Tuesday, June 26, 2007 2:26:56 PM
Good morning/evening/day, Opera-tors
My blog. I was put off at first by the sheer banality of a lot of stuff, then the sheer excellence of many other blogs. I can put 2 sentences together better than that, but how can I match that?
So. We are going to talk about us. Us is me, my partner of 20 years (wow!), H, and my three engaging children, Ap, Py, and Ar. The names give a little insight into their approach to life; if it doesn't make any sense, just look for the clues. And now... here is a little bit of Olympus in our little bit of Norway here in Oz.
Monday, December 21, 2009 12:28:07 PM
The lights are up, we've made the lists, got the cards, planned the holidays (most of our break). Carol madness at the cathedral. So this is Christmas.
Well, not quite. We needed a bit more. & while the offspring were at the cousins' place, H thought we should go ahead & get a tree. A real, pine-smelling tree that needs water. So we get one, install it in the lounge room, & wait for the children's reaction. We drive in late, they stagger in the door... hmmm what's that smell??? A tree!!! Joy on everyone's face, tiredness forgotten, where are the tree lights?
We will be away most of the holidays, so we won't be able to see the tree much, but it doesn't matter when you see the reaction of just that night. A family tradition survives.
I hope your traditions keep on, & you have a joyful & peaceful Christmas.
Saturday, December 5, 2009 9:07:07 PM
Rejoice ye peoples, utter thanks on high, for verily we have got our act together AT LAST and commenced ye Chrissie decorations.
Hark the Herald KK notes arrived, but we did not hark & so did not get little nice things for teachers, & now Ap & Py have finished for the year. Ar lingereth for 2 weeks or so, so there's a chance there.
But ring the bells, sing choirs of angels etc. we have put up (some of) the lights! After great consultations with housefolk, tangling & untangling of lights, testing, muttering, stretching unsafely on ladders, lights are up. The wreath is up. The packing boxes are everywhere.
And in truth the new-fangled LED lights do emit an eerie glow & unwary lookers behold little blue dots scorched onto their eyes if they gazeth too long at them
But verily it's good.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 2:04:41 PM
On Tuesday I was lying in bed in the morning, the sun was playing on the curtains, I was thinking, "Tired. Well at least I don't have to get up, since it's the week-end."
You may have spotted the flaw in my argument.
Py came in. "It's 10 to 8 & no one's up." I staggered out & around; in the shower I was still convinced it was Saturday, & this was all a mistake. It was a bit strange.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 12:58:44 PM
It's terrible I know, but it was such a good day. What I call good-to-be-alive days. I rode to work, along quiet roads & bushland track (I'll get some photos next time). The smells of the Australian bush are in the air, there's even puddles still, with water stained by gum leaves.
I was a bit chuffed by three wins at work yesterday, & I'd had a conversation with a new colleague from France - in French! Then I was coming up an outside staircase, & I had to stop. The fresh air, the gum trees nearby, the clear but not yet scorching light, the peace... you just had to stop & let the scene soak into you.
I do hope you can find the beauty where you are. We can never have too much.
Saturday, November 28, 2009 3:04:46 PM
I know I know, and everyone is saying how strange it's becoming. But I have to say 2 things.
We are having unusually heavy downpours here inland. It's been mild & humid for nearly a week, with tropical rainstorms, but just not quite enough to tear the ground up. It's good rain, & welcome. I'm from Sydney so I'm extra pleased: it feels a bit like my past.
And - unbelievably - the federal conservative opposition seem intent on destroying themselves with climate change scepticism. Their leader, supporting action on climate change, faces a party revolt. Self-destruction. I read that many of their voters support the action; if they oppose the bill, & lose just 10% of the voters in favour of the bill, they lose 20 seats in the next election... how sweet would that be.
The opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull, is one of the most intelligent people in parliament, & the Liberals' only hope. I feel sorry for the man, but this couldn't happen to a more deserving party.
Friday, November 27, 2009 2:29:36 PM
My apologies. I've been away a while. Not really, life has careered on its merry way; H is here, Ap, Py & Ar are growing, jumping, dancing, living at a great rate. I've let myself get distracted, & I've stopped writing. This has not been good. It's very important to create things, it keeps your head together. I believe it's nearly as important as breathing, & as important as resting. So I've rested, & now I'm creating.
