Friday, July 30, 2010


Old photo taken when we were so proud that we managed to squeeze the piano in

NB. LOVING the rain....... but slept here on the couch. That's all I'm going to say about the 'bongo drum awnings' outside our bedroom...... for fear of further reproach. Note to self: go to storage shed and get fold up bed.

Happenings? not much really.

Looks like poor old Brian (lizard) is on his last legs. Two very distraught lads.

Nigel is thriving and twice the size of Brian. Nigel eats everything in sight... every last lovingly prepared grated morsel of carrot and zucchini, delicately chopped strawberries and heaps of live crickets thrown in for good measure. He bolts down his calcium powder and specially prepared 'lizard food' mulchy stuff. Big son, budding scientist/medico, is meticulous about lizard dietary balance and has researched the topic to death.

Speaking of death, Brian is not good. He hides under the heat rock and never comes out. He's half the size of Nigel. He was never good from the start. There's always one isn't there. Brings back memories of the traumatic passing and touching burial of 'Pocket', our first and much cherished Graceful Tree Frog. Brian falls on his back and makes no attempt to roll over. It's heartbreaking to watch... well actually I don't, I can't, I'm just informed of every painstaking movement of the poor blighter. So big son has force fed him, as per lizard manual instructions... (a procedure also not for the faint hearted... so I hear).... with no success.

So despite hubby's ginormous workload, following his trip to Melbourne, he is making a mercy dash, Brian in arms, to the Pet Superstore this morning to have the 'Lizard Specialist' have a look at him. Yes there are 'Lizard Specialists'... and even 'Lizard Food Reps'.... I spoke to one last time we were there... sort of like a 'Lizard Dietitian' of sorts... fascinating.... if you are 12 years old. I pretended.... to be fascinated. You have to.

So it's Friday.. apparently my big boy's favourite day...not because it's the end of the week... but because good subjects happen on Friday... like drama.. yep, my budding scientist is embracing drama with gusto... and chapel ("'cause it's a bludge"). We're off to watch Mr A-M play soccer tonight... another thing I can't watch.. really... after 7 knee reconstructions and implicit directions from Orthopaedic Surgeon NEVER to play soccer again, I feel we are all being 'really naughty' partaking in this activity. Kids have fun though... totally ignoring their Dad's match ("did you see my goal, did you see my goal"... aaah...  "nope") and running around madly with all the other kids, searching for lost soccer balls in the bush... in the dark.

Nothing else to report really.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Mr Architect....

Only photo I could find... the gym.... but questionable awnings in upper left corner on side of building...grrrr

.... what were you thinking???..... putting a flat, hollow tin awning right outside my apartment bedroom window. Did it occur to you that people might one day be actually living/attempting to sleep in your creation and that one day, here in the subtropics, it might just rain? Drip, drip, drip, drip. I have spent the night dreaming of climbing out there and laying down foam to stop the torture. Everything else is concrete, concrete would have been good. Hollow, boxy, tin stuff looks groovy... but it doesn't work.... if you've gotta live here.
Kind Regards,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Nice Decor For Pamela

Image Courtesy BHG 

Fellow blogger, Pamela, over at Mountain Living, is having a rough time. Her operation, scheduled for the 19th, has now been rescheduled for today, due to complications.....and is going to be bigger and longer than expected. I don't know if she has her computer with her in hospital but I'm sure some bloggyland love would lift her spirits and take her mind off her "week in what will no doubt be an appallingly decorated room"... her own words!.... still got a sense of humour. Grit your teeth Pamela. We're all here for you. You can visit Pamela HERE.
PS. I met Pamela through her Ebay store, 'My Cushion Covers'. Almost every beautiful cushion in my old place, and here where I am camped out now, was made by Pamela.  She has emptied her store whilst she is receiving treatment, but be sure to visit later in August when she and all her goodies are back. They are the most beautifully made, exquisitely finished, little masterpieces. I am sitting propped up on one now! My thoughts are with you Pamela. xx

