Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday (kind of)

OK, the wordless part might take some practice from me. C'mon, have you seen how lengthy my posts are??

So, I'll at least keep it very short.

Graeme stumbled across this gorgeous bush area at the weekend when he took the boys and Sydney for a walk. I had just been saying the day before how I miss parks in England. We don't do much on the National Park front over here because you can't take dogs. So, we don't get to roam and roll amongst grass and trees.

Now I feel another box has been ticked, because look what is five minutes' walk away from the house!

It's right by the lagoon so Sydney will love it in the summer. Hey, she already loves it now. It's calm, it's serene and so far we're the only ones there.

And Luca, bless him, thinks it's Gruffalo territory... can we go to the deep dark wood again, Mummy?

I'd better stop now, or it'll be wordy Wednesday. I'll try harder next week.


Monday, 29 August 2011

On a very serious note

I'm ashamed to say this, but last night was the first time I'd heard about Taiji on the coast of Japan and the atrocious dolphin hunts. Graeme and I watched The Cove. We were shocked. It's horrific.

It's a brilliant film, and whilst I found the slaughter scenes very distressing, I'm no longer ignorant on issues of dolphin drives, dolphin captivity and mercury.

The annual hunting season starts in a couple of days. It's chilling to think about it.

I tell you one thing: I've never visited those sea life theme parks before, and I definitely won't be now.

Watch the trailer. Watch the film if you can. I'm so glad I did.


Sunday, 28 August 2011

A moose loose aboot this hoose

Remember that fantastic wine gums ad in the 90s? I still hum the tune in my head now and again. But this post isn't about great ads or Scottish phrases for that matter.

It's about ruddy rodents.

I decided a while ago I needed to do something about getting people to take their shoes off when they come in. A lot of similarly minded folk will utter something like 'of course' and swiftly put their shoes to one side, but too many would give me a look. Like I'd just asked them to strip to their underwear. Tradesmen especially.

I was glad of the excuse that I had a baby that spent most of his day on the floor, but, hey, I shouldn't have to justify why I want shoes off. And besides he'll be walking before I know it.

So I figured the best way was to have a sign up outside the door. That way if you don't like it and feel too attached to your Jimmy Choos to take them off (like I know anyone who owns a pair!), you can turn around before I've had time to reach the door. It avoids that awkward door moment.

My clever husband came up with a cheeky rhyme and design, and I painted the canvas. We had it done in less than 20 minutes.

Recognise this famous little mouse?

Problem solved! Visitors come to the door and before I've even said hello, shoes are off and pleasantries are off to a good start (mostly to do with how much they love our new sign!). I wish I'd come up with this years ago.


some mice have obviously read this in the meantime and understood that they can waltz right in.

Och aye. There's a bloody moose loose aboot this house alright! For the past three mornings, we have woken to mouse poo all over the place.

We're talking droppings all over tables, floors, in amongst Luca's farmyard animals (what were the mice doing with the animals??) and under Kian's cot. What are you guys doing under there fer gawd's sake?

Look, I don't mind mice. I really don't. I don't mind Luca's imaginary little mouse friend. I don't mind the character in the Gruffalo, and I don't mind them peering from behind the teddy or whatever it is in those Usborne Touchy Feely books.

But I jolly well mind them in my house. Rustling away in the wee hours of the night only to stop as soon as I get out of bed to look for them. Graeme and I tried three times last night to find them.

We've bought traps and put them in their favourite spots and the wretched things are pooing around them! They're laughing at us.

Graeme's trying another tactic tonight. I just want them gone.

Maybe if I change the sign to read no pests in the house...


Saturday, 27 August 2011

I'm not getting off my bike

I'm keen to join in on Wordless Wednesday, so I'll make an effort from next week. I know it's not Wednesday, but here's a picture that says it all.


An indulgent weekend

Been feeling quite flat lately. Bit homesick I suppose – as much as I love living here, sometimes I just long to see an old friend, and not have to try so hard. Or to give my mum a hug. I try not to think about the fact we're starting from scratch, setting up a support network around us all over again, but sometimes it hits me that it IS just us.... for the moment at least.

So when I'm feeling like this, I need a treat. I buy a couple of magazines. I borrow Maggie's Harvest from the library and then I go shopping. Food shopping. There's lots to choose from at the fish counter this week.

You wouldn't believe this is a supermarket fish counter

I'm not a fan of Australian supermarkets on the whole

... but this is one impressive fish counter

I spend more than I should and buy four beautiful blue swimmer crabs, two large squid and a nice handful of Australian banana prawns. I'm already feeling better. 

I pass the gourmet cheese counter and see some Persian Fetta from the Yarra Valley Dairy – reduced in price by over two-thirds. Has to be eaten the next day.

Are you kidding? It didn't even make it to the fridge. As soon as I got home (I mean AS SOON AS), I open the shiny silver tin and just eat with a spoon. It's creamy, it's rich and it's lunch. Who's homesick?

The three of us devour the crab for lunch on Saturday, with some buttered home-made bread. Graeme cooks a simple pasta and prawn dish for dinner, and we have salt and pepper squid on Sunday.

Luca enjoyed sucking the meat out of the legs
Now I just need to stay awake long enough in the evenings to read through my library book. I love Maggie Beer. Ever since I was invited to spend an afternoon with her at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond five years ago. Amazing food and amazing company, that day.

Oh, I miss my job.


