Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Sunscreen: There's a Concept

We are suffering from hideously, dangerously hot weather in Adelaide at the moment. 42C at 5pm this afternoon!! So what did my Baby Angel do on the last day of her holidays? She went outside with her friends and had a water fight in her bathers. Now, this would seem, on the face of it, to be a sensible, cooling idea but consider dear reader, the colour of my Baby Angel's delicate skin! Having been a previous resident of Blister City on a number of occasions, you would think she had sufficient functioning neurons to remember what 3rd degree burns on her back felt like.

Apparently not.

So this evening saw me applying that age old remedy, natural yoghurt!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Delightful

Saturday, 29 January 2011

CRIMEWATCH: Anyone With Information Contact This Website

Lily the Leer, The Black Widow, Pippin 'One Tooth'

Attention: Anyone in the vicinity of the Baby Angel's room on the afternoon of 27th January 2011.

It is believed that one of these shady characters is responsible for that most foul of all feline crimes: the infamous runny poo deposited dead centre of the quiltcover!!!!!!!

On re-entering her bedchamber at approximately 6pm on the night in question, Miss Baby Angel, fresh from her recent holiday in Sydney and excitedly anticipating the 'new' room created for her by her loving mother, was greeted by the tell tale stench of 'kitty motion'. The offending material was quickly spotted lying, obviously with intent, in the centre of the bed.

The above suspects all have means and opportunity although which one has motive is open to investigation.

FACT: Lily the Leer was present during the rearranging of the room and was seen behaving in an agitated manner, climbing onto all surfaces and nervously sniffing the new layout.

FACT: Pippin aka 'One Tooth' is the principal feline occupant of said bedroom, preferring it over any other, and has prior 'form' having been 'caught in the act' by Himself on our arrival at the new house some 6 years ago.

Question: should the laws of evidence apply here and should Pippin's previous record be struck from the transcript and the jury asked to disregard it?

And what of The Black Widow? A notorious murine assassin and launderer of bodies. Was this a diversion on her part to distract us from her murderous nocturnal activities and the ostentatious 'Ripper' like display of her victims in public places?

Anyone with information is encouraged to call CrimeWatch on 1300 POO. A reward is offered as I have it on good authority that the victim is suffering a sense of humour failure over the whole incident and her Mater has not recovered from the containment exercise *gag gag*

Thank you for your kind attention.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Reflections Of Change In A Room

When she was little I gave a lot of thought to her room. Grandma bought us curtains and we used them as a theme. The colour for walls and carpet came directly from those curtains. I painted frames to match and to bring together a print and three hand drawn copies of Winnie the Pooh illustrations. I painted some drawers and scrubbed back a school desk, distressing its legs in the two colours of the room.

When we came to Australia we stuck everything into the existing room, whether it went together or not. There was a more grown up quilt cover however.

In 2005 we moved into our current house and once more everything was 'made' to fit, with the addition of posters!

She had a full sized desk by now.

But last year she asked for a change of colour scheme to reflect her growing maturity and her growing interest in New York City (I know. Don't ask me.)

So this is what she got.

She chose the subdued green with a little help from Himself. I'm afraid it looks a little bleak like this with the IKEA blinds closed. I think she needs something else on the wall behind the bed (note to self: also get a frill for round the bed).

View from the other side.

I <3 New York. Evidence.

Netball Glory.

The picture that started it all.

The Brooklyn Bridge quilt.

There were other subtle changes along the way but with the advent of the new imac I seem to have lost track of my pictures. I looked in vain for the shots in our first Australian house when we had painted the walls lavender. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Pocket Full Of Posies*

Is it just me or is everyone either unwell, in trouble or grieving at the moment? Everywhere I turn there are friends and family suffering or great swathes of the country enveloped in the mud of receding floodwaters as residents attempt to salvage what they can of their lives. It is almost too much to bear.

My mother has been very ill since her arrival in the country and, although she gets a little better each day, the vile virus is eating into her precious weeks of holiday here in Australia. Many of her friends are elderly so she is quarantined lest she infect them, which means she can't see many of the people she has travelled all this way to be with. My sisters in the UK have also been struck down by the thing to varying degrees and as I write I note that my throat is sore :-(

My Bestie is another disaster area. She has been suffering from a back injury, incurred at work some two years ago, which has been steadily getting worse. A scan before Christmas revealed a bulging disc and she was ordered to 'take it easy', a difficult thing for an energetic, competent woman like my Bestie. Before she could even put this advice into practice, she was involved in a 'rear ender' on her way from a work function which rendered her 'moderately' compressed spinal cord...'severe'. She is now housebound and in agony most of the time, taking a regimen of pain killers and unable to work, drive or even walk. Her beloved mother, who has been suffering from a bad knee for sometime, has experienced a rapid decline in her other knee and so she in unable to get around to help my Bestie out, a source of enormous frustration and anxiety for her.

Meanwhile, another friend lost her sister to suicide, my own friend in the UK lost her battle for life and watching the TV is just heartbreaking.

