30 September 2005

end of the week ramblings, those looking for show and tell, keep scrolling down

I love words.

I adore how language grows and develops (although I'm not fond of the current omnipresent 'like' as in And she was like, and then I was like ...). But while I welcome new words and in particular, localised words, particular to certain areas or countries, or jargon particular to certain industries, I don't like the way other words drop off to make room for the new ones. Surely they can live in harmony, side by side? When words become extinct I miss them. Well, some of them. Some words currently in danger of extinction are:

pipkin, bonnet, petticoat, gumption, gruel, fetching, frock, fracas, epicarp (which means a rind/husk/shell) (ok, that one wouldn't really be missed ...), hornpipe, maudlin, maunder (to move or act listlessly, to talk in a rambling dreamy manner), haver (to talk nonsense, babble), bawdy, curmudgeon, balderdash.

On the subject of English, I have been enjoying Engrish.

Other sites discovered, rediscovered and/or enjoyed this week include Poppymom, Show and Tell the blog, (not blackbird's show and tell Friday meme), Suburban Turmoil, Glamourouse, friendbunny, and some of my old favourites petite anglaise, and the beautifully written finslippy and fluid pudding.

Fluid Pudding, along with Loobylu are my fairy blogmothers. Meaning that they were the first blogs I really read. I came across Fluid Pudding as earlier this year I was reading some other blogs about miscarriage and someone linked to FP. I was intrigued by the name (still am), followed the link and was hooked. A couple of weeks later when the miscarriage blogs were no longer needed for moral support I was googling knitted flowers, and up came Loobylu. I read her, followed her links to other crafty blogs and about three seconds later carved out my own little corner of cyberspace.

Note to Dani ... I've tried to get to your blog three times tonight and it's crashed my computer each time. Yes, the red shoes are from Colarado that outdoorsy, campy type shop which has some great stuff this season! My shoes are over a year old though so good luck ... Also I haven't forgotten your request for a pic of the loom. It's coming. I'm just slack.

29 September 2005

Show and Tell, a day early

I have just spent far too much time photographing myself in preparation for Friday Show and Tell, and far too much time uploading to flickr and writing witty amusing anecdotes about what I'm wearing.

And have just realised it's Thursday.

I'm totally up the creek this week. Yesterday I kept thinking it was Saturday. I wonder what tomorrow will be.

Herewith, my post for tomorrow.

So. This week's show and tell is What You Are Wearing.

Let's begin.

I am wearing pink cords again. A different pair to last time (see self portrait tuesday, last week), but also from an op shop. And my favourite red shoes. Colarado. Like walking on air. I also have them in brown, in better condition, but these are my favourite. Every woman should have a pair of red shoes.

Here they are again. Can you tell I really love them?

I am also wearing my new ring that my parents brought me from their recent trip to Sri Lanka. Did you know Sri Lanka is famous for its sapphires? Nup, me either. But it is. The ring is too big for me and I haven't had a chance to get it resized so it must sit behind another of my rings to stop it slipping off. (The ring in front is my paternal great grandmother's wedding ring. I was named after her.)

Wow, my fingers look so wrinkly close up. Blech.

I am wearing my hair up, as I have done every single day now since April, with a tortoiseshell clip.

I'm also wearing a pink t-shirt and black cardigan. Nothing much interesting to say except the cardigan is one of those long line ones with 32 buttons and accompanying little loops. Very last decade. I got it from an op shop and wore it twice before deciding that the buttons drove me crazy and so the next time I took the children and dog to the park, I also took my sewing scissors and spent a productive hour hunched over snipping off each and every button and little loop. Now I wear it fastened at the top with a kilt pin and that's it.

Off to see whether anyone's wearing a ballgown or scuba diving suit. (Tomorrow.)

Note to self: buy handcream.

28 September 2005

4.32 am

Calmly we move as the waves of the sea
steadily beat on the shore.
Sheltering havens of peace shall we be
til' every tempest is over.

27 September 2005

Self portrait tuesday - body parts

left hand


Have a look at the self portrait tuesday blog here.

26 September 2005

A grand day out

As this is the last year that we will live in walking distance of the Royal Melbourne Show, I thought we ought to go. It's on for 10 days every September, and we hadn't been for the last couple of years. It's very tantalising for the children as we can hear the fireworks every night from our house. They race out of their beds and into the back garden and up to the top of the ash tree as fast as they can (in pjamas and slippers, in the pitch dark). But it's not the same as being there, up close.

So, I packed the camera (just for you!) and we braved the crowds.

We were impressed by the craft section. Many preserves. Gloriously coloured preserves.

Incredible cakes. This one was the best. (I was going to say 'this one takes the cake.' But I refrained.) An edible sugary construction of Luna Park. Complete with little folk riding the roller coaster, hands in the air. Breathtaking. But it made me wonder about the person who made it ...

