Saturday, June 30, 2012


This morning posed a bit of a challenge. Andrew was due at the convention to rehearse the music from twenty past eight, so no sleep in. We do so enjoy a Saturday morning sleep in (your time will come Janice!). I drove Andrew to the school and in the fifteen minutes I was gone, Bethany managed to spill around 1 litre of milk all over the kitchen - amazing splatter! I cleaned that up and Toby and I drove to Junee for soccer, half an hour away - thankfully a friend was able to pick Bethany up and taker her to her game.

I really enjoyed the drive with Toby, the countryside is lovely and the sun was out. Toby scored two goals in the first five minutes but that was the end of their good fortune for that half. The other side scored four goals. In the second half Toby was goalie and he made some awesome saves and only let one really high ball in. So, they lost, but it was fun and I texted Kristy, who lives in Old Junee, even if I couldn't go and see her. I did see her Simon and Jack as they were there for soccer too!

In the afternoon we went to see Sonya's exhibition. It's a fabulous collection of images where people hold up an old photo and match it up with the same building/place/person now. The kids can only muster so much enthusiasm for such things so we also had a look at the beekeeping exhibition. Bethany did look cute as an apiarist but then she, Joss and Tobes fought over the honeycomb hideyhole. Combined with the scary fact that Bethany was 10 pounds 7 (how did we get on to that?), Sonya will be well and truly put off children!

When's your birthday Sonya? I'll make you a rainbow cake, any flavour you like :)

Friday, June 29, 2012


Yay! Lots of things to celebrate! Toby and Bethany brought their reports home yesterday and we were very pleased with them. Tradition dictates that we go out to dinner so we tried an Italian restaurant we haven't been to before, up our end of the main street. We could have walked but didn't. Bethany put makeup on and was in excellent spirits.

After our pizza we walked a couple of blocks up to Gelatissimo for the kids to have some gelato and after walking back to the car, Toby and I kept going and walked home. Living in town is super!

Today was the last day of school for three weeks and, as it is Bethany's birthday next Sunday, I made a cake for her to share with her class. I made a cream cheese pound cake and she requested the rainbow.

This evening Andrew organised the music and played in the band at the Riverina Christian Convention and Jossie went too, as that was what youth group was doing. That left the rest of us with no car so it was very good timing that Kids' Club was at Oasis (the pool) so we could walk. It was hot and humid in there but the kids had a ball. Toby is the little white flash with a green stripe.

Bethany is confident enough for me to have been able to read. I finished Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It was great, I do like a bit of literary science fiction. Now I have to reread The Poisonwood Bible for book club and have the Alex Miller that is up for the Prime Minister's Literary Award, I think it's called Autumn Laing.

What are you reading at the moment?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meaty fingers

When a person talks non-stop, they will, inevitably, cover some odd ground. Bethany was talking to me the other day about feeding giraffes. She asked me whether, if she put fed a giraffe by hand, the giraffe might eat her hand off. I told her that giraffes are vegetarian and don't eat meat. She looked perplexed for a second and then asked "Is my hand made of meat?" When I told her that she was, in fact, pretty much all meat, she was so excited that she ran off, shouting to the whole house (and anyone in the general vicinity) "I didn't know I was made of meat!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New face

Having had the same, red and black, almost like a superhero mask from The Incredibles, glasses for the last three years, my new green and black glasses make me feel like I have a new face.

Silly really, seeing as lots of people don't even notice.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Middle School's got talent

We're home late from school tonight because Toby had an evening event - Middle School's Got Talent. It wasn't a talent quest, there were no winners. The MPC (multi-purpose centre) was decorated with students' artwork, trophies and anything else they are proud of. Some kids played an instrument, some sang, one did standup comedy (!) and there were quite a few dramas/skits.

One major drama was the fact that they never sorted the sound out! I think a little too much responsibility was given to the students and not enough supervision because we heard very little dialogue and some poor singers and dancers had to stand, nervously waiting while their music was found.

Toby and some of his classmates performed a little play that was written for an assignment they did on China. Toby was very nervous and wouldn't stand still for a photo. Calvin was cool.

I let Bethany have the camera for a while and I think Hannah took this photo of her. They were totally engaged with what was happening on stage, obviously.

Toby's character was called Chucky Chan and he had sooo many lines. He remembered them all and did a wonderful job. He is a perfectionist, though (didn't get that from me) and wasn't pleased with his performance.

Bethany had the camera at this stage as I was filming it on my phone for Andrew who is in Sydney.

Nelly acted as well and was very professional. Not only did she project her voice but her moustache was perfect.

