Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Your Library

Two weeks of refurbishment at the library is over! It was a lot of hard work and the work is not quite finished yet but we opened the library this morning to lots of people who came for all the things they always get from the library plus cake. Despite spelling the three little words over the phone and then faxing them through to the bakery, Claire still had to add the apostrophe and dot the i.

People said very nice things all day about the changes we have made.

I could have done with a quiet weekend after all that physical work but Andrew went away for work and I had to do sport all by myself. No sleep in for me as I had to get Toby (Bethany came too) to soccer by 8.45. Once he was settled I walked over to the coffee van (it was foggy and very cold) and spent 20 minutes waiting for my coffee. In those twenty minutes Toby scored his two goals. Oops, a bit of a parenting fail there. I did see his brilliant save when he was goalie.

We drove home after soccer and picked up Jossie, who did get a sleep in, and took her to netball. They were outclassed by their opponents but Jossie played a good game. It was foggy all morning, the sun coming out just as we left the courts. I cooked and cleaned all afternoon, getting ready for my friends to come over to eat dessert and make cards. I had vanilla rose poached apricots, custard (proper custard), cinnamon poached pears and lemon yoghurt cake. We made these two cards.

The bottom one has faux mother of pearl on it which doesn't photograph very well. I do like it a lot.

After a busy morning at church I really wanted a quiet afternoon so I did some more washing (where does it all come from?) and watched L'homme du train on DVD. It was a lovely, quiet and thoughtful French film. I watched it from start to finish, uninterrupted. Downton Abbey was not treated with the same respect by Channel Seven. It is so disruptive to have a drama interrupted every five minutes for mindless advertisements. I'm afraid I cannot do it again so this morning I organised for Downton Abbey, season one, to be sent to my house from the UK for less then $18.

I read this book because I thought it had a very beautiful cover. I thought the same about Margaret Drabble's The Red Queen and her sister, A.S. Byatt's, The Children's Book and loved both of them. The Commoner, however, did not live up to promise. I suppose it was a bit dull unlike Cloudstreet and Never Let Me Go which I have also read recently. Now I am reading a light Kate Morton book, The Distant Hours and am enjoying it very much. How I love to spend time in England during wartime (in a book).

Andrew and his friend Shep are right up with the trends. They have been trying to out-plank each other all week. There was a little tiny bit of planking going on at the library while we were closed but we took no photos as we want to keep our jobs. Our children, however, have no jobs. Andrew sent me this photo while I was at Bible Study. I love the pointed toes. Bethany doesn't do things by halves.

Looking forward to hearing your baby news Sue :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just Dance

 It would be tiresome to tell you that we have been very busy. Tiresome and terribly boring. Next week I will receive the second lot of assignments for this, the last semester I will accept marking for a long time. So, if I want to bore you with the busy details, I had better do it now.

After a week of hard, physical work in the library I was looking forward to a fun-filled weekend. Andrew did the sport duties while I took Bethany to a party, for a little while, before we raced over to the school for Bethany to dance during the school fete. Here she is with three little, blonde friends.

It was near impossible to get a photo of her on stage that wasn't just black, red and white blurs. She had so much fun on stage. So much that she stood out. It was really fun to watch. I had to take her back for the rest of the party after her dance!

After the party and sport were over we all met up at the fete. I will confess that I wasn't really looking forward to it but I am very glad I went. I had a very good coffee, though I should not have chosen to have lemon meringue pie for lunch. That wasn't a healthy choice. Bethany was full of party pies so she had her face painted. You can tell by the way that she is smiling so hard her eyes have almost disappeared, that she was pleased with the design.

Jossie had her hair painted and wore bouncy boots. Andrew and Shep had a go on them too, the fun wasn't just for the kids!

Not far from the lemon meringue pie was a classroom with a Wii set up so that, for 50 cents, you could play Just Dance 2 with three others. Bethany did it with her three little friends and it was so funny. Jossie did it too and though I refrained from embarrassing my children in front of their friends and teachers, I decided that we would buy that game. On the way home from the fete. We have hardly stopped playing it. I get up early just to dance a few songs before work.

Here is Bethany, showing you how it is done.

Toby likes to be involved, but only by watching. Andrew takes photos and videos when we don't know he is doing so. I love this game so much, I could dance all day.

Bethany came to work with me on Friday night when I had a book launch. She was very well behaved, being kept amused by Hipstamatic on my phone. Here is one of her photos. The rest, and there were many more, were all of empty chairs.

If you want to see photos of the library refurbishment, you'll find them on Facebook on the Wagga Wagga City Library page. One of the best new additions is the pair of pod chairs. They are comfortable in the extreme and very quiet inside.

I imagine they are less quiet the more people you have in at one time.

At church Bethany and Toby made a large pile of autumn leaves. They weren't quite finished by the time the service started and they were most concerned that someone would come and jump in it before they had a chance to. An elderly couple started walking down the path and Bethany yelled "Don't jump in our leaves"! They then piled lots of cushions up and sat next to the window (hanging out at some points) to keep an eye on it. After church the leaves flew everywhere as all the kids joined in.

