Monday, September 25, 2006


no, I'm not - but I know plenty of people who are. I figure I have done more than my share - giving birth to three, raising five, Flash has suddenly realised that we are never going to "downsize" to a small house, if nothing else we need the extra bedrooms for the office and library we always wanted, but there are 5 girls who are likely to breed at least once each in the next 15 years, and Flash's 28 year old son will probably do so sooner, so a boardroom size dinner table, and a guest room or two will be mandatory. Flash is exploring the concept of the "parent's wing" whilst browsing house plans, make that "Grandparents wing" if it has a direct exit to the garage he will be a happy man.

the reason for the sudden surge of maternal hormones in various friends?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

take 2

I know, 2 posts in one day, but I didn't get this one in yesterday when it happened, and todays post was a draft from yesterday...anyway...she's he-ere

Charlotte, home for 2 weeks,we haven't seen her for 5 months

I am so proud of Holly and Charlotte, for working so hard, studying so diligently and being so independent while we are in Australia, but I miss them so much.

it's not rocket science

one of the many things my family can agree on, is that watching "Top Gear" is the best way to spend a monday evening, Flash doesn't look sideways when I buy the DVDs, not even the Top Gear winter olympics, and it gives me something to talk about with the white middle class men I meet at his company functions, I especially impressed one recently as he had just boguht the Audi which featured a few weeks ago. I'm not even that into cars, but I am into passion, and these guys have it in spades.

Three years ago Jeremy Clarkson (whom, if he had less chins, would bear a striking resemblance to Flash) wrote "Every week I strap myself into a monstrously powerful car and hurtle round a test track in a blaze of tyre smoke and noise. It's a constant battle with the laws of physics, and that's a dangerous game to play. One day, inevitably it'll end in tears"

and this week it did, well actually it ended in a crash at 450 kph, and thankfully the Richard Hammond (the little guy) survived, and has even taken his first steps, he'll be back behind the wheel, performing stupid boyish stunts, monkeying around with rockets and generally pissing people off in no time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

look up

I heart Sydney too

on monday night Blaise, Flash and I took the binoculars and camera up to the roof and waited for the Space station and shuttle to hurtle over our heads, coming from the north west, heading to the south east and passing over the city in 1.5 minutes - we had to keep our wits about us..."is that it?" "is it moving?" "no, thats a plane" it didn't help that our target ended up lining up with the planes for a moment or two until we realised that it was moving quite a bit faster than the planes in their landing pattern. Then we watched transfixed while the large dot passed overhead.
I took photos, but seriously, it's a bright dot against a blue velvet sky, not really bloggable. I got this lovely shot of a cloud to make up for it.
and for Ailsa - I present the first of the confectionary, it is tu-tu much!

the yarn is soft 4ply cotton, the tulle edge is enclosed by the knit, so doesn't scratch, the organic circle appliques are cut from Amy Butler fabric, embroidered with pink and green cotton.

Please let me know what you think, your comments and suggestions have helped me to come up with new ideas and refine existing designs, and I welcome constructive criticism.

Monday, September 18, 2006

arrgghh, arrggh!

Blaise is a normal teenager - she wears black, plays in a band, dyes her hair, worries about the state of the planet, politics, consumerism and junk food, feels that no-one understands, spends hours cleaning her face and mere milliseconds cleaning her bedroom, has a myspace account, talks on the phone...

and goes to school dressed as a pirate.

Happy "talk like a pirate day" me hearties, go on and party like it's 1799.

over here on the dark side...

the delightful Rox invited me to the Dishcloth shuffle, I had never knitted one before, but was inspired by the Mason-Dixon book.

in the style of Knitabulous I give you my friday/saturday knitting (ah dishclothes - even more gratifying than socks for those of us who have a short attention span)

the soft one - Bendigo DK cotton in a garter st pattern

the pretty one, 2 ends on Lana Gatto minicaribe cotton in dark and light pink, basketweave pattern from the Vogue Stitchionary volume 1.

The Emily Howard this is my first and last lacy washcloth - (pattern here) it looks too much like a doily, I actually enjoyed knitting this - "look family I am knitting a circle" and when I started thinking that it would look nice with a ribbon threaded around the edges, wrapped around a round soap like a little present (standard church fete fare) I needed a drink.

Flash and I went out on the bikes yesterday, following Jo's suggestion we followed the Cook's River trail, it was easy and enjoyable, the day was beautiful and the birds were everywhere. The trail follows a chain of parks forming a green corridor through the inner west, we rode from Botany Bay to Rookwood cemetary, apparently that is over 18km each way, so we were happy with ourselves. Flash spied this little guy happily eating dandelions while we rested nearby.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Home again

the wanderers have returned, and the laundry has been done, the damp rainforest smell still lingers on my jacket.