Which is why I was relieved to tears to hear that after a 'crisis' and a hospital visit, My Bestie is now, for some miraculous reason, pain free. It has been two days and she can walk normally and is sleeping in bed again. Her mother and I exchange knowing glances and offer silent prayers of praise.

Meanwhile, donate to the flood appeal
here and spread the relief.

* Despite Snopes' protestations otherwise, I have always believed that this old rhyme is plague related!

Friday, 7 January 2011

On This Day

This is what today looks like.

It looks like any normal Summer's day in Adelaide, but it's not. Today my friend died and the world is not the same without her. Somehow something should look different.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

With Tuppence For Paper and String

Post New Year and with the house to ourselves (Himself is off sailing at the National Championships in Canberra), the BA and I have been working on a jigsaw puzzle. I am a great believer in things like jigsaw puzzles; not only do they sharpen visual/spatial awareness (BA! Does it LOOK like it's going to fit in there??????) but they create space and time for togetherness and a sense of shared experience. They are also prevent you from doing petty tasks like folding the washing but that's another story.

One of the first movies I ever saw was Mary Poppins and even at the tender age of 7 or so I saw clearly the message of shared experience.

The final sequence, as the workaholic but disgraced father throws propriety to the wind and rushes off to fly a kite with his family, resounds clearly in my soul.

Watch here.

It never fails to bring tears to my eyes, which is interesting in itself. Why does this still affect me after all these years?

I think perhaps, as a child whose father could be away for weeks at a time, I felt the 'wrongness' of the 'present but absent' father. When my father was at home, and when he was engaged with us, it was the most exhilarating and affirming of times. How could a father be at home and yet leave interaction with his children, to someone else? It struck a discordant note in my open, childish heart. To this day I'm not sure if it was because I resented my father's times away, or because I genuinely felt the wrong for the Banks children. Whatever the reason, the resolution of this, the most fundamental of parenting errors, still pushes all my buttons.

Maybe the source of my open wound is the relationship I observe from weekend to weekend as the Small Boy and his father play the timeless father and son game of 'why don't you play with me?' tag. It goes like this:

Scene I
Son: Can you take me to the skate park?
Father: But I only see you on the weekends and now you spend all your time up there....
Son: Why don't you stay and watch me?
Father: No I've got work to do.

Scene II
(son has returned from skate park near tea time and is on the computer. Father is cooking)
Me: Why don't you go and help Dad with the dinner?
Son: Nah. I don't want to (eyes never leaving the screen)
Me: Well, he doesn't get to see you much and you've been out all day, he hasn't had a chance to talk to you
Son: (eyes still on screen) He never talks to me anyway, even when I am here.

Scene III
Father: (approaching Son who has been playing X Box for 2 hours) Do you want to come to the football with me?
Son: (eyes never leaving the screen) Can I bring a friend to talk to?

Scene IV
Son wants to see a particular kid's movie for his birthday. He is all excited. He gets to go with his Dad! He loves the movie. As it ends.....
Son: that was SO COOOOL
Dad: That was the worst movie I've ever sen. It had no plot, no discernible heroes or villains and was just a lot of special effects.
Son: (face falls)

As a parent who spends inordinate amounts of time with her child (probably more than is healthy at our respective ages) I find this painful to watch; the constant reaching and rebuttal from each of them. At least Son No2 and his father have sailing in common. Himself's attempt to make that connection with Small Boy was an abject failure.

When Himself and Small Boy tried sailing together, Small Boy had a bad experience the second time (first time was good) and then gave up. At this point Himself should have insisted he try one more time and then ensured that the primary focus of the day was the shared experience. Not winning >:-( Instead, Himself said he didn't want to 'force him' to do something he didn't like. Hellloooooooo? Cleaning his teeth? Going to bed at a reasonable hour? Not crossing the road without looking both ways???????

One has to orchestrate these moments sometimes. The BA is a 'watchoholic' whose first resort for entertainment is the DVD player. As Flaming Sword parent I have to make suggestions and then carry them through, knowing that once they are in action she will enjoy them. Thus it is with jigsaws. And gardening. And going to the gym.

The only positive thing I can think of is that Himself agreed to coach Small Boy's basketball team last term.


Shared experience.

image credit 1

Monday, 3 January 2011


Another note in a Christmas card, this time from one of the Year 12 boys in my Care Group. I am recording this here so I can look back on it when I am up to my eyeballs in frustration :-)

Dear Mrs A

It's been quite entertaining having you for a Care Group teacher as I appreciate your sense of humour, even if most people don't know that you're making a joke at the time. Having short discussions with you about Creation vs Evolution has also been quite interesting, even if we must agree to disagree in the end. I can tell that you are quite passionate about Jesus and your beliefs and your love for him does actually radiate from you. (awww bless his cotton socks.......) Finishing this with another seemingly disjointed sentence is what I must do now as I wish you a Merry Christmas , a happy New Year and many years of prosperity to come.

Gotta love 'em eh?