After some dreary weather, when summer cloaked itself in dark grey and delivered us lovely rain, albeit chilly days, the sun finally burst through the clouds this afternoon and treated us to some glorious warmth. We took a good walk – turning and turning down one unfamiliar side street after the other. Then, once back home, the two legged and four legged inhabitants of Bootville gathered up supplies and nestled into our cheery back garden.
And it was very good. :-) It was one of those afternoons that is totally unscripted. There were no plans made, no special supplies purchased, no discussion or debate about what could or should happen. Just pure, joyful, imaginative play for all. Whilst walking the doggles, Abby provided a constant patter, embellishing the names, lives and adventures of our furry children as well as creating a whole kennel of amazingly accomplished comrades, the favourite of which was Trixie Twinkletoes Trot-a-lot Delight (Lauren Child’s Parisian Poodle).
By the time we were back home “The Pink Poodle” – a newspaper for dogs – was ready for writing up. Abby donned her pink poncho (thrifted from a church jumble sale for $2!) turning into Trixie Twinkletoes, and sewing supplies were retrieved from the sewing house for both her and I.
Trixie needed a bone – drawn onto some left over suede from Abby’s Book week costume …
it was stitched up …
stuffing was harvested …
and then, after snacks, the bone was stuffed and ready for play.
Whilst stitching, I threw balls, scratched behind ears, admired feats of acrobatic dogginess, finished off knots, helped turn-out, and added the last closing stitches to Trixie’s new bone.
Yes, Abby’s 12 and starting high school next week. She is passionately interested in animal welfare, takes an informed interested in local and international politics, loves to shop for clothes with her Nan, play Wii with her Dad, and spend hours discussing the merits of Twilight and New Moon with her friends. But she still loves to play and that fills my heart with relief.
Over the Christmas season, we had dinner with some lovely friends who have a daughter just a few months younger than Abby. They have played together since they were toddlers and have always had lots in common. But all of a sudden, at their home for a long and leisurely dinner and play, Abby’s friend no longer played. Instead she hung around the adults, wanting to talk jewellery and boyfriends and hairstyles. Poor old Abby was mystified. She had looked forward to this annual event for weeks, talking about about all the things they would do and the fun they would have. Her bag was packed with her swimming costume and doll clothes’ sewing supplies but it was just not to be. When not trying very hard to make sophisticated conversation with the adults, the friend lay on her bed and read. In the end, swallowing her tears and trying hard not to feel foolish, Abby gave up and played with the five year old brother. He was delighted with the attention! But it was a difficult and uncomfortable evening for Abby.
I am not sitting in judgement of this child and her actions, but I do feel a little sad for her – and Abby! - that she is already turning away from the magic of childhood and the freedom of playing. It is a topic that is talked about so regularly in the media – the sexualisation of our children, especially daughters, the failing of our education systems to let children be children and encourage them to explore and learn through creativity and play, the obsession of many parents to push their children into countless after school activities and focus entirely on their child’s academic achievements. The disappearance of long, peaceful hours of playing at home and being children. Why have we let this happen?
Over my years working at a girls’ boarding school, I have seen so many little girls arrive at the tender age of 11 or 12, still thinking of themselves as children, looking like children, wanting to be children, missing their homes and toys and parents, but within days feeling/recognising the “need” to cast aside this “childishness” and assume the mantle of a savvy teenager. It’s an aspect of boarding school I really dislike. It’s an aspect of these pre-teen years that really bothers me and one that I have tried hard to play down for Abby.
In true old lady style, I tried over and over to impress upon the girls at school that they had YEARS ahead of them as adults, when they will have obligations, jobs, responsibilities … they should hold on to these young years of freedom and fun. As you can well imagine, my pleas always fell upon deaf, incredulous ears :-)
So here we are, in the back garden and my daughter is a dog called Trixie Twinkletoes Trot-a-lot Delight. I couldn’t be happier.