I have had a good many discussions about Spooks since Saturday night. Some people are very sad about Lucas. I disliked him so much by the end that I didn't cry one bit. I am, however, very concerned about the possibility of Spooks without Harry. They can't do that, can they?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lucas has left the building

Oh, my very favourite part of winter, Saturday morning sport. This past weekend was, in fact, the second week of winter sports. I missed the first week while I was visiting family. I did keep in touch via Textie to discover that Toby had scored three out of six goals and that they won six/one. Jossie, who had a fun season with not a lot of winning last year, lost her first game but her playing had improved significantly. This last weekend I was able to see Jossie play in person. This year the two different games at two different venues are timed much better so that Andrew is able to get up early and take Toby to soccer, enjoying the frost, mud and wind all by himself while we sleep in, and is back in plenty of time for me to then take Jossie to netball where I'll be buffeted by the vicious wind while trying to soak up some warmth from the  pale sunlight.

In a reversal of fortunes, Toby played an older, bigger team and lost, and Jossie had a very exciting win. Admittedly, I didn't actually watch every minute - it is still sport after all. I did some texting and finished Heart of Darkness. The tea I brought from home was most welcome as it was freezing.

I read Heart of Darkness for my very first book club meeting! Yes, I have finally, after four years of running a service to book clubs through the library, joined a club for myself. It is made up largely of library and ex-library staff and one male library user and Sonya Gee who works at the ABC. I am pleased to have read Heart of Darkness and it was a great book to discuss in a book club, but I wouldn't say that I enjoyed it exactly. We had our meeting today and it was so much fun. We had some great discussion and it didn't matter one bit that none of us loved the book and more than one didn't manage to finish it (at least one had a very good excuse :) For next month we are reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let me Go. I am the only one who has read this before (a number of members had read Heart of Darkness at school) and I loved it so am keen to see what the others think. Wagga's cinema has Water for Elephants and a 3D Justin Bieber movie but is not showing Never let Me Go....... not impressed.

After our sporting morning Andrew headed out on his bike, Jossie went to a friend's for a sleep-over and Bethany, Toby and I rode up to Steve and Jane's for Mackenzie's second birthday. I thought riding would be a great thing to do. It turns out that Bethany is not at all cut out for a long incline, however slight, and we very nearly turned around and went home.

The cake made it all worth while.

I got a big shock to see our godson Andrew next to Bethany. He is three months younger!

Now, to Saturday night and Spooks. Wow. Spooks has always been a bit different. I watched the first seven seasons on DVD from the library and my friend Margot recommended the first season saying she had never been so shocked by a television show. SPOILER ALERT. I think it was the second show in that first season and a main character had her hand pushed into a deep fryer. I was thinking "That's what Margot was talking about! It might be OK, you can live with a very burnt hand, can't you?" when the bad man pushed her head in. Whoa, you can't live after that! Very bad things can happen to very main characters at any time. Adam was blown up in the first episode of one season. It isn't the same all the time either, while some of them die, others retire. Tom was our favourite but I have liked all of the main characters. I cried a lot when Danny died. The season playing on TV at the moment is the ninth season and they have done something completely different. I kept thinking that it was going to be very difficult to make Lucas North OK again, that he was doing things that I would find it very hard to excuse. On Saturday night he went all the way bad! At least we got to see Malcolm again. I am going to have to remove Richard Armitage's face from Mr Thornton when I read North and South because he is ceasing to be appealing! Do I get too involved? Don't answer that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

Oh, I know it's the next weekend already but as I spent the rest of the week catching up from being away until late Monday afternoon (catching up at work mostly) I didn't get around the telling you how it went.

I left work last Friday around midday to head for the airport and didn't get to the hotel until almost four, thanks to a problem with the airport train line. I saw parts of Sydney from the train that I never knew existed. Thankfully, I wasn't in any real hurry. I settled into my little room at the Travelodge at Martin Place and wandered down to T2 and tried to work out what was going on in the Pitt Street Mall. It turns out that, if I had hung around, I could have seen Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattison who were there promoting Water for Elephants. I enjoyed the book but am in no hurry to see the film. Robert Pattison played Reese Witherspoon's son in Vanity Fair (which wasn't a patch on the brilliant BBC version).

Going to dinner at Parliament House is very nice. The view over the domain disappears at night, which is a shame, but the food was lovely, we sat at a table with very nice people from Penrith Council and saw some of our local friends (librarians from Leeton and Narrandera) win awards. We didn't win anything ourselves but had a very nice evening and it paid my way for a visit to family. So keen was I to see Tim, Shona, Pumpkin and Gumnut that I got up at 6.30 am on a Saturday to catch the train from St James to Central then Central to Gosford. Martin Place is not alive at 7am (the Lindt Café doesn't open until 10.30) so I was thrilled that we went straight to a café for coffee and banana bread once I arrived on the glorious Central Coast. All the young girls wear teeny tiny shorts and tops despite the cold and their cellulite.

