December 23, 2007
December 13, 2007
So I served some up last night...fresh from MY garden - and even my boyfriend's daughter ate it! On a slightly more exciting note I went to Luna Park yesterday. Tonnes of fun. We took about 120 kids although they were mainly 7s and 8s so I didn't know them. Plus my old school was there so I got even more confused about which kids I was actually responsible for. So to avoid all confusion I just went on as many rides as I could manage and had a great time.
Will hopefully get pix off Bec's camera and my phone in the next few days.
One week till school hols YYYIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPEEEEEE
I just signed an emergency petition trying to save the crucial climate change talks in Bali, Indonesia right now by telling the US, Canada and Japan to stop blocking an agreement. You can sign it here:
Talks are deadlocked, and running into the weekend. Almost all countries have agreed to cut rich country carbon emissions by 2020--which scientists say is crucial to stop catastrophic global warming, and will also help bring China and the developing world onboard. But with just 24 hours left, the US and its close allies Canada and Japan have rejected any mention of such cuts.
We can't let three governments hold the world hostage and block agreement on this desperate issue.
There's still 24 hours left to turn this around - click below to sign the petition - it will be delivered direct to summit delegates, through stunts and in media advertisements, so our voices will actually be heard. But we need a lot of us, fast, to join in if we're going to make a difference. Just click on the link to add your name:
December 05, 2007
We have enjoyed our first zuccinni (grilled on the bbq with - you guessed it - basil). I've recently picked squash, tomatoes and carrots although I haven't tasted them yet.
I've also used my own parsely, coriander and oregano in various dishes. It's really a shame I can't cook!
November 28, 2007
November 27, 2007
November 20, 2007
With the drought there is still a shocking lack of water and I finished off the last of my stored water yesterday. Luckily it has finally started raining and hopefully it will continue throughout the night.
The wind is my other enemy, it snapped off two squash plants the other day- but I've reinforced the others.
Over the weekend I planted the lemon tree Ally gave me for my birthday. Last night I planted some coriander in the herb garden and some lavender between the squash, zucchini and pumpkin to encourage bees to pollinate them for me.
Hopefully we'll get round to taking some pictures this weekend.
Indoors I have two new pots with Japonicas in. It really gives a whole new feeling to the place.
November 15, 2007
I got to go nursery shopping on the Saturday- the frogbog just got a lot closer.
We also went to the Ivy for dinner with a few friends. I had drink and cake on the Friday night at work - even the kids got in on it with a cute message on the white board and heaps of wishes on MySpace.
On Sunday - the actual day - I was thrilled to find flowers on the zuccinnis, tomatoes on the tomatoes and carrots looking close to picking. I've even got a capsicum happening.
I had breakfast with mum, she gave me a Balance Hanging with positive Chinese messages. I collected Dee as well so she could come up to see her mum. We stopped at a few places along the way, saw Ally, did the mandatory exchange of plants. Went home via everywhere imaginable - ending with chips in Camberwell.
I also received champagne and flowers from my gorgeous neighbours and on Monday morning there were roses on my desk from a secret admirer (who revealed his identity by lunch time - Aaron didn't feel at all threatened!!!!)
I really should take some garden photos so I can post them but oh well- another day.
November 04, 2007
Unfortunately there aren't likely to be any additions any time soon. With Aaron still off work plus the cost of his specialist bills and medication and now Sarah having medical complications and also having to see specialists and try all sorts of exotic (read expensive) medications, there is literally nothing in the coffers to go towards the house. My secret stash has of course been eaten up with things like school camp, last of the drama fees and medical bills and then of course just general house-hold expenses. I can't really go around buying things for me (garden) when we can't really pay the bills.
So probably the next addition to my front garden will be a large real estate sign and moving van in the drive. May have a giant garage sale as I think we'll need the room when we're renting a tiny bedsit in downtown Broadmeadows.
In other exciting news we had our first huntsman spider of the season. Not impressed considering there are no trees anywhere near us. My theory is it may have jumped on my car when I was under a tree at work and then moved onto the house. My other theory is that it may have been living in our garage undisturbed since we moved from Olinda (we had a couple when we first moved in almost a year ago that I know came from the hills) and as I'd moved the light in the garage to see properly when we were replacing my headlamp it may have decided to come out and explore. It was a bit of a lucky find. We were on our way out and I happened to notice a dark patch on our otherwise perfectly rendered portico. I said to Aaron (it was hard to see in the dark and it was just above the throw of my headlights) "Is that a spider or a dark patch on the render?" I felt a little silly as I have a brain that likes to imagine spiders that aren't there. It turned out it was a somewhat large arachnid so I pummeled it with bug spray and finished the poor thing off with a broom. I felt guilty as Bhudda preaches respect of all living creatures, however, I just can't stomach spiders and Aaron is even worse so it needed to go before it found its way inside. I just hope it comes back as something nicer and my karmic cycle doesn't bring me back as a spider for my crimes against our eight legged friends!