Something else we’ve never had before … local berry and fruit farms. Well – at least, not too far away. Whilst Abby’s much-loved friend Sacha was visiting, we trooped off to Yileen – an organic berry and fruit farm perched on the edge of the tiny village of Hallston, nestled deep in the beautiful Yarra Valley. It was quite the epic journey.
The mostly dirt road twisted up many hills, threaded its way past countless rolling fields of lush pasture, bales of hay and cows, and tumbled down, down, down into deep shady valleys. And we got lost. Of course we did! Stalled under a huge tree, aside the Hallston Community Hall, we gave up on the GPS and called Farmer Jenny for advice.
In lovely country style, directions were provided with good humour and warmth, and within minutes we found ourselves over our heads in berry canes and bushes. Belted Galloways (I think that’s what they were called – cows that is) grazed in the fields of MooGrass (Jenny’s husband’s side of the farm), roses scrambled over fences and climbed outbuildings, countless birds that I have only seen and heard in books and documentaries trilled amongst the trees, bees hummed to us as they vied for the sweetness of the berry bushes, and we picked buckets of lush, sun-warmed berries in the hot, hot sun. 38 degrees celsius. Boy was it hot, still and fragrant amongst those bushes. It was a magical sensation.
Good thing Farmer Jenny’s son makes organic ice creams with his mum’s berries. After we’d had our fill of berry picking and had the only ripe peach on the farm land at our feet, we sat in the cool of Yileen’s garden under a majestic Indian Bean Tree, where Jenny served us iced water and fresh icecream with berries on top and charmed us with her stories of life on the farm and their latest dear little grandson.
It was a goooooooood day. I cannot wait to return – and we have the low down on berry picking now. Early December for raspberries and mid-January for blackberries. Farmer Jenny advises we ring regularly to check ’cause each year, she has a platoon of local jam makers all poised and waiting for her beautiful berries to ripen. Once they come a-picking, they leave no stragglers!
After travelling to Yileen via Grand Ridge Road – a road that truly lives up to its name – Jenny suggested a different route home for its superior scenic qualities. We were doubtful this could be true, having spent the previous journey ooohing and aahing at every bend, but she was right. Our homeward trip was glorious and by the time we hit the motorway, all three of us were dreaming of our future as farmers. And after admiring so many cows, Abby’s even given up on beef.
She hasn’t, however, given up on enjoying the moment in that beautiful way that only children can. On the way home, she and Sacha had a riotous time painting their faces with berries. They ate the good ones and those that were a bit smooshed, were used as paint. They had several different looks – the 18th century French, the richly decorated tribal, and then the plain silly. Strangely enough, they didn’t want to get out of the car at the shops with their chins painted berry red.
We Boots enthusiastically recommend berry picking for a great day’s fun. What better way to celebrate the bounty and beauty of summer – and now we have a freezer full of yummy berries! :-) Thank you Farmer Jenny for sharing your glorious part of the world with us.
The internet around here is still very wobbly (dratted 3G modem – according to Julian this is network service on par with AT & T – we’re up for 5 minutes – and down for 5 – up for 5 – down for 5). As such, I compose posts in my head throughout the days, and never get around to writing them! Apparently tomorrow, we will have full-on, proper, official, working, reliable internet. Cool. So – instead of regular updating – we have snippets of what we’ve been enjoying over the last fortnight.
Our new life in Melbourne brings with it daylight saving. That’s right, after decades of debate and a couple of unrefutable referendums, Queensland has stoutly refused to embrace daylight saving – does this make it the only state in Australia without daylight saving? Certainly on the east coast it is. But here in Melbourne, the sun rises an hour later (making it oh so hard for me to get out of bed each morning) but sets an hour later. That coupled with being so much further south provides us Boots with a previously unexperienced and beautiful twilight. Mmmm … twilight. Such a lovely word, and such a truly lovely time of the day.
And our new back garden is so very lovely. Very green and leafy and private. Hour upon hour is spent lolling on the grass, sinking into the cane chairs and relishing the warmth of the sun, the coolness of a gentle breeze and the soft hours of late sunlight. There’s been much reading, drawing and knitting … and also games playing. Our favourite for a quick after dinner laugh – Memory Boot.
