Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A little self indulgence

when it comes in the form of a nice bottle of red at just the right temperature; a once a year massage on holiday; an especially nice coffee with a friend, well those are all wonderful things that you can't possibly object to. I do, however, object to the self indulgence of mine today, more than a little wallowing.

Ella and I were sick with gastro for a few days starting on Geoff's birthday, which was March 31st. That then went to a cold/cough/chest thing for me which lasted weeks. The girls have now been sick for a week and Leila has a full on watery eyes, not happy, running nose, constantly grizzly thing. Ella has to be really sick before she gives in, her cold hasn't really gotten any worse than snuffles. Today I have reached my limits and I feel really crappy about it. It's been a month of everyone being off and I feel completely spent. I have zero patience and zero energy - in fact I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I go to work for the distraction.

Times like this make me feel like the worst mother in Melbourne, lacking in enough empathy, selfish, you name it, I heap it all on myself. I need to rise above these feelings I know, but sometimes you just can't help but allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself. I do love the colder weather, completely love it over summer, but this year it's become more of an issue having the two girls indoors when both are champing to be constantly outside. Last year Leila was small enough that it didn't matter, Ella and I could go on with things regardless while she slept, but this year with Leila not quite old enough for crafts, aside from the destruction of anything Ella makes and the distribution of all paints, papers and sparkles to all corners of the house, it does not always end well for all concerned.

I'm a big list person and I really think I need to plan my days a little better this colder season. I need to have a plan in mind for my day and always include getting out with the girls, for all our sanity. On the back of the last month it's become easy to just try and take it easy - but it doesn't work out that way so I should just get up and get out, anywhere, into the fresh air because fresh air always seems to bring a fresh state of mind.

Sorry to whine, feel free to share your moments with me when you're at your absolute worst. Whenever a girlfriend of mine tells me stories of bad moments she's had I usually say "I'm sorry you're having a rough day, but it makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only one".

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You have to move fast

to catch them on film playing side by side so happily, it doesn't last long. It's not that they aren't good with each other, it's just that the age difference means that there are different rules for the play of each sister. Ella is now 4 years and 7 months and Leila is two days short of 16 months - a difference of, ummm, 3 years and 3 months (took me a while to get that!).

Favourite Passage No 2

The opening page of Alberta Moravia's "Contempt", one of my favourites.

During the first two yeas of our married life my relations with my wife were, I can now assert, perfect. By which I mean to say that, in those two years, a complete, profound harmony of the senses was accompanied by a kind of numbness - or should I say silence? - of the mind which, in such circumstances, causes an entire suspension of judgement and looks only to love for any estimate of the beloved person. Emilia, in fact, seemed to me wholly without defects, and so also, I believe, I appeared to her. Or perhaps I saw her defects and she saw mine, but, through some mysterious transformation produced by the feeling of love, such defects appeared to us both not merely forgivable but even lovable, as though instead of defects they had been positive qualities, if of a rather special kind. Anyhow, we did not judge: we loved each other. This story sets out to relate how, while I continued to love her and not to judge her, Emilia, on the other hand, discovered, or thought she discovered, certain defects in me, and judged me and in consequence ceased to love me.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Some days, today it's on a Monday, I just feel lucky. This is the reason I feel lucky today.

Isn't she lovely

We celebrated my mum's 70th birthday with our immediate family on the weekend with a lunch at their place, it was a lovely day.

I have just deleted a long story of my mother and our life, our family, but it didn't feel right. She's an amazing lady and in my father has found the most amazing of men. They are an awesome couple and I don't believe there is anything that could divide them. I'm lucky, in many ways, but having her as mother, that's been the foundation to it all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Macro 2

Broad bean seeds up and out of the soil in less than 2 weeks.

Beets, cabbage, cauliflower, brocolli, carrots and potatoes all strong and healthy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Macro 1

Inspired by this image today and thinking of Pina's participation in this macro project I managed a quick snap. I'm not sure that this really fits the macro bill but I love the shadows and no fuss of it. If I could take photos well, or if I had the time to try, I would like to take some like Jennifer or both these ladies or even these two . What company to keep.

Useful and Cheap

Pre the girls I used handcream numerous times a day, always something deliciously scented, always something relatively expensive for the amount of cream involved.

Post the girls, I wash my hands literally a dozen or more times a day and I usually forget the handcream or if I remember, it's washed off within the next hour.

My mum has visited a chiropodist over the years and at one point he recommended her a cream to use. She kept the name of the cream in her purse for ages but assumed that it would be something horrendously expensive. At one point relatively recently she decided, what the heck, I'll give it a try, and bought some.

