Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Picture perfect

I am not a good photographer. I would say I was adequate - meaning I can point and shoot and that if I snap 50 shots I will get a couple of decent pictures. I do however appreciate beautiful photography. So when my bloggie friend Sarah set up her business, Sarah White Images, I couldn't resist the opportunity to have the kids photographed (it was also a wonderful opportunity to meet Sarah in person, since we've been reading each other's blogs and emailing for a while now).

We didn't get the best weather for shooting outdoors, but it didn't seem to matter too much - until we had to scramble back to the house in a downpour! The little ones behaved quite well, despite the fact that just as Sarah was turning up T decided to do a leaky poo that went onto the dress I had her in (sorry, too much info, I know).

The result, though, are the most beautiful photos I've ever seen of my children. I absolutely adore all of them and I can't wait to have these in our album. My hope is that Sarah will photograph the kids every year - at least until they are too big for such things!

One thing I'd asked of Sarah is that she try to capture E's 'little boy' face, since at 5 it is changing into a big boy face. I think she did this beautifully.

Thank you, Sarah. I truly mean it when I say I will treasure these pictures forever.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Yesterday Sydney turned on one of those spectacular spring days. Heavenly sunshine, but not too hot. Crisp (but not too white) light that reminds me of summer days in England. Oh the loveliness.

We decided to take E out into the park to practise his riding without training wheels. Before we knew it, we were outside the German club round the corner from us. On such a lovely day it would have been a crime not to partake in a sparkling beverage or two, right?

When we got home T had a lovely sleep, then afterwards the kids spent ages (whole minutes!) playing their new favourite game while we got the barbie going.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beet that

We kind of forgot about the beetroots in our vegie patch. So when Shaun pulled one up it was a case of 'whoa!' It made me think of Wallace & Gromit and some of the giant vegies they encounter. Or country shows - surely this would be winner, right?

Cooked it up this afternoon and it was sweet and delicious and not woody, as I'd feared. Fresh beetroot is one of my favourite things.

It should do for a couple of meals!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Admitting defeat

I just put the trousers she was wearing straight in the bin.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ice block

In between the grey, grey, grey of Sydney's days the sun has come out for a few minutes. Just long enough for us to break out the first iceblocks of the season. And the first ever for Miss T.

We didn't give her a whole one, but let's just say she was very happy when I let her finish off mine...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Eat, Pray, Loved it

It amazes me just how strong a reaction people (read: women) seem to have to the book Eat, Pray, Love. It seems you either love it or you hate it, there's no middle ground. I loved it.

Yes, I know it is self-indulgent. Yes, I know it's not ideal that she ends up finding her happiness in another bloke ... but it's one woman's (pretty incredible) personal story and I think she tells it beautifully.

And so it was with a little trepidation that I saw the movie yesterday - would its makers do the book justice? I think that, on the whole, they did. My biggest criticism of the film is that at the beginning the husband and boyfriend don't seem all that unlikable. In the book you know she heads off onto her journey from a point of despair; the film didn't really make that so clear, I thought.

Anyhow. Beautiful scenery, gorgeous actors, Julia Roberts at her best - what's not to love?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A surprisingly good read

Most years I try to read at least one of the Booker Prize short- or long-listed books, if not the winner. It makes me feel brainy.

From this year's crop I picked out a book that sounded interesting:

February, by Canadian writer Lisa Moore. The blurb sounded interesting, I ordered it in from the library. This is what it said:

In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's night storm. In the early hours of the next morning, all 84 men aboard died. Helen O'Mara is one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns. Her story starts years after the Ranger disaster, but she is compelled to travel back to the 'February' that persists in her mind, and to that moment in 1982 when, expecting a fourth child, she received the call informing her that Cal was lost at sea. A quarter of a century on, late one winter's night, Helen is woken by another phone call. It is her wayward son John, in another time zone, on his way home. He has made a girl pregnant and he needs his mother to decide what he should do. As John grapples with what it might mean to be a father, Helen realises that she must shake off her decades of mourning in order to help.With grace and precision, and a shocking ability to render the precise details of her characters' physical and emotional worlds, Lisa Moore reveals the whole story to us. And just as, finally, we watch the oil rig go down, we see Helen emerging from her grief to greet a new life

When I picked this book up, I was immediately put off by the slightly schmaltzy-looking cover and tossed it aside while I finished another book. Then I ran out of reading and gave this book a go.

It wasn't all smooth sailing then. The plot is fairly bleak, after all it is about grief. Not exactly the uplifting read I probably could have done with right now, but I persisted because - wow - this lady can write.

The further I got into it, the more compelled I was to finish this quiet, beautiful story. It's not your usual Booker candidate, that's for sure.

Anyhow, this morning I finished the book in bed and I keep thinking about it. It has left its mark on me and that's what I seek from a good read. I also keep thinking about Petite Gourmand and, being Canadian and all, wondering if she has read this one?

We may live on opposite sides of the world, but I feel I know her tastes in books. I love it when she mentions one she's enjoyed on her blog. I immediately seek it out and, so far, I've loved everything she'd recommended (especially The Thirteenth Tale - so excellent). So thanks PG! If you've not read February you should try it - love to know what you think!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Burn To Memory

Before I returned to work last month our lovely family daycare lady she suggested she take T for 4 days one week, to help her settle. It was a good idea, not only for T but also for E and me. It allowed us two days to hang together without Little Madam about.

It's funny, until a year ago E had all the attention from us, but it does sometimes feel like he misses out now. I took those two days to try to rectify that. We went to the cafe for babycinos, we drew, we painted, we read in the sunshine. And we went to this cool bike park, that has traffic lights, speed humps etc. Every parent in Sydney's inner-west has probably been there at some point. Here, E had stopped to check out the ant-life at the edge of the track.

It was a beautiful morning and he raced about, doing 'laps' I had to time on my mobile phone. In between, I ducked in and out of the pages of the book I was reading (Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey - so excellent).

This is a moment I would like to burn to memory.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Glitter wars

Note to self: best not to leave tubs of glitter lying around on the ground.

Note to self 2: best to have the lid on securely if you are going to leave tubs of glitter lying around on the ground.

Note to self 3: best not to grab tub of glitter with not-exactly-secure lid from fiesty baby who likes sparkly things.

For this is the consequence of such actions.

Gold dust everywhere. At least it's outside, you may say. But for how many months do you think I'll be finding sparkles walked through the house?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In the mix

Dear October,
How did you get here so quickly? Much to post, and yet so little time to sit down and do so. In the meantime, here's someone who doesn't like sitting down all that much any more.

No, she prefers standing (more like teetering and giving her mother conniptions in the process - skull + tiles + crashing bub = bad news).

And him - ol' Spiderboy - having read George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl he's most into making his own rather marvellous medicine in the backyard. There always has to be a 'secret ingredient' that I have to rustle up. In a flash of (impressive, if I do say so myself) inspiration, I added a teaspoon of Eno to his 'medicine' yesterday and it duly frothed and fizzed. The boy was all 'Wooooohoooo'.

One to me.