Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Morning

Getting ready to write to you!

I wasn't going to write a post this morning. I was just going to chill out and have a break from the whole IT thing but it's part of my day now. I love tuning in to my little online community each morning, catching up on all your news. So I am sitting here, sipping coffee out of my new Ada and Darcy teacup, revelling in the whole 'I don't have to do the school run this morning' thing.

Even the fact that my brand new(not even a week old) iPhone was found fully submerged in a handbag full of water last night could not ruin this beautiful 'non school' morning. After soccer practice last night, a water bottle was hurriedly put into my handbag (upside down).... as we were running out of hands to carry things. I found my dripping handbag late last night, after retracing steps from puddles on the floor. Lets see if the case that I had my phone in and a dose of sunshine can't help fix the thing. Hey, my last little dinky phone survived a napisan soak and 2 days hanging  on the clothesline in the sun... still worked like a charm.

... and my handbag camera still works... maybe I can blame the fuzziness of all my photos on water damage now!

We're off to the park this morning.. soccer of course.... and then out to a birthday party this afternoon. My boys always want to just hang out close to home on Saturdays... they need unhurried 'home down time'... the week is so busy... time to breathe out.
What do you get up to on Saturdays? Before children I vaguely remember the whole relaxed, reading papers in comfortable silence, coffee shop scene on a Saturday morning.... sigh!
P.S Oh, I joined Facebook. Yay! Feels really funny being a total newbie again! Am I the last person on earth to join them? Better late than never :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jacarandas.... And The Psychological Damage Of It All

My street

On my morning walks, I am noticing that the Jacaranda flowers/leaves are dropping.

Deep breaths - they're only flowers

22 years after my last Uni exam, my heart still beats faster when I see this. Because when the leaves drop, on the Uni calendar, it's exam time. Two events on the Jacaranda/Uni Calendar..... leaves appear, get studying....leaves drop... it's too late...the dreaded swot vac and a painful few weeks of balancing exams and swotting. Blah!

This is the riverbank in front of our apartment - all Jacaranda trees!

Well, I don't know how it is these days, but back in the 80's, there was no continual assessment in the Science faculty. The assessment was just one big, whopper exam at the end of semester, for each subject. It was hell. By the time the Jacarandas had dropped ... it was time to fleece A-M's summaries of her subject summaries... yes I gave them away to all and sundry and suffered a few devastating moments when some of my 'less than studious' science buddies, who never attended lectures and just swotted on my summaries, got a higher grade than me!

Jacarandas on the other side of the river - close to the Uni

I was so relieved to read on a forum somewhere that others suffer that recurring dream... of going into an exam of a subject that you haven't studied for, or have even been to one lecture for. I experience it at least every few weeks or so. Hubby says, "that dream again?"... "yep". I never failed an exam in my 5 years at Uni... came close in the beginning... before I learnt 'exam passing techniques' (that's all Uni is right!) ... maybe that's it.. the coming close? But the dream is always about the last subject I need to get my last degree, the one I need to be able to go out and work.....the last 10 credit points. In my dream, I'm the only one who has to stay the next semester to do one subject in order to graduate.

Every grand home has Jacarandas lining the footpath - it was all the rage... back in the day.

The irony is, that is exactly what happened to my hubby. His situation was cruel... it was one credit point... one! He even pleaded to the Dean of Science.... nope, got no-where and had to sit a whole semester for the last credit point.

Yet I'm the one having the dream.... no nightmare.... it's a nightmare now as it is still going all these years later. What does it all mean? Is anyone out there as mental as me? Oh dear, that's an invitation if ever there was one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh Dear...

Tabatha and Jacki

... I am falling in love with my new neighbourhood. This was not meant to happen. This was meant to be temporary.... but now I am asking myself, where else would I want to live? It's wonderful. I am embracing it with open arms and it is giving so much back. It's like Byron Bay used to be (in the 80's) in the middle of the city!

The 'oh dear' bit is that it is frightfully expensive to secure any 'dirt' here. Never used to be that way. I went to high school in this suburb and used to say my 'safety prayers', when walking down to the spooky Southbank area to catch my bus.... back in the days of abandoned warehouses and noisy printing factories. I used to secretly feel sorry for any of my friends who lived here as it was old and dirty and noisy and 'factory-ish'.

Now I feel like I have come home... even though it was never my home. To sum it all up? This place is alive. It's where I believe you can be your authentic self.... no airs and graces.  It's like the people here 'get' what life is all about... and they smile.

Just yesterday afternoon, the boys and I went for a wander, close to sunset. We heard this gorgeous music coming from a little house, a really groovy version of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on a ukulele. The boys stopped in their tracks, "do you hear that Mum?"
We stopped and chatted. Meet Tabatha and Jacki.... my neighbours... living in the moment.

