Saturday, August 31, 2013


Poppet - climbing over a tree stump. Baby Cubby has to come too. We lost Baby Cubby this week and had to tear the house apart to find her. It was like the world was coming to the end. We found the ipad we lost two months ago, and the library book I lost... well, even longer ago and, eventually, Baby Cubby.

Sprocket - climbing across some monkey bars. Once I hoisted him as far as I could, he got up by himself, swinging his legs up and hooking them through the bars and them pulling himself up. He crawled across to the far side, with me craning my neck below, but still wanted a bit of help getting down.

Joining with the lovely Jodi of Che and Fidel taking a portrait of my kids once a week, every week in 2013.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gang of Two

"Wait for me, Batman," my Poppet calls to my Sprocket as they run up a hill. He answers in kind. We go for a walk and the kids transform from princesses to dragons and back again within a blink of the eye. "You be the dragon and I'm the princess."
"Ka-phoom! I repel you with my magic-fairy-dust-canon-ball! Now I'm the princess and daddy's a princess and mummy's a monster!"
They refer casually to each others' imaginary friends. "Remember, Mary punched you last night," my Sprocket reminds Poppet as they loll together in the bath.
"Yes, but then she said sorry and we hugged each other, because we love each other."
On the phone even I find it hard to tell them apart, and, while they squabble and tease, they also defend each other, watch out for each other, cover for each other and worry for each other. 
They are a little gang of two, sharing a world more completely with each other than with anyone else. Seeing the world more similarly to each other than to any one else, as they share the same relationships to cousins, grandparents, parents. Their days follow the same routines, and they revel in the same places, marked with the same place-markers. 
I look back over our photos and there are photo after photo of the two of them running, Poppet generally one foot behind, playing, hugging, tussling.
And it enchants me.
Watching them play, watching them sharing and building worlds, building stories and memories together, brings unalloyed happiness.
These are the days I don't want to forget.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Research, research, research...

I'm in a writing lull at the moment, reflecting on my last intense burst and gearing up for the next.
One of the things that really struck me in the midst of my last month of midnight writing was I hadn't done my research. It's all very well trying to knuckle down and write like a fury, but if you don't know the world you're writing about inside out and back to front, you find yourself writing a lot of ... and then X did this  and XX did that, and the sun shone brightly upon the X hills and XX wept bitter tears as XXX  and X.  And you end up with an awful lot of X's to fill in, and when you do go to fill them in, you discover the facts just won't twist themselves to do what you want them to.
I've written before that there's a reason I stick with fantasy - so I don't get things too ridiculously wrong. I turned a faint shade of green recently when I saw a book about how to write a historical novel - using as little research as possible. My inner-librarian (and inner-historian, come to that,) shuddered. I've read books like that. The result has not been pretty.
But I was actually wrong. It's just as easy to get things ridiculously wrong in fantasy as it is in any other genre.
In this case, writing about a myth-time Ireland, based upon myths that conflict wildly both with themselves and the archaeology, I thought I'd be able to wing it. However, I started doing some basic (early-hours-of-the-morning) googling and realised that according to the myth cycle, my central character was supposed to be born some thousand years before his son... but to die at about the age of sixty... And that this character was over here doing that, when he was supposed to be over there and...
Also, gods tend to have religious significance... Is that character really a lunar goddess in disguise? Her father a god of darkness? Is her son a god of craft, or a solar god? Is there a Loki connection? Should I try to use that?
The stories I'm basing everything on were written down by the monks, who had turned their back on the old gods and were apt to twist the stories a little, so not the most reliable of sources. And yet, the monks were of the same culture, they weren't imposed from any other place, so they were not the most unreliable either.
My book is half done, and I don't plan to finish the first draft until November.
But it looks like between here and November I'll be doing a lot of research. Can you see the Irish mainland from Tory Island? How is the birth-attendant related to the main character? Should I include Newgrange, and if so, what is its importance? And the basic things: what did prehistoric peoples do for nappies. How is Lunasa celebrated? Bilberries? Really. What does a bilberry taste like? What time does the sun rise on August first in the west of Scotland, on average? What was Nuada like? And should I include the bit where the druids make his silver arm a real, flesh and blood, functioning arm again? At what age would a young boy go on his first cattle raid? And if this happens here, then that needs to happen there but ... Brrr.
Luckily, I seem to be somewhat prepared. Long ago, almost at the dawn of time, I studied a subject called 'Pagans, Christians, Goddesses and Kings in early Ireland'. At the time it seemed destined to lead me to a lifetime of work in cafes. (You should have heard my dad snort - he's modern history all the way and still seems faintly disbelieving I have a history degree and couldn't begin to name most Australian Prime Ministers.)  Now, it seems like it'll come in handy.