We got up close and personal with a llama,
vertical llama

a cross looking rooster,

and a duck with a very odd coiffure.

The evening 'entertainment' was a monster truck show (gah! Son No. 2 loved it). So did all the people in black t-shirts around us. This was followed by a very young very blonde American woman in a shiny tracksuit whose husband fires her out of a cannon. Rather fast.

Then came the fireworks. We all agreed they weren't as good up close after all, and that actually, when viewed from a tree in your very own garden, they are more enjoyable.

But this was the best. Up there at dusk, with my three wee boys. We could see our house from the top!



24 September 2005

I can do that!

Son No. 3 watches his big brother carefully, taking it all in. I can do that! he thinks.

As soon as the loom is free of No. 1's project, he grabs it, strings it up and is off. He weaves steadily, obsessively, for three days. He enlists help getting it off the loom, and No. 1 sews it up for him.


His very own purse. In rainbow colours.

Guess what he keeps in it? His tiny statue of the archangel Michael.

As you do.

23 September 2005

Friday Show and Tell

I have had the honour of choosing today's Show and Tell bestowed upon me. So, I needed to make it good.

I chose 'show your favourite piece of artwork', with the proviso that it be from your own home, not a gallery or museum.

So with no further ado, and in an attempt to lift my game after the bum and poo references of late ... I present my ... thing.

I don't even know what to call it.

But I can describe her. She's a shop dummy, decorated by an unknown artist; painted black and decoupaged with papers from old medical textbooks.

Her front ...

Her front close up ...

Her back ...

... and another close up ...

... and finally her brain, which owing to the fact that she doesn't have a head, is situated on her right shoulder.

Bit weird, isn't she? But I love her. She came from a secondhand shop and thus we know nothing of the artist, and have never been able to find any signature anywhere on her busy little body.

My husband gave her to me as a present for my 30th birthday. I didn't quite know what to say. It was a pertinent gift, as three weeks earlier I had given birth to our first child, and body parts and their functions were a big part of our lives. I was completely and utterly in awe of my body and its ability to create, nurture, push out, and then feed a baby.

As with most objects in one's home, I don't even notice her half the time. And then she stops a visitor in their tracks and I appreciate her all over again. I love the reactions she provokes; people either love her: wow, that's INCREDIBLE! ... or she freaks them out Oh. That's, um, interesting. Very Unusual.

22 September 2005


I just heard an urgent traffic report on the radio that a mother duck and her ducklings are trying to cross the freeway. Drivers are asked to slow down on the Eastern Freeway to allow her to cross.

My heart is in my mouth.

This is a regular occurrence in spring in Melbourne. And it brings me out in a nervous sweat every time.

Take your pet to blog day


I haven't participated in pet to blog day for some time but the tone of this blog has slipped considerably lately anyway, so here it is. The dog's bum.

I was happily visiting a couple of blogs yesterdy morning, still in my dressing gown (it's school holidays AGAIN here). Son No. 3 joined me, then the beast, then Son No. 1 appeared with camera in hand. As he snapped a picture of the three of us, the dog went into one of those fabulous yoga-dog-pose stretches. And so, just for you, gentle readers, here it is.

Gets better with each day, doesn't it?

21 September 2005

our grandparents went to Sri Lanka and all they bought us was elephant dung

My parents have just returned from abroad. (I love the sound of that; sounds ever so English. Here in Australia we say 'went overseas'. But my parents are English, so they went abroad.)

They went all the way to Sri Lanka to attend a wedding. As you do. They had a wonderful time by all accounts and visited many temples, climbed many steps, saw many monkeys and many many elephants.

And brought back for their three little grandsons ...

... elephant dung paper. (As you do).


The boys threw away the wrappers these little notepads came in, which is a great pity because I was looking forward to utilising the macro setting on my new camera (I'll shut up about this new camera soon, I'm sure) and showing you the label, which had a teeny tiny little picture of an elephant eating, then an arrow to the next teeny tiny little picture of an elephant sitting on a toilet (I kid you not), then an arrow pointing to the next teeny tiny little picture of a pot being stirred, and voila.


Made from the poo of elephants.

Aren't you glad you read this blog?

20 September 2005

self portrait tuesday

Self portrait - body parts

Pink socks, pink cord jeans, and a flash of belly I notice



More self portrait tuesday folk here

19 September 2005

knitting as therapy


In between writing and writing and writing and housework and writing, I managed to get these off the needles and sewn up for Son No. 3.

Knitting is so therapeutic when I'm stressed, and I made sure that I knitted these in natural undyed pure wool, on wooden needles. I find natural materials soothing and calming; no negative energy. When my mood is different I can cope with brightly coloured plastic needles and vibrant wool. But not right now.

