Saturday, 30 January 2010

Oohing and aahing
Here is dear little Harper Christina, just a little under two days old.
:: It's a much cooler day today — thank heavens. Only 31 (87.8 F) max, with 16 (60.8) overnight.
I feel re-charged already.
I'm seriously considering aestivating.
We walked the dog early this morning and found two more wonderful Italian houses, one of them on a corner with pumpkins and tomatoes rambling all over the front verge, in and out of the olive and fruit trees. And I mean rambling — there were lots of tomatoes, but the plants were just left to grow where they wanted, without stakes. And the front yard was entirely given over to vegetables, with a huge fig tree. Wonderful!
The plan for the rest of the day is:
• Baking a fruitcake to a very old recipe.
• Finishing off a tiny fitted bassinet sheet for you know who.
• Finishing off the papercut I started some time ago.
Have a great weekend.

Friday, 29 January 2010

At the beach
We managed almost two wonderful weeks away. At the start we had David's mum with us for a few days, then we headed back to Perth to take her home and pick up Mack, complete with cricket set, boogie board, snorkel and dinosaurs.
My best friends Damien and Dace came a bit later, with Dace's gorgeous son, Max. Damien's gorgeous daughter also had a night with us. And Lily and Nick arrived for a weekend, in between parties and games they'd arranged for their entire suburb.
Mack is six now, and what a treat it was to spend time with him — we haven't had this long together since he was three and had two weeks with us in San Diego while his mum and dad went to Amsterdam to visit friends.
As well as all the usual beachy stuff, there was fishing,
and board games.
We played boules, after Will had raked the court in front of the house, all ready for some serious competition!
And there was lots of hammock swinging with Uncle Will (a big favourite),
as well as map-making, snoozing and a chess lesson with grandad
plus Nintendo, reading
and golf.
There was even time for me to do some crochet. Ignoring all the sand.

:: Off soon to visit our grand-daughter. I had a cuddle yesterday and was able to make her burp and sneeze and fall asleep in my arms. Bonded for life already.
Her name is Harper.
I'll take some pics when she's home, as Mum and Dad's hospital room is in a comfortable state of twilight and I don't want to use the flash.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

That's my Christmas cake, which I baked, fed with brandy for a couple of weeks, and decorated myself.
I am also eating it all by myself — and I don't mind at all. I love a good fruit cake. I'm almost halfway through. I have a slice with my afternoon tea. Perfect.

:: I've been slack about posting - sorry.
And I haven't even attempted to use the Big Black Nikon.
So no new pics for you. But this is my gorgeous grandson, with the boogie-board we gave him for his sixth birthday. He visited the other night and read a whole book out loud to me. I was proud and ecstatic!

:: Last week I filled in for the editor who had decided on the spur of the moment — as is his absolute right, and deservedly so — that he felt like another week off.
I had fun! I was really tired by the end of the day!
I promoted a couple of people, and gave the photographer a pay-rise and a company car. I invited people into my office to discuss their outcomes. I contemplated investing lots of the company funds in a sure-fire scheme recommended to me, personally, by some ex-president's widow, now living in an obscure African state.
We had a laugh or three.
And OMG, the editor gets some crap emails, by the gazillions.
Thankfully, the paper was not huge as this is still very much the holiday period.
Which also meant there weren't any "I demand to talk to the editor" phone calls.
Plus I had lots of support from my old mates, and those reporters who weren't off gallivanting, or sick, were all busy little beavers, so it was all plain sailing.
It was also good practice, because the editor is going to Italy for a month in June, so I'm going to be editor then, too.

:: This is another pic of my grandson in skateboard gear and complete Ben 10 outfit.

:: Meantime, only two of the five nature lovers who are walking the Cape to Cape track are still with the program. There was a blisteringly hot day down south last week, with big winds, and Will and Jenise realised they had taken too big a challenge in the middle of summer.
They are staying at the farm with Lily, who tried a few short practice hikes in the Pemberton forests, but whose lingering ankle injury — the one she sustained in Canada in September 08, the one we spent thousands on in the US trying to get fixed — really made it too uncomfortable even to contemplate the big one.
So the three of them are now the support crew for Scott and Nick, who must be having the time of their lives on the track, enjoying some father-and-son bonding as much as they're loving that stretch of wild coast.
We've had so much fun with Scott and Jenise — let's hope they get to come back in a cooler time of the year and try the track again.

:: Craft-wise: still finishing off aprons, binding the quilt to go to the UK, designing a quilt for my sister-in-law's coming 50th birthday, crocheting a rug, and working on a papercut for someone special.

:: I'll be here from next Sunday for a few days. Hmmm ... nice.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!
We had a quiet NYE — a lovely dinner, snoozing in front of Sean Micallef's very good show, and bed at 30 seconds past midnight.
Earlier we'd been to see another (much better) movie — this time it was Where the Wild Things Are, directed by Spike Jonze with fabulous special effects, and even more wonderful music.
We took Marnie (and our grand-daughter still to come) and our grandson Mack. David and I absolutely loved it, but it was all a bit too grown-up for Mack, who recently turned six. More a film for slightly older people who have loved the Maurice Sendak book since they were children — like Mack's dad!

:: Los Americanos, with Lily, Nick and Will, have departed for the Great Southern and the South-West. They're spending a few nights in the Walpole-Pemberton area to see the great karris, and next week they are walking the Cape-to-Cape track — 134 km from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, camping all the way.
The house is very quiet without them!
It was great fun watching them get ready (that's Nick and his step-mum, Jenise, organising camping food, above). Scott, Nick and Jenise are seasoned hikers and knew what gear was needed, how to pack it, how to cater for 14 days in the bush, and generally how to go about the whole big project. After helping with a couple of trips to the (rip-off) outdoor adventure stores, David and I just kept out of the way!

:: To save weight and space in his backpack, Will has taken my little Canon camera and left me with his giant Nikon, and I have to figure out how to use it well enough to post pics.
So, in the meantime this is a pic of Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, where, with Dace, Max and Halina, we were a year ago today, watching the amazing and moving Turtle Dance performed by men of the Pueblo Indians, a New Year's Day ritual.The dance was performed right in front of this incredible adobe structure, which has been continuously inhabited since the 10th century.
There were no cameras allowed at the dance, and it was extremely cold though sunny, with snow everywhere. The pueblo looked incredibly beautiful.
Our feet lost all feeling as we stood on the frozen ground waiting for the dance to begin. It was well worth the wait, though. There were drums, and chanting, and elaborate head-dresses and finery made of feathers and pelts, with sprays of evergreen. A fabulous experience.

:: Thanks for coming by for another year, and for all your comments and emails.
Happy New Year to you, and I really hope you enjoy this bold, bright decade to come.