Monday, September 18, 2017

wild things...

Sometimes, time by sea is just a necessity. After winter months of long shifts, flus and coughs that just linger and linger and go away only to return with a vengeance, getting away - if just for an hour or so is needed. I need space and the sand beneath my feet. The kids just need to be outside.

My in-laws took our Diva on a shopping mission and we took advantage of all fitting in one car to hoist the faithful (oversized) hound into the car - and escape to the shore.

It's our closest beach, and one of my favourites, familiarity has increased affection as we discover hidden treasures.

Our gentle wolf is ecstatic to run with other dogs and the kids run off exploring - finding hermit crabs and superior sticks.

We meander until we find the stick house and enjoy the gift of some dedicated unknowns labour. When we first started coming it was a simple construction - now it has a entrance way and a proper room. A house? A love-shack? A prison?
My Adventure Boy is presently obsessed with sticks and building stick houses (often when he should be in class) so I lured him to the beach with the promise of architectural splendour, and luckily, he's not disappointed.

 Our Wonder Girl is dedicated to trying all the different types of sand. Is it all crunchy? And if she perseveres will she find some with flavour?

Our Cheeky Monkey is resigned. The Stick House is a prison and she is obviously the prisoner.

This walk always sets me imagining - the expanse of mudflats, the mangrove swamp behind, the river-mouth close by, all seem to invite a story.
Apocalyptic? A place to survive when all else fails?
Or turn to the past Historical? What would it have been like to be an early settler, in those stiff, corseted clothes and long skirts, in this landscape? It's pleasant now, and close to the sea with the breeze bearable most of the year, but a little inland and in the long summer, the sweltering heat and mosquitos are oppressive. In an atmospheric kind of way - the summer storms glorious when they come bringing short relief.
Of course, twists would be needed... To bring in the fantastical, the romantic - to use the land but not the true story that was hard, brutal and uncompromisingly tragic.

Still twisting all the aspects in my mind, I turn back to my little wild ones. I should probably save the Cheeky Monkey from her prison sometime soon.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Divas and Dentists

So this is a thing.
My Extravaganza has a smile from here to Texas. She is bossy, she is out there, she loves her clothes, her makeup, her tween shows and her drama. I often call her my Diva.
Take a good look at the photo above. The big smile, the faux fur, the makeup (subtle darling, subtle! is a constant refrain. My diva has no time for subtle) and the sequins. Don't forget the sequins.
She also has a very sweet tooth. And has already had quite a bit of dental work.
So when I saw a black line at the back of the bottom of her brand new front teeth, I panicked. Brush more! Brush harder! You are never so much as looking at sugar ever again.
I had visions of my Extravaganza toothless in those cruel teen years. Of us selling our organs to pay for new teeth.
After a couple of days of  her brushing her teeth and swishing and me brushing her teeth and her brushing and me brushing and more swishing and getting my mum to check and Beloved to check and the black line not budging I made an appointment with the dentist and sent my Extravaganza in with Beloved.
And I paced (or would have if I didn't have to feed the baby) and fretted and stressed and facebooked until I heard the car pull up and then I ran to the front door - baby still attached.
And my Extravaganza skipped in smiling and Beloved followed and silently handed me a little bag. A clear plastic bag.
And I took it and blinked at it.
It held two small flat metallic disks. With holes in the centre.
"So? So? What's wrong? Is she okay?"
"She's okay."
"So? What happened? Do we need to book the kiddy dentist surgeon?"
"She's fine. It was those."
He looked at the bag I was holding. I looked at the bag I was holding. Although I forgot the word for them for a good half hour because - getting old - I now remember those things are called sequins.
"Those?" I said.
"They were stuck between her teeth and her gum. She must have been chewing on her clothes. They'd slipped right down."
Now she hadn't said anything because - you know - brave. But it must have hurt quite a bit having them there.
"But how?"
"She said she'd been chewing on her top."

