Thursday, 30 September 2010

In which I find success

Tonight I found Man-show climbing dangerously on the dining room table. I caught myself and instead of getting mad, I asked him whether he was bored and if he'd like to show me his truck book.

So we sat together on the couch for twenty minutes perusing, in great detail, First 100 Machines.  When we finished he said, "The end! Thank you mama!"

For a little, precious while, I am free of mother-guilt.

. . .


Man-show's new strategy for avoiding sleep: at high speed, he jumps off the bed, shouts, "I be right back!" and vanishes down the darkened hall on his new kick-scooter.

. . .

Monday, 27 September 2010

Far away

Nathan's been in Afghanistan for more than three months now (much as I try not to keep track).

This is one of the pictures Berry drew while we were in Brisbane.  She imagined herself, little man and her Daddy standing together next to our house.

She had a bit of a cry that day.

"I'm just homesick," she said.  "Also I'm Daddysick."

. . .

Sunday, 26 September 2010

While I wasn't sleeping

I owe this blog a lot of posts, but wow does it take a long time to unpack two months' worth of luggage for three people, and to sort out two months of mail and a kids'-birthday-mountain of presents... and don't even get me started on the jet lag.

I did, however, find a few minutes to order in two of the three foods the kids loved best in Australia – Milo and SAOs. Ten packets of SAOs, actually, probably because I was ordering at 1am.

Weetbix will have to wait for another day.  And so will the blog posts.

. . .

Monday, 13 September 2010

Not enough

Oh Sydney, stop having so many things to do.

I can't get to them all, and it frustrates me, and makes me think up wild schemes like staying for a month, or immigrating.

Once again we barely scratched the surface.  Wave-chasing and sandcastles; fish-n-chips at Manly Wharf, which turned out to be enough seafood to feed a footy team; a sunshiney ferry trip and the Opera House in all its glory...

...and Taronga Park Zoo.  We didn't even get to the zebras and tigers, an oversight Berry is unlikely to forgive or forget.

We did see the snakes though, appropriately under the tank stand...

...and the seals and the penguins, the wombat (just one, and ornery at that)


... and the monkeys and the pelicans...

...two angry emus, some wallabies, one koala, three giraffes and many kangaroos (lazy, don't let anyone tell you otherwise)...

...the peacocks and the elephants were a major hit.  Later I asked Berry her favourite part of the zoo.

"The ice cream!" she said.

Feeling crestfallen that I could've just taken her down the street for a Paddlepop with the same effect, I asked more pointedly: "What was your favourite animal at the zoo?"

"Oh!" she said. "The koawallabies!"

(That, my friends, is how new species come to be.)

There are no pictures of my blissful spa time at the famous Missy's Place, the fantastic dinners we did have, nor the shops and restaurants I wanted try but didn't quite get to...

...but we'll be back.  Don't make me resort to wild schemes.

. . .

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Does not play well with others (sometimes)

Little bear has Man-show's toys.

Oh wait.  Nope.

[Scrabble scrabble scrabble grab.]

Little bear had Man-show's toys.


. . .

Friday, 10 September 2010

Bad Blogger: Chaos Edition


Usually when you have a blog, and you go to the other side of the world on holiday, you write a little something every day to share the wonders and adventures of the place you're in.

I prefer to become paralysed by imagined pressure, failing to write anything at all until a good 30 days in; then I try, unwisely, to unload it all at once.

Here, I've made the unloading even more random by uploading my pictures in no particular order and being unable to shuffle them. I'm going to just write stuff underneath them, and hope you stick with me. 

Good luck to us all. Let's begin.


First of all, I love being home so very much.  Australia is such a novelty – which is sad in one way because it must mean I don't fully belong anymore, but happy because everything old is new again.  The shine of it! Kookaburras laughing when I wake up early. Magpies singing as I walk to the gym.  Lemon gum and eucalyptus on the air, Weetbix for breakfast and Australian news on the TV.  Did I mention the amazing coffee??  Yes, yes I did.

My "Australia radar" malfunctioned at first, going into overdrive.  See, back home (which home? America-home) I have a constant scan going on for all sightings and mentions of Australia and Australian things. I didn't realise this until I got here and my brain kept shouting, "Hey! Hey! An Australian accent!  Hey! They just talked about Brisbane on the news!  Hey! That's Powderfinger on the radio! Hey! An Australian flag!  Hey!  A koala sign!  Cuuuute!"  I've become accustomed to it after six weeks, so that I don't spin out anytime someone mentions Melbourne or Milo, but the fun endures.

You know what else is new again?  My friends.  I have connected and reconnected with dear friends, and I just love them so much I want to take them home with me.  It's unreasonable that I can't just drag Australia and America up alongside each other. Why does continental drift take so long, and go in the wrong directions?

Here above: Kristy and Gerrod. I'd actually never met them before this day at Brother Espresso, but they shared a flat with my brother and sister-in-law in London so we were meant-to-be lifelong friends. I'm pretty sure Gerrod knows when my grandparents' anniversary is and how to spell my sister's middle name and stuff like that, so – we're tight. Also, they're funny (the picture at the top of this post? that's me losing my composure next to Gerrod for at least the fourth time).

Here's Kirsty (above), my best friend from Grade 8. I went a whole 19 years without seeing her until we discovered each other on Facebook last year (kudos, Facebook!)  We've been scrambling to make up for lost time ever since, and it's a joy. 

Kirsty's little boy was born the same week as Man-show, so our kids get on like a house on fire. Without the kids, we went to an extra-special-fancy girls' night out with Jodi, who made our trio in Grade 9.  Neither of us had seen her in fully 20 years, and six hours out together barely scratched the surface.

That's Jodi's death-by-chocolate... I blame the borrowed camera for being bad at close range – not me. It's never me.

I have been going to some great restaurants here, that reminds me.  And did I tell you?  I went to the incredible Valentino Retrospective at the Gallery of Modern Art.  It was an amazing exhibit; seeing those iconic gowns together in one space was inspiring. Berry and Mika were keen to find the most-princessy dresses – there was a heated debate over which of them would "get to wear" the pink caped evening ensemble from Winter 1990/91...

Photography was super-strictly forbidden inside the gallery, so you'll have to take my word for all that. But here are the girls standing by the V.

And with that, I've worn myself out.

More randomness soon, featuring animals, the Opera House, midnight at McDonald's, fairy bread, and how awesome it is to see my family.

. . .

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


If you look really, really hard, you can see the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge through the plane window.

I took the kids down for five festive days and (when I don't need a Panadol and a sleep so desperately) I'll show you some more pictures.  And words, since people seem to like blogs to have words... 

. . .