Thursday, October 31, 2013


I'm feeling a little scroogie today.  Every year I've made a fuss of Halloween with the girls.  Last year was the first time we went out trick or treating, but that was on a pre-arranged route with kinder friends.  I have always dressed up, made crazy dinners and that kind of thing, but this year I feel tapped out of enthusiasm.

I conceded to buying some lollies if others come a-knocking, but seriously, we don't need more sugar in our lives.  I was complaining to Geoff about disappointing the girls, it's basketball practice, I have to make dinner blah blah blah I don't want to be a misery to which he responded, just be a parent and say no.

We're lucky, our girls are super reasonable and have never been prone to tantrums, but still I find it hard to say no and disappoint them, I feel ill at ease with just saying no without a really good reason.  The reality is I just don't feel like it and for some reason that makes me feel like a mean mum.  Stay tuned, tomorrow I could well be complaining because I took them and was peeved every moment!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I long dreamt of a life that was like this lady's, but almost two decades ago fell for a man who is very much urban in his outlook.  Choosing the man over the land every time, I've tried to scratch out the bits of the life I imagined in our little suburban block.

I don't know that I'll ever have a pantry full of bottled fruit and veg raised on our own land, but my version of harvesting whatever crop we have in season and in this case being able to squirrel some away for another time, that's my own version of self sufficiency.

Whilst admiring many of this man's pursuits, our life demands some a more conservative approach in terms of the money that this family brings in.  We want choice in where we live, in how we educate our children and having funds to repair that which needs repair, so adopt only the parts of this life which are realistic for us. For some it may not be enough, but for me it's combining the best of both worlds and allows me to live my little illusion while I sit and weigh my beans.

Monday, October 28, 2013


The garden is very productive right now.  The broad beans are always a success, this year particularly so.  I pulled our garlic yesterday as it was dying off at the top and the ground so wet I worried it would start to rot. The carrots, well that's but a fraction of what we have still in the ground, so sweet and crisp, I don't know I have ever cooked any as they are simply so good raw.

I have three tomatoes already in the ground, have had for the past month.  A black russian, tommy toe and San Marzano.  I will need to get the broad beans out before I can plant any more summer veg.  I'm considering another raised bed, as it would buy so much more production for us, but will have to see if Geoff can tolerate going more Mediterranean...  I'll be planting lots of basil again as we're still enjoying the last of our basil oil from last year, a huge success and such a delicious taste of summer in a single spoonful.  Eggplants, Zucchini and Peppers, some more Chilli.  Hard to believe it will ever be summer right now, as we're back into winter weather, but before long I don't doubt I'll be dreaming of cold nights.


I'm growing older and so is my family.  We register the landmarks in our children's lives, but the adults face just as many significant landmarks.  Geoff and I are both, we hope, only at the half way point of our lives, but we can't take that for granted.  My darling brother and brother in law were both taken too young at 53 and 51 respectively.

My father in law's next landmark birthday is 80, my mother and mother in law a few years behind that but 80 is the next milestone for them.  My father a little behind, next year a landmark 70 approaches.  My nephew has just turned 20, my other two nephews both just celebrated 17.

I celebrate a birthday soon and I'm not quite halfway through my 40's, but that's approaching too.  Life flashes by, it doesn't seem to slow as I get older, but in fact runs away from me even more.

On the weekend we celebrated two of our October birthdays, Ella's 10th and Dan's 17th.  Not all the family were together, but Geoff's parents, his sister and her children joined us for afternoon tea.  We had cinnamon teacake and lemon yoghurt & raspberry muffins.  We sat at the table for 3 hours and chatted.  We didn't put any wrongs right, we didn't discuss the hugest issues in life, we were just together and it was so nice.

My father in law was in high spirits yesterday.  He has Parkinsons and it is a depressive condition which challenges even the most resilient of individuals.  Yesterday he had us in stitches with stories of his time - pre my mother in law - working for NAB in Winton in western Queensland.  He reminded us of stories from his years growing up in Byron, paddling on boards out to the prawn trawlers, tossing up canvas bags to have them filled and tossed back, gratis.

It was a memorable afternoon, and yet the most simple of times.  The best memories don't always come from the huge moments, but from connecting over the small ones.


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Balloon play.  Family over for an October Birthdays Afternoon tea which led to plenty of balloon play.  

Monday, October 21, 2013


Today is a day that has been long anticipated, in fact it has been years in the making.  Today Ella left for her first school camp.  Since she heard real talk of it back in grade 2, it's been a school highlight long anticipated and if we're honest, the cause of a little anxiousness.  As the year has passed, Ella has gained more confidence about being away from home, so I feel that we were well prepared for today.

We had a couple of nights in the past week where sleep was hard won, worries always appearing much more clearly in the quiet of night, but last night she slept well and today she was happy and excited.  In bed this morning Ella said Mum, I don't want you getting upset today, if you do you'll make me upset and then it will just be hard for everyone.  Duly warned I wasn't in the least upset, just excited about the wonderful time I'm sure she'll have.  I even made it easier for her to leave on the bus, in fact wishing herself away, but doing a silly dance on the footpath in front of all her friends so that she really WANTED to leave, NOW!

Can't wait to hear about all her adventures.


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Leila  I'm not sure what to say, this was a pose she practiced in front of the mirror, before asking me to capture it outside...
Ella   If she's not drawing then she's reading, or she's writing, or she's listening to music.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Ella & Leila    In a week that has been all about our gorgeous Ella turning 10, a combined photo of the girls on the morning after the sleepover.  Beautiful girls both, Ella including her younger sister with her friends in all the sleepover activities with grace and genuine happiness that she was a part of it.  We're very lucky x

Thursday, October 10, 2013


How did we get here so super fast, a decade having passed since I birthed our first child, our beautiful Ella. I can no longer really remember what it was like before she was here with us.  I have plenty of memories of course, but the feeling of being without her, or being unaware of her, I can't recall that at all.

She's a serious child, at times, but has a crazy silly sense of humour as well.  She's great at silly voices and as many male mates have funny discourses using "in the know" language, she does the same with her dad.

Super creative, losing herself in her drawing for hours at a time, she is a talented young woman who I hope never loses her passion for making.

Still sensitive and easily wounded she has found ways to protect her heart more than she did in younger years, but has also now managed to surround herself with gorgeous young friends who are as similarly kind and gentle as she.

Happy 10th Birthday Ella.  We love you so xxx

Monday, October 07, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Leila  She can fill in her days in the garden, with the simplest of things.  On this day it was an apple, a book and a pair of binoculars.  Her legs grow longer, less of a preppy, moving more towards a grade one girl. This past year has gone so fast and been oh so rewarding.

Ella   Our big girl, our first born, has only a few more days left in single digits.  For nearly a decade she's been our child, our Ella Bella.  So composed, so beautiful, maturing so wonderfully and yet still utterly our little girl.  How we love you x