Thursday, May 24, 2012


I wish I could claim this photo as my own, but that would be denying the talents of the wonderful Jo Ely, photographer extraordinaire.  You may know her through her blog, but you should consider her for any photography needs or wants you may have.  I can't imagine more enthusiasm from anyone and I know the results will make you smile.

We spent a lovely few hours together yesterday and it was so interesting to watch someone who actually knows what they're doing, versus someone like me who hopes for a great result.  My dining room even looks like something that could happily live in a design magazine.

My blog has been many things for me, but I'm quietly chuffed that of late it's led me into the lives of some truly delightful women - you know who you are!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


A low key quilt for a low key friend for her 40th birthday.  I hope she knows that every stitch is recognising her contribution to our lives as well as many others over the past 40 years.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I was reading through my old journals over the weekend, from the time when I was doing this course, and this one, while we were based in London.

These days I write lists, to-dos, but re-reading my journals has reminded me of my enthusiasm for writing at that time.  Finally committing time and money to nurturing something I've made time for all my life.  I remember looking into the writing course at RMIT when we were considering moving home, wondering if I could really do it, if I could make that my life, if I'd be good enough.  We then found out we were expecting Ella, which could never be a regret in a thousand lifetimes, but it did change my focus.  Now though, now it's different.  I'm reminded of the absolute pleasure I felt when I made writing my focus.  I have lots of paper and more than enough pens, the rest is up to me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


We have a pet, but I'm not a pet posting person.  However, a little friend of Leila's took a photo of her cat to kinder, so a few days ago I had to oblige with a photo session for Leila and Eddie.  As Leila also rightly pointed out, when Eddie went missing a few months ago we didn't have a really current photo of him, so sharing on my blog means "everyone will know what he looks like".


Two coldy girls in the house today.  We're pottering, sewing, sitting, reading, nothing too exciting.

Leila did, however, make me a laptop so I can play Angry Birds while she plays Moshi Monsters on the big computer.  That scenario is as fictional as my utterly gorgeous new laptop!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


The morning began with half an hour in bed, listening to the rabble of organised breakfast chaos in the kitchen.  "I want to pour the juice", "Can I put the sugar in her coffee?".

I got to drink all my coffee, I had a sip of juice before sharing with the girls.  Ditto my toast with lime marmalade "Your homemade bread is my favourite mum".  I was spoiled with homemade treasures and a few school stall delights - everything I never knew I wanted.

Although clearly not his mother, Geoff came up with a lovely idea for our Mother's Day treat.  We went to Crafternoon where we had breakfast and then did some crafting.  It's a great idea, although I don't think I could manage such a venue, the girls there are far more patient with the children of others than I feel I could be! 

After our craftfast.... we did a little fooling around in the surrounding backstreets - the girls thought it an adventure walking down the cobbled laneways.  Great settings for you Jo!

Not sure where the rest of the day has gone - a flurry of games, in and out of rain showers, now about to tuck into a hot family dinner.

I love being a mother, more than anything I've ever done before or anything that could ever come after.  My girls are a credit to themselves and I guess as a flow on to Geoff and I.  You think you can never love them more than you do at that very moment and yet every year you do.

Thank you girls, for having me as your mum.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


At the end of June I'll leave the job I've worked at since Ella was a toddler.  It hasn't been my life's greatest achievement, that job, but it has accommodated my family and our changing needs over the past 7+ years.  I have managed working with my responsibilities as a mother, had another baby and taken my leave from there, and returned to continue earning that extra money that has made the extras in our life possible.

Now this role is ending I'm trying to focus on what comes next for me. I've worked full time since I was 17 and have only had a break when I was on leave with my babes.  Working is something I've always done and can't imagine not doing.  Having said that, the type of work I've done was never a conscious choice.  I didn't finish high school because back then parts of my character were already truly established.  At 17, with no immediate examples of what it meant to attend university, I couldn't understand why I would go if I didn't know what I wanted to be.  I still find it difficult to apply myself to intangibles, to maybes.

Now that I am into my fourth decade and will sound my age when I admit that it's somewhat disconcerting for me to acknowledge that I feel the world has changed and I haven't quite kept up.  We're Mad Men fans in this house and last night's episode for the first time showed the lovely Don Draper as an older man.  He wasn't up with the music, he didn't know what was popular with the kids; it was if the world had kept turning and moving forward, but he hadn't.

It seems that younger people, in their 20's and 30's, have more of a sense of entitlement than I ever did, or even do now.  They seem to know the kind of things they want and expect that they should have them.  I read publications like Kinfolk, I see the lives that some are creating for themselves and wonder how they do it.   Blogs, social media or all kinds, have altered things so greatly and I feel I have haven't kept up.

I certainly want something different for myself and I've talked about it many times here.  Perhaps the only real difference between myself and the younger people I speak of, who seem to be achieving these realities for themselves, is my age in so far as it means a great level of responsibility than to just myself.  If it's only you, if you are making choices that only affect yourself, it's possibly much easier to take a leap of faith.  Perhaps it's more in the nature of some than others anyway, I know that to be true.

For one of my dreams to come to life there is a very real financial impact upon not just me, but my little family too, so I can't just jump.  There is a part of me that wants to, regardless.  I have never been afraid of working for what I want, so I know I would try and try again and again until it was right, but I don't have just me to think of.  I have a husband, two children, all of whom demand my time and my energies.  How can I balance those things which are most important to me in terms of my idea of self and family, with what I wish for myself, purely as self?

