Sunday, January 22, 2012


This summer has been incredible. Consistent days of heat and sunshine. This summer, the island has been paradise.

One down side of the heat has been the increase in the fly population. Our living room seems to host at least 6 or 7 of the dirty buggers at any one time. They are grossing me out.

We aren't big fans of fly spray so the Luthier went off and bought one of those electric fly busters. They had sold out of the prefered model which boasts a '2000 watt killing grid', as described on the interwebs, so he came home with the model that uses a light to attract the flying blighters to some green sticky stuff and emits an ultra-sonic repellent noise for insects of the crawling variety. We charged it up with high hopes of sticky, ultra sonic devastation and there was much Smith excitement when the blue light went on. We cruelly sat back to watch the massacre.

For quite a while the flies ignored the WMD, much to our disappointment. So a change of strategy was agreed and we moved it off the kitchen bench, to where the flies were congregating in the kiddy goop on the coffee table. Once again we sat back, watching expectantly.


Well, one fly did crawl on the thing momentarily, but happily buzzed on.

We were about to decide that the device was a complete waste of time and then something did happen, something revolting and unexpected. We gaped, gobsmacked, as the party of flies, all basking in the 'zapper's' blue glow, began to engage enthusiastically in some filthy fly shag fest right there on the coffee table.

So, instead of a highly effective fly demolisher, what we actually purchased, was the insect equivalent of mood lighting and wakka-wakka music for the randy fly swingers party going on in our living room.

So happy we could oblige. Do you think we could get them some little mojitos, a cabana covered grapefruit and a limbo stick to go with that?

Tomorrow we bring out the heavy artillery.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I went to Melbourne last week for not one, but, count 'em, two nights sans Smiths. Wooh!

My traveling companion was not a small child or a bearded luthier, not that there is anything wrong with that, but a true friend of the utmost aceness. I knew she was the perfect travel companion when she suggested 'a cheeky G & T' on the plane trip off the island. Being a very unseasoned drinker, I didn't finish mine off so kept finding a small, half empty bottle of gin in my handbag all weekend.

This mummy's escape was enabled by my appointment on Friday morning to become British. Tip top! Or top hole, if you will. (Another step in in keeping the dream of running away to France alive) I know, it was a bit odd but surprisingly informal and a bit of a laugh. I had to stand and say the oath before the Vice Consul and barely controlled my urge to recite it in my best Queen Elizabeth 'my husband and I' style, despite encouraging giggles from my travel companion. It was quite fitting, I thought to become British with a wee bottle of Gordon's gin in my handbag.

The escape was superb. I spent time with women of beauty, gusto, all with a gift for the crude. My favourite kind of lady!

The rest of the time was spent something like this
Churros and coffee at South Melbourne Market
French Champagne
Prawn and Sage Gnocchi, made for us by our generous hostess
Brunettis for vanilla Panzerotti
Ti Amo for the most delicious tortellini in brodo
Nougat icecream with a layer of Nutella (oh - my - lord!) finished with a palette cleansing scoop of lemon for my friend,
Delicious fizzy Italian red on mint and ice at The Transport Bar
Szechuan Chicken, crispy chilli and honey prawns, chilli squid, Chinese broccoli and shiitake mushrooms and more at The Supper Inn
Wagyu burger at Cafe Vue at Heide.

It looks wrong when I list it out like that, but it was good.
Sigh! Food, walking, art, laughs, a bed all to myself. It was all so good.

Home to airport tantrum, house a disgrace and lots of love.

Have to think of a new, unusual excuse for a mummy's escape. There must be something I need to do in Sydney?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Protecting your young

Mother Duck protesting at unauthorized photos being taken of her gorgeous, fluffy, yellow babies.

I know how she feels.

Not about photos or fluffy babies, obviously, but of that innate protection response, of rising up in defence of your young. Mothering, protection and defence can be so primal and instinctive. While other aspects of parenting are like preparing for battle, requiring a plan, a strategy, complex psychology and forethought.

And where is the line between protection and suffocation, discipline and oppression, support and interference, or between freedom and neglect? I am not always sure and have so wavered and stumbled and crossed one or another. As they get older the lines are always changing.

In the end, I guess you just have to decide on a plan of attack and a line of defence. Better to raise your wings in protection than to throw up your hands in defeat.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Languid pyjama mornings with feet up,
Dallying and dreaming over the Vogue Living
and everlasting cups of tea,

Days of sunshine and steamy heat,
slapped out of the malaise
by thunderstorm and deluge,
over in a flash,

Major Mitchell's parrots
cloud the greengage tree in pink and grey,
squawking and crying and tossing the pits,

Children industrious, exploring toy boxes,
unearthing forgotten fluffy friends and games,
playing and bickering,

The luthier leaves for the workshop just a little later in the morning
and maybe an 'early minute' each afternoon.

Cousins, aunts, uncles coming and going,
shouting and joking, instigating adventures.

Art sparks and easels at the gallery
reminded Grandpa that despite shaky hands,
drawing is possible

Water fights, swimming pools, parties at the beach to look forward to,

Evening marked with Magner's pear cider on ice.

Today, a cool breeze, blue sky, cotton ball clouds and no plans.

Sunday, January 01, 2012


In my 20's, I finished my degree studies in Classics at UWA and each day I walked past these words carved six feet high in the stone wall of the Arts building, Apollo's command -


2011 was the year of Me.
In 2011 I obeyed Apollo's command.
In 2011, I dedicated time and energy to myself and the outcome was better than I hoped for, I grew to know and like myself. I can look myself in the eye and stand my own skin. Stand on my own feet in my own shoes and consider that the possibilities of where these feet take me are limited mostly by my fears.

And I began to pick the locks and wrench open the bars on the cage of my jaded heart, and grew to know and trust and love others more willingly.

2012 is the year of work.
Of working to make real our dreams. To work on acquiring a practice of personal discipline. And to learn to assert myself. I have spent too much of my life exuding a strange apology for my own existence, trying to not take up too much room, trying not to fill other's space with, what I always considered, my second rate self. Time to occupy my space with more certainty. Shyness and insecurity are wasted energy only generating imagined obstacles to our dreams. To work hard but always with joy, fun, empathy, creativity and passion. To require more of myself than the basics, than 'the just making it though' that seems to have dominated much of my life, particularly life parenting small children.

The more my heart shakes off its shackles of self-loathing and insecurity, the bigger and more inspiring the world becomes.

I turn 40 this year. Isn't that when life begins?

Here's cheers to 2012 and it's infinite possibilities.