I had such fun making this for Julian’s Father’s Day – choosing the photos, cutting the wood, endless coats of mod podge. Now, here in Melbourne, it is such fun to play. Every block that is turned over generates an exclaim of “Ice-cream at Cleveland with old Nanny and Grandad!”, “Cello picnic!”, “Yum! Papa’s epic chocolate mousse production!” “Sacha and I at the beach!” and so on, so forth. All of them lovely reminders of our family and friends, who, no matter how far we roam, will always be with us.
Whilst making Memory Boot, I really only thought about it as a handmade memory game. Now, it has transformed into a sweet, funny and joyful celebration of 2009. Already there’s talk of Memory Boot 2010. Perhaps in years to come, there will be many little bags lined up on the games shelf, each containing a record of our family’s good times.
Can you imagine taking down a particular year and playing it with family and friends of the future?! I know I would have been delighted as a child – even now as an adult! – to have had such a game to share with my cousins, aunts, uncles and nephews. What a hoot it would have been as the photos grew older and older, funnier and funnier! And all the while reminding us of the love and good times we share.
And so we have the making of a new family tradition … the choosing of photos to represent what we loved about a year, dividing up the tasks … sawing, sanding, pasting and painting … and then hours of playing together. My idea of perfect :-)
Good morning dear folk! I am still here and we are so very well. There’s so much to tell you and so many stories and photos to share. There is, however, no Internet connection here at Bootville (using the phone just now). So I wanted to drop this lovely space and reach out to you dear people and say hi, I hole the first weeks of your new year have been peaceful and filled with the promise of what this year will bring. The morning here is quiet and cool, the house is mostly unpacked, the sewing room not at all (Carolann and I will start that day – yes, my dear friend has come down for a wee holiday already) and the kitchen is full of apricots. There are trays of apricots drying in the oven, a huge pot of them gently simmering on the stove and a box at my feet. I must say I do like this wonderful fruit thing here in Melbourne. In fact, we are having a good time :-)
I am so looking forward to visiting you soon – I’ll bet I have weeks of lovely, inspiring reading to catch up on. And Im itching to show you around here.
Take care dear folk and enjoy your day. See you soon I hope! Wifi at the library – yes that’s worth checking out …
Oh no, I can’t work out how to go back and proof read – ah well, I know you’ll excuse any mistakes :-)
… to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax; of cabbages and kings.
Yep, we are a couple of hours away from being on the road. The car is packed to the brim. Mum’s house is looking so empty and lonely. Mum is feeling empty and lonely. Abby is off camping with friends. Julian and I are about to head south.
We’ve been so busy the last fortnight … a week in Melbourne unpacking the house. A week in Brisbane celebrating Christmas with our family. All so bittersweet.
Now, after a busy year of discussing our family’s future, planning for it, changing the plans umpteen times, dreading it, looking forward to it, it has arrived. Oh my, I have shed almost more tears over the last three days than the off-shore cyclone has dumped rain on our sodden town.
Both Mum and I keep re-reading Carrie’s inspiring post on being the Queen of our homes. The Queen simply would not fall to pieces and sob despondently :-) No, she would be strong for her family, appreciate the love, privilege, security and comfort of living with Mum for the last 18 months; and look forward to continuing to share that from a distance during our working weeks, and in person during the wonderful holidays that will come often and soon.
But, we’re a bit wobbly at this. Good thing I have a 5 day road trip to share with Julian … we will be meandering down the east coast of Australia, round the bottom and up to Melbourne. And Mum has her sister Mary visiting from Vancouver, my sister Janie and her wee boys, Oscar and Sam arriving in a fortnight; and Aunty Mary and Aunty Anne coming in today for diversional therapy.
And then, there’s skype, virgin-to-virgin free mobile calls, emails and of course the blog, for us to share our days, offer our love and hold hands when we need to. Thank goodness for technology.