P.S. I'm reading a lot about the wonderful food and wine in the Yarra Valley. It's actually on my list of places to visit. Is there anyone there with a lovely farmhouse perhaps who'd like a holiday house swap on the Central Coast?

Friday, 19 August 2011

A new discovery

It was one of those days.

Actually, it was a lot worse. I'd been up all night, so Graeme decided to stay home. Then as I cheered up at the prospect of Daddy's helping hands especially at the doctor's later that morning, he got called in. Great.

I took the boys to the doctor's and after I get told to sort Kian's sleep out (like I haven't tried everything), the doctor tells me BOTH of Luca's grommets have fallen out and that he may need the surgery again. Joy.

Then it's jab time. I leave the surgery with Kian sobbing in my arms and Luca playing up. I'm struggling to get Kian into his car seat, so I put my purse, his blue book (red book for folks back home) and other bits and pieces on the roof of the car while I sort the boys out.

Yep, you guessed it. I drove straight off. Relieved to be back at home, I start feeding them their lunch when I get the call that someone has found my sorry-looking purse on the main road.

So we dash out again, food all over their faces and clothes, hoping against hope that I can find Kian's blue book.

A very kind man saw the contents of my purse on a very busy two-lane road and gathered up what he could – all pretty worthless reward card stuff, all important cards had gone. Dammit. God knows how he didn't get run over. He took it into the doctor's surgery and even returned the cash and my lottery ticket.

I walked and drove up the road to look for Kian's book, but it had gone too. I was quite upset at the time to lose all the notes from his check-ups, plus stuff from hospital and home visits. But I guess it'll be one of those stories I tell him when he's older. It won't matter then...

Anyhow, my purse had clearly been run over a few times, so I needed a new one. Thanks to some of the blogs I've been reading, I'd discovered this site called Etsy. Don't ask me why I haven't come across it before now, but it's an absolute godsend if, like me, you try and avoid buying most of the crap in the shops.

So this is what I got from Melbourne-based Mishmash Designs. Pretty cool, huh? Especially if you love chocolate brown and elephants!

It certainly did the job of cheering me up after that hideous day. 

There's some great stuff on the site. Very handy that you can choose the country you live in, and their Taste Test is fun to do too.

Am I preaching to the converted?


P.S. Funny thing is that lottery ticket won me $11. First time I've ever won. If you're reading this, kind man, I would have traced you and made your day had I won big time, but I didn't think it was worth it for a share of $11...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

My name is



Rhymes with Liam.

Ian with a K.

Got it?

Not Kee-anne. Not Ky-un. And definitely not Ky-anne.

And to think I had no name for almost two days while Mummy and Daddy deliberated over a name for me. I was going to be Teo (Tay-o), but they decided against it. And do you know why?

Because the last thing they wanted was a name that wasn't obvious to pronounce.You know like Kian.

It seems it was only obvious to them. Oh, and one other person in Australia who said it right first time, and Mummy wanted to hug them.

I'm only 8 months old, but please spread the word, so that by the time I get to school, I'm just Kian. Not Ian with a K.

If people don't start getting it soon, they're going to change my name.

And God knows what it will be then.


Saturday, 13 August 2011

I'm still here

I realise it's been over a week since I last posted, but Kian hasn't been well, so if you think my nights were bad before, think again.

But he's better now, so I'm back.

It's been a lovely Saturday. All of us out this morning looking for crabs and shells, then back to eat up the last of the Dutch croquettes Graeme's mum made for us yesterday. Yum. I've eaten ten in the last 24 hours.

Then we all napped for over two hours. Bliss. The boys watched David Attenborough's Blue Planet, while I cooked roast leg of lamb with garlic, rosemary and anchovies, and enough parsnips and potatoes to feed another family of four.

I read to Luca in bed while Graeme went out for ice cream, then we both curled up with a film and ate far too much.

It wasn't just any film. It was Julie and Julia. It always makes me happy. The food. The romance.

Did you know you could still read her blog? I didn't until tonight. Am looking forward to reading some of it, despite there not being any posts for seven years. There does seem to be an awful lot of f-this and f-that. I mean A LOT.

Anyway, the point is, the film has given me renewed enthusiasm. It's very easy when you're a SAHM to get stuck in a rut. To go through the motions each day and slump at the end of it.

I will try to find some time for my cookbooks again. To cook more food that feeds the soul, rather than food that just feeds. The lamb tonight was definitely in the first category.

I'm off to bed now to dream about chocolate cream pie.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Your song

It's 25 degrees. I'm in the car, I wind the window down and turn the radio right down so I don't have to listen to the ads and constant plugs.

But then... I hear a faint but very familiar beat of a song that gets me very excited.

Easy Lover by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins. Wooohoooo!!!

I forget that Kian is in the back and turn it up. It takes me back to when I was learning to play the drums.

It's probably a bit too loud, but I love this song. If there was a car that could skip and jig, it was this one at 9am this morning.

Yep, I was dancing and was enjoying every second. People saw me and I didn't care! (Do you think it has anything to do with the fact I slept over 7 hours last night? Hope it's not the last time... Last time I posted about a good night's sleep, it didn't happen again.)

What's your song in the car? What tune makes you feel like you've just hit the jackpot and has you bouncing like a lunatic and beating it out on the steering wheel? 

Tell me, tell me, tell me!


P.S. Not sure why, but I seem to be naming a lot of my posts after song titles lately. Have you noticed, or am I the only one singing them in my head?