a very good Friday

easter happy

Rain falling, lying in bed with Mr FD beside me and our tall trees visible through the open window, is almost a decadent way of starting my Easter break.

Two weeks before the new term starts and time to nurture my commitment to my teaching. Two weeks to forget how much I want to beat some children, and even more so their parents.

Happy Easter

living a life of dreams

van 1

Mist filled the valleys and the hollows throughout the countryside as I drove to work these past two mornings. The mornings have had that autumn feeling that I have longed for, but the days continue hot. The misty morns touch the countryside with romance and fantasy.

A week or two ago, I  caught sight of a woman driving a hot pink ice cream van down the highway. I don’t think it was still used as an ice cream van, there was no large ice cream cone attached to its roof and it didn’t play the tune Greensleeves, but there was no mistaking its origins.

The idea of buying an pink ice cream van and driving around the countryside seems appealing to me, somehow. Have you ever seen anyone who doesn’t smile when they see or hear an ice cream van? It always brings back happy memories of childhood, doesn’t it?

I fancied the adventure I might have, driving here and there at will, bringing smiles to people. They might wake and I would be parked outside, sitting beside my pink van, taking tea in the morning sun; or I could watch the sun set, before bedding down for a night in my little van. A trail of smiles would follow in my wake.

Just me, a large teapot, and my van. Sigh…

autumnus

joey

Carter, Jeff, 1928-2010. Orphaned joey wearing a winter overcoat made from an old sweater sleeve, Foxground, New South Wales, 1968

 

Everyone in the northern hemisphere seems to be heralding the arrival of spring, and considering the winter that you have experienced, I can understand.

We here in the southern hemisphere are however on a different seasonal calendar. We are waiting for autumn.

Here in  our patch of subtropical Queensland, we are yet to experience a day below 30C. It has been an extremely hot summer with day after day over 35C and nights that did not allow enough cooling to be comfortable. I am so over summer, so over sweating, and teenage boy body odour after lunch sport, and fruit flies, mosquitoes, snakes, hail storms and cyclones, mould in the bathroom and having to drive in boiling hot cars at the end of the day.

Send me days to wear woollens, and nights to light fires. I need meals  that are warm and comforting, and excuses to simmer thick soups. Socks and boots and fingerless gloves. Scarves!

Bring it on!

Autumn in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Autumn in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

 

To roll with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon

woman with dog

Will exchange large, ill-mannered blonde golden retriever for old, slow, lap cat.

I decided to strike out and take Augie Dog for a walk. He was so excited when he saw me pick up his orange lead that he started twirling and whirling in circles. Daughter1, who is staying with us, decided to join us. She was in for a treat.

Half way down the  hill towards our front fence, Augie must have picked up the scent of something really enticing, perhaps a wallaby, or a possum and all forty kilos of dog raced away with Flamingo Dancer in tow.

Well, I kept up for a metre or so, before the slope of the hill and poor foot work brought me down. I hit the ground and rolled.

No hand on his leash, Augie turned back and thinking I was in for a game, jumped on top of me. Daughter1, who had the manners and good sense not to laugh at her mother floored by a dog, grabbed his leash and pulled Augie into control.

“Are you okay,” she asked.

No.”

We continued on down the road where we were met by a dog that escaped from a nearby yard. It looked as though it was part pig dog, which too many dogs are in the country, and next thing, my stupid genes came into play and I placed myself between the two dogs. Yes, I know, stupid, stupid, stupid. Luckily, the interloper was more inquisitive than aggressive and its owner soon puffed up the hill and retrieved it.

By then both daughter and I had enough of the dog walking and turned for home. Another neighbour, a wild life warrior from down the road whom we had never met before, pulls up in his truck and as greeting calls, “Is that the dog that ran through my yard yesterday?”

“No, we have a fence. He is never out of his yard.”

“Well, it looks like the dog.”

“The breeder lives locally, there are golden retrievers everywhere,” I snapped and walked on. What an objectionable man.

Back home, I told Augie I was trading him in for a lap cat. He appeared not to care.

Daughter added insult to injury by commenting that “every time I walk out with you, you fall over.” She was referring to the start of the year when I tripped while carrying Petite Fille in the garden.