So, I’m signing off again for another week. Hopefully, by the end of the weekend, there will be a degree of normality in our lives (including a found camera battery charger), a settling in to our homes for both Mum and I, an establishing of new routines and pleasures.
For now, my heart is breaking … I already miss my beloved Mum.
Sadly, with preparations for Christmas and Saint Lucia’s day progressing with good cheer and peaceful spirits, we are back to eating supper on our laps!
Every table in the house has been commandeered for stitching …
sticking and opening
And when the moment finally comes that we have parcels ready for posting, we jump to it, fill the bags …
… and race off to the post office, desperate to make the 12.30 closing (gee whizz Australia Post! couldn’t you show a wee bit of Christmas cheer and have extended hours for the holiday season!), and ignore the fact that we haven’t cleaned our teeth, or brushed our hair, and are wearing our garden thongs. Hopefully we won’t see anyone we know :-0
p.s. hours later … credit where credit’s due, we drove into the GPO in the city at 12.20pm and, with great Christmas cheer, patience and good humour, the post office staff there just kept on greeting customers and stamping parcels, loooooong after the short hand reached 12 and the long hand hit 6. Merry Christmas lovely post people – may you be rewarded with friendly customers and short journeys home at the end of a busy day :-)
Since taking part in Heather’s beautiful vintage swap and Kyrie’s Seasons Round Exchange, I have “met” so many interesting and lovely women. Exquisite photography, whimsical crafts, wonderful interpretations of life … and a whole lot of Waldorf.
Here in Australia we certainly have schools following Rudolph Steiner’s philosophies on education – we call them Steiner schools – but it is not an area I know a lot about or have had any real experience with. There is a beautiful Steiner shop in Melbourne – Abby and I used to visit it lots when she was a wee toddler. We’ve bought many Advent Calendars from there – no one does Advent Calendars like those following the Steiner traditions – wax, wool and books. One book we really loved was “Seven Times the Sun” and we incorporated many of the ideas from this book in our daily routine.
However, once we moved back to Brisbane when Abby was 4, our little, informal sojourn into creating a thoughtful, rhythmical life in this tradition, petered out. Which is why, now, despite Abby being the grand age of 12, I am so delighted to have found a community of families who are practising these beautiful rituals and instilling in their children a sense of continuity and season. I do believe, so much of these teachings already meld gently with our lives and particularly our love of handmade and home focused.
Perhaps too, it is our impending move south that is drawing me to learn more about the Waldorf principles and practices, and create – with Julian and Abby – more structure and rhythm to our home and life. Zach Aboard, Exhale. Return to Centre, Shivaya Naturals, A Handmade Childhood, The Parenting Passageway, Lady I Swear by all Flowers … are all inspiring me to share more meaningful, age-old traditions with my family. And of course, this is the perfect time of year for this – despite the fact that a lot of the celebrations are a bit skew-iff for us in the southern hemisphere. Perhaps we can enjoy them now and again in our winter :-)
So – Saint Lucia. It is her feast day on Sunday and Abby and I have been reading up on her – attending a Catholic school, Abby feels very familiar with the virgin saints! (as do I – I don’t think I will EVER forget the story of Maria Goretti – goodness, the things we were taught as wee children! I’ve had a mortal fear of pitchforks ever since). And the celebration of Saint Lucia as a bearer of light is so very beautiful.
I told Abby this morning, she would have to rise at dawn on Sunday, bake some lussekat and serve them to us for breakfast. She wasn’t very sure :-) I have to confess, I wasn’t either. All of our baking equipment and goodies are in Melbourne so I wasn’t confident we could produce something lovely enough. Then, there we were at Ikea today (another HUGE shopping trip for Mum’s school) and what were they serving in the cafe – lussekat. Ha! We were able to share with the lovely lady at the register, the story of Saint Lucia and the lussekat and now have three pretty yellow buns – in s shapes no less – in our freezer, waiting to be heated and enjoyed on Sunday.