I really do love Tim and Shona a lot but there is something so special about nieces and nephews.

Fortified with coffee, we went down to Terrigal for a walk along the beach.

My children would have been in the water despite the cool weather but Pumpkin was happy with a play in the sand.

This smiley face hid from the sun in his pram.

I forgot to take a photo of the biggest burger I have ever eaten. We went to Burger Girls in Avoca and I had a massive chickpea and hummus burger after which I needed an afternoon in front of the television. We watched Burn After Reading which was very amusing. Tim and Shona made delicious tandoori pizzas followed by chocolate fondants with ice-cream which we ate while watching The King's Speech. It was delightful to spend time with them, I wish they would move to Wagga.

In the morning Tim went off to the early service and we followed later at a decent hour. Pumpkin, who doesn't pose for photos, needs a decent amount of food to get through the service. There was cake at the end and everyone laughed at her as she scowled at the lady who insisted on telling a joke before cutting the cake. The look very clearly said "Less talking, more cutting and giving me a big piece."

Mum and Dad met us back at Tim and Shona's with sushi for lunch, after which we said good-bye and drove to Mum and Dad's. Ahh, the serenity. We sat with Granny, drinking tea, we ate cashews while watching Spooks and Granny casually mentioned that she worked with MI6 during the war! She gave messages from agents in France to Winston Churchill, Winnie as she called him. That is so cool. Lucas North, on the other hand (talking about Spooks now) is not cool and there is no recovering from what he has done. What is going to happen? How I love this show.....

Back to real life. I woke to a glorious day at Broke.

I sat with Granny, had two coffees and then it was time to drive to Sydney, back to the airport.

Andrew and the kids picked me up from the Wagga airport and, with that, the long weekend was over and I paid for having Monday off by having a manic week at work but it was well worth it!

I'll leave you with another example of Bethany's drawing talent which never ceases to amuse me. She received this invitation in the mail during the week. It is, of course, a Stampin' Up invitation from Liz.

Bethany immediately sat at her Megasketcher to copy the little girl..... adding her own, grumpy style.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Oh, silly me. I went for the highly technical option of signing out and back in again and we're away. I should have gone into IT....

Of course, I have no time for a proper post but will quickly catch up with a few photos from my week.

Andrew and the kids bought me a new camera for my birthday! It takes very nice photos and I like it very much. Margot took this photo of me and Jeannie at my desk - we didn't pose.

We were so happy because there was cake. Jeannie made lemon cupcakes and black bottom cupcakes. There was also a chocolate ripple cake, caramel tart and chocolate macarons. Apart from a little pumpkin and lentil soup, I ate only cake that day (any ties between that and the fact that I fell ill and couple of days later cannot be confirmed).

Tuesday wasn't much better nutritionally. Kristy doesn't work on Mondays so she made baklava for Tuesday. I didn't keep count of how many diamonds I ate. It was SO delicious and I kept eating to remind me of poor Kristy who was sick and had to send the baklava in with her husband! Thanks Simon.

Playing with my new toy, I took this photo of my desk.

This is the view to the left of where I sit. The table is not always loaded with cake. Really.

This last photo is of the concrete floor we have been 'enjoying' since the flood last November. The carpet has been ordered,  the library is going to close for two whole weeks so come in soon and load up on books and DVDs! We will be closed from the 16th to the 30th of May. Fabulous new library on its way..... (we are changing more than the floor....).

I'll be back after my weekend when I will also tell you about the wonderful early Mother's Day Andrew and the kids gave me last night. I love my family!
Oh dear. Blogger doesn't want my photos, I have been trying for days. No time to investigate now, I'm off to Sydney this afternoon and will spend the weekend on the Central Coast and Hunter Valley! I have lots to share about my birthday and early Mother's Day. Hopefully I can sort out my Blogger issues when I get home.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mice and Mr Rochester

Mouse plague!

Oh, the joys of living in the country! These mice are less smelly than the other ones found inside the library, nibbling at our tea bags. The black cat appeared in the garage of the Civic Centre (which houses the library, art gallery and council) last year. The mice are new and are, sadly, a reflection of our current reality. On Friday night I was watching Jane Eyre on my laptop in bed (I know that most of you were watching something else but I just couldn't muster any interest in William and Kate) when I heard scurrying in the roof! Most people at work and church have mice problems and they are all over the roads at night, so I can't really complain.

I was watching, for the first time, the Jane Eyre from the 80s with Timothy Dalton. It was pretty true to the book and while I found the film quality a bit average, it was an enjoyable version. I also finished reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (I lent it to a friend when I was half way through a few weeks ago) and it reminded me that Mr Rochester is 38. Today I have turned 39 and and it just feels wrong to be older than Mr Rochester. Then I thought about Mr Knightley, who is my favourite Austen man, and he is only 37! This is not good!