Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas nibbles #2

2011 to be sorted

It started off well enough (read that as dry enough)

But almost as soon as the parade started,
so did the rain.

2011 to be sorted

(and when I say rain, I mean rain.
Not a bit of drizzle. Not a light sun shower. No. I mean very. heavy. precipitation.)

But the parade went on,
with (mostly) smiling and (consistently) wet clowns, acrobats, camels,
belly dancers, dogs, band members, Scouts and more.

2011 to be sorted

Further along, some of the younger  participants
and some of those more scantily clad
did start to look a little bit on the goose bumpy side.

2011 to be sorted

We chose...OK, I chose to stay at our kerbside viewpoint,
rather than fight amongst the stampede of umbrellas and jostle in the under-awning space.

Not just with a capital S.
The whole bloomin' word can be in capitals.

2011 to be sorted

But as Santa appeared,
so did a little blue sky for a minute
and the 8 year old announced
that it was Santa's magic
that had brought the sunshine.

(It is a shame Santa's magic didn't whisk us immediately home to the warm bath
because 3 young kids were feeling rather cold and uncomfortable by the time
we got back to the car heater
and heck knows mummy could have used a coffee by then too)

But there was a lesson learnt that the spirit of those people in the parade
and those who stayed to watch,
in spite of the pouring rain,
was something to be appreciated and celebrated.

I at least got all sooky la-la (as I am prone to do at this time of year)
explaining this to the three drowned rats
as we dragged ourselves back to the car.
I am not sure that they quite shared the sentiment
but I think they understood that this is one parade that they would remember in the future
when all the others started to blur into the same memory.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In summary...

blog 2011 sucked.

Tomorrow is new day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas nibbles.


My 6 year old son has a theory that Jesus is Santa.

(I am going to leave that one alone for now.
I can't exactly disprove it.
But I am looking forward to hearing his conjecture
about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pick an adjective.

Flicking through a Christmas catalogue...

blog 2011

...using words such as
nostalgic, enchanting,
delicious, charming...

blog 2011

...then you turn the page...

blog 2011

I am going for odd.
Inappropriate. Tasteless.
Definately nauseating.

Is it just me that finds this appalling?
Would this make you shop with this company or boycott them?
You'd think,
given that this company was established in 1748,
that they'd have worked out what their target market would like to see
 in their advertising campaigns by now.

blog 2011

It's bad enough that the poor little bugger ended up with its head on a wall,
let alone that someone then thought sticking candles and ornaments on its head
and a wreath around its neck
was in any way, shape or form decent.

Monday, November 21, 2011


The house that I visited this weekend is not my grandparents' house of my childhood memories.
It is not the house where I remember long afternoons in my nan's kitchen learning to make jam.
Not the house where we played in a baby bath of water in the backyard in the summer holidays
because there had been a shark sighting at the local beach.
Not where we sat for hours watching Saturday morning Loony Tunes cartoons with my pop
who always laughed more often and more loudly than we did.

They moved here after I had left home.
This is the house of my adulthood visits.
This is the house where I brought my boyfriend to visit; then my fiance; finally my husband.
Where we announced the imminent arrival of great-grandchildren.
Where we brought the new babies to visit.

This is the house where my nan started to slow down.
Where she was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Where I visited with my baby girl before Nan went to hospital for the last time.
Where family and friends came to remember her on the day of her funeral
over a plate of food, a glass of wine and a mutual mourning.

That was nearly 4 years ago.

My pop was younger than Nan.
Even when she was in the best of health,
he took on extra chores in their lives
than perhaps you might expect in a marriage born of their generation.

He was very stoic during her illness and her death.
And afterwards.
He did not want to talk about his feelings
Perhaps he didn't feel comfortable in doing so
but to this day, we still seem to be waiting for grief to surface,
for some recognition that his mate has gone,
for some acknowledgement of the importance
 of Nan's presence in the majority of his life.

I have thought this to be a reflection of the generation that he belongs to.
But perhaps it is just who he is.

But he is fading.
To me, it appears to be happening so quickly
but perhaps that is because my visits are once a year
and I miss the subtlety of changes seen with frequent contact.

The changes aren't physical.
Pop's capabilities to move about are good, even great,  for a man in his early 80s.
But now the garden is untended;
 hobbies and outings have been set aside.
His days stretch into a routine of newspaper reading and Solitaire playing,
the television a constant background noise.

He ventures to the supermarket as needed,
the newsagent to pay weekly for his paper delivery,
the petrol station more rarely.
To shops that are a ten minute walk away
but are never walked to.
He always drives.

The house is scattered with objects that I have known as long as my memories exist.
Nan's presence is still there but only as
 an occasional possession and displayed photos.
The house doesn't smell like her anymore.

There are shelves stacked with objects that wont be touched or used,
or remembered again
until there is reason for the house to be cleaned out.

There are cobwebs in the once well-used kitchen cupboards.
There are out of date calendars on the wall and on the fridge.
There are rooms that remain unused and unopened. 

