We've had a very moochy start to 2014. The boys seem to just want to hang about at home, watching dvds and playing on the computer or ipad. Fixit is happy to indulge this because he can potter around in his shed or hang out with his friends. And I am recuperating from that intense pre-Christmas frenzy so I've been lazy too. Most days I make the kids come for a bike ride and I've taken myself off to the gym on every possible day, and one day I cracked it and made us all clean the house from top to bottom. But it's mostly been laziness around here, laziness and cuddles, and the odd water-fight to liven things up again.
The Cherub organises us to leave the house when there is something that he wants, that he really, really wants. For example, he's been twice to see The Desolation of Smaug (the 2nd instalment of The Hobbit movie), once with me and our friend Astrid's family, and then almost immediately again with Fixit and Climber, because Climber had missed it because of being invited out with a friend. This is what the Cherub wore to watch The Hobbit, his Doctor Who fez and bow-tie and his Hobbit sword. Climber looked at him and then surprised me by saying, slightly wistfully, I wish I could still dress up like that and go out.... The sadness of starting to leave your childhood behind.
We've also made a couple of visits to shopping malls -urgh- at Cherub's instigation, because the Christmas cash and giftcards were burning a hole in his pocket. He is a very focussed child, and I just hope he is planning to take all that lego with him when he eventually moves out. We mixed things up a bit by going to Doncaster, which is more upmarket than our local. Here is a little anecdote to demonstrate the difference between Doncaster and Northland. The boys were first back to the car and waiting for me at a time when people were circling desperately in their cars, looking for a spot, any spot. A girl spoke to Fixit and decided to wait for our space. In the meantime, a nervous driver nearby, had got herself into a state about backing her car out of her space because people had parked along the wall behind her and she didn't think she could get out. When I arrived back at the car, there were about 4 cars waiting to either park or get through, and Fixit was calmly directing the nervous driver out of her spot, which, with a great deal of cajoling and patience, and a little bit of directing the other cars, he was eventually able to do. The whole time it was going on, nobody beeped their horns, there was no swearing or screeching tyres, and people smiled and thanked Fixit afterwards. Extraordinary. I shudder to think how that would have played out at good old Norflands.
We had a very enjoyable New Year's Eve at Astrid's house, lots of happy children splashing in the pool, lots of happy adults eating the delicious food and enjoying the excellent company...
...and two walks up Ruckers Hill to watch the fireworks over the city. Both boys stayed up to midnight for the first time, though it was touch-and-go with Cherub. He was struggling with how tired he felt anyway, and then his big brother said something moderately unkind, and Cherub couldn't quite fight off the tears and wouldn't participate in the ritual sparkler-waving ceremony on the way back. So we went straight home after that.
This photo was taken at the 9.30 walk up the hill, which is why Cherub is participating in sparkler-waving.
It's the first time we've seen in the New Year together as a little family, how special. Our friend took this shot of us standing in the middle of High Street and watching the 9.30 fireworks. Isn't the light gorgeous?
My brother came to Melbourne with his two boys and the kids were very keen to meet Basil.
Climber has been delighting me with a talent for making things nice around the house, including some random acts of tidying. The little herb garden out the side is flourishing due to his tender care.
He also decided he wanted his own desk this year, and worked with Fixit to construct one out of found items (Fixit's shed is a magnificently organised cornucopia of found items), and then went on to make himself a pen holder out of a loo roll, and a rubbish bin out of a bucket.
He also, following the purchase of a computer game to do with pirates, decided he really needed to watch Pirates of the Caribbean (he was too young when it was first released) and once we obtained a copy, he set up the loungeroom like a cinema. It's so comfortable we've kept it that way.
His holidays have been reasonably sociable, with days out with friends or nights out to watch A-League soccer, and currently a 2 day stay down the coast with another friend and his family. We are missing him a bit, so it has been nice to have the odd text and phone-call from him.
And my sister, after a very difficult few years, has left Canberra and we helped her move into her house on the Mornington Peninsula this week. Fixit was a legend of a brother-in-law and assembled all the beds for her and generally hefted stuff about, while I set up her kitchen and bedding. It's actually a bit tricky to set up someone else's kitchen in their absence, but I'm hoping my organisation will make sense to her once she is settled in. Our reward will be a beach holiday of our own, while she and the kids are back up north for the next fortnight. Just in time for the hot weather which has finally hit Melbourne.
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
6 hours ago