Friday, November 28, 2008

Love Friday: The Rain

The humidity has broken.  I do not know if that is the correct term for it, but last night the rain thundered down for hours and this morning the world is wet and dripping.

The fat glossy drops hang on the end of the bottle-brush's leaves, just outside our kitchen window.  I'm standing at the sink, looking out into the grey and green and feeling quite cosy inside.   My Ella Jenkins CD is on.

But what to do next?  I noticed the other day that Lindcraft has opened up a shop in Townsville.  Maybe today's the day I go and check it out?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Welcome Baby Isabelle!

Congratulations Ben and Tanzi on the arrival of 
beautiful baby Isabelle.

We'll be over to New Zealand soon to meet you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bright and Breezy

Ah! Can you feel that cool breeze coming off the water? It was lovely to feel it this morning after a weekend so hot and humid I thought I would be pickled.   
On Saturday night we went to Hayden's work Christmas party.  The theme was 'Tropical Paradise', and they definitely got the tropical part right.  It was an extremely sultry night, and you'd sweat just standing still holding a drink.  But very fun indeed - definitely the best one we've been to so far.  At past work functions we've been sat in tables of ten through a groaning three-course meal before being dragged onto the dancefloor.  (I hate being asked to dance by Hayden's work colleagues.  Especially on a full stomach.  So awkward.)  

But this time it was a real grown-ups party with waiters and drinks trays, a wild range of hors d'oeuvres and a serve-yourself oyster bar.  There were live bands, fire-twirlers and a mini casino where I won quite a bit of money playing poker.  It was fake money of course.  But still.   

Friday, November 21, 2008

Love the Couch

It's sweltering.   And we're feeling it.  Especially those of us with fluffy tummies.  Couch season has begun.
I'm looking forward to the weekend, but I can only see two reasons to get up off the couch:  Saturday night it's Hayden's work Christmas party (I know, already), and Sunday morning I'm going to be out on the river in a kayak, counting triathletes as they go round the swim course.  That should be refreshing.

I'm wishing you a cool breeze this weekend, 

whatever you're doing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I don't know much about money, but I reckon Kevin Rudd's onto something: when you're feeling broke, one of the best things you can do is spend a little.  It eases the pressure beautifully, you feel heaps better, and then you're able to tackle your money problems in good spirits.
Flipping through a magazine yesterday, I saw an idea for spreading around a little extra cash:  through these people,, you can invest a small amount of money directly to someone in need of a bit of capital to help their small business - be it sewing clothes, milking cows or growing bananas.  What is only a small amount of money in Australia, as little as $25, can mean a lot to someone in one of the poorer countries of the world.

I just wanted to let you know about it.  I'm not trying to be preachy.  One of my least favourite sensations is the mix of 10% guilt / 90% irritability I feel when I encounter advertising which tries to guilt-trip me into donating money.  It's not that I don't think those poor little kids with the big swollen bellies deserve help - I just don't want to be made to feel bad about it.  I hate those depressing voice-overs and the mournful music they play while they describe the worst cases of poverty.  I don't want to be rung up during my dinner - how do they even know what time we're going to eat? - and I always look away from those sad round eyes peering out from my Saturday paper.  I used to think I must be naturally misanthropic, but what I have found is that when left to my own devices I do feel compelled to help other people.  I want to be inspired, not guilt-tripped, into helping.  I find it's much easier to do it in my own time.

Around this end of the year I usually like to make a small donation on behalf of Hayden and myself, especially when I feel like we've been lucky, or when I'm grateful that someone has taken a chance on one of us - and that has happened quite a bit this year.   It feels like the right thing to do, to pass that chance on to someone else.


