Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dear Olive,
My birthday came and went in September without much of a fuss. I suppose I'm saving up all my celebrating for next year. But I did get the most marvellous card from you. "Just look at our beautiful old lovely 39 girl. Happy birthday to you."
(As an aside, a few days ago - & for your upcoming big day - we taught Clancy how to sing happy birthday. He's obviously got it stuck in his head because he's been quietly singing it in the most delightful sing-song voice for past three days non stop.)


the tomatoes

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dear Olive,
Shane had to go to the Sydney growers markets last week and buy $2,400 worth of tomatoes for a commercial. It filled to the hilt an entire van. I couldn't get over the ridiculousness of his job. And I couldn't get over just how many tomatoes there were.
Needless to say, two big boxes came home with him at the end of the shoot*, so on the weekend I got pretty busy. I turned one box into lots of jars of this Indian inspired chutney. It was doing my head in trying to get the proportions exact (I mean, how could I divide and multiply "6 tomatoes" by the amount I used? I'm no maths whiz). And I added onion to mine which confused things further. And also chilli. But it turned out pretty great! I've given away six jars of it, and Shane and I are committed to consuming the rest.
I also semi-roasted a big batch in a low oven with some garlic and herbs.
And still we're handing out small bags of tomatoes to friends and neighbours.
*I'm pleased to say lots of tomatoes (& plenty of other food from the job too) were dropped to OzHarvest.


the weekly

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dear Olive,
In a move one could only describe as unbridled procrastination, I thought I would do a weekly post on what I've been reading and finding around the interweb. You know, with all that spare time of mine. Even if it's simply a place for me to store links so I can come back and read later. (And who knows, this may well be the one and only installment!)

One of my new parent friends at O's school teaches adults how to be more creative - isn't this school a fantastic idea?

I teared up reading this.

Think the appendix is just a useless little tail? Think again (this award winning movie was made by my supremely brilliant friends daughter).

I'd love to visit here (a family theme park, unsuitable for children).

A proposed link between maternal Vit A deficiency and asthma  "more generally, our findings highlight a point often overlooked in adult medicine, which is that adverse foetal exposure that cause subtle changes in developing organs can have lifelong consequences".

And while of course I don't need it - and I certainly can't afford it - I'd really like it. (I'll take the top while I'm at it, too.)

I had to look this up for this post. Honestly I would have sworn the double ll was the English version?


the leek, papa, the leek!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dear Olive,
At my Dads a few weeks back, we had somewhat of a smelly water emergency when a pipe overflowed. I yelled out for you to get Dad to help me - mopping up a flood of stinky water ain't easy with an inquisitive toddler! But Dad was in his room and couldn't hear you, so (unbeknown to me) you raced off, put pen to paper, and slipped a note under his door that read "the leek, Papa, the leek!". Oh, how we laughed.
We've arrived at the wonderful world of notes. I'm ever so pleased to be here.

A selection of your paperwork from the past couple of months below, although I'm absolutely cursing that I can't find the one about how horrible Shane and I are, & said that you were just crying & crying! (Complete with a picture of you in jail while the rest of us went to a fair!)


sweet dreams

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dear Olive,
I really don't know what to say here. Because how could I use mere words to describe the loss of someones child? With heavy hearts, we travelled up to the central coast to go to Banjo's 'life party' last week. Watching Mic and Jilly and the kids carry in Banjo in his 'time machine' was one of the most unbearably heartbreaking things I've ever seen. Somehow, though, they have met this terrible tragedy with grace and dignity, which has been so inspiring to everyone around them. They've chosen to focus on love, and I hope they feel the outpouring of it that is coming to them from so many. It was such a present force in the room that day; amidst all the tears, there was such love. I'll be holding them all in my hearts for a long time to come. 
Without a second thought, they donated Banj's organs, which I thought was a magnificent and courageous decision. The tragic loss of Banjo then meant the gift of life to five young kids. If you're in Australia, and you would like to be an organ donor, the best thing you can do is register your wishes on the The Donor Register so in the event of an accident, your family can feel secure that their decision was also yours.
Sweet dreams, Banj. Live on in happiness.


for banjo

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dear Olive,
It's impossible for me to think of anything else except my cousins ten year old son, Banjo. He was hit by a car two days ago and is in hospital, hanging on to life with the help of a machine. His family, and mine, are asking for prayers; if you have a God, or some kind of caretaker of the universe, would you ask him or her to send their bright shiny little one back to them? Surely it can't be his time to go.


