Monday, October 29, 2012


It isn't much. In fact, technically, there is less rather than more, but work has begun on our block!

Drama on the dance floor

Toby and Bethany's school held a bush dance on Saturday night. Toby insisted that he didn't want to go, and Andrew and I weren't exactly thrilled with the prospect, but Bethany was desperate to be there! She had been practising hard with her class and wanted to use her new skills. On Saturday morning she showed me three of the dances she had practised and I had to inform her that they weren't bush dances at all! The Hokey Pokey, the chicken dance and the Macarena!

Thankfully, we were spared the chicken dance and the Macarena (they may have been played before we arrived). After protesting that he did not want to go, Toby had a great time dancing. Here he is, dancing a very complicated dance with Shep and Nelly. He looked serious the whole time, I think he was concentrating on his next move, but I could tell he was loving it.

After we had dinner and before Andrew and I managed to get up and dance, a lady who has had children in all of my three's classes, collapsed, right in front of our table. The ambulance was called and I thought it took about an hour to get there ( we were only at the school, not out of town), though Andrew thinks it was only twenty minutes or so. If it had been more serious, that would have been far too long. I had to move away at one point because it got a bit nasty and Bethany is sensitive in that area too, so we went outside.

After the ambulance finally came and took her to hospital, we thought the evening might just stop, but the band got up again and we all danced another complicated, and therefore hilarious, dance. Andrew ended up being Toby's partner on the girls' side, so he got to dance with all the boys in our set. Shep was my partner and Andrew, Nelly and I kept messing with his head by swapping so he never knew who he was going to get at the end of the line. Bethany was in another set with her dance teacher and we finished up with a huge circle for the Hokey Pokey. Such fun!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Hayfever, such a terrible thing! I really love living in the country. I can think of no reason why I would ever move back to a city, but the hayfever is very trying. The Children's Medial Research Institute markets have been going for 29 years in Wagga and are a great tradition. There are stall holders from all over, some even come down from Sydney to attend.

We went for the first time last year and found it very worthwhile, so I took flex leave yesterday and spent it at the race course with our cards. The weather is a bit odd, we were cold for most of the day and the wind blew in fierce gusts. We have been doing markets for long enough now that most of our props stand up pretty well and keep all our paper from blowing away, but the doors did fall on me once, and then on Liz, right at the end of the day.

The wind covered everything in a fine layer of dust and, given the symptoms I am still feeling, bucket loads of pollen. It was a good day, none the less. Today, after popping in first thing to set up, then spending three quarters of an hour trying to locate either of the two cars that parked me in, I came home again, leaving the stall to Liz and Megan. We're doing new house stuff today. One day, hopefully soon, we'll have real progress to report on that front!

In the mean time, here are some photos of our stall yesterday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Class Captain

Every child in the class had to write a speech, saying why they ought to be class captain. Toby and I wrote his together, ready for Friday. They ran out of time on Friday so he didn't do it. He didn't do it on Monday either, so after being worked up about it for days, he finally delivered his speech yesterday afternoon and everyone voted. Then, it was the end of school and the votes hadn't been counted!

I sent Toby to school this morning nervous about the outcome and as I walked towards him at the bus stop, I thought the fact that he was not running was a bad sign, but then I saw his grin. His class mates voted him to be class captain! Here is his speech:

How would you describe the perfect class captain? They would be kind, generous, a good sport. They must strive for accuracy, be a good friend to every one, they must trust in God and put him first in life. They should be blonde, have blue eyes, and be about this tall. Maybe they should be called Toby.

My name is Toby Heap and I believe I should be your class captain but first, let me tell you a bit about myself. I live with my mum and dad and 2 sisters, Jossie and Bethany. My hobbies are soccer, reading, cycling, eating, eating and some more eating. My strongest subject in school is maths.

I would like to be class captain because it is a good opportunity to develop leadership skills. It will be good experience and training for later in life because God would want us all to be leaders. It would be a good chance to encourage the year to be the best year 5 ever!