I am going to do a regular little segment on my bloggy: "Interesting People In My Neighbourhood".
What do you think?... would you be interested in getting to know my neighbours?  I've met some amazing people. I had the thought when a guy on a unicycle rode past us yesterday while we were sitting in our local coffee shop!
PS Little one is positively joyous this morning. One of his stick insect eggs hatched! He is literally jumping up and down. He can't stop smiling his toothless grin.  Oh it is wonderful to watch. Thank you Deb, for sending us the eggs.. seems they are over their 'jet lag'!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pretty Stuff

Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock (which is usually me when it comes to hearing exciting news), Kellie's beautiful online store, 'Ada and Darcy', is now open for business.

I went berserk as soon as it opened and am now the proud owner of these exquisite teacups (to encourage my new 'drink less coffee' mantra)... and matching plates (not in photo as I was still unwrapping them when I took this photo). My excuse is that all my teacups are in storage.. right at the back of the shed, right at the very bottom. I am eyeing off those gorgeous ruffled bedspread thingys too (storage excuse still valid).... oh and everything else that matches my teacups (storage).

..... and they came so beautifully wrapped, with some extra little treats for my family to enjoy too. Thanks so much Kellie! So overwhelmed am I with such a sumptuous new online shopping outlet (it has to be online these days!) that Kellie is now featured on my bloggy sidebar permanently. Her pretty colourful wares are such a complement to my neutral aesthetic over here. Even her promo buttons are gorgeous. Congratulations Kellie. You've worked so hard... and it's beautiful.

Enjoy !

Ada and Darcy


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Stalking

.. so on the weekend, I managed to wangle my way into a private viewing of the penthouse here in our apartment complex. It's for sale.... and apparently being auctioned at the Sydney Opera House as one of 'Australia's finest properties'!!! The exclamation marks are to exclaim my disbelief as 'it' (the penthouse) had the same traddies throw it together as those who did our place down here on level one. I had a morning tea guest yesterday who said our corridor reminded her of the YMCA. Keeping in mind, this is a brand new complex.

Anyway, ... look at the view! ..that must be the reason for the 'Australia's finest property' tag'. 360 degrees of flowering Jacaranda trees! ...tins roofs of old cottages, a smattering of Greek Revival edifices (multicultural here) ... and of course, the Brissie river at her muddy finest!

That lovely big expensive bit of bare dirt in the foreground was the demolition that my little one and I witnessed a few weekends ago. Another low rise apartment complex is going up on it. Oh and this is the view I (sort of) get if I stand on tippy toes on my son's bed and look out the top window of my boys bedroom.

Don't envy their power bill. These are all for the penthouse.

Quick coffee and then I'm off to do the 'Guitar Ensemble run'... early starts on Tuesdays.
Have a happy day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Local Beauty

Remember this beautiful old place? ... which I pass on my morning walks?... the one that has the pup waiting at the gate for me each morning, ball in mouth, ready to play .... well she's for sale (the house... not the dog).

The back of the property - the little studio and garage.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know the owners over the past few months. I stopped to chat one morning, when the owner was working in his garage. That's it (the garage) on the the back of the property... with 2 street access... the only garage I have ever met that has it's own balcony with a view! I was curious as to why/how that incongruous creation in the middle of the picture came to be (across the road from the property) in an area steeped in history and saturated in heritage architecture... so we chatted.... and chatted.

I was given the grand tour, stayed for hours, inhaled the history, not only of the house but the neighbourhood as well. The owners know the area so well, have lived here for some years and have lovingly restored this home over that time. I would often walk past and see the lady of the house balanced precariously on a ladder on the upstairs verandah, trying to paint an out of reach shutter... I would hold my breath. Built in the mid 1800's, it was originally a 'gentleman's residence' and has had various incarnations throughout the years...apparently having a 'colourful purpose' during the war. 

That little building, to the left of the photo above, was part of the stables. Next door (now subdivided) was the tennis court. Half of the tennis house is still standing in someone elses back yard... used as a garden shed.

She stands so majestically on the street (which originally was the cart track leading to the house... back in the days), proudly hinting at her history. My big son and I attended the open for inspection on the weekend. It was very quiet. She commanded respect and I think people sensed it. We wafted from room to room, drank it all in.... she's just beautiful. You can see more of her HERE

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tile Stalking

I'll leave you with something pretty for the weekend. A link to these gorgeous tiles was sent through to me by Will, in Canada (killer apple pie recipe on Will's site by the way, made it last night).

Thanks Will, once again I have spent ages lost in a tile website! If only I had something to tile.

I'm sorry, but these are the most beautiful tiles I have ever seen. Big statement. But true.

