Friday, December 23, 2011

A very merry...

Season's greetings to one and to all. 

We are surrounded by family in a place we love, looking forward to the end of a rather difficult year.

We have planned a peaceful beachside break to rewind and refresh.

I hope you have plans for the same. See you on the other side. A x

Monday, December 19, 2011

A little Christmas spirit...

I had done zip, nada, nothing to inject any Christmas spirit into our house... until yesterday.

The boys have plenty of the stuff course. They have already met Santa twice -  although the first encounter (at a neighborhood bbq in the local park) rather failed to convince. I think it was the fact that all the kids chasing him for lollies pulled his red pants off.

The guy you see above was a professional and his ho-ho-hoing did the trick for all the kids at my youngest son's new pre-school.

The boys also received their own message from Santa this year via Portable North Pole - it's a little cheesy but you should have seen the looks on their faces when they watched the personal message from The Big Guy. Try it with your true believers.

Unfortunately my second son's ever changing needs are a little hard for Santa to meet. He wanted blue curtains for Christmas and that darn internet Santa has now promised to deliver them.  Although when I asked him ten minutes ago what he'd like he'd changed his mind again. Now he wants a plastic tree and some plastic flowers. And looked at me as though I was an aging lunatic when I asked what exactly those were.

Now that the Christmas spirit has descended (well, our tree is up) I've decided to make Retromummy's rocky road for my son's classmates.

It's the least I could do.

I'm a big fan of the 'least I could do' policy at this time of year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Flat Stanley...

The keenly observant among you may notice that that large green dip is in fact a volcano and is in fact in Auckland. And yes we do now live in Melbourne.

I am playing blog catch up. 

That is Flat Stanley and this year he came to stay for a week or so with us. He'd been with my old university friend and blogger extraordinaire Jane. Now Jane would not have taken I don't want to think how long to post these pictures... (Actually I know how long - I just checked and it was way back in June. Cripes.)

I love the Flat Stanley project - it's nearly as old as me.

Actually the book is WAY older - written in 1964 about Stanley Lambchop who gets squashed flat by a falling picture and so can post himself to see his friends (I don't want to spoil the ending but in case you're concerned he gets restored to 3D with a bike pump.)

The literacy project sees school kids connect with the world as they send Flat Stanley on from country to country. Of course now you can do it online and as an iPhone app. Our Stan was old school.

We took him to one of our favourite spots in Auckland - Mt Eden.  I wouldn't mind posting myself back there for a stroll.

Stan didn't say much but I think that smile means he liked it. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our new door....

Oops. In 2010 I posted 136 thoughts on 136 separate days. In 2011 I have posted just 55 times (now 56).

I think that sums up our year. It all feels a blur. We sold a house, nursed two boys through two broken bones and a decrepit old crone with a slipped disc (me), juggled the administrative nightmare of moving with a husband with a highly stressful job - all first world problems and nothing at all compared to the woes of others I know.... in the middle of it all we reluctantly left New Zealand and gratefully returned to Australia.

I think it's the 'so reluctant to leave' and 'ever so grateful to return' that have me confused. Part of me misses terribly our lovely villa life in Auckland, the other is loving Melbourne with close family close by and the nervous, excited thought that we might actually stay here for good.

I think I have had very little brain space left over this year. As well as a return to part time work I have dived headfirst into the school and pre-school communities - all part of my usual impatient approach to settling. I find it so dull being new and not knowing anyone.

My oldest friends - who I will see over Christmas - have demanded I find my blogging mojo.  We are celebrating with a pre-festive lunch to discuss our New Year resolutions. I can't think much past 'lose three kilos' and 'find a better hairdresser.' My haircut is dire but I know I can do better than that.

Off to dig out the camera and see what you've missed about my last few months.

Oh yes and this is our new Melbourne front door. So like a villa door don't you think?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Looking back and some life lessons...

