The rain has stopped

In the week since my last post I’ve thought about E many times. I freqently google her name in the hopes some new link will turn up with some information. An explanation. I’m torn between getting the old photos out–I know I have a few of her–and not wanting to.

I’m comforted by all the comments I’ve had since that post, in here, on Facebook and on Twitter. So, thank you. I’m saddened that some of you have experienced this loss in some way and yet, I’m encouraged. Last week I had more clicks and comments than I’ve ever had and I take heart that this may translate to an increased awareness. When you hear an unfamiliar sound next door, the sound of immense sadness, knock on the door. Offer a kind shoulder or a gentle ear. Check in with your neighbours and your friends, and shepherd them towards the help they might desperately need. You may be saving someone’s life.

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As though knowing my mood, it rained all last week, with a consistent downpour across the weekend. We didn’t have any plans and besides swimming lessons on Saturday morning, I didn’t want to risk going out in case we couldn’t get back in. It’s not unlikely for us to get flooded in after such an amount of rain so we stayed home and played with the Lego. We had Lego spread all over the rug and a floor picnic of party pies and pastries from the bakery. This week the sun is out, the lower bridge is reopened today and the school bus is running.

We’re back in the old routine again.

Sombre

Today’s post is somewhat bleaker than I would have liked. Indeed, I don’t like writing this post at all. However, it’s message is important, and I must.

Over the weekend as we celebrated my oldest son’s 6th birthday, a childhood friend of mine was contemplating her death. At 34 years old she was found hanging in the garage of her parents’ home, where she lived. Apparently, she’d sent a text to an ex-boyfriend to say goodbye and late evening on Saturday she pinned a note to herself and stepped off this mortal coil.

I know no other circumstances.

Her Korean family are very private, but they embraced me as a visitor in their home as we were growing up and I always felt welcome. It was one of E’s sisters that I went to school with. E was a year younger than us but the three of us spent alot of time together in our highschool years. She was cute, bright and bubbly–certainly the most outgoing member of her family.

We lost touch after highschool. I lived out of the state for a while and we all got busy with our own things. I strain to remember the last time I saw E but I think it was when she, and her sister, came to see my wedding over eight years ago. They gave us a beautiful glass mosaiced lamp as a gift and it’s been next to my bed ever since.

I regret that I didn’t endeavour to make contact in those years. However, I remember a happy friendship and I hope as time goes by those memories overtake the raw feelings over the news of this suicide. But now I am just heartbroken that she must have been feeling such sadness and despair.

I don’t want to write this post, but I must, because I don’t wish for anyone else to feel how she must have felt.

http://www.suicideprevention.com.au/
http://www.beyondblue.org.au/

2010: The year of Big Things

Christmas 09
Christmas 09

I think we’re just about all back on deck and back to work by now. I hope you had a smashing Christmas or, at least, a lovely break from mundane routine.

We had a small family gathering prior to Christmas with lots of fresh seafood and sunshine followed by the last couple of days at work and then we hit the road for Batemans Bay. We had a holiday rental house at Long Beach, five minutes north—great for a couple of families. We had a view right out to the water and just a bit of backyard before the beach. Fabulous position! It was a quiet, unpatrolled beach with small waves and shallow water.

Our Christmas Eve was another feast of fresh seafood on the balcony and then we prepped for Christmas morning. Dummies were surrendered into a bowl for Santa to collect and redistribute to all the new babies, cookies were put out on a plate, kids put to bed (with a few tears from a dummy-less Lincoln) and presents were wrapped and placed around the coffee table under the plastic Christmas tree.

The kids woke up super early every single morning, (that’ll happen when they share a room), so we were awake before 6am and cloistered the boys in our room until a more respectable 7am. Santa made an extra special visit on the local RFS fire truck, throwing bags of lollies out to the kids, Matt and Fraser played with their new remote control cars, Lincoln and Zara tried out their scooters, I charged up my new Kindle, wore my new necklace, and Bindy and I waited until a more respectable 10 am before we popped the champagne.

I bought a half leg of ham thinking we’d be bringing home leftovers but would you believe we had to buy an emergency portion of ham a few days later?! I guess we just love ham. And who doesn’t?

The first few days were rainy so we fit in a visit to Mogo zoo, a trip to Moruya to catch up with some ex-neighbours and some mini golf. Finally, on the second half of the week we hit the beach. The boys loved it and I loved it, not having had a proper swim at the beach for years. (Loved it so much we’re already planning our next resort holiday!) The men got some fishing time in on a few nights but didn’t manage to bring any fish home and I managed to get most of my uni essay done. At least I was productive.

