Monday, 23 June 2014

Channeling my inner Bet Lynch

This weekend has been pretty full on. 

On Friday night it was school disco night, and I was one of the parent helpers.

This was my last year as helper at the school disco as this is Sibs's last year at primary school.

The last few years I have been one of the gatekeepers at the door collecting the money, handing out glow sticks and making sure that there are no escapees during the night. No-body warned me though that the toughest part of the job would be to keep the parents out!

For the safety of the children, school rules state no adults at the disco unless you're a teacher or a volunteer. I have heard all sorts of 'reasons' why a parent should be allowed in....
Now deep down I am a right softie so being bouncer at the door is not a natural role for me! Anyhow there's nothing like challenging your comfort zone.

So after a pretty exhausting day Sibs and I said goodbye to another primary school event.
As I was on duty out the front of the hall all night, I got all the gossipy chat in the car on the way home - and I cherished it.

Saturday is usually lie in time, but not this weekend. I was up with the birds and out of the house before the shops were open.

I had a fancy pants ball to go to on Saturday night.

Now I don't have an abundance of ball appropriate dresses in my wardrobe... so this necessitated a bit of a last minute rush shop.

Oh my word - panic and pressure shopping on a Saturday is not good! Not good at all!

I tried on some beautiful creations. I had to blink a few times to read the price tag on a few. I think I was on the wrong floor in David Jones when I tried those on!

After a couple of hours of shopping, the coffee stop was medicinal.

I sat and watched the Saturday shoppers and rationalised the various options that I had.

(So if you saw a woman nursing a large coffee and a chocolate bar and muttering to herself on Saturday morning - that was me!)

My little black dress that was ancient but classic was going to have to do.

So I decided that I would spend a fraction of the money on accessories.

I splashed out on some bling, various 'suck you in' undergarments... and some new shoes.

The first pair that I decided on were  black and well, probably a little boring. The shop assistant was a little more enthusiastic about the ball than me so she kept suggesting more and more outrageous styles.

I tried to tell her that I would have trouble just breathing in my new undies so I definitely didn't need the extra worry of being able to walk!

We sort of compromised and I came away with leopard print. Yes, from plain black to leopard print in one move!

What I usually wear on a Saturday night to what I wore this Saturday!

Whilst at the queue for the ladies on Saturday night I engaged in some chatting to the girls around me.

One of them complimented my shoes and I replied - 

"Thank you. They're a bit 'Bet Lynch' aren't they?"

Hmm, lots of blank faces....

These were Australian girls in their thirties - of course they had not the foggiest idea about Bet Lynch!

I tried to explain... One of them thought that she had heard of Coronation Street, so we were getting close! The next thing, out comes a phone, onto Google and we had a chuckle over the Bet Lynch images.

(Click HERE if you don't know who she is, and if you do then just google Bet Lynch images and be prepared for the memories)

Bet is on the left!!

On a more serious note, the cash that I saved by not buying a new dress I took to the 'fancy do' that was raising money for clinical research at The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. 
The hospital is involved in some incredible research and one of its major centres is the Burns, Trauma and Critical Care. 

A special guest on Saturday has experienced the amazing care from this centre.  She came to tell her story and moved each and every one of us with her courage and positivity. 

Last year seventeen year old Paris Turkington suffered horrific burns to 60% of her body. She is still recovering, but her progress so far has been inspiring. She is truly a remarkable young woman.

Along with her doctor Professor Jeffrey Lipman she encouraged us to support the RBWH Foundation and through the auctions and raffles and entry tickets I hope a substantial amount of money was raised on the night.

To finish the weekend off, on Sunday we invited some neighbours and friends for a roast dinner. At the end of a full blown meal - (yes there were Yorkshire Puddings and every vegetable you can think of, we even finished with bread and butter pudding and custard!) I happily sought some quiet time with a new crochet project. However, Modlen the cat decided that she wanted some company so I kicked off my comfy shoes and shared my corner of the sofa with my little friend.

 And so it's back to Monday. 

The glamour of the weekend is replaced by washing and house chores. Dinner tonight will be leftovers... and I'll see if I can get to bed before the early hours.

Here's to a good week,

Monday, 16 June 2014

Wonderful Winter

It's Winter in Brisbane (at last!)

Brilliant blue skies, crisp mornings, warm afternoons and cosy evenings.

The Ugg boats have re-appeared and the cardigans are out.