I'm not sure a late night was exactly what we were after at this stage of the week, but what can you do? Toby and Bethany have three weeks of holidays, starting next week, so they can catch up then. I'm having one and a half weeks off and we're going to Melbourne! We'll see the Ks, we'll see the twins, we'll see the people who live with the twins! (Poor P, K and C, it's hard to outshine two year old twins ;).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Activities Week

Joss left for three days in Canberra this morning. At the end of third term, the years 7-9 kids have activities week where they can go somewhere out of town (the options were Melbourne and Canberra this time) or stay in Wagga and do day trips to different things. These activities all cost money, of course, and we told Joss at the beginning of the year that she would not be going on the expensive trips every time. I think she and her friends must have gotten together to strategise because she came home with only one permission slip, for the Canberra trip, and said that all her friends were going, please, just this once, we'll stay in Wagga next time.

We fell for it and she and all her, admittedly lovely, friends are in Canberra this evening. They are ice-skating as I write. Tomorrow night, after a day at the zoo and aquarium and National Portrait Gallery, they are off to the cinema to see Snow White and the Huntsman. What a life!  Here she is, in the very wooden kitchen, ready to head off on her adventure.

We realise now how much she is growing up. We weren't inundated with notes from school about the trip. There was no list of what she had to pack. She attended a few meetings and had the whole thing under control. She attempted a little more manipulation. Apparently she is the only one on the whole trip without a phone. We did not fall for this one. It's good to be different!

We also realised this afternoon, that we rely on her. She usually walks Toby and Bethany home from their bus stop, over the very busy road-with-no-crossing. Andrew had a meeting this afternoon so he picked them up from the bus stop and dropped them off to the library where they lounged in beanbags and read.

Coming to the library is a special treat for my kids because Margot saves them special things and they both went home with goodies! Bethany was especially taken with the fingerless gloves. One says 'good' and the other 'bad'. Very apt.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rainbow Drive

We dropped the rainbow cake up to Estella yesterday and stopped off at our block of land on Rainbow Drive. There is nothing there yet, our plans are almost finished but not yet at council. Only one house on the street has been started. Estella still feels like home.

Andrew and Bethany stood where Bethany's bedroom will be.

At the moment, there are cows across the road!

There is a lovely view down the hill to town, but that will go when the hill fills with houses.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


This was the design request I received. I thought it might be really hard to neatly ice one half in pink and the other in purple and that it would take away from the rainbow. Perhaps, a wee bit, I just didn't want to fuss around trying to make it neat! So I compromised with a pinky purple all over.

If anyone wants my method for sprinkling a rainbow, just ask. I tried a lot of things last time I had to do the rainbow but I have it all sorted now. Our new street in Estella is Rainbow Drive.

I need a better method for sprinkling silver cachous though. Those babies went everywhere.

Lucky there were dogs in the house to eat them off the floor. OK, I confess, Toby and Bethany ate them off the floor. Desperate for sugar, those two.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I heart cake

Little girls are not known for having the most sophisticated taste. I am making a birthday cake for a friend's daughter and she requested a heart shaped marble cake, half with pink icing, half purple, a sprinkle rainbow in the middle and silver cachous everywhere else. Too much? Silver cachous have a tendency to shed their silver if left in icing for long so I'll ice it tomorrow. For tonight, I content myself with making the huge, pink, blue and yellow cake.

Jossie and I had fun yesterday walking from our house to the optometrist to get our eyes tested. Many unattractive selfies were taken. I have had my red and black glasses for three years now. One of my eyes is becoming less short sighted but the astigmatism in the other is getting worse. So, new glasses for me! My last pair of glasses was red too, what will I wear now?

You'll have to wait to find out because they aren't ready yet.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My friend Maame has almost finished her thesis so she will be going home to Ghana soon. That's very good news for her as she has been away for so long and got married one holidays, leaving her husband at home to finish her studies. She went home at Christmas time and came back pregnant so she needs to go home to have her baby! It's sad news for me, though, because I will miss her and I won't see the baby.

I'm trying to see her a lot before she goes, so this evening I took her to a stamping class at Liz' house. We had such fun.

Maame, who hasn't done much stamping, was very impressed with herself for making a couple of fabulous cards. I only remembered to photograph one of them.

Maame bought me a beautiful outfit from Ghana and I would put it on and show you only this is really, really not the right weather for it. Give me a few months.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Big Chill

It was less than zero degrees when the kids and I walked to the bus stop this morning. I had to finish setting up for a fabulous seminar with Ellen from the State Library, which started at nine, so I kept walking so as to be nice and early.