“Common denominator is?” I replied, applying disinfectant to my knee graze. “I refuse to walk with you for it is obviously your fault.” She appeared not to care.

Minerva sent a text a little later to say that she had been forced to put one of her dogs down over the weekend. I said she could have Augie Dog. She was not amused.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera

the revolving door policy

team meeting inspiration. Verner Panton . 1963-64

You know how you have an empty nest, then a kid comes back, and then maybe goes away again. and maybe another kid will nest again for awhile? Well, this weekend we got a kid, a husband and a grandchild; for six to nine months.

Daughter, husband and Petite Fille’s home is undergoing major renovations. It means they need to vacant for the project. They had somewhere to moved to, but on the day of moving things went majorly astray, and with little more than a phone call we found ourselves welcoming them back home.

Because we haven’t had time to prepare, we are presently bursting at the seams, with our stuff and their stuff, and we all know how much stuff a toddler travels with! I have had to rescue a stuffed lemur from Augie Dog’s jaws more than once today.

Over the next week or so we will sort through things and move furniture around and maybe Son will have to move rooms, so that Petite Fille can be in her own room and near her parents. We have yet to discuss that one with Son… it is his birthday today and we thought we would allow him at least another day in ignorance.

This afternoon I was sitting outside in the late afternoon shade as Petite Fille played at making mud dams out of the pebble path Son had crafted so meticulously a few months ago, while son-in-law, Mr Boy, cooked sausages and potatoes on the bar-b-cue. Daughter1 was in the kitchen cooking more vegetables, and Mr FD was watching football on the television.  Son and his mate were playing computer games. The parrots were performing their afternoon socialising and Augie Dog was asleep by the patio door. The thought occurred to me that I am an incredibly lucky woman, to live where I do, have the family I have and to be gifted with this precious time with our granddaughter, Petite Fille.

Now, someone just remind me of that thought over the next few months. I suspect I may just need some intense reminding from time to time…

great story

nothing but blue skies and a pas de deux

We woke to the most beautiful blue sky morning. It was if the world was apologising for being so cruel in the last few days. The morning air had that autumn feeling, but any autumn changes are some weeks away.

It was the type of morning that made one want to get up and do something, something energetic. I curtailed the instinct with a cup of tea, and then another cup of tea. Moderation in all things.

tea Sanka 1952

Lunch time, I did venture out to pick tomatoes and salad leaves from our vegetable garden. By this time it was 33C outside and very, very muggy. Humid.

I pulled on my rain boots as the going was muddy, but I was rewarded by deep ruby red tomatoes and lush green salad leaves. Back in the house I was struggling to get my boots off, so asked Mr FD to assist.

Mr FD was sitting down so I had to stand beside his chair as he pulled on my boots. My frets were sweaty from the heavy foot ware, which made it a little tough – well, if it was easier I would have accomplished it myself, right?

One tug, two. Mr FD must have been under the impression I was third years younger and as flexible as a practising prima ballerina, because he kept raising my leg higher and higher. When it was level with my hip, I yelled “enough”. Oddly, the boot came away then.

Repeat on the second boot.

Afterwards, Mr FD commented, “Oh, I hope you can walk tomorrow, and not dislocated a hip or anything.”

Mr FD’s powers of hindsight are unparalleled.

tutti fruiti

country apples

The sun came out this afternoon. It is still raining on the coast, but inland it is starting to dry out. Quiet day at home, so I slept in. Augie Dog did too.

For some reason, Augie won’t move from my bedside until I do; even if Mr FD is up and about. Sometimes, he goes out for a toilet break, but then he comes back to my bedside. I can only guess that he is in the routine of my early, weekday risings to go to work, and thinks the day only starts if I get up. Or he just loves me best!

Got a bit carried away with the fruit today. Cooked apricot chicken for dinner, followed by an apple crumble served with vanilla bean greek yoghurt for dessert. We rarely eat dessert, so after all that food, I feel like a gluttonous little piggy!

Mr FD and I shared a bottle of white as well, which had us heckling the Prime Minister when he appeared on the evening news. We don’t need alcohol to heckle the Prime Minister, we do it most of the time, but alcohol makes us more creative with our insults and outrage.