Saturday, November 27, 2010

Well it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas......except that my dear friend Ange is a million miles away under a drift of snow I suspect, in Ottawa. It's just not the same this time of year without her. I miss her Christmas flurry, her endless lists that she ticks off with pride, the way she walks past the Myer windows with her eyes diverted until the night she officially goes to see them with her family . By now we would be planning our traditional Carols in the Women's Peace Garden ( I have sent out a lame email, I will plod on with that without her), she truly is so joyous this time of year, well actually, she is pretty upbeat most of the time truth be known, but Christmas sees her whipped into a festive frenzy which always rubs off on me. I need to stop moping and lift my game, it's Christmas after all and I do love Christmas, it's traditions, it's chaos, it's potential for warm family moments. We may be seasons away from each other this year, but I can picture you tapping away on your iphone, tick tick tick, a happy smile on your face. Merry Christmas my dear friend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's coming up for 10pm. This time twelve years ago, Daryl and I were only hours away from the most amazing experience of our lives...birth. At 1.07 am our beautiful baby girl was born. If I really concentrate, it is as vivid as if it were yesterday. The amazement at this child in my arms, ours forever, a whole new person in the room.

The excitement afterwards kept me awake, and I can still remember that first dawn as I looked across the skyline of Carlton, thinking to myself wow, this is the first morning of her life. Amazing. She now waits for me to come downstairs and help her with some homework. I'll get up tomorrow, a little earlier, look out at the dawn then go down to the kitchen and make her pancakes.

Happy birthday for tomorrow my sweet Phemie.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

R.I.P Birdy

Our dear little Birdy is now snuggled between frozen spag bol sauce and some puff pastry. Oh I know this sounds incredibly unlike me who can't even cut up an orange because I find the smell too offensive, but I needed time to plan a proper little buriel and well, decomposition waits for no body ( no pun intended!) The truth is, I was a howling wreck and the vet's when I had to take her in to be "put down", and to all those people who suggested a brick over the head well, just get stuffed! It is not a good feeling to make that decision to "snuff the life out of" any living creature, but she was suffering and the time had come. My heart goes out to Lucinda who never took much interest in our little ratty pets, but has not put Bunny down since she lost her companion. You are gorgeous Lucinda.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby pictures

Phemie and I had a fight this morning. Nothing too dramatic but I may have told her she was a pain as she refused to get out of the car, pouring rain, Lucinda stressing about being late, sort of a typical morning really. I threw the keys at her and told her to wait in the car while I went into school to talk to the principal "About the class trip to the movies I am organising for YOUR class!!!!! Did I really say that to the baby in this photo? In my defence I did make her a cup of tea when we got home and held her in my arms, but really, how does the mother /child relationship change so much just because they no longer wear grow suits and need their food pureed?

And so I turn to the baby photo. Any baby photo will do ( preferably of my own children ), but seriously, looking at baby photos just stops me in my tracks. I am taken sailing back to that moment when I first saw my new baby, a life in my arms the future ahead of us. Suddenly I just want to get in my car and bring them all home from school and snuggle in bed and look at baby photos together. But I guess in real life we have piano lessons and dinner has to be made and friends to pick up or drop off and readers and projects, it just goes on and on and I suppose adds to the stress that then causes a mother to call her beautiful daughter a pain. I'm sorry Pheme. Maybe I'll glue a baby photo of you to the steering wheel.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have to finish this before Phemie starts highschool. Something about wrapping her in my love before she goes out into the big wide world. Can I do it? I've been working on it since last September. Beautiful Koigu wool purchased at Purl in New York. You can do absolutely anything with that wool and it is going to look lovely.
It could seriously take me another year to sew in all those ends!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Winter Veggies

Good and bad days can be side by side. Last night I went to bed feeling like I'd spent the whole day yelling and nagging (mind you, curriculum days throw me), disconnected from what is really important, the worst mother in the world basically. Today was a glorious day in the garden with Hazel planting our winter seedlings. It's amazing what a bit of nature can do for the soul.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


When my Father-in-Law was still in good health, he pulled Daryl aside one day at the farm and pointed out the gum tree he had chosen to have his ashes placed under when the day finally came....

Bill died at the good old age of 85 and true to his wishes, a lovely ceremony was held under his chosen gum. The girls know he is beneath the soil as they all took a turn at digging the hole!

They love "Papa Bill's Tree", and now as they begin to venture out further from the farm house, this spot has become somewhere special for them to go. It is only marked by an old bench seat, but also quite often by the pile of bikes and baskets and other things gathered along the way. I'm sure Bill would approve of the noise, the sound of little girls playing, arguing, laughing.

I never really noticed that tree until the day came to scatter Bill's ashes, but it took my breath away. It is by far the most majestic tree on our property, it's bark swirling around as though formed during a wild storm. Yet now it stands, large and quiet except for the wind that lifts the sound of life through it's branches. A gentle old man it is....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The scones rose, the nuts were delivered, my Easter babies turned nine, the sun set on another beautiful Autumn day, but sadly the dog went home.......





Thursday, April 1, 2010

A very dear friend of mine once said that the secret to a happy life was to aim low. I need to remind myself of this as my expectations start to creep back up only to result in disappointment and frustration. It's back to baking. Why why why am I so utterly and completely hopeless when it comes to this fine art of domesticity? The sponge that heralds "morning tea everyone, come in from your outside work and have a cuppa and a piece of me lovely sponge", or the bread that warms the home and just says simply "I love you all". Nope, the panic stricken teary expression that my poor eleven year old daughter is faced with as I turn from peering forlornly towards the oven door just does not fit the hope I have of the perfect morning tea. 

Let me put this into some context. It is harvest time at our walnut farm. The beginning of Autumn, Easter infact, the weather could not be more perfect and our farm is a hive of activity. As the girls are quite  young, my job is still to make sure they don't step infront of a tractor so my time as a woman of the land is probably a few years away yet. I am however, no longer breast feeding, changing nappies or have a babe on my hip so I decided that my contribution to this our forth harvest, would be food, beginnning with scones, jam and cream for morning tea. 

Well all I can say is thank goodness our pickers are French and probably have no idea what a scone looks like. Snags in bread with sauce and onions for lunch went down a treat which just goes to show that "aim low" does pay off. I am determined however, to perfect that bloody scone before the end of the weekend. "You up for another shot at those scones tomorrow Phemie? Ummm.....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


These months are full of traditions but there is one I particularly don't enjoy and that is the fact that for the last two weeks of the school holidays Daryl goes OS leaving me to fill the days without him. I tend to simplify, this is the key to survival, so here I am night one, pizza. Who cares. I plan but I don't, it is nice to have a little bit of an idea of how I am going to fill the days, movie here, school shoe shopping there, but one of my favorite things is to get up a little early, make a coffee and fold laundry while the house is still quiet. I think my sister thinks I'm weird but it feels productive yet tranquil as I fold and sip and contemplate the day ahead. I also prefer to be up before the girls greeting them cheerfully, starting their day on a good note ( 'cause God knows it's only going to go downhill).

So Daryl is somewhere up there, I don't like to think of that too much and am always glad when he has landed. He will have a day in Santa Barbara followed by a funeral in Tulare (those connections can also be so painful), then New York then London. Phemie said tonight how much she likes it when we are all in the same room. So do I.

Anyway, summer has been wonderful and isn't over, I must remember every moment how much I love to have the girls around and really do savour the holidays. I'll head back to Lorne where we'll eat two minute noodles and ice cream and play in the rock pools and read and snuggle on the couch and then we will come home and so will he and we'll all be in the same room again.