A few months ago mum noticed my hands, cracked and sore knuckles and said I should try her chiropodist recommended cream and I did and it works wonders. It's not deliciously scented in fact it smells slightly medicinal, but it really works so much better than anything else I've ever tried AND, gotta love this, it's cheap. The bottle in the picture retailed for $4.95AUD and it's stocked in most chemists.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Mixed Bag

First there's the cubby which is threatening to consume the lounge room. I can't get to the blinds or window without climbing. I have disassembled and reassembled to vacuum all the picnic foods left behind. I am reading stories inside the cubby by torchlight and putting to bed not only my two girls, but all their girls as well.

Then there's the chest cold which I can't shake and the cough medicine which grosses me out. Chesty Cough Liquid - Forte - Reduces chest congestion by liquefying mucus!!!!!!!!!!!!

The car we've been talking about replacing which went in for service today. No problems with it, we don't drive much at all, but a routine service was due. A phone call later and I'm told there is approximately $2,000 of repairs and we'll look at the valves and pistons when we've got the engine out. It's 7 years old, these are, apparently, routine things. Why then do I feel such a muggins?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another piece of flotsam

Some more randomness that came to mind about myself last night as I went to bed. I like to sleep. I can't read in bed although the idea appeals, as soon as I'm under the covers, I switch off. Geoff jokes, as he did last night, when I got into bed before him as I always do, "try and stay awake until I get there". I didn't because I couldn't. Since we've had the girls I am asleep in absolute nano seconds - I seriously think as soon as I switch the light off I'm asleep a minute later. Not very romantic I know, but seriously, what can you do?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Melbourne does have some nice bayside beaches. They're not so far from us in terms of kms, but it's straight across town so there's no easy or really direct way to get there. 45 minutes seems a long driving time when it's only suburb to suburb and the girls aren't so good on stop start drives. We had such a nice time though and Ella always says "I LOVE the beach mum", it makes me feel bad we don't find the time to do it more often.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Finally the camera is working again and the two newest girls, Maia and Lily, are in the shop. I also had a custom order from my loveliest patron so far to make one of her daughter's dresses into a doll's dress - too cute!

I am also tagging three ladies whose words I like to read. I love the little things about people that make them special, things that not everyone would know - I find that makes people more interesting to me than the bigger facts. With that in mind I'm tagging Pina, Lindsay and Anna , all in different parts of the world, but all who I find very interesting ladies.
To kick us off I've put thought into 7 random facts about myself, not all amazing, but all thoroughly me and I look forward to reading yours.
  1. Whenever possible I hold my hands with my thumbs underneath the rest of my fingers, as if I don't have thumbs. When I was about 17 I developed a wart on each of my thumbs, right at the cuticle and as a result both my thumb nails are now "deformed". They aren't smooth, but ridged horizontally all the way across with a little dip. I guess if you didn't look for it you wouldn't notice them, but it's one thing I'd change if I could.
  2. I discovered my first grey hair at 21. I was standing by my car with a girlfriend after work and she spotted it. At the time I thought it was cool, that it made me different. I came to hair dye later in life and only started colouring my hair when I was about 30 and I felt that the grey was playing too much of a leading role.
  3. I prefer savoury to sweet. I love pickled foods - pickled ginger, gherkins, pickled onions but not pickled eggs.
  4. My perfume of choice for years has been Chanel No5 during the day, or Clarins eau Dynamisante for a fresher smell. At night I usually wear Coco Chanel and immediately I remember all the wonderful times before when I've worn it. I am a big smells person.
  5. I never went to university but if I had, or still could I guess, I would like to study anthropology and psychology - I like to understand what makes people who they are.
  6. When I was pregnant with Ella I was convinced she was a he. I never imagined I would have a daughter, I always imagined myself as a mother of sons. I have two girls now and honestly can't imagine it any other way.
  7. I worry, a lot, about most things. People who don't really know me intimately believe that I am in complete control, but I never get hassled by things - I can put on a very good face like that - but I over analyse everything and things about things often far too much. I couldn't manage any other way though, I love to think about things, and can't relate as well to others who don't feel a similar way.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Plantings

Our weather has been unpredictable during the last month. We had horrendously hot weather late in the season and last week was very wet. This week it's cool in the mornings and at night, summertime has ended, but the days are clear and fine.