weekend in melbourne

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dear Olive,
Clancy and I whipped off to Melbourne on the weekend and it was such fun. I had a friends party to go to, but I also caught up with many of my local friends, and we made it to the David Bowie exhibition at ACMI, too - which was so great, although being a Saturday it was extremely packed, and of course I made the mistake of thinking Clancy would sleep through it in the sling (who was I kidding). Which made it a *little* difficult for me to actually take much in - and I was asked more than once to get him down off the exhibits. (Rather embarrassingly, he even bit off a foam wall that was part of one of the exhibits! Thank goodness it was dark.) We stayed at a friends place; they have lots of space and also two cats and three chickens so Clancy was in heaven. When we arrived he stood outside the chicken pen and yelled DUCK. He loved catching all the planes, trains and trams that we rode on all weekend, and apart from the aforementioned indiscretion at the Bowie exhibition, plus some serious chopstick throwing at a dumpling house, he was an absolutely terrific little travel companion.  
What's more, back in Sydney, you and Shane had a really special, fun filled weekend too, so we were winning all round.

PS That last photo is one friends painting hanging in another friends - isn't it beautiful? She whipped up a quick portrait of our friends cat for their birthday card, too!



Friday, July 24, 2015

Dear Olive,
Goodness me this boy of ours is trouble. I don't know if it's a boy/girl thing, or just an individual kid thing, but he is so very different to you at the same age. He's physical and energetic (and so were you, but this is next level, and served with a side of aggressive destruction). He yells and hits and screams the house down at a simple nappy change, and then in the same breath smothers us with kisses and cuddles. Sometimes we can't physically get him in the car seat, so we just have to just wait it out, until he's decided he's ready. Same goes for the pram, and the sling. And sometimes shoes. He's obsessed with balls and he'll throw anything that's not tied down, anywhere in the house. Down the toilet, out the window, into the bin, at kids in the park. We're all hit in the head daily with balls/books/shampoo bottles. A few nights ago he started a fire in our kitchen when he threw something up onto the stove top. I was in the bedroom reading you a book and he came in and asked me to help him with his specialised language made up of grunting and nods. (Possibly not alerting me to the fire, but because he wanted his toy back.)  He is e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g. and by the end of each day I'm weary and battered. 
But, you know what, it's ok. It won't be like this forever. And because this grand, grand love he's brought into our lives makes all our hearts sing.


happy birthday

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dear Olive,
Happy birthday to our team captain.


a week at dads

Dear Olive,
We went up to my Dads for the first week of your school holidays - you, Clancy and I. It was such a lovely week, hanging with my family and making the most of the warm weather and all the space at Dads. Clancy was really hard work (wouldn't let me out of his sight to go to the toilet kind of hard work) and by the end I was utterly exhausted. Thankfully he returned to his normal slightly more independent self when we returned home (and I suspect a lethal combination of the old teething/developmental age/being away from home was to blame).
On a coastal walk we did one day, we saw what could have been twenty whales breaching and slapping fins and seemingly just enjoying being alive. It was a privilege to behold.


in the mountains

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Olive,
Shane had a week off in between jobs last week. So in between a day of work for me and a show at the Opera House*, we squeezed in a few days away at the blue mountains. It was unbelievably refreshing to change our everyday routine, even just for a few days**. (And so important to do, I think.) We rented a house which sat right on the escarpment in Leura, and we did a little bush exploring and sight seeing, but mostly we just hung out and soaked up the incredible view. The sense of space - both inside the house, which was enormous, and outside, with the view extending to endless mountains - was so calming. (Actually, it gave me an insight into what life could be like if we lived in a big place with lots of space - at the moment, we get out of the house to take Clancy to the park in the morning, race him home for a sleep, and then bust out to give him another run after he wakes up in the afternoon. It's designed to wear him out, and frankly it's exhausting for us all!)

Last night you recounted to my friend (having heard it from your friends brother, no less) the dreamtime story of the three sisters; I'd never heard it before and the way you told it was so poignant. What a shame if it was made up - read about it here.

* TV on the Radio, in the concert hall of the opera house; truly, truly amazing.
** Although sadly, it feels as though we've stepped right back in to the same old shit once we got home.


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