On the brighter side it is finally raining. It's a good solid soaking and the ground doesn't seem too sure what to do with it all. However, my vegies are loving a good long drink as opposed to the warm, dry northerly winds that have characterised their existence thus far. If it stops raining I might take some pics. The weeds are happy too!
One week til my birthday, maybe if anyone asks me what I'd like I'll suggest a Tattslotto ticket or plants for my garden.
All for now!
October 31, 2007
This year I got dressed up before I went to work...and confused a number of people in the process. Kate thought I was a very competent CRT from behind, when in fact it was just me doing my job. Others asked if it was St Patrick's Day because I had green in my hair and a few people asked me if I am American...they got my pro-Celtic ramble for their troubles. Still the kids got a laugh and that was great!
In the evening we went to the Lindsay's Citizenship Ceremony, which was lovely. We bought them an Australian Legends CD and enjoyed a drink with the four brand new Aussies. Now all I have to do is work on Aaron.
We then had a bit of a photo session out the front..
October 15, 2007
October 11, 2007
October 04, 2007
We ended up going away to Amy and Travis' afterall - it was really wonderful, stunning scenery, great company, fabulous food and - dare I say it??? - a few awesome wineries along the way. Aaron's health improved so much and I felt really rejuvenated. It also inspired us to get moving in the garden so I have spent much of this week planting out vegies. Ultimately, we want to move to the country - but for the moment we'll just have to make the most of what we've got.
I spent today up at Ally and Dave's and had another great day. Kinglake - like Mt Beauty - is very lovely and again got us thinking about moving away from the burbs.
Anyway, I will add some photos soon.
October 03, 2007
If you get a chance sign the petition you can also cut and paste this email and forward it to others.
Dear friends, Burma's generals have brought their brutal iron hand down on peaceful monks and protesters -- but in response, a massive global outcry is gathering pace. The roar of global public opinion is being heard in hundreds of protests outside Chinese and Burmese embassies, people round the world wearing the monks' color red, and on the internet-- where our petition has exploded to over 200,000 signers in just 72 hours. People power can win this. Burma's powerful sponsor China can halt the crackdown, if it believes that its international reputation and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing depend on it. To convince the Chinese government and other key countries, Avaaz is launching a major global and Asian ad campaign on Wednesday, including full page ads in the Financial Times and other newspapers, that will deliver our message and the number of signers. We need 1 million voices to be the global roar that will get China's attention. If every one of us forwards this email to just 20 friends, we'll reach our target in the next 72 hours. Please sign the petition at the link below -if you haven't already- and forward this email to everyone you care about: http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/t.php The pressure is working - already, there are signs of splits in the Burmese Army, as some soldiers refuse to attack their own people. The brutal top General, Than Shwe, has reportedly moved his family out of the country – he must fear his rule may crumble. The Burmese people are showing incredible courage in the face of horror. We're broadcasting updates on our effort over the radio into Burma itself – telling the people that growing numbers of us stand with them. Let's do everything we can to help them – we have hours, not days, to do it. Please sign the petition and forward this email to at least 20 friends right now. Scroll down our petition page for details of times and events to join in the massive wave of demonstrations happening around the world at Burmese and Chinese embassies. With hope and determination, Ricken, Paul, Pascal, Graziela, Galit, Ben, Milena and the whole Avaaz Team
September 23, 2007
I did a lot of washing today and some digging in the garden. The soil I've been turning over has been compacted down over time and didn't want me disturbing it, but once I got through the initial crust it wasn't bad at all, lovely sandy loam and just right for my newest garden bed. At this stage I'm just preparing areas and hoping that at some time I'll get round to putting plants in.
As for the rest of the week we were hoping to go away for a few days but medical experts have said "no" due to Aaron's current condition, we'll see how we go for next week. Tomorrow I'm going to tidy up the garage so I can put my car away again and do some more digging as I find that quite therapeutic.
September 22, 2007
I guess the major event in our lives has been Aaron's illness. He was sent home from work on a Friday night with a nasty tummy upset. We went through our usual "I'm taking you to the doctor's..." "...no you're not.." routine until Sunday when he finally decided he'd go. The doc of course sent him straight to the hospital. It being a weekend we sat down after triage expecting a long wait. The first shock was how quickly he was seen...never a good sign in an emergency department. Then before we knew it he was in a gown, on IV fluids and antibiotics and they were ringing around looking for a surgical bed. The opinion was that his appendix had ruptured and that's why he was septic. (I managed to resist the "I told you so!" urge). Aaron's face lit up when the MICAs came to get him instead of just normal patient transport!