Oh – and we created our own picture of Saint Lucia to hang in a special place for Advent. She started looking so pure this morning – very simple and saintly. Now, as the evening draws to a close, she is looking much richer and more worldly. I do truly love her wreath – it is so very textured. Stitching her reminded me too, of how much I love sitting quietly in the living room, a lamp beside me, my dear girl across from me, steadily working with felt and thread to create pictures. Utter delight. I think a quiet corner of our home and a few candles will provide the perfect setting for our Lucia.
And next winter, as we are snuggled in our new home, relishing the cold Melbourne winter and approaching our southern winter solstice, I am sure Saint Lucia will pay us a mid year visit so that we may truly appreciate her lighting our way.
thank you new friends.
God Jul to you all! A little Prairie Schooler beauty that’s been keeping me up at nights …
The pattern – sent to me by my lovely, lovely friend Diane – doesn’t have a name and was published in 1987! That was a while ago. Let me think … nope, I didn’t pick up my first cross stitch needle until two years after this, but quickly became a lover of all things Prairie Schooler.
As the critters were facing opposite directions, they just had to be stitched together – bit wistful really. Looking longingly at each other but never able to reach each other. The sheep – yep, it’s clearly a sheep – would just roll on past …
and the poor goat (or is it a donkey? I don’t know – it does have a bit of a beard) would just keep lurching back and forth and back and forth. Ah, such as life for these Christmas critters – at least they have some lovely greenery and a Swedish Christmas wish.
I added the leaves and berries – obviously – to represent the leaves and lingonberries of St. Lucia’s wreath. I backed it with red felt, stuffed it with a lovely fat piece of wool (from the futon shop – hee! hee! hee! – what an awesome find!) and added a lovely red and white ribbon with which to hang it – the white of St. Lucia’s dress and the red of her ribbon sash.
It’s a relief to see that the Christmas spirit prevails at Bootville, even amidst the chaos of moving. I was beginning to think it would just sneak quietly round the corner, disappear down the street, and I would miss my favourite time of year.
So there you are – God Jul!
p.s. there’s more St. Lucia goodness to come on her name day – the 13th December – when’s that (counting on my fingers) … Sunday! That’s when I arrive in Melbourne to help Julian unpack the house. Hmmm ….
Meet Synnove. She is one of the many woodland elves that now make their homes amongst ours. During the long, cold winter months, Synnove devotes herself to keeping her household’s fireplace bright, merry and warm. In return, all that she hopes for is a wee saffron bun and a warm cinnamon milk, left by the fire for her, on her name day celebration – the eve of the winter solstice. For she is a gift of the sun.
I started Synnove with the legs of Tanya’s Baby Gnome pattern but made them a wee bit wider – just an extra 2 stitches wide and 4 rows longer. I then knitted the body up to where I wanted the arms to start and here’s where the pattern deviates considerably. In my earlier efforts, I was utterly stymied by the stitching on of the little arms at the end. I couldn’t get them to look smooth enough or sit in the right spot. In fact, I so disliked them, I never wanted to knit another elf – which was a great shame because Abby had great plans for them. I must stress here – the above whining in no way reflects poorly on Tanya’s wonderful baby gnome pattern – I would be nowhere without it – instead, it is a sign of my clumsiness. So today I was determined to knit the whole elf, apart from the hat, in one piece.
I thought, and thought, and thought, and thought, and thought. This kind of thinking doesn’t come too easily to me! I have trouble visualising 3-D things. 2-D not a problem. 3-D – complete bafflement. So I made a couple of versions out of paper – the above is my final pattern :-) However, being the careless person I am, when I reached Synnove’s arms, I didn’t check my pattern, and blithely knitted on. Yes – I had to frog her arms and do them again. But second time round, they worked like a dream and my elf sewed up beautifully.
For stuffing? I loathe polyfill. It utterly defeats the purpose. Why would I go to great lengths to make my dolls out of cotton, silk, wool and linen, only to shove them full of polyester revoltingness. I tell you why. It has been SUPREMELY difficult to source any other form of stuffing here in Brisbane and I always want said stuffing NOW, not next week which is how long it would take to order it over the internet – and it’s awfully expensive.