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Look Straight Ahead

We drove past her ('the house') yesterday, quite by mistake. I promise we weren't stalking. Hubby and I decided to spend the whole day together, went to lunch and then headed to Bunnings (as one does on a hot date.... for an item that was not related to house building, house painting or house fixing... it was so nice to walk past all those sections.... for now anyway!). It was 'automatic', our route, to the hardware store... before I knew it, there she was. I sort of miss her..... a bit..... looking after her. She looks the same, of course. Life moves on, doesn't it. It's all systems go in the street though. Richard on the corner has split his block and has just moved his house to one side so he can build another one next to it.... all very exciting. Waved to Terri as she drove past. Waved to my new builders, still working on a house at the end of the street. C'mon, move on A-M. Don't drive past again.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The contents of our storage shed?.... books... boxes of them. That's why I love this so much. 

What a weekend. Time to regroup. Do you feel like that on Mondays? Total exhaustion. Wave those kidlets goodbye and take a deep breath. 'Husband That A-M Built' (that's what he is calling himself these days) is back in town, so we are taking some time out together this morning.. sort of like a 'coffee date'. Dinner dates don't exist anymore (due to the hassle that is called 'lack of babysitters') so 'daytime dates' are our only respite! We're going all out and doing takeaway coffees on the terrace, facing away from the gym! Here's the coffee now. Sigh!
Have a great day.
Image from HERE.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Can You See Him There?

.... bottom right... waiting for me... every morning. 
Hello gorgeous!

Oh sweetheart, I would love to play ball with you......

... but we've both sort of resigned ourselves to the fact that I can't :(
See you tomorrow puppy.

Friday, July 23, 2010


This is rather gorgeous. The blue tiles stopped me in my tracks. It's straight from the pages of the June issue of House Beautiful, that has winged it's way to me all the way from Canada and the arms of my Canadian bloggy friend Andrea.

Look at all the goodies she sent us. Thank you Miss A.. oh it's working Andrea, we're gonna get there! Andrea and I met very briefly one day down at the beautiful Manly harbour here in Brisbane. She was on her way around Australia with her friend Will (hi Will!). My boys were doing some serious fishing with their Dad and my job was to buy the fish and chips for dinner :) ... Andrea and Will were watching a storm roll in and we got chatting.... I think this was all before 'the house' had even started?.... it's all a blur now. We exchanged bloggy addresses and have kept in touch ever since. One day we will meet again in Canada. We so want to ski over there.... and see Andrea's home town and meet all her fabulous Canadian friends. Wouldn't that be a blast. I'm going to make it happen.

Big son got 'Honours' for his piano exam. So proud. He was bursting. He headed into his piano lesson yesterday afternoon and then promptly came straight back out to the car with his teacher in tow... both were beaming... I knew it was good news. We celebrated with sushi last night.... any excuse.

Hubby is in Melbourne for the next 3 days, as he has a stand at the 'Home Buyers and Property Investors Expo' at the Exhibition Centre. If you are walking past 'The Dream Deposit' Stand... that's him... say hi... he'll have a name badge on...not 'Mr A-M', most likely 'Luke'.

My study is limping along... hard to get motivated over the 'Timber Utilization and Marketing Act of 1987'.... even the ironing is looking appealing. Just get me to the good stuff please. I reward myself with a cup of tea with. each. excruciating. milestone. Next subject should be much more interesting.

Well that's it from me folks for this week. Off to the markets again in the morning, with 2 lads in tow... no sleep ins tomorrow!
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Image Courtesy Kitchen Bath Ideas

Ok, so now I've seen everything. My boys would burn the toast and set the bench alight.... for sure.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Bit wonky, the photos. I took them while walking... bit worried that 'Boo Radley' might pop out and scare the living daylights out of me.

Oh I searched and searched and to my delight I found that, yes, it is of historical significance, this beauty I pass on my morning walk each day. This beautiful house, occupying a corner site, was built in 1885 by a local architect, as his own residence. He later became the mayor of South Brisbane and a member of parliment. After he moved on it was purchased by a Scottish-Canadian man who named the house 'Nassagaweya' (after his birth place in Ontario), a Delaware Indian word meaning 'home by the maple forests' (no such forests in sight now that the area has been gentrified). He died in 1946 and the house still remains in the family today.