This is our Auckland garden, mid house sale. It was also the middle of July so while everything is looking uncharacteristically neat it's also clearly in need of sunshine and a warm burst of spring weather.   It had just had a much too vigorous clip and shape when we decided to put it on the market... I'm sure it looks a delight now.

You can see a paint brush on the arm of one of the benches... I think I was probably touching up the walls (again) while no doubt praying that the fence behind wouldn't fall down under the weight of our neighbour's awful towering palm trees - at least not before auction day.

You may remember the garden had more hedging which after much agonising I eventually pulled out.  The old hedges had started to die one by one and removing them was the best thing I could have done.  It really opened up the space and we all used the top level so much more... lots of mini soccer matches and lounging on the bench with a glass of something good as the sun went down.

So what have I learned from my last garden (apart from the fact that I still have a lot more to learn about gardening)?

I don't like too much green on green and would much rather have a colourful, productive space -  more fruit and flowers next time. The pink roses around our new house make me smile each time I catch a glimpse.

I do like the back hedging, a combination of pittosporum (the lighter slightly grey leaved plant) and griselinia - a glossy green hedge plant that thrives in Auckland and would no doubt hate life in dry old Melbourne.

I do love the colour of the brickwork. Before the previous owners painted it was a mess of sandy coloured bricks and sandstone and hideous grey blockwork. The colour is Resene's Fuscous Gray and I will use it again.

I was going to say something clever about the idiocy of paint colour names and then looked up the meaning of fuscous... after two years of sniggering whenever I heard it today I find out it means 'dark brownish grey'.  Another lesson learned. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blue days...

Spring is a delight this year. After living with an ordered, green, hedged garden in Auckland I'm so enjoying the daily surprises in our new patch of Melbourne. We have a sea of blue irises that have grown from mere shoots in just two months. I'm busily deadheading forty spent flowers a day to keep them blooming as long as possible.

I'm also drinking in the colourful gardens of our suburb. Not the green on green, slightly austere gardens so favoured by designers and property developers. These are proper gardens grown over years and years with a wonderful array of plants all very happy the drought has broken for now.

Spring blossom in pinks and whites (the crabtree's my favourite). Billowing creamy roses in soft pastels that you simply have to cross the road to smell, wisteria, lime green hellebores in the shady spots, delicate seaside daisies springing from cracks in the pathways and a backdrop of rich fresh spring green.

You can almost taste it, it smells so good.  To hell with the hayfever.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Breakfast at...

Armadale's Coin Laundry... sun, eggs, fritters, roesti and a rather good hot chocolate.

So Melbourne. Soon he'll be wanting a skinny double shot latte.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book thoughts...

Have I mentioned yet that I love Melbourne? It has an indefinable something that just makes me feel quite happy to be living here. It's not stunning like Sydney or filled with beautiful buildings and oozing history and charm like many European cities, it's not even easy like other smaller cities. There are too many cars, rather average beaches and it's pretty darn flat but it has a really great feel, really great food and really great shops. 

God that's shallow... See? Undefinable.  I'll work on that and come up with a better reason or perhaps a list one day.  

One place I do love is our local Readings Bookshop. This is the sort of place that make you want to forget that Book Depository exists. The walls are lined with an amazing array of books, their kids selection is good, the staff know their stuff and it's alive with shoppers and browsers. It doesn't feel like a bookshop that's dying a slow retail death.

I popped in today and spotted these. Handbag queen Orla Kiely is now doing kid's books for uber cool mid century styled up bambinos. 

Pop into your local bookshop and have a flick through the beautifully muted pages.

While you're there stay awhile, buy something, we need them to stay open. This week we learnt that an entire swathe of Melbourne's South East (population 140,000) has no access to a local bookshop after the demise of the big book chains, Borders and Angus and Robertson.  I don't like the idea of a suburb without a book store. I also don't like to pay too much for a paperback so perhaps I'll order online and buy some locally too and enjoy the experience.

It did occur to me that if you cut these Kiely books up they would make the most fabulous nursery wall art. I know, a thought like that could get me banned from bookshops.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hello again...

