Friday, August 31, 2012

Pleasing to Pedants

Oh yes, I know it's pathetic, but after a hard day of marking, nothing amuses me more than this sort of thing.

And this one which I saw for the first time today, thanks to Grammarly's blog.


Thursday, August 30, 2012


Andrew has a gig tonight with a couple of bands. One is called The Groove Factorie and the other Funked Up Kids. Jossie and I had a little giggle over his careful enunciation of the second one and Bethany declared that it was very nearly rude. Andrew agreed and said that many words are nearly rude. "Yes, like ship" said Bethany. Unfortunately, the rest of us laughed so we will probably be subjected to ship jokes for a day or two.

I am getting through these essays. It is entirely possible that I'll be finished by the end of the weekend. I learnt something else from Bleak House, you see. If you chip away at things, before you know it, you'll have a lot done. Bleak House being in half hour episodes, I found that I could just watch one and then do something else. Squeeze in a quick episode and then get other jobs done. I watched the whole thing twice in two weeks in that fashion! Now I am just marking one assignment and then making dinner. Marking three before going to bed, and marking at least one even if I have been out that evening. Sometimes, I can master my inclination to procrastinate. For those other times, there's Grammarly's blog.

Bethany did do some more weaving at art class today but not before making........ something else. I'm not sure what it is but I think the sculpture they made on the first week, turned into beads somehow, and today they painted them and threaded them onto colourful wire.

She skipped home, holding it out "in case people want to see art".

They can see it when they walk past our house as we have hung it in a tree.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Toby was confused for a second when I woke him at 5am, then he realised he was going on an excursion and was up like a shot. He sat on the heating vent in the kitchen to get dressed and have his breakfast. He looked so tired.

There is an interesting atmosphere at school when we drop kids off for an excursion. It's dark and cold but the kids are all so excited. Parents are quietly anxious and very weary, teachers are steeling themselves for a long few days. Oh, I wouldn't be a teacher!

Toby was so excited he couldn't stay still for a photo.

Just so you know, year five boys at Toby's school think soft toys are cool. Toby proudly took the elephant he bought on the Dubbo excursion last year and Jacob is clutching a Pillow Pet in this photo! At least it isn't pink.

As the sun came up we waved goodbye to the bus and walked over to our cars. A friend asked me if I was looking forward to a few quiet days. I explained that I put the wrong child on the bus if that was what I wanted.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

All packed

All that remains is to pop his toothbrush in after he uses it in the morning. Toby is off to Ballarat and won't be back until Friday evening. I hope he uses his toothbrush before he comes home....

They are supposed to take some biscuits or slice to share for morning teas over the three days. Joss informed me that bought biscuits are by far the most popular! As I am marking at the moment, I was happy to go with that. I am less happy with the fact that we need to be at school at 6am. Yes, the 6am that is in seven hours and I am not nearly in bed. How I love putting the alarm on for 5, which is in six hours. Perhaps I should consider going to bed.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Brace yourselves....

Joss is getting braces! This morning she had two teeth pulled out to make room for the poor tooth that has no room in the line. It was fairly brutal, with four needles and a lot of tugging and pulling. She is pretty sore but she was very brave. Look at the roots on these teeth! No wonder they were hard to pull out.

Photos of recently pulled teeth are in questionable taste so I made them black and white, at least, so they aren't gory.

Joss wouldn't let me take any photos of her today, so here is one from last holidays. See the gap in her smile? There is a tooth there, it's just a centimetre or so behind the others!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


We experienced some high drama this morning as Toby, Bethany and I headed off to church. There are two ways we can go, one has a long hill, and as Bethany was on her bike, we chose the flatter route. It turns out that it is the route with the angry magpie. Bethany burst into tears when she realised what the first tap on her helmet was, and panicked when there were four more! She took off at great speed, yelling at the top of her voice and going in the wrong direction. I ran after her balancing my coffee and handbag, trying to catch up. We eventually got out of the magpie's territory and the rest of the walk was uneventful. At least Bethany had a helmet on, Toby and I were bare headed and pleased to have been spared!

Toby walked home by himself and took the same route. It seems that the magpie will choose a bike rider if there is a choice, but will go for the walker if he is alone. Needless to say we will be taking the long uphill walk from now on. Bethany and I took it home and enjoyed the flowers, unmolested by pesky birds.

As much as I love the blossoms, they are so short-lived. This house has a magnolia and blossoms.

This house, despite a lack of blossom or magnolia, is the prettiest on the street, even if the dog looks a little bored.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I just got back from watching Perfume at the library with my book club friends.  I think book club is teaching me that I am pretty easy to please and like a lot of things! I loved the book and enjoyed the movie. It's a lot of fun watching it on the big screen in the dark, with no-one else there but I think the heating went off and I got a bit chilly. Spring may well be approaching but it can still be very cold here. We had delicious pizza from Crust - Mediterranean lamb and Wagyu beef - Crust pizza is sooo good.