So I'm not sure, I want to change something fundamental in my life, but am not sure what it will end up looking like.  I am excited by the options, which really are boundless, but also a little paralysed by all the choice.  I hope I'm not back in this space in 6 months telling you about my administration role with an insurance firm, the thought alone is bad enough.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I was working at a company called Nexis in the building on the corner of Nicholson and Victoria Parade.  On the Saturday before I'd met a guy at a basketball match I went to with a girlfriend.  We met in the hospitality room after the match and talked for perhaps 10 minutes tops before his friend whisked him away.  He made a big impression on me, this stranger I met for 10 minutes.

We pursued he and his friend to the Lizard Lounge in Chapel Street, but missed them by minutes.  Downhearted I went home to my apartment in Carlisle Street and wondered about what might have been.

On the Monday morning I woke determined to find my handsome stranger.  My girlfriend knew the person he attended basketball with and before lunch that day I had a name and a phone number.  My intention had actually been for my number to end up in his hands, but this was probably better.

At the very moment when the phone was ringing on the desk of a new graduate at Merrill Lynch, that very graduate was talking to his friend about the girl he'd met on Saturday night and how he'd missed his chance with her.  He interrupted his conversation to answer the phone and guess who was on the other end?

For our first date, some 17 years ago today, we met at the Kino and bought tickets to see Farinelli.  We then went for a quick dinner nearby, Malaysian I think, before returning for the movie.  After the movie we went to Florentinos cellar bar for a night cap before catching a taxi home.  I remember sitting in the back of the cab, all aglow while Tina Arena's "Sorrento Moon" played on the radio.  Silly I know, so dated, but listening to it now, could there have been a song more apt?

So began our courtship.  For 17 years I've loved this man.  I chose him from the moment we met and that resolve, the belief that he is the only one for me, despite every challenge we face, it never ever waivers.  Bring on the next decade plus 7 my love. xx

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


As I was considering this post I wondered if it was correct to categorise it as a bragging post, but then thought no, it's all about positive affirmation for me, as a mother.

It's very easy to judge ourselves harshly, as mothers.  I imagine there might be some women out there who are confident of the job that they do, who rarely or never experience self doubt, or concern that they are damaging their children in some way, but I'm not one of them.  I actually, and this is as close to bragging as I'll get, I actually think I do a pretty good job.  How do I judge that?  Well, my girls are firstly happy, for the majority of the time.  We spend a lot of time together, happily, and I consider them both articulate, sociable, polite children and I guess I acknowledge that I (and of course Geoff) have had a lot to do with that.  Even with all that good stuff, I still worrying I'm doing things wrong.

So, with that in mind....  Yesterday Leila's kinder group hosted a Mother's Day morning tea.  The children made scones, whipped the jam, set the little tables with tablecloths and arranged vases of flowers for us.  We had a little music performance then shared their cooking together, all very pleasant.  The highlight, however, was in a display book that their wonderful teacher, Miss Annette, had put together.  For each child there were two pages.  On the left was a picture painted by each child of their mother - Leila is a really good drawer so it was almost a mirror image of me, aside of course from the purple hair and bright red cheeks!  The entertaining page (and p.a. side of things) was to the right of the painting.  Each child had been asked the same questions by Miss Annette and she had recorded their answers for all to see.  I don't yet have the copy so can only share a few key answers that I remember.

Q  What is your mummy's favourite thing to do?
A   Spend time with me and Ella.

Q   What makes your mummy most happy?
A    Spending time with me, dadda and Ella.

Q   What do you and your mummy do together?
A   All sorts of things.  We do sewing, gardening, we make bread (I love my mum's bread), we play monopoly, and I like to make up soup recipes with my mum which I make and mummy drinks. (hence the photo above)

Q    What does your mummy smell like?
A     Perfume.

Q    How old is your mummy?
A    Something like 32.

Clearly the last two questions are lovely from a vanity perspective, but the others I found really telling.  I looked at some of the other mum's comments and some of them, well I felt so sorry for the mums and for the children if the answers were accurate.  One stuck out when asked "what do you do together?" and the child answered "nothing, mummy's always tired from tidying up all the mess I make so she just likes to watch tele".

Now I know that children don't always present things EXACTLY as they are, but for me, I found this really, really the greatest gift of all.  Forget what anyone else thinks because honestly, what my three best guys think is what matters most to me.  But really, my littlest girl thinks that the most important things to me are being with her, just spending time together and that's what makes me happiest.  You know what she's right and I feel great to know that she knows it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


I started a post a few days ago that gave far too much detail.  At times I find it hard, when I have so much going on inside my head, to get it cohesively onto the page.  Things just feel complicated and it's making my body feel heavy and just icky.

I'm finding it hard to find something upbeat to share, and yet I still share...

Life is going to change a lot around here and I need to get my head around my new direction and despite perhaps talking things up at times, I'm not real good with change.  Is anyone?  My job's ending after over 7 years, and I'm finding it hard to get to grips with what I'll do next, I'm letting myself get overwhelmed.  I need to do some exercise,  I feel icky from that too, a random thought of not much value at all.

The photo is from this year's summer holiday, I feel I could do with some time to just sit and think things through a la "Gifts from the Sea".  I actually have it on my ipod, perhaps I'll have a listen.

I'll get there, just flailing a little right now.