I'm back. Back that is sitting at my own desk in front of my own computer. It's only taken a record 8 weeks (and I don't mean a great Guiness Book of Records type record).  Luckily for you, dear reader, you have been spared the ranting and raving, sighing and slumping that has characterised my approach to moving this time.

But we're here, fresh start and a new life to sort out. And many, many thoughts to share. I have quite missed writing and although now there is no villa there is still a life and lots of small thoughts zinging around in my head looking for a home on a page. So My Villa Life shall remain. The serial mover tag must go. I need a new blurb 'About Me' and I really must update my reading list. There is a list longer than my arm for all the rooms and cupboards in this house too.

Do bear with me.

(And yes you may have guessed by the picture that I now have an iPhone (friends have already branded me a hypocrite and so they should but hey, I'm human). And of course hipstamatic was the second app I bought.  Nice pictures and surely less time wasting than Angry Birds.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday feeling...

Friday and time for an Auckland villa door.... I think this appeals because what I'd really like to do for the next month is plant myself on that bench and watch the world walk past... or the rain thunder down. Auckland has been doing what it does best this week - pouring rain one minute and sunshine the next. Not the best weather to be without the car we sold yesterday.

I am feeling very mixed up this week. On one hand I am looking forward to the new chapter back in Australia, on the other I am dreading leaving the life we have here, my home, my community and my friends. That mixed up feeling deserves a post of its own when I have time to think and write.

My son finished school today with a lovely final assembly and some very kind words from his teacher and principal. I have had coffees and lunches with friends and am getting ready for a very casual get together with kids and mums and dads tomorrow. Oh yes and I have made lists and lists and ticked off lots of necessary but rather tedious things - that is why that bench beckons...  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking flight....

In between all the boring stuff we have been making the most of our last few weeks in Auckland. Now we only have a few days left and a list as long as my arm to get through... annoying, dull little jobs that I won't bore you with here. 

Instead, something pretty. Auckland on a shining winter's day, a backdrop to the Matariki Kite Festival. 

Matariki was the name given by ancient Maori to a small cluster of stars. They believed the appearance of Matariki signified the end of one year and the beginning of another. 

Kites have an ancient link to Matariki - Maori believed they connected heaven and earth. On a day like this I quite believed it too. 
Heaven for small boys and kite geeks alike and there were plenty of both...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Going, going, nearly gone...

Radio silence from here for way too long but this is why.

I have been tidying, cleaning, scrubbing and smiling (not) my way through a house sale. And it paid off. Sold with only a few tears from me. I have loved this house and our little villa life.

Oh yes,  mid marketing campaign this happened...
The three year old pulled a table down onto his big toe breaking it at a rather nasty fifty degree angle in the wrong direction. Apparently the table fell down "all by itself."

After a hospital visit to have the break reset he was plastered up to his thigh to keep him immobile and the toe still. That is working - we just have to lug him and another five kilos of plaster around. Kids though are incredible. He's perfectly happy and has adapted to crawling and bum-shuffling around on the floor and is very proud of his 'blaster'.

I think it's my fault... a few days earlier I had foolishly muttered something about the move going smoothly this time. How little I've learned.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Goodbye week... I won't miss you much...

Friday and time for another door, blue this time. Apparently blue is back - all because a girl called Kate wore a blue dress to match her sparkling new sapphire ring. She did wear it well and I think this front door does too. 

I'm becoming a blog bore... sorry.  There's been little time for much fun lately and a streaming cold taking up what little head space I have left. 

There's always next week. Tea and tissues anyone?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day tripping...

