Goodbye 2005

Okay a 2005 wrap up. Tonight we will be enjoying a lovely meal with the BIL and SIL and will see 2006 in, on some fabulous mediterrean style food and very good wine, it bodes well.

The kiddies will be coming too which is nice, one of the reasons why we prefer the stay at home New Year Eve's these days instead of the wild and euphoric lead up to the New Year which used to culminate in a long and depressing journey home as you wait and wait for any available taxi, all the while longing for the comfort of your bed until finally you hit the road and start walking the however many kilometres it takes, along with all the other revellers desperately seeking a haven from the city. Been there done that, don't feel the urge to revisit.

We had a few firsts in our household this year, we threw Elliot a 7th birthday party, it is also a last, what a labour of ..? don't think I would call it love, but we did it for love I guess. I swear our marriage nearly came unstuck on the preparation of this party. Small things like what games to play, why are the medals your making costing us $50! who was invited.

Some advice, don't let you child invite every child in the class because you will definately get the ones with ADD, instead make it a careful choice based on the local gossip about who is better behaved. Two, no more mixed girl and boy parties, while the girls didn't have ADD, they have other attention seeking behaviour, sore tummies, ant bites, nothing that a lie down and some ice and some soothing comments won't fix, but time consuming nevertheless.

Aside from that party, the children continue to grow and be a source of happiness and challenge to both of us. Gabriella's personality is sooooo, what can I say we are enamoured of her, she is acrobatic, daring, funny, cheeky, beautiful, loving and openly affectionate. She recently embraced the concept of the "Ya You" (Love you) as Elliot first did.

Now Elliot, he is becoming quite the wit, and I love his clever ways of making us laugh. For Christmas he gave us a book of his work, I will quote the opening page which is a MEME, or as it is in his book ME ME ME:

Happy, clever, thinking me
Friendly, quiet, shy me
Sporty, smart, super me
Me, Me, Me

I agree with every word. He also began a new tradition this year of each of the table guests toasting and saying some kind words about the birthday person. We have embraced it each birthday and some lovely heart felt things have been said to each birthday person that probably would not have been said otherwise, I hope we will continue with this tradition always.

Work, I have six more months on my two year project then who knows, I wish I knew what I wanted out of my work . My biggest challenge will be getting HR to recognise that I was transferred at level, (they can't find the paperwork of course and have only recognised me on a six month project as this stage), so I have to get them to accept that in six months time they must continue to pay me, because my old department has accepted that I have moved on.

I am hoping for more holidays, more trips than this year, mainly because Gabriella is older. And more importantly my Mother returned to within a 70 kilometre radius and not the 10000 she used to be. I had a relaxing week with her and the kiddies before Christmas, it was nice to be 'mothered' again.

We will be catless in 2006, our dear old cat Grizzie died last year and she now rests under one of my mother's azaela bushes, she was part of a cat swap performed with my best friend. Grizzie died in a fall we think. Sylvester will be returning as my friend's problem neighbour appears to have moved away. I think we have had our share of cats for a while now, maybe one day.

I have considered starting a business, but who knows what will happen, it takes effort. We also toyed with the idea of moving to Tasmania. P is super keen especially after the heat of the last two weeks (maybe one airconditioned room would be good!). His work has changed and isn't as challenging as it used to be, so he needs to think about changes too. I don't know if I am game enough to leave the bosum of the family, and some of my closests friends and pioneer it out down in Tassie.

We will enter the New Year with a freshly painted hallway, I fear we went too strong, I imagined the colours of a stuffed olive, the red on the end, the green on the walls, hmmm it's strong is all I think at the moment especially when the rest of the house is currently quite subtle, we may have opened up a can of worms. It was because of my beautiful new painting by an artist called Deann Cumner, my painting is entitled "What an Angel" and she is stunning. I also would like something by this artist especially that first painting because I spent a few years of my early twenties in a romantic white Laura Ashley dress.

Laura Ashley's Quinces

P liked her work too, but my periodontal work in 2006 has priority and is about the cost of one of her works.

We are planning to attend two gastronomic events, Tetsuya's hopefully in February 2006 and then Vue de Monde in August 2006.

So on that note of the expectation of wonderful things to come, (though getting to the healthy gums won't be so wonderful) I would like to wish any of my kind readers left, best wishes for the future and a toast to your health and happiness. I promise more sporadic posting, I can't imagine giving it up altogether but I can't promise to be as regular as I once was either... but then again who knows?