Brain, get working.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekly Stills - from a Wiggly, Windy Week.

1. I know Poppet's face paint looks like it's covered in strange, tribal markings, but it began as a butterfly. Clutching her 'kids', Baby Cubby (occasionally Strawbria) and Blue-Doll.
2. Sprocket decided to bring a length of rope for our walk and everyone had to hold it. A tied-together-family.
3. If you look very closely you can see the first tadpole of the year. That tiny black squiggle. They're living in an old bath we see on our walk. It was a day of wigglies. Earlier in the day there was the Affair of the Worms, when I discovered the lid of our new worm farm had been left off over night and had to apply urgent soil and soak off excess rainwater. The thought of being responsible for the drowning off 1,200 worms was quite overwhelming. Luckily, it appears most, if not all, survived. The kids toyed briefly with the idea of keeping the slimiest snail I have ever seen as a pet. Poppet thrust a small millipede under my nose and said "Look mama, it's a baby! Isn't it cute!"And Sprocket caught, and released, a skink. I had worried it would be hard to get him to return it to the garden as the skink, unlike the reeking millipede, was actually very cute, but you need a license to keep them and can only keep ones bred in captivity, anyway. Luckily he released it of his own accord.
4. One of Poppet's 'Unicorns'. She becomes quite annoyed at ridiculous people who insist on calling them horses or saying that they're only pretend unicorns. The kids are ecstatic when the horses deign to trot over and see us and feed them grass they yank up.
5. New life of spring. I love the tenderness of the new leaves and the way the light illuminates them.
6. Sprocket with his kite. Take two.
7. The kite in the air. The wind this week has been wild and we have taken advantage of it. In honour of all our kite-flying we all cuddled up in bed and watched Mary Poppins*, the kids for the first time. The cranky-pants daddy made a deep impression. I'm picking up some of the books from mum and dads' and I'll see how they like the written version. Here's hoping for a win.

*Yes, I do now have all the songs stuck in my head! Chim-chiminy, A Spoon-Full of Medicine, Let's go Fly a Kite, Tuppence, Tuppence... All on repeat!

Joining with the lovely Em over at The Beetle Shack for some moments from a windy, wiggly week.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


1. My Sprocket climbing a fence, with wattle-blossom in the background. It is everywhere in abundance at the moment, its cheerful yellow brightening the grey days.
2. My Poppet with her face painted as a butterfly and holding her beloved Baby Cubby, her constant companion.

The weather has been miserable most of the week, but in the few dry patches we've taken a walk down a nearby country road, admiring the first tadpoles of the year and feeding the horses, which Poppet insists on calling 'unicorns.'

Joining with the lovely Jodi of Che and Fidel for a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

How I write...

