Thursday, 29 April 2010

To bed
That's the paper today, and me very early tonight. With The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — loving it.
It was a big week at work, with a monster paper — biggest issue for a non-Christmas week — and one sub-editor on holiday and one of our clever graphic designers now working somewhere else.
So it was frantic at times.
Like a couple of the reporters, I worked 13 hours yesterday, and even after I went home, Sir and the production team stayed on until after midnight.
Anyway - no more until Monday.
(I got to interview Wil Anderson today. Being boss of the yartz does have its perks!)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

In my comfies ...
... after day one at work.
But what about those flars?
Amazing huh? Shelley brought them to book club yesterday, as she was rostered to make the presentation to our Invited Guest Speaker. But JM Coetzee didn't show, so I got them!
The mauvey-silver gorgeousness is ornamental kale — just stunning.
They remind me of my Dad, who is not a flower person by any stretch of the imagination, and always called mum's roses "coloured cabbages".
It's actually the other way round here, Dad!
:: I am a little bit tired after being arts poo-bah at work. It's a short week, after yesterday's Anzac Day Monday holiday, and tomorrow I have to finish off the arts section and then do my regular Wednesday night job — and it's a ginormous 120-page paper. So tonight I'm feeling pooped in advance, just thinking about tomorrow!
All good fun, though.
And I had a surprise today when our receptionist came and told me someone was waiting for me out the front. I grabbed my notebook and pen and hustled out there ... only to find it was my best friend Shelley with her gorgeous husband Wayne, calling in for a quick hello with a bundle of books. Yay!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Away again
I have five weeks' work ahead (arts editor this time), so thought I'd better take the chance to get down to Albany and see my mum, dad and brother for a few days.
It was lovely down there, and i actually needed a doona on my bed!
I remember standing at the door here just moments before I left, car keys in my hand, having put a freshly recharged battery in my camera — and even then I somehow managed to leave it behind. So no pics.
:: Thank you for all your encouraging words about my first doll. I am chuffed. I so enjoyed making her and the bears. I have also made a soft little rabbit, though my best friend, Damien, reckons he looks more like a little devil than a bunny, so he may need a little tweaking.
:: Many, many years ago — well, it was shortly after The Shipping News appeared with all that hullabaloo here in Australia ... 1994? — my best friends wanted to start a book club, and that was the first book.
We had one meeting. Only a few of us had read the book, and even fewer liked it. But we had a great time, and went ahead and declared ourselves a book club, in the Best Western Suburbs of Perth tradition.
We put out fabulous newsletters, with minutes of meetings we'd held and stellar guest speakers who'd turned up. Bryce Courtenay was one of them. And Louis de Bernières. We elected a committee and organised outings and workshops and readings.
None of it actually happened.
But today, 16 years later, we best friends met properly and actually discussed a book!
JM Coetzee was supposedly our guest speaker, but didn't show up.
We discussed Alan Bennett's gem of a novella, The Uncommon Reader, and frequently veered wildly off topic to talk about testosterone (and the merits and failings thereof), Prince Harry, Prince Harry and Prince Michael of Kent, God, marijuana, why on earth they gave the Oscar to Sandra Bullock, who could watch the gory bits in Inglourious Basterds* ... and so on.
Our next book will be Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín.
Loved it!

* I didn't, as i watched it with Will, who had seen it before and knew when to tell me to look away. But I heartily recommend it to anyone who knows and enjoys Quentin Tarantino fillums. It is brilliant, and Brad Pitt is a treat, as is Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for playing the main Nazi Nasty.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Doll number one
She has the most enormous thumbs and her arms are upside down.
She has no features, and her legs are twisted.
Poor dolly.
I do like her frock, though.
:: My best friend Jane rang me a while ago to say that the shop where we hope to sell our baby goods and make an absolute ripsnorting fortune has sold one of her quilts. Yee ha!

Monday, 19 April 2010

It was a dark and stormy night ...
... when we arrived down south, but that made it even better. And topped up the rainwater tanks.
Then the sun came out and the sea calmed down and everything was beautiful for the whole week.
Even Yoshi had a swim.

