The thing I am loving this school holiday is that the boys are now of an age where I can comfortably leave them alone together, while I nick out to the gym or the supermarket or even for a coffee. Obviously Climber has been old enough to be home alone for a while, but until recently I wasn't comfortable about leaving him in charge of Cherub for too long. But they're both pretty mature now, and their brotherly dynamic is so harmonious that most days I head out while they're still in bed, knowing that they'll fix their own breakfast and then play quietly and co-operatively on the computer til I'm home again. Having that little bit of time on my own is fantastic: I do love having holiday sleep-ins and fun activities and general lack of routine, but I am pretty attached to my alone time and crave it when it doesn't happen.
We had the lovely Nell over dinner last week, and I co-opted the kids
into helping make pork dumplings. Production line cooking is much more
fun with child slaves. There are no photos, Nell and I were too busy
catching up. She enjoyed the story of how I discreetly tried to signal
to Climber at the New Year's Eve party that his fly was undone, which
became fully hilariously public when he couldn't read my hand signals
and thought I was miming flicking out a teatowel.
(Watching more of the Asian Cup Football - Socceroos v South Korea)
Both Fixit and I lost an aunt this year, and we were very touched to receive Christmas cards from our uncles in response to the ones we'd (I'd) sent them. Neither of our uncles have probably ever sent a card in their whole married lives, because the aunts took care of all that stuff, but both managed to send one this year despite bereavement, and in my Uncle's case, recent heart surgery and, as you can probably tell from the handwriting, Parkinson's Disease. I felt the same way when Fixit's Pop took up the card-sending and gift-giving after Fixit's Nan's death. Touched and impressed that they took up the mantle, but also slightly indignant at myself for being so impressed when there is no reason that card-writing is women's work. It's hard to explain properly. But the effort that my Uncle went to to send us this brings a little tear to my eye. I wonder if Fixit will send cards if I predecease him? I would be a very surprised ghost if he did.
I thought I'd found an awesome activity for the boys, a Parkour Course, which is that weird sport of running and jumping over stuff in an urban environment. But when we got there we found the average age of the participants was 8, despite being advertised as 5-15 and being therefore suitable for teens. Worse, there was only one instructor to the 30-odd kids so all activities were conducted at the very young end of the demographic. My kids couldn't wait to leave. So disappointing, because I thought it was going to be really cool. In the right environment they would have loved flinging themselves around.
More successful was our visit to the Cat Cafe in the Melbourne CBD. It is basically a lovely house which is home to a bevy of rescue cats, with a (limited) cafe menu. You book an hour session and then spend that time interacting with the kitties and having a lemonade or cookie if you so wish. It was lots of fun, despite the fact that two-thirds of the feline posse were flat out sleeping for the entire session (2-3pm, it was only to be expected.)
In the picture below you can see three cats staring intently at the window. Despite all appearances, they are not plotting their escape. The humans who run the Cat Cafe have attached a bird feeder to the window, and the cats come into that room to watch. Well unless they've come there to sleep, like Lynx-of-the-impressive-fat-belly. The cats can't get out so the sparrows are perfectly safe, and the felines have plenty of toys and company and things to climb so they're not unduly tortured by not being able to kill the birdies. So they just sit there watching. It's like Cat Televison, the best programme ever.
See the birdies?
The visit improved when a couple of the cats woke up, although there was a bit of human competition to be the one to play with the awake-cat.
The boys hit the jackpot right at the end with Lottie, who played catch-the-hand-in-the-pouch for a good 15 minutes with them.
Recommended for cat lovers. They have a very good gift shop too.
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
6 hours ago