As I slow down a little, the fierce winds and rains enforcing time at home and slow sipping of tea with coughing, cabin-fevered kids, I'm taking stock and reflecting.
I've been thinking a lot about the way I write. Not my actual writing 'style', but the nuts and bolts of sitting down with notebook or computer, the time of day I write, the hours I dedicate.
My writing habits have changed a lot over the decades, adjusting as I've moved from school to uni and into the wilder world, traversed different countries, negotiated relationships, learnt to squeeze writing around kids. I don't think any way is better or worse, but I do think they produce different results - which is as it should be, coming from different life-stages and perspectives.
As a teenager I used to do all my outlining, planning and a lot of descriptive work in class and on the train in hardcover notebooks, generally black with red corners. I've still got dozens of them. As if they were talisman, I'd always use scratchy black fine-liners. I'd then type my notes onto the computer, sharpening as I copied, and then set off on a fabulous writing-roll, which could take me on strange detours no matter how much I had planned during spare classes at school.
For a lot of my twenties, life got in the way and I put serious, dedicated, couple-of-thousand-word-a-day writing on a back-burner for a bit. I generally had a notebook, and I remember coming home from pubs with my forearms covered in scribbled notes, but the four books a year I was writing by my last years of high school... just weren't happening.
I came home from volunteer work in a developing country a little shattered. I had discovered that I wasn't the person I thought I was. The world wasn't what I thought it was. All my neat answers were in pieces and it took a long time to put things together again. I spent a year by sea and my writing was very introverted and I could write chapters and chapters in which not a lot happened at all. My beloved, probably rightly, claims it was because I was 'too stuck in my own head'. I think I realised when I saw a car coming down the drive and thought 'o no, people, I'll have to talk to a real person', that I maybe wasn't in a healthy state.
Now, my life is crammed with little people and it seems I've come full circle. I'm writing as much as I did in high school, not with the same consistency (no wonderful spare classes just to write, no trains, no hours between four and ten just for writing, with meals magically appearing) but I've learnt to fit the writing in amongst the bustle. The richness of my life, the richness of my heart, seems to burst out in hundreds of ideas, desperate to be written.
Baby brain claimed a good few years... but when my brain returned, it seemed ready to write. The time just thinking, pondering, observing, loving,, being pushed to extremes, had done it good.
At present, my writing is mainly done in bed, in the early hours of the morning, or on the day when the kids go to kindy and childcare. And I'll go a few months without proper writing, thinking, plotting, catching up on housework, listening to conversations in my head, then have an intensive month, letting the house turn into a shambles, knowing that the momentum, the being totally caught in story, comes at a cost, but one I'm willing to pay. And yes, my back is killing. As the weather warms, when this damn cold goes, I entirely mean to write solely at my desk. But at present it's like the arctic one breath from the cocoon of the doona and I'll deal with the creaking back.
And now I'm wondering - is it time to reclaim some habits from the past? Time to create entirely new ones? As the promise of spring tantalises I'm wondering about change, about forming new ways.

So, to consider. Is it time to reclaim pen and ink? Is it time to carve out some time for train journeys?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lurgy (& the wonderful power of the placebo)