Thank you so much everyone, for all the birthday wishes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy, Happy Day

Ahh what a wonderful day yesterday.  And what a wonderful night.   I felt so spoilt the entire time - like I was floating around on a cloud of luckiness and happiness.  That was one of the best birthdays yet.
After an afternoon having my fingernails and toenails painted (at my favourite beauty spot) I was instructed by Hayden to be ready for dinner at 5:30 sharp.  This did seem a bit strange, not because it was so early (things close early in Townsville, we're used to it now) but because it was sharp.  What?  Hayden is no respecter of restaurant bookings, so this was very out of character.  It did make me wonder where we were going.  

He picked me up right on time and drove us down past the waterfront .. no surprises yet .. past the Watermark, past the marina, past the turn-off back into town, and out towards the casino.  Hmm.  He stopped the car, and we began to walk ... to the ferry terminal.  Ah! We were going to Magnetic Island, just for dinner.  We'd never done that before.

It was such a romantic idea, and it was nearly a perfect night.  We didn't stop at the Peppers Resort near the ferry terminal; we hopped on the bus over to Horseshoe Bay to Barefoot gallery and restaurant.  We sat on their balcony - barefoot of course - and for a good while we were their only guests.  We gazed out to the sea as the sun went down, and listened to the lazy little waves sloshing rhythmically on the beach.  When the sky was really dark, all we could see were the lights at the top of each mast of the boats moored in the bay.  It was very, very romantic.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today's my birthday and I'm having a wonderful day.  All week Hayden has been spoiling me with gifts - a lucky ticket hidden in my weekend paper; a new CD I found in amongst our collection; a beautiful bunch of roses brought home one morning when he went out to get milk.  
Lily has got in on the act too, and she got me a couple of really thoughtful gifts: a little stuffed toy that smells like catnip, and bubble blowing liquid... that also smells like catnip.  Thanks Lily.  She really knows what I like.

To all my far-away family and friends:  I wish you were here!  Then we'd share my beautiful pink-coated chocolate-berry-muffin-cake.  

Hope you have a great day too, wherever you are.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Love Friday: The Big Weekend

We've got a wonderful weekend coming up, one with something for everyone.  Well, something for each of us anyway.
For Hayden there's a big bike race on Saturday, featuring Australian stars of the Tour de France who even I have heard of:  Robby McEwen and the guy who's nearly won the Tour de France twice now, Cadel Evans.  To be honest I am quite looking forward to the bike race too, because it's one of those psych-out style races where the competitors go all wary and slow at the start until someone makes a move - and then it's on.   We've been spotting the visiting cyclists around town for the last couple of days.  It's not hard to do; they're the lanky ones with the shaven legs.

Then later, after all the heat and sweat of the bike race, we get to see the foreign and arty films of the Sydney Travelling Film Festival.  I can't remember the last subtitled movie I saw at the cinema (though we did watch the brilliant and beautiful Diving Bell and the Butterfly at home).   So far I've circled The Grocer's Son and Happy-Go-Lucky on the Festival program.  What?? I've circled things on the program??  I used to be way cooler than that.  Now I'm just looking forward to a real big-city arty treat.  (I got a pang when I saw this picture of pale-faced Melbournians outside a gallery opening.  Ah..)

Thanks again Big Cat for Love Fridays.  It's the perfect way to build up to a weekend of fun.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

River Swim

We got to the river after a confusing and slightly nauseating drive through same-same-same-same 80s-brick suburbia.  Some teenagers were already there, splashing around in the water until a cellphone rang from where it was wedged in the fork of a tree and they soon wandered off in a dripping bunch.  They were nice - not sullen, not self-consciously brash like I was at that age.  I always cringe hard when I see teenagers acting out.  The last guy waited for us to get down to the water's edge, then threw the rope up to me before he climbed out up the exposed tree roots.

Then it was my turn to swing out on the rope and splash.  Hayden swung in after me and we headed out across to the other side.  And then back.  Hayden did another lap - this time much more seriously - while I got out and waited for him on the bank.    I watched him come back across the water towards me.  I felt like I'll always be doing that.  There's nothing so wholesome as a freshwater swim.