Friday, August 29, 2008

More about me

I've been told that there aren't enough pictures of myself here on this blog so I thought I'd better oblige.

Dan took this picture the other morning - I wanted a pic of my scarf.. which I really love. Knitted out of Noro Silk Garden yarn, it just gets softer and softer as it ages. I'm quite into purple at the moment, wearing my usual dark coloured clothes with a splash or more of purple or red. I'm liking this new found style (I guess that's what one calls it). I also love the pattern of this scarf. It's knitted in one piece but looks like the pieces are sewn together. Neat trick! (I couldn't decide whether to put on fringing or not, hence those two ends that haven't been sewn in. I've decided now (no fringe) and I'll get around to hiding those bits soon.)

Some random facts about me:
  • I'm 5'2"-ish tall. I've been this height pretty much since I was 12. Thought I might get a bit taller during my teenage years but unfortunately did not :(

  • I wanted to be an author when I grew up. I was a huge fan of Roald Dahl. I even wrote him a letter once and got a great reply. I'll see if I can dig it up and show you one day.

  • I learned piano when I was younger. I got up to Grade 7, one below the top level. I stopped in order to concentrate on my final two years of high school. I always regret not finishing off the grades.

  • I was born in Sydney and have lived here my entire life... except for two months when I was 18 when I went up to the Torres Strait for the summer.

  • I'm allergic to cat fur. And yet I have always had a cat since our first dear pet arrived on our doorstep when I was 11. Heh. Sucker for punishment!

  • I'm great with numbers. I can remember phone numbers and birthdays really easily. Names I'm not always so good at. And my arithmetic's not crash hot (which brings much amusement to my friends, since I majored in Pure Maths at Uni).

  • I'm the only one in my family who has never needed glasses. My second and third brothers only had them for a short time, but everyone else has needed them (until my fourth brother had laser eye surgery).

  • Following from that - I'm the youngest of five children, and the only girl. Yes, I was/am spoiled a bit because of that :) We are a fairly close family - we all live in Sydney and always have. We try to get together regularly, every fortnight or more if possible. Even the non-school-age kids all go to the same child care centre!

  • I'm a stickler for spelling. The dictionary is my favourite book.

  • I'm not full Chinese (ethnically). My maternal grandfather was half Chinese, a quarter Spanish and a quarter Welsh!

  • I'm inherently lazy. If I can get away with not doing something, I won't. Or is that I will?

And on that note, I shall leave you this day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I love...

Anne at pinsandthimbles shared a writing exercise she was given recently.

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in a writing exercise we did in Barbara Samuel’s workshop. I’m not so sure if it’s just good to set you writing, or if it’s good to send you living, or both, but I’m sharing the idea because it made me happy. It still makes me happy.

Sit down — now, if you can — and write down 25 things you love. Specific things, not ‘I love my cat’ but ‘I love the way my cat smells when he’s sleepy.’ I struggled over the last five or ten, but that was a good thing because I had to think a little harder and be a little bit more true. I’m so glad I finished it. I think I understand myself better, and maybe I understand what I want to write about, too.

I think it's a wonderful idea. So here's mine. It wasn't overly easy to think of them all but as Anne said, it certainly made me happy.

  • I love the sound of my children's laughter.
  • I love the feel of strong arms around me.
  • I love the smell in the air before it rains.
  • I love to go outside on a clear dark night and look at the stars.
  • I love the light from the full moon.
  • I love the way some songs pierce you right inside.
  • I love scones with jam and fresh cream.
  • I love modern, bright, colourful fabric.
  • I love the feeling of satisfaction from getting something difficult done.
  • I love it when the kitchen is clean - no dirty dishes anywhere!
  • I love the smell of ironing, and the iron.
  • I love red shoes (I wish I had more).
  • I love chest hair (!!).
  • I love the feel of the shower on my back.
  • I love walking around Sydney Harbour with the sunlight glinting off the water.
  • I love holding newborn babies.
  • I love the sound of rain on a tin roof, especially if I'm snuggled up in bed under a warm quilt.
  • I love it when my children cooperate.
  • I love being cozy in my warmy-warm dressing gown.
  • I love thinking about a good book, even months after I've read it.
  • I love hearing my son play piano.
  • I love when my big brother, whom I always looked up to, asks me for advice!
  • I love the time of day when all the children are asleep and the time is my own.
  • I love sitting in the warmth of the sun on a sunny winter's day.
  • I love complete silence.