Many people have suggested to me that 'the lurgy' doesn't actually exist. It's the description I use when I've got a cold, but feel way to repulsive for it to be a mere cold, and I'd be a bit embarrassed to be whining so much about some sniffles, so I tell people I've got 'the lurgy'.
Unfortunately, according to google, it does exist. The Urban dictionary describes it thus. Basically, it's a fictitious disease, mainly used for skiving off work, and originating from The Goon Show. This would be all well and good if pre-schoolers allowed you to skive. Wiktionary, with its cute addition of "based on the Northern English dialectic phrase 'fever-lurgy' ("lazy or idle")" while true, going on the state of our house at present, did not make me feel any better.
So, I've got the common-cold, have had it for what seems like forever, and I'm getting very sick of it.
Best Practice describe the common cold as 'an acute, self-limiting infection of the upper respiratory tract mucosa', which, I feel, makes it sound much more important and gives it its due weight. Or maybe 'a rhinovirus is attacking me'. That could work.
In attempts to rid myself of the lurgy  the rhinovirus I've been drowning myself in honey and lemon, broiling myself in eucalyptus oil, rugging up so I look like a babushka doll, and downing pain-killers like I've got shares in the company.
When in doubt, I go to Cochrane, which is an amazing resource, bringing you analysis of all the major studies. Unfortunately, time and time again the result is 'more research needs to be done', 'the present trials were all biased, therefore, more research is needed.'
About the common cold, Cochrane says that happiness and keeping calm seems to keep it away, (so I have a cold and I'm not sufficiently calm and happy? I'm happy. Seriously. I am so completely calm and happy that - o forget it) and results from Spain suggest that two glasses of wine a day will also do it. (Maybe working on the calm/happy thing?) As two glasses of wine a day is also over the limits recommended for general good health, I'll nix that and put up with the cold. Zinc might help. Vitamin C might reduce the cold by a couple of hours. As to all the things I generally try - at heart, it all comes back to one thing - they really don't know. Rest, fluids, painkillers are the main recommendations.
I'm going to keep up with all my favourites, steaming, lavender soaked towels pressed to aching eyes always makes me feel better, even though there's absolutely no evidence to support it.
If there's one medicine I have a vast belief in, it's the placebo. Studies consistently show it works brilliantly.
So I'm away to treat my rhinovirus with a couple of hundred sugar pills. But taken in the form of chocolate. I think it's guaranteed to help.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekly Stills - With a Drop of Blue

1. One of my beloved Great Aunts died recently. I still can't believe she's gone. She was so vivid, kind,  creative and active. This is a detail of a painting she did of one of my favourite beaches at Inverloch. It sits on our mantlepiece and I think of her every time I look at it.
2. Oceanic inspiration. I love the colour of the bowl, a recent thrift shop find. I've kept the twist of wood since I spent an idyllic summer on the Scottish Island of Iona... fourteen years ago. How can it be that long ago?
3. My Poppet, up a tree, her feet muddy from river paddling. While my Poppet paddled in ice-water and climbed trees barefoot, I was rugged up in long sleeved top, jumper, down-puffer, scarf and hat.
4. My Poppet and her cousin at their joint birthday party. Their love for each other and the beautiful way they play together always melts my heart.
5. My Poppet playing with cars.
6. My Sprocket's new love. Kite-flying. It may not look like it, but that kite has killer instincts. I would swear black and blue it went for me. Repeatedly. It only got stuck up one tree and I was overcome with memories of Charlie Brown's epic kite battles and giggled until my Beloved managed to gently ease it from the tree.
7. True joy. My boy and his kite.

Joining with the wonderful Em of The Beetle Shack for moments from our week.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


1. My Poppet stealing strawberries at her birthday party.
2. My Sprocket. We visited friends out by the mountains last weekend, and my Sprocket was so happy. One of the last photos of his longer haired self. He had a hair cut this week, and now looks Beatles-esque.

My held my Poppet's third birthday party today, a joint one with her cousin, which was so much fun, but we are now very sleepy!

Joining with the lovely Jodi of Che and Fidel for a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Creatives - Telling Stories

Last month I journeyed up to Sydney to take part in Jodi and Tim's the creatives workshop.
A gentle day, with soft light and supportive company, it was the perfect time and place to be recharged.
In the shambolic of the everyday, I lose focus. I take the easier, more comfortable options, often skimming the surface of attention, my mind half on half a dozen things and not fully on any one. Throughout the day, inspired by other peoples journeyings to create and document their lives and stories, I started rethinking the choices I make.
While each of the participants, who journeyed from so many far-flung places, came away with different gifts, I came away with a new awareness that in all I attempt, I'm really aiming for one thing: to tell the story. Whether it's one of my fantasmagorical novels, the story of a moment, of an adventure, or the story of my children's early years, it's all about telling stories. (And yes, I hear the Tracy Chapman refrain - I'm just telling stories/ there is fiction in the space between/ me and reality)
Ideas for the books I'm writing, for what I truly want to do with my photography and blog, new patterns of living, unfurled. New knowledge makes me feel so much more confident about capturing the moment - the story - on film. As I play with all I learnt, I'm beginning to achieve the richness of tone I've always seen in my head and never been able to quite 'get.'  Love, caught in touch and light.  Context, shown in settings and framing. Lessons about photography were instantly juxtaposed into ideas for my writing world. My hands itched to write, and write, and write.
This, and this, and this!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The River Winds Through

We visited friends who live in a valley at the foot of Mount Baw Baw on the weekend. My mind is still taken over with images of green, and the lull of the river winding through.