He was admitted to Dandenong hospital where they observed him over night and stabilised him before his surgery in the morning. They said the surgery should only take about 20 minutes or so, maybe an hour if the appendix was enlarged and it should only require three small incisions as they were using key hole.
Aaron went in about 10 or 11 that morning, I didn't see him again till after 5 that evening. Things didn't go quite as planned... The good news I guess was that he had a very healthy (although somewhat redundant) appendix - the bad news was his bowel had ruptured due to a rather nasty, hereditary disease, and he was in danger of "shuffling off this mortal coil"!!!!
Aaron spent over a week in hospital - they only let him out when they did because he was being a little persistent (those who know him will know that this is the polite version - don't you the art of euphemism?) He has had a lot of time off work and we're not sure when he'll be able to go back. The road to recovery is obviously going to be a long one. On the positive front his near death experience has made him reassess his life style and although the bulk of the damage was done to his bowels during his teenage years he is now eating high fibre food, drinking lots of water and exercising daily so that it doesn't happen again. Hopefully his daughter can avoid this happening to her. Another positive has been the amazing support we've had from so many friends who have rang constantly, been to visit and offered to help in so many ways!
In the mean time I'm juggling work, nursing the invalid and cleaning up after Aaron and co so needless to say I haven't had much time to do much else. Ah well, can't complain (no one listens anyway) and when I realise how close I came to losing my boy I really don't mind the extra pressures as it's much better than the alternative. Not too sure how we're going to pay the mortgage on one income but I'm sure we'll work something out. There was a cabin for sale at the caravan park in Chelsea so we may just have to sell up and down scale - it could be quite cosy!
All I've done in terms of the house lately (apart from the usual hosework) is add pebbles and more mulch to the front garden. I would be nice to put more plants in but at least it looks respectable, I'm happy to take my time anyway so I don't have to water lots of new plants at once and I don't want it looking cluttered and overdone. It's a beautiful day today so in between washing loads I might pop out the back and do some work on preparing the vegie patch and other garden beds...afterall I now have two weeks at home to do as I please.
September 02, 2007
The much anticipated arrival of my cousin Tony and his family was finally upon us. They landed on the day of parent interviews so while Ally met them at the airport I was working very hard at school.
That evening, Mum, Sarah and I drove to Rosebud to meet them. That in itself was a bit of an arduous journey, I haven't driven that way in a long time, the only time I have in the last few years was driving back from Sorrento having taken the ferry from Queenscliff so Iwasn't overly confident finding my way there. Add to that the weather and the darkness, an out of date Melways and an almost empty fuel tank (you always think there'll be another service station). Fortunately, I seem to have the luck of the Irish bestowed upon me afterall. Mum had told me they were staying at the Rosebud country club and I was feeling very lost so I pulled over. I realised we had missed a turn somwhere and had to go back. Where we were on the road seemed a bit deadly to turn around at so I drove on to the next big driveway...here's the funny bit...that was the Nepean country club and that was where they were actually staying but mum had said Rosebud not realising there were two. Stroke of luck I'd say considering the Nepean Country Club wasn't shown on my map.
Now mum had visited the family some years ago when she stayed with her sister in Engand, but apart from Hayley who stayed in Melbourne about three years ago and Tony, who I had last seen in 1982 these people were all strangers to me. I'll give you the run down...
Tony has two daughters from his first marriage to Suzanne, I was bridesmaid at their wedding and Rebecca was born before we left England. (Rebecca wasn't able to come on this trip). They also had Hayley who as I mentioned came to Australia not too long ago. Tony then married Amanda and they have four children of their own: Beth, Emily, Jenny and William. Also on the trip was Pete, Hayley's boyfriend who she met in Florida despite the fact he is from Liverpool - he also once jammed with Paul McCartney AND went to school with Dave Gilmour's son...playing six degrees of separation just got a lot easier!
So as we find a parking spot I'm feeling increasingly anxious as basically I'm walking into a room full of strangers which isn't my strong point.
We had to sit in the car and wait for a particularly vicious downpour to pass and then we headed up to reception.
We thought maybe they had been asleep but I realised later it was a fair hike from their apartment to the reception area. Tony came down with one of the girls, he seemed a bit shorter than I remembered but I guess I was eleven at the time. We met the rest of the crew at the swimming pool as the girls wanted a swim. Amanda kindly got a spare set of bathers for Sarah which was great as before we knew it she and Beth had hit it off. Mum chatted away to Amanda and met baby William and I chatted to Hayley and Tony.