Beating the heat

Last night, I opened the curtains way back in my bedroom, and the breeze rushed into our bedroom, combined with the gentle whir of the fan (and the hum of our neighbour's airconditioning unit) I felt envious (of the neighbours) yet both invigorated and glad to be alive as I listened to the the swaying palm trees outside my windows and reflected that we had survived yet again another Christmas where I have mopped the perspiration from my brow and got on with the tasks of preparing the house for Christmas guests.

This year, 16 adults, 11 children. We prepared an early dinner, the tradition of christmas day lunch has long disappeared and won't reappear unless there is a fully airconditioned room where we can all eat in comfort.

Our deck however, is spacious enough and catches most prevailing breezes so it is perfect for a sit down Christmas buffet style early dinner. Plus our backyard is perfect for a dozen children to play while we monitor from the deck. The only problem was, that a storm brewed and hovered around the house from 3pm till 6pm making it impossible to send the little ones downstairs and away from our house so it made for a chaotic time, trying to control the excited sugar loaded, Christmas spirited kiddies along with a panicked storm averse dog, who tried to ride out the storm in the pots and pan cupboard. I would estimate there is about 30cms of head room in that particular cupboard and a bit of a squeeze for a 20kilogram dog.

Once the blasted storm that decided not to be had passed over the house, we sent the kiddies downstairs and things settled into a semblance of normality at least as close as it can get when having nearly 30 people in your home that is, and we got to sit down and enjoy, the Christmas buffet which consisted of:

hot roasted pork belly,
cold turkey,
freshly carved leg ham,
a pear/parmesan and rocket salad,
my brother-in-laws traditional Canadian potato salad,
tomato, boccincini and basil salad,
a mixed garden salad, and
a roasted pumpkin, baby spinach, feta and pinenut salad.

Then later dessert:

My tradional trifle,
Aunty Sue's perfect pavlova, and
a Cheesecake.

I should mention the starters involved first up: where some lovely fresh prawns served simply with a cocktail sauce, and rocket, chilli and macadamia pesto and some barbecued prawns in a chilli marinade and a dill marindade with sliced fresh baguettes. My sister and brother-in-law also prepared some tiny cherry tomatoes filled with basil pesto and rolled slices of roasted capsicum filled with tuna. We had also made a christmas punch (courtesy of the ubiquitous Women's Weekly) a watermelon and blood orange softdrink mixture which could be combined with some champagne for those not doing the driving.

I posted some of the photographs of Christmas day below, the children woke up and discovered their presents from Santa, for Elliot a ping pong table (he received the bat first and a note directing him under our house for the rest) and for Gabriella a large porcelain doll (which Elliot at first exclaimed was a bigger present than his bat!), and Toy Story 1 and 2 being the major gifts.

We inflated and filled our little pool and they got to have paddle around that morning after some french toasted brioche and ham and ham and english mustard on toast (my husband's family tradition). We also got to swim in our neighbours beautiful pool for an hour or so when they headed off for lunch (we have an open invitation to use their pool!) and after we had finished off our chores in preparation for the hoardes who would come later.

Now we are enjoying the post-Christmas relax, where every day is a holiday and the only other traditions we had to complete involved the watching the first day of the Test at the MIL and FIL place (mother/father in laws). My Canadian BIL came too and decided as per his tradition we were to eat Chili con carne, which was surprisingly appetising in 30+ degree heat with approximately 80%+ humidity.

Yesterday we made it to Narnia(warning spoiler alert this paragraph), where I cried with sadness and joy to see a story so much beloved by me as a child come to life on the screen. I bought Elliot the complete Chronicles as a gift last year from Gabriella on her naming day, so I was glad that he had heard the story (as read by his father) before he watched the movie. I cried as I first cried when Aslan met his fate, nothing could console me when for the first time I read the story, not even his later resurection could make the deep sadness that I had experienced when I read what happened to him disappear. I would have to say the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had the greatest impact on me as a child discovering the world of fiction, so I was so happy to see the movie has been executed so faithfully and well.

A few more photographs will be posted as I want to have a few other details committed to this record.

Christmas day dining table flowers

Christmas day buffet flowers


Christmas all wrapped up.


Christmas best so far

I know I could do much better with the photography but this will do for now, it is too damn hot to get the kiddies in better clothing. I put up the tree the Sunday before last, it took me ohhhhhh 4 hours.

I decided on an overall theme, blue and silver balls, and popcorn strands to emulate the snow, yeah snow on the tree in my family room , in 34 degree heat - I am nothing if not a dreamer.