The kids got muddy, climbed trees and paddled in snow water. (Seriously, kids? I've swam in the ocean off Scotland in November, and Victoria in June, but nothing compared to the snow-water pool at Buchan Caves. The kids didn't even think the cold worth a mention. When I pointed it out and pleaded for jumper-wearing I was told - 'I like being cold.')
Forgive the excess of photos. I'm feeling guilty and am stocking up on 'outside' photos to point out to the kids when they're older. 'Those memories of sitting in front of the tv for hours on end? Totally false. Look!'  Today we've been inside most of the day, and apart from brief interludes to make scones, run outside to taste the hail and read some stories, Toy Story has been our biggest friend. The wind has battered at the house, rain has come in bitter flurries. Poppet and I have coughed and wheezed and inhaled eucalyptus steam. Winter-colds, I am so, so over you.
But look, I have proof, just a few days ago everything was blue-sky-sunny!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


It's seven years today since my Beloved and I became a couple, an 'us', a 'we'.
Neither of us are entirely sure of our wedding date (20th? 21st? Um, yeah, around then) but we don't have any doubts about the day we first started going out. Everything else seemed a given from then.
No, I lie. We do have a few doubts. My beloved believes we began going out on the night of the twelfth, whereas obviously we began going out in the early hours of the thirteenth. You can see our dilemma. It's true, we've been bickering negotiating since day one. Through sickness (a lot of it) and health, good times (heaps) and bad, we've squabbled and discussed and debated and made up and began all over again.
It's seven years since I informed my beloved that as just about everyone else in Honiara (and my mum and friend back in Australia) knew we were going out, he probably should too.
We're an old, established couple now, and yet new stories, new skills, new ways constantly surprise us. Our time together seems so much more full, more weighty, than all the years before. Memories like jewels, or vividly coloured, richly fragranced flowers, assail me. So many, many precious moments.
Thanks for the good times, hon, and here's to many more to come!

This time Last Year. All the photos are presently still on a different computer, so I can't play with them (although we watched a slide show last night and oohed and aahed and promised the kids next time we go to the islands they will most definitely be coming. I miss living in the islands. So much.)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekly Stills - La Vie En Rose

1. My Poppet on her birthday, wearing new spoils.
2. My Sprocket and Poppet looking after Poppet's 'kids'.
3. Not only does my Sprocket still believe in fairies, he wants one, a real, talking one, for his birthday. This could be tricky.
4. My beloved says if I go around making fairy houses with the kids of course they'll believe in fairies. Our new fairy house and azalea. The little house was left by the people who lived in our house before us and the kids and I painted it gold this week.
5. Carnations.
6. Tea strainer on my desk. Where it often ends up.

In honour of all the lovely pink blooms in my garden - camellias, azaleas, quince blossom and cherry tree blossom, as well as my Poppet's third birthday I tried for a 'pink' theme this week. I quite like working to a colour theme... I'm thinking blue for next week...

Joining with the lovely Em over at The Beetle Shack for moments from the week.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


1. My Poppet. She turned three this week and I am still in shock. She's looking ahead (into the future?) with her great grandfather's binoculars.

2. My Sprocket, up a tree, looking out. One of his favourite places. His enrolment for school next year is all filled in now, and we are beginning to talk about what life will be like in the 'big school.' He is getting a very proprietary air when we go to the school for playgroup. "Next year, this will be my room."
Question for the week: "If you drink lava, will you go to heaven?"