After a good long swim we headed up the hill to the apartment, it was so cold after sitting round an indoor swimming pool and I felt terrible for my family who had come all the way to Oz in one of the coldest winters we've had in a while.
Back at the apartment we had cups of tea and met Pete, great guy. I finally found myself relaxing more. At one point Hayley was talking about my grandma and about how Tony and I had been the favourites. Mum's mentioned this before but I didn't really remember it, but as Tony joined in the conversation memories came flooding back and we both agreed that Hayley would have been a favourite too, something about being the second born was our theory. I really relaxed after this and we chatted about all sorts of things and for a few hours I got the sense of what it would have been like had we stayed in England with the security of extended family around me and I felt sad that we left and sad that we don't have more family here.
We left them to have some R&R on Saturday and on Sunday we decided to meet in Olinda for breakfast. Our Peter had come for dinner on Saturday night so he joined us and we also aranged to meet Susan and Jeff at the Ivy as well. Ally and Dave drove down from Kinglake and mum and Deanne came up with the Adams' family. My goodness, we filled a massive table in The Ivy and once again I had that lovely sense of connectedness. This was Aaron's first time meeting them as he'd been at work when we met them in Rosebud. He got along really well and that made me relax all the more. It was a long breakfast and Ally and I decided we should meet in Olinda more often as it's half way between our homes.
Mum, Amanda and the little Adams went to visit the sister of a friend of Amanda's who lives in Nunawading. Deanne, Tony, Hayley and Pete went to the Essendon v Hawthorn match. Our Peter went to Milgrove for his birthday lunch (happy birthday Peter) Susan and Jeff had left to open the shop and Aaron, Sarah and I did our usual Olinda wander.
That evening they came back to our place for pizza.
On Tuesday I was tragically struck down with a mystery illness and couldn't go to work, however, sometime later I made a miraculous recovery and the crew met at our place for a bit of a convoy road trip. Our first port of call was the Todd Road service centre (pretty cool eh?) but after that it was over the Westgate and on to Geelong. We had lunch on the pier and once again we took a long time over the meal just chatting. Sarah and Beth had really hit it off, so that was good but I felt sad for Emily who seemed a little lost without her big sis. When we headed back to the car I had a great D&M with Hayley who may come back to Australia depending on the outcome of a job she's applied for. As we drove on to Queenscliff Aaron and I worked out a great career plan for her and Pete which started with them staying with us while finding work and ended with them opening another Elephant and Wheelbarrow style pub nearby.
We caught the last ferry back to Sorrento and watched the sunset over the water. It was lovely but very cold and windy.
By Thursday I was severly punished for taking a day off work unecessarily and the dreaded flu that's been rampaging across Melbourne decided to get me. We caught up with them all briefly on Thursday night as they were leaving early Friday morning and taking mum with them so we drove her to the country club. Saying goodbye was really sad and I cried a lot on the way home. Now I'm wondering what we can do so we can go to England in a few years to visit.
OK. Well that was part A of the August run down, but I've got lots to do and it is another stunning day outside so I will love you and leave you for the moment but stay tuned for another update.
August 02, 2007
I've done nothing with the house or garden of late, although our faulty tiles have been replaced and the painter has been back in. We also have new carpet in a few rooms. Aaron and I had another massive clean out and he got rid of two tea chests of clothes that have moved house twice since I've known him. Sarah and I also tackled her room and managed to create three op-shop boxes, two giant sacks of rubbish and one bag off stuff to go to her mum's. We haven't even tackled her wardrobe or drawers yet. I guess I'm next!
Last night Flipper bought me a Nintendo DS (isn't he sweet???) which I would like to be playing right now but alas it is at home. At least if I'm typing away at a lap top I look like I could be busy - whereas even if I was playing brain training on the DS I'd look very unprofessional.
My cousin arrives from the UK tomorrow morning with his family. I haven't seen him since 1982 so we're all pretty excited. I also have a half day tomorrow so life is good.
July 16, 2007
Gradually people started to arrive and finally the guest of honour's body guard arrived yet no birthday boy. Sarah disappeared outside for a while and then eventually I went looking myself. I found him and he said Sarah had said not to come in...what a silly boy.
Anyway he finally came in to a rousing "surprise" (although we knew he wasn't).
It was a great night and a great time to catch up with friends.
Happy birthday babes xxxx
July 10, 2007
|You Would Be a Pet Dog|
You're friendly, loyal, and an all around good sport. People love to be near you.
You are very open with your feelings, and you're quite vocal in expressing them.
You are sincere and kind. You love many people - without any sort of agenda.
