Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Small Things #6 - Living a Dream.

Ok so maybe living a dream is not exactly a small thing. But the truth is it could be.

It could be about doing some of the things on your 'Bucket List'. You know the list of things you want to do before you die (kick the bucket). Maybe yours is watching the sunset over the dead sea. Studying something you have always wanted to do. Or like AB did this week finally getting your first motorbike. 

Sometimes its much easier.  They might not be life changing but they are changing in some way.  Maybe its trying out that haircut you've always wondered about. Maybe its moving the furniture around in a room. Or maybe like me its buying tickets to see your favourite author doing a reading.

Whatever it is. There is something so enriching about doing something you have always wanted to do.

So what are you going to do this month that will take you one step closer to living a dream?

ps. I know I missed a day of small things. AB is away and time keeps getting away from me.  Maybe my small thing needs to be sticking to my commitment of blogging everyday lol

Pushme Pullme

We all have those weeks where things seems to get away from you. Mine is this week. Nothing is actually bad but it is taking all my effort to keep our world in balance.

If AB was home he would probably blame my hormones. I'm blaming it on him not being home. (We may both be right)

Up - AB is away during preschool/school days which means I have the time during the day to sort things out.

Down - because AB is away during school/preschool days so I have to be more motivated and organised so as to get out of the house in time for school to start.

Up - I finally got around to watching 'Torchwood - Children of Earth Again'.

Down - The kids walked in at one point and saw the kids on TV all standing pointing and saying "we are here". They then thought it was hilarious to freak mummy out by copying. And for the rest of the day on occasion they would both walk into the room suddenly stare into space and do it again.  (Actually that one is kind of an up but at first it totally freaked me out)

Up - The kids are sleeping well while AB is away.

Down - I hurt my neck and so I am not sleeping well. And my Osteopath is apparently not taking appointments until the end of August so I need to find someone new.
Up - I got tickets to see both Neil Gaiman and Kevin Smith in early August. (Massive Ups!!!)

Up - A gorgeous friend has been bringing me food for dinner while AB is away.

Up - Andrew motorbike arrived today.

Down - Its massive and will be taking up far more space than I realised.  Really its massive. I should have really thought about that as I was telling him he had to buy a bike :)

So it is much fuller of ups than downs and I plan on keeping it that way. But boy O boy I think I have my work cut out for me.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Small Things #6 - Rearranging Furniture

Sometimes when I'm sitting at home I feel incredibly frustrated. Mostly I don't notice the holes in the ceiling or the gaps under the skirting board. But sometimes they are all I notice. When this happens I tend to clean.  But spmetimes even after hours of scrubbing, I can still see them.

When this happens I rearrange the furniture. Not so that they are hiding the holes. But so that my perspective is changed.

When was the last time you changed your perspective?

Today was bedroom frustration day for me.  I had a few pieces that were being stored upstairs and I finally moved them downstairs and I moved our mantel piece back inside off the porch.  It was out there waiting to be fixed and to strip off the old paint to get rid of the shabby chic look.  It's four years on the porch have actually accentuated the shabby chic feel.  But they say a change is a good as a holiday. In this case I think they are absolutely right.

Edited to thank Treen, for the correction to my chic V Sheik :) xx

Conversations with Kids.

I have had two funny conversations about love, procreation and girls with my kids in the last two days.

After watching two people kissing on the TV.

Hamish: Yuck! I'm not ever going to kiss a girl.  That's yucky.
Me: Why is that yucky baby?
H: Cause kissing girls is yucky.
(I didn't ask if kissing boys was yucky as well)

and then last night while Jack and I were having a bath.

Me: Honey do you think that one day you will get married?
Jack: Nup when I get older I'm going to live on my own.
(thinks for a second)
J: Actually maybe I'll have a dog ... or a cat ... or maybe a fish.

So apparently if I was one of those women who got excited about grandkids I'd be very disappointed.

(Photos by Hamish)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Small Things #5 - A Great Cup Of Coffee.

Coffee comes is many different guises.

- Instant (if you can call that coffee)
- Plunger
- Stove top
- Espresso

I am an Espresso lover. In fact I have been know to be quiet a coffee snob. It comes from months of teaching myself to like coffee and then years of trying to perfect how to make it.

Our coffee machine is the single most used appliance in the house (although that's not saying a lot I'm no cook and clean when needed).

Every morning I make myself a coffee. Often two, sometime three (occasionally four).  Mostly its good, every so often its perfect. The coffee to milk to sugar ratios in absolute balance. The milk is frothed to a marshmellowy perfection. On these days I always hope I have the time to sit and quietly drink it. Be thankful and savour every sip.

