Thursday, 29 September 2011

Hamish Takes Flight

Today's outing to the pool proved fruitful as I watched Hamish's tentative nature around deep water slowly relax. As he watched Jack jump and swim and splash I think he noted that it seemed a lot more fun than hanging around the edge holding on to it (or me).

I can see why he is tentative about it. He seem to get an extraordinary amount of water up his nose, but as he plays he is figuring that out as well.

So within 2 hours we went from monkey grip on the edge to running and jumping in!! (to be honest the amount of water that pours out of his nose made me wonder why he goes back for more? But I admire his bravery and tenacity in the face of this adversity).

I'm bored now! I want to go home, get dry and put my feet up. But it's hard to pull them away from such fun ... actually normally for me it's not ... I must be growing :). Thank god the coffee shop here makes great coffee, I thought to bring my iPhone and it's only a two minute drive home!

The End is Nigh

I've talked about my fascination with Neil Gaiman a few times before. The fact that I have loved one of his books since I was 22 but had not explored the rest of his work until a few years ago and how unlike most of his fans his comic series Sandman (what bought him to fame in the first place) was actually the last thing of his I read.

There are 10 volumes in the Sandman library. And as a way of making them last I have gone slowly on ordering them. You see they are the last new (to me) Gaimans there are to read until he publishes something new. And we all know how long some authors can go between books.

This week thanks to the Book Depository (and me ordering them) I have received the last three in the series. My instant reaction was 'OMG! I'm going to be reading comics all day, perfect'. I opened the first one and with a sudden overwhelming fear I close it again.

The truth is, I'm desperate to read them! I've finally got the rest of these comics that I have been coveting for almost two years, slowly devouring them, making my 'cake' last. But once I've finished my cake, there is no more cake! And I know I'm going to want more cake!

Now if this is the biggest issue I have all day, I'm a very lucky woman, I know this. But still ....

So for now I will just look at them longingly for a while, I may clean the house while looking at them and do the multitude of other little things that I need to do while looking at them. Knowing all the while that at some point in the not to distant future, I may have to make do with another flavor of cake for a long while to come.

Watching - I've just grabbed a copy of Thor and am hoping to watch it tonight. By the way the Bill Paxton schlock movie was truly and wonderfully terrible.
Reading - nothing, did you read the above post? ;)
Listening - To the rain engulfing my worksite.
State of mind - Scratchy, a mixture of bad weather and kids stuck inside tends to do that to me.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Sun Will Come Out

When we started fixing up the front of the house I realized that I needed to think of it in four stages, the apex, the balcony, the porch and the garden. The reason for this is that each area had very separate things that needed to be done at very different times. The apex was the first part that needed to be complete because we wouldn't be able to start on the balcony's tin roof until it was done.

As of yesterday stage one of four is complete!!

It looks like such a small part of the whole thing, but realistically as it was the least cared for section it needed the most detailed work. We had to set up a boardwalk about as wide as my feet so we could reach to take down the barge boards, fix the pitching plate to the wall and drill out the bricks to support the frame for the balcony's tin roof and add new barge boards and a finial. Then it was time to start prepping the wall surface (this included scrapping off old paint, filling almost all of the spaces between the bricks, paint a sticky coat, two texture coats and two colour coats).

Like I said it looks like such a small part of the whole, but all up I've been up on that board hanging almost three stories in the air, for over four days.

The colour looks great, we ended up choosing Dulux Domino for the walls and Dulux Hogs Bristle 1/8 strength for the woodwork. It's definitely going to be an acquired taste for some people, but once it's all put together and the planting, wooden floors and tessellated tiles softens the overall look, I'm sure they will come around (and if they dont well hey! it's our house :)

Anyway, seeing the weather is going to be revolting for the rest of the week, and we are headed away for the long weekend, work has come to a standstill until next week. To be honest it's a welcome break, it should give my hands a chance to heal and my body a chance to relax. I am eagerly anticipating the finish though and think after our mini break I'll be keen to get my hands dirty again as we start seeing some of the final touches come together. For now I'll just look at the top 1/3 of the house and grin.