Why you would make a great pet: You're content to chill out with your friends
Why you would make a bad pet: You always find yourself getting into trouble
What you would love about being a dog: Running around and playing
What you would hate about being a dog: Being left home alone while everyone else is out having fun
However, Wendy now has a lovely vegie patch - well the beds for it are in, just need to get to work on the compost and yet more digging. I (sorry, referring to myself in the third person is just TOOOO pretentious) have also finished the edging around the front garden and have put some bricks in where I'm going to put more edging in. I'll wait till I get the pebbles for under the windows delivered and get the edging delivered at the same time. I guess that's the front garden on hold for now as the next delivery will be a couple of pay days away and I want to focus on preparing the vegie patch. Besides, I'm back to work on Monday so long days of mucking around in the mud are nearly over.
Just for the record this is my
TH post on this blog.
July 09, 2007
July 06, 2007
Sarah came home today and she's been fabulous!!! Normally she's a tad toxic when she gets back but this time she's been all hugs and kisses...don't worry she's looking over my shoulder as I write this and pretending to lick the screen. Now she's jumping around like a kangaroo and has anounced she's spent this week watching Play School! Oh dear!!!! (yes she's looking again.)
It's great to have her back, we have a fairly busy weekend planned but hopefully we can do something fun during the week.
Not much to add on the home front. I only did a little in the garden today but I was absolutely thrilled with an unexpected compliment I received. Ally (my twin if you didn't know) is a mad keen, expert gardener and she said my front garden looked good - so I was really chuffed. She took the old bbq and school table and will take our old dining table later - she knows lots of people who need stuff. She's donating our old green aviary to an animal shelter.
With some more of the stuff gone I can move Peter's trailer over a little so hopefully I'll have better access around the back and will be able to start on the Frog Bog again. I'm still not sure about putting the new drain in. Afterall it only affects that tiny area, perhaps the soil is just hydrophobic, the rest of the garden drains beautifully. I started digging where the pond part might go and the soil is so fine and easy to dig through - gardening will be a breeze.
Well Sarah and Aaron are both looking a little tired so I think I better anounce bed time.
Good night to you too
July 04, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 13, 2007
So Friday night Sarah and I hopped on the train in our Essendon gear, we met Deanne at a station closer to town and the three of us started to get excited. We got to Southern Cross and found a locker for Dee's overnight bag...then off to the Telstra Dome. Sarah was interested in the big green spring - funny that was one of the questions we gave the kids in the "Amazing Race" activity. We were miles away but still had a great view. First quarter was abyssmal and second not much better, and when Essendon decided to play keepings off for about 7 minutes I was decidedly unimpressed. At half time while Sheeds gave his rev up speech Sarah and I hit the hot food stands. Sarah had to wait ages for her doughnuts - in the mean time I could hear the crowd go wild - not once but twice. Terrific, more goals for West Coast - or so I thought. However, as I peered over the barricade, Scotty Lucas (I think) scored another goal and when I got back Dee said we'd missed three Essendon goals. Well whatever Sheedy said must have worked. It was an amazing come back and although we only won by one point it was the best game I'd ever watched. We talked to so many people in the stadium and back to the station - there was such a buzz from the Essendon crowd - fantastic
On Saturday the three of us went to Southland to take Dee's phone in for repairs and we did some shopping too - nothing terribly exciting. After Aaron went to work we watched some Doctor Who - yes Dr Who - and had a laugh.
On Sunday the girls headed back into town (in my car this time) and parked at Fed Square. We caught the city circle tram to the museum and although we'd only planned to go to the general exhibits we decided to visit the great wall of china exibit too. We started in the Indigenous section and went to the Bugs Alive, Human Body, Aquatic, Dinosaurs, evolution and Rainforest sections. It was great although I missed out on the VCE top acts and the Australian section. Dee stayed as Sarah and I headed back to Fed Square and ACMI. We went to the Big Shots Festival and watched 10 short films for kids, it was great. Dee met us back at the square, we treated ourselves to coffee and cake. Drove home, got some DVDs and watched Breakfast at Tiffany's, Hair and more Dr Who.
On Monday - a public holiday in honour of Betty Windsor's birthday, although her birthday is actually in April - we decided to visit mum and enjoy fish and chips on the beach. It got cold and rained so we ate in my car - it smells funny now. We went home, collected Aaron and swapped cars. We dropped Dee at Pakenham for her train back to uni and took Sarah to drama. After all that I was pretty tired.
Its a short week this week with report writing on Friday. I've nearly finished mine, so apart from staying back to help others on Thursday night I believe I may have another cruisy long weekend!!!
