The thing about Eddie.

Eddie is the teddy bear on the left of the picture on the right is Elliot's bear Jak. Eddie is Elliot's class bear, who is sent home each night with a student. I had heard about Eddie from Elliot earlier in the year and one day Elliot wrote a note to Eddie asking him to come to his place and play X-box and cricket with his dad and meet Jak, Elliot's bear.

As you can see Elliot had his turn, and this is probably the last time Elliot smiled before Eddie was returned to school that day. That morning I awoke to hear P exasperatingly implore Elliot to be more careful with Eddie's diary.

The thing about Eddie is that after spending an evening in your home, your child is to write a diary entry as if from Eddie about what he did and who he met. When I awoke, one page of Eddie's diary had already been removed by P due to Elliot's excessive untidiness. Much to P and my chagrin we have one of those boys. The written prose of one of those boys always seems to end up looking like that dirty kid from Charlie brown - the words appear on the page as if surrounded in a cloud of dirt. Elliot presses so hard that when corrections are made by erasure there always seems be a smudgy background left behind.

P and I usually have to tag team the homework duties, when one of us runs out of patience as Elliot turns into a teary mess, the other parent has to take over as the voice of reason, this time it was my turn. To complete that diary entry took a gargantuan effort from P and me that morning. P had tried to get Elliot to practice the entry on a separate page, that didn't work. I wrote the passage out on the separate page and asked Elliot to copy it word for word that didn't work.

Finally I spent 10 minutes dictating letter by letter including capitalisation and spaces and he got it completed. We can do without starting our day with such drama.Writing neatly is just not Elliot's strong point and as we bade farewell to Eddie that day I asked P and Elliot to tell Elliot's teacher we never want Eddie to darken our doorsteps EVER again.

Wearing one of my headbands - I think she would be great as "Little Miss Mini Ritz"



I was just checking my referrals to my site and one was a from Google for "I hate Dooce fan club."

I have never expressed hate for anybody on my site. However I did say I "hate" having my picture taken once, and I did do a post about Dooce and saying that I am glad my website doesn't attract as much traffic as hers (because of this exact reason) and I did say I liked Teenage Fanclub and Voila " I hate dooce fan club" pick me it seems .

I checked all the references that came up on Google under that search and I am happy to say that apparently no such club exists. I was so incensed I was almost going to email Dooce about it, but then I think there are enough people bothering her and she doesn't need to know, who knows it might have been her or her husband Googling to see what the trolls were up to. I wanted to make sure that anyone coming my way under that referral should know that I like many, enjoy reading Dooce.

I much prefer my other referrals like "white pustules on tonsils - I get hit quite regularly on that one.


In the beginning.

so the week began with Saint Valentine's day - which means zip to P and me. That doesn't mean we don't have our moments of romance its just that we have never bought into the 14th of February as being the day in which we feel we have to express it other than a cursory "Oh by the way Happy V Day" as I write out a cheque that requires me to note the date.

I am racking my brain for a quintessentially romantic moment between P and me.

Okay lets go back waaaaaay back... when we lived in London, it was the first time we said "I love you" to each other and I can still remember the euphoria at the time when we realised we both had the same feelings for each other. (Come to think of it we must have been particularly euphoric because I recall when we first lived in a room of a shared accommodation townhouse, P and I shared a single bed for about 3 months! - now that must have been love lust.)

I think we actually looked in love for the entire time we were there. A couple of girl friends would say to me over the course of that year "I want what you and P have together," and I particularly remember one Sunday morning, P and I sitting in a booth in the pub where P worked, and the sun shone through the windows onto us and warmed us as we read the papers together. We loved reading all the trashier publications (i.e. News of the World) as well as the more high brow tomes "The Guardian". The customer came up to us and said "Are you two in love?" I was abit taken aback by the question because I think P and I had been living together for about 10 months so I didn't think it would look THAT obvious and then I said "Well yes, we are."