He's no Pro Hart

Atti got busy with a crayon last night. We're not sure what was going through his head at the time. Perhaps he was copying Elora. But he certainly got into big trouble for it.

Dan and I spent the rest of the evening (during our kid-free R&R time) cleaning it off. Oh, the wonders of WD-40! Is there anything it cannot do?

And all the while, I could not help but think of this ad:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A little less trusting of the world

A horrible thing happened earlier today. I'm not even sure that I want to write about it (and yet here I am)... thinking about it makes my hands shake again.

I took Atticus and Elora to the park this morning. Not our usual park just around the corner but another one a little further away, but still walking distance. Atti calls it the "Special Purple Park" because of the dual purple slides.

We had a pleasant wander along the bike track to get there. I'd wanted to check it out for a while now (it's new). There was noone else there, which I was quite pleased about. Not long after we arrived, a man came and sat down at the park bench/picnic table next to the playground. He had a shirt and tie and business pants on, with some papers and a book. He sat down and started reading and working. I assumed that he was just taking a break in the middle of the day.

A few times I noticed him watching the kids and I and smiling. I didn't think anything of it, as lots of people like to watch kids play and smile at their cute antics. I know I do.

But then he hunched over and put his hands in his crotch. It took me a good minute or two before I realised what he was doing - jerking off! I couldn't believe it! I was horrified. Not knowing WHAT to do, I rang Dan. He told me to "Get out of there!" and to call the cops and suggested I call my father to come and meet us. I did the latter, but the kids weren't ready to leave yet. When I turned around (I was trying not to look at him or encourage him) he was gone. I called the police, not sure if 000 was the right number for this sort of thing. Thankfully, the operator reassured me that this was the correct thing to do and got details before sending a car out to investigate. The guy had left some "DNA" behind on the park bench (eeyou!) and they might get a sample.

Thankfully, the kids were completely unaware of anything that was going on and were happy playing. They were especially excited when my dad appeared, thank goodness. We slowly made our way home and my mother made me a wonderful cup of tea to calm my nerves.

But, ack. I wouldn't call myself naive but I do have faith that people will generally do the right thing and our world is fairly safe. After today, I find that I'm a little less trusting of strangers and that little bit more protective of my kids.

It makes me very sad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Listening to...

I currently have my head stuck in XTC's album "Apple Venus Volume 1" (I don't know if there's a Volume 2!).

Over and over again, the songs go round. I am not tired of them yet.

Dante loves humming this one. It never fails to make me think of our friend Evelyn currently living in Edinburgh. (Hi!)

XTC - Greenman (1999)

Monday, August 18, 2008


I also checked my Lotto ticket, finally.

Didn't win.

Not really surprised :)


I forgot to mention that we got the results from Atti's EEG last week.

Thankfully, all was completely, utterly normal.

I'm hugely relieved. But on the down side, we do need to keep an eye on him just in case he suffers more episodes, and then will have to consider re-medicating him.

Fingers crossed!

Old school


I went to a primary school reunion on Saturday evening. Organised partly through Facebook (and lots of phone calls on the part of the organisers). I was fairly excited about it, leading up to it. My school friend said that she'd been in contact with nearly everyone so I was expecting a great turnout.

In the end there were only 7 of us, including the sole male representative. It was a little disappointing that the others didn't make the effort to turn up. Perhaps they were too nervous to show up, but really, it's just primary school. You'd expect everyone to have changed completely (and yet not!). Nothing to be worried about, in my opinion. (High school, now that's a totally different picture.)

Well, we had a fun night anyway. It was wonderful to see those who came and we had a great time chatting about old times, as well as chatting about recent times! We all had kids - I won the night with three. We talked about the last reunion 14 years ago (which had a much better turn out and went to the wee hours of the morning... we were younger, carefree and knew how to party back then!) We ate, we drank wine, we took photos.

The night put me in a bit of a funny mood for the rest of the weekend - reminiscing about old times, especially my crazy Uni days. Perhaps fodder for another post one day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Man Booker Prize List

So, here's the list to date. Looking over it, I realised that I haven't finished any of them, although I've been reading "The God of Small Things" on and off for a couple of years! Currently reading "The Blind Assassin". It's good so far.