A lovely friend had this to say about coffee.

Coffee how I love thee, Let me count the ways,
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
Ardently in the morning, a quiet need at night.
I love thy umber sheen, thy steaming visage hot,
I love thee with a passion, too often too needful,
But neglectful ever not.
(lightly pilfered from Ms Barrett Browning)

Friday, 25 June 2010

Small Things #4 - Airing Out The House.

Winter is a fabulous season. There are nights snuggling on the lounge under a blanket. Being able to play with different layers of clothing. If your lucky enough there are electric blankets. Roaring fires. Red wine. And hot chocolate. In fact the only thing that isn't fabulous about winter, is the cold.

Unfortunately the cold is the defining thing about winter. Freezing mornings so cold you don't want to get out of bed. Or the shower. Or the house. You batten down the hatches. Close all the windows. Cover all the cracks with an odd assortment of draught snakes, towels and duct tape.

You blast the heater as high as it will go but then someone needs to go out and all of your hard earned heat goes flying out the door.  For days and weeks your house is shut as tight as possible.

Over this period a light funk develops throughout the house. You can smell the mustiness, the dogs, the boys shoes and last weeks dinner.

Then one unexpected day it is warmer than usual. In fact by midday you have shed most of your layers (leaving just a long sleeved shirt and light cardy). The air outside smells sweet. Like spring is coming. But its June.

You rush inside flinging open every door, ripping off your carefully placed duct tape and opening every window. You feel the dense musty air leave and the crisp yet warm sweet air rush into the house.

By late afternoon the house is lovely and fresh again.  All the lock downs smells have dissipated.  And you know you'll have to do it all again. But for today, its a fresh start.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Small Things #3 - Photo Booth Photos

In shopping centres everywhere there are photo booths. They are hidden in the wings that no one goes to. Near the $2 shop or behind the sew your name on a t-towel booth. You hardly notice it. Its like it doesn't want you to find it.

Once a year or so when you are out and about, a photo booth may catch your eye. It won't be a special day. Your hair won't be done. You won't have shaved. The kids will probably have food all over their faces.

You see the photo booth and you have a sudden urge to jump in. Like a mini full of clowns you all cram in trying to find a spot where everyones face can be seen in the little mirror. Someone reaches into their pocket and through the tangle of limbs put the money in the slot.

Your all laughing and complaining about the fact that someones knee is digging into your side and someone else is leaning on your hair. The red light starts to flash and you turn to ask "was that it?" FLASH

You stare at the panel sure that this time you'll all be looking at the screen. Then the person at the bottom of the pile falls of the stool. FLASH

You pile back on and decide that this time your going to be kissing someone. You pucker up and hold and hold and hold ... You get the giggles. FLASH

And that's it. You all entwine yourselves from your twister poses and start to get out. FLASH ... Bugger

Then there is the 5 minute wait. You stand at the side of the booth as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. Waiting for your strip of photos to appear in the slot.

Finally!! And yes 1/2 of the photos are missing peoples heads and the other 1/2 no ones looking at the camera and in all of them someone is pulling a funny face.  But in spite of it all, they are fabulous.

Conversations with a 5.5yr old

Jack: Mum, if you and Daddy didn't get married then how did you have babies?
Me: You don't need to be married to have babies, you just have to love each other a lot. One day you might meet someone you love and decide to have a baby?
Jack: Where will they sleep?
Me: Well one day when your a man, you will move out and live on your own or with people you love.
Jack: (thinking for a while) No I don't think so, when I'm a man we will have buy a bigger house so I can live with you forever.

Aww, he certainly knows the way to him mummys heart :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Small Things #2 - Finding Old Clothes You've Forgotten About.

It's midwinter. You feel like you have worn your winter wardrobe to death already  and have figured out every possible combo of skirt, pant, shirt and jumper. To get over the monotony you've even accessorised with every belt, scarf and piece of jewellery you can find. Still you feel like you walk out of the house every morning looking the same.

You are intensely aware of the holes left in last years winter wardrobe (figuratively and literally). You think about buying a few pieces to get you through the last weeks/months of winter. Unfortunately most of the stores are already bringing in their summer range and all that is left of winter stock are the awful bits no one wants.

Its starts to rain. And you get further and further behind in the washing. Finally one morning as your rushing to get ready you realise that finally the lack of washing has caught up with you and you have nothing to wear.