So maybe I can call London our year of romance, when we listened to Don McLean, James Taylor, Cream and Elton John over and over. He would play the guitar and I would sing to all the Don McLean and James Taylor songs. P doesn't have the best singing voice, I am the lesser of two evils. When we first met and before romance changed our relationship, we were "just good friends" I always remember listening (on vinyl of course) to Rodriguez, Hunters and Collectors, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Whenever I hear these artists in particular I can easily recall our early days.

I remember one of the things I had to get used to when sleeping next to him, was that he would often talk in his sleep. Entire conversations about work, at one stage he was in charge of a wine cellar so the talk would turn to wine. Though one night I remember him sitting bolt straight up and singing " I'm the Rhinestone Cowboy" and then lying back down as soon as he sang said it. Often I would have to wake myself up to sort of pinch myself to check that I hadn't just dreamt it and yes it really did happen.

He hardly talks in his sleep anymore, it is certainly less eventful and the sleep is more fitful. Maybe that's what sleep deprivation has done to us, who has time for restless activity at night anymore when for the past 5 years we could count the 12 hours sleeps on one hand. When I recall those days when we both worked in hospitality - we would stay up till 3am (after finishing work around midnight) and sleep till 1pm the next day and start work at 3pm. For a while our life was drinking, socialising, sleeping and eating good food occasionally. What a great time we had in London together!


One down ? to go...

Last week was a bit tough here at the Lushlife household. I was sick with the flu and finished off the end of my week with tonsilitis. Four whole days of work off if only I had actually achieved something.

I barely managed to keep up with the washing, had very little interaction with Gabriella who probably stayed well because I steered clear of her. After Wednesday I also had to care for Elliot after he came home sick on Tuesday evening with an ear infection and stayed that way till the weekend.

During my time home with Elliot on Wednesday he asked me while I was in the middle of using the computer (i.e. checking out blogs) to bring him an orange. I obliged without comment and Elliot pointed out to me how politely he had asked. I replied that I was very proud of his use of manners particularly since I had recently received some good reports about what a well mannered boy he is. I asked him if he noticed how it was never a problem for him to have something if he used his manners and that our constantly reminding him to use his manners had finally resulted in him remembering them.

He said that he noticed that other people really liked him using his manners and that they (the manners) seemed to just come out of his mouth. I said that it meant that using his manners had finally become a habit and he no longer had to think about having to use them.

I felt such huge relief when I heard him say that the manners kept falling out of his mouth, it was like all our efforts day in and day out for the last 5 years (I don't count the first year) to "Use your manners", "Where are you manners?" and each and every time we had refused him something because of a failure to use his manners, had finally been vindicated.

It is the first time since I became a parent I have ever felt that due to my direct influence Elliot had reached and passed a milestone and one that wasn't related to a physical or intellectual aspect of life but a social mile stone had finally been reached and that even he recognised the value of obtaining that milestone too.

So while I didn't achieve much last week during my week home sick, it was certainly a glorious revelation to learn that P and I had achieved something as significant (to us) as our son having developed a habit of using his manners and that maybe we can relax a little about this aspect of his development and concentrate on some others like how to be a good winner and loser. That one is bound to take a few more years!


Fame or celebrity is it for me or you?

Things appear to be going haywire over at Dooce's site where her appeal is being given some more mainstream attention. I read her site regularly and occasionally the urge takes me and I leave a comment but I don't consider myself a dooceling as such, not that being one is a bad thing it's just not for me.

It made me think about what if, what if I were outed about my site and somebody wanted to interview me, would I do it? I don't think so, but I guess I would have to wait and see because it's only speculation until it actually happens. Why wouldn't I like mainstream attention? The answer lies in the paradox about me, while I have an on-line journal I am also a very reserved person.

I recently read one of Mimi Smartypant's recent posts which gave me cause for thought about the desire or otherwise of celebrity based upon one's having a blog. I liked how blase she appeared to be, though she admitted that she wouldn't avoid it either and cajoled the readers to agree that we like her, would not put down that phone from some Hollywood type without a "Uh, okay." Me, I would like think that I would put down that phone based on the way I have been living my life to date.

