Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Another end of year performance, this time for Ella.  "Goodies, Badies and All That Jazz" at the National Theatre for her end of year Broadway Chorus concert.  11:00pm is a very late weekday finish for such a young girl, but she was jumping with adrenalin at the end.  It really is well done and so lovely to see them singing and dancing on a "real" stage.  It also gets them committed for another 12 months of practise!

Congratulatory flowers are de rigeur in our family so peony roses sit on her desk waiting to turn in glorious petal pom poms.  Well done darling, we're always so proud x

Friday, November 23, 2012


It's getting tough, the realisation that there are now only 11 more kinder sessions for Leila, EVER!  I know that I've had another year, been lucky enough to have my babe with me for 12 months longer than many, but still, it doesn't seem enough.

With Leila being a January babe she always misses out on celebrating her birthday with her kinder pals.  This year I was organised and as Geoff and I were able to do kinder duty together, before all the Christmas festivities begin, we asked if we could mark Leila's day today.

Friends sang to her, she got to lead activities and then she had selected little treats to share with her friends at the end of the session.

 I know Leila is ready to embark on her school adventure, today also marks a third week of prep transition.  I know she's going to enjoy it, be able to hold her own, learn, thrive and make friends.  I do know all of that, but I will miss her dreadfully.  My emotions are not unique by any stretch, but with no babe at my ankles it's the end of an era, one that I'm not really sure I'm ready to move beyond.  BUT, she's happy, she's ready and I've still got another 60 66 days before I have to walk her in the gate!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


A garden update as we rush towards the last month of the year.  Our sunflowers are now sporting lovely little nests of promises at their heart.  You can see their baby petals resting, gathering strength, waiting for warmer weather before they burst forth.

Our Florence Fennel is super cute, looking just like.... fennel!  They are currently about half the size of the exorbitantly priced baby ones you see in the shops.  The ferny tops are delicious, an initial burst of aniseed followed by a lovely grassy parsley like flavour.

The tomatoes I nursed through some colder weeks are thriving and all carrying set fruit.

Mum and dad lent me a net for the blood plum last week and we covered it straight away.  Last year pesky parrots devoured 10 full bucket loads of their fruit and I am determined they will not get to taste mine!

We lost quite a few of our cherries early on, but it was a crazy amount of fruit for such a young tree.  We probably have about 40 cherries on our morello and from today it too is netted.  We were watching some very plump very red ones and this afternoon noticed they had just disappeared.  Those pesky birds.  I can't blame them for their good taste, but I do refuse to share without being asked first!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Sunday morning.

A long bike ride for Geoff.  Coffee for me with the girls, together with homemade sticky cinnamon buns which were far too good.

Lunchtime a fast walk for an hour with Ella.

Late afternoon a family bike ride to a newly discovered park.  The girls climbed, hung upside down and squabbled while Geoff and I lay on the grass for a snatched 5 minutes of quiet.

Family dinner, dishes done, girls to bed, cuddling on the couch.  Who needs excitement on a weekend, my idea of a perfect family Sunday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Both the girls have posed smiles.  They're gorgeous smiles, but they're not their absolutely heartbreaking spontaneous smiles.  This image is fiddled with, it's a true Leila smile, one we get to see often, but don't capture on film as much so I wasn't in focus and didn't have my glasses to hand!

Today was a significant day, Leila's first dance concert and it was a HUGE success. She was definitely one of the happiest children on stage, smiling throughout, beaming actually.  It may have helped that her family and both sets of grandparents were beaming back very clearly from the second row!  Her mother yelling her name when she finished ...!

Leila looks like a dancer to me.  She's very tall and lean, seems to hold herself in a certain way that I don't and just looks graceful, it's lovely to watch.  Knowing how little she liked attention for so long, or fuss, it's amazing to see how she's grown.  We're all so proud.


Another birthday gift from my parents.  I'm definitely feeling some Christmas vibes.  I know it's way too early, but honestly, I do LOVE Christmas, almost as much as I love birthdays.  I'm definitely doing biscuit boxes for everyone this year.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am love, love, loving my new lens.  Geoff got me a 50mm for my birthday after I checked with Jo what I really wanted!  I love it and a morning with Jo on something completely different shamed me with how little I know of my camera, but inspired me to get myself up to speed and has me excited about getting back to basics. The only problem now is that I'm shortsighted and with a completely manual lens realise I really need my glasses on as I just can't tell what's in and out.  Next thing I need a class on tinkering with the colour to get it juuuuust right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


A vision in yellow.