Do they stop your heart?
(putting aside your cleaning concerns... I know you are a very practical and sensible bunch).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pet Update

Just when you thought it could not get any more exciting here at 'The House', I bring you... our stick insect eggs.

They were express posted to us by my lovely bloggy friend, Deb, at 'The Moerks'. Once little one heard that she had some and had offered to send us some, it became an emergency. So poor old Deb had barely put her bags down, from a trip around Australia with hubby and offspring, when she found herself packaging up creepy crawly eggs and sending them off to sunny (now, finally) Queensland.

Sorry Deb, but I think we have created a monster. They are examined every 5 minutes and arguments ensue regarding optimum moisture content and egg positioning. Research has surfaced that informs us that we could be up for a 3 year wait. Give us strength. You may be right Deb, they might have 'jet lag'.

In other riveting news, Nigel and Brian are thriving... so much so that I have actually taken an interest in their well being and am sneaking carrot to them while the boys are at school. As soon as I go near their tank, they look at me and flail their little arms as if to say, 'get me outa here'. It sort of breaks my heart. They are very human like. They love the boys. The boys let them out for a bit of a sunning, morning and evening. Blah, that's when I exit. I admire them from afar.

Yes, so it is action stations here at reptile central. Please, if any of you are 'fortunate' enough to be hatching stick insects eggs... any tips? I am ready to chuck them over the fence (no offense Deb).


Thursday, October 21, 2010

In The Big Scheme Of Things I found my son, sitting on the hall steps, in the dark, head in hands, the other 5.30am (we start early that day - Guitar Ensemble practice). Apparently his big brother was downstairs studying for a maths exam and "he doesn't want me around" (cue melodramatic head flop). The devastation of it all.

It followed a weekend of 'tough love'. After 'dibber dobbing' on his brother for something, I promptly separated them, sending little one to his bed.. in an attempt to show him that dobbing doesn't achieve anything good. I swear I could hear him gasping in his room. Like I'd turned off his life support. His big brother really is his oxygen. We overheard him calling out to his brother, studying in the other room, "are you missing me?" All of 5 minutes it had been.

They love each other. It really is heart clutching stuff. Hubby and I watch them when they're out together. It's not just the little one, big brother always reaches out for his little brother. He often walks with his arm around him. At the school crossing, they hold hands. When they're out in the big wide world together, they are united. Protective of each other.

I often try to break it up a bit. "C'mon, just you and me, lets go to the shops together. We'll have sushi and just spend some special time together, Mother and son". "Yeah, good, but can Brynley come too Mum?.... pleeeeease. I can't just be the only one who has sushi. That's not really fair". Oh he's good.

I hope it lasts, I hope they are best friends for life.... when hubby and I are long gone.

If so, their love and support of each other... will be my greatest achievement.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So I Went To The Shed

Despite my enthusiasm to embrace minimalism and enjoy a simpler existence in this 'residential transition period' in my life (actually I just asked myself when am I NOT in a 'residential transition period'?) one sometimes has to draw a line in the sand... and go rummaging for 'yearned-for' belongings.

I have been in denial, that the majority of our belongings can stay neatly bubble wrapped in storage until we're on the move again... I mean life is simpler with 4 plates, 4 cups...a la ships galley kitchen style.... but when you start muttering, "my kingdom for a damn rolling pin", you realise... maybe I am living a little bit too lean, maybe I have taken this 'life in storage' a bit too far. Life isn't the destination is it, it's the journey... and on this journey, I decided last week, I sorta need my desk.

I did a bit of rearranging in the main bedroom, hauled my desk, chair and other paraphernalia out of the storage shed (giving the whole shed a big tidy on the side as well... never miss an opportunity to 'sort and chuck' I say) and set up my 'spot'. Ta da... it's a bit lean, and not too much thought was put into 'staging'....nothing on the walls (good excuse for a neat and tidy inspiration board).. but I now have 'a spot'. Good things are going to happen in this 'spot'.... let me tell you!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Better Than A Towel

Aren't these chairs just beautiful! They are covered in terry towelling, over an outdoor fabric. I found this beautiful bathroom, by designer Barry Dixon, over at House Beautiful.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Seen Everything?

Image Courtesy House Beautiful

... well how about slipcovers for car seats! Why not make your car pretty as well as your home? It's a sign..... my new car is white... I think I need some blue ticking slipcovers for mine. Maybe I could sweet talk Ness into making some for me! What do you think?
Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tippy Toes

Look what I discovered, while balanced precariously on my son's bed upstairs, reaching up to close a high-ish window, during our cyclonic wind storm last night. We have a city view!

