Garth Nix there as well! T2 was the other important stop and I bought some Earl Grey, French Earl Grey and, on Sare's recommendation, some Melbourne breakfast. The extra box is for a friend. I take orders if any Wagga people are interested, I'm going back on the 5th of April.

Yesterday I bought two boxed sets of The Keys to the Kingdom series. One will be used as a prize at the library and the other one is for Toby (though I will read it first). Garth was so kind as to sign each of the fifteen books I set before him.

Despite coming home laden with goodies, I find that there are still some things I want, namely, all of these brooches.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jane Eyre

 I am a very enthusiastic person, high spirited and emotional. When I saw a Jane Eyre DVD that I didn't know existed I spent the next couple of hours at work in an excitable state about it. Jane Eyre, you see, is one of my favourite books. Like most women I love Jane Austen books, for the manners, the wit and, of course, the romance. Jane Eyre, however, is different because it isn't about the fact that Jane is not of the same class as Mr Rochester, that hardly features at all, but that he isn't free to marry her and despite her great love for him, she chooses to do what she knows is right, despite every attempt on his part to make her choose their immediate happiness. It is a far more passionate tale than any Austen one and in the end he repents and they are able to be together. Sigh.

The version was this one with Ciarán Hinds and Samantha Morton. I knew that, as a movie length version, it would have huge chunks cut out of the story but as Ciarán Hinds plays Captain Wentworth in the older version of Persuasion, I knew I could love him as Mr Rochester. If I hadn't read the book I'm sure I wouldn't like this version, with so much left out I had to fill in a lot of details in my head but I did like this enough to watch it twice. It was especially good to see Rupert Penry-Jones (he plays Captain Wentworth in the later version of Persuasion) as St John. The latest, mini-series version with Toby Stephens  and Ruth Wilson remains my favourite. It may even be the best BBC version of any classic despite the fact that Toby Stephens is really too young and good looking to play Mr Rochester. 

Yesterday Megan, Liz and I took our cards to our first markets. The PCYC is not the prettiest venue and the Baby Bazaar was more about secondhand baby clothes, toys and furniture but we sold quite a few cards and learnt a lot.

Andrew went for a long ride with friends so the kids came to the market with me. They weren't terribly impressed but Bethany did, at least, get her face painted.

Now the weekend is almost over. I am looking forward to my trip to Sydney but when Sarah asked if I was staying the night it made me realise that I could have - I don't work on Thursdays! Next time..... As it is, I am doing the looong day. We need to be at the airport at 6am and don't get back until at least 8pm. There are three of us going up and I have told my friend Jeannie that I can't sit with her because she gets airsick! That's mean isn't it? I'll report back with details of meeting Garth Nix (you should overcome your prejudice Mum and give fantasy a go) and my purchases at T2 and Haighs.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not blogging tends to breed more not blogging. I feel the need to account for all I have done since I was last here but that would be difficult to remember and a terrible bore to read. A quick list of highlights with photos then....

Bethany's class sang a song at assembly. They were all dressed as superheroes to sing Colin Buchanan's Super Saviour. Most of the girls came as princesses but Bethany is "lucky" enough to have a brother with a superman outfit. I managed to leave work early to be able to see her.

The weather in Wagga is not always perfect. We seem to go straight from stinking hot to freezing cold but, in fact, Autumn can be delightful. So lovely I go for a walk at lunchtime. This is the view of the library as I walk back.

While Jossie and Toby were at Kids' Club last Friday evening Narelle and I took our younger girls, plus one more, down to Wagga Beach (sand next to the river). They were desperate to get their feet wet and, I could just see it, anything else that happened to fall in, but we didn't have towels and I was to go out after dropping them home so didn't want to have to shower Bethany. They tried pretty much any trick they could think of but we were not outsmarted!

I was, however, roped into plaiting Jossie's hair one night after a long day at work and this lead to the promise of doing Bethany's later in the week. The result of many plaits being in for several days is this.

I read Room by Emma Donoghue and found it the most extraordinary book. When I told people that I was reading a book about a woman who is being held in a shed against her will, like we have seen several times in the news over the last few years, they didn't think it sounded good at all. In fact, it was a fascinating read and very moving. On Wednesday I'm off to the State Library in Sydney for a Readers Advisory Seminar. I am in the working group for this and get to chair one of the sessions and have to introduce Garth Nix. I thought it would be polite to read one of his books (he mainly writes fantasy for youth) and chose Shade's Children. Now I'm going to gush all over the poor man when I meet him because I absolutely loved it! Well drawn characters to whom I was extremely attached, fascinating setting and all my favourite themes so often in fantasy books - loyalty, perseverance, sacrifice and redemption.

Speaking of sacrifice, I am up early on a Saturday morning because Liz, Megan and I have our first markets this morning. Paper Kitchen's debut. I took one of each of the cards I had made to work yesterday, just to show the girls, and I sold three! Money making is not the point of the exercise for me. Making cards is relaxing and gives a very satisfying sense of accomplishment. I do hope to make back some of the millions I spend on stamps and things....... which I will put into more stamps and things.