This doesn't mean that I have had opportunities before me anything like the ones that are before Dooce or Mimi right now, and turned them down, it's just that I think the desire or need for attention from the masses has to have been something you might have considered since you were a kid, when you first caught glimpses of some celebrity's life and thought I wish.......

I came to terms along time ago with whether I desired celebrity or fame and I decided that I am a strictly behind the scenes kind of gal. Once I remember eating a hotdog in a newly opened shop in Brisbane many, many, years ago and a film crew came in and took some shots. I really wanted to get up and leave but thought, no I will stay and keep my head turned. After they finished filming, one of the guys, the director I think, came up and gave me a card and said I should contact them for work. I never did.

Over the years there have been a couple of weirdos men approach me for work in front of a camera but again I felt much too self-conscious about being a focal point of attention. I can only put it down to my having something interesting about my features that might have appealed as I am too short and definitely not the right shape to have ever been a clothes horse.

Maybe I could have had a shot at acting except I am painfully camera shy and most likely a shocking actor I have never even tried to do it. I always remember some feedback I received about my public speaking in high school when I was 16, the vice-principal came and listened and gave the feedback to me in front of the entire class.

Again, paradoxically, while I hated and still hate to be the centre of attention I decided I had to make myself do the one thing I most detest and that is public speaking. So I would often volunteer to public speak and debate and it put me in good stead later when I had to speak in court and at meetings and give presentations. It's advice I now give to all kids about learning to public speak because there is always a time somewhere, someday when your going to be asked to present, whether it be work, or socially, it's difficult to avoid having to talk and be the centre of attention in some aspect of your life.

Anyway, back to what the vice-principal had to say about me, he said that because of my looks people will always be interested in what I have to say, and that I spoke too fast (still do).

I then took what he said and turned it into something I could live by which is, be careful with what I say because people are watching and
if I don't have anything intelligent to offer than don't say it. It's better to remain quiet and thought intelligent then open your mouth and prove them wrong.

To me, having my photograph taken is a painful and tedious process and I am way too critical about the result so if anything I actively avoid the camera. Lately I have been taking some photographs with myself and the children, otherwise in twenty years or so they will wonder if I was really here with them at all. I love the digital-age though any photograph that doesn't meet my standards, a press of a button and it is instantly deleted forever.

So apart from the exposure of my physical person with the celebrity, the other thing I would abhor about attention from the masses, is the intense scrutiny of your every decision by everyone. I see Dooce crack under the strain of it sometimes and I think, poor Dooce. Thank God, I have this teeny, tiny site with a small selection of people whom I admire coming back to see how we are doing and anyone else say like yesterday (when I got a huge number of hits from different first time visitors) if they don't read or see what they like they move on straight away.

I don't want need to be read by the masses, I would like my journal to be commensurate with the way I have always lived my life, by finding and being found by those people with whom I have the most in common. So I hope that if opportunity ever comes-a-knocking I hope I have the courage of my convictions and will just say:

"No, not for me I am happy with this life just the way it is."


I know I don't have to continue proving my point anymore.

So this is the last picture of little Miss Mischief up to no good for a while unless of course she does anything spectacularly wicked. I have to admit it has been fun catching her in flagrante with my camera it makes it a little less exasperating and a bit more fun for me.

It may also prove that I am particularly slack mother and not watching her close enough, so I really better put down the camera, back off from the computer and keep a better eye on her.

Tasty. I have been playing with the new effects button on Picasa. I love that I can now produce a photograph with less colour saturation so that I can have the main colour be the pink on her pyjamas and the rest in black and white.


I think her first true word will be "devil" because that is what I call her whenever I catch her up to something.

Not watching, blogging.

How sick was I?

