Friday, 31 December 2010

New Years Eve

While everyone is planning their New Years Eve celebrations I am driving to a friends property and pondering the universe. Why? Well, it's my birthday tomorrow and for some reason this one smarts a little bit. The last few years have sped past so fast that each year, I have barely become accustomed to my new age before it's time to do it all over again.

It seems to me that the younger I feel on the inside, the older my body gets, what's with that? Maybe it has to do with finally being out of that heavy mothering phase with little babies and finding myself again? Maybe it's what everyone goes through? Maybe I'm just a little bit mad? Whatever it is I find this whole 'getting older' thing a bit of a drag.

Saying that, I am excited about this coming year. I love the idea that at the moment it's a blank canvas just ready for me to paint another years worth of experiences on. And isn't that just what life is? A canvas for each year that we paint our life into?

Whoever you are, the year ticking over probably makes you think a little. Both about the year past and the year to come. Have you made a new years resolution? Or planned something that you want to do in 2011? Is there something that you need to say goodbye to from 2010?

Personally the closest thing I have to a new years resolution for 2011 is to enjoy it. I'm saying goodbye to one of the best and yet hardest years I've had. And I'm hoping to get my head around my new age, and actually embrace it.

You never know this coming year could be one of those years you remember with fondness when your at the end of your life. Isn't that possibility something to be excited about!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Summer Loving - Long Weekends

We have been lucky enough to have spent the last 3 nights down at our friends holiday house. The house is huge and gorgeous and comfortably housed seven adults and nine children. It's on a river and has a pool so there is a lot to do or (like me) do nothing. With so many kids it was almost like having no kids at all they were so busy playing we hardly saw them. The best part is that it was so idyllic. Above is a photo of Hamish paddling in the river about 50 meters from the house. Hours spent swimming and running or watching movies and playing computer games.

For the adults it was a mixture of talking, eating, reading, cat naps, swimming, drinking and more talking.

Sometimes the right mix of people and/or weather just makes for a fantastic few days. And isn't that what you hope for every summer holiday long weekend.

Eating - Everything incl: BBQ, curry, fresh scones, watermelon, left over Christmas pud.

Drinking - Everything incl: water, margaritas, beautiful crisp white wine, heavy earthy red wine, more water, French martinis, cosmos, more water.

Watching - Nothing except the music channel due to lack of holiday house sound system. (but can't wait to get home and watch the Doctor Who Christmas special)

Reading - Trashy mags and Zombies Vs Unicorns anthology.

Listening - Way to much Top 40 and not enough Temper Trap.

State of mind - Completely sated. (except I wish we could have stayed another day or 3)

Sunday, 26 December 2010


Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you had a day full of indulgence and merriment. We did. And to top of a wonderful day we had Turducken for Christmas dinner. If your wondering, its a chicken, in a duck, in a turkey each one surrounded by a layer of stuffing and then the whole thing covered in bacon rashes.

It was delicious and not at all freaky and slightly gross the way I worried it may be. Let's hope it's a new Christmas tradition.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Lights

This evening we took the boys to go and see some Christmas lights. We had heard that THE place to go near by was two streets about 10 minutes away.

They did not disappoint. Neither did the ice-cream from the Mr Whippy truck parked on the street or the free lollipops the residents were giving out.

Watching - The kids going wild over all the lights.
Listening - Carolers and Hamish making up a song about the Santa with a hula skirt and a surf board.
Reading - Santa stop here signs
State of mind - Full of Christmas cheer.

Summer Loving - School Holidays

I don't remember a lot from my childhood, but with sharp clarity I remember the feeling of the last week of school before the summer holidays. Classes were disorganized, you spent more time doing art and craft and you got to help the teacher clean out the classroom. And then bliss of all bliss, school was over for six whole weeks.

The only problem with the summer holidays and being an only child was that sometimes I got lonely. A lot of my friends used to go away or you had to rely on your parents to make a date for you to have a friend over or go out.

This year it has become apparent that this is another one of the blessings of our street. Tonight as I got home there were 10 children (mine included) running and skateboarding and scootering and yelling and laughing on the street. With this many kids in the street there is no shortage of playmates to wile away the hot summer days with.