Ap made a great observation. A Young Liberal (read: conservative) was complaining about the Labor government & its spending programs on the TV. Ap said, "Hey I read those exact words in the newspaper yesterday!" Now you know what "the party line" means, Ap. Political spin-doctors, caught out by a teenager... that's a good sign.
Thursday, December 25, 2008 10:00:00 PM
I am so glad the holidays are here.
I'm not sure how long I was going to last at the current pace. We are installing an enormous web site (in December? Why not!), and the voluntary overtime is great fun, but just a bit wearing.
But it's Christmas now. I've had a long chat to brother in the next state, and Skype has let me see sister, bro in law & nieces in Germany. We did nutty things, like take the lappy outside to show our christmas lights. Ap made faces most of the time, and we carried an inflatable dalek (Py's present from an aunty) across the background.
Sometimes the 21st Century is just right.
It's been a marvellous Christmas. Midnight Mass at the Cathedral. Coming out at 1.30am with the bells pealing into the night. We have traditional stockings out for the children, and father Christmas made his rounds. Breakfast in bits & pieces, then The Present Session after that. Ar was first "Dad here's yours." A Santa suit. How very... red.
All the parents in law were here for our long lunch, which was outdoors in a lovely 34 degrees (93 Fahrenheit). We had had a touch of rain this month, so the garden was quite green and fresh. Good Australian champagne, wines, beers, even soft drink. Ap had made meringues, & christmas cake, supervised closely by my mother. Anything with marzipan is simply good, I say.
We finished up with a bit of cooking for the extended family party tomorrow. H's specialty is gingery chick peas from the Moosewood Cook book
. A truly mellow day. A blessed day.
I hope you've had a good Christmas too. We live in a crazy age, but there's so much good around (really), and I hope you feel it, or add to it. If you can read this, you're luckier than most people.
I wish you well.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008 1:32:56 PM
Just went to an exciting presentation: Cyber Safety & Digital Citizenship.
And guess what? It's not all doom & gloom. In fact, very little of it IS doom & gloom (although there are some sobering implications).
We learnt a few interesting facts about the lives of young people, which will be old news to young people, of course. A survey of 18,000 youngsters found they have an average of 94
numbers stored in their phones! The online world & the offline world are seamlessly joined for many people - the "digital natives".
I found it unsettling to consider this.
Does anyone remember Woody Allen's film The Purple Rose of Cairo
? Mia Farrow, in the Great Depression, goes to the movies to escape her awful life, and fantasy & reality are confused when the movie character comes off the screen.
The online world is much more grounded in reality, but is far
more pervasive than 2 hours at the pictures. It truly is 24/7/365. Where will we go with this?
But more encouraging at the talk was evidence that internet residents are much more sensible than the tabloids think. Risky behaviour is rare rather than the norm, & is done by people who are vulnerable & risky in real life. Stranger Danger is a myth online as it is in the real world - your most likely abusers are your classmates or older siblings (sadly).
There are concerns: ethical questions (downloads, plagiarism, etc.), legal issues (take a sexy picture of yourself & legally - if you're underage - you're a child pornographer), time management, etc. But mostly, it's good!
Young people are enhancing their written skills with the vast amount of writing they're doing. They are becoming media creators. They are adept & adaptable with new equipment & ideas. They are more open in certain ways. The online world is a huge fertile place to discover yourself & try new things.
They have something to say, they're saying it their way, & us wrinklies had better listen!
Monday, December 1, 2008 1:14:07 PM
Ap came home from the school dance.
"It was okay I guess, but the music was just too loud. And the DJ, he was pretty old. And he didn't do anything! He didn't say much, he just ticked us off.
"There was a smoke machine, which puffed a bit of smoke about every half hour, so you couldn't really see the lasers. They just hurt your eyes. It wasn't that good(!)
"I didn't see many people I knew. I guess they didn't bother coming."
I can't understand why!!!
I saw the end of it. Not much music, not much energy, very few lights. Yeah it's the school gym: so do something! Roving spotlights on the silver paper lining of the walls. Big inflatables. And a better DJ.
You do have to wonder, what's it for, coz it didn't come across as much fun for anyone.
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