Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Can't Believe it's Nearly CHRISTMAS!!!

While all the adults of my acquaintance heave a collective groan about the onslaught of the Festive Season, there is one small person I know who is so excited about Christmas that he can hardly bear it.


Christmas is now a daily conversation topic, usually along the lines of I can't believe its nearly *Christmas* (imagine that last word said in high-pitched excitement) or I really wish it was Christmas tomorrow, which gives me a mini-nervous attack as I picture all the things I still have to do before the Big Day.


He decided, as is his wont, that he urgently needed a new tick-off calendar, despite my telling him that I had an advent calendar ready for December. There was no way he could wait until December, so off I went to print a calendar for him (thinking that was what he wanted) only to find that he had grabbed a ruler and was halfway through making his own. However he ditched the hand-drawn attempt when he saw that mine had a Christmas Sticker system.

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(At around this point both boys insisted that they needed to have a look at the advent calendars. Cherub was so pleased with his that he would have carried it round all day had I not insisted that it needed to go away until December 1st. Don't want the crappy chocolate treats melting.)

And then there's the letter to Santa. Whereas Climber would write lovely sweet letters which often included telling Santa (quite unprompted) that he loved him, the Cherub is far more inclined to cut straight to business. In fact, immediately he realised there were only 40 odd days to go he scurried off and put a letter into an envelope before I even knew what was happening. Dear Santa, it said, can I hav a crytal sweeper please. So then we had to have a chat about not asking Santa for very expensive stuff (The Crystal Sweeper is a Lego set that costs around $100). To which he replied but I really really want a crystal sweeper and so I had to say it was okay to ask us, his parents, for a big present but that Santa has to provide presents for all the kids in the world and it's selfish to ask for expensive stuff. (Aren't you glad I'm not your mother?) Once he'd ascertained that there was a good chance that a Crystal Sweeper would soon supplement our already healthy stocks of Lego, he was happy to ask Santa for a more modest item. Once more he wrote and sealed the letter before I knew what was going on, but he'd addressed his envelope all wrong, giving me the perfect excuse to open it up. Which is when I had to speak to him about injecting a little bit more charm and courtesy into his original billet because heaven knows I don't want Santa thinking I haven't brought my child up right.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mister Fixit and his Bag of Fruit

Mister Fixit caused a mini sensation when he appeared in the schoolyard yesterday wearing THIS:


Fixit reckons the not-really-an-interview went well. It turned out to be a group session with 24 other applicants; they got put into small groups and were given a task and we assume that the panel was assessing teamwork, leadership, ability to follow instructions or cope with difficulties etc. Fixit said he enjoyed himself, which I put down to his task being the assembly of a Meccano bike. I'm thinking having two small sons might have given him an unfair advantage in this area, frankly. Apparently he is in the final 100 of over 2100 applicants. There are 30 positions and we should hear in the next fortnight whether he's made it through to the last round which we think will be an actual Face-to-Face Interview. Talk about jumping through hoops.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Thoughts from A Few Days of Photos


This photo gives you an idea of the haircut I gave the Cherub. Surprisingly for a home cut it has turned out quite well. He had 8 days of school swimming last fortnight and was unable to swim the first day because he kept stopping to stand up and push the hair off his face. No time for our regular hairdresser so I just took him out the backyard and went the hack. It's a pretty terrible cut but his wavy hair has concealed the true damage! I'm letting it grow out a bit before we take him to our lovely hairdresser, but she won't be fooled.

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This (sneaky) photo, taken just before the first tap class on Saturday, reminds me that I need to stop slouching and stand up straight. Shoulders back Stomper! (Did you straighten yourself up as you looked at it? I did)

Climber took that last shot with spy-like stealth from the back room at the Tap Hall where he and Cherub like to get arty on the whiteboard while Fixit, Nell and I do set-up. While he was there with the camera recording disposable art for posterity he also took this shot...

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...which I just like for the composition, the little left-handed artiste in the corner and Climber's reflection behind his works.

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This shot reminds me that I need to tell you about Mister Fixit and the Great Job Application. See, he has progressed through all the rounds of the Recruitment Company and is off next Monday for the Big Interview with the Prospective Employer (back story here, here and here). This meant we had to buy him a suit! Somehow he got to 40+ and has never owned one. He also needed a new tie; the last tie he bought was a skinny one from the 80s. So we took the boys to Nell's house (that's Climber playing on her laptop computer and drinking lemonade, they love Nell anyway but this babysit was extra popular) while we went to nearby Bridge Road, an excellent seconds shopping strip in Melbourne. We bought him a very nice charcoal coloured wool suit with a subtle blue stripe and a nice greeny-gold tie that brings out his eyes. I swear he looked a different man as he tried it on and I felt a little bit shy of him. If he lets me, I will take a photo on interview morning.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Launch Action Shots



The lovely Louise M Cooper was the official photographer at the Arcade Book Launch we did last week and she sent through some gorgeous shots. If you would like to see more photographs of the evening, including the original pin-up girls and the vintage frock loveliness from the fashion parade, then go here

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Girls Book Launch

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I'm not much chop at putting in hot rollers...


