Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chris Tucker is following me

After Bethany's nasty night of illness last week, she and I spent a quiet day in the rumpus room. She watched a lot of DVDs and I tried to have  nap in a beanbag and keep Bethany hydrated. I do not recommend the Hydralite ice blocks in the blackcurrant flavour. Bethany says she would rather be sick than  eat those. While Bethany watched Anne of Green Gables for the first time (she loved it, which is lucky because something would be wrong if she didn't!), I watched Silver Linings Playbook on my laptop.

On the library's book club Facebook page, my friend Anne had shared a Tumblr post about hating the endings of books. My favourite gif was from Silver Linings Playbook where the fellow closes the book, swears and throws it out the window. That pretty much sums up how I felt at the end of Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance - the most depressing book I ever finished. Anne recommended the movie so I borrowed it from the library.

The film was a bit bleak, but I enjoyed seeing Chris Tucker, after I worked out where I knew him from. Chris Tucker plays Ruby Rhod in one of my favourite movies, The Fifth Element. A few days later, Andrew, who did not watch Silver Linings with me, decided it was time to initiate Joss into the joys of The Fifth Element, which we haven't watched for years.

Ruby Rhod

We tried to enthuse Joss by telling her that Bilbo (Ian Holm) and Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) were in it, but she wasn't overly impressed by that. She tolerated the movie, in that singular, teenaged way where I think she really liked it but didn't want to show animation. She was impressed enough by Chris Tucker to look him up online, once the movie was over. I turned the DVD off and whose face should appear on screen but Chris Tucker's?! Rush Hour, with Jackie Chan, was on! I'm not up for a Jackie Chan movie, I'm afraid, but it was all a bit spooky. I haven't even thought about the man for years and then see him three times in one week!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Night on the Town

Last night Bethany and I went to see Oliver, the musical Andrew has been playing in. We didn't have time to go out beforehand, but we made it special by dressing up.

I managed to get seats in the very front row, which Bethany was super excited about. Oliver Twist is not my favourite Dickens story. I fawn all over Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations and David Copperfield, but Bethany declared Oliver her favourite show (she includes the movie in that). I was thrilled to discover that while getting home at 10pm would have made her rather difficult in times past, she went to bed and got up again this morning (almost) trouble free.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


It's not green, but we're getting much closer!

I haven't taken a photo of it, but the progress that braces can make in a short space of time is amazing. Joss has had them on for over a year, and some changes have been gradual, but yesterday afternoon some new fiddlings were made and by the evening a gap had closed significantly! No wonder they hurt. You'll be pleased to know that Joss worked through the pain to eat her crumbed cutlets, a rare dinner treat she wasn't going to miss out on.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mixed bag

Last week was a bit of a mixed bag. After a lovely Bible study dinner, Bethany came out around 11pm, feeing unwell. It got very nasty from there and resulted in little to no sleep for Bethany or me. I did discover that our carpet is very comfy, as far as carpet goes. I stayed home with her on Wednesday and, because I had to go to Sydney on Thursday, Andrew worked from home then. Bethany went back to school on Friday, perfectly recovered.

Toby went to a cosplay and movie party on Friday night. He went as Jake from Adventure Time.

I had no idea who that was, but when Andrew and Bethany went to the Wagga Show, they bought Toby a Jake show bag, so he had a beanie, backpack, watch and socks. Joss' old netball shirt is just that shade of yellow, too. I must be really old, because I couldn't work out who any of the kids were dressed as.

On Saturday morning we all went down to the Farmers' Market for bacon and egg rolls. We ran into lots of people, saw a quirky street march with the army band, a roller derby team (!?), jazz clubs from other towns and corseted ladies. Security was pretty lax, in front of one of the jazz clubs, we saw Steve and  Jane's son, Archie, marching by himself. Good on him for joining in the fun!

Bethany left the markets with a friend, Andrew played in the band for the matinee of Oliver, and Joss and Toby were in the audience. Bethany and I are going to see it on Wednesday night, can't wait. Joss and Toby still weren't home by the time I had to leave for the annual school bush dance. Last year's was so dramatic with the collapse of a school mum. It was scary at the time, the ambulance took ages to come, and she was in hospital for weeks. It rather took the shine off the event for me, and I wasn't really looking forward to going again.

