Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Christmas

In the interests of being kind to the environment, we bought a real Christmas tree. It's a Norwegian pine and supposedly will happily live in a pot (so long as it's semi-shaded) for many, many years. So next year the boy will be bigger and hopefully so too will the tree.
Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Needy toddlers

I'm finding Ewan's neediness a double-edged sword at the moment. He's two-and-a-half now and going through a stage where everything is "Mummy do it" or "I want Mummy". If I so much as step out of the room it's "Where's Mummy?"
Thankfully, I do recognise this as a stage (otherwise it may be just too much to bear).
Every waking second (well, that's how it feels anyway) is spent with a small blond boy within arm's length, on my hip, sitting on my knee or even wrapped around my leg.
It's quite the invasion of personal space ... not that I'm not sure I even remember what that is.
Shaun comes into the kitchen to help me make E his dinner: "No Daddy! Mummy do it." Tears, flailing arms, wailing. Shaun tries to change E's nappy: "No Daddy! Mummy do it." Sunday is my allotted sleep-in day, but E wouldn't let Shaun make his breakfast, so I had to get up and do that then sneak back to bed when his back was turned. After which he stood, howling, at my bedroom door, trying to beat it down.
Of course, all this feeds into another issue: Shaun's response of "he wants you, he doesn't want me to do it".
Okay. How very convenient for him.
It's all very exhausting.
However ... I also know that this will pass. My sweet little boy will grow up (hopefully not too quickly) and suddenly I will no longer hold that privileged position of centre of his universe.
He will not want his mum all the time, he may even roll his eyes and push me away when I try to give him a hug. Probably just par for the course.
And so, I must try to remember this ... when the days are long and the attention seeking is intense, I will try to remember that it is a special thing we have. And not a burden at all...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blasts from the past

I'm feeling all sentimental. A lovely friend of mine (Jools - above) found some old photos from when we were about, ooh, 18 or so and put them on Facebook. It was a fantastic surprise - and very thoughtful of her to do so. There I was at work today, staring at images of me from, um, quite some time ago. OK, OK, it's been 16 years since I was 18 ... yikes, that's me nearly twice as old.
Here are the pictures:

So I'm looking at these thinking how youth is wasted on the young; how I don't look all that different now to the wayI did then (give or take a few dark circles under the eyes and the odd grey hair); how, oh my God, I do look so much older now!
Bit of an exercise in self scrutiny.

There are so few photos of me in existance these days (MILLIONS of E though), as I discovered recently when one of the magazines I do work for asked me to be on their contributors page. Pulling up a shot of myself proved exceedingly difficult. So one morning before work I got Shaun to snap off about five pics before we did the daycare/train dash. Needless to say, they weren't great but that was all I had to send in to the mag and which they duly published. Ah well, never mind...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Every parent's nightmare

I had one of those 'flash before your eyes' moments yesterday:

My son ran out onto the road. A busy road...

My friend and I were waiting at the traffic lights, chatting. He was standing right by us ... and then he stepped out onto the road. Only about a metre or so, but enough to make me screech his name, and upon hearing this he did freeze. I saw him think for a second 'which way do I go' and thankfully it was not forward and into the traffic and instead a step back into my arms.
I swear I shook.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Possibly quite cruel

Joining the ranks

Today I have become a member of a very large and not terribly illustrious club: I am now the owner of a Holden Commodore. Yep, big, generic, unexciting family car. I guess it had to happen - we do need something with a bit more space and the mega-whopper-humungous boot fits the bill (and, more importantly, the stroller and nine bags of shopping). We've been looking around a bit since I had the car accident and wrote the Camry off.
Shaun being Shaun embraced the "research" with gusto, since it involved the happy combination of two of his favourite things: cars and fiddling about on the internet. Anyhow, he figured that, for the money, we should go for a Commodore as a) they're big, solid, reliable, easy to get parts for, blah, blah, blah... wake me up when we're finished talking cars ... and b) he found one model (you care? The VS) that is supposedly better on fuel than most. I personally was keen to stay right out of the car stuff, occasionally throwing in helpful suggestions like, "I saw a great midsized wagon today ... think it was a Mercedes or something" and "I don't care what we get as long as it's red".
Had money not been an issue (ha!), I would have loved an Astra wagon - essentially a small car with a big boot, what everyone wants ... and therefore out of our price range.
Anyhow, this morning I was railroaded into the car to go look at some Commodore Shaun saw at a caryard somewhere out west yesterday. We headed to the highway near our place and there's a very dodgy caryard (the 'office' is a demountable where the 'staff' [bloke in singlet top and thongs] sit and chainsmoke inside) there, where Shaun pointed out a VS Commodore, the same model that we were setting out to see. I said maybe we should just duck in and have a look at it. And so we swung around and walked into the caryard round the corner from our house.
The car we'd been setting out to see was three months newer but $5500. This one was in better nick and $3300. Shaun couldn't quite believe his luck. He took it for a spin while E and I went to the pub next door for a lemonade ... and then we drove our 'new' car home.
Whole process took less than an hour. That's how shopping (especially car shopping) should be!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hot in the city

Sydney is so sticky right now, it's driving me bonkers. I toss and turn at night, flinging the blankets off and then pulling them up again. It's beginning to get a bit wearing, not to mention wearying. Thankfully this little fella hasn't been bothered by the humidity...

Monday, December 3, 2007

One for the birds

Yesterday a lorikeet with a vivid red and yellow belly bobbed on the bottlebrush by our front deck. We often get little birds in that tree, but rarely such a pretty specimen. As I write I can hear birds twittering away, squawking and squabbling and making a racket. I think the noisy mynahs are engaged in some kind of territorial battle with the galahs and cockatoos that swoop in periodically. Then there are the opportunistic pigeons who busily constructed a nest under our deck with twigs while we were in Tasmania for a week - and boy did they make a mess. For every stick they added to their nest they dropped two.
This morning I almost trod on an egg as E and I walked back from the park. It was small and blue and perfect. I didn't let him pick it up but I think we can safely say that its presence on the ground (most likely dropped by a nest raider) means there will now be one less bird in our surrounds.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


There was a knock at my front door early this morning. It was pre-shower, so I was in my PJs and looking great, as you can imagine. It was a courier delivering a copy of the book I worked on last year.
The book is called Historica's Women and it falls into the category of tome - this thing has a spine that's more than an inch thick. It's a non-fiction account of women's history over 1000 years. Yes, 1000 years. Of course, I was just one of a whole crew of contributors. I wrote a couple of "modules", as the publisher called them. It was lovely, enjoyable, interesting work. And I did all of it from home while Ewan napped or when Shaun played with him on the weekends.
So here it is:

I feel very pleased to have my writing in here. You can't see it in any detail, but here's one of the sections I did:

I've been published in countless magazines and newspapers but to see my name in this whopper of a book is something else. Very cool indeed.