Thursday, September 29, 2005

Wedding time

Its about time for another wedding. Elf's old friend Nick is getting hitched tomorrow in Melbourne. We are driving up to Mum and Dad's tonight, leaving the boys there and flying over tomorrow morning, then flying back the next day. We packed for all four of us in about fifteen minutes this morning, so it should be interesting to see what everyone is wearing by the end of day three.

Work is mad. I am simultaneously doing stuff about Uluru, WWI, and Bernard Otto Holtermann the 19th century gold miner and photographer. This is not the time to be blogging.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Marcus: "I know about reindeer. Santa pulls them in his ute".

Monday, September 26, 2005

Splinter drama

Marcus picked up a splinter from the back steps handrail on his way in to go to the toilet yesterday morning. He actually had his pants around his ankles already, the loon. I let him keep going inside and told him I'd pull it out when he'd finished. That was a mistake, as I didn't actually get a decent look at it until breakfast this morning. He went completely gaga about it and would not let us near it. I managed to get some Magnaplasm© on it over night which seemed to help it come out this morning. We held him down and prised his fingers from his palm and I eased it out with my fingernail. After blood-curdling screams rent the air for many minutes, he stopped and said to Elf "Actually, that didn't hurt at all."

Sympathy from the high chair

I was feeling a bit washed out at dinner the other night, and passed the time waiting for Michael to finish his dinner by staring at the table and massaging the back of my head in silence. Michael said "Daddy's very sad". No, Daddy's very tired. The scamp has been waking regularly at about 3am for no reason we can isolate. When we put him in our bed he immediately goes horizontal, headbutting Elf and scratching me with his toenails.

Swans Break Drought

Footy is over for another year, after a magnificent grand final, the Swans by four points. When you've grown used to grand finals that are all over at half time, it was enough to bring on a few heart attacks I reckon. For Aussie Rules novices, 4 is a very narrow margin, closest since 1966. Leo Barry saved the day with an heroic pack mark in the last moments. Interestingly the photo of the huge pack shows two clear infringements worth free kicks to West Coast, happening simultaneously. I'm very happy for a grand old club to win their first flag since 1933.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Marcus had an evaluation at South Hobart Primary on Wednesday, to see if he can start kindergarten a year early. His birthday is two months after the cut-off date, but he's a bright spark and pretty on the ball socially. We thought Leslie, the coordinator, would see if he recognised any words, could add on his fingers and RRR stuff like that. Apparently she didn't ask him anything of that nature. Elf took him in, and when he said he was happy for her to wait outside, she did. She popped her head in 15 minutes later to check on him. He was quite happy, doing various puzzles. He said some of them were quite hard. Then he said "Mummy, can you go away again?"

Leslie (for that is her name) rang yesterday to say she was impressed with his intelligence and confidence (particularly when he sent Elf away) and she is recommending that he be allowed to start next year. We will know for sure in December.

Finals fever

The AFL Grand Final is on tomorrow. I love that it is "Grand". I wish I was watching the Grand Final from the grandstand but like most people I will be watching at home on the box. One day Richmond will make it to the GF and when that day comes I will move heaven and earth to be there for it.

I was discussing it with Marcus this morning. I told him that my team hadnt been in a Grand Final since I was 14. He asked why not, so I gave him a brief summary of the Tiger's chronic failings over the last twenty years. "But" I said, returning to happier things, "tomorrow the Sydney Swans will play the West Coast Eagles to see who is the best team of the year. I'm going for the Swans". Marcus said "Maybe the Swans can teach the Tigers how to play better".

Monday, September 19, 2005


Marcus did a drawing this morning. It was quite interesting but the explanation was breathtaking. "This rocket is blasting into this car and this car is going BLAM and the fire is whooshing out of this into there and then he is exploding and then this bit goes BANG!!"

We saw the boys from next door on their front doorstep this morning. I said to Michael "wave to Cameron" and he yelled "HELLO CAMERON". Which delighted me. He's around 20 months and its a great age. He was dancing in his highchair yesterday. He started just like Marcus used to - with a silly smug grinny face looking left, looking right, then waggling his head then he said proudly "Dancing!". What a champ.

Michael is making up and singing little songs like this one:
Pine cone, pine cone, ev'rywhere
Pine cone, pine cone, ev'ry pi'cone

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Zealand journal 2/5/2001

This is a day from my journal of our honeymoon in NZ. We had arrived at Queenstown airport on the South Island a couple of days earlier to pick up our Maui Campervan, only to find we needed to post a $2000 deposit. Airhead clerk suggested we just run it up on our credit card - we didnt have one. So we took a sedan instead to get us as far as Wellington, withdrawing the maximum $1000 at ATMs each day as we went.

Levin, North of Wellington, Wed. morning. Had a big night. Got off the ferry [from South Island], rang the Maui [campervan] agents who are in Paremata, miles north of the city. They had no idea who I was. Freak time again. Canvassed options such as staying in a hotel in Wellington, another hire car etc etc. When I rang them back everything was sorted. Caught a shuttle bus to Paremata through heavy rush-hour traffic. (Saw sign for Bunnythorpe). Shuttle guy was into vintage cars and steam engines - showed us photos. Also had vintage moustache c. 1920. Driving through N. suburbs Poriura etc he said "This is where the, ah, darker personnel live".