The buttons-to-die-for are from a fabulous shop recently discovered in Hawthorn. Full of exquisitely finished natural handmade items for the home. Lots of raw beiges and creams, with the odd dash of red thrown in for contrast. Very stylish, and appealing to an urban hippie like me. I could spend serious money there (if I had serious money).

18 September 2005


Our chooks are enjoying the spring sunshine. They reside in the herb patch and don't move about much.

Mother Partlett is the demure, retiring type who prefers to hide under the Jerusalem sage in the shade. Chicken Little is the spotty one nibbling the thyme, and Pricketty Pracketty is the brown brazen hussy up the front hogging the limelight.

Here she is again in close up. She thinks this is her best side. (It is. Her other side is a little bland to say the least.)

One day I will get real chooks and that will give Pricketty Pracketty a run for her money.

(And a big hello to my friend F. whose chooks are named after women politicians ... Indira, Bronwyn, Margaret, Natasha, Joan and Amanda).

17 September 2005

Friday Show and Tell

Today's show and tell is your bathroom.

Here at Chez Soup we have two rooms for ablutions. First, the one downstairs.

blue bath

I tiled that floor myself. Also half the wall, but it took me weeks and then I caved in and called a tiler who finished it off in about 2 hours flat.

Unlike other people I didn't take multiple shots, but now wish I had, so you could see the doorknobs, of which I am particularly proud. Blue and white handpainted porcelain. Also the window covering in the loo is a vintage linen tray liner (apparently). The stained glass window is lovely ... we picked it up in a garage sale when we were renovating the house and got the builder to fit it in. It faces east so the morning sun shines in and reflects odd colours onto the naked body in the shower.

The rubber duck has retired to the top of the shelf. The seahorses are papier mache and a recent acquisition from the Sunday Art Market which I am too lazy to google and find a link to.

Peek through to the loo. The empty basket sitting folornly in front of the toilet usually holds spare toilet paper rolls. The walls are sponged a pale pale blue. I made Mr Soup tone it down and down and down until it was subtle enough to be barely there. Interestingly (or perhaps not, but don't leave yet) it looks bluer in this photo.

Note to self: buy loo paper

All along the left wall which you cannot see, are floor to ceiling bi fold doors, behind which the laundry is cunningly concealed.

Shall we venture upstairs?

tan bath

I did not tile any of this. I knew better by this stage.

This is the master bathroom, or ensuite as real estate agents say. It is tranquil and serene, and I never in my life thought I would choose a beige room, but I love it. The towels, which you can't see, (why didn't I take lots of pics?) are deep purple. The mirror is handmade (another craft market purchase) from art nouveau pressed tin recycled from old houses. The original part of our house has pressed tin ceilings but they're Victorian style not art nouveau. The incense holder is a pottery buddha, a birthday gift from a dear friend. The window has wooden blinds. The taps are pointy and hurt your hands, I wouldn't choose them again. (Did you notice the old style lever taps in the downstairs bathroom? They are comfortable).

I am particularly happy with the pebbles inset into the wall tiles. I like the whole natural materials theme in here.

15 September 2005

unloading the brain

Stuff whirling about upstairs right now ...

• being inspired to get out in the garden again the minute I have some time
• replacing my dead 'Zepherine Drouin' (heritage thornless hot pink climbing rose) with a Meyer lemon tree; the pot is huge enough, the spot is sunny enough
• visiting CERES with the children these school holidays
• trying out that salmon and spinach pie recipe
• four new wooden spoons from the local Vietnamese supermarket, angular rather than round, aesthetically pleasing
• one of these wooden spoons living in my sourdough starter pot for daily stirring
• little floral tin from the op shop, filled with hair accessories for 9 year old girl's birthday
• de-cluttering the boys' bedrooms
• making children's cloaks out of op shop blankets (for winter) and chenille bedspreads (for summer)
• maybe sell/swap them online
• exciting to see the sue by two label in clothes again
• salute to the sun
• clarity and colour in my new digital camera
• laptop computer (pipe dream)
• essays essays essays
• real estate agents
• Queenscliff Music Festival
• making wrap around skirt and huge circular collar for No. 1 Son's costume for his class play (the story of Osiris and Isis from ancient Egypt)
• the look on the boys' faces when they realise they have to wear skirts. on stage
• No. 2 Son's amazing bowling style (cricket)
• No. 1 Son's quirky bowling style (self conscious, v. dainty hop-skip at the end). bigger boys are going to laugh any day now and that will be the end of cricket for him
• flowery Douglas & Hope-style cushions for the couch
• going to bed at a reasonable hour. must must must
• sourdough toast with fig jam in bed on Sundays
• Alpen brand hot drinking chocolate
• english breakfast tea
• No. 3 Son drinking organic chai. doesn't like tea. the idea of a 6 year old drinking chai cracks me up
• my hands look old
• new yoga class
• full yoga breathing. remember to practice daily
• acknowledge that the next couple of months are going to be hard going and be kind to myself
• acknowledge that most days I do manage to be a good mother
• sort out the linen cupboard
• scratches and nicks add character
• ironing to Schubert
• stop and notice the joy
• mindfulness
• Louis Malle's 'Au Revoir Les Enfants'
• find the wind up bird chronicle
• sew a pink toile bag for myself
• having a little girl so I can make her one of these
• make a new knitting needle roll that is long enough
• a knitted cotton loofah/face washer
• olive oil and poppy seed soap balls

No wonder I'm burnt out. I'm thinking too much.

