10 February 2015

2014 book list

Good morning

Betsy says good morning I am feeling much better thank you please feed me.

I updated my reading list for 2014. It's over there on the left under "not just cookbooks", or if you're reading via a reader, here's a direct link.


That's not my house.

15 January 2015

closing and opening

Queensland sky II

Christmas and new year took on a different shape this year - this first year without my dad. While we were all gathered in Queensland we took the opportunity to farewell Dad with friends and extended family, nibbles and lots of champagne. It was tough and lovely at the same time, but it felt right. The ritual of a wake or funeral or in our case a champagne celebration at Mum's house, really brings comfort and closure doesn't it?

Hello beach.

While in Queensland we also took the opportunity to visit our favourite beach, and trot up to Brisbane to GOMA to catch the latest exhibition and hang out with the cousins who we see only once a year.


We helped Mum with more sorting and made a couple of trips to the op shop. I also wrangled her sewing machine to make a new clothespeg bag as two years of nagging her to make herself a new one seemed to have failed.

I wrangled Mum's sewing machine and made her a new clothes peg bag.

We're now back home in our messy house with the luscious brown beasties and back at work. Sigh.

Early light on messy house

The wee one (Betsy, the darker brown smudge in the photo below) appears to be recovering from her six months of mystery virus. She is slowly putting on weight, purrs and snuggles again on a regular basis, and positively sprinted through the house the other day which she has not done since she was very young indeed. I am hoping she is on her way back to bouncy shiny good health. She also turned one on the 6th. My own little Epiphany.

Can't make the bed.

The middle child received his year 12 results and now awaits university offers. I'm excited to see what this year holds in store for him.

New beginnings for a new year.

21 December 2014

fourth light of advent

The fourth light of advent It is the light of man.  The light of love, the light of thought To give and understand.

The fourth light of advent
it is the light of man.
The light of love, the light of thought
to give and understand.

17 December 2014

bit o' this, bit o' that

Scout tee

Sewing bling

Little baby Betsy is 11 months and 1 week

At home this morning waiting for a doctor appointment. Middle child has suspected fractured arm.


Some sewing, some gardening, some working. I am firmly in denial that Christmas is a matter of days away.

Terrifying new purchase

A terrifying new purchase has been made. I read the instructions and put the beast back in its box with the excuse that I haven't any threads for it yet anyway.

Fractured elbow = sling for two weeks

The middle child received his Year 12 results and fractured his elbow on the same day. He says it doesn't hurt but I wonder if that's the post-school euphoria and relief speaking. Two weeks in a sling (but luckily no plaster)is the cure apparently. We're all about the denial around here.

14 December 2014

third Sunday of Advent

The third light of advent  It is the light of beasts.  The light of truth that we may see  In greatest and in least.

The third light of advent
it is the light of beasts.
The light of truth that we may see
in greatest and in least.

7 December 2014

Second light of advent

The second light of advent, it is the light of plants. Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.

The second light of advent
It is the light of plants.
Plants that reach up to the sun
And in the breezes dance.

4 December 2014

continuing ...

Jacaranda watch: first day of summer.
First day of summer

Thank you for your comments about my father. I can't reply to all of them as they come through as no-reply comments for some reason, but please know that each one was greatly appreciated. There was no funeral but we will have a celebration of Dad's life at the end of the month with family and friends, just after Christmas, and at some point in the new year we will scatter his ashes at the beach where my brother and I grew up. All the children were in the middle of exams when Dad went into hospital and as we all thought he would pull through, I flew up there on my own, leaving the boys and the mister behind. It will be good to have all the grandchildren and partners there for the memorial/celebration afternoon.

To the Heart Garden #Heide
Into the Heart Garden at Heide

In the meantime life continues. Children finish school for the year (or forever, in one case), go away with their friends, the little kitty is very poorly and the vet is struggling for a diagnosis, a friend distracts me with an invitation to the opening of an art exhibition, and knitted things are cast off.

Shibui line break shawl
'Line Break' shawl in Shibui Staccato, a luxurious silky yarn from Sunspun Yarns

Not a well girl. Also, stung by a bee.
Hoping for a diagnosis soon. It's been months and I am desperate to see her plump and energetic again.

The ducklings at work are growing like weeds,

The campus ducklings are growing up fast

while the Welcome Swallows outside the laundry door have raised two lots of chicks this Spring.

Welcome Swallow egg shell

Insert cliche regarding the circle of life here.

30 November 2014

First Sunday of Advent

The first light of advent

The first light of advent
it is the light of stones.
The light that lives in crystals, seashells and bones.

28 November 2014


RIP Dad, xxx

My extraordinary and brilliant dad. RIP.

24 October 2014

back to bali

My mum has had a pretty grim time these last eighteen months so as a little (big, actually) pick-me-up, she and I went on our very first Mother Daughter Trip. We escaped to Bali for a week and took in the Ubud Writers Festival, together with a dose of sunshine, relaxation and respite from caring duties (hers, not mine unless you count feeding and watering three able-bodied lads and a husband, which I don't because these days they can feed and water themselves. Mostly).

There's a fresh offering by our front door every morning

I was a bit nervous about how Mum would fare, but we took things slowly and apart from one or two hitches (long queues in airports which proved tricky but were resolved by Mum nearly collapsing and me requesting a wheelchair which means you then get fasttracked through all the checks and desks - note to self for next time: book wheelchair right from the start) things went swimmingly.

In the villa #ubud

The festival was excellent with lots of interesting authors and essayists and playwrights (Val McDermid is a hoot, Fiona McFarlane is funny and eloquent, Eimear McBride is quite simply brilliant), great panel discussions and stunning locations and venues (but the steps! oh so many steps and stairs are hard work for an 82 year old)and an outstanding Women of Letters evening which was my personal highlight.

heavenly frangipani

There was also quite a lot of reading of books by the pool (I read The Signature of All Things and can highly recommend it) and the odd DVD watched while Mum went to bed early (The Railway Man, and The Dallas Buyers Club).

Bali sunset #ubud

Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, always.

Mega grasshopper side view

Wildlife on steroids.

Bali sky

More skies.


It feels a bit like a stolen dream time now I'm back at my desk, cleaning the kitty litter tray, trying to come up with yet another dinner and wrangling the boychildren here there and everywhere.

But it was a wonderful and special thing to do together, just my mum and I. My only regret is that we waited until we are in our fifties and eighties to do it.