This is not really a day trip, more like a quick trip to the park but heavens what a park. When I first walked up to the top of Mt Eden in Auckland my jaw dropped... that green, green grass and that incredible crater.  I finally took the boys (and my camera) back last week - a fabulous view... 
Mt Eden last erupted about 15,000 years ago. There are quite a few smaller craters dotter around the cone but this is the biggest at 50 metres deep. There are 49 volcanoes in Auckland's volcanic field and we might get another one apparently. There's a 5% chance of a new eruption in the next 50 years. I've done my research though and experts will give at least a few days warning and we'll all probably sit in traffic for three days trying to leave the city. Better that than what the poor sods in Christchurch are going through. 
All those volcanoes do make for fabulous green space in the city. Mt Eden is a great spot to run, walk or take the kids to play. Mine love to stand as close as they can to the edge of the crater.
We have to make the most of playing in long grass - I won't be so relaxed about that in Australia. Mud I don't mind so much.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A kitchen essential?

A crusty old microwave is not a thing of beauty.

I got so sick of looking at mine on my kitchen bench that I left if out on hard rubbish day a couple of months ago.  The people who'd owned our place didn't have a microwave and I'd never got round to installing ours in a cupboard.  At first I thought they were mad not to have one but I started to think I might not need one either.

Two months after throwing it out I'm convinced I don't.

I bought mine six and a half years ago when my first son was born. Contrary to all good advice I used it to heat his bottles. I know, bad mother.  I also used it to reheat all those frozen puree bits and pieces that were such a feature of his life in the early days.

In the last year or so I realised I was really only ever using it to melt butter or chocolate for brownies. Cooking vegetables in it could take much longer than simply steaming in a small pan with a dash of water.

So now it's just me and the stove top and we're getting on famously. My new best friends are my three small saucepans. You can reheat almost anything with a splash of water.  Forgetting to defrost the chicken or mince for dinner is not a disaster. A couple of ziplock bags and a sink of warm to hot water, some patience and you can fix it.

The only disaster is a rushed school morning and frozen bread you can't prise apart for sandwiches. I don't think a good soak in warm water works.

I got rid of the microwave on hard rubbish day. We live in a pretty nice area so it's the sort of event that draws a crowd.   The morning I left the microwave out  I put it down on the verge and then dashed back inside to grab my camera.

As I emerged from our gate a van with two very large men crammed in the front screeched to a stop. The passenger jumped out and looked a little sheepish when he saw me but who felt the bigger fool?

I had to ask him to wait while I took a photo. He's probably still wondering now what on earth I was up to.  Mad people, bloggers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Busy, busy...

It's said a picture is worth thousand words so this will have to do today. This pretty much sums up the last week or so. We've had a painter in to touch up the house and it's looking tidy and terrific. So terrific I absolutely do not want to sell it. So tidy that I may keel over before the week ends. Blogging is taking a back seat along with exercise, a social life and my sanity. Ah well, who said moving was easy?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Shopping, cooking and a little light reading...

Shopping, cooking and a little light reading? I wish.

Instead we're prepping for a move, polishing up the house for a sale and researching where we might settle in the next city. Not much time for more pleasant things.  

There is, of course, always time to get distracted. 

These lovely books were released last month in the UK. Penguin's Great Food Series -  in their words twenty volumes with excerpts from the finest food writing in the past 400 years.  Sounds promising. Here's a little more about them from a Penguin publicist who's been cooking her way through the books and blogging about it. 

Paid to cook and blog? Just add sleep and it's my ideal job.

The series has been released in Australia and hopefully that means New Zealand too. I want to go and flick through the books and decide which I want. At first glance Elizabeth David, Mrs Beeton and perhaps Alexandre Dumas?

The stunning covers (by Penguin's chief designer Coralie Bickford-Smith) are reason enough to want them all but you know what they say about books and covers. If you do buy all twenty they look like this on your bookshelf. 
I'm really rather against colour coding books (akin to ironing underwear) but a rainbow would work. Just this once.

Friday, May 27, 2011

For Granny...

This flower is for my grandmother who died this week... she was ninety-four.