I was so sick yesterday I wasn't vertical for more than an aggregate of two hours. I was so sick I couldn't even sit in front of my computer to browse even though I was home and I didn't do one single scrap of housework, nor have to care for my children for the last 24 hours.

I am rarely this sick. A sore throat here or there, a bad cough, nothing that some over the counter medication can't fix and I always soldier on, to work, with the kids, the house, you name it. So it came as such a surprise to actually be this sick.

What I thought Monday morning was the need for caffeine took a turn for the worse after I had my first coffee. There were aches in my shoulders and lower back and what had began that morning as a tiny pain in the throat turned into swollen glands and shooting pains radiating from my glands to the back of my head.

I managed to stay at work till 4pm but all I really wanted to do was curl up under my desk and sleep. When I finally got home it was a shower and straight to bed then a night of chills and sweats and panadol every four three hours.

Today I feel like I will be vertical for most of the day and I am here at the computer again. My fever has gone along with most of my aches, my throat however is as sore as ever. Back to panadol every four hours for the throat, I think I will be fully myself again tomorrow.


My tribute to "Hi Five"

Because this television show allows me 30 minutes where I don't have to:

Pick up all the cups, plates, glasses and paraphernalia that Gabriella is able to liberate from the one cupboard we are having trouble childproofing;

Ensure that Gabriella is not climbing on furniture and trying to hurl herself through windows and over railings;

Ensure that Gabriella has not climbed onto the dining table on the deck to retrieve the dry cat food that she and the dog then decide to share;

Ensure that she is not trying to escape from the deck;

Ensure that she is not drinking from the dog's water bowl;

Ensure that she has not found a box of tissues and toilet paper which she then loves to release with equal abandon (she is very dextrous and remove 20 tissues in about five seconds flat);

Ensure that she is not spilling her milk or water from her spoutcup and playing in the mess;

Ensure that she is not playing dress-ups in her own clothes from the dirty clothes basket and strangling herself in the process (see above where she has managed to get her pyjama pants around her neck);

Ensure that she is not climbing into her pram;

Ensure that she is not standing up and climbing out of her highchair;

Ensure that she is not spreading her food all over the house;

Ensure that she is not trying to get her little leg over the edge of the bath tub so she can play with the bath toys;

Ensure that she is not climbing on the lounge to play with the cords on the blinds;

Ensure that she is not playing with any cord-like object that she loves to drape around her neck;

I was very happy to discover in the new year that this show is able to provide me with at least 30 -40 sanity saving minutes in which I am able to actually do something for myself!

As you would guess I loathe hearing people decry television shows and children. I don't sit my son or daughter in front of them 24/7 but just once in a while I like a break from keeping her out of so much trouble.


Another photograph taken while walking.

Friend J launching a bowl last Sunday.

Late Sunday afternoon we went and played lawn bowls with some friends of ours. I don't know what it is like in other Australian major cities, but in Brisbane there has been quite a bit of interest in bowls again by many of the younger families here.

It seems that many of the bowls clubs have had to reconsider their appeal given that the current clientele are aging so "Barefoot Bowls" has become a bit of trend and aimed at attracting younger families to become social members. In fact last year I can't think of one work place that didn't have a least one afternoon of "Barefoot Bowls" as a team session. One of the more popular clubs is Merthyr Bowls Club at New Farm and is very picturesque as it is positioned along the river. The club we attended last Sunday has views of the city and the quaintest ladies rest room I have ever seen. The rest room is decked out like a 1950's parlour complete with picture of HRH The Queen.

Its always a pleasant afternoon, and the children ran themselves ragged playing on that part of the green we were not. It was still so hot at 5.30pm that we needed to remind the children to wear their hats constantly and we enjoyed a few ends and shared some ice cold beers. After the bowls we retreated back to our place for a simple barbecue, eye fillet, roasted rosemary kipfler potatoes and Caesar salad - simple but tasty and the least amount of preparation I could think of.

Can't wait till it the weather becomes more temperate I can see us inviting some more couples and indulging in a few more weekends like this one.