Even with a now evident deterioration of his short term memory
and an inability- or perhaps a disinterest, an apathy- to maintain the house and yard,
 Pop is ferociously independent and determined to stay put.

His partner in crime is not his widowed brother who lives only a few minutes away.
Their time shared is rare; there is no renewed comraderie born from the mutual loss of their partners.

His best mate is the grumpy and intolerant cat that he and Nan adopted
from disinterested neighbours years ago.
She relies on him for an ever-present bowl of food and comfortable, warm places to sleep.

He relies on her to give him someone to talk to,
someone to care for.
Something that he lost with Nan's passing.
She gives him a reason to stay close to home.

I leave each visit with an ever increasing heaviness in my chest.
I feel that I am watching a once bright life fade to grey.

I don't know if there is a longing in Pop for more than he has
or whether he is truly happy.
I am someone who can understand some enjoyment of solitude
but there comes a point where I crave contact, interaction, conversation;
some acknowledgement of my being.

I feel blessed that my children will remember, not only their grandparents,
but also their great-grandparents from my side of the family.

And, just as I sit in his lounge during a family visit
and I wonder at where his life will take him from here on in,
I feel gratitude to see him sit with his young great-grandkids
and watch those same Loony Tune cartoons.

Whatever else has passed him by in the 35 years since I sat and watched cartoons with him.
he still laughs at them more than the rest of us.
And that is something to be treasured.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This week...18th November, 2011

...I realised that last week disappeared,
about the same time that I discovered Pinterest...


(I am still resisting FB and Twitter)
(...on Pinterest, I realised that Americans like to use pumpkin in every recipe that they can at this time of year
and that people love to use exclamation marks...!!!...!!)

...the jacarandahs are in full bloom-
which means Christmas is imminent...

blog 2011

..our cat run got completed,
Mr Boozle learnt how to hand-sew,
the endangered domestic Wholemealus Crumpetus was endangered no more
and my sanity seems set to return.
(and, oh, yes, the cats do like it too)

blog 2011

...I was reminded that those fabulous photos of home activities  (that you find on Pinterest by the dozen)
do not equate to what is achievable in the home...
well, mine at least.



blog 2011

(But we did get 2 colours)

...I realised that we have been back from Vanuatu for over 2 weeks
and I still haven't blogged about the experience...

Vanuatu 2011

...I decided to base my outfit at this weekend's 25 year school reunion
solely around the wrap that I finished knitting this week.
I catch the plane hours.
Better go find some shoes, hey?

Little Boozle 2011

(Merenge wrap- Louisa Harding)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If my daughter were a songwriter...

...there would apparently be far fewer deep and meaningful songs in the world.


Beyonce's version:

"If I were a boy,
I think that I’d understand
how it feels to love a girl.
I swear I’d be a better man.
I’d listen to her
'cause I know how it hurts
when you lose the one you wanted
'cause he’s taken you for granted
and everything you had got destroyed!"

My 4 year old's version, singing along:

"If I were a boy,
I'd have a willy.

It's true.
I would.
Down there."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Teaching life's lessons



(C'mon. Please. Just take the spirit of the idea and run with it.
No pedantic comments about differences in bone structure
between races please)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"A woman without her man is nothing. Discuss."

An English professor wrote the words:
‘A woman without her man is nothing’
on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:
‘A woman, without her man, is nothing.’

All the females in the class wrote:
‘A woman: without her, man is nothing.’

(Probably an urban myth but I like it anyway)

Monday, November 7, 2011

I must have blinked.

- and missed it.


I am talking about the bit where I went from being a young woman
to one of the older generation.

We went on a few tours while on holiday.
One day, we headed out with 5 others for an afternoon
of walking up a river and a waterfall.

We were dutifully divided into 2 groups.
Mr Boozle and I and one other couple went with the tour operator
while the other 3 went with his assistant.

It didn't hit me until a few hours later
exactly how we had been divided up.

The other couple with us would have been in their early 50s
while we were in our early 40s.

The other group of three were a couple and a single traveller,
all somewhere in their 20s.

Our group were the oldies.

I was mortified.

When did that happen?

The last time we travelled significantly as a couple,
I was 30.
We were the young(er) ones.

Now suddenly, we aren't.

Not so sudden, I guess.
In between those travels
have been over 10 years,
mortgages, house renovations,
children and no time to sit back and contemplate
time passing.


I have said before that I comfortable with my age.
I really am.

But I am not sure that I am going to be saying that in 10 years.
There is a little jolt when you fill in a survey and you are now in the next age group.
When you go to the dentist and he is talking about cracking teeth and sensitive teeth
and why you have these problems as an older person.
When you realise that your body is well past its prime
and that, barring miraculous sci-fi medical advancements,
there is no going back.

In realising that you are that older person,
the one that your own parent was,
as your children are the ones growing up and starting out in life. 

I have suddenly realised that I am well and truly moving through that transitional period in my life:
where I feel quite young at heart.