This dilemma needed thinking outside the box. Something else I’m not famous for. However, I had a flash of sheer brilliance. Don’t ask me how my mind wandered here – I’ve no idea. I just all of a sudden thought – futons. There’s a futon factory around the corner from me. Now the word factory conjures up less than peaceful images. Nothing could be further from what I found. The fellow I spoke to on the phone said “Sure! Come around and see me.” I did. And found what looked more like an open air Japanese temple with slatted wooden floors, beautiful incense, cool breezes and lots and lots of pure wool and pure cotton. Yee-ha!
Now I have a whole backseat of the car full of this ….
Sheets of pure wool batting which I can tear up – and have stuffed Synnove with – and my, what a lovely job it did; and bags of cotton stuffing – that’ll be good for kokeshi dolls. The best part is they were the futon factories offcuts! I was practically lending him a hand. :-) Cool huh!
Look out for Synnove this winter won’t you! I have heard tell that if you forget her name day celebration treat, your fireplace will smoke for the rest of the season. And keep an eye peeled for her brother Lorens – he is well loved for the kindess and care he shows the forest animals when it’s terribly cold and food is hard to come by.
Thank you again, dear folk, for your lovely support and friendship. I am feeling so much better today. There has been quite a build up of “goodbye sadness” over the last few weeks and now, that much of it is over, there is almost a sense of relief. We do have lovely memories, good friends to keep in touch with, and wonderful opportunities before us. Thank goodness :-)
Having endured the recent removal of all our worldly goods to Melbourne, I’ve been mulling over the incredible accumulation of stuff we seem to have been indulging in for the last decade or so. It seems we need ever more rooms, bigger houses and even storage facilities to accommodate our stuff.
[ the perfect nook to sit and knit on a breezy Saturday morning ]
Recently reading an article titled “An Authentic Christmas” by Hannah Robinson of “A Handmade Childhood”, I’ve come to agree that not only is giving more stuff becoming increasingly stressful, extravagant and diffcult for the giver; it creates a dilemma for the recipient – where are they going to put this new stuff. Eeeek!
And the stress is passed down the chain further with our gluttony for stuff consuming more natural and “unnatural” resources, belching out more pollution in the manufacturing and transport of these unneccessary goods, and then so much of the stuff winds up as landfill. I seriously know people who change their furniture every second year – double EEEEK!
I’m not immune from idiocy and thoughtlessness – especially at Christmas. I’ve been guilty of wanting to give gifts for special celebrations that will “last forever” – goodness! What a responsibility for the poor person at the end of my over zealous gift-giving! And does this really express more love and gratitude? I don’t think so. And I’ve been caught with a sharpie in hand, madly circling all the stuff I need from catalogues.
With all this in mind, I am seeking the small, useful, handmade and lovely this Christmas. And that is what all those special to me will be receiving. For aunties, grandmothers, cousins and friends, I am knitting pretty Christmas face cloths with which to wrap a lovely bar of handmade soap. Useful. Beautiful. And it won’t clutter up the house. At the end of the day, when it is tired, it can be used as a rag, and I wonder if it could be put in the compost bin? Hmm …
(note: I did think about making the soap but having done some research, I’m not interested in the melt and remix variety. I’m madly interested in the make from scratch variety but that will require a great deal of reading, an accumulation of ingredients and several serious practice sessions. An opportunity for Melbourne I think :-) So I shall buy some beautiful blocks from a local eco-shop)
I am using Debbie Bliss’s Eco Cotton Yarns. She writes: “these beautiful yarns are manufactured from organic cotton within an ecological and socially conscious process through the bioRe textile chain, which integrates farmers, their families and the textile industry as equal partners. All production is based on the principle of fairness, with equal partnerships, involvement and participation, humane working hours and conditions. Eco cotton is grown without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers or defoliants and is harvested by hand. The yarn is dyed with non toxic or carcinogenic dyes and the water recycled and rendered drinkable.”