The year three children were all required, however, to play violin with the band. That's how they get you!
Concentrating hard
There were plenty of people there, and I sat with friends and had a 'steak' sandwich, so it wasn't too bad. Bethany wasn't all that keen on the dancing and I am more of a free style, solo, embarrassing type of dancer. I find the sort of dancing that you have to explain for twenty minutes before you start, a bit frustrating. So, Bethany and I did a wee jig by ourselves and headed home.

The bow. 
Sunday was a sleep in before church, friends over and friends' houses after church, and more Oliver for Andrew. The weekend had that great balance between getting things done around the house and having fun. Before we know it, the weekend will be here again.........

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In the car

I haven't always looked forward to long drives. Having children who aren't brilliant travellers has certainly contributed to that and I have discovered the joy of a long car drive, or two, all by myself. On Saturday morning, at 6, I hopped into the car I packed the night before and started driving. My cousin Michael and his fiance Sanam were having a Sydney celebration before their Dubai wedding in December. I went to get Burial Rites out of its case, but found that I hadn't unlocked it when I borrowed it - silly! So, I put Anita Brookner's A Family Romance in, one of eight discs, and headed off.

It was only 7.30 by the time I got to the Jugiong turnoff, so I didn't go to The Long Track Pantry, assuming it would not yet be open. I stopped at Goulburn for a coffee and just bought it and kept going. You can make such good time when you are alone!

It had been four degrees when I left Wagga, but by the time I got to Pheasant's Nest, I could feel and hear summer. The cicadas were loud enough to hear while driving and the heat radiated off the windows. It was most disconcerting as we have not had hot weather in Wagga. The air was hazy once I reached the outskirts of Sydney and that, along with the traffic was quite oppressive. The cicadas became menacing as I realised what it would have been like during the recent fires.

I tuned the book off to concentrate as I drove through the Sydney traffic, and again from the motorway down to Kincumber - I really appreciate living in the country when I have to do urban driving. The tension melted away when I pulled up at Tim and Shona's house, before lunch!

Missing Phil, ready for the wedding.
Dad drove us down to Mosman and we had a lovely time at the yacht club, drinking champagne and catching up with family and friends. Then, a surprise, Tim called us onto the sand for a real wedding!

Those of us in heels removed them, even the lovely bride.
Tim did such a wonderful job. A few tears were shed and a great time was had by all. I was most impressed because the wedding cake was a stack of delicious cheeses! Yay, no sugar!

On Sunday morning Tim went off to the first two of his three services, and the rest of us went down to Avoca for breakfast.

This breakfast fueled me for the long drive, and I finally got my coffee at The Long Track Pantry. Andrew and the kids had done shopping and washing so I had very little to do to prepare for the week ahead. The weekend away was completely worth it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lost and Found

I tend to consider the job of taking Joss and Tobes to cycling as man stuff. The cyclists need to be pushed off, a job for the fathers, mostly, and one Joss and Tobes really don't want to leave to me. I am also at sea when it comes to knowing if tyres need pumping or other technical matters. Sometimes, however, the kids and I just need to suck it up because Andrew isn't available and I have to load the bikes onto a rack and take them to the velodrome.

Of course, I really enjoy watching them race, I'm just not very good at the other stuff. On Monday afternoon Andrew was going to be late so I started loading up the bike rack and got a surprise when I discovered Joss' track bike had no pedals. Joss has one pair of the type of pedals that cleats click into and Andrew puts them on her road bike on the weekends. I had a quick try at getting the pedals off, but  I wasn't confident so I put Joss' road bike on the rack as well, thinking that someone would help me when we got there. We arrived at cycling and on closer inspection, I realised that I could manage to get the pedals off but got a very nasty shock when I found that the bike only had one wheel!

Andrew came to take over cycling parent duties and Bethany and I hit the road to look for the wheel. We got all the way home and then back to cycling again with no sign of it. We we heading home again when I looked into some bushes at the side of a roundabout and there it was! We were pretty impressed with our rescue mission on the Olympic Highway.

It was complicated by the fact that you can't park on the highway and the side street seemed to say No Parking as well. I say 'seemed' because I find this sign confusing. Is it saying that vehicles under 4.6 tonnes are accepted? Accepted to park, or excepted from the No Parking sign?

On Tuesday I had the first of many trips to Sydney this month. I went for a fabulous seminar on the future of libraries. Claire and I went looking for somewhere to eat lunch and chose Azuma in Chifley Plaza as we used to go to another Azuma restaurant, no longer there, while we were at library conferences. It was so very delicious and we didn't need dinner. Yes, that is a justification for having gone to a fancy restaurant instead of the food hall.