Joining with the lovely Jodi of Che and Fidel for a portrait of my children once a week, every week for 2013.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

tea with me

The kettle has boiled, and it's one of those times a big pot is required.
If you were here, come for tea with me, I'd offer the assortment - rose, peppermint, earl grey, chai, or any of the hidden ones at the back. I'd love to make you a pot of any of them, but you're more than welcome to share my Liquorice Legs. The blend of spearmint and liquorice is just what I need right now. Sweet, reflective.
Let's stretch, roll those shoulders, take a deep breath, sit up straighter. That's better.
We're in the Late Winter Slump at the moment. Spring is taunting me. The blossoms are enchanting and every day I check my bulbs and give them a pep-talk. Narcissus and tulip, fresia and jonquil, do hurry up, we so want to see you again! The daffodils sway in golden masses along the main streets of town, the wind almost flattening them. Blue skies and rain and bitter winds are playing tag.
But... all winter one sickness has followed another and now, heading into the make-or-break bit of the year, we're going in tired. Time to take stock, breathe deep, be still.
As the clock ticks down to exams I'm remembering a book I read, and re-read, and then re-read a few years back. Pip Pip, a Sideways Look at Time, by Jay Griffith, one of the most exciting, intoxicating and possibly edge-of-sanity writers I've read. Pip Pip discusses different notions of time, of how we talk of 'spending' time, 'wasting time', 'saving' time. Of different cultural notions of time, of 'fast' time and 'slow' time. I'm going to have to chase it down again, for so often I forget to take the time to be still, to savour this time I'm in now.
My own race with time is finished for now. I completed my third Nano (a novel - or 50,000 words, written in a month) on the night of the 31st of July, at nineteen minutes to midnight. Was I frantically checking the minutes? Yes, I was. Did it really matter if I was a few minutes late?
It was a self imposed task, with no one really caring but me.
I think it did matter, but I'm still pondering. I do love having so much of the story out in the world, to see how I can bring it together. I love knowing that I did it, that in the last year I've completed 150,000 words. The NaNo's bring structure to my writing year, forcing me to prioritise my writing. They are always a disaster for the house, (please don't look at the dust on top of my desk in the photo, I will dust... sometime) but I like it as a way of saying 'yes, this is important, it has a deadline'.  Already I'm counting down to November, and the next mad dash of NaNo words...

And you? How are things with you, in your part of the world? And what's your choice of tea?

Joining with the beautiful Em at teacups too for 'tea with me', a virtual cuppa! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