Of course taken with my tragic, dinky, handbag camera it looks nothing... but the view was enough to stop me in my tracks and entice me to just hang there on the window ledge for a bit.

See.... it's not all exploding sewerage pipes (three times), noisy tin drum awnings, dangerous building offcuts in the courtyard and carpark exhaust ventilation fans here! There is a silver lining to everything in life.... just gotta get up on your tippy toes sometimes to see it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Hubby's been away all week doing 'business stuff'. I took the opportunity to tidy up his almost tidy office (he had a marathon clean out last weekend... when you're busy building a business and so, so focussed....paperwork takes a backseat... even a 'declutterer' like me understands this and just gives him his messy space from time to time). I took the opportunity to source a desk lamp for him too (seeing as I have poached his beautiful desk lamps temporarily for use as our bedside lamps). I found this gorgeous lamp at Ikea... get out... and for only $59 ... GET OUT...fabulous quality... as heavy as a heavy rock. So impressed. As Faux Fuchsia would say, "Run, don't walk". I mean it. It's gorgeous. RDW.

I had to laugh, we had our morning 'absentee father skype session', yesterday morning, before school. Hubby had had a rather rough night. He arrived into Sydney, from Melbourne, at 10.30pm, thinking that he would just 'wing it' with accommodation, like he always does (we're a last minute family here). Hmmm, a House and Garden thingy is on in Sydney this weekend.... so do you think he could find a room? Well he did, a seedy one, in Kings Cross... and when he tried to explain what the word 'seedy' means (and the aesthetic of Kings Cross) to his sons, he summed it up by saying, "it's where all the drug dealers are"..... what else do you say to wide eyed innocents? Little one was mortified and exclaimed, " please don't have a drug Dad".... and big one said, "watch your drinks". Innocence for not much longer. Sometimes I hate the world I am sending them out into.

Happy Weekend all and thanks for visiting me this week... and for all your lovely comments and conversations. I am going to put in a concerted effort to visit you back this weekend..... coffee's I'll see you soon!
ADDENDUM: 'Restoring' has just left a comment on this post with a link to this great You Tube Ikea Lamp Ad......CLICK HERE - it's funny... you'll laugh... promise.

Friday, October 15, 2010


How's this for a super organised medicine kit! Oh to have the space to even be able to spread it all out like that. It's Martha's of course. If you want to sneak a peek at the contents of her kitchen drawers, head over HERE to check out her top kitchen tips and practical storage solutions. If you're a 'declutterer' and organiser like me, you'll be in heaven. Although the number of spatulas she has? I know, commercial kitchen and all..... tell me what you think. I'd be itching to cull some more! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Music In The Home

Son in background serenading his mother 

... well hubby's away for the week.... and this is how I spent my evening.... finishing off some work, some vino... while being serenaded by my big son with his rendition of 'Classical Gas' on the guitar.

Both my boys love their music. Little one has being learning for a year and big one for six years. Big one is very disciplined with practice. I can't believe my luck! I smile when I hear "Mum, can I have a piano practice?".... and NEVER say no to that question! He is NOT his mother's son. What a difference a generation makes. I had a real struggle with my music and did not enjoy practice (or lessons) one bit.

I truly believe the teacher makes all the difference. If my son didn't like his teachers and their lesson content then we would move on... it's that simple! I believe that even though youngsters don't know what's good for them, they should still have a voice. I am always assessing his enjoyment levels, ensuring that he is happy with his teacher and his pieces. Each time he starts a new grade, his teacher plays a whole selection of pieces, from which he can choose his next repertoire..... he has a choice .... and his guitar teacher is teaching him the classics whilst throwing in some superior groovy stuff whenever he can... so we have Clapton, ACDC, Dire Straights as well as the pretty stuff. Getting a choice and having a voice... that's the key to a happy little musician I think. You've got to enjoy it... especially when you're a kid.

Do you have music in your home? Do you have any little tactics you use to keep the joy of it all going? Would love to hear your views.
PS. My big son has just read over my shoulder and has added that his teachers are forgiving as well. If he hasn't managed as much practice as he could one week, due to school work, they 'forgive' him! Interesting perspective ... straight from the musician's mouth!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blog Stalking....

..... and my latest victim is... Melissa from Verandah Interiors.

Oh how I am enjoying Melissa's blog! Melissa and her husband own a custom home building company in Canada. Their homes are gorgeous.... deep sigh. Have a look at their latest home, that they have just sold, HERE (take a deep breath before you visit!). Melissa is the Interior Designer of all their creations....and has many projects on the go at the moment, including the design of her next home. I love her first 'Kitchen Design Element' HERE. Another really good excuse to take a trip to Calgary! Enjoy your visit over at Melissa's. Say hi from me!
... and Happy Wednesday!