So. Do not chew on your clothes.
And only my diva could have to go to the dentist because of sequins.

Also, if you return your eyes to the photo above, I believe that top might be the guilty suspect and ex-owner of said sequins.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Golden-Girl in Fleeting Fields of Gold

In late afternoon light we pass an empty lot of uncut grass on the way home from the beach. A mistake to be fixed, the light turns the grass into a wonderland of gold. Ever one to grab a photo opportunity I ignore Beloved's mutterings about snakes - It's winter, hon, it'll be fine - and we run through the field.

The next day we pass again and the field of gold is nothing but drab grey stubble. The mowers came by in the early morning and decimated it.

Seize the moment! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

time-deprived & daylight

In my more optimistic moments I signed up for an online photography course - to use up all my oodles of free time. It wasn't such a crazy move because I did manage an amazing anthropology course that I'm still mulling over.

But the photography course? Good and all. But not brilliant enough to take time from sleep. Possibly if Beloved hadn't got sick for three weeks, while on night shifts for two of them, and the kids didn't also take it in turns to get sick I might have managed module two, and possibly three and four, but hey, c'est la vie. Two more nights of night shift and Beloved hasn't thrown up in a few days. (Yep. night shift while vomiting - only so many sick-days in a year and lots of mouths to feed. Do you not feel safe in your hospital knowing that doctors will turn up unless they physically cannot move and share all their lovely germs with you. Twice Beloved went in to work to be sent home.)

As part of the photography course (okay, I'll admit, the first module) we were advised to take photos in the heart of the day and in the dawn and dusk to study the difference.

The weather in Queensland is currently amazing. I mean truly. I'm not being sarky. It's gorgeous. I haven't had a sweat rivulet in weeks. Sweat moustache - yes. Rivulet - no. We wear robes in the morning. And slippers. I give thanks just about every minute of every day. But to get back on track, all this means it's possible to go out in the middle of the day without girding for battle and preparing to meet your end with heat stroke and all.

So we did. En famille. Go out in the middle in the day. Which is something I don't really recommend in Queensland for most of the year unless you're beside a large body of water, which, unfortunately isn't really practical what with school and work generally not being beside large bodies of water bearing cool breezes.

And photos were taken.

Behold the tribe in the (mostly) harsh light of day.

 Mucking around with shadows - as you do in the heat of the day - he's holding a stick in his mouth but likes to think he looks like he has an arrow through the head.

 Isnt' my girl gorge? I cannot believe how she's grown and how old she is and how old she thinks she is... Sometimes I get glimpses of the woman she's going to be and it amazes me.
 They Cheeky-Monkey. Armed. She is strong and she is dangerous. Do not be fooled. She is a super-villain in the making.

Monday, June 5, 2017

seven months

My wonder girl is seven months old and she is all giggles and cuddles and - surprise - wonder at the amazing of the world. She is crawling - fast. Pulling herself to standing, trying to climb onto things and eating everything in sight. If it'll fit in her mouth she'll try to eat it.

Except the baby food you buy in the supermarket which she believes is poison.

Her favourite foods are roast sweet potato, pumpkin, avocado, banana. And she loves them so much she pushes aside my spoon to use both hands to shovel them in. Oddly, I tend to feed her outside, on the grass.

Her sisters, brother are the most wonderful things in the world - after mummy, the milk and the dog.

She has a laugh like a muppet-machine gun.

Her first tooth has just come through.

And she sings, a gorgeous musical gurgle. I believe she might be the most musical of the girls. The bar is not particularly high.

She has a strong, if unsubtle, sense of humour. Hair-pulling, eye-gouging and nose chomping are all to the max.

She has recently learnt how to stick her tongue out and make it go pointy.  I asked Beloved about it and if we should take her to the doctor (not him, another one) and he showed me how his tongue can also go pointy. And roll. This is weird. But sort of clever.

Seven month olds are very clever. And pleased with themselves. And the world.

And they have the most radiant, joyous, cheeky smiles in the world.