Last night we dropped Joss off at the library to work on assignments with a friend and Andrew and I took Toby and Bethany to La Porchetta. After dinner Toby and I decided to walk home but when we were half way down the street, the heavens opened. It was beyond my little umbrella so Andrew came and picked us up. He had been in a type of reject shop with Bethany and she had bought this.

I think red is a great colour for a budding artist. Here is an update on her art class weaving. She chose the pose.

I'm going to be marking for a couple of weeks now. Usually, though it shouldn't, that means more blogging!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Week

Book Week is not all fun and games for librarians. Firstly, some librarians are parents who have to juggle work, providing a costume and attending the book parade. Secondly, we get a rush of parents, often just before closing time, looking for books with something specific on the cover. As a parent, I know how much easier it is to just go with whatever costume you have, but it can be very hard to find a book to match.

Fairy books abound as do comics, though I find that the superheroes never bother bringing a book to carry. There are lots of soccer and AFL books too so you see plenty of kids in their sport gear. We have one junior fiction book called Tennis Star, that was snapped up today, and we have handed out all books with cowboys on the front.

On Tuesday evening a man came in with his daughter looking for a junior book with a doctor on the front, as the little girl has a doctor's costume. Even books about going to the hospital don't seem to have doctors on the front and all Jeannie could come up with was medical romances! You know, the Mills and Boon classic range with titles such as How to Mend a Broken Heart, The Nurse He Shouldn't Notice and Dr D'Angelo's Baby Bombshell. The Dad thought that was very funny but the little girl was not impressed. She made do with a junior non-fiction book about being a doctor.

Bethany, after being upset that her hair is longer than Emily Eyefinger's, was pretty pleased with her outfit. I'm glad I sent in spare eyes as she did break two.

They walk past so quickly, this was the best shot I got when she was near me.

At Toby and Bethany's school, only junior school dresses up. Toby is in middle school so he didn't have to (relief!), but Year 12 had just finished their trial HSC exams and decided to join in.

I particularly liked Wolverine!

Monday, August 20, 2012


I just spent an hour or so talking to Maame on Facetime! How iPhones and iPads make life wonderful. I not only talked to her but could see her lovely face, what she has done with her hair and her American bedroom (she'll be there for a few months). I spent most of my day at work rewriting an old Optimise your iPhone talk so having a super positive iexperience was just the ticket.

Maame said that the weather is definitely turning in Dallas. I am glad that we live in a part of the country that stays cold longer, at least in the mornings and evenings, but I do love the pretty signs of Spring, like this happy blossom we pass on the way to the bus stop.

It feels like it was longer ago, somehow, but the Muddi market was just yesterday. Liz and Megan have made so may beautiful props and decorative elements for our stall. I contribute a willow pattern cake plate! And cards, of course.

It may even have been my idea to paper this stand with the pages of an old book.

It's Book Week again. I think I only have one costume to come up with this year and Bethany decided on this ages ago. Today, realising that the 22nd of August is, in fact, the day after tomorrow, I ran down the street to Riot and bought the makings of an eye finger. Actually, I bought three eyes because accidents do happen. I'm just pleased Bethany wants to be a character out of an actual book - I'm always surprised at the number of non-book characters at a Book Week parade..... and I am counting comics (graphic novels) as books.

Tomorrow is book club, I am looking forward to it. We're discussing Perfume. I'm hoping the non-library staff members of my club have read the book because I know three of my colleagues haven't finished it! There's always the movie on Friday night....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What goes around

After yesterday's dramatic weather, I was surprised that that soccer was on this morning. It rained most of yesterday and even hailed in the afternoon while we were in the car, prompting some histrionics from Bethany, though the hail wasn't very big. Unfortunately, the Duke of Kent oval has very good drainage so soccer went ahead and we all got to enjoy what lots of people were referring to as bitter cold. I wasn't one of those people because I know that it won't be long before I'm going to be hot. Don't leave me Winter!

After netball Joss went to stay the night at Hannah's as Hannah has just bought the Hunger Games DVD. Toby went to Liam's so Bethany, Andrew and I drove around looking at roof colours until we had chosen the colour of our own. We stopped off at our block to imagine the new roof and all that will be under it.

It is a shame that ours will not be the only house built here.

We'd have such a lovely view if we were alone!

The weekend, of course, means washing and I noted, as I sorted a huge pile, that Joss' uniform was not present for the second week in a row. I went in search of it and emerged two hours later with my arms so full of clothes (around a gazillion socks amongst other things) that I had to hold it all together with my chin. Wow. Her room was perfectly organised when Nan and Grandad were here in the holidays so she has been putting in some serious untidying. As well as clothes galore, I found her geometry set and calculator under her bed. I wonder how long she has been missing those. Her drawers were in compete disarray so I pulled everything out and started again. As I was in her cupboards, I had a look in her school bag and found (you're going to love this Dad) three carrots and an apple. 