June 12, 2007
The plants are loving all the rain although they're a little battered by the wind. I think its time to buy some more but things have been very tight. Sarah has needed lots and lots of new uniform (my she just keeps growing), there has been a number of big dollar excursions, book club, swimming lessons etc from school and of course May marked her all important 10th birthday!!!!
Now I don't know about you but I think the transition into double figures deserves a big fuss.
The celebrations started on the Tuesday when she was allowed to open a few presents (lots of clothes) as her dad was working night shift that night so she wouldn't be able to open presents in the morning. I made a cake that night for her to take to school to share with her class.
On Wednesday (the big day) morning I took her to her favourite place (MacDonalds - yuk) for breakfast and let her open her High School Musical poster book. Her dad picked her up a little early from school so by the time I got home from work she was champing at the bit to open presents. She opened the rest before dinner, including Guitar Hero for xbox, Nintendogs, High school musical dvd and interactive board game, more clothes, deal or no deal board game and quite a few other bits and pieces. I baked another cake that night for us all to enjoy and so we could sing happy birthday to her.
On Friday we went up to the country club for dinner, she got a present and card from Ross that night. The waitress made a big fuss of the birthday girl. On Saturday morning it was up early for breakfast at scarletti's and a trip around the vic market. We finally found the perfect jacket for her. That night we had a few friends over for a birthday party. It was great having a house full of friends and kids running wild, it made the house feel more like a home. I didn't have to bake a cake for this party as Aaron stopped at the Cheesecake shop. Sarah did well with some lovely presents. In the early hours of the morning I started work on her final birthday cake which was chocolate, shaped like a butterfly and decorated...I realise now why I don't teach home ec but the kids at the Sunday party soon made it vanish. The party was great, it was held at Sidetracked and she had 12 guests plus two younger kids who couldn't join in the activities as they were too small. The kids did laser hunt, go-kart racing and mini-golf, plus they put on a lunch. It was really great value and a great way to run a party. The big kids got to go for a race afterwards in the bigger go-karts - great fun!!!
Of course Aaron couldn't help himself the following week and ordered Sarah another nintendo game - brain training - which we all love.
The last weekend in May Sarah went to her mother's new house. Of course now she is just around the corner so it wasn't far for her to go or to come back, so Saturday morning she popped in to grab blanky but stayed and walked the dog and didn't leave for almost 2 hours. She really is daddy's little girl. After she left Aaron and I headed into town. We had booked a night at City Club and decided just to enjoy our beautiful city. Funnily enough I'd actually spent four of the five preceding days in town with city school, so I was really beginning to know my way around and feel like a local. We had a wonderful afternoon. I got my hair cut and coloured and when I got back Aaron was enjoying room service. That evening we walked up to the elephant and wheel barrow, enjoyed dinner and two pints each. We then walked down to the Melbourne "Eye". An amazing view and very romantic..and yes I could see the clock on the silo and it said 11 degrees, so I was singing my favourite Paul Kelly song as we walked along the bank of the Yarra while fireworks exploded overhead. We thought about taking a quick river cruise down to the docklands but I'd been on one during the week so Aaron thought there was little point. We walked along to southbank and up King Street (I missed the half naked muscle man in the doorway of one club) we kept on walking (wow fun in my new boots - Myer had a sale and Nic is a bad influence!!!) and found ourselves on Swanston Street, at which time my very gorgeous and surprisingly spontaneous fiancee decided we were going to take a horse and cart ride around the city. Now that was romantic and most unexpected from Aaron...sometimes he has the power to astound. The ride was lovely and I felt like royalty as people waved to us all around Melbourne. We were delivered safely to our door and enjoyed a late night chai latte at the club. We then wandered down stairs and found the enormous billiards room, I don't think I've ever played on full sized tables and it really showed. I won the first game by default and Aaron got me on the rest. Eventually we headed upstairs to our kingsized bed. We tried to watch a movie but lost interest as the disk was faulty and it kept going back to the start..ironic really it was De Ja Vu with Denzel Washington.
In the morning we had a massive breakfast and took another walk around the block before check out. The car was safe and sound as it reappeared from valet parking and we headed out and up to the hills.
We went to Olinda, of course we visited Pet Panache and bought some Max food. We then enjoyed a delicious Devonshire tea at Woods and finally headed home. It was a lovely way to end the weekend.
Well I think that's enough of a catch up on the events of May.
May 09, 2007
I'm planning on getting a couple more plants for the front garden on Sunday and hopefully if we are ever cashed up again I can order some mulch, pebbles and gravel mix as well as some proper edging. At least it feels a little more like a garden and less like a building site.
