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.


a words worth


Every day adds new words to Petite Fille’s vocabulary. If we introduce a new word, she repeats it back and then owns it. On occasion she finds words humorous.

Her Daddy was walking in the garden with her when they saw a moth. He explained the word “moth” and she burst into giggles. Now, all he has to do is say “moth” and she laughs, no matter the context.

Petite Fille and I were playing with her toy monkey, and she threw it on the floor. I said “You’re a bit tough on your poor monkey!” and now she thinks the word, tough, is the funniest thing… well, since the word, moth.

At lunch, shared at the family table, we set her off by alternating the words, moth and tough and all had a great laugh. Cheap thrills.

your wish is my command

happy swing

Petite Fille celebrates her second birthday in little over a week. She is quite the little Flamingo Dancer Family member now. Her language skills are progressing every week.

She is speaking in more complex sentences. She favours the royal form of self address, in the third person. Rather than the pronoun I, she favours Petite Fille, so her sentences are more Petite Fille in the bath.

Like the true Flamingo Dancer offspring, she announces, “Petite Fille needs a drink of water.” It is always “needs”. “Petite Fille needs teddy bear.”  “Petite Fille needs bubbles.” Why waste time on wants, just make it a need and everything is sweet!

A chippette off the old Flamingo Dancer block!


doing small things


Once we were a family of five in a house and any food item that entered our house was soon consumed. I bought economy size. Now, we are not a family of five, as chickens grow and make their own nests. Economy size is no longer required.

Once, I would buy a large bottle of mayonnaise knowing it would be consumed well before its use by date. Now, it won’t be. Even small sizes aren’t always consumed before the clock ticks over.

My problem is that without warning those chickens can return, a phone call on a Sunday morning and news they are on their unexpected way. Lunch?  Of course!

Also, a couple of days of heavy rain can see us cut off  by flood waters, thankfully not frequently, but it can happen. Last time our Village centre was out of action for weeks, not just days.

Now I find that I am making more elements of our meals, the basic elements, than I ever have. Mayonnaise, just a few minute and I have a fresh version. A well stocked pantry is getting me through most events. What the pantry doesn’t handle a little creativity and substitution often makes up the difference. It is almost fun, pulling off the Flamingo Dancer’s version. Failure is not a fault, it means that I tried!

The benefit that I never realised until recently, well, when I started thinking about writing this post, is that this has served to simplify our meals and even our lives. No longer do I run to the supermarket for costly ingredients that will only be used once. I choose recipes that I know I already have ingredients for in the pantry. And no, we do not eat the same thing every meal.

I think we are also eating a healthier diet. I do have to think and plan more, but that is a positive. I also order our groceries online, so the spontaneous buying of “new products” no longer blows out the budget, and in turn cuts down the unnecessary extra salt and sugar of processed food.

When I make something from “scratch” I feel as though I am caring for my family in the best way. I also feel a link to all the women in my family from previous generations who have done the exact same thing. I guess, I am trying to say that I feel it all a very holistic experience, and that has been a surprise.

It is getting to be a very overused adage, but once again it proves to me that the simple things in life really are the best. As though I didn’t know that already!

cook book

Does the mind replay what the heart can’t delete?

trixie belden

I remember:

Watching The World of Disney on a Sunday evening.

Being allowed a sip of beer from teeny, tiny liquor glasses on “special” occasions.

My Mum sitting by my bed as I ate vegemite sandwiches and drank a glass of milk, when I woke hungry in the middle of the night.

The places our imaginations took us when playing with my best friend on her farm. Nothing like a ute (utility truck) to become a boat, a space ship, a caravan,or an island.

My nose starting to bleed in the middle of My First Holy Communion.

Being diagnosed with Scarlet Fever.

Visiting the library for the first time.

My first and only Barbie doll. She has dark permed hair! And yes I still have her!

Kneeling on bare wooden floors to recite the rosary in grade one.

My Grandmother’s fruit, jelly and ice cream desserts.

Feeding the pigs with my Grandmother.

My Grandfather telling me mixed up fairytales, and laughing.

Cousins, lots of cousins and always playing.

Wishing I had a baby brother or sister, so I would’t be the baby and I wouldn’t be lonely.

Our family doctor making house visits and teasing my sister for the Beatles posters on our shared bedroom wall.

My parents always helping, opening our home, to the children of friends and family in crisis.

Never not knowing how to read.

Waiting for each week’s edition of Teddy Bear magazine to arrive.

Reading and rereading my Trixie Belden books.

My father “paying” me twenty cents to comb his hair.

My best Christmas ever when I got a large boy doll and a table and chair set. The doll had clothes sewed by my mother and the table and chairs had been made by the family living next door, but they were perfect in every way.

Sunday visits to relatives, or relatives visiting us.

My Grandfather’s funeral and seeing my mother cry for the first time.

Being allowed to write with a pen for the first time.

The arrival of a second hand typewriter in our house and the hours I spent writing stories.


Just a few things that defined my life and shaped me into the person I am today. The beginning of me…

Memories are the architecture