..but the 'do came out all right anyway.


Here's the gorgeous Miss Kaye and me backstage at the Order of Melbourne last night, in our purple sparkly mini-dresses, about to tap our little feet off to help launch a new book by Madeleine Hamilton called Our Girls; Aussie Pin-ups of the 40s and 50s.

The gig was great fun and I'm hoping to post photos soon of Kaye and me in action, as soon as someone sends me some. Meantime, let me tell you that we went over very well! Lots of whooping and cheering and loud applause. We danced our 2 old-fashioned high-heeled numbers to fit in with the vintage theme of the night, and in between we watched from side of stage as the lovely Candice, Nicky and Becky modelled some divine vintage outfits supplied by Circa Vintage Clothes. The cocktail frocks were my absolute fave, tres chic.

Some of the original Pin-up Girls of the age came along - some of them are quite elderly now and all still gorgeous and glamorous. Here's a great interview with the book's author about the book which is worth a read. When Madeleine gave her speech last night she talked of the very respectful letters sent by diggers to the Pin-up Girls (so different to the page 3 culture of today) and how heart-breaking it had been in her research to find how many of those letter-writers had died horrible deaths in warfare.

When the gig was over and I'd caught up with nice people in the audience and cooled off with a couple of gin-and-tonics, I decided that the evening was so beautiful that I would walk from the venue in Swanston St to the tram stop at St. Vincents in my pretty purple high-heeled mary-jane shoes. I think I might have quite sore feet after tap class tonight!

You can buy the book here. And a crew from the ABC's The 7.30 Report were there filming the event, and hope to screen it in November or December.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Louie the Fly

My sister and her kids left today for Canberra. The house is suddenly quiet. Quiet and messy. It's been an action-packed, fun-filled 11 days, which I think exhausted all of us. At some stage I may find the energy to blog some bits and pieces. But today I am still mildly whacked from a full and tiring day at our School Fete yesterday in 35 degree heat. So I am just posting a funny sequence of photos (taken by my sister) of the finale of my Tap School's performance at said Fete. The performance went very well despite the heat - luckily we were the first act but even at 10.30am that stage was pretty hot and I all but burnt my hand handling the metal tap-plate on my shoes at the end of the gig. Anyway. Here you can see the Cherub and the Son-of-The-Guy, giving their all as Tapping Flies who have just been sprayed with (pretend) flyspray, with full artistic interpretation of the instruction lie down on your back with your hands and feet in the air and buzz like a dying fly.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Halloween in a Hurry

My sister and nephew and niece are staying with us for 11 days, while Bronnie photographs the horses at the Spring Racing Carnival. So please forgive me for this very rushed blogpost, which is pretty much just my Halloween Show and Tell - mostly Show. I'm too busy keeping 4 children in line to have any words flowing nicely from me; but if you need someone to nag you to eat your dinner, insist you say please or thank-you or chivvy you in or out of somewhere (the car, the bath, the bed) then I'm your woman.

Here is a picture of Climber and myself on our way to Elda's magnificent Halloween party.

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Here is a shot of Elda doing her hostess with the mostest stuff. All the kids got a turn at hacking up the severed hands (chicken schnitzels) as well as putting their hands in a bowl of slime to get lollies, taking their turn at acting out Halloween charades (walk like a zombie, lie still like a corpse etc), eating doughnuts off a string and then trick-or-treating. The trick or treating was great fun (they even trick-or-treated the local supermarket) and the stack of lollies they came home with was staggering.

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Here is the little sewing project that grew very organically over the weekend. Climber announced he wanted to make a little toy ghost so I set him up with felt and needle and thread.

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My nephew walked by and became very interested so he decided to make a pumpkin.

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Then Cherub wanted in too, so he made a blue ghost with evil red eyes.


My 4yo niece also wanted one but didn't feel up to sewing so once I got through the flurry of helping 3 boys sew at once (you know, knotting, threading, teaching them backstitch, snipping, knotting, rethreading, turning inside out, finishing off: it got pretty frantic for a while there) I made her a lallow one. Here they are, see if you can guess which one is mine.

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