I have just snippets of memories of her as we lived thousands of miles apart for most of my life. I remember her shoes getting stolen on Bondi beach when I was a little girl and she was on holiday. I remember looking out for the neighbourhood cats as she was terrified of them. I remember all the lovely gifts she'd send from Joburg when she worked in a jeweller's shop. I remember her rosary beads and the bathroom hidden behind the wardrobe doors in her home. I remember the swing in her garden and I remember all the phone calls when she would talk and talk and I would struggle to get a word in.

I thought she loved yellow but Mum says actually it was blue she loved the most but she did love her little yellow car... that must be what I was remembering.  The flower is for you Granny and your two daughters who miss you so much.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Notebook...

Time to buy The Notebook.

It is the key accessory for any move we've ever made and I'm an old fashioned girl so it's going to be a non-digital, no iGadget sort move again.

The Notebook becomes my go-to-spot for any list, phone number, email address, website, school info, house appointment, rental requirement, packers list that we have. It is my bible for the three months it generally takes to shift a family a couple of hundred (or thousand) kilometres.

At the climax of the move - when stress levels are peaking - and everything is boxed and in a container I move onto a flip folder full of paper - final bills, health documents, passport copies and bank statements. All the stuff we're going to need urgently in the new place.

I found this one here - bright is better because of course usually The Notebook goes missing right about the same time as the truck pulls in to load your gear. Luckily by then all the lists are pretty irrelevant. Mostly....

Friday, May 20, 2011

A little more about the move....

There won't be too many more doors... Auckland's home owners can breathe easy again. I love this one and have been trying to take a picture for ages but the family living behind it quite often leave it open to let the sun stream in.

Thank you for all your good wishes. I think I forgot to say yesterday that I am happy to be heading home to Australia but also really quite unhappy to be leaving Auckland.

It wasn't an easy move here and if you'd told me then that I could leave I would have whooped all the way to the airport. We arrived in the middle of a wet bleak winter and it took a while for me to meet people and make friends.  I think because I'd moved a lot I thought I could snap my fingers and settle straight away.

Nearly two years later there is rather a lot to leave behind. Good friends for all of us, great schools, a beautiful country we've hardly had time to explore and an easy, pleasant family life.

Now I just want to snap my fingers and fast forward a year - in three months we'll have moved and after nine months in our new home I know we'll feel fine. That's my nine month moving theory - so grateful to have a chance to test it again....

Melbourne is not really home for me but I lived there for ten months or so five years ago and loved the little life we built then. Last time we lived in an inner city suburb - this time we're looking for a little more space for the boys so it will be an altogether different Melbourne life.

My six year old is embracing the move - I was very worried as he didn't like moving much at all at the age of four.  This time he's very interested in getting a new house, a new school and new friends and most of all very, very pleased that his new life will include lots of time with his very cool Uncle. We're very pleased too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A little news from NZ...

Channel calm. Look at the lovely picture. Breathe. And again.

I have some news and despite the breathing lesson above it is not a new baby.  I have no intention of starting over - no matter how sweet those babies look.

It's time for another move.

Remember this blog belongs to a serial mover? Well, I am a reluctant sort of serial mover so we are hoping this move will be the last. At least that's what I've been promised...

And the city of choice?  Drum roll.... Melbourne.

I will be strolling up my local high street, shopping 'til I drop, looking sharp in black, eating out and talking about it and unearthing little thrifty finds at Camberwell Market. I am sure you CAN'T wait to read all about it....

OH NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Not another bloody Melbourne blogger.

Before that though, it's the move. Sorting, packing, sorting, emailing, sorting, sorting, sorting.

OH NOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Not another bloody moving blog.

It could be worse. You could be moving. Again.

Image from here 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Now I am three...

When I was One
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

Now I am Three,
I'm as big as can be.

I can run, I can jump, I can shout, I can laugh.
I know what I want and I know how to say it.

I want to be Bigger
and Bigger and Bigger.

Ann with apologies to AA Milne.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Ah Mother's Day. I love it and almost sometimes loathe it.