We had put off our winter plantings waiting for a fine spell and today was that day. After swimming we went to the nursery and Ella helped me choose our winter veg. Most of them I haven't grown before and my plantings aren't as neatly planted as I'd like, mainly because I wanted to cram in as much as possible and despite extending the vegie plot about half a metre, it's still on the small side.
  • Kipfler potatoes although these are in a huge pot
  • Carrots, two varieties although I think both are fairly pedestrian - baby and early crop
  • Beetroot - which I love, but I'm the only one
  • Cauliflower
  • Baby cabbages
  • Sprouting broccoli
  • Broad beans
If I just manage to get a couple of everything I'll be pleased, although our summer crops just boomed so it will be interesting to see where things go at this time of the year. I'd love to say that I've studied the right plants for the soil given the summer crops I've had in, but I just don't have the time to investigate, for now. I seem to remember mum saying something about broad beans being good after tomatoes, but given they're away at the moment and I can't double check, I could be making it up. I seem so stretched at the moment, as we all are, so I'm just happy to have gotten them in the ground so we can start nursing them along.

My camera is still on the blink so I had to include a photo of one of the vegie nymphs in our summer crops!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Comes in threes

Why does it happen that way? Something never seems to break alone, a nearby appliance always hears the call and throws themselves upon the "spent" appliances pile in sympathy.

Our extractor fan over the stove died a few weeks ago now. It was 2 weeks past the 2 year warranty period. Am I the cynical one that I wondered if they aren't made to last only 2 years? I called up to find out about a service and was told the call out fee was $120.00 and then another $15 for each 5 minutes thereafter plus parts. I have to get used to the idea of the cost first and then I'll book it in.

Second casualty has been a long time coming but I've been in denial through fear of what it would be like to live without him. Geoff bought me a Gaggia espresso machine for my birthday in I think 2000 in London, so it's had a good life. Probably for the last years it's gotten more and more sluggish and a clean hasn't helped. This past week the steamer died, it no longer steams, it does a pathetic puff puff, but has no oomph left. There is definitely pressure building in the machine for the steam comes out of other places, which worries me a lot, the idea of it exploding on me, so it's turned off for now. I cannot live without an espresso machine. I have an old stove top version which I'll use for now, but it is simply a necessity.

Third disaster last night - our digital camera died. We went out for Geoff's birthday with friends and like a teenager I took my camera to embaress everyone. I had newly recharged batteries (for that's been an issue in the past) as well as a back up pack of four disposables. They all died, with only two photos between them - that's not good is it. I hope it's not the camera, three replacements are just too much for now. The other irksome thing about it is that I have two gorgeous dolls I've finished to go into my etsy shop and I can't photograph them - both different to any I've done before and I can't share them.

Kinder goes back this week and swimming and dancing so perhaps in that scheduling nightmare I'll find time to replace one of the three. It's also work again this week after two days sick leave last week. It's only 3 weeks until my dear colleague (who is full time) takes off on leave for a month to the US and I'm left managing things. I must confess to feeling a little sick about the idea of it. It's so hard to learn completely new skills in two days and then not use them for a week before trying to learn again. I hope I don't stuff things up too badly, I want her to come back from her holiday relaxed and not with too many problems to fix. She's had a bad run with her part time helpers and she's such a sweetheart and so supportive, I hope I can manage.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

48 hours without food

does wonders towards returning the flat stomach of your youth. I'd prefer not to be so enthusiastically "emptying" my body of that which filled it, but I liked the way my belly looked this morning for that moment at least.

We're all on the mend here now - it was only Ella and I, thank goodness, as I'm not sure I could have coped with a sick baby as well. Friends have always thought it strange that Ella had never puked, well at 4 1/2 I can say that she has now definitely puked. My poor folks are now unwell, hence I'm not at work this week as they're out of action and my inlaws are on holiday. This doesn't often happen, thank goodness, as I carry a lot of guilt about not being able to go into work for a week, it's hard when you're only part-time, you're so conscious of making a valuable contribution in the limited time you have.

On a cheerier note, the night I got sick (before I was actually sick) we celebrated the birthday of the gorgeous man who lives in this house with three chicks. First day at a new job and three eager girls waiting for his return to share cake - the pressures he's under. And yes, in case anyone knew or wondered, he's the younger man in my life, albeit it only be 18 months. I like them young and he likes them more mature. And as another aside, no, it wasn't the cake that made us sick as all four of us ate it!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Germs have taken hold

of our house. I was up all last night and wiped out today, Ella came down hard this afternoon. We'll be quiet here for a while until we get over the worst of it.