April 28, 2010

my mum

A few weeks ago we were chatting to my parents and my mum announced that she was coming to visit us.  We didn't quite believe her until she said she'd booked her flights and was braving the 30 hour trip from the UK to Australia.  Now, my mum's not the best traveller; she worries about the long, uncomfortable flights, about dealing with customs and immigration, about feeling jetlagged... all completely understandable, but I've been trying to convince her that spending time in the sun with her grandsons should more than compensate her for the long and difficult trip.  It's taken almost seven years, but our nagging seems to have paid off and in the early hours of last Friday morning, and after lots of uncertainty over whether she would actually arrive (thanks Eyiafiallajokull), my mum arrived for a three week stay.

And it's lovely having her here.  Not just because there's an extra pair of hands to help with the boys, not because she's taken over our kitchen to make us the most delicious meals, not because she's fun to hang out with.  But just because she's my mum.

April 17, 2010

sausage dogs

In the whirlwind of the last few weeks, two forgotten little souls are our beloved miniature dachshunds, Lola and Deacon.  With two babies to look after and in the sleep deprived, post new-baby fug, it's easy to be cross with them when they bark for no apparent reason, when they scrounge for Ollie's scraps and when they jump up on the furniture with muddy paws.

Lola is stubborn, single minded, food-seeker who loves to bask in the sun.  She has long eyelashes, grey whiskers, and a beautiful, silky, tan coat.  She has a grumpy bark but a fantastic happy howl that she brings out to welcome people into our home.  Deeks is a long haired softie, nervous of strangers and desperate for pats.  He has smelly breath and is loyal, shy and good natured.  I think he's the most handsome dog I've ever known.  They can be very naughty, but they are both beautiful little dogs and really, they have been so patient and forgiving of the lack of attention they have been receiving since the new addition to our family arrived.  It's fair to say they have grown accustomed to not being the focus of our attention since Ollie was born 18 months ago.  Thanks to Will, they still get to go out for walks, although they aren't as long or frequent as they were, they don't get groomed as often as they used to (I think they are thankful for that), but they do enjoy more treats, and while they might be a bit grubby at times, they seem happy and perhaps love each other even more than they did before our family grew so quickly.  They are terrific with the kids, very gentle and tolerant of Ollie's occasional rough and tumble.  I'd like to think that when the kids are in bed and they do get to clamber up on the couches, or on the now rare occasion that they get to sleep on our bed, that they are appreciative of the pats and cuddles.

So next time they bark at the postman and wake the boys up, I will try to remember how sweet they can be and that I love them dearly.  Even if they are a bit stinky.

April 12, 2010


Our wardrobes have been looking a little sparse lately.  Will's t-shirts are threadbare (they really are, it's not an exaggeration) and my wardrobe consists of maternity clothes or things that just don't fit at the moment.  Our boys are also fast outgrowing their little collection of shirts and shorts so last week, we spent the best part of  a day choosing t-shirts for the whole family from Threadless, 'a community based tee-shirt company with an ongoing, open call for design submissions'.  I love the concept that anyone can submit a design (which if chosen earns a few dollars for the artist) but the best thing about it is that it works!  There are hundreds of awesome and original designs to choose from, which means we spent hours (again, no exaggeration) looking at inventive, cute, funny and intelligent artwork and images before finally choosing our favourites, which arrived only three days after ordering them!  We may have gone a little over the top but I justify this on the grounds that we really, really needed clothes and I wanted to make the expedited shipping from the US worthwhile.

Most of the designs are available in guys, gals and kids sizes - we did resist the urge to buy matching shirts for the whole family but I reckon it'd make a suitably kitsch family greetings card and I'm not totally averse to dressing my boys in matching outfits, so I'm not ruling it out just yet.

April 8, 2010


Living in Brisbane brings with it the blessing of good weather (most of the time), blue skies and warmth. But I miss seasons.  I miss seeing things turn green in spring, the days growing longer, the treat of an English summer's day that is sandwiched by a chilly start and end, bright, frosty winter mornings and the chance of snowfall.

April should be about spring time, daffodils, tulips and green things growing, but in Brisbane, it's getting chillier; the heat that I complain so much about in summer is disappearing and the winter sun is taking its place.

Our new addition to the family is just over a week old.  Winter might be coming but for the first time in years, it truly feels like spring.

April 6, 2010


(image by Leo Veger from here)

I really dislike throwing things away, but I don't like hoarding either, so the satisfaction of having a clear out is often undone by the piles of stuff I create, either to give away to charity (the favoured option) or to take the the dump (not so great).

I am getting better at not accumulating things I don't really need, asking friends to bestow their kindness at birthdays at holidays to charity rather than on gifts with limited use, only buying things I really think will make a difference to my life, and making these purchases with the longer term in mind.

I would like to think that as a family we reuse, recycle and repair as much as possible... reuse and recycle maybe, but repair, not so much.  So from now on, I'm going to make an effort** to repair things that are broken rather than throwing them out, and this repair manifesto will be my inspiration.

**Note, items repaired by my husband are inclusive in this effort.

April 1, 2010

new beginnings...

Yesterday, I gave birth to a little boy, our son and Ollie's little brother.  A day later, we are home, and the change we knew this would bring but couldn't possibly predict is already ever present, including the exhaustion, chaos and an overwhelming feeling of love.  It's a new beginning for us all.
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