There is a lot of tree cover in Central so the frost is very patchy as I walk down the street. When I get to the open spaces of the Victory Memorial Gardens, it almost looked like snow!

The sun, though pale and weak, melts the frost very quickly and the mist rises off the lagoon. Such pretty sights distract me from the fact that my fingers were frozen, despite the leather gloves!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I had a great day at work today. The NSW Readers Advisory Working Group meeting was held in Wagga so lots of the people I work with in the group, but don't get to actually see very often, came to town, several of them from Sydney. It was great to see them and we also Skyped a librarian in Denmark (poor fellow got up at 1am to chat with us) and a couple of librarians in Queensland. We worked out the themes for the Twitter reading group next year. Seeing as Ellen came all the way from the State Library, she is staying to run a seminar on future reference (as in reference work in libraries) tomorrow. Can't wait!

I forgot to take photos today so instead, I'll repost today's post on Love2Read. I can because I wrote it :)

I am a highly emotional person. I laugh easily and often, tears are always just under the surface. I get very involved in what I read (and watch) so there are some books I have come away from with an intense feeling of dislike because they made me either too scared or terribly depressed. Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance is my least favourite of all the books I have finished (I’m sure I have started books I have disliked more but did not persevere with them) because the ending was so wrist-slittingly depressing. You often find it on a top 100 list.
Stephen King’s horror books are also favourites for many and I did read them as a teenager but what I liked about them was not the scary story but the way he wrote about American life. I rather lost my taste for America once I hit my twenties, and do not enjoy being scared, so haven’t read Stephen King since, though I have very much enjoyed quotes attributed to him about Harry Potter!
If you like to be frightened, there are so many options!
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
1984 by George Orwell
Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the classic regency romance – now with ultra-violent zombie mayhem by Seth Grahame-Smith
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Forever Odd by Dean Koontz
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Don’t get me started on movies, I can’t watch those or I’d never sleep!
Which stories have frightened you?

My turn

Ok - so it's been an age since I posted anything, but since Amy was a little concerned about the blog becoming "All about Amy" I thought I'd take the focus of her for a bit.

Actually I have been procrastinating going to bed for some stupid reason, so I thought I'd post a photo of a drawing Bethany spent a fair bit of time on this afternoon. No homework got done, but she worked on this little chibi for ages, so it's only fair she receives a little online glory.

Actually, the reason I'm up so late and wide awake is that I've got too much music going through my head. I've been really privileged to play in the band for the show Amy mentioned yesterday. We knocked over about 26 tunes from many musicals including Rent, Boy from Oz, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, My Fair Lady and more. We also did tunes by Robbie Williams, Beyonce and the finale was Bohemian Rhapsody. I've done some good gigs in my time, but these cats can play! All the muso's are legends in their own right, and it was a challenge but a joy to gig with them. And the talent is Wagga continues to astound me - there is talent here that more than rivals anything you could find in the major cities.

And now that that gig is done, I have a trad jazz gig early July, a very cool monthly groove factory gig at one of the pubs, the odd jazz quartet functions with some muso's from the Kapooka Army band, a convention to organise the music for at the end of June, and a couple of students looking for a teacher. Bring it on I say! Here's a shot from my seat in the theatre taken during sound check on Sat night, and a shot from a rehearsal - love rehearsing at Billy Hydes!

Ok that's it - g'night.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Birthday June

There have been an awful lot of birthdays at the library this month. Still, you can't help but muster enthusiasm for Jeannie's birthday tomorrow. She is only turning 25, or some number similarly tiny, so it is only right that she should try out one of the tunnels that arrived in the mail today.

Forty year old women should not do things that are this inelegant.

I look like I am having fun, but actually, it smelled hideous and made my knees hurt....sigh.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wagga is making a movie! Well, someone wants to make a movie in Wagga, called Backyard Ashes (the title is about cricket if there are any American readers). In order to raise the funds for such a project, they put on a huge show at the Civic Theatre with local talent. Andrew played keyboard and trumpet in the band and they had one show last night and the other this afternoon. Jossie, Toby and I went this afternoon.

It was a mammoth spectacular! Songs from every musical, other popular songs. They started with awesome trumpet action in a Stevie Wonder song and ended with the whole cast doing Bohemian Rhapsody. I was worried Toby would get a bit bored as it went for three whole hours (we didn't even try Bethany, Jane very kindly minded her) but he loved it. It was great to see Andrew on stage and the trumpet is so cool. The following photo is of his name on the credits!

Ah, Saturday, not what I expected. I thought we were going to have a really quiet day. After a few weekends with markets (fun, but so much work) or marking, I saw this weekend as clean and free.