No signs of life when I walk past... and surprisingly it looks like it hasn't undergone a renovation as such. Maybe a coat of paint 10 years ago? A classic example of vernacular architecture. Apparently it's corrugated iron roof was originally slate.... sigh... would have been gorgeous. It remains unaltered from it's original form except for a room added at the rear.

It had stables... sigh... but they burnt down some time ago. Am loving exploring this new suburb of mine... and stalking it's history.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh Yes

Image Courtesy Traditional Home

Ok, so I don't have my land yet.... but these are the stairs. These are them. Oh yes sir. Perfect for a narrow block, I reckon (disclaimer: personal opinion only). Love the window on the landing. Oh look and there's the perfect spot for my Rococo sofa, currently hiding under a Thomas the Tank Engine sheet in storage. Anyone in Brisbane capable of these? Please step forward. I am interviewing now. No land.. but interviewing for stairs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back To It

My study corner, in our little apartment. See that wall out on the terrace.. that's the wall of the complex's like our own private gym... no one uses it.. it has tons of great equipment and machine thingys... I have NO excuse now. It taunts me every morning when I am having my coffee! We're on the ground floor, in the corner, so we have a lovely large terrace on both sides of the apartment... lots of light and greenery. The gardens are beautiful here. The bedrooms upstairs have large balconies overlooking the pool... sort of 'Melrose Place-ish' in layout. 

Oh, it's sooo hard getting back into study after the distraction of the move and a holiday. I have found every excuse under the sun NOT to get moving this morning. I have cleaned and exercised and made lists and lunches and washed, ironed, answered emails, placed orders... all the while my strategically placed books are sitting there calling me. Just fleetingly another excuse just came to mind!.....I can't start until I have all the old files from my old clunker computer loaded up onto my new one. Just use the old clunker for the time being A-M. The planets will never align.... just start. NOW. HERE. Done the blog post.... no more excuses left. First... a cup of tea.
Be back soon!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Yeah, I know the drum - politics, religion, sex - never..... but we have an election coming up and I am thoroughly enjoying #MoFo ('moving forward') and #ausvotes in Twitter world. Nothing like an Aussie election to bring out the 'best' (wit) in our folk. Thanks Annie for pointing me towards some light relief from my studies!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Report Card

He did great! I was the basket case (on the inside of course) so much so that, while he did his warm up before we left, I had to remove myself and head upstairs to domestos the bathroom and do the ironing.... to the dulcet tones of my Cole Porter CD.... loud enough to drown out the scales.

Still no better at examination headquarters... buried my head in a bougainvillea bush outside... to surround myself with 'pretty' and think pretty thoughts. He came out beaming. I could have cried with relief. I still caught glimpses of 'old school' in the waiting room... a terrified little boy, significantly younger than my youngest at 7, clutching an Eighth Grade Piano Book. What??!!! My son said he saw him later in tears, in the warm up room, his mother standing over him, chastising him in their language. I'm sorry, Mother's have their place but little ones still need a voice. The day my son says I am not enjoying this, we're done. He has been alternating music exams each year, guitar exam one year, piano the next, as I am so mindful of not destroying the magic that music lessons SHOULD be. I mentioned after his exam that the next exam would be guitar next year. "Mum, I would like to do both, piano and guitar next year, I can't wait to learn some new music". Thank you Mrs Poole (our piano teacher)... thank you!

Ok, so we skipped school, despite my boy being dressed and ready for his after lunch lessons (I love that part of being a Mum and I loved the joy on his face when I announced that we were wagging school.... cue disapproving, manipulative silence of 'previous generation'). First stop, our favourite sushi place and then Gloria Jeans for a 'Nailed My Piano Exam Oreo/Tim Tam Iced Chocolate'.

We're off to pick up the little tacker from school and then we're heading to the park for an 'end of the school week serious soccer session'.
Have a great weekend!


Mini Post

Piano exam this morning... who's more nervous?... boy or his Mum? Will let you know how we go later on this morning. For now... a short warm up and then a trip over town. Back soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lessons In Order

Ah yes 'Order Lesson No. 406'.....