You start rummaging through the bottoms of your draws looking for anything you can wear. You notice that there is a few things that have made it to the deepest darkest depths of your draws that haven't seen the light of day since last winter. You hold up a shirt looking for tears, stains or anything that means you can't wear it in public.

Its perfect! You try it on and it still fits. It feels like an old friend and suddenly you have a new (old) item that once added to your current pants, shirts, skirts and jumpers means you have 5 new outfit combinations.

No need to shop, or wash. The god of hidden things has provided.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Luxury in the Midst of Simplicity


Its a funny thing that the day I decide to start Small Things Month is the same day that two of my wonderful friends and I decided to go out for a really decadent lunch.   After much thinking and debating we decided to go to Neil Perry's new restaurant 'Spice Temple'.  

Its the sort of place where one could never really get accustomed to eating.  Everything so beautiful in presentation, taste and smell.  We shared two mains and a side dish.  I think if we could have we would have licked the plate.  

To add to the decadence we decided to have a cocktail each.  I can honestly say that the cocktail I chose was the most amazing flavour I have ever had the pleasure of eating or drinking.

And of course we shared a desert, perhaps not the most amazing desert we have ever had but the perfect way to end a feast.  So it is the small things that make most days wonderful.  But somedays its something  not so small at all.

Small Things #1 - A New Bar of Soap

You know the feeling. The last few days as you have gone to wash your hands you are fumbling with a sliver of soap. To big to throw away but to small to effectively work it into a good lather. The dirt ground into the cracks that have formed as it dries out. And you wonder, am I actually any cleaner than when I started?

Then suddenly one day, the sliver starts to disintegrate in your hands.  As the last few pieces that seemed to be held together by some super strength molecules finally gives up the ghost.  You watch them as they circle the drain before finally plunging into oblivion. 

And you get to start a new bar. 

You open the box and see this perfectly formed oval. Pure and clean. You wet it and after barely rubbing your hands together they are full of a luxurious lather. You rinse and put it in its rightful place and all feels a little better (and cleaner) with the world.

Monday, 21 June 2010

It's the Small Things

Life, its one big amazing adventure! True but mostly when you have to sum up your life in a day to day sense, everything seems fairly monotonous. Groundhog day, over and over and yet in everyday there are small things that are amazing if you just take the time to look.

I wish it was the first of the month, or even better new years day but its not. Never the less tomorrow I am starting a month of noticing the small thing. Each day (all going well) I will post about something small and yet awesome. Oh and don't worry, they wont all be things like, a newborn babies breath, or how cute my kids are when they sleep.  I will try and make them as generic as possible, although I know I won't be able to please everyone.  xx

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Great Theme Songs

I was watching a new episode of True Blood the other day and I was reminded of how great the theme song is.  The mood so perfectly matches the dark grimy and sometimes a bit backwards nature of the show.  It got me thinking about theme songs.  Back when I was a kid a lot of the shows had theme songs that explained the idea behind the show in no uncertain terms;

"Here's a story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls, all of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls" (The Brady Bunch)

"Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is clean, can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street"(Sesame Street)

"Sunday Monday, Happy days, Tuesday Wednesday, Happy days, Thursday, Friday, Happy days, Saturday, what a day, groovin all week with you" (Happy Days)

These days they are not so blatant about the topic of the show with the theme song but they do try and capture the nature and feel of the show. Both have their ups and downs. Some of the old themes have lasted the test of time.  I wonder if some of the newer ones will as well.

So here are my picks, some old favourites, some new and some we would all rather forget. 

Great Theme Songs 
Monkey Magic - Once you get past the over use of synthesizer it's actually still a pretty groovy theme.  Albeit slightly weird ... but then it matches the show quiet perfectly.
+ X-Files - You just couldn't get a creepier theme song if you tried.  Although I have never heard it go on for 3 minutes and if you listen to the whole thing by the end you're no longer creeped out, your just bored. (Once again we have an outrageous use of synthesizer)
+ The Soprano's - Sometimes it's just all about grabbing the perfect song for the job.
+ Fraggle Rock -  I can't quiet figure out if I think this has survived the test of time, because I love it.  Or if it is actually just a fantastic theme song.  My kids and I both get up and dance whenever we hear it.  
+ Doctor Who - I loved most versions except the latest, which even Jack mentioned he didn't like as much.
+ Battlestar Gallactica - Oh My God.  This is absolutely one of my favourites.  I think that not only it is a beautiful piece of music it also perfectly captures the feeling of the show.  In fact I loved all of the backing sounds (what's the proper word for that again) from BSG.  From gun fire to the sounds of the ships, truly magnificent.
+ Dexter - I think that part of why I think this is a great theme is that the opening credits are a masterpiece.  
+ True Blood - As I mentioned before, it is just a great pick of song to accompany a show about vampires.

