Friday, January 29, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
AN ODE TO THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Wild dreams of pencils, protractors, and pens,
Rulers and bags and crayons-in-10’s,
Felt tips in all their colourful array,
Swimming togs, shoes…….last minute dismay!
Books to be covered with contact and seal,
Clothes to be named from the head to the heel,
Jotters and refills, more glue sticks of course,
All fit in the school bag…with creative force!
Just when it looks like the bag’s gonna pop!
Everything comes to a breathtaking stop….
The nightmare is shredded by ear piercing squeals –
“Time to get up!” the alarm clock appeals.
You fling open eyelids, wipe sleep from your eyes,
Throw back the blankets and leap for the skies…
Who are you kidding! - You just curl up and hide…
Hoping the noise from your alarm will subside.
For today is The Day – the first day of school!
No more late brunches or trips to the pool;
No more wandering around in your cosy PJ’s;
No more sleep in’s or long lazy days.
No more leisurely reading of book after book;
No more fish on our line left to hook;
No more going for strolls in the park;
No more staying up late till well after dark.
No more break from the routine and drudge;
No more baking endless batches of fudge;
No more daydreaming as you lie in the sun;
Just timetabling, scheduling, places to run!
The first day of school…..it fills one with awe -
New teachers, new students, new carpet on floor.
We’re nervous, excited…the questions are there;
Will we be summonsed to the Principal’s lair?
Will there be bullies and will there be fights?
Will there be people who stand up for rights?
Will the work be too hard, or will it be fair?
Will there be someone who is willing to share?
Will the teachers be nice, or grumpy and tough?
Will we learn history, and division by half?
Will there be someone who’ll easily befriend?
Will it be long, till term comes to an end?
The excitement and chatter die down with the bell.
My heart skips a beat as my goodbyes I tell.
My eyes are all teary, as we part from each other
The first day of school is so hard… on The Mother!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I had forgotten how close (in birthdates at least) your big lad and my little lad were! I don’t know what 20 year olds do for their birthdays, but I do know that my newly-turned-nine year old had decided A LONG TIME ago what his plans would be, for his special day!
He decided that :
he didn’t want any presents,
he didn’t want a party,
he wanted just ONE friend over,
he wanted to play for hours with Lego,
he wanted a swim in the pool,
he wanted to spend the day at home…
AND just maybe (pleeeeease) could we go out for dinner at Sizzlers?!
Closer to the actual day, he changed his mind about presents….too many delicious options kept appearing in catalogues and on store shelves! However, he stuck to his guns about the rest of his birthday plans.
And of course, we had daddy’s traditional surprise birthday cake! Ange of the North, do you remember the big green cake that turned up in your classroom one year?! You were so gracious to allow us to disrupt your class that time!
K has always made each of the boys a birthday cake every year. The surprise is that somewhere on the cake, there will be a SECRET COMPARTMENT stuffed FULL of lollies (candy/sweets/goodies). The boys always try to guess WHAT KIND of cake it will be, and WHERE the secret compartment might be lurking, and it is also a matter of great conjecture as to HOW one can access that secret compartment…because the secret compartment is revealed only when the trigger mechanism is accessed.
So this was the 'cake doctor' at work, late into the night.
And this was the cake for L’s 9th birthday.
As with all good musical instruments, if you want your music to be ‘sweet’ you need to make sure you ‘tune up’ well. And the way to tune a guitar is of course, to turn the tuning pegs (aka lollipops/suckers)…..the right one revealed the 'goodies'!
Can you see the secret compartment opening up?
And lil L spent the rest of his day as ordered.
A very happy and contented 9 year old!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Will winter kick in? Will snow ever fall on us again? Will there be enough for the Olympic events? Most importantly, will we get any snow days this year?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
If you ever head this way, I think you might like the famous Eumundi Markets. My boys endured a few hours here with me. I think they secretly enjoyed themselves, especially when plied with food and drink.
This guy did a roaring trade – this is a potato swirl – one potato on a stick, sliced in a spiral, dipped in light batter, deep fried, and sprinkled with savoury salt. Korean recipe apparently. Super yummy.
We enjoyed looking at the various wares – K here is inspecting a flyswatter with the iconic Ozzie 'thong' (jandal/slipper) as a swat piece. Wonder what the flies think when they see a massive, solid shadow coming towards them. Hmmm…[BTW, did I ever tell you about the time when we had just arrived in Oz, and our host at a BBQ spotted a redback spider. He leapt up yelling, “Whack it with your thong!” …..I know now!]
There were lots more Ozzie flavoured goodies everywhere. It was nice to familiarise ourselves again with such things.
I love the market atmosphere, the hustle and bustle, the interesting people, the different sounds, smells, colours, and sights.
And I was fascinated to see even a ‘chandelier’ in this tent, giving it the air of ‘prestige’, I assume!
E even got some training in bird whistling. This old dude was selling bird whistles when we lived here years ago and E was thrilled to discover he still frequents these markets!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
We have been away. It has been lovely, though we are all ‘sunshined’ out! It’s true! There’s only so much sun one can take!
We went to the Sunshine Coast, stayed in Sunrise Beach, which is right next to Sunshine Beach…..and presumably on the other coast from Sunset Beach…
I had thought of writing some deep, profound thoughts (as begets one who has far too much time to think while on holiday in the hot, hot sun). However, I think the brain got frazzled and I will just drop you a smattering of photos from our time away instead.
Summer is traditionally the season with the most inclement weather here in tropical Down Under. We arrived in a wonderful thunderstorm, but these never last too long. The beach was fabulous to be on after the storm – the surf was high, the surfies were all out catching waves; the ‘sunbathing visual pollution’ had all gone to drier places to hang out; the ambience was moody yet refreshing; the light breeze was warm and not hot; and the lighting was just superb.
I loved this pic of the lone surfer, sitting….watching…
But the sun never stays away for long on the Sunshine Coast.
We spent a lot of time enjoying the beach. The boys particularly loved digging to China and leaving footprints in the sands of time….
I will post more photos another day. However, the hour is presently late and I think I need to go to bed…..as befits someone of my stage in life. I have had a good giggle at the cheeky responses to the last post on “The Sabbath Principle”, some of which are not repeatable. However, this card came through the post today, and I thought it was worth sharing……for you who may also be at this stage in life.
Monday, January 4, 2010
A year in its infancy always causes me to consider afresh the issue of new undertakings, new ventures ahead. I wonder what our year is going to look like, what steps we will need to take in order to achieve certain goals. And whether we will drift with the status quo, or need to ‘take the plunge’…
One thing is for certain. Whilst I recognise that busyness is a part of life, I would REALLY like to come a little closer to finding some BALANCE in life.
We heard a great sermon today. It was about the “Stop & Rest” Principle (otherwise known as the “Sabbath Principle”). It is the principle of working hard but also of setting regular time aside to rest/stop. Some delineate that as working for 6 days and setting aside a day for rest. But however you choose to define it, I imagine that for many people, the prospect of setting regular time aside to rest/stop, can be daunting.
I was challenged to view the Sabbath Principle as a gift.
It protects us in many ways – from our sense of indispensability; from showing that our value/worth is found in more than just productivity; it restores balance to lives which are spinning outta control because of life’s endless demands; and it marks time to stop, time to recharge, time to refocus.
Hmmmm. I could get used to this!