My first ever visit to Australia was for a month during August. I never really noticed that it was Winter. It was just glorious. I remember walking on the beach one morning and feeling a little chill in the air, but it was still Summery to me.

Now as June approaches I'm desperate to feel the drop in temperature. By July I can't wait to light a fire! Yes, I've definitely acclimatised.

The sun becomes a real show off during the Winter months here. The next photo was taken on a drive to work the other morning. I had just dropped Sibs off on the other side of town and had to take a different route to work alongside the river. The glare of the sun was spectacular creating lovely shadows of the city and reflections on the water.

 It's equally as pretty during dusk. Although you have to be quick as it can change from light to dark in minutes - seriously.   This was taken in those 3 minutes when the sun was just hitting the high rises  in the city. It was already dark in the spot where I was. The photo doesn't really capture it as I only had my phone.

With the cooler months comes more opportunity to get outside. I have signed up again this year to complete the Global Corporate Challenge. This is a sixteen week workplace team challenge that promotes physical activity. Armed with my pedometer I have a daily target of 10,000 steps. At the end of each day I upload my activity and this is plotted with the rest of my team to produce some competitive stats.
Some of the money that you pay to register with the GCC enables a partnership with Unicef to help support communities around the world as well as conducting research into the well being of the participants.
My girl Sibs is also unofficially following the challenge and we compare steps each evening. I have to say that she manages to outperform me almost daily. I put that down to her having shorter legs!

So on that note, time to get moving... 

It's on days like this I need a dog!

Happy Monday,

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Just some little everyday things...

The other day I spoke to a friend who asked me why I didn't blog so much anymore.

"Oh you know, life is a bit busy...." was my rather flippant reply.

She told me that she used to enjoy reading about the little everyday things that we got up to.

It got me thinking that as I fill my day with little everyday things I should find some time to record them.

The big things in life - the holidays, the concerts, the birthdays.... they all stay in the memories. It's the other smaller events that we forget.

So as I attempt to get back into this blog space I shouldn't just wait for a big event. Life isn't really like that is it? It's made up of smaller moments that are equally as precious.

So let me share my Monday.

I was mooching around the house contemplating a rare day of no plans when my phone beeped with a message....from my 11 year old.

"Can you come to a gardening and kitchen lesson this morning?"

I haven't done much with her lessons in school over the last couple of years so I decided to forgo the housework (not too difficult a decision) and replied with a "see you there".

I had a coffee date with a friend first thing. It was a mixture of sadness and tremendous excitement. She is leaving Australia to return to England. I handed over the baby blanket that thankfully was finished in time and we just about kept it together.... with both of us prolonging that final 'cheerio'.

"we won't say goodbye, as we will see each other next time I visit home"

Then I hot footed it up the hill to school.

I love the fact that even though Sibs is in her final year of primary she still gets excited when she sees me in her school.

After a lesson in the garden moving earth and mulch and pavers, I joined her and her friends for morning tea before the next lesson in the kitchen.

This is where they get to use the ingredients that they grow and create a meal for the class.

Each group of about four is given a specific menu item to complete from start to finish. We were making Gyoza.  The rest of the class made Garden Sushi, Fried rice with tofu, Edamame and wasabi salad with chilli dipping sauce and last but not least Crunchy fried noodle coleslaw.

Lunch was provided as a thank you for helping out - I wasn't complaining.

 The children prepare from start to finish, even setting the table and washing up. It was a joy to watch them work together and try out different foods and ingredients. I popped a packet of gow gee wrappers in the supermarket trolley that afternoon - there will be gyoza on the menu soon in this house!

On the crochet front I spent some time getting lost in hearts this weekend.

I decided to pretty up the laundry room with a bit of colour and use up some scraps of wool that I had in various spots around the house. Of course that led to a need to sort out said wool and what do you know - I have a yarn shop in my house!

When did I buy all of that??

This necklace was a really quick project. I saved an image of something similar on my phone months ago. (I'm afraid I have no recollection from where but I think it was from an instagram photo.) Anyway, I felt that I could now give it a go and voila.

It's a bunch of individual chain necklaces (you now that easy stitch that you start learning with). Go as long or as short as you want - just remember to count the same number of chains for each necklace! Then in a contrasting colour it's a few rows of double crochet that you sew together to secure the necklaces. I can see a few different colour combinations happening quite soon....

So I'm off to a yoga lesson in a bit, where I get to stretch and breath for a while. Then back for school pick up, quick turnaround between that and violin lesson, dinner,  and then Sibs and I are off to the theatre.

Just everyday small things....