Yesterday the kids found a 'clicky' bug. It didn't look very healthy so they decided to make it a safe place to live. The picture above is the 'clicky' bug oasis they made. Which now not only housed said 'clicky' bug but all manner of other creatures they had discovered on their explorations.

Things like this made me wish I was a kid again. But also so glad that I have my kids and am able to see the wonder of the world through their eyes.

Watching - Being Human season 1
Listening - Kid Cudi
Reading - Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
State of mind - A little bit sick, but content.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Advent Calendar

I had a feeling that I had written about our advent calendar already, but it appears that maybe I only wrote it in my head.

We bought a handmade advent calendar from oxfam last year. I had read on owlets blog that she puts activities for the family to do in each pocket. Last year that required me to be to organised so I filled it with stickers and candy canes and other little bits.

But this year I was organised. I filled each little pocket with things for us to do each night. So far the favorites have been.

- Paint every ones toenails
- Have dinner for breakfast (pancakes)
- Have fish and chips at the beach (it rained so we had fish and chips at home)
- Make tags for Christmas gifts

And the least favorites have been:

- Fancy dress for dinner (Jack doesn't like dressing up)
- Give everyone crazy hairstyles (having just shaved Jacks head it was a non event)
- Make Christmas decorations (seeing we had decorated the tree a few days before hand no one much felt like doing it all over again)

Last nights was meant to be, have a bubble bath. And it looked like a least favorite as well. But this morning the boys decided to have a bubble pool outside. It was a chilly morning so I bucketed hot water into it. Tonights is meant to be, go and see the Christmas lights. But both boys seem so tired I wonder if they will still be awake by the time the sun goes down?

I'm loving this idea. We have had far more hits than misses and it feels far more rewarding than the stickers and sweets.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Way You Move

This video off you tube is beautiful. There is something so fluid about their bodies. Oh how I would love to have an eighth of their control and grace. I just had to share it.
(plus I'm over tired, it's midnight and I'm still trying to figure out how to turn the alarm off on Jack's watch. This is the second time in the last two weeks. One more try and I'm putting it out in the rain)

Most Disturbing Kids Movies

Sometimes as I go to write a blog post about something specific I do a bit of searching I realise that someone has already written it.  Normally, I'm not in complete agreement with the other writer and I decide to write my own.  This time, I whole heartedly agree with the post.  (especially the note about Watership Down)

And although I may have left off Pans Labyrinth and added Jaws (cause lord knows most of us saw that WAY to young) I feel confident in sharing this and happy to save myself the time and effort of linking to all those youTube sites.  :)

So this link pretty much contains my thoughts on the most disturbing kids movies of all time.

Summer Loving - The Calm After a Storm

Sydney's summer storms are amazing. They are more extreme than a winter storm. They usually come after a hot humid spell and from our place you can often watch the dark grey roll of a storm front slowly creep across the sky.

Then you start to hear it 'talking'. Deep rumblings that roll towards you. Sounding something like bowling balls rolling down the lane. And suddenly, it starts to rain. Big fat drops clatter on our tin roof and steam rises from the streets and pavements.

They almost always come in the afternoons, so there is little lightning to speak of. But the thunder seems to like the stage. Almost in unison the rain gets harder and the thunder claps become so loud they really do sound like the gods setting off fireworks.

And then as suddenly as the show started, it stops. The sun comes out and brings with it the sweet smell of fresh air and warming grass.

The world seems the slow, the air is clear, and everything feels calmer and cleaner. Ahhh ... There really is nothing like it.

Note: So why the picture of a glass of wine? Well how else would you celebrate this change of mood?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Summer Loving - Water Fights

The sun has finally come out today. It's beating down making the concrete so hot that it's burning the bottoms of our feet. The smell of warming grass is wafting through the air. What to do on a day like today?

The kids decided it was water fight day. They got out every bucket, super soaker and hose they could find and then I came up with the mother load. Water balloons!!!

