Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Another week goes by

Another week, and I have not sat at my sewing machine for a single second. How tough is that? I am trudging my way through writing the most boring research paper in the history of the planet, and it looms over me like a dark cloud. A rainy dark cloud. On the bright side, we picked up the new car on Friday! My goodness the technology has come a long way in 9 years. Even though it is just a basic white Golf it has cameras and sensors and bluetooths and beeping that the other car wouldn't even have dreamed of. I am loving driving it around, it's very peppy. And just so CLEAN.

That is a very bad graduation certificate photo. We bought him a smart shirt especially! That makes two times he's worn a collared shirt this year. Growing up :) We are now done with the end of year assemblies and concerts - still going on the christmas drinks and catch-ups - and number two's rehearsal schedule is picking up just as his school work is dramatically declining. They are on film appreciation this week - i.e. watching DVDs and playing board games - I was chivvying him to hurry up to get to school and he was all "Coming right away Mum! Such a hurry! I've got films to appreciate!"
And here is a photo of what I'm wearing today. It is our Christmas lunch so I am wearing green pants and red shoes. Like an elf.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Finally, the beach

It has been far too long, but I finally got myself a couple of days down the beach to sniff the sea air and check on the house. It was a weekend of massive rain in Canberra - which doesn't normally get much rain at all - but only drizzle at the coast. Which was fine because I was there to break the back of this goddam research paper! Did I do it? No, I did not. But I did something, which is better than nothing. It's been raining for most of the past week. Here is the dog being towelled off.

I only went down Saturday morning rather than Friday night because we went round to friends' for pizza and, would you believe it, she has just been appointed Australia's next ambassador to Samoa! Such excitement, and I was able to advise on important things like restaurants and snorkelling. I will leave the difficult questions of bi-lateral engagement well alone. So I lost Saturday morning to driving, and I shouldn't be too despondent about not really doing much on the research paper. I'm sure I did more than I would have if I'd been in Canberra and distracted by shops and sewing machines.

Here is Saturday afternoon and a quick walk between showers. Not really enticing me in for a swim. Speaking of awesome friends, one went on holiday to Tasmania on Friday and is letting us use her car, which has been an absolute lifesaver. It is much fancier than any car we've ever owned and beeps at us whenever anything is too close. My husband is driving it to work because he has guaranteed undercover car parking and mine is a bit dicey on sitting weeks. Yep, Parliament is back, the fun continues. This should be the last sitting week for the year ... end of year assemblies and graduations are continuing, christmas parties have started and I am very much looking forward to January. Lots of beach!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Much activity but not getting anywhere

Life with one car is wearing us down! Especially this time of year where there seems to be constant activities. For starters, we had the year 10 formal. Number one son in a suit from the op shop and his dad's bow tie. And dad's shoes. We bought him a new shirt ... thank heavens for boys. It was all very low fuss, but didn't he turn out handsome! Ignore the pained smile.


Arriving at the formal is a big thing, they try and think up the fanciest ways of getting themselves to the "red carpet". Apparently some kids arrived in a helicopter last year! We were never going to top that one. The formal was held at the Arboretum, and my son and his friend decided to get their old scooters and scoot down from the hill behind the function centre. It was very well received apparently.

In the end our car was written off by the insurance company, so we've picked out another one with minimum research and maximum laziness ... the same but bigger, because it's amazing what a seven year old will fit into that a fifteen year old won't! But even with minimum research there's a heap of fiddling around with paperwork and decisions and phone calls. On top of the usual end of year stuff of concerts and school assemblies and actually having to work for a living! I will be glad for January.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The non-binding postal survey

Here at last is the finished rainbow scrap quilt - to celebrate all things marriage equality and the fact that Australians also agree it is a good idea. You would think it would go without saying, but we had to have a non-binding postal survey, and I had to make a rainbow scrap quilt to go with it.

It's got straight-line quilting and a grey binding. I trialled scrappy binding but it just didn't work so went with the grey chevrons. I had to take a photo inside because we have been having buckets of rain and storms for the last few days. Wonderful for the garden - I spent an hour Sunday morning pulling out weeds and the ground was actually damp - but not so good for the washing.

But it wasn't raining on Thursday evening when I crashed my car ... perfectly good light at a perfectly normal intersection where I failed to see an oncoming car as I was turning and they crashed right into me. Nobody was hurt thank heavens, but such a noise, and my airbags went off, and people everywhere! I was on my way to a show at the school that my husband was already at, so he walked up and met me and called the insurance company. The other car was crumpled but driveable, but we had to get a tow truck for ours. All very avoidable and I was quite shaken up. We're waiting to see what the insurance company is going to do with the car - fix it or write it off - either way it's a lot of unnecessary hassle! At least no-one was injured. I was glad to have a very quiet weekend.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Home again

I made it back home on the weekend - lovely to be back. It was a great couple of weeks but quite a bit of work and hotel living gets wearying after a while. Especially this hotel, which was filled with people having a lovely holiday, and doing it at hours that aren't always conducive to holding down an office job. I moved rooms after a few days to one further away from the pool and bar, which was good, except it was closer to the church, which started singing at 5 am, but that was better than the alternative ... except on the last night where my roof gave up the ghost and started leaking! So they moved me again. It was very nice to be home.

Not that I stayed there for long because on Tuesday I flew down to Melbourne for the day for work. Six am flight down and eight pm flight back which makes for a long day, but Melbourne is always lovely! Except for the traffic, which was appalling. Lots of roadworks.

The work was good, and we had the chance to take a walk around the CBD, although it was a hot sunny day. I was tired by the end. The woman who sat next to me on the flight back wanted to know if I was a Platinum frequent flyer (no) because Row 4 is normally reserved for Platinum (it's not) and the computer makes sure no-one sits next to her (it clearly didn't) .... in the end I faked sleep because good lord I don't need to know some old lady's frequent flyer status at the end of a long day. Although she knocked back two mini-bottles of sparkling wine in a 43 minute flight so had to respect her for that.

Now I just have to turn my mind to my much-neglected research paper which is due worryingly soon. I would of course rather be sewing. I did take the time to make a few more of Bonnie's chunky churn dash blocks which is the latest scrappy project. They are very easy and very cute.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Nothing much to report

I feel like I should be full of exotic tales given I'm here in the South Pacific ... but there's not much to say. We work during the day, then think about work in the evening, then go back to work again!

The Parliament is in temporary premises at a sports complex while the permanent Parliament building is getting refurbished. It's taking years and they've set the sports complex up very nicely. I didn't realise the committee rooms used to be squash courts until someone pointed it out to me! And the grounds are beautiful, everything just grows and is wonderfully green. It's rained every day, which is like heaven to me.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Well, after whinging that I never get to go anywhere for work, I find myself in Apia, the capital of the Independent State of Samoa, for two weeks. I am - in theory at least - assisting their parliamentary staff as part of our program with them, although whether anyone is really learning anything from my random pearls of wisdom I do not know. They are very kind and I am having a lovely time, which must count for something!

I feel very lucky to have something so exciting to do so soon after the European adventure - and it is so nice to be back in the Pacific again after nearly three years! It is really familiar, although I've only been to Samoa once before, when we went on holiday to American Samoa in 2010, but I know about some of the challenges of a small country in a big sea. Not that I have any answers to any of it ...

Everything is closed in Samoa on a Sunday so I went for a long walk this morning and visited with some fishies in the afternoon at the Palolo Marine Reserve. Walking distance from the hotel, and just magical at high tide. Floating around looking at pretty little fish in water as warm as a bathtub! I have missed it. A lot.