Reading - I finally got my RSS feeds organized on my iPad so I'm catching up on my blog reading.
Watching - Right now, a very terrible thriller movie that I can't stop watching because of my obsession with Bill Paxtons d-grade movies.
Listening - To Jack and his friend singing hip-hop songs while making things out of clay.
State of Mind - Relaxed but could do with being even more so :)

Sign of the Times

Tonight after watching an ad for the iPhone on the TV, Jack asked me if I liked my phone. I said that I did and then wondered out loud what mobile phones would look like when he was old enough for one.

He looked at me puzzled, and then asked me what I meant, what did mobile phones look like when I first got one?

I mentioned that when I first had a mobile they were bigger and all they did was make phone calls. He looked perplexed and said 'no games?' nup, all it did was make phone calls, you couldn't even send text messages. He looked confused as if the idea was unthinkable.

It's an interesting thought. My kids will think it's normal that almost everyone has a mobile phone, and that they do a multitude of things beyond phone calls. They will never think of a computer as one per family. In fact I wonder if they will even recall that not everyone has a gaming device of some sort, or a multitude of online electricals, or the ability to skype when people are away, and all of the technologies that still seem quiet miraculous to me.

It's a different world for them, as it was a different world for me compared to my parents. And I guess one day they will be having the same thoughts as they watch their kids.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Today Haul 7

The last few weeks have been hectic and the time that I have spent one on one with the boys has been limited. Today was the first day of the school holidays where Jack and I got to have a real mummy and Jack day.

In true 'my son' style he opted to spend the day browsing a few secondhand shops and having a coffee/smoothie together. We went to three of our favorite op shops and had an impressive score.

- A hat for Jack (pictured) I'm so into his style at the moment.
- An army style hat for Hamish.
- A business shirt for AB (as new).
- A pretty glittery skirt and a completely unrelated glittery cardie for me.
- A small 1.5 x 1 meter flokati rug in white for our bedroom (as new).
- Another pair of roller shoes.
- 6 early reader type books for Hamish.
- A pair of red ballet slipper type shoes for me.
- 2 clasp shut glass jars for the kitchen.
- 2 small toys.
- A pair of swimmers for Jack.
- A small (and completely unneeded but funky) leather purse.

All for just over $40. Once again I'm enthralled by how much cool and (generally) needed stuff can be found without spending much money at all. I mean the shirt I bought AB is an expensive brand and if I had bought it brand new it would have been at least $60-80.

Watching - paint dry.
Listening - to Jacks hilarious views on the world.
Reading - well it would be Sandman #8 if it had arrived but in the hilariously frustrating Book Depository way I received #9 first.
State of mind - completely relaxed, paintwork (check), fun times with J (check), weekend away organized (check), everything else ... always gets done somehow (usually by me in those little moments where I'm not doing everything else)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Just For You

Once in a while you come across something while you are browsing the second hand shops that you know is just for you. A few weeks ago I came across one such purchase. I'm sure loads of people would have walked passed a 1.2 meter high inflatable TARDIS and not looked twice. But in our household this is manna from heaven. And at the outrageous sum of $4 it was well and truly the find of the year ... If not the century!

Watching - Old school Doctor Who, the Tom Baker years. I'm loving rewatching these episodes from my childhood and loving even more how much my kids are loving them as well.

Listening - The rain falling on our tarp covered floorboards and hoping they survive the weather.

Reading - Scott Pilgrim

State of mind - About as tired as I have ever been, not enjoying the rain except for the fact it's giving me a reason not to be prepping the walls getting ready to paint.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

How's The View?

I have never sat on the second floor balcony of our house. It wasn't safe ... actually worse, it felt safe and if you didn't look closely it looked safe-ish but realistically it was barely holding on to the house.

Today after two hard days work we (Ant, my FIL and I) got the beams and support structure done and this afternoon Ant and I enjoyed a cider sitting atop my brand new balcony.

The project is still a long way from being finished. There's the posts to erect, the roof, the proper flooring, painting and a hundred other little bits to do. Not to mention the brick fence, the path being tiled and then the landscaping.

But for tonight I'm going to stand at my upstairs bedroom window and imagine.

Reading - ...
Listening - Kimbra, in preparation for her show tomorrow !!!
Watching - ...
State of Mind - Excited and exhausted

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Whole (Front Yard) Story

This is our front yard when we bought the house. 

Quiet quickly after we moved in we took down the blinds and added a few bits and piece.  Seeing that our street is quiet communal it became a place to sit and share a cuppa, or watch the kids play. 