I love the scribbled messages, the cards and cuddles. The "Happy Birthday Mummy' from an enthusiastic but ill-informed nearly three year old. The oversized legs on my portrait. Really kid?!

I love the other half's efforts in the kitchen, the sleep in (anything after seven am qualifies) and the trashy novel he bought me as a joke.

I love that the accidental ending of the six year ban on guns in our house has meant so much to my school boy. The ban was about as useful as a UN resolution.
What I don't love is that Mother's Day can make you feel slightly niggly about an otherwise lovely Sunday.

My poor partner had to spend most of yesterday at work catching up on the hundred things that are hanging over him. I wanted him to go. I never resent the time he spends at work. That would be pointless... I know he'd much rather be somewhere else.

It's not like he spent Mother's Day playing golf (he loathes it thankfully) or swilling beer at the football (there's no Aussie football here) but still I spent the day feeling slightly cheated and slightly cross about feeling slightly cheated.

It's like New Year's Eve and having no party to go to but not really wanting to stay up past midnight anyway.

I spent Mother's Day being a mother.  I went to the supermarket with two kids in tow and hissed at them to behave 'because it was Mother's  Day.' I hoped no one would see me... surely no socially right on mother would be buying milk and pasta and lemons on Mother's Day. They'd have their feet up or be tucking into Mother's Day lunch.

I had a friend over who is trying. Not trying company, she's trying very hard for a baby. What's Mother's Day like for her this year? Or those women who've given up trying.

How sad too for those whose Mums are no longer around.  I have my wonderful mum but I didn't see her or my husband's mother on Mother's Day as they live in another country. A lunch with them would have been nice. Maybe Mother's Day will always leave me feeling ever so slightly guilty about where we live.

I do love mothering but I'm not sure I need a fuss or a present to confirm it. Next year we'll ignore the commercial rubbish just as my own mother always insisted.

One exception, chocolate. Last night my husband turned my ever so slightly niggly mood around by giving me his Picnic bar.

Every Sunday should be like that. Mother's Day or not.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Towering washing piles, Tasmania and tornadoes...

We've been back almost a week now and the laundry pile is back to its normal size. Still towering of course but not spread through the house. My back is much better, I'm off the drugs and getting my brain back in gear. The physio is my new best friend. 

We've had a quietish week if you don't count the unexpected sound of sirens on a Tuesday afternoon as rescue workers raced across the harbour bridge to help the tornado victims. Tornado victims? In Auckland? What a year it's been in New Zealand. 

The tornado veered west as it crossed the harbour from the north shore so it missed our suburb. Aucklanders, those lucky enough to be unhurt or have properties undamaged, are now fully aware of the steps you take when you see a twister. Head inside or stay as low and flat on the ground as you can.

Back to the trip to Tasmania... a million miles from tornadoes.
The boys always learn something new when we head home. My parents live twenty minutes or so from central Hobart which sometimes felt two hours to the teenaged me. The boys love it. I love it too.

They dug potatoes ( a nice lesson in where food comes from) and collected eggs from the chooks.
As a kid we spent hours down in the chook pen trying to hypnotise the old dears - apparently if you turn them upside down they go into a dreamlike state. It never worked but we had fun trying.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


It's the stuff of fairytales. The prince and princess are living happily ever after and the bad guy is dead. It worries me that the wedding of William and Kate was far more interesting to me than the death of Osama. I think I have lost my way as a journalist.

It could be my sore back and the rather nice painkillers I'm taking.  I can only sit down for a short time so my return to blogging will have to be brief.

Another time I will tell you about our beautiful holiday in Tasmania. Family, friends, a fortieth, camping, cooking and enjoying the dreamy days of sunshine. That is Hobart in the photo. It's amazing that you can be in the city and not see a single house as you look across the river.  Of course my sore back got in the way a little but I am home now to fix it.

My new physio is one of those annoyingly fit ones. While I slowly unfurl myself he greets me bouncing on his toes like a tennis pro at the net dressed head to toe in sports gear.