When I was around Joss' age Dad came in to my room and declared that it smelt like rotten fruit. I'm sure I affected a puzzled look, until Dad found twelve apples in my school bag, in varying states of decay. At least it is winter and Joss' fruit and veg had not yet putrified. I'd be terribly cross with her if I could forget that I was exactly the same at her age. I also found this photo on my camera this evening. It is hard to be cross with this face.

I may also be saving up for whatever horrors challenges a teenaged Bethany has in store for us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Olympics

We have had a very productive day. Apart from all the usual day off jobs like washing and cleaning, I made some cards to sell at the Muddi market on the weekend and Andrew and I chose all the floor coverings for our new house and all the bathroom and laundry tiles. Yay for progress even though they haven't started building!

Bethany has been doing lots of Olympic related drawing.

They are obviously still talking about it at school as she did this one for homework.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cake auction

Joss' school had a cake auction today to raise money for the Cancer Council (I think - details regarding the cake aspect abound but not the charity). Everyone was supposed to bring a cake and money. Each year had an auction with their own cakes. Joss' friends pooled their money and bought two cakes to share. This is the cake that Joss and I made for her to contribute. It was a mud cake so didn't really need buttercream icing and smarties, but they fetch more money for being decorated. They raised $6,624.55! Apparently, one boy in year 11 brought in $1000!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Andrew Daddo

The Booranga Writers Centre have a partnership with us where they bring their writers in residence to the library for an author talk. We have had some cool writers like Anita Heiss and Tara June Winch. A lot of the authors though, I haven't heard of. I'm not sure if it is just my age but I was pretty excited to hear that they were bringing Andrew Daddo. The Daddo brothers were legend in my teenage years, or at least the older two were. Cameron Daddo was on a kids' show called Off the Dish and we all fancied him in the way young teenage girls do. Andrew Daddo then came along and he was on a music show called the Factory (I did have to look up the names of these shows, though I remembered the shows themselves).

Andrew went on to do all sorts of television that I didn't watch but he has also written lots of books, mainly for kids, and it was in that capacity that he came to Wagga. You'll be pleased to know that I didn't ask him about Cameron - like, what on earth was that sequel to Anne of Green Gables?! No, I kept all of that to myself.

I was bold enough, however, to ask for a photo. I told him that I felt the need to embarrass myself and ask for a photo because I had been a teenager in the 80s and now have kids at an age to read his books.
He was very nice, though he rejected my Melbourne Breakfast leaf tea as not strong enough. Sadly, I wasn't able to stay and hear him speak as Andrew had a late meeting to go to and the kids were home alone with nothing for dinner!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The amazing Spiderman

Ah, how I love to sleep until I wake naturally. I don't need to sleep in until 10, I'll wake on my own before 8 if I go to bed around midnight, but after a week of getting up at 6, I really appreciate a bit of a sleep in. I also like a coffee to take to church with me. I have always, in the past, used this particular travel mug for tea (it is from T2 after all) and had a little moment where I thought my coffee would overflow. It stopped just in time.

The walk (ride for some) to church was delightful. We have been seeing signs of Spring for ages. I have been stooping low to try and catch the jonquils' scent in the icy mornings but it was floating in the air today. After church we went to the velodrome and I rode around quite a few times and didn't need to hide in the car with my book.

Bethany found a patch of sand in the middle and pretended to do long jump. Milo kept getting in the way. Andrew and Toby rode to the velodrome, around and around the track, and then back home again. So fit.

After the velodrome Toby and I went to the cinema to watch The Amazing Spiderman. I asked whether he wouldn't rather see The Sapphires but no, he had his heart set on Spiderman. He loved it. It was very scary in parts so we had to cuddle up, for me as much as for him. I found it a trifle slow and predictable but I resisted the lure of a book on my phone and enjoyed hanging out with Tobes.

I don't know about you, but I could do with another day in this weekend. Deep breath for another week!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Good friends

If I didn't like the women in my Bible study, I would not have gotten up early on a Saturday morning to have breakfast with them at the Farmers' Market. We were originally going to meet there for brunch at 10.30, but I had to be at the museum at 11 and a few others had things to do in the morning as well so they settled on 8am. Thankfully, the line for the coffee is very short at that hour and we also got a bacon and egg roll very quickly.

Andrew did soccer and netball duty alone (no joy there for any of the kids this week) and I went up to the museum for the launch of Sonya's Now and Then exhibition. Not being a museum person, I don't really understand how you have a launch a good many weeks after it actually opened, but I imagine there is a reason for it.