I feel younger than I actually am.
I can remember and relate to the angst my kids are going through.
I still think of myself as just out of University
and just getting a grip on the direction life may take me.

But in reality I am nearing that place where I am looked upon
as being of "that older generation".
Where the younger adults think that we are out of touch.
That our own offspring think we can't understand how to run a DVD player,
let alone understand what it is like to be a tween
and why Justin Bieber is the hottest boy on this earth.


I am already trying my best to make sure that I don't embarrass my kids.
But really- how was I to know that a practical PopTop lid on a water bottle
would earn my 8 year old son the scorn of his mates?
I am thinking like an out of touch parent already.
It is happening without me realising it.


I want to grow old gracefully.
But then again I want to do it my own way.
I can only hope that the two are compatible.
Once I actually come to terms with the fact that I am ageing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This (apathetic) week...6th November, 2011

...I have been struggling.

blog 2011

Maybe a little bit due to those post-holiday blues.
You know, those ones where you are walking along a gorgeous beach in a foreign country one day
then you are home washing the family's clothes and packing school lunches literally the next.

blog 2011

But it has been more than that.
There have been a couple of sources of anxiety,
the start of the new "to do" lists after clearing all the chores before the holiday
and generally an apathy towards everything.
Me hitting the edge of that occasional bout of depression that I run into.

blog 2011

I had a crafting spurt before going on holidays and, with that,
I seemed to lose my enthusiasm and ability to blog about anything substantial
(I know that you all hang for my insightful and witty social commentary)

blog 2011

This isn't a self-absorbed "Woe-is-me-I-went-on-a-fabulous-overseas-holiday-
but-I-actually-had-to-come-home-and-get-on-with-my-life" post.

You know me.

I was actually glad to get home,
hermit crab that I am.
I was glad to see the kidlets again.
Glad to ease back into my comfort zone.
Glad to stop living out of a suitcase.

(Truly I was glad to stop lying around drink gin,
reading, sleeping in, no responsibilities apart from chosing where to eat
and what is the best mixer to go with rum and gin...)
(I was.)

Suddenly Christmas decorations and horrible elevator-music-Christmas carols
are being played in the shops and there was so much more that I planned to do before 2011 ended.

Now I am adding "write letters to Santa" to my lists
and marking the local Christmas parade on the calendar.

Little Boozle 2011
(KeykaLou strap clutch)
I think that I need to do two things.

The first is to set myself more realistic goals of what I can achieve.
I need to prioritise more.

The second is to procrastinate less.

The place where those goals meet should be a more satisfying one.

I also need to just have a day here and there
when I might manage to "lose" the to do lists for a day
and know that the world will go on turning
if I just slacken off.

It is easy to feel like you are having one of those days-
yet you then realise that you have done 3 loads of washing,
cooked for the freezer,
been to the supermarket, paid some bills
and cleaned the loo.
blog 2011

Right now, the priority is to wash the 26 bickie cutters.

That is what happens when you let the kids have a free-for-all
with your biscuit cutter collection.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recipe for a giveaway draw

Making a cheesecake this morning,
a couple of lemons pulled from the tree were still hanging happily

It was a reminder of the need to perhaps manage a faster blog giveaway prize draw this time round.


~some popping corn~

~a permanent marker~

blog 2011

~one Spring lawn, unmowed for a month~

blog 2011

~3 distracted children~

blog 2011


Number the corn with entries.
While the kidlets are otherwise distracted,
fling the kernels randomly into the backyard lawn.

blog 2011

Lock the children outside and tell them that they can't go back inside until winners have been found.

blog 2011

Consider the fact that,  gosh, really, those kernels are small
and very hard to find in longer grass.
Who'd have thought it would take so long?

blog 2011

Get down on your hands and knees to look for yourself
(and tell the kids that no, they still can't go inside.
If it is good enough for a 42 year old woman to crawl around her backyard,
they can get their little tooshies down there too)
blog 2011

Decide right about then that next time
a number out of a hat might be the way to go.

Thank you to everyone who entered.
We had a fantastic holiday
and I am hoping that I can brighten the day for a few of you...

Oppy sheet...Zof

Lark oppy bag...Vic

Key fobs...Suzanne

 Namaste case...Mary

Stitch mag...TinCanDaisy

Congrats to you all.
Pop your addresses to me via email
and I will send you some crafty love.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome home.

blog 2011

In 11 days away,
I didn't lose a single thing to
 numerous wild geckos, ferocious hermit crabs or aggressive clown fish.

I didn't have to constantly close doors, put things away or worry about my food running away.

In 1 hour at home,
the beasties reminded me of how good those 11 days were.

Wonder how many hermit crabs I could get as a trade in for 2 domestic moggies?...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A recommended read.

Little Boozle 2011

The Help...a rollercoaster of emotions...

If you haven't read it yet, read it.

(If you have read it, did you love it as much as I did?)

((If you have read it and seen the movie,
what did you think of Hollywood's version of it?
Should I see it or did they bastardise yet another fabulous book?))