Firstly, I believe I should be class captain because I try my hardest at every thing I do. I love to try new things and I always give it my all. This is how I found most of my talents. As class captain, I will be giving every thing a go and I will try my hardest in them.

Secondly, I believe I should be class captain because I am friendly and get on with lots of people. I don't play favourites and I have a wide circle of friends (not just boys). I believe in treating people fairly and the way that I would like to be treated. God made and loves us all and wants us to love each other.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I am a Christian and trust in Jesus. I go to church twice on Sunday with my family and I go to Kids club on Friday. Recently, I was invited to talk to my church (St Aidan’s Presbyterian church) about kids club. I have decided to read a chapter of the bible every night to learn more about Jesus.

Fourthly and finally, I believe I should be class captain because I have represented the school in competitions and piano. I have been involved in spelling and maths tests, and have competed in lots of eisteddfods. In this year’s eisteddfod, I came first in two solo sections and third in a duet.

In conclusion, I would like this opportunity to serve year five as class captain and I believe I would be a good representative of our class.

VOTE FOR PEDRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean Toby. 10 points if you know which movie that’s from.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


While we are living in town, one of Bethany's favourite things to do is go to the shops with Mum or Dad. We popped in to Myer after Fusion12 yesterday and she insisted I take this photo of her with a candy cane.

This afternoon I took her to Spotlight. She hadn't been before and found lots of exciting things.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I forgot, until after I blogged last night, that Joss had a birthday party at 9 this morning and we hadn't bought a present yet! So no sleep in, but it has been a delightful day. Like yesterday, it was bright and sunny, pleasant in the shade. A great day for a celebration of all the different people who live in Wagga, at the multicultural festival, called Fusion 12.

Food stalls with Sudanese, Polish, Indian, Sri Lankan, Burmese, Thai, Singaporean, Lebanese and Australian food. The Aussie food was a sausage sizzle run by the Men's Shed!

You could get henna tattoos and there were rides and jumping castles.

My favourite bit was the music and dance. At other times in the day they had artists representing Scotland, India, Myanmar and the Philippines but we got to see some extraordinary African dancing.

I'm so pleased that country Australia is now multicultural and that my kids get to grow up in a diverse environment.

I'm expecting a very cool change this evening. After being very hot in bed last night, I have removed all doonas and put blankets on the beds. I apologise if it brings Winter back for a bit.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's over

I am so relieved to have finally finished marking. I shouldn't have taken on the extra five assignments, particularly as I would end up away for part of the marking period. I came home from Tim and Shona's and stayed up late every night until Wednesday. I dropped them off on Thursday morning and that's that for a long while.

So, to catch up. Bethany came to track racing on Wednesday evening and gathered a crowd. It's her DS they are looking at.

Someone else comes to see. Toby asked her if she saw him win one of his races and she had to confess that she hadn't.

It has gotten hot in the middle of the day so I am very thankful for this avenue of trees that shades me on my way home. Oh dear, summer is coming.

Tomorrow, I am really hoping for a sleep in! Sorry to those for whom sleeping in is a far away dream....

Friday, October 12, 2012

Final moments

Mum and Dad also stayed at Tim and Shona's last night. They brought porchetta and Nigella's potato gratin for dinner, so very delicious. They were also very kind and drove me to the airport this afternoon, saving me long and expensive train trips!

I t was hard to say goodbye. I had such a lovely time and it was a privilege to be able to share some of the early days of a new family of six. Pumpkin and Gumnut are delightful children, lots of fun to play with. Here is Gumnut in two pairs of special shoes.

Oops, I took no photos of Pumpkin this morning! We did go on a long, wet walk to the coffee shop while the twins had their needles. They seem to have gotten over the surprise.

Now I am home and have hit the ground running. Gotta go, so much to do!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I'm only here for one more full day. I'm going to miss these big and little people.

Today, after rejecting a plan to take a three year old to the movies, we had popcorn and a movie at home.

We played with all four children.