This morning has been such a lesson in order for my eldest. It's 6am and he's just left for soccer training. Phew!

All the mutterings in the world last night, about making sure 'bags were packed and lunches were made' did not prevent the chaos that we have lived through in the past rushed hour! "Where's my whites? (formal school uniform for assembly), where's the shampoo" (for shower after soccer match this afternoon, before presentations), where's my homework satchel?" I just sat and watched the mayhem.. to prove a point.... 'get your stuff in order the night before, mate'. We have deduced that our school soccer shorts are 'offically lost'. Initially the blame landed on me!... due to the move.. and packing..... but retracing our steps, we know the precise spot where they should still be lying, on a soccer field way yonder.

He sheepishly limped out the door (piled high with school, sport, homework bags lunch esky), knowing that he had put us 'through the ringer' this morning. "Sorry Mum, it won't happen again". As long as he's learnt from it. Hey, I just sat back with my coffee and watched! In the end...sort of broke my heart really....the whole learn from your mistakes.... hurts to watch.... even little moments like these.

I am sure I will have many more mornings like these. Wouldn't trade them for the world though.... I love them to bits.... and, as Buzz would say, "to infinity and beyond".

He's not a teenager yet. I have been warned it gets worse.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Just found her.... a knock down.. full of asbestos... in the next 'up and coming' suburb to the one I was just in (that I can't afford to buy back into!).

Not as big a block... but not the smallest. Don't think I need to do 'big' this time....every square metre is $$$. She'll probably be gone by the time I get out there to see her today. Gotta be quick.

Interesting process.

Mr/Ms Real Estate Agent, why don't you put addresses on all your listings?.... please don't say privacy.. you want to sell the house right?... it's not a private process. If it doesn't have an address, I am more likely to skim over the listing.... as the process of extracting the address out of you is time consuming. If you want me to call you for the address, so you can add my details to your database, then why don't you answer my emails (expediently) and get me 'on side'?. .... and why don't you put the land size in the listing? I had one lass the other day email me, in response to my request for information email.. (days later) to say that, with inner city, the land size is 'irrelevant'. What???? I'd say it is critical... right up there with location.

It hasn't changed too much in the past 4 years, this process. I thought that with the market quietening, I'd get more response out of the agents.... but the carcass still must have quite a bit of meat on it. They're not desperate yet..... rats, makes it harder for me! Time to put on those walking shoes and get out there.
Have a great day.
Disclaimer: Mr/Ms 'Real Estate Agent', before you get all hot under the collar, I am generalising wrt the experiences I have had so far. My brother is in real estate and so is my hubby.... and you know I love you Mario. xx

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


... oh I had to reblog this one. Look at the gorgeous 'Garden Room' Tara Dillard and her colleague built, out of recycled items. You can see the whole post HERE. Love her blog...  I learn so much every time I visit.  If I was in the same hemisphere I would sneak into one of her lectures. I reckon they would be great.
PS She's got books too! HERE

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stair Ideas

I am drawn to this kitchen from the HGTV house as I really like how the stairs are configured, both upstairs (tucked up in the corner) and downstairs (as a little nook thing). Don't know about the support beam (correction: post, column, support thingy) on the bench (correction: island, counter? centre table? - sorry.... Aussie makeshift system of commmunication) though. Just like the little stair corner.

I think it's all the moldings and panelling that get me (so rare in this part of town). Hmmm,...don't know about the stairwell wall thingys though.

While stalking the HGTV site I saw a picture of the new owners being intervewed by none other than our own Jamie Durie... looking very tanned, and as Aussie as they come... good on ya Jamie! So proud!

Lights are pretty too. Well I think so. Disclaimer: 'all my opinion entirely'.

Happy Monday. School's back so I'm doing paperwork all day... then some study. Luxury.. a quiet day!
Miss them already.

