Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Oh dear, I forgot to take any photos on Christmas Day. We had a quiet day, we didn't even make it to church as it started too early and was going to be packed. We had a lovely morning of presents, French toast and bacon and relaxing.

We none of us like traditional Christmas foods. Turkey and ham hold little appeal, prawns even less, so we went for a family favourite, too expensive for every day, lamb cutlets. I made a massive pavlova for dessert, which, given that I don't eat sugar, I thought we would never get through, but the other four enthusiastic dessert eaters managed it over a couple of days.

On Boxing Day we put Joss on the bus for PY summer camp and will pick her up on Thursday evening. By all accounts she is having a wonderful time.

Yesterday, Mim, Bill and the gorgeous Charlie stopped in for lunch on their way back from Christmas in Corowa. The McMillans came too and Andrew's parents also arrived in time for lunch. Everyone left except for Sue and Ron who are here until Saturday.

Like Andrew, Toby has all the present receiving occasions over a short period of the year. It can be hard to think of something to get him for his birthday so soon after Christmas, but this year he said that all he wanted was a ping pong table. The post-Christmas sales are a great time to buy big ticket items like this, so it's happy early birthday to Toby! If any other family members wish to contribute, feel free.....

That high pitched thwack is going to become the new soundtrack to my life. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Work has finished, we are all on holidays. Phew!

This evening we had a carols service at church. Bethany played the violin and sang in the choir of children, Andrew played the keyboard and Toby played the drums in The Little Drummer Boy.

I watched the fellow in front of me who was facing away from the front so he could translate everything into sign language for his mother, in her line of sight.

Now we are watching the carols on TV, so much better than the ones in the Domain. I do hope I haven't missed my favourite carol.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas number one

This year we are having a very quiet Christmas Day. It will be just us. I won't miss the travelling, but I will miss the chaos of a big, family celebration. My brother and his family have travelled from Melbourne to Sydney for Christmas and, delightfully, spent the weekend with us to break the journey and have a pre-Christmas Christmas.

We decorated star biscuits.

There was an awful lot of trampolining.

I think the best part was seeing the cousins enjoy each other's company.

Now, I just need to get through the last day of work, and can start relaxing!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting there

This morning, while I was getting ready for work, I was thinking through what's coming up for us. Bethany has a slumber party tonight, it's Andrew's birthday tomorrow, Joss has friends to sleep over on Thursday and Saturday, Phil, Kristin and the kids are coming the weekend before Christmas. Then it struck me. If tomorrow is Andrew's birthday, then Christmas is next week, which makes the weekend before Christmas THIS weekend! I'm awfully glad I realised that today and not when they arrive on Saturday.

Such odd weather we have been having, hot and sunny then blowing a gale, thunder and lightning. 

This time next week , we'll be watching the carols on Christmas Eve and I will be on holiday. There's an awful lot to do before then, though, so must keep going.

Did anyone watch Death Comes to Pemberley? On the whole, I don't much fancy the classics being messed with. I did, many years ago, read Pride and Promiscuity : The Lost Sex Scenes from Jane Austen, which was very funny, and I quite enjoyed Longbourne. I won't touch anything that messes with Jane Eyre (hang on, I have read Wide Sargasso Sea, but nothing else) and knew about Death Comes to Pemberley, but was not compelled to read it. I didn't think to watch it, either, until I realised it was probably cosy crime, which I enjoy watching. 

I'm not sure Elizabeth and Darcy were quite right (I might have had trouble with Elizabeth having Esther Summerson's face - watch and read Bleak House if you haven't), but other characters were spot on and it was a good story.

I think Milo is very comfortable inside.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Junior School celebration night

It's not presentation night or awards night, it's celebration night and everyone gets to perform and gets an award. It doesn't take as long as it used to do it's much easier to enjoy, though hearing that our local member is attending 17 presentation nights this year, has certainly put any political ambition to death!