On New Year’s Eve we tidied up, swept up, locked up, said our goodbyes to Bindy and co. and headed back home via lunch at Nowra and a NYE bbq and sleepover in Bowral.

Am I glad I took an extra couple of days off work before going back on Wednesday! I needed a bit of wind down time after all the unpacking and washing. And the celebrating. (I slept off all New Year’s day.)

So here I am at the start of another year. A new year with grand plans.

Julie & Julia – the second viewing.

There’s a cool, misty drizzle this morning. A welcome change from the oven-style temperatures of the weekend.

I made my way down to Canberra with the boys on Saturday to go to Handmade Market at the Yarralumla Woolshed with Miss Bindy and family. I was planning on finishing off Christmas shopping and buying things I’d been eyeing off online for ages. But the heat messed with my purchasing power and I only came away with a few items – a print and toofie softie from Aunty Cookie, and a knitted donut rattle for a new baby that’s on the way. I admired many things – totebags and bowls made from recycled vinyl records, lots of gorgeous kids clothes, necklaces made from colourful plastic buttons and art. I loitered around some stalls but lacked the conviction to buy. Lucky for some vendors, I’ll be able to hit their Etsy stores later.

But the highlight of the day was spotting the celebrity bloggers. Of course, I did have a little chat with Aunty Cookie but I also saw Lady Smaggle, and Nina Ribena of Tango & James and Canberra’s Got Style. I’m sure there were more. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say hello to Lady Smaggle in particular, but I was a little shy and too far away to shout across the crowd of people.

After a couple of hours of browsing in the stifling heat we all sat around in the shade eating/drinking slushies before heading back to our place for an easy chicken and salad dinner. It’s been a while since we last caught up so we stayed up chatting and planning our Christmas holiday to Batemans Bay.

After they left on Sunday, Lincoln went back to bed for a nap, Fraser watched Futurama on the other telly and I watched Julie & Julia again from start to finish, undistracted. It’s my new favourite movie. I laughed, I cried – tears of joy – at how they each achieved their dreams and I loved how devoted Julia and Paul Child were to each other. I had a big cry at the end, and then Fraser started crying, even though he had no idea what he was crying about.

Outdoor types

One could be mistaken for thinking we were outdoor types last weekend. But that’s what we were. The weather was perfect for seaside catchups with friends.  So we went to the park at Birkenhead Point after a brunch of coffee and gozlemi. The kids played on the equipment, Fraser rode his scooter, they kicked the ball, and we soaked up some of the sunshine that we’d missed over the winter.

It was such a lovely time that we did it all again the next day. Although, it was a lunch of fish and chips with different friends at a different park in Drummoyne.

It’s my favourite time of year. I like the warmth. There’s nothing better than wine and cheese on the deck on a warm summer’s evening, good conversation with good friends, and the smell from the jasmine bush in the air.

We’re off to Melbourne this Friday for a weekend of shopping and celebrating for Mum’s 60th birthday.  See you when I get back!

Tourists

I really did have a great weekend. We missed the turnoff for the Aquarium and so wound up making an accidental trip across the Harbour Bridge and back.
We made our way through the submerged tubes and saw sharks, turtles, stingray, dugong, all sorts of colourful fish, and penguins.
We dropped in on Keda, who hadn’t had her baby yet (she has now – yay!), and hit the town with some friends. While the boys stayed with Mum and Dad, we enjoyed cocktails and tapas then moved on to another place for more tapas and churros, then to the pub for more drinks. Fantastic night out sans children, and look forward to more of those.

We woke to a cloudy, but not too cold, morning in Manly and it was just glorious sitting at the boardwalk watching everyone else care about their fitness.

We had a decadent brunch and walk through the shops before heading back to catch up with the kids and Mum and Dad.
Saturday night was spent with more friends. We discussed hairbrained schemes, old times, and future possibilities. I’ve come away with homework to do. It may well be the birth of a new Empire.

The weekend finished with a day at Taronga Zoo. Lincoln thought the giraffes were hilarious, Fraser liked the bilby, and Matt seemed to enjoy the nipple-squeezing chimpanzee the most.

I heartily recommend a weekend as a tourist in your own city!

35th Annual Festival of muser

BIrthday
1. Cat's Pyjamas print by yellowmonday on Etsy, 2. Japanese tea set from Monica, 3. small bowls from bindy, 4. Handmade card by Fraser (with Nanny's help).