All images HERE.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Totally Random Sunday Musings

1. I don't have a fridge with an ice dispenser anymore so I am going to do this. Thanks Martha.

2. Land in inner Brisbane is expensive. $3000/sqm Ascot/Hamilton, $2000/sqm West End/Highgate Hill, $1000/sqm Camp Hill/Coorparoo. Would Brisbanites (realestalkers like myself) agree with my figures?

3. The Interior Designer/'Fitter Outer Person', of these apartments of ours, gave absolutely no thought to the practicalities of the tiles they chose... you know those rough, porous, matt, creamy/beige numbers that grab onto every stain they can..... that no amount of elbow grease can remove. I wonder if the owners of the riverfront apartments (who paid a squillion smackeroos) curse, as much as I do, when cleaning their floors. Gets the heart rate up that's for sure.

4. That said, I wonder if I will ever want to move again. I sort of love being here. My morning walks along the river are glorious... and people smile at you and say hello. Got a taste of the local farmers markets yesterday. I will never buy a 'grown in China' garlic again, let alone any fruit/vegetable in a supermarket ever again. We walked to the markets and watched everyone who drove trying to find a park. My car doesn't really leave the garage....walk/ferry/bus. The complex pool changes colour at night - the boys love to lie in their beds and watch the rainbow colours until they fall asleep. They are in their element sharing a room. I found them cuddled up in the one bed this morning, reading to each other. I love living takes 5 seconds for the heating to kick in and then we can turn it off. I am loving the residents herb garden and cooking up a storm. Feels like I have 'come home' ... dangerously so.

5. Moving files from PC's to our new Mac's is proving challenging to say the least. Hubby has spent the last 24 hours glued to a computer screen...almost time for IV fluids.

6. School is back tomorrow and I miss my boys already.

Happy Sunday night.
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And Here We Sit....

.. for the next week, at least. Piano exam is next Friday. I am so proud of him. He has practised and practised. He's smiling now. We were all a bit worried there a week ago....lost momentum with the move and our holiday..... but he has pulled out all stops this week and is sounding very 'Liberace'... lots of dynamics .... and yes, the piano takes up almost all our living area ... (I am surprised I didn't catch my feet in the photo!) ..... but no way was it going into storage.
Have a great weekend! We're off to the farmer's markets across the road.... after a piano practice of course. Sorry neighbours. It will all be over soon!
PS. His 'Dance Of The Hours', by Ponchielli, is sounding so pretty, it makes my heart sing. I'll see if I can manage to load up a recording to the bloggy for you to hear it. Best bet - youtube? Haven't done this sort of thing before. Have to share. It will make your heart sing too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oh Phoebe

Image Courtesy Phoebe Howard

There's gonna be a lot of 'Phoebe Inspiration' in my next place.... her use of blues makes me go weak at the knees.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Now This Is Different

Check this out! …...a fantastic, affordable, modular system being used for on-campus accommodation at the Australian National University, in Canberra. I had read about this system before and hubby was particularly interested in the import side, as his business involves the importation of building products from Asia and  Shameless plug.

We scrabbled around on site at the Uni last weekend, taking photos, marvelling at the setup. C'mon kids, this is fun! "But won't we get arrested Mum?"

Each module you see in the photos is essentially like a prefabricated shipping container, the external and internal fittings….bookshelves, desks, (even furniture if required) are put together in the factory and then assembled, like fitting together lego bricks, on site anywhere in the world. The more that is included at the factory level, the cheaper it is to assemble at the destination of the final product. Construction time is under half the time of traditional construction. 70% of the products that are used in these accommodation modules are made or owned by Australian companies.
 Image Courtesy QuickSmart Homes
'Architectural'??? Disclaimer: this is my personal interpretation of the process and not a professional description. I do not claim to have any superior knowledge on this topic, I am just expressing a ‘lay’ description of what I know to be the process. No architects were harmed in the composition of this post... not yet anyway....brace yourself.

See the video that explains it all here:
Click on 'Take The Tour'.
What makes this story even more interesting is that Tom Lane, who developed this system and runs the show, is the grandson of the gentleman who founded the Oroton fashion group! He stepped down as Executive Director of the Oroton group and went off to follow his lifelong passion of building houses and stuff. Go Tom!... you clever, clever man!