12 September 2005

stupid incompatible technology wot I hate

Oh I couldn't stay away for long, but this is a fleeting visit.

I have just done a quick fly around cyberspace and seen that Amanda had a baby girl and took a glorious photo! And Jane went to Cambridge for a literary weekend (!) and took glorious photographs of red berries.

And I? I am weeping with frustration. I am the proud new owner of a Canon Powershot A520 digital camera. And a computer that at a mere five years of age cannot support the software necessary to even LOOK at the photos that I am CERTAIN are positively glorious. If only they could escape from the tiny little screen of the camera onto the wonderful big screen of my iMac that is not ancient but only five years old.

I interrogated my local computer whiz who informs me that I cannot purchase the upgrade operating system as it won't work. He steered me towards a shiny new computer. And then to a small but perfectly formed laptop. Sadly, the purchase of either of these is a loooong way off.

It did not occur to me that the camera wouldn't go with the computer. Am I naive or stupid or what? Never in a million years did it occur to me to ask. (My digital movie camera works just fine).

On a different note, my bloggy site meter (somewhere down there on the right hand side) informs me I have a reader in Slough (England). I am now living in mild terror that one of my husband's family members reads my blog.

(Note: I only have one husband. Just so you know. That sentence might be misleading).

And on another note, thank you to everyone who left such kind comments recently. My life is still crazy and I have far too much to do and worry about and as you can see I continue to procrastinate. But Son No. 3 is ok. And I still have no work but that's fine cos I don't have the time to go to work right now. And the wedding was beautiful. (And one day the photos to prove it will be set free and I can show you us all gussied up for the occasion.)

8 September 2005

But before I go ...

... go have a giggle at this recent offering from the Threadbared girls.

busy busy busy stress stress stress

I'm feeling a little out of control here. Things are beginning to overwhelm me ... the house, the financial stress of not having any work right now, emotional hardships going on, a distressing situation with Son No. 3, a wedding to attend and accompanying gift to purchase, errands to run and two major essays due in the next 10 days.

I find myself procrastinating by blogging, when I should be researching and thinking, attending to my family and my real life.

So ... I may ... no, I WILL be absent for a while as I put my life into some semblance of order.

I shall return.

In the meantime, amuse yourselves with Enid who now resides at the bottom of my page.

See what I mean by procrastination?

7 September 2005

colour in the garden

Winter is officially over. It wasn't all bad.

I only got one winter iris bloom this year. Must be time to shock them into submission by dividing the whole huge clump and threatening them with the compost bin.


The euphorbia wulfenii with their brilliant lime-green bracts made up for the iris.


And now the glorious clivias are heralding the arrival of the warmer weather.


6 September 2005

self portrait tuesday, with rabbit ears


fooling around in the morning sunshine

Kath has set up a new self portrait tuesday blogspot to celebrate the first 100 spt-ers. Go look see.

PS. Owing to the recent invitations to attend a Christian university on the other side of the world, I've turned on the word verification thingie. Sorry for the inconvenience.

5 September 2005

a middle child


This is No. 2, who I have realised I haven't written about very much.

He is a golden child, blessed in every way. He is beautiful to look at, funny, lively, witty and loving. He is popular at school and always surrounded by a coterie of adoring fans. He is extremely intelligent, at the top of his class in reading, maths and spelling. He is a gifted athlete.

Like his mother, he is a dabbler. He tried scouts, and after two terms decided it wasn't for him (I did not protest at all). He tried violin, but after a term he dropped it (I did not protest. It's hard having a big brother who is a brilliant violinist). For the past two terms he has attended a modern/creative dance class. The teacher tells us he's a natural. I am working to persuade him to see it through to the end of the year. He has recently decided cricket is his thing. So, next term, cricket begins.

He is trying to find his niche in this big, confusing world.

He is a middle child.

Postscript: I tried to grab a couple of other photos that showed him running riot immediately following this pensive shot, and Flickr informed me that it is having a massage.

That's an admin notice I've not encountered before.

Update: Flickr's shiatsu complete. Photographs herewith.


4 September 2005



Spring is sprung
the grass is riz
it's time to paint my toenails 'Pink Fizz'.

I love Spring. My toes are wriggling happily in the sunshine.

Happy Fathers' Day to all.