Sonya used a few of the library's photos for her project and this is the one that made it into the exhibition. She worked with Year 10 students to line up an old photo with the subject as it is now. At the launch, the student spoke about why she chose this photo and how hard it was to line it up properly. I spoke about the history of the bridge and the original photo.

This is Tina from the museum with Sonya. You can't tell from any of my photos, but there were lots of people there!

Joss went to a very long birthday party this afternoon and came home with purple hair, covered in glitter. She had a wonderful time. They need to be good friends to pull off a six hour birthday party!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Piano man

You may remember that Toby had his piano exam last week. He was hoping to get a B because the examiner he had is a very hard marker who doesn't hand out As very often. Today, Toby found out that he got an A plus! All the nervousness was worth it and we're very proud of him.

Bethany's class performed at the Junior School assembly this afternoon. She was very excited that Andrew and I could both make it to see her on stage.

They sang a song about Jesus and Zacchaeus. The kids dressed in green were Zacchaeus and climbed on the chairs and held branches. Because the whole room is lit, the kids could see their parents and wave.

As a little celebration, Toby and I are going to see The Amazing Spiderman together. Joss and Andrew went on the weekend when Toby was ill. I confess that I'd rather be seeing The Sapphires, but it wasn't me who got the A. I'll try not to read Bleak House on my phone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Birdsong delayed

I have not been watching the Olympics. To be frank, they bore me. I can't muster any enthusiasm for people trying to be the fastest, highest, longest, most accurate. Flicking from one sport to another is annoying too. There was one race that I would have watched, the road race with all the riders from le Tour de France, but they played a few minutes of it then went to something else. So, I didn't even get to see Cavendish not win and blame the Aussies. The whinging is the best bit. If you come second when you wanted to come first, tears are your only option, except maybe a bit of sulking. There's nothing like working with one purpose for 14 years and then having it be all over in 24 seconds. Sport, I just don't get it.

I may not be watching, but the Olympics are certainly playing on my television because Andrew and Toby are right into them. Last Sunday night, when the first show I wanted to watch in months was on (Birdsong), the Olympics were on too and I looked at the time at 8.45. I got a bit cross and then just thought I would catch up on iView. I have finally sat down at my laptop to do just that, and discovered that the ABC does not have the online rights to Birdsong! Now I have to make my library buy it! There are some very cross people on the iView forum, suggesting that the ABC should let us know when a programme is not going to appear on iView. It seems lots of people were caught out as I was. I am not going to complain about iView because, disappointing as this particular situation is, I love iView very much and do not want them to take it away. I heard a fellow from the ABC speak at a library conference once and he told us how expensive it is for them so no complaining!

Bethany did weaving in her art class this afternoon. What a great use for the hula hoop!

I might just watch Bleak House again.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A couple of long days

I don't procrastinate very much these days. I have, on the whole, learnt that it is much better to just get on with things. Somehow, between realising that my e-reader class needed to be completely rewritten, and my having to give the class, I found myself with rather less time than I had hoped. Mondays are my long work day, I am there for ten hours, and I really thought I would get a lot done. Our staff meeting and organising job interviews ended up taking until lunch. In order to make sure I got the whole talk written,  I went to work at 8 this morning and worked non-stop (I ate at my computer, I wouldn't not eat!) until the class was delivered to the 40 people who came and we had packed up again, by 5.30.

I should have an early night, but probably won't. I want to finish The Girl at the Lion d'Or.

On my way home I caught a waft of my favourite flower. I usually have to bend down and sniff them so I was surprised to catch it in the air.

Lots and lots of jonquils! It's a shame they don't last longer.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bleak House

Yes, Toby definitely has Bethany's virus. He woke with a fever and so he and Andrew stayed home from church. Over the day I managed to get a lot of cooking and the rest of the job applications done. It's always good to start the week feeling like you have accomplished something but it is important to do fun things with the kids so Bethany, Joss and I decided on makeovers.

Obviously, I wasn't planning on going anywhere. Check out the vibrant blues in Bethany's hand! I think, when you are eight years old and have an........ exuberant personality, more is more.

Sadly, my hair offers little potential for change. Joss watched, highly amused, and took selfies while I was being done.

Ta da! The lighting does not allow you to see the full pink and purple effect on the eyes, or the Japanese raked garden effect in the hair. Shame.

Jossie and I took one eye each on Bethany and she wasn't interested in anything subtle. I ended up making her eyebrow blue.

Sitting on the edge of the bath was a little precarious. Joss soon tired of Bethany "accidentally" falling in.

I had rather hoped that Joss, who actually has some skill in the area, might do a makeover on me next but she had lost interest so Bethany had another go. I suggested browns might be a nice change. She branched out and put long curlicues coming off the outer edges of my eyelids. My eyes look like they have a handlebar moustache.

I have also managed, over the last week, to watch all of Bleak House. Love, love, love, love, love.