Yesterday my Dad turned 60 which means he's officially in "popa-land." Like most Grandparents he is now eligible for a seniors card which gets him a train ticket to the city return (plus all-day transport on ferries, buses, trains) for only $2.50. But a day trip in Sydney is nothing compared to what he's got planned for February. In a few weeks time he's off on holidays with my mum. Just the two of them, the Range Rover and the camper-trailer. An east-coast road trip in the summertime. My Dad's a pom (we moved to Australia in 1986) - he's a mechanic by trade (restores vintage cars) and worked wonders on my very first vehicle - a 1978 mint green Triumph. He's the best gardener I know and pretty damn good at fishing. His favourite dessert is a jam and cream sponge cake so that's exactly what I baked him, an exact replica of this one. All fluffy, light and sweet. Delicious. Happy Birthday Popa!
'Organisation' seems to be the 'it' word for 2012. I find it pretty easy to keep on top of the kids' schedule. Poet eats, sleeps and rolls. Che goes to school, swimming, dance class and the occasional party. However, life keeps getting busier and I know if I have a small tribe, a family calender with be a necessity. Ella from Ella Leach Designs would like to give away 5 of her 2012 Family Calenders to Che & Fidel readers. All you need to do is leave a comment and pop over to 'like' Ella's page if you're on facebook. I'll draw the winners this Saturday 28th. Good Luck. Get Organised! Update: Comments closed. The Random Number Generator chose #38 Star faerymother, #17 Bungalowgirl, #9 Sophie, #3 Kate (the random number generator obviously saw your hand!) and #58 Candice. Congrats ladies! Email your postal address to: jodiclairewilson@yahoo(dot)com(dot)au.
I wasn't nearly as emotional as last year, but as I drove him to Montessori I did start thinking about next year. Next year he'll wear a uniform, meet new friends, have a new teacher, spend more days at school than at home. I may have cried (just a bit).
So it turns out that Che isn't one of those children that has a fear of medical appointments. Last year when we took him to the dentist, he was pretty excited. Earlier this week, when we took him to the optometrist, he literally counted down the hours. I wasn't too concerned about his eyesight but there are quite a few serious eye issues in my family so I wanted to get the all clear. The optometrist was a rather serious guy who had no choice but to lighten up when Che started talking. Because, when he was asked to name the pictures on the screen, the result was pure comedy: "Fish, flower, dog, duck." "Dog, duck, fish, flower." "Small duck, dog, flower (or maybe it's an arrow), fish." The 'small duck' got me, who would have thought he would use adjectives in the eye test?! That's my boy. And the result? Exceptional eyesight. Che's reaction? Pure disappointment. "I wanted glasses!"
I fondly remember eating cheese and vegemite sandwiches at school. It must be the Australian school lunch staple! I often send the same sandwich with Che to Montessori (on rye and accompanied by a nut-free muesli bar, a boiled egg, fruit salad, a carrot stick and some sultanas). But sometimes there's no bread in the house, we're all out of cheese and I don't have time (or the inclination) to make a trip to the shops. It's then that the freezer and it's bounty of treats comes in handy. You see, I always have a few of Bakers Delight's Cheesymites tucked away for the occasional disorganised morning - and they make the very best lunchbox treat. Bakers Delight treated us to a bundle of Cheesymites and some delicious loaves of bread this morning (the Cape Seed Loaf is my favourite and is particularly good with honey!) As a bit of a trade they have asked me to spread the word. You see, on Australia Day (next Thursday) Bakers Delight are giving all their customers a FREE Mini Cheesymite Scroll to celebrate our country and the quintessential Aussie treat. All you have to do is wander into your local store - you don't even have to make a purchase. Fun fun, win win. They have also given me 4 x $5 Bakers Delight gift vouchers to giveaway. Just leave a comment with your name and email and I'll draw four winners this Sunday 22nd. Update. Comments closed. The Random Number Generator chose #2 Katrina, #6 Sarah, #15 Sammie and #20 Maxabella. Congrats ladies....enjoy your Bakers Delight treats!