Julia and I raided Jo's tree of it's gorgeous fat, juicy, organic lemons.  We zested away, added the lovely pile of light lemony flakes to our jars, topped with clear potent booze and will now wait patiently for 45 days to pass.  On December 30th we'll filter out our lemony zesty bits (I must think of a suitable use for those - a cake?) then top up with sugar syrup.  Squirrel it away for another 45 days minimum.  Come mid February stay tuned for a review of Stintons Limoncello.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Photos by ella.

Happy Birthday mum x


Today, a video, specific to today and to me.  This song was released in 1987, the year I turned 18 and Bjork turned 22.  I was still listening to The Smiths, this album was another fave, as was this.  Music is so evocative, taking you backwards, forwards and sideways.  I can remember bits of myself I'd forgotten when I listen to this song, like stepping into an old pair of jeans, well worn out, with holes in at least the knees if not the bum too, but oh so comfortable.

A lovely day when I was appreciated by family, shown love and generosity by friends and realised that all is well and wonderful in my world.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


So much sweeter with a leaf - we always seek them out and today's market did not disappoint.


My baby on a sunny Sun day.

Friday, November 09, 2012


I am bragging on behalf of someone else.  This person is so far from a bragger it's not funny and honestly, the thought of her in this house puts me in mind of Mary marrying Frederick and becoming a Princess!  The link isn't so tenuous either.  My very dearest friend Lena has been living in London for the past 10+ years, that's where we met, and she's Danish, as is her husband.  If you have any Danish friends you'll know that Danes tend to be Danes through and through.  Growing up my mum's best friend Majken and her husband Ebbe were Danish and I LOVED going to their house - everything smelt different, was different.  The house was so chic, their bed had two doonas side by side, Majken had coffee on the table in a colourful insulted jug, she dressed so beautifully, I loved everything about them.

Lena has lived in London for ages, but is Danish, goes back often, has a home that is similarly Danish and still seemingly exotic and so very appealing to me.  She's always thought of Denmark as home, despite having made a real home with children and commitments for so long somewhere else.

After many years they're finally making the move home, just north of Copenhagen at the start of next year and this, This, THIS is their new home!  Can you believe it?  I'm sharing because I'm gobsmacked and utterly thrilled for them.  I am a little concerned that Lena won't ever be able to leave the house because she'll be constantly cleaning ... but I think she'll cope!

Congratulations gorgeous - get the guest rooms ready!

Thursday, November 08, 2012


So many months, such little onions.  They're drying on the verandah, not enough of them, nor big enough to plait, but that is added to the one day list.  One day I shall have a garden large enough to have a whole bed of onions and they will grow to be big and full and I will have a store cupboard full of them!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


It's not unusual to say that although my body has aged, my face is now a little lined and not as young as it once was, but my mind, my thoughts inside my head do not appear to have aged much at all.  Today is our wedding anniversary and we don't have a disc full of incredible images capturing the day that I can turn to.  We scrimped on the photos as we were about to move overseas and every penny counted.  We were independent and having lived together for a period of time insisted on paying for the majority of the wedding ourselves, as I feel cohabiting couples should.  We went with a friend of a friend of a friend.  They're poor happy snaps, a good 50% not even in focus - Jo you would be horrified!  The fact that an actual 14 years have passed since that day had me referring back to that tatty cardboard box.

Geoff looks so much younger.  I think he's still a very young looking grown up! but in these snaps he looks sooooo young to me.  I look like me, only different, a lot different I guess, but it's still me.  In my head it's hard to recognise so much time has passed, but it has.

Marriage has been a surprise to me.  It surprises me that it continues to change so much and yet my aspirations for all it should and can be have not changed at all.  I'm a romantic, for sure, and at times I know that my desires and passions overwhelm logic completely and yet I continue to love and continue to expect to be amazed.

I'm not always the easiest person, let alone wife and significant other.  Where Geoff is logical, measured, carefully considerate and rational, he chose a wife who is illogical at times, overly passionate about almost everything, very verbal but not always considerate and emotional over rational.  Despite those differences, or perhaps because of, he's the one.  He's always kept me interested, he always comes home to me, he's the sweetest of men, he could talk a little more ..... but I nearly always fill in the gaps.  I would never be without him and he is always, always my choice.

Monday, November 05, 2012


Lunch in 5 minutes.

Asparagus quickly blanched.  One egg put in the pan to gently fry.  Tarragon picked from the garden and roughly chopped.

Still crisp asparagus onto the plate, topped with a fried egg, shavings of parmesan, salt and tarragon.


Thursday, November 01, 2012


Very correctly moving friends from the images, one little black witches cat ("I belong to a friendly witch mum") and one Hermione Granger.  We walked a route arranged with our kinder and school friends.  Lots of good fun, happy toots from cars and lots of waves.