He's also annnoyingly self confident telling me he is the only physio that can fix me and he's going to publish a teaching manual on his amazing method. Only men are that self-confident. I'd like a little of it.

I just smile weakly. I hope he's as good as he says he is.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Door love...

Here endeth a week that would be best forgotten. One sick little boy and a bigger boy with a broken arm.  Just a 'greenstick fracture of the distal radius' as he will proudly tell anyone who asks but there is a rather large cast from wrist to shoulder. No soccer, backyard cricket or swimming. No swinging from the furniture. Oddly enough he does need reminding.

The damage was done slipping from the school monkey bars. I'd like to blame the rickety playground but of course I can't. He was leaping down onto the bars from a great height so that sounds much more like his fault. As many kind friends have pointed out it is amazing it's taken six years.

He's fine and hasn't complained once. If I were in a cast from my wrist to my shoulder you'd hear me moaning from where you're sitting now.  One can learn a lot from children.

So it's been a little quiet on the blog front and will be even quieter in the coming two weeks. I am having a blog free break over the school holidays to tend to the wounded. Actually I'm going on holiday.  Happy holidays to you all.

Oh yes, this week's door. I don't really like it. 

Call me old fashioned but I just think it would look better on a sleek new house not a villa. And the picture quality is rubbish as our zoom button is broken so I'd have to walk up the stairs to get a nice close shot. I may be old fashioned but I'm not crazy. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Small things...

While in Sydney I shopped until I dropped but didn't buy much. What I enjoyed was the wandering, peering in windows, feeling the fabrics (apparently women always touch when they shop - I certainly do) trying things on and laughing and chatting as we went. Just the sort of shopping trips that were very much part of my life before the boys came along.

I bought the black twine at the divine Paper2 for $1.95 and it's one of my favourite purchases.  It really often is the small things in life.

The present was wrapped for my husband's birthday. Paul Kelly's new book and a promise to choose a painting together.
Of course turning forty is not really a very big deal these days. It's just another one of those small things in life.

We'll keep saying that over and over until I turn forty too. Which of course is years and years and days and days away.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Door love...

In amongst all the slicked up, glossy and rather groovy front door makeovers in the streets around here is this front entrance to a rather  rundown little wooden cottage. It's like a traditional Kiwi bach (holiday home) in the middle of the inner-city suburbs. I rather like it.

Happy Friday to all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bromley blogging...

David Bromley's work hangs in the windows of a gallery in Auckland, that I drive past most days. I love his work, particularly the Childhood series and even the nudes - although I am not willing to have a set of breasts much better than mine on display in my home.

I love the colours he uses.  I also rather love his prolific approach to his work and that he doesn't hesitate to use his images on things that will - gasp, sell. Not terribly fashionable in art circles but he doesn't seem worried. In fact he seems to have a wonderful time.

I popped into the Bromley Arcade while in Sydney, if you have a chance do go. I could have bought the shop but didn't so there's plenty still to see.

This week Mr Bromley's been guest blogging on The Design Files ahead of the launch tomorrow of his new venture, quilts. A great read for any Bromley fan.

Images from here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Flying high...

We are knee deep in paper. Not paperwork but paper planes.  It's my six year old's new obsession. He wakes in the morning and seconds later is on his knees somewhere in the house measuring, folding and smoothing.  When I need him to eat or dress or bath or do anything he's building another plane. He churns out six every half an hour.
We bought him a new planes book last week and it's the best I've seen. The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes.  It has ten plane designs including the Swashbuckler, The Hammer, The Professional and the Headhunter. Apparently they're not just paper planes, they're paper machines.

They have dihedrals, elevators, ailerons. My son mutters to himself as he works, "sloppy folds won't fly."

Luckily the instructions are so clear even I can make a paper machine though nothing to match the master.

The new book also came with forty sheets of 'flight-ready' paper in such groovy designs you could wallpaper a house with it. Too late for that of course, every last sheet is gone. And the recycling bin is full.


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