Kathryn titled Poet's quilt "Grey Teal" after the bird and the prominent colour combination. She sent it to us just before Christmas, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, and I kept it that way till Christmas morning. I opened it with care and devoured each and every patch, admiring the careful piecing together of colours, patterns and textures. The best part about opening the quilt was realising that one of the vintage fabrics chosen by Kathryn (the one with the girl and the cat in that last photo) is featured on a vintage doona cover that Daniel's sister used to have on her single bed. She's all grown up now so it's been passed onto Poet. It's serendipitous matchy-matchy and I love it. This quilt will stay with Poet forever. Right now she likes to chew the edges (consider it a compliment Kathryn!) but I hope that one day, when she's older, she'll trace the patterns with her fingers and cuddle up in its softness.
Poet was lucky enough to receive a bundle of Sapling goodness from designer and creator Peta Stinson and now you have the chance to win some too. Sapling is giving away one pack of baby clothes (the winner gets to choose a boys, girls or unisex pack) - all you need to do is 'like' Sapling on facebook and leave a comment here with your email address. If you would like an extra entry you can blog about it in your space (link back to the post in the comment section). The winner will be drawn this Sunday the 15th.
Update: Comments closed. The Random Number Generator chose #50 - Christie.
I got to chatting about organic cotton, beautiful designs and the word 'sapling' with Peta...
We count ourselves pretty lucky to live up the hill from this little spot. We aren't all-day beach-goers (my fair skin isn't particularly suited to this summer sun) but we like to go for early morning or early evening sojourns where we putter and swim. Yesterday, when the screams were becoming a little persistent and Daniel's and my patience was wearing thin, we headed to the sand and the salt, thankful for the open space. I got to wear my new hat (love it) and, when it came time to swim, I dove into the silence and relished in the buoyancy (and the personal space). Poet wears lace romper c/o Sapling (a Sapling interview and giveaway will be posted tomorrow)
Georgia inspired me to take a photo every day this year. That's 366 photos (more, actually, because one photo is never enough). I''ll blog a portrait of the children once a week, hence 1/52. I could post a photo every day but that would be adding another job to the list and frankly, I don't need the pressure.
I take photos to illustrate my words. Writing will always be my chosen art but I find, when I'm writing professionally, that sometimes the deadlines, editorials and all-day-typing turns the creativity into a chore. A sad truth. I like composing a story through an image. Light flares are nice too. One thing I've learned about taking photos - you only get better if you take your camera with you wherever you go. Poet is teething and likes to chew her toes. Che cut his toe after a vigorous game of tennis. The foot theme was unintended.
We are still infused with the holiday pace. Lazy mornings, long breakfasts, gentle walks, afternoon naps, long reading sessions, copious amounts of tea. It's a pace that requires little planning and therefore hardly any thought. On our way up to the river house we stopped off at Morpeth for some sourdough and a coffee. We spent a few hours wandering the (partly) cobblestone high street, perusing antiquities and taste testing honey and ginger beer. Hard work.
From there we drove, zig-zagging through the country, spotting cows on the hillside, tin shacks near the road. Over the river, across the bridge, and at the foot of the Barrington Tops we found our abode, a house built in 1850 complete with a full commercial kitchen, exquisite bathrooms, to-die-for views and ripe grapes on the vine.
We drove into the closest town a few times - sampled the coffee, checked out real-estate and discovered the church op-shop (oh the vintage sheets!). Not a day went by when I didn't think about living deep in the hills, cushioned by quiet. I think, like many of you no doubt, my dreams of settling in the country with a cottage and a little bit of land are constant. But that dream won't come to fruition for me just yet. And that's ok. I'm remembering the wise words of a friend...bloom where you're planted. I'm going to take them with me, right through 2012. Flourish! Top photo by Daniel, the rest by yours truly
We were deep in the country when the clock struck twelve. It was our first time at the river house and we revelled in the vast landscape and the big, clear, open sky. After the busyness of Christmas it was so nice to get away and sit amidst the quiet (the song of crickets and cows).
On the days when we drove I took note of the cottages, tin sheds and corrugated iron shacks - the washing blowing in the breeze and the rose bushes in bloom.
When you're over the hill and far away, life is oh so sweet.