We even went to the beach. We didn't actually go onto the beach, preferring the park and then the view from under the trees.

The twins slept beautifully (I hope they do the same tonight, for their parents' sake).

I caught the gumnut throwing his hat away while posing for a photo. He is such a cheeky boy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The land of the little people

I'm having a wonderful time with the big and little people at Tim and Shona's house. They are doing so well with four under four! We have been out to coffee with the twins and they slept through the whole thing.

Pumpkin and Gumnut have been at pre-school so the days have been quiet, though busy with two five week old babies.

The twins are very beautiful and tiny.  The older two are also gorgeous and great talkers!

Gumnut is very proud of his polish.

They are both proud of the twins.

Tomorrow is Tim's day off and everyone will be home. Family day! Such a lovely family they are, too, though I miss Andrew and my 'babies'.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Going away

Mum and Dad are leaving this morning. I would feel very sad except that they are taking me with them. Road trip! It's a shame they won't want to listen to my eighties' music, but then it makes sense that we are not of the same generation, doesn't it?

We packed a lot into their last day. Coffee at The Blessed Bean. Such good coffee it is, too. Bethany assures me that she loooves coffee, but as perking up is the last thing she needs, amongst other reasons, she had a hot chocolate.

We went to Monica and Mike's wedding in the afternoon. Three little girls stood around afterwards, holding Monica's dress up. Given that it would have been hard for them to work out their priorities, it was lucky the dress bride was busy being photographed long enough for them to squeeze in a few brownies, biscuits and fruit before going on dress duty.

Joss went to a birthday party and when I picked her and Hannah up, the car smelled like hairspray. They told me it was deodorant but I don't know why they would be putting that in their hair, even if it was a party.

On Friday afternoon we dropped Toby out to Downside church, an old, irregularly used church in between Wagga and Coolamon, for a Kids' Club camp. All weekend. Can you imagine signing up as a leader, to spend the last weekend of the holidays with primary school aged kids and no electricity or proper toilets? Such dedication! It was raining yesterday too. After dropping Joss home, Andrew and I drove out to Downside Hall where the Kids' Club kids were joining in with the regular bushdance. I danced a few dances with Toby, who got right into it (only one little boy from the group didn't dance), kissed him goodbye and came home to get ready for my trip to muck in at the house of many little people.

Getting up this morning at 7-when-it-feels-like-6 should be good practice for keeping toddler and baby hours for the next week. Andrew won't exactly be relaxing either with a million things going on night and day for him and the kids this week. A quiet life would be dull, wouldn't it?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Library fun

Public libraries during the school holidays!

I did not touch the snake but I have been in one of the tunnels. Sometimes I forget how old I am, and that I am wearing a skirt.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Almost over

Mum and Dad's week in Wagga is almost over. Tomorrow is their last day here. I wasn't at work today because it has been our council's picnic day. I think there is a real picnic involved, but I have never been to it. I love the idea of a paid day off, though!

I found this photo on my phone and it illustrates, amongst other things, the fact that during Mum and Dad's stay, Spring disappeared and Summer arrived. Joss was wearing her dressing gown and I was wearing a velvet jacket earlier this week and we had the heater on at night. Yesterday and today I have been properly hot!

Tim sent this picture to me and Mum. It isn't true of my book club. I won't speak on behalf of Mum's.

Last night we left Joss at home babysitting and went to the Thirsty Crow, a local microbrewery. Mum and Andrew had a pink lady cider and Dad had one of their beers. I had pizza. This was a Sunday roast pizza, with peas and gravy!

This was a very delicious mushroom and bacon pizza.

We have been exercising our stomach muscles by watching Miranda in the evenings. We watched the first series on DVD and the second episode of the second series was on TV tonight. Such fun! How I love Miranda.... After the pizza last night, we went to get some gelato, parking in front of a new clothes shop. Mum knew about it and was telling me what it was like. She got as far as "It's what I call a" when we all fell about laughing. If you don't get it, watch Miranda. It's what I call amusing.