We held a little soiree in a local restaurant for my birthday on the weekend. Family and friends travelled from Sydney for lunch, as well as a few local friends and neighbours. We had a great day, and a fun night with some of our friends sleeping over.
I received some lovely presents. A “Cat’s Pyjamas” print from Etsy, and some handy little bowls and a Japanese tea set that all go superbly with my newly painted dresser. I love the handmade card that Fraser made with Nanny’s help. There was a gift voucher for the local plant nursery, as well as one for kikki-k, a big umbrella with butterflies all over it, and some nice smelly candles and soaps. Thank you everyone!
We carried the Festival over to Sunday when we went out to see a movie. I think Lincoln enjoyed his first movie but he wasn’t as transfixed as I remember Fraser being at a similar age.

It’s nice to have Fraser back from his week away and the house has returned to it’s regular hum of noise. I’m getting myself mentally prepared for my new 3-day regime of dropping Fraser to before-school care, then Lincoln to daycare, then to work, and in reverse at the end.

Actually, I’m a little stressed and I imagine it won’t subside until I’ve completed one full week successfully within all time constraints.

Colour me busy

Twelve months ago I was lamenting at how I’d missed seeing Kristin Hersh when she last toured here. I’m very excited to hear on the grape vine that the Throwing Muses are coming back in January ’09 to do 4 dates in AU and NZ, plus Krisitin will be doing a show as part of the Sydney Festival. I’m yet to find out the dates but I will be attending all the Sydney shows, if possible. You couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face when I got wind of this gossip on Wednesday.

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We all had a great time last weekend. The boys had a sleepover with their cousins Savanna and Lily. They both had a lovely time and slept through! Jane took all four kids to the shops on the train where they had icecream and did a bit of shopping. Matt and I had a good night out with Mum and Dad. We had chinese for dinner then went to see Billy Elliot. It’s a great show . Very spectacular in the first half and quite moving in some parts.

For breakfast we had a buffet at a nearby garden centre and the made our way over to pick up the kids on Sunday morning. When we arrived Lincoln was napping, and Fraser and Sav were doing craft and practicing their writing. 

After that, we met up with Miss Bindy and Uncle Dan at Eastgardens. We did a quick shop, more chinese for dinner, and just hanging out at Casa de bindy.

Can you tell we don’t get takeaway much ?  

Fashion victim

I finished some more pillowcase garments today. Pants embellished with rickrack teamed with a store-bought t-shirt. I added a satin bow to the front so they would look less like pyjamas. The stitching on the rickrack is terrible, but I learnt from my mistakes on the next project. 

IMG_0456  IMG_0453

Here’s Lincoln modelling a pillowcase dress. The rickrack looks good but the binding straps don’t look too good up close. I do love how the dress turned out though. I got the tutorial from this blog. This delightful set is going to my nieces tomorrow. I hope they like them.

IMG_0457  IMG_0462 

Speaking of tomorrow. It’s the beginning of a long weekend. The boys are staying overnight with their cousins so Matt and I can go see Billy Elliot with Mum and Dad for her birthday. It’s the first time we’ll have left Lincoln overnight with someone else. I hope he sleeps well for Jane. At least he’s healthy. Sunday/Monday we’re spending time with Miss Bindy. Looking forward to catching up.

Decadence

I’ve had an awesome weekend. Why does it take me 12 months or so to do something like this?! Anyway, Saturday afternoon was a hair party at someone’s house. Why go to the salon when the hairdresser can come to you? We sat around eating cheese and drinking champagne while five of us had our hair cut, coloured, treated and blow-dried.  

New do

I came away looking like a rock chick (a long-held fantasy of mine), and with a commitment to bi-monthly colouring touch-ups.  Nonetheless, I’m super impressed. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent at the hairdresser and probably has a lot to do with getting as far away from the mum look as possible. If only I could play the guitars I bought in my youth.

 

After a decadent sleep-in, (8am is a sleep-in),  Mum and I did some shopping. New shoes – black, new jumper – pink, and sewing ingredients to make the party bunting for Lincoln. I moved away from my brown/blue/white to grey/turquoise/white/orange. Sounds bizarre but I think it will look good.  

 

Met up with old school pals for lunch at a Moroccan restaurant in Balmain. Kim leaves for Switzerland next Monday for 3 years so I’m glad we could hook-up  before then. Didn’t take any photos with the three of us but I did manage to snap one of this dessert we shared.

Pancake!

Chocolate and raspberry pancake with butterscotch sauce and choc fudge icecream. It was thick, and more like a cake.  *drool* Thank god we didn’t order one each!