You turned three this week, my Poppet.
I look at you and try to remember a world you were not in, and fail. It seems impossible there was a time when you weren't here with us, filling our lives with joy and laughter and outrageous demands.
At three you are vivacious, assertive, confident, imaginative, tender, creative.
You have an imaginary friend called Mary, who sometimes lives in Scotland and sometimes in Germany (where the sun goes when it is not here) and sometimes in the next town and is sometimes alive and sometimes dead. She is always your sister and your friend.
You have a beloved teddy, Baby Cubby, who goes everywhere with you, and is always needing to be re-dressed and tucked up. You have renamed yourself 'Cubby', while your Daddy is 'Big Cubby', I am Mummy-Pirate and your brother is Sprocket-Pirate.
You often break into loud, happy song. The way you so enthusiastically say "Of course," when asked to share or help, always melts our hearts, while the way you say "actually," generally with your hands on your hips, makes us grin.
You toss around words like 'precious', 'fragile', 'delicate', and can name most of the planets, but still have problems with 'I', 'she' and 'them'. "Her would like some of they," is a common sentence. Your stories are long and involved, about fairies and dragons, teddies, pirates and planes.
When you ask me for a 'pretend' story, one I make up, as opposed to one I read to you, you always specify there should be a princess, a yellow doll, a good witch and a naughty witch. Each night you fall asleep in my arms, each morning you wake in my arms. I find it hard to believe there will come a time when you will be too big for this. Your sleep murmurings are enlightening: generally about protecting your beloved teddies and dolls.
You love your big brother and always stick up for him. You are not at all sure that he should go to kindy without you. You play together, squabble together, kiss each other sorry and give each other hugs when you are hurt. You are a pack and you have each others backs.
You love to draw and paint, jump in muddy puddles and kick a ball about. You love dress-ups and op-shopping, beach-play, cooking, running on the trampoline and joking around with your Daddy.
You have a terrible sweet-tooth. Not infrequently you have been found with both hands in the sugar jar or the honey pail. You have also been known to hide away under a table with the butter tub... While you love cooking you find it hard to wait for the bowl to lick, and instead steal the mixture when you think I'm not looking.
You love looking at all my pretty things, jewellery and china, ornaments and clothes. Often your lower lip will come out and you will look up at me. I know what's coming. "My don't have a pretty red box like that," you tell me. And I know you have your sights set on acquiring another of my things. I've already gone through my jewellery box and palmed off all my unmatched earrings and costume bits. Now you have your eyes on the box itself...
You are generous, open, affectionate. Your kisses, hugs, 'I love you's' are bestowed freely throughout the day, flung out like colourful confetti. You say 'thank-you', in tones of wonder, for the smallest things. 'Thank-you, you're the best, mummy!' 'that's super awesome!' are hourly gifts.
Your little tantrums are like summer rain. Your daddy and I have to turn aside not to giggle, and instead distract you.
You are our constant stream of giggles, our song, our wild dance, our joy and our delight.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Stills - Winter with a Splash of Gold

1 & 2. Chicks at my Sprocket's Kindy. He would very much like one. We are suggesting hermit crabs. I grew up with chickens, and they are very sweet, but I don't think we're ready... at least, not quite yet.
3. A sulfur-crested cockatoo in our wattle tree. We call them Angel-birds. I love looking up at all the birds that visit the wattle tree. Everyday when I hang out the washing and potter in the garden new visitors arrive, rosellas, wattlebirds, and a multitude of different types of cockatoos. A gift that never fails to uplift me.
4 & 5. It is lemon season. The kids are now recovering from their chest infections and my beloved (the med-student) informs me I have viral bronchitis. I am revelling in lots of lemon and honey concoctions and sniffing steaming towels smothered in eucalyptus oil! Is it crazy to enjoy the rituals of colds? Don't answer!
6. Early morning rain drops.
7. My Poppet's little toes. With her little dolls toes beside her.
8. Winter foliage. Trying to distract myself from a brisk wind in a playground as the kids played on the slide and failed to notice it was freezing!

Joining with the wonderful Em of The Beetleshack for weekly stills.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


1. My Poppet, one golden morning we played hooky from housework while the Sprocket was at Kindy.
2. My Sprocket, tenderly cradling one of his (many) robots. Before his eyes are open in the morning he is asking for the favoured one of the day.

Joining with the beautiful Jodi over at Che and Fidel for a portrait of my children once a week in 2013.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sometimes, Magic Comes

We never meant to have an adventure. There was washing to hang, the hound to walk, and the not inconsiderable deterrent of seven thousand words to finish before midnight. However,  the Poppet and I dropped the Sprocket at kindy and then decided to take a quick peek at some blossoming trees we had seen from the car.

 Once we reached the blossom we looked down the hill and saw the lake, and once we saw the lake we had to explore. Once we reached the lake there was a boardwalk that needed following, a gold-gleaming ditch that needed stomping in, and then we saw the Princess Duck, on the far side of the lake.
We circumnavigated the whole of the lake seeking out the Princess Duck (or egret to those of a more orthonological turn), but unfortunately when we reached where the royal bird should be it was hiding in the reeds. Finally, we realised that it was time to pick the Sprocket up from kindy (see Poppet's face above at the thought we might be late!) We had been exploring for the whole of the morning, sidetracked by magic.