 After a few years the front and side fence started to fall down so we pulled it down.  The top deck had always been unstable, we have never used it to sit on but I did used to go out and hang our blankets or rugs on it to air them.  A few years ago it seriously started to deteriorate and even going on it to hang the blankets out started to feel like playing russian roulette.

So a few months ago we started thinking about renovating the front.  I soon realised that this was a lot more work than just pulling down the deck and putting up a new one.  The lower level (the porch) needed to be lifted to create a strong enough footing for the upper level.

So began our project.  We needed to completely pull our front yard apart and start again.

First thing to go were our ancient hibiscus and rosemary bushes and a massive fern.  We tried to replant both the rosemary and fern but neither survived.  At the same time we also propped up the deck as we had checked it more thoroughly and realised it was almost falling off the house.

After weeks of talking and planning a start date was agreed upon with Ant our friend and leader (forman) of our project.  The first thing to do was that I needed to try and salvage as many of our tessellated tiles as possible.  The truth is that AB has never loved our tiles and I always have, so trying to both salvage them and then think of what to do with them was days worth of talking.  We decided that if I could lift enough of them then we would use them to make the path leading up to our new porch.  It took me three full days of slowly chipping and violently hammering to save, what I estimate as, 75% of the tiles.  Thankfully that should be enough to recreate the same pattern.  (more on that later as the tiler actually starts laying them)

Then the big stuff started, on Monday (while I was busy supporting a couple birthing their first child) AB and Ant pulled down the deck.  By the time I got home it was gone and they were starting to lift the concrete.

For the rest of Monday, all of Tuesday and Wednesday, the three of us dug holes and bucketed the dirt not only for the piers to support the deck, but also for the supports for a brick fence to surround the yard, to create enough space between the lower porch and the earth and make a place for our new (and moved) path.  It was hard, every part of my and ABs bodies were aching as we both worked physically for longer than we had done in many years.  All up we have taken 10 cubic meters (3 skips) of rubble dirt and balcony out of our front yard.

Finally all the holes were dug, the formwork was put in to hold the concrete in the right place and steal work was added to all of the holes to give the concrete enough strength.  The council guy can out to make sure we were up to code and gave us the go ahead to pour the concrete on Friday.

Then on Friday it rained.

Saturday we woke up and bucketed water out of the deepest holes and thankfully the sun was shining so  we could finally poured the concrete.   Its all starting to come together.  I can now see the spaces better and I can't help but wonder and be excited at the idea of what the front of our house will look like by the end of the coming week. You see last week was all about pulling the front yard apart but this week we start doing the woodwork, painting the facade (the colour swatches on the wall are some of the colours we are thinking of as the house colour, off set with white detailing and a red front door), all in all we are starting to put the front back together. 
Once the porch and the deck are complete, we get a bricklayer in to do the fence and then the tiler to do the path, and do the landscaping, then TADA ... it's finished (hopefully).  AB has promised me a daybed to sit on the porch so I can relax comfortably and take in all of our hard work.  I can wait!!

 PS.  I have no idea where we will put our street loved lions but still hope to find a (less obvious) place for them in the front yard somewhere.

Watching - Torchwood, Miracle Day finale
Reading - Scott Pilgrim
Listening - Whatever is on my favourites at the moment ... music makes the work go faster :)
State of mind - Honestly I'm exhausted (not helped by going out both Friday and Saturday nights)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

On and On and On ...

There is really nothing new to report today. I dug out and bucketed more dirt, I scraped, cut and battered my poor hands a little more, we added cages to our holes to reinforce the concrete we are pouring tomorrow (if you pray please do it for no rain for the next 48 hours), we knocked up boards to hold in the concrete for the paths mini slab and I dug and bucketed some more.

I'm sore, tired and my house is full of dirt. In fact seeing that I have been doing building stuff, the whole house/kids stuff is getting left behind.

Funny thing is, I'm kind of digging it (if you'll excuse the pun). Working with my hands, bantering with the workmen (AB and his mate Ant), learning carpentry words like arris, cupping and rebar, thinking about details and learning the many sorts of details that go into what is a relatively small job. And on and on and on. In fact for all the cuts, scratches, pulled muscles and so on, I'm actually enjoying myself ... Well I'm enjoying it once it's over for the day, during the digging and bucketing I'm not enjoying it that much :) Saying that I'm very glad tomorrow is Friday.