Jason did a great job of marshalling our girls, fed them well and helped with the homework - ahh I need a wife!

I did not get to Australia Zoo, I am getting over the disappointment - this was my second try at it - the weather was so bad that the bus trip was cancelled - I started out in the car, ever the intrepid explorer, but couldn't read the road signs through the downpour and finally admitted defeat. Every where we go I love exploring for wildlife, but we never see much - Flash has a theory - if you were above a nuclear explosion you would see devastation radiating out from the epicentre, well when I am looking for wildlife you would see the same pattern - the animals fleeing from me - I think his theory sucks.

We did visit a ginger factory on the way back to Brisbane, it was situated in a ginger garden and smelt like heaven, I had a ginger and cinnamon icecream whilst wandering, absolutely beautiful - we stocked up on ginger bears (sweets) and concentrated ginger extract for baking.

I then visited a family friend who has undergone a terrible medical misadventure, he is in hospital in Brisbane, and I was so glad I got to spend some time with him and report back to my parents who can't get here for a couple of weeks.

On the knitting front, I have finally published my Baby wrapover cardi for sale by digital download.

the pattern uses 4ply baby yarn, sizes 0-3,3-6,6-12 months, and has a unique all-in-one-piece construction, resulting in one seam to sew. I have also included a graph for the "Bubbles" colouway as a bonus extra.
This is the first time I have sold one of my patterns - wish me luck!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


we flew to Brisbane yesterday morning, and drove to visit Gordon's sister, who was visiting her daughter outside of Brisbane, after lunch and a nice long catch up we drove up to Noosa Heads and arrived late afternoon, we have a great room overlooking the pool complex, I am sitting outside typing this, flocks of lorikeets and the odd swallow flying overhead and a cheeky mynar bird perched on the railing singing for a treat.

Last night we had the usual meet and greet, cocktails and dinner, shaking hands and kissing babies...aarrgghhhh! the politics of these things drives me nuts, but I'm good at sucking it up.

Today Flash had to work, so I went for a stroll through the park, where I met this guy, he was very disappointed that I had no food with me, he kept tugging at my backpack, but I told him he wouldn't like cinnamon mints, and that was all I had. Then I caught the river ferry down to the harbour markets - and as luck would have it, the heavens opened and it hailed like mad! I took cover in an italian restaurant, which was seredipitious as I had the best garlic prawn tossed salad I have ever had, and a glass of sav blanc - because I'm on holiday.
I'm back in the hotel, after wandering around the shops, still haven't made it to the beach yet.I was going to drive myself to Australia Zoo today, but I don't get much practice, and I really needed a navigator, so have decided to go with the "wives" on the bus tomorrow, I promise I will play nice, even when they make fun of the knitting - because spending 1 1/2 hours on a bus playing text message tag is SO much cooler - sweetie.
Hope that everyone had a wonderful time at Afternoon tea at the Observatory hotel.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


my outburst yesterday was precipitated by the comment from my Mum that my nephew had cried himself to sleep on monday, as no doubt did many thousands of seven year old boys, I hazard a guess that if Donald Trump or John Howard died tomorrow, most seven year old boys would continue playing with their dinosaurs and teasing their sisters, there wouldn't be much crying from that quarter.
We don't have enough heroes, and that's where Germaine placed herself in my firing line - SHE was a hero, I was a child of the seventies - I watched my Mum rally for women's rights, fighting for a woman's right to choose, fighting to criminalise rape within marriage, fighting to maintain her dignity after divorce, those fighters are Grandmas now, and most of them, like my Mum, constantly affirm their daughters and grand daughters to ensure that we fight whenever those rights are eroded or undermined.
I suppose that I am lucky to come from a country where the Prime Minister, Attorney general, Governer General (until last week) are women, and where women head a lot of the largest corporations, New Zealand - the first country to grant women universal suffrage.

Go see these cool t-shirts at the nzgirl website - Dame Whina, Kate Sheppard, Jean Batten

So I understand if you are dismayed at me for accusing Germaine of having a shrivelled heart, but I feel that this is the time of her life when she should be able to sit back and relax a bit, be indulgent of those seven year old kids who want to save the world, and I was cross at her, because she is one of my heroes, and she made me cry that she could be so cruel, this isn't about her, it's about our environment losing a voice (albeit a loud one), a woman who has lost her husband, and 2 kids who have lost their Dad, and I think that deserves respect.