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Marcus has mice in his tummy

Marcus has taken the "butterflies" idea one step further. He has had an upset tummy lately and he claims he has mice in there. He says they'll be there forever. I said that they'll dissolve like all food that gets into his tummy from his mouth. But apparently "the food in my tummy bangs around like a tumbledryer".

Michael has been saying "Great idea Marcus!" a lot lately. Also "Sorry Daddy. Sorry Mummy. Sorry Marcus." He was into this routine the other night while I changed his nappy. Giz walked past at that moment so "Sorry Giz" was added, then he spotted Dog. "Sorry Doggy".

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ashes gone, sun came up

Australia has lost the Ashes to England for the first time in 16 years. In an unexpected twist, the sun came up as usual this morning. Looks like it wasn't the end of the world after all. After being comprehensively beaten by them, our captain Ricky Ponting has conceded that England are "a danger" to Australia's world cricket supremacy. How perceptive.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Choc frog

Michael quite often blurts out "chocolate" at unusual times. At the pool yesterday he joined Marcus and I in the water for the first time. He was tentative but very keen to try the giant frog slide. The giant frog is actually a Freddo - it is sponsored by Cadbury and has logos etc on it. I thought Michael was saying "Froggy frog! Froggy frog!" but unfortunatey he was saying "Chocolate frog! Chocloate frog!" Luckily he didnt try to bite into it. He had a few slides on it and generally scamped about the shallows pretty well.

He is not sleeping too well at the moment and consequently neither are we. We need to iron this out before we leave the boys with Mum and Dad for a night while we pop over to a wedding in Melbourne. I know they are going to be thrilled with the boys' progress since they last saw them but if Michael does what he did last night it might detract somewhat from the general effect.

The anonymous praise keeps coming

Boy, those automatic web-bot things sure love my work. See the comment attached to the previous post.

It has rained in Noah's-Ark-like proportions this weekend. Appropriately enough Marcus has taken do describing things as "two-by-two". When the four of us go down to the car to go out, we go two-by-two.

I've been off-colour for a week now. I've still got whatever it was that struck me in Melbourne last week. Its undermining my will to do things. The mower has been out in the rain now fior nearly two weeks. Aggggh. I'm a bad person, I am ruining my mower. The shower is all mouldy and I know the mould will stain, probably already has. I know its my turn to clean the bathroom. But - gee I think I'll have a little lie down. Again.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Michael enquires

Yesterday Michael (now about 20 months old) rode his quadcycle up and down the hall, into the kitchen, then suddenly stopped and got off. He walked into the loungeroom doorway, and said to Elf "Could we just... could we...just..." We were both completely flabbergasted. Its possibly a direct quote from Marcus, or one of us. Michael looked puzzled himself. Then he saw a toy truck he wanted to scamp around with and the moment was over.


Marcus is going to need glasses. At least for a while. I feel quite sad about it. I hate to think of any part of our perfect little sausage being defective. I was told when I was about 9 that I would need glasses and I was very unhappy (I still wear them today). Hopefully we have caught his sight problem in time to correct it before it sets in permanently. In tests his right eye is quite weak, his left is perfect. Its amazing his reading and drawing and everything are so good when his vision is not.

He and I look very much alike. Now its going to look like we're taking it just a bit too far.

Monkey names

I have never been a big fan of the Spot books, but now I am. Spot (who is a puppy) has a friend at school called Steve, who is a monkey. That is the best name for a monkey. Steve and Spot do paintings of each other. Spot's painting of Steve looks just like Lou Reed. So Spot is on high rotation at bedtime.

The rear stairs

At Hobart airport, you walk out of the terminal across the concrete and climb up some stairs to get on your plane, just like the Beatles did in 1963 (not in Hobart, but you know what I mean). To get anywhere, in time to do anything, you have to leave Hobart on the 6.20 when it's still dark. Twice lately I have been told to "enter by the rear stairs" as I file out into the darkness.

First, your plane is not the one right in front of you, you have to follow a straggly line of other "guests" across the dimly lit concrete to the furthest plane. Then, there are no rear stairs. No problem for your wide-awake Red Bull-drinking young people I suppose. But maybe you are tired. Maybe you are from Oatlands and had to get up at 3.30 to actually get to the flight on time. Maybe you are old. Or maybe you just have an unshakeable belief in the truth as received from flight attendants. You might be wandering about the arse end of a 707 in the dark for some time before Janelle, Skye or Bindi notices you are missing.

How to annoy DJs

Here is a handy tip for flummoxing rappers, DJs, base-jumpers and the like. If they call themselves DJ EZ, or CrayZBoy, or Mister LayZ - insist on pronouncing it Zed. They hate it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


We've all been sick. I was at another interstate meeting yesterday (lah-de-dah) and I had to excuse myself to go and throw up.

But on a brighter note - I'm really pleased to see Peters Original Ice Cream is now "New and Improved!" as well. That Original ice cream just keeps getting better and better.