Hours later, after they had saturated the entire lower end of our street they came in and crashed out. Exhausted, pink nosed and completely satisfied.

Oh how I remember summers like that! Next time I think I might join them.

Watching - the final of The Walking Dead. (Note:I would have left the building as well)

Listening - The Temper Trap, I'm having a mini love affair with 'Love Lost' again

Reading - Catching up on NetNews Wire feeds. So many blogs, so little time

Mental State - Tired but refreshed after our Xmas party last night. Nothing quite like hanging on the street till 2am with your neighbors.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Summer Loving - Ice Cream Soup

Ice cream for me is almost exclusively a summer dish. In the midst of winter, it's just not something I ever feel like. (I find myself preferring a biscuit and a hot cup of tea)

When I was a kid I didn't just eat my ice cream, I used to make, what I called, ice cream soup. This means that I would chop and stir my ice-cream until it became 'thick shake' consistency before I ate it.

Tonight I came home and found some ice cream in the freezer. After scooping a few spoonfuls into my bowl, I realized that I didn't really feel like ice cream. The sticky way you have to suck it off the spoon and then it freezes your soft palate giving you an ice cream headache was not what I was in the mood for. But I needed something to satisfy the sweet craving I was now having. And then I remembered my childhood and the joy I felt as I chopped and stirred my ice cream. The delayed gratification of that first spoonful. And the way it was almost silky in my mouth.

I thoroughly enjoyed my ice cream soup tonight. In fact I'm thinking I may have some more.

Reading: New Dawn, the final Twilight book. Not enjoying it at all, but have a morbid need to find out what happens with the whole 'will Bella become a vampire?' thing. I'll keep you updated :)

Watching: The Walking Dead. I'm up to episode 3 of this series about a guys experience as he survives the zombie apocalypse. It's to early to tell if I'm really liking it or not, but it's got zombies and ..... zombies so it can't be to bad.

Listening: The new soundtracks I've just downloaded including: Before Sunrise, Adventureland, Mallrats, Seredipity

Mental State: Slightly tipsy, full of ice cream and satisfied after a chillaxed night with the girls.

(a friend of a friend ends each blog post with a few snippets, like above. I've been really enjoying this way of finishing a post. Next time I'm on my PC I'll link you to his blog, for now I'm going to steal his idea)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Summer Loving - Fruit

What with hot houses and long term snap freezing (or whatever it is they do) you can get seasonal fruits, that were once only available a few precious months of the year, all year round these days.

But as the weather warms up, they are far more readily available, tastier and cheaper.

If your a fruit lover (like me) then summer brings overflowing fruit bowls filled to the brim with ripe juicy fruit that tantalizes the taste buds.

Top 5 summer fruits;
- nectarines
- grapes
- cherries
- watermelon
- blueberries

I just can't wait for my first grape binge tummy ache.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Summer Loving - Sleeping with the Windows Open

I'd love to make a broad statement like I did with my 'Small Things' posts and say that I am going to make this Summer Loving month. But we all know I didn't keep up with posting daily about small things, as hard as I tried. So the plan is this. My intention is to write something I love about summer everyday. With the disclaimer that I just don't normally stick well within timelines, so I'll write one when I get a chance.

When I got home from India, it was colder than I had expected. Weeks of rain meant that the heater was on at times and the house was closed up. But a few days later the sun came out.

Our bedrooms are upstairs which means, a. They are the furthest point in the house from the toilet and, b. More relevant to this post, they get hot in summer. Once summer really hits this means that they are impossible to sleep in without a fan directly on you. But at this time of the year it means one of my favorite things. The start of sleeping with our double doors open.

Now living in the city, you would think that the last thing we would want is to let the noises of the night in. But we live in a pretty special street. During summer we have a cuckoo that comes and calls throughout the night. We can hear the music playing from the radio stations next-door. We get the occasional siren or person walking past but generally it's quiet. In the mornings we get all the birds in the trees, or the kids playing on the street or again people talking or cars honking.

Part of my loving living in the city is about embracing these noises people make as they go about their lives. And in summer with our doors open I feel more connected to the place we live.

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