Ok, now that's over! I try not to have many tantrums on the blog, I'm all about the knitting and the family, unfortunately in this issue two things I care about collided and I imploded.

I've had food poisoning this week, and haven't managed to do anything but lie in bed with a book or the laptop(and a bucket) Flash say's that I didn't have to go to such extremes to lose weight for our trip to Noosa - he's a funny guy.

I'm finally up and about (kind of) and flat out cleaning the house so the babysitter comes back, and running all of the errands I should have done earlier in the week, sending out orders and doing the accounts. Ailsa, the confectionary will have to wait a week or two, I am not in a good frame of mind to be bending the knitting machine to new tasks, it's all I can do to fulfill outstanding orders with the patterns I know by heart at the moment, but I'm taking some bits and peices with me to play with on holiday, so I'll have a running start on the frippery next week.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Crikey - it sucks

Steve Irwin's death has to be the suckiest happening of the year, ok so he was brash, loud and right on the edge - but passion is passion, and he GOT THINGS DONE, so why do good people have to die and the rapists, murderers and terrorists are still roaming (the question is rhetorical)
Flash has a conference this weekend in Noosa, and I am going too, because he organised a rental car and everything so that I can spend a day at Australia Zoo, which I have been desperate to do since we arrived - now I am trepidatious- I will still go, but it will be sad.

"The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing ten times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo owners in their turn."

can Germaine Greer just shut her mouth, what has she done for animal kind, the environment, women or anyone lately? - oh yeah, that's right, she released a pervy book about young boys - right. Ah if only a new age feminist would go hurl a Jimmy Choo spiked heel at Germaine's shrunken heart - that would be poetic justice.

I made these rattles on monday, I was dyeing yarn all day, and decided to dye some roving, and realised that it would look great as felt balls, they are fun to make, I finished them off by needle felting them all over and then putting them through a hot wash in the machine. The rattle part is made from beads in a Kinder surprise container.

Monday, September 04, 2006

on yer bike!

Following on from my post last sunday, we bought the bikes and accessories, Flash had a great time putting the bike rack together and general bike maintainence and enhancement ( insert a Tim the toolman argh argh argh here)

Yesterday it was judgement day, we decided to forgo the M7 cycleway in order to do a test ride, to see how the bikes ( and us) beared up - we used to cycle a lot, but haven't for 2 years and realised that we may be a bit soft. We chose a route around Sydney Olympic park, there are 3 different bike trails and they are wonderful, perfect for families as well as more serious types, they are safe (no road riding) and interesting, with crescents coming off the bike track at places of interest (shipwrecks, lookouts) I took some photos from the bird hide , which would be an amazing place to take interested children.

the paths meander through mangrove forest, grasslands and swamps full of croaking frogs, there are hill climbs and boardwalks, places to picnic, and the convenience of clean loos and cafes.

And really good practice, my thigh muscles woke and said "yeah! that's what I'm talking about" unfortunately my arse did not concur, anyone know of a good brand of gel seat cover?

I helped Flash by holding the camera while he wrangled the bikes.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


it is spring here in the southern hemisphere, and it feels like high summer to this kiwi in sydney, we are making every excuse to go outside and expose ourselves to the sun ( with the sunhat, sunscreen and sunnies of course - this skin will never become leather!) Holly phoned to say that Christchurch is awash with daffodils - spring in the garden city!

I have been sewing, Blaise's monkey backpack is still in the WIP basket, so last night we made a messenger bag from some japanese oxford cloth covered in cartoon pandas - which remind me of that Liam Lynch classic "the panda song" "like the shark the panda has milllions of teeth - the pandas are coming so hide under your bed!
the bag has dogclips for closures and a pocket for her mobile ( so that she can find it when I call her!) she looooves it... I think I have bought myself some time with the backpack.

I saw a handbag roll in Notebook magazine, whilst waiting for the Dr, and thought it was a great idea, I use 4 different bags depending on the outing, black handbag, cream handbag, backpack and knitting satchel, the handbag roll has a place for all of your essentials - phone, key, that you just have to move the roll from bag to bag.

works well, but not tall enough, back to the drawing board.

So anyway, spring is here, and I have been struck with the desire to make confections - little knitted peices bedecked with ribbons and lace, handdyed and embroidered with flowers, the laces will remain white this weekend, until I get the family out of here come monday morning!

thank you for all of your messages of support, I am half way through answering the comments, and am so grateful to know such lovely people.