Honorable mentions; Law and Order, Gilmore Girls, 21 Jump Street, The Addams Family

Dodgy Theme Songs - So many of the songs on this list actually started as ones that I thought were great but on an re-listen I was so very wrong.
+ The Muppets - This is one of those that I gave a listen to thinking it might be in the top but it was not to be. 
+ The 4400 - Ok so this show was terrible, and the credits and music meant it never had a chance.
+ Twin Peaks - Yet another that I thought was awesome but isn't.  In fact that whole opening credits are super dull and weird and leave you wondering 'whats the point?'.  Typical David Lynch I suppose.
+ The Simpsons - If you take away the cute cartoon and wondering what's going to happen when they reach the lounge room, this is actually a boring (albeit extremely recognisable) piece .
+ The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Another example of why you don't need to tell the whole shows premise in the theme song.

Dishonorable mentions are; The Benny Hill Show, The Love Boat, MASH ... and I could go on and on.

Ohh I'm sure there are more I could happily pick for both list, but these were the ones that came about in my searching and thinking today.  I wonder, what are your picks? 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Kids Moving Pictures

A few months ago I decided to get the movie Spirited Away for the kids.   I had heard a lot about it and I had always enjoyed Japanese animation, even if I did find it a bit off kooky.  So I figured what the heck, six movies for $6 lets give it a go.  I loved it and in spite of the fact that it flowed differently to the sorts of movies the boys normally enjoy they seemed to enjoy it very much.

Slowly over the next month or so we made out way through the other movies made by Studio Ghibli and so far all of them have been hits, especially with Hamish.  The latest one we got out proved to me just how much Hamish enjoys anything Ghibli.

I grabbed it off the shelf in a rush.  Normally I read the back to see if I think its appropriate and if its the sort of movie that the kids will like.  This time I was in a hurry, and the back had pictures of weird cats on it so I figured, what the heck.  Its studio Ghibli, it looks a bit weird.  It may be called Whisper of the Heart but they all have fairly odd names.  They'll love it.

We had had it a few days.  It was pretty obvious that Jack wasn't into it but Hamish was loving it.  Over the week if it was his turn to pick something to watch he would choose Whisper of the Heart.  

I finally sat down to watch it with him while he was sick on Wednesday.  It turns out that its about a young girl who is falling in love with a boy and the way she tries to process it.  During it she makes up a story about a cat statue that she sees in an antique store.  Now don't get me wrong, the movie had nothing to do with her story.  It was all about these two 15 year old falling in love. No weird cats, nothing freaky or action packed at all.

It surprised me and it also made me realise how much Hamish loves these Japanese cartoons.  It doesn't matter to him what the movie is about.  He seems to love something about them that is more than just the storyline.  Almost all of the lead characters are these strong brave and outspoken girls.  Almost all of them have some musical component.  And good always seems to win out.  Even the bad things usually turn out to be good by the end as well.

So if you are looking for something to watch, check them out.  So far our family favourites are;

+ Ponyo
+ Spirited Away
+ Howl's Moving Castle
+ The Cat Returns
+ Laputa - Castle in the Sun
+ Nausicaa of the Valley of Winds
+ My neighbour Totoro
+ Kikis Delivery Service

And as an adult, I have also loved Princess Mononoke

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Do You Vagazzle?

As you all know I can't go past a new vagina fad without posting.  

Forget yoni prints or labia colouring.  The new 'thing' these days is apparently Vagazzling. This is where you get a brazillian wax then you use glue and stick Swarovski crystals to your bare flesh to make your pubic area pretty.  Or to quote up Jennifer Love Hewitt "Swarovski-crystalled my precious lady," she said. "It shined like a disco ball".

I know, your all asking 'where can I get me some of those crystals?' No, hang on sorry. (hopfully) You'll be asking 'Why' just like I am.

Oh and is it just me or does everyone else want to slap JLH around until she stops calling her vagina her 'precious lady'!! Seriously, that sounds so creepy.

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Its been a week full of clearing out and cleaning up.  Every spare moment since last weekend I have spent sorting out 'bits' and making more space.  I've sorted photos, toys, clothes, books, linen, paperwork, art supplies, bags, hats, kitchen utensils and on and on.