We drove Toby and Andrew out to Forest Hill for Toby's soccer match and I watched Bethany's back in town. Bethany and I met Toby and Andrew at the Civic Theatre where Andrew had more rehearsals and the kids and I went to Jossie's netball. We watched it in the rain. Hot chips were required. I was standing with one foot hooked around the other, as I often do, and when Bethany leaned heavily against me, cold in her soccer gear, I fell right over and got very wet. We neither of us reacted very well to this event.

On the way back from netball, now after midday, I told the kids we could just stay in all the long, wet afternoon. Then I remembered the Kids' Church training afternoon and Jossie was invited out for her second sleepover in as many nights. So, I took two unwilling kids up to church while Jossie stayed home and unpacked her bag of Friday night's clothes and repacked it for Saturday night.

I came home from training and took Jossie and her friend Kate who lives out of town at Ladysmith (30k out on the way to Sydney) and drove them half an hour out of town to another farm! They worked out that, of their group of friends, Joss is the only one who doesn't live on a farm. I foresee a lot of driving in my future.

Adelaide lives in a farm house worthy of Australian Country Style. The four girls were sleeping in the loft - a huge room above their garage with five beds, all made up with reds and pinks, with climbing roses on the walls outside and windows looking out to the country garden.

Andrew came home for a little while, time enough to recharge and change for the three hour show. Toby watched the X-Men movie he was up to and Bethany drew with water colour pencils. I was going to make cards but decided to clean instead. Not the quiet day I expected but filled with little moments of joy. Jossie's team won their third game in a row (they weren't what you'd call a winning team last year), Bethany loved a new hairstyle and Toby enjoyed playing with the kids at the training I went to. I went to bed satisfied with a clean house and slept deeply.

I seem to have become one of those frightfully boring and self important people who think that everyone wants to know every detail about their lives. Sorry about that....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Photo day

I put photo day in my diary with exclamation marks. I didn't want to forget to send the kids in their sports uniform a day early (I'm not sure why they didn't just put photo day on a non-sport day) or to forget to wash their uniforms so they'd look smart, at least when they left home. I also wanted to make sure that I'd put some effort into dealing with Toby's Harry Potter hair and that Bethany's would also be done neatly. All this we achieved and we were out the door in time to walk to the bus stop. When we got to the end of the street I remembered that the main reason I put photo day in my diary was to remember to send the photo forms in with the kids!

Milo and I raced back home, found the forms, found a credit card, filled in details, ripped off parts and stuffed them into the other part that turns into an envelope and raced back out to the kids. We had to run the whole way! We made it with enough time to do a practice run.

Andrew had worked on their smiles before we left. Toby's code word was 'Regina', I think it came from an episode of Who's Line, and Bethany's was 'pumpernickel'. They seemed to work at the bus stop, even when the kids where puffed from the sprint. Let's hope the professional shots turn out well.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I finished my marking this afternoon, there are no markets this weekend. I can sleep in soon! I can watch TV.... but there is nothing on. Now that I have the freedom I am coming down with a cold. I think I'll hop into bed and read. I have a choice of four books - One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Mao's Last Dancer and Of Human Bondage (interminably long when read on the Kobo). I might read a bit of each.

My garden seems to be confused. Aren't they supposed to come up in Spring? Not that I am complaining, jonquils are my favourite flower. The curls in the corner? They belong to Milo.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


If, along with your umbrella and sharp, pointy nailfile, you remove your diary from your bag for ease of plane travel, and you leave it on the kitchen table, do not be surprised to find that someone has drawn in it!

Not one picture, but many.

Bethany, the manga style vandal.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The big wet

Um, if you look really closely, you can see mist on the road. It was eerie.

It was early! That isn't a black background, that is my phone, outside, in the cold, dark morning. Such is required for a day at the State Library.

Of course, it only takes an hour in the plane so we were early for the seminar and went for a walk in Hyde Park while the weather held.

By the time the seminar was finished the weather had well and truly turned. I was sorry that I had taken my umbrella out so my book would fit more easily.

We went to see the altered book exhibition in the Mitchell Library before realising that it was getting dark and I had a plane to catch and tea to purchase.

There was no need to rush as T2 was not packed, the trains were running on time and the planes were not. I got home at 9pm. It was a good day, even if I got a wee bit tired in the middle and even fell asleep once. I know that because my notes said "or" but what followed was just a little squiggle. I'm sure the alternative was not worthwhile. Now, to avoid a repeat after lunch tomorrow, I had best get organised and go to bed.