Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tobogganing.

My mum was convinced that nobody photographed her having a toboggan ride during our family visit to the snowfields at Mount Stirling, and she was rather miffed about it.  Fair enough, it is pretty impressive that a person of her years was able and game enough: she was the only senior cit in the snow, let alone on a toboggan, that we saw all day. So impressive, and she only needed a bit of help climbing to the top of the slope, and being lowered onto the toboggan.  But the truth of the matter was that it was only my-sister-the-photographer who didn't have the fancy camera out on the three, yes you heard that right, three occasions when Mum decided to have a go.  When I showed Mum that actually I had taken a photo of her, using Fixit's phone, she declared that it wasn't her and muttered darkly about photo fixing. But as you can see, the lady in the red parka with the purple backpack is the same lady sailing elegantly down the slope.  Et voila, Grandmere sur le Toboggan.


Here is Mister Fixit, who managed a few goes in between hanging with the boys or giving my niece big pushes. I do like the way his leg is sticking up and out as he careers down towards the temporary fencing.  He crashed out quite a lot. He was probably a bit big for the toboggan.




But now we should look at the good quality pictures, the ones taken by my-sister-the-photographer.  They're much better than mine.

C'est moi. Whee! 

Cherub. He had the best time.

Climber. Climber was very good on the toboggan, but he was a fiend with the snowballs as you might be able to see in this collection of shots. No one, apart from Grandma, was safe. He got me a beauty, smack on the cheekbone as I whizzed down -which really hurt- but at least he gave me a slightly stricken apology when I climbed back up the top.


In point of fact, the only person who did not get a photo of herself on the toboggan was my poor sister-the-photographer. Ain't it always the way. So here is a collage of the terrific bus we took to the mountain top, just so you can see that my-sister-the-photographer was also part of the snowday fun. Hi sis!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Queen's Birthday

8 Jun 2014 9:17 am

I think it's very ace of QEII to hold her faux birthday celebration on my actual birthday weekend. That extra day-off in June means our group of Glampers (Glamour Campers, absolutely no roughing it in this establishment) can escape to Craft Camp at Sewjourn for four whole blissful days.  And because my fellow Crafty Campers are such awesome and generous women, they treat a birthday girl very royally indeed. Much more than the boys at home would have.

Here's how they did it:

They gave me the Princess Room, ie the one with the big bed and no room-mates.

8 Jun 2014 9:31 am
(I don't have a picture of it, so here's one of Jenny and Kate discussing darning.)

They put up birthday decorations : streamers in the studio and balloons in the house.

6 Jun 2014 1:20 pm

They made me a birthday cake. I haven't not made my own birthday cake for many many years now.
 7 Jun 2014 4:31 pm

Not only that but they all chipped in for a massage voucher which I duly redeemed on Saturday afternoon.  After which I had a lovely, lovely bath in the Sewjourn clawfoot.  Bliss.

7 Jun 2014 3:51 pm

(My fluffy pink onesie was the perfect article of clothing for Crarf Camp; warm, comfortable, snuggly and tres chic. I don't care what Susan M. says! She said No. And she shook her head at me.)

The gels also entertained me with their witty, erudite and frankly hilarious company.

6 Jun 2014 8:56 pm

They only required me to cook once for the entire weekend. (I made poached quince and pear, with raspberries for added tang, and a delish golden syrup pudding.) The rest of the time they took turns at whipping up delightful meals and desserts.  That's when they weren't offering up tea, wine, G&Ts or delicious snacks.

7 Jun 2014 8:59 pm

They inspired me with the things they created. Jenny and Susan M. definitely took the prize for the most prolific crafters, but everyone was making wonderful and clever stuff.

They encouraged me with my own endeavours, which were:

(1) A Merchant & Mills shirt-dress in some light blue linen given to me by my Mum in a recent de-stash.  I felt a little like Wee Willy Winkie when I wore this, but have since washed it, and hope it may come to feel less night-shirtly. Possibly if I add a belt....

9 Jun 2014 2:59 pm

(2) A tunic that started life as Dress A from The Stylish Dress book.