One thing I've been thinking is maybe we all need this once in a while.  It's not a holiday but it is a change from the norm, it's a working holiday at home. It's also trying something new that will give me something at the end I can enjoy. So whether it's picking up a paint brush, opening your sewing machine, anything that is something you have never done before, why don't you have a working home holiday this weekend.

Listening - Kimbra 'Vows'
Watching - Old school Doctor Who (Tom Baker)
Reading - Fables
State of Mind - ... No time to think I'm to busy digging

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Monday - support a couple having a baby. Get home at lunch, start bucketing dirt (aprox one cubic meter)

Tuesday - spend all day bucketing dirt into a skip (aprox three cubic meters)

Wednesday - spend most of the day bucketing dirt (aprox three cubic meters). Do data entry during breaks for my actual work.

Feeling tired (tick), feeling like we've accomplished a lot (tick), feeling like blogging is beyond me (tick), feeling overjoyed that today was my last day of bucketing dirt (hellyeah tick)

Listening - ...
Reading - ...
Watching - ...
State of mind - ... phew ...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

See Ya Later Alligator

It's quiet here in blog land at the moment. Normally I have no excuses but this week I most certainly do. We are starting the renovations on the front of our house. I want to do lots of posts on the whole process but not tonight. I'm exhausted after bucketing somewhere near three cubic meters of dirt and rock and concrete. My fingers are barely working well enough to type even this much. So for now photo proof of the work so far (missing the huge holes we dug in the yard today). Tomorrow we continue digging about another two cubic meters. So I'm guessing no blog posting tomorrow either. Any free time will be spend trying to heal my blisters and soak my oh so aching back.

Watching - the level of soil go down in the yard and up in the skip.

Listening - whatever pops up on random from my iPod. The music does soothe the soul but does little for my aching back.

Reading - absolutely nothing.

State of mind - excited to be started, scared of the work to come.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Men V Women (Or AB V Me)

Me: Did Ned Kelly have family?
AB: Probably.
Me: I've never heard of him having kids, I mean he died young.
AB: He was hung?
Me: What do you mean by that? What's penis size got to do with it?

Ok, not my finest moment and a reminder for me that two glasses of champagne really takes me to the gutter. But I stand by my further discussion with AB that his comment was slightly out of the box as we were talking about children etc, not how he died!!

Something You Love

I've said it before, life is hard. It's harder by far than I ever thought it would be. On the upside it is also much more beautiful than I ever thought it would be, but sometimes it's hard to remember this.
The monotony and struggle of life sometimes seems to overwhelm our ability to see the beauty. And more often than not we don't spend enough time doing things we love to remind us.
So this is a shout out to 'DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE THIS WEEK'.
See a friend
Read a book ... in the bath, with wine
Play, sing, swim, dance
Climb a tree
Kiss someone you love
Make love to someone you love
Only share your precious time and devotion with people who love you the way you deserve (not the way you think you deserve)
This week I have heard of three marriages on the rocks, a friendship of over 15 years coming to an end, no sleep, financial stress, and on and on it goes.
We all worry about money, our parenting, our relationships, and the direction of our lives. These things sit on our shoulders like weights. So again 'DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE'.
It will change none of the above stressors. But it might (probably) change the way you feel about everything else. Truth be told that the more you do things that bring you joy the easier all the hard stuff seems.
Get a manicure
Spend hours cleaning you motorbike
Sit .... Sit .... Sit
Buy a plane ticket, a perfectly made coffee, a new lipstick
Move house
Paint a room, a piece of paper, a T-shirt.
Last week Jack saw these boots. His love for them was invigorating. And it was obvious that once they were on his feet something about these boots made his heart sing. We all deserve to feel that way once in a while.
So do something, anything that makes you remember who you are beyond work, school, children, finances and partners. Do something that makes your heart sing!!
Watching - My new dodgy obsession is a discovery doco about hoarders.
Reading - Maus
Listening - the Herds new album 'future shade' seriously get it ($9.99 on the elefant traks website) listen to the song Shihaba and shed a tear as it's based (strongly) on a real story.
State of mind - making plans to get out of this rut life's in!!
Related Posts with Thumbnails