Other house news.... not much really. I'm really thrilled with additional downlights (still) the replacements look so much better than the naff gimbles. The doors look much better now the glass has been replaced. Hard to believe that that much scratching (perhaps with a diamond ring as diamond is known for its glass cutting properties) was accidental and not spotted by the supervisor before hand over. Ah well. Our new couches for the living room arrived and look lovely. The room looks less like a vacant storage area and Sarah and I like to think of it as our reading room...needless to say we don't see Aaron in there much. Speaking of whom, his new gadget in the theatre room is great (I hate it when he's right) and has made negotiating the various other gadgets much easier. He's reprogrammed the universal remote too so I actually have my chair back and don't have to share it with the 50 other remotes.
Work is going really well, although I seem permanently tired I really enjoy this environment. I have realised though that I haven't been near the gym in about 5 weeks, I thought of packing it in but Aaron says I shouldn't as it's only around the cost of a packet of smokes a week. So I finally dragged myself along last night - only for 40 minutes but it was better than nothing. I really enjoyed the warm welcome too. I've managed to find some time to swim a bit too which I really enjoy (except for the walk of shame to the towel afterwards). I swam 60 laps the first time I went (only a 25 mtr pool but it sounds good), last Monday I swam 40 laps (50 mtr pool) and this week I swam 46; I wanted to make it to 50 but I was running out of time and then they closed the lane I was in so I left. Hopefully next time I can swim the extra 4 if I pick up my pace a bit.
I've enjoyed the last couple of weekends. This weekend we crashed with exhaustion on Friday night (in bed by 21.13 - how sad is that?) and spent a fair chunk of Saturday on the domestic engineering front. Saturday night we popped out for a little while. Sunday morning we headed to the hills for breakfast at the Ivy (lovely), a wander around the gift shops and a visit to Pet Panache - of course. We headed back to the flat lands and looked for a new dining suite and coffee table - which we found - and then headed to Knox. At Knox we found a replacement iron (ours had just about given up the ghost), it's unbelievably cool (I can't believe I'm saying that about an iron) but it is a Russell Hobbs and it changes colour!!! Sarah loved it and ironed all the towels...I can see me getting all my shirts ironed. We also picked up some other boring house stuff.
Well better go and look busy.
April 17, 2007
The second week of the holidays had its ups and downs. I'm very glad that I spent so much time with Lister on Sunday as during the week I got that dreaded phone call from Dee. The poor thing was lying on her side gasping every few seconds and looking absolutely terrfied. We got her to the vet but by the time we arrived her heart had stopped. The vet tried massage, which was sweet, but we new she wasn't in for much of a chance. It was hard because she was still twitching but her time was up. We drove to mum's old house (Ally's now) in the Basin. The house looks so different as Ally was preparing to lease it now that she's living in Kinglake. We buried Lister up in the garden, right up the very back where the view over the valley is stunning. She's along side Megsy and Freddy and has a fruit tree planted over her. I'm glad we still had somewhere to put her. She still looked like a kitten sometimes even though it was almost 15 years ago when John found her with the rest of a litter in an abandoned house. Then came the drama when Ally and John had another of their infamous rows and Lister ended up in the pet shop. Of course she was rescued and became part of the family. On Sunday she had been sulking in her carry cage, she'd pretty much been hanging around in there since they had taken her and Kesha up to the Basin the week before for a visit. So I had taken her out to the aviary and set up more ramps and hidy places and high vantage points. As soon as I put her in she was climbing around, exploring and then sunning herself.
Aaron was back to work on Thurday. I did lots of reorgansing at home after we had the carpet guys in to replace the carpet in the office. There was also some other cleaning up after all the new downlights that other Aaron and my Aaron had put in. I love all the new dimmers and the extra lights. Of course there are more plans ahead!!!
On Friday I spent a fair bit of time at mum's with Dee having a big tidy up. All the things that mum struggles with now, like reaching to clean the shower or cupboard fronts. I'm going to try to get there more regularly.
On Saturday Dee and I went for a walk/hike through the hills near the Basin. It was lovely to catch up properly, even though we were pretty slack and only did the short track.
On Sunday I met Rach for coffee at Knox and when she went off to the footy I went to the movies and saw Priceless. It was my first time going to the movies alone, which is something I've always wanted to do. I figured Aaron wouldn't mind as it was a romantic comedy - not his favourite genre. I, on the other hand, loved it.
I finished the last two books in the Ellie Chronicles - Incurable and Circle of Flight. Although I'll miss the characters I'm glad it's finished - John Marsden has taken up too much of my time and the books are far too addictive - besides, I'm too old to read them and I'm not teaching English this year so I have no excuse. I've almost finished Introduction the Bhuddism and I've bought a copy of the Hand Maid's Tale (at last) so I'm looking forward to starting that.
Best be off and head for home.