I had made it up at home over summer but when I tried it on I was horrified.  The book illustration looks nice enough on this charming waif, but it made me look frumpy.  And like I was wearing a tropical sack. At first I toyed with putting darts in to shape the dress a bit more, but then I decided to make it tunic length.. 

I also decided to add pockets because: very useful things, pockets.  The purple batik came from a tap students who had also de-stashed in my direction.  I'm really pleased with how it came up in the end.

9 Jun 2014 1:50 pm

(3) A self-drafted skirt in a soft purple suede-like fabric.  I used the Sew What! Skirt book and designed my own pleats.

 8 Jun 2014 11:09 am

Such a good book, I think I've learned so much from it. The skirt is not quite right around the waist  & zip area, so could possibly benefit from a little topstitching to help it sit flat (it's been under-stitched but it's not quite enough) and a little bit of jiggering with the facings, which all got too complicated when sewing on the daisy ribbon.  But I love how the design came out and feel pretty pleased with the sense of accomplishment I have from having designed it myself within the guidelines.

9 Jun 2014 10:12 am

So our weekend was a lovely creative, productive and also relaxing time, and we were sad to say good-bye to each other on Monday.  Thanks again to all my fellow Campers: Susan, Susan M, Kate M and Kate C, Magda (who turns out I didn't get a photo of, sorry love), Julie and Jen. And love to Janet who couldn't join us, but who was in our thoughts the whole weekend.

 9 Jun 2014 3:08 pm

Thanks also to my boys for getting on with their game while I was away. Came home to a clean house and a cooked dinner, and lots of hugs.  A birthday weekend fit for a queen.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Twenty Years.

Last night the whole family went out to dinner to celebrate the fact that Fixit and I have been together for twenty years. (I think this means we must have started going out when we were children, because twenty whole years can't possibly be right! Not when I'm still this young.)  The actual anniversary (of the party where he was brought along to be 'set-up with someone' and that someone totally got to give him their phone number by the end of the night) is on Friday, which is also my birthday, but I am nicking off early Friday morning to Craft Camp for the long weekend.  (Best birthday treat I could have, Craft Camp. Fabulous company, food, drink and crafting, plus a bath and a massage planned.  I am only sad that we won't be joined by a treasured member of our clan this weekend, owing to family circumstances.)

Anyway. We had a lovely time out at a local groovy Vietnamese restaurant last night. The food was delicious and the kids were excellent company. Impressively, Cherub was able to spot yet another poisoning attempt on his life before it came to pass, and politely-but-firmly declined the waitress' offer of chocolate or strawberry topping on his plain vanilla ice-cream.  These would-be assassins must be so frustrated with Cherub's vigilance.

And twenty years, hey? Twenty really good years: lots of laughter, lots of kindness, lots of pleasure in each others' company.  Annoyances and spats, yes, because living with other people brings that in its wake. (And men can be so annoying.)  But always there for each other through illness and adversity and challenge and change.  We never got married and set it out in public that we would do this, but we have.  And best of all we can share the love with our two gorgeous boys, who light up our lives every day.  So Happy Anniversary Mister Fixit.  Here's to the next twenty xxx.

4 Jun 2014 6:40 pm

How I ended up with a onesie for Mother's Day

Fixit has been enjoying the new job. As I predicted, on his first solo delivery (he delivers rehabilitation equipment like wheelchairs, walker frames and chairs that help you stand back up again) he was asked to help with more than just the delivery and set-up of the equipment, and was soon being thanked profusely and treated to cups of tea and biscuits. Typical Fixit.


2 Jun 2014 11:54 am

The kitty obviously got into a bit of a fight over the weekend - nothing too unusual there and it's generally just a few scratches - but on Sunday he curled up on our bed and stayed there all day and when he did get up he had a pronounced limp on his front left paw.  When I took him to the vet I commented that he was letting her have a much better look at the sore paw than he'd permitted me, and she said cats try to pretend there isn't anything in the least bit wrong with them when they go to the vet. I am a well cat. There is no reason for me to be here at all. You are totally wasting your time. I am 100% a Healthy Cat. She also said he must be a brave cat, because all the scratches were on the face, paws and chest, which meant he stood and fought. Cowardly cats have scratches to their bottoms as they attempt to Run Away! All of which I found very funny. Basil ended up with an antibiotic injection and a painkiller and has been improving ever since.