Bethany and a boy from her year were chosen to compere the evening and they did a wonderful job. Bethany's award was for excellence in creative writing and diligence in spelling. That's my girl!

That was on Tuesday night. Last night I picked up Joss and Toby from their surfing trips so today the long, summer holidays officially begin! As usual, I am about to go to work, but am enjoying the fact that I made only one lunch, will wake no one up and get no one ready for the bus. Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Estella Christmas party

It's the new tradition - to take Bethany's friend Charis to the Estella Christmas party. This year I drove, rather than walked, and took chairs. It's the way to go, I tell you!

Joss was too busy packing for her surfing trip, so she asked if we would get her lollies from Santa. No way! It doesn't work like that!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Presentation night

I must have successfully adjusted my attitude as I neither tried to get out of or even resented Joss and Toby's presentation night on Friday. It helps that it is held just over the hill at the university and that both Joss and Toby had been told they were getting an award.

The top tier was packed, but clearly few wanted to sit down with the teachers and students. I realise that these photos are ridiculous, but you can take my word for it that Toby is receiving the academic award for music in the photo above. In his assessments across the whole year, he got 100%, so we thought he might get this!

Below, it's Joss, getting the academic award for food technology. They both topped the year in a subject! So proud......

Tomorrow they both have to be at school at 6.30am to leave for Activities Week. They are both heading to the coast, though separate places, to learn to surf. An important skill for country kids, I'm sure.

Drama and politics

In the middle of the year, Bethany had an evening of theatre games for speech and drama. Last night, as the end of year celebration, they had a movie night, showing the movies they had made in their lessons. Bethany's was called Snow White and the Seven Used Car Salesmen, and she played Snow White.

It was often hard to hear the dialogue, and the technology caused a number of problems through the evening, but Bethany and her friends had fun and I had a book for the long pauses between movies.

Today was a day of action for NSW Public libraries. We are trying to get the state government to increase their funding, as they have been decreasing it steadily so that we are the state with the poorest funding. At Wagga City Library lots of media came to hear my boss speak about it and the mayor read a story, then there was much cake.

Yay for the weekend! Now to get through the rest of presentation night. Yes, I am blogging during the event. At least I'm not reading a book or texting my friend sitting in my row like two people I know!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


I'll confess that I was rather hoping it would rain yesterday evening, just when cycling was due to start, but it was clear as a bell during those hours. There was thunder and rain at bed time, so lovely to go to sleep to.

This afternoon, as I was getting washing off the line, a violent wind started blowing and I needed help getting the washing into the basket before it blew away. As soon as we got inside, the heavens opened and hail, the size of large marbles fell for what felt like ages. Half of our garage is full of bikes, so one car was outside and Jane's lovely new car was also copping it. She ran outside and quickly drove it home to her garage - so handy to live close! It was all pretty exciting, really.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Churches have been holding gingerbread house events for years, but for some reason, we have always gone for something else. We have had button flowers, cards, felt flowers and foodie, rather than crafty events. This year, we went old school and embraced the gingerbread.

As usual, my very dubious talent for talking landed me the job of MC, so I took the less involved gingerbread option of making a tree, rather than a house. I highly recommend the tree option, it is quicker by far, much easier to wrap and delivers a modest amount of gingerbread and lollies. That said, I will still get my gingerbread house mold out and make one with the kids. It's tradition you know. 

I wonder if it is possible to hold a women's event free of sugar. I may have been the only woman who left having consumed only water and tea!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Going the distance

It has been a big week of driving. On Tuesday I went to a Readers' Advisory meeting in Bowral, leaving at 6 to just make the 10 o'clock start and getting home at 7.30. It's a pleasant drive, my boss' car is very nice to drive and I listened to a book. Sadly, the book goes for 8 hours and 15 minutes so I still have a little bit to go - that was poorly planned!