Its time for a life spring clean.  So to celebrate I have given the blog a facelift.  I wanted something a bit sharper.  A little less cluttered.  A bit more sleek.  Or maybe thats just what I want for my head ... but the blog seems like a good start.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Strange finds on the Web

There are some things on the web that are just to great not to share. This is the latest one that I have found. Seeing its been years since I have watched He-Man and almost as long since I have listened to Four Non Blondes this is a queer trip down memory lane.

Plus once again this shows what people can accomplish when they have to much time on their hands.

(It starts slow, but give it a moment)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Things Horror Movies have Taught Me.

I've been watching a fair few B grade horror movies recently. Nothing frustrates me more that watching these fools blatantly go against the basic rules that we should have all learnt from watching any sort of horror films. So for those of you who don't watch horror movies here are a few things that I have learnt. (They just might save your life)

1. NEVER EVER buy a house with a basement. As far as I can tell basements are ALWAYS bad. If you must buy a house with a basement. Clean out the previous owners old stuff as something will inevitably be cursed. Check the floors and walls and make sure nothing is buried under or in it. Check the electrics. Make sure the door can't be locked from the outside ... Actually forget all that and go back to the beginning and NEVER EVER buy a house with a basement.

2. If you are hearing noises and go to investigate and the lights won't turn on, leave it and go back in the morning (if ever). This includes scratching, thumping, a cat or child crying, or whispering. Do not fool yourself in thinking that its rats and even if it IS rats it can wait till the morning when you can change the bulb.

4. If weird things are happening, even if the power is turned off do not put your hand in waste disposals, meat grinders, under drop saws or near anything with sharp blades unless you don't need all of your fingers.

5. I'm pretty sure I covered this in my '
Things End of the World Movies have Taught Me' post but always remember good footwear. You'll thank me if you ever have to walk though rooms filled with bugs, snakes and broken glass. Plus if a hand reaches up from below it will give you the ability to slip out of your shoes before you are pulled into the nether world.

6. If you are running from something in your home. Do not go upstairs. Once you are up there there is no where to go. In fact its a good idea to have an escape plan from each room in your house. Mostly what you want to do is; if you live near people leave the house and find some. If you are away from other people DO NOT leave your house. Instead find the room that is the easiest to barricade and stay there until the sun comes up.

7. If your kids tell you there is something in their wardrobe or under their bed. Believe them. The easiest thing to do would be move. If that isn't an option get rid of the wardrobe or bed and maybe seal the room off. Also think about getting someone in to help. (maybe call the Ghostbuster)

8. If you think (even for a second) that you saw someones eyes flash red, yellow, white or black. Get away from them as fast as possible. Also do this if you think you glimpse a tail, horns or their face does some weird demon thing.

9. Don't walk down alleyways if there have been lots of mysterious deaths in your town. In fact don't walk anywhere. If you don't drive take a cab, bus or just stay where you are.

10. Lastly and most importantly if you are faced with a supernatural situation or are in a creepy building DO NOT split up. Nothing good can come of it, EVER. If someone has managed to get lost from the group, try and get everyone to go together. Or even better just thank your luck it wasn't you and hope they have found the best room in the house to barracade themselves in until the sun comes up.

Also completely stay away from:
Corn fields
Unused mental hospitals
Unused regular hospitals
Creepy looking dolls
Any house that has had an unexplained death in it

Wishing you luck, speed and pockets full of salt (that stuff is amazing, it can help with almost any situation)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

10 Years On.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Mums death. Its been 10 years. Amazing how major life events seem to move so quickly and yet so slowly into the past all at once.

So yesterday the boys and I gathered some flowers from the gardens in the street and set them up around some candles. We also placed a photo near the candles. Its interesting to watch the boys process the idea that my mother died. I think that it hits upon a lot of ideas for them. That I can be sad about missing someone. And also that mothers are people who one day will die.

We have had a few gorgeous comments from the boys on the topic.

1. Hamish completely out of the blue decided to ask Trish the other day if she knew that my mum had died and that I got sad sometimes. Its quiet amazing how frankly he talks about it. For him it almost like saying "Trish, did you know that sometimes mummy eats apples? And she thinks they are yummy"

2. Jack asked what happened to mums body. When I mentioned that we had her cremated he asked "when they burn the bodies mum, do they burn the bones as well?". Once I told him they did he looked really sad. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he was sad that they burnt her bones. He would have liked to keep her head bone. (Ok slightly morbid but it has a sweetness behind it that I love)

All in all the last few days we have all talked about mum a lot. Its not hard anymore. In fact its lovely that even though my kids will never meet her she is still a part of their lives.

Miss you mum, always xx

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