Climber took part in a Flute Guild Competition and his ensemble achieved 3rd place.  They were much the smallest group, which apparently makes it easier to hear any mistakes.

1 Jun 2014 11:29 am

Although we don't make a big deal about Mother's and Father's Day here, I was slightly miffed that my family - in the midst of soccer games and family lunch with the Fixit Clan - pretty much forgot to mark my Mother's Day, until I said at 6pm, in a slightly pathetic voice: Aren't I getting anything for Mother's Day this year?, knowing full well that I'd previously given Cherub $10 to spend at the school Mother's Day stall. And given that was the only thing that had been organised for me (by me, I organised it!) I took myself and my pique off to the shops the next day for some retail therapy. Part of the therapy involved the purchase of a fluffy pink onesie for myself. Sooooo comfortable, I can't even tell you. It is something to do with the absence of a waistband I suspect. I would gladly wear mine all day.

14 May 2014 4:43 pm 
(Please note. All the [dangly, pink. round] pompom jokes have been done.)

I also bought one for Cherub who has been desperate for one ever since they became a fad. He was over the moon. The only one I could find in boy size/range was light-weight so he is wearing it as his  pyjamas. He looks incredibly cute in it, and delights me by jumping around in ninja poses whilst wearing it.

 14 May 2014 9:05 pm

Someone else who loves a onesie is Basil.

14 May 2014 9:00 pm

With or without me in it.

31 May 2014 9:45 pm

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Goal!

If you were concerned about that very high pitched noise coming from Melbourne's northern suburbs earlier today, please don't be: it was only me shrieking in delight because Climber had just scored the very first goal of his career. Climber is a very valuable defender and as such has not had many goal scoring opportunities, but lately his coach has been giving him an occasional run in the midfield. A couple of weeks ago Climber came oh-so-close to scoring and was gutted when he fluffed it, so much so that his team-mates, a lovely bunch of boys who are very fond of each other, immediately rallied round to comfort him. Today when he positioned himself neatly by the edge of the goal and cleanly received a cross and pegged it in, all of his team-mates shared his delight and came running up to congratulate him as he ran up the pitch with his arms outstretched in joy. (That was the bit when I cried.) It was smiles all round. Happy, happy, happy.

1 Jun 2014 1:48 pm



1 Jun 2014 1:48 pm

Friday, May 30, 2014

Week of wins.

Fixit started work on Wednesday. He leaves the house at 6.30am but is home at a reasonable hour. He seems to be enjoying himself, but is tired at the end of the day.  When he was first retrenched I found it annoying having him around in the morning. He kept getting in my way while I was trying to get the boys off to school! But then I got used to it. So it was weird this last few days not having him around.  I would say it actually ran more smoothly, but we all missed him too.

Both boys had music concerts this week.  Climber, in typical fashion, neglected to tell us that his flute ensemble were providing pre-show foyer music so we pretty much missed that. But the two bands he performed in during the show proper (Junior Band and Junior Stage Band) were excellent, and he looked very handsome in his concert shirt and trousers too.

28 May 2014 6:59 pm

Cherub was highly excited to be doing a music concert as well.  His band has only had 6 weeks preparation, and most of them only started learning their instruments at the start of last term so they only played three very short pieces, but they clearly enjoyed themselves and played with gusto.

29 May 2014 8:45 pm

I'm feeling proud of all the boys this week!

Oh and PS I bought new tap shoes, because my purple ones have never quite recovered from having the cracked tap-plate. There were no purple ones left in my size so I've gone with some all-black lace-ups.  Busting to try them out tomorrow morning!

30 May 2014 11:11 am

Sunday, May 25, 2014

International Tap Dance Day 2014

On May 25th we celebrate the birthday of Bill Bojangles Robinson and International Tap Dance Day. This year I decided to put together a little video to mark the occasion.  It was so much fun to make. 

I only have moderate iMovie editing skills, and an awful lot of my students were absent this week *curse you late Autumn Flu/Cold mini-epidemic* but I am pretty happy with the result.


 Hooray for tap dancing. It is the best!