Thursday, August 09, 2007

bums on seats

there's all sorts of upheaval here at the moment. I've been talking to gas people, electrical people, wall people, furniture people...

Our old club lounge was slowly sinking to the ground so i advertised it in the paper thinking no-one would want it. Well it sold and i immediately regretted it because i loved that old lounge. Then i bought a new one and i was lucky because they had the exact one i ordered actually in stock so there was no 3mth wait for delivery (which is apparently what happens when you buy a sofa). When it came though it wasn't the one i ordered but a bigger one which has completely scuppered my plans for moving it into the 'sunroom bit' when that's built. So now i don't know whether to send it back and get the size i want made up (3mth wait) or to keep it and learn to live with the size of it (it's fecking huge) or whether i even like it at all - it's so new. And big. And 'contemporary'.

And as you can see from the middle photo the guy who bought the old lounge suite hasn't picked it up so we're in a turmoil furniture.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

hello, where've you been?

Phew, that's another school holidays over with.

We had sleep-overs, friends over, the movies, the museum, swim parties, playdates, the library, shopping expeditions and rollerskating at the Rollerdrome where i almost shattered my kneecaps.

I'm not sure which is harder - making lunches, getting them to school and tackling homework , music practice and the bath every day or trying to stop them from killing each other during the holidays. Of the 13 hours a day they're together they get along really well for about 9, which is great but there's always that other 4 hours. *Shiver*

And my old cat who's about 18, flatly refuses to go outside any more for anything and she's a bit too old to learn new tricks. So she steps into a kitty litter tray but doesn't realise her arse is hanging right off the back and poops and wees all over the floor. Every night. But at least she steps into it now - she used to squat next to it.

Last weekend i was making a stuff for friends who've had a baby and my six year old decided to make one too. She designed and cut out the shapes, stuffed and sewed up the stuffing hole and cut out a face. I sewed on the face and added the hair for her but i think her stuff is a winner.

Friday, July 06, 2007

illness, death and destruction

it's been a week of mini catastrophes. My little one's just recovered from viral bronchitis and the wind's been a howling gale setting my nerves all a jitter.

A few streets from us lives an old italian couple who, over the last 45 years, have cultivated one of those typical old italian couple gardens. Full of amazing and unusual succulents that grow to triffid sized proportions. I walk past it every day and always stop to marvel. There's the Tractor Seat Plant whose leaves are the size and shape of - yep - a tractor seat and the Kalanchoe Felt Bush with giant stiff velvety leaves. There's a cactus that stands twice as high as the house with a trunk two foot in diameter and branches that weave and curve in all sorts of crazy directions in the sky and directly underneath that is a perfect Dracaena Draco which is one of my all time favourite trees. You can probably see where this is going, especially when i say there were all these wonderful things - on Sunday night the mighty wind ripped the cactus out of the ground and it crashed down crushing everything under it. The beautiful Dragon Tree is decimated and the old man was telling me that last year someone knocked on their door and offered them $10 000 (i'll put that in words - ten thousand dollars!) for it but they weren't interested in selling it.

Anyway, they kindly let me take what i could of the draco because they'd called rubbish removalists and it was all just going to be cleared away. Most of it was underneath the cactus and impossible to get to but i did manage to salvage a few stem cuttings which are about as big as me. I've got no idea if i'll be able to get them to strike, i don't think it's easy - they're prone to rotting. If anyone's got any tips let me know.

And finally this week, we woke up this morning to find our guinea pigs dead and gone. One's dead, the other's gone presumed dead and the big heavy cage had been knocked around and the wire rolled up. The incriminating evidence at the scene suggests a black and white cat (which is often in our garden) but how the fuck a cat can roll up chicken wire and have the strength to move a box that big and heavy i guess we'll never know.

Maisy and Popcorn we'll miss you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Not much happening around here lately. I had to go for a brain scan which was a novelty and now i've got one of those amazing sets of images of cross-section shots of my brain which is at least proof i've got one. Nothing else was revealed though so the mysterious visual effects (like an amoeba crawling across my field of view) followed by a two-day headache go unexplained. Most likely a migraine i think but i've never had one before in all my 44 years and hardly ever even get regular headaches. Still i'll happily suffer a migraine if it means i'm not having a stroke.

