19 July 2008

Good morning, Grumplestiltskin! And other conversations with our toddler...

Grumpy 2 y.o. was whining when we got him up from his cot this morning...

Daddy: do you want a nappy change?
G2yo: NO! No nappy change!!
Daddy: do you want a hug?
G2yo: NO! NO HUG!
Daddy: do you want to be grumpy then?
G2yo: NO! No be grumpy!! (said most grumpily)
we're around the corner trying not to laugh out loud.


We're making dinner last night, and having cheese on crackers to stave off the hunger until the soup is ready. We offer E-chan cheddar on a cracker, but he sees us having camembert...

E-chan: more, more cheese?!
Mummy: oh, you want posh cheese do you?
E-chan: posh cheese! posh cheese!!

(by the way, he can also say "parmesan cheese")


The vocab is increasing at an explosive rate now! It's amazing. Almost everything we say gets parroted, as if he's just testing the words out, trying them on for size, finding out how they sound coming from his own lips. Sometimes we are bowled over, sometimes it's hilarious, sometimes, we realise we need to be careful what we say... (e.g. shouldn't say "big stinky poo", "oh crap", or "bugger")

16 July 2008


Isolation... Of not having a working phone or internet for a while (not just us it seems…) and not being able to talk to our dearest and not-so-nearest. Of being too busy doing stuff for our new house and missing some regular activities. Of not knowing if it will be affordable to visit my sibling in Japan in coming years due to rising airfares. Of not knowing who we can ask for help at very short notice when our child is sick, without interrupting people at work, or infecting other kids. Of getting used a new neighbourhood and not knowing where is the closest place to buy milk, when there used to be a shop downstairs from your old place. Of not having the equivalent of the friendly lady from the Lebanese takeaway shop – who is now a 20 minute walk away, during which your felafel would get cold on the way home. Of noticing the neighbours from over the hallway came out to chat to the removal guys the day we moved, but haven’t come over to introduce themselves to us even though we moved in over 3 weeks ago. Of wondering why people seem to fear the simple politeness of introducing themselves to their neighbours, as if it will lead to countless requests to borrow some sugar (as if that would be so terrible).

Worry... that civilisation is downhill from here, that we seem to be grasping for an idea of how life is headed. That parts of our society that have been commonplace for 50 years may be on their way out, and wishing I’d talked to my grandparents more about how life was during the depression, so that I might be better prepared. Worrying that I might not have enough practical skills, that I’m not resourceful enough. Worrying that certain parts of our current life would be irrelevant in a society less affluent than today's. Worrying that my last apostrophe is in the wrong place. Worrying that I don't make enough effort to buy second-hand furniture. Wondering how we can change our stupid halogen downlights in our new place into something more energy efficient. Because we all keep getting sick, and that I am using up all my sick leave too quickly. That I need a holiday but don't know when I can do it.

Hope... because we are showing signs of adapting to our new surroundings, and our son is adapting too, despite having been moved from the only home he’s known. That the (slightly older) kids in our neighbourhood play cricket in the closed off bit of laneway near our house while one of the mums looks on. That friends and family make contact – eventually! That other owner-occupiers in our unit complex do strike up conversations, even tell you their first names and where they live, and are as concerned about the management of the place as you are. Of babies just born and babies just about to be...

09 July 2008

economic cycles


I caught the end of this interview on Radio National - recommended listening. No transcript as yet, but you can listen to the recording at the above link.

my frankly vulgar green pullover (part 10?)

Things are getting a bit dire in the wardrobe stakes if the best you can muster to wear to work on a COLD COLD day is too-long denim jeans that you haven’t managed to take up yet, brown, ankle-high boots, and a green roll-neck jumper. A jumper that you later realise has a small hole in the back and that’s right – I’d forgotten - a bit of wool has caught and won’t go back in place from when you borrowed your brothers jacket and it had inward facing rough Velcro on it, silly. Oh and a shapeless dark grey coat to wear outside.

I sometimes like to think that it is good not to be obsessed with appearance. My scale of things I make time for during leisure time:

High – seeing friends and talking to family, eating nice food (including shopping for it), thinking and talking about stimulating and important issues (!)
Medium – watching a few certain television programs (even if recorded and watched later), exercise, reading, listening to music, bitching and moaning
Low – waxing, haircutting, applying makeup, shopping for clothes*, styling hair
Virtually never – colour hair, paint nails, drawing#*, painting* and sewing*

# excluding texta scribbles in scrapbooks, which I’m doing lots of at present

So you see, even exercise ranks higher than grooming. But all this is hardly virtuous if you start each day struggling to put together a look you are happy with from your wardrobe, want to get rid of half of it but then you’d only have half a wardrobe, or be wearing the same thing over and over… hardly proves you are not preoccupied with appearance, does it?

So Monday, I planned to spend a clothing voucher, but ran out of time. The other week, I got a wax for the first time in god knows how long (I was getting horrified glances at my middle regions from young girls in the showers at the swimming pool! I could almost see them alarmed at the thought that they might end up like this at the onset of puberty!!) Now I just need to take care of my legs; but then, it’s winter, right? Tomorrow night, I’m having my first hair cut in over 6 months (things got a bit awkward with my regular hairdresser once they messed up an appointment and I couldn’t reschedule due to flying out interstate the next day, so I’m trying a new one…)

I noticed a groovy little 2nd hand clothes store not 5 minutes from my new home. Maybe that will help? And Angel finally gave me a solution to my longstanding problem in finding knee high boots that fit my what apparently are MASSIVE calves (if average boots are anything to go by) – a friend of hers just gave up looking and had some tailor made!! What an idea! Get a brown and black pair done at the same time!! Worth it, I think because I’ve shopped around for a pair every year for the past 5 years or so, and they keep coming back in fashion.

To do list:
- Out with the daggy, saggy, one size too big (I’ve lost weight in the past year or so, it seems) dull coloured clothes!
- Make an effort to get those suit pants taken in so they aren’t constantly being hoiked up!
- get some boots made that FIT MY CALVES

Who wants to make a clothes shopping date? I need both work and casual clothes…

02 July 2008

Gruesome title for my adoptive state

For years, other South Australians and I have had to put up with South Australia being labelled as the state where weird serial murders happen. Kids going missing from the beach on sunny days, never to be seen again… bodies in barrels (not in Adelaide, I’d like to point out, but an hour north in a small country town)... the guy who took an axe to his ex-girlfriends’ new boyfriend, which rocked my working community – I actually knew the killer’s father. I’m sure there are more gruesome murders attributed to SA, but I just haven’t elected to retain this information in my brain over more important matters I need to remember.

But anyway, ever protective towards the place where I grew up, a while back I was trying to come up with a ready-made and witty comeback to throw at any New South Welshman who threw an insult at my home state by labelling it as the Serial Killer State. This used to happen quite a lot, as there is a particular breed of New South Welsh-people who think that Sydney is the only city in Australia, and everything else is too boring to mention or should be made fun of. They usually haven’t lived anywhere but Sydney, or can’t work out how to occupy themselves outside a dense urban environment. At that particular time, Sydney seemed to be having a drive-by-killing every other week. “Here’s my chance”, I thought! But Sydney just doesn’t cut it in the drive-by-killing stakes, when you compare it to LA, or perhaps less stable countries in the world.

But finally, NSW has done it. I think NSW can be safely labelled as the “Family Murder-Suicide State”. Every week at the moment there is a case of someone either killing their entire family, or killing most of their family followed by themselves.

But that's not very funny, is it?