I've added them to my side bar (bottom right) and will put a * next to them as I go.

2007 The Gathering by Anne Enright
2006 The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
2005 The Sea by John Banville
2004 The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
2003 Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
2002 Life of Pi by Yann Martel
2001 True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
2000 The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
1999 Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
1998 Amsterdam: A Novel by Ian McEwan
1997 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
1996 Last Orders by Graham Swift
1995 The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
1994 How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman
1993 Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
1992 The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (co-winner)
1992 Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (co-winner)
1991 The Famished Road by Ben Okri
1990 Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt
1989 The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
1988 Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
1987 Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
1986 The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis
1985 The Bone People by Keri Hulme
1984 Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
1983 Life & Times of Michael K by J. M. Coetzee
1982 Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
1981 Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
1980 Rites of Passage by William Golding
1979 Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
1978 The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
1977 Staying on by Paul Scott
1976 Saville by David Storey
1975 Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
1974 The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer
1973 The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell
1972 G. by John Berger
1971 In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul
1970 The Elected Member by Bernice. Rubens
1969 Something to Answer For by P. H. Newby

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lots of reading in store

I just found out that a friend of mine buys the Booker prize winning book each year for his wife (they announce it just before her birthday each year). What a brilliant idea, I reckon! If you're looking for something to read, why not something that's been critically acclaimed and awarded?

So, that's my next big project/ambition. I'm going to read all the Booker prize books.

I'm starting with "The Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood. Mainly because we already have it and I loved "Oryx and Crake".

Anyone want to join me?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Living the Lotto dream

I bought a lotto ticket the other day after my iPod win. The major prize was $4m.

The draw was a week ago. But I haven't checked my ticket yet. Dan keeps asking me if we've won but I'm still living the dream of it. Planning what I'll do with my winnings...

Pay off the mortgage, buy some wool and fabric, invest the rest.

It's nice to dream a bit, don't you think? Maybe I'll check the ticket some day soon, perhaps tonight. I'll let you know :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Yay for coffee

We made it!

We altered the plan a bit. Dan stayed up with Atti until midnight last night while I went to bed early so that I could wake him up at 4am.

Dan did a great job - took Atti to the supermarket with him. Apparently he was incredibly cheerful and helpful. I woke up at 4am, immediately had a cup of coffee (which Dan bought the night before since we don't usually drink the stuff) and went up to the boy. I sat on his bed looking at him sleeping for at least 10 minutes before I could finally work up to waking him up. Sleeping children look so angelic. I felt so slack!

But the kid is a real trooper. After having some breakfast we played with the marble run (I love that toy!) and watched some Yo Gabba Gabba (and I had my second cup of coffee...)

Atti at 5am

He stayed awake the whole journey to the hospital - the entire hour... until about 5 minutes away. That short sleep was enough to energize him so he didn't sleep during the test but I think they got good results. He was pretty excited because Dan had told him that he would be wearing a special "Space Hat". He couldn't wait to get it on!
Happy with his Space Hat on.

We'll find out the verdict in a few days.

The rest of the day he and I were write-offs.

But I have to say that I'm incredibly proud of how well our little guy did, especially considering the circumstances. Back to work tomorrow. I wonder how I'll do!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sleep deprived child = sleep deprived parent

We're off to the hospital on Thursday for Atti to have an EEG to try and find the cause of these convulsions.

However, oh no! He has to be sleep deprived for the test! This means, according to the lady on the phone, that we need to wake up Atti 6hrs before he normally wakes. I don't know how I'm meant to keep him awake during this time.

God help me!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Weekend of horrors

Okay, well it wasn't as bad as it sounds...

Saturday, Atti had another convulsion. It's been months since he last had one - he's been off his meds since Christmas. He was having lunch out in the backyard when Dan saw him lying on the ground, out of it with foam around his mouth. A bit scary for us all but especially Dan. I was taking Dante to his Extension classes at the time. My father and Dan put him to bed and he seemed okay when he woke up.

Then on Sunday we took my mother-in-law to yum cha for lunch. All was going well until the end when we were getting ready to go. Elora, the little climbing monkey, was standing on her booster seat when she took a tumble and fell backwards flat onto her back. She had a big cry while I cuddled her and then promptly vomited down my back and on the restaurant floor. I felt sorry for the other customers!

Blargh. So that's the horror of the weekend. Now I'm waiting to hear from the paediatrician about Atticus.