And then a spin-dry.
Mack and Will were almost inseparable.

They dammed the creek, which had just begun flowing and reached the sea after the weekend's rain. It's that yucky colour because of all the minerals in the soil it flows through on its way to the beach.
They scientifically observed monster bull ants
which Mack carefully and gently coaxed from their nest and into a jar.
He's never been bitten by one, so he is still courageous in their company, though he did take heed of all our warnings. (Oh man, do those suckers hurt - and their bite, swollen and itchy, lasts for months.)
Lily and Nick were already down there, at the farm, with Lil's mates who are the hot young band, Pond.
The band had transformed the tiny little shack on the farm into a recording studio — you couldn't move for all the cables and instruments, and they were forced to sleep out in tents in the home paddock. Over ten days they managed to record 14 tracks for their new album.
David was fascinated at what they could achieve with compact, modern recording gear and a laptop.
Such lovely guys. We were incredibly impressed at how hard they worked, and how dedicated they were — and that they found a quick ten minutes to play frisbee with Mack when we visited!
:: Thanks for all your lovely comments and good wishes for our anniversary. We are such an old married couple now!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Twenty-seven years
It's our wedding anniversary today.
We got married in the backyard of David's old family rancho in Dalkeith.
David was working with rock bands and some of his roadie mates descended on the garden and wired up the jacaranda with pink spotlights which were really flattering!
It rained — which my Latvian best friend Dace said meant good luck.
And it has been.
We've known each other 38 years.
David set the date of our wedding, which is the day before his birthday, so he would never forget it, but we have rarely celebrated our anniversary with more than the odd card.
The big one was our 25th, our silver, which we celebrated with a 10-day trip to Washington DC and New York. On the day, there was real, actual, bling which took my breath away, and a big bouquet (that's it above), and a wonderful, wonderful dinner with best friends in a chic little Italian restaurant. Dreamy.
We've had so much fun in our 38 years. Had two kids of our own and raised three, seen them grow up and spread their wings. We lived in the same rambly old house for almost quarter of a century, went around the world a few times, made a fortune and lost it — but most importantly, we have loved and been loved by a whole host of incredibly dear friends. And, sadly, we've said goodbye to some of them way too soon.
I'm looking forward to the next few decades!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Been working
And oh! What a shock to this poor old Boomer's system it's been working late and starting early.
Loved it, too.
Though I was writing headlines in my sleep last night!
This morning, I was reading the page proofs and almost choked over this quote from a reported interview with someone aspiring to the clerical stratosphere of local government: "You've got to get behind the troops. You've got to be supportive and lead from the front."
Thank god for the red pen.
I don't know how Sir does it, week in week out. On top of dealing with the business side of things, being constantly alert for potential legal bloopers, dealing with the loony callers, sifting through the hundreds of emails, and keeping the staff happy.
He really earns his holidays.

Friday, 2 April 2010

I've been on another planet

Sorry for the big gap in posting.
I've been working quite a bit at the paper and will be acting-editor next week while Sir is away on a week's well-earned break.
Also, my best friend, Jane, and I have been unofficially but very happily signed up to create pieces for a shop in Subiaco. It's an old shop that has been sold to a new and lovely owner who intends to renovate it and re-open soon selling gift lovelies for baby showers.
So we've been up to our eyes in doing and making.
I will get some pics organised really soon.
I've made three gorgeous tote bags for mums and babies, I have a few papercut pic designs on the boil, and have just discovered how much fun it is to make bears. Little ones out of bits of felt and Liberty cottons.
The one on the left is a bit too wonky — I made him out of handmade felt I bought at a fair in San Diego, and it's way too thick for this size bear. The other one is my first okay/good one, and neither of them has a mouth or proper eyes yet. I just stuck pins in to test their expressions. They are my DLBs (dear little bears).
Making them is totally and compellingly addictive.
:: I hope you all have a fabulous Easter and drive very carefully.
See you all real soon.