Cool huh! So without further adieu, I bring you a PDF of the first of the hand knitted face cloths – Christmas Stars. If it’s your cup of tea, I would love for you to knit it up and see what you think – shout to me about glaring errors, suggest improvements, etc. I do so love a knitted face cloth – especially with a textured pattern. I hope you don’t think me presumptuous for asking for your help – but just think – you’ll have a nice face cloth to give a special soul for Christmas. Thanks so much in advance :-)
I simply couldn’t write this yesterday. I was too sad.
Abby was a little bit wistful, carrying a brave face, and making the most of her last day at her beautiful school – St. Ita’s.
The tears welled up in my eyes as I farewelled her teacher first thing in the morning, and gave him his Christmas and End-of-Year gift. I came back for the End of Year Mass and handing over of the leadership candles from the Year 7s to the Year 6s – which my dear girl carried down the aisle, leading the procession – a bit braver, promising myself I wouldn’t cry for Abby’s sake. But the tears came again, and again, and again throughout the beautiful ceremony.
And when Mrs. Savage – a teacher whom has never even had Abby in her class – gave Abby a big hug, exclaiming “Oh my darling girl! Goodbye! I will miss you” that was the end of me. Mrs. Hutchins had to give me a hug.
However, despite its sadness, it was an incredibly affirming time with so many teachers and children and parents coming up to me to say goodbye and to tell me how much they loved Abby and would miss her. This reminded me of how much Abby has grown during her time at St. Ita’s. Their love, compassion, acceptance and encouragement has helped my girl find her strength and her voice. She will carry this inside her forever. Oh dear, I’m crying again. Such is why I couldn’t write this yesterday. I’m hopeless.
I’ll tell the rest with photos …
For the afternoon, Abby attended a pool party with all her friends from class – it was a wonderful way for her to finish the year and didn’t give her a chance to feel too sad – she was too busy having a marvellous time!
And me … well I thought about going shopping, heading down to Tangled Yarns and buying the yarn and pattern to make a gorgeous knitted linen tunic – but I am trying to be more frugal and to remember that the acquisition of stuff might make me feel good for a couple of hours, but then, that rush of euphoria will wear off and I will still having the same feelings carousing through my mind and body. So I went to the hairdressers instead. Hairdresser therapy.
We talked all afternoon, shared stories, anxieties, dreams and it was very good.
I even started some Christmas knitting.
The day after twelve has been full of love. We’ve had the essential Christmas shopping … ie. that which cannot be handmade. We’ve popped corn and filled lolly boxes.
There’s been a few hours of stitching in preparation for tomorrow.
Beloved friends have visited (and one’s sleeping over!)
We’ve been to the movies … Where the Wild Things Are … and it was magical and wonderful. Do you know, Max eventually decides that the Wild Things don’t need a King – Alexander (the goat) doesn’t even believe they exist – no, Max wishes instead they had a mother. I agree, mothers are wonderful beings :-)
I think Carol Ann and I enjoyed it more than the children – they loved the Wild Things and the adventure – but as mumas, we watched that dear little boy and could see our own children. Their faces, the way they move their bodies when they’re sad or frustrated, the focus on self, the despair when they cause pain to those they love. Spike Jonze does an exquisite job at capturing what it is to be a child. And – we could see, when wars were being fought and clods of dirt hurled at each other’s faces, that it would end in tears … we mumas just know these things don’t we.
Do go! Go! But don’t take your little ones. It is more a film for older children and adults. Oh and listen to the soundtrack – it is awesome. We play it LOUD, with the windows down, singing at the top of our lungs. Well, at least Carol Ann and I do. Abby covers her face and cringes :-)
Finally, to end two days of birthday celebrations, my girl and her lovely friends filled a booth at our local sushi train restaurant Ginga – whilst we mumas sat across the room – and they had a wonderfully funny, silly, and “sophisticated” time. Each time we looked over at their dear sweet faces, they were aglow, laughter pouring out of them, hands waving with hilarity, and an awful lot of soy beans eaten.
Oh today has been so very good. Now we just have to get through tomorrow – the last day of school. Fingers crossed.