Next year my regional library service is admitting another council, giving us one more library (taking us to 18 static branches and 2 mobile libraries). The new library is at West Wyalong and yesterday Louise and I added it into the internal courier run to see how long it will take. We have three drivers over the week as it is an awful lot if driving. Yesterday we started at 8, went to 7 branches and finished at 5. 

It's a great way to see the countryside and to suss out the best cafes in each town! In Coolamon there is a cafe, called Ajanta, I have never been to before because it is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you come to visit us, please come on one of those days because it is going to be our new weekend destination! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The end is coming

It's a little bit scary, really. Christmas parties are already happening, we really need to get organised! 
We had our book club end of year party on Wednesday night, with 150 book clubbers. There are around 840 all up, so we got off lightly. It was a pleasant evening with wine, finger food, new books and lots of chatting.

It's my work Christmas party next week and my stamping one the week after. I cannot believe that the kids have a week and a half left of school. Stop the ride, I want to get off!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


We chose a dog that wouldn't shed so that we could have him inside with us. We are out a lot, so we knew we ought to spend time with him when we are around. While we were building, Milo lived outside as he wasn't allowed in our rental house, and we have been worried about the floor in our new house, that he might scratch it.

The hot weather of late has made us reconsider and, on the weekend, we bought him a new bed for inside and let him in. He LOVES it, and so do we. He loves being near us, loves sitting next to us so we can pat him and he loves his new bed. As much as he loves his new bed, he is also keen to sit on a beanbag. Lots of sitting, no running and we're all happy!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Coming home

Oops! It has been a week since I came home from Mudgee, Christmas is galloping towards us. It was such a great conference and Mudgee is a lovely town. They have restored their old buildings and there are cafes everywhere. I snuck out one afternoon to go to a cafe with Liz and Ian (so great to see them) and we stopped in there again on our way to the AGM of the NSW Public Libraries Association, just before the long drive home.

I arrived just in time to unpack my bag and take Bethany to an evening recital. The last one she had was just for her teacher's students and only went for around ten minutes. Three teachers brought their students together for this, and though she was very nervous, Bethany's performance went off without a hitch.

Sometimes Toby and I are a little bit silly before his piano lesson, in those last precious weekend hours. He has freckles!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


It was a really great conference, lots of fabulous speakers, both local and international. Four days with no cooking or washing , with only myself to organise, is always pleasant, too, though I'll have to catch up over the weekend.

Library conferences are very social, with events on each night. The conference dinner on the final night had the vague theme of 'country class'. We interpreted that as we wished and sat in our finery having pre- dinner drinks on the verandah.

The meal was nice, Adam Spencer was a great emcee and mentioned Chrissie and me on stage as we asked for a selfie with him as he waited to go on. We also took this attempt at a shelfie - it's a thing, you know.

Unfortunately, the music did not live up to expectations, and though I did manage to dance a bit, I gave up in disgust after about eight Elvis songs, including one that was played twice in a row!

I was so disappointed. Thankfully, we are going to go dancing during my work Christmas party, it had better be good!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Conference time

Not the best time to leave my family, in the middle of exams and when Andrew has a big show on, but the NSW Public Libraries conference is when it is, so off to Mudgee we go. It is held in Sydney one year, and the country the next.

It's around a six hour drive from Wagga and there are twelve people here from our regional library, but six travelled together in two cars. We were to stop for coffee at Young, so I messaged my friend Sue, who lives there, to find the best coffee. She recommended the Art of Expresso and, of course, I almost baulked on the grounds of spelling, but when I Googled the location, found the spelling issue was hers! She must have been yanking my chain.

For lunch, we were to be in Bathurst, so I messaged Janice to get her recommendations. I was concerned that Sweet Caramel didn't sound very promising for lunch, but it was a winner.

We arrived in Mudgee and I immediately went into town to visit Liz and Ian who moved from Wagga a couple of years ago, then got ready for the conference's welcome event.

Yes, it's a hard life.