It's well and truly winter here now and this is when my garden starts flowering. I've had aeoniums for years because they're indestructable and the first time i saw one in flower in someone else's garden i was really
surprised. Who'da thought it? Well after growing them for over ten years one of mine has finally produced its huge yellow conical flowerhead and it's a marvel. They must need to be a respectable age to flower - mine all grew from cuttings but i've noticed they're back in vogue because even the garden centres are stocking (and charging crazy prices for) them. Fashion is a drag but at least it'll mean people will be keen to buy them at the fete.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


last weekend i flew an hour and a half north of this winter afflicted town and entered a parallel universe. Same state, different flora, different fauna, different colours. There was turquoise, aqua and a gazillion shades of white. Snorkelling, we saw angel fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, rays, seasnakes, big coral bombies, sponges, urchins, anemonies, a huge octopus and so much more!

We were out for about an hour in the darkish patches at the back of this photo then we came in for something to eat and a beachcomb. About 5 minutes after this photo was taken this guy below cruised past in about 2 feet of water. And he wasn't a reef shark, he was big! About 2 metres long! And Fast!

After that i was happy to just sit on the beach.

There are more blue and white photos here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I was pleasantly surprised by three wild cards from the video store last weekend. First up we watched Tarnation - Jonathan Caouette's doco of spliced together super-8 film, video, short art school movies and other bits of memorabilia stored up from throughout his life. All these remnants come together to paint a bleak picture of dysfunctional family life. This movie's been criticised for being self-indulgent but seriously - what movie isn't, and at least it was made on a budget of a couple of hundred dollars rather than several million. One critic's complaint was that 'the filmmaker makes little attempt to comment or find meaning' and to that i say 'thanks filmmaker - i prefer to find my own meaning (if there is any ultimate meaning to life's labyrinth)'.

I prefer these types of small personal stories anyway. Head On was a German movie about two Turkish immigrants who meet in a mental institution. It's about Turkish culture in German society and the different forms it takes. At first i thought this movie was straying dangerously close to romantic comedy but Fatih Akin the director is likened to R. W. Fassbinder on the jacket and the film accordingly packs a realistic, painful punch.

The third movie we watched was 21 grams and while i didn't like it as much as Amores Perros, the director IƱarritu's earlier film (and one of my favourites), i didn't think it was at all bad. The chopped up timeline is becoming a pretty popular device but i guess this film is 4 years old. Mr M opined that the mangled timeline was used because the story wasn't much chop on its own but i don't think a riveting storyline is necessary to make a good film (Mike Leigh's Naked is another of my all-time favourites and not much happens at all). I don't think movies are about telling stories but about how you tell the story so while this particular story was very uncomfortable viewing for me (a woman loses her husband and two daughters in a car accident) i thought the telling was worth watching.

I'm flying up to Exmouth tomorrow for a weekend of sun, surf and snorkelling (gulp) with Mr M, who's already there. It will be the first time i've ever spent more than one night away from the girls. See you when i get back.

Monday, June 04, 2007

the sleep files

when you have your first baby you think they're a clean slate but you soon realise they come hard-wired with all sorts of likes and dislikes and preferences that have nothing to do with you. My first daughter wouldn't sleep unless she was on me until she was 6 months old. By then she was rolling over and the first time i managed to get her to sleep in her cot she'd flipped onto her belly and i patted her to sleep like that, full of anxiety because of all the sids warnings about putting babies to sleep on their back. She didn't sleep through the night until she was one and even then she woke at 5 o'clock every morning to start her day. She had two twenty minute naps a day, on her belly, until she was 2 and then gave them up all together. I was a wreck and figured it was all my fault somehow.
She's eight now and reads in bed until nine every night and gets up at six. And she still sleeps face down.

My second daughter saved my sanity and self-respect by sleeping like a dream, but at about 6 months she took to hugging a cot sheet when she slept. When she was about one she discovered all the extra pieces of the sheet i'd torn into hugging sizes in case she lost one and started sleeping with all of them. For the last five years she's gone to bed with an enormous bundle of ever disintegrating rags she calls her huggies. This is what excessive hugging can do to a piece of flannelette.

And this one sleeps when and wherever she likes.