April 08, 2007
I'm currently enjoying the peaceful end of term one holidays but in this quiet time have cheekily borrowed a friend's internet to catch up on the blog. Sad to say that I'm actually missing work at the moment, not just the internet connection, but the truly amazing team of people I work with and our great kids...who would have thought I'd ever say that about year 9s but it is true, they're great.
I've been able to catch up with some of the boz crew a couple of times these hols...many of us seem to be spreading our wings and trying new projects, Katie, Jungy and Mandy are settled in new high schools and Pez has moved up the ladder to uni work (it sounds amazing; pure teaching with none of the hassles of uniform, ringing parents and report writing - but not for me I think) Rachel also has some career moves in the pipeline that I think she will excel at. No one ever stands still for too long in life so I'm glad to have time to catch up and see that the friendships I made over the years are still there even though we are spreading further afield.
I haven't been near the gym in weeks and have decided that food is my new best friend, just as well looks aren't everything eh???
I had an amazing experience yesterday when Lorraine took me to a Buddhist retreat in Monbulk. We receieved an empowerment from Manjurshri (must check the spelling) and learned from an amazing buddhist monk teacher from the uk. He was so interesting and entertaining and made so much sense. To actually experience laughter and joy within a temple was so far removed from my other hideous religious experiences involving temples. It made me realise that there is so much more to this life and universe than what we see and understand at this time. However, I am being very cautious and taking things in my stride. I'm glad that I have been exposed to this teaching though, it has made me realise how unimportant the things I have been clinging too really are. Possessions, people, anger, hurt...these are all just contributing to the delusions of our mortal (grotty) minds. I no longer feel sad when I think about selling the house as it is not important, we cannot take such things with us and it makes no difference if I'm in a modern home with all things that open and shut or living in a hut on a mountain side five miles out of Nepal...its what I do with my life, how I treat all living things that really matters. I've been reading a book by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso that talks about basic Buddhist principals and at the moment I'm reading about past lives and Karma. I think, if this is true, how sad it is that human life can be seen as so cheap, that people murder each other, fight wars, kill their own babies or even take their own lives! To gain a human life is so precious it is so sad that it can be wasted so easily. Anyway, enough of that...this is about our lives in our home, not about my explorations in to various forms of spirituality...that's for another blog perhaps.
Also on the subject of reading (and religion for that matter) I just finished Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiography. What an amazing woman she is, to have faced so much adversity and cruelty and to have come out not just a survivor but a fighter for the rights of women and political expression!!! She tells her story in such a lively, engrossing manner, I could barely put her book down. Of course now I need to read the Caged Virgin, which is a collection of her essays and hopefully find a copy of the short film that she and Theo Van Gogh made that led to his death and all the threats against her. Also on my reading list these holidays is Incurable (part of the Elly Chronicles) by John Marsden and if I get time I may go back to reading a Month in the Country.
Well, this blog is meant to be about the house and it has been all hands on deck this week. Our three month maintenance period is up so the house has been filled with trades this week and hopefully next. It has been very exciting, our new (correct sized) downlights look very elegant and the touched-up paintwork looks great. I love walking into the house as the "new house smell" (even better than new car smell) is stronger than ever and I feel the excitment I felt when we used to come and visit during construction...only now we live here. But as I said earlier attachment to material things only causes delusions so I must not get too carried away. I will however be glad when I can start on my native garden as in time it will provide habitat for insects and birds.
I have also had time to head out on some day trips. We spent a day in Healesville, navigating our way around hedge end maze. We stopped in at the new Beechworth Bakery (yay I don't have to drive to echuca now) and also tasted some exellent wines at the cellar next door and picked up a scrumtious pinot gris (perhaps this will be my autumn favourite). We stopped by Pet Penache on the way home and scored an invite (along with Ross) to the home of the lovely, gorgeous and gracious Sue and Geoff. Lou Lou has grown unbelievably, Bandit gave us a most joyous welcome and poor old Ziggy just takes it all in his stride. Sue and I polished off the pinot gris and a couple of chardonnays before the evening was through. At least Max will be happy as we bought him a lovely new futon. Hopefully I will wander up again next weekend and may pop into the Ivy in the hope of running into the charismatic Derek.
We saw 300 at the movies on Friday with some of the staff from Boronia FS. An interesting film, it annoyed Aaron, but although it may not have been 100% historically accurate I did appreciate the attention to detail with the costumes of the Spartan Warriors. I also convinced Aaron to go to the Irish with me where we happily downed some Bulmers and I sent a farewell toast and text to the lovely Jess who was flying out to start her new life in the UK.
What else can I report on??? Not much I fear. I really should finish and give back this connection.
Happy Easter to one and all.
March 30, 2007
A great night out.