Thursday, November 29, 2012

~ our garden - the late spring version ~




I had a wander round our garden today with my phone (I really should reach for the D80 more often... sigh).  We were lucky to inherit a garden with lots of the work already done...although we seem to be heading towards a more messy, random cottagey look than was originally intended (neglect will do that!)

We have big plans to grow more food but at the moment all we seem to manage are loads of raspberries, some spinach, some herbs and a few tomatoes.  The poppies have overtaken the raised bed and there are raspberries everywhere else that there aren't flowers.

I just love this time of year - the warmer weather and longer daylight means we're all spending more time outside - playing, weeding, eating, sitting... 

How does your garden grow?
Are you growing food for your family?


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

~ snap it ... spiky ~

Our intrepid ballerina/gymnast/chaser of boys/tennis player/rollerblader* has a badly sprained ankle this week.  

We've been strapping it each day...and boy do those spiky little clip thingies hurt if you grab them the wrong way (tape is much better and safer).

I'm playing snap-it over here with Sarah where there are other spiky things to see.

* of course it was the chasing of the boys that caused the injury and not all that intense sporty stuff

Monday, November 26, 2012

~ a decade of Lily ~

My big girl turned 10 today.

That's 10 years of marvelling at just how clever we are to have made such a gorgeous little person.
10 years of finding new things to worry about almost every single day.
10 years of pride and joy.
10 years since the whole path of my life changed (for the better). 

We had a sleepover party here on the weekend - 4 friends for pizza at the beach, games in the garden and then a movie and bed.  The next morning we made pancakes and painted nails.  There was a mexican sombrero cake, balloons and posies of fresh flowers from our garden.  It was beautiful.  And so very Lily.


Lily's a dreamer and a thinker.
She is brave and resilient, sporty and smart.
Books and music are like breath to her. 
She's calm, quiet and just the loveliest company.

Her song goes a bit like this:

when I see your face
there's not a thing that I would change
'cause you're amazing
just the way you are
and when you smile
the whole worlds stops and stares for a while 
'cause girl you're amazing
just the way you are 
(Bruno Mars)

I can't even begin to imagine how the next decade is going to look

... I know I've got good company for the journey though.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

~ snap it ... bling ~

There's been some magic in our garden this week
Self -seeded violas popping up amongst the grass
Like jewels (or, if you will, garden bling)

I'm playing snap-it (with a very loose interpretation of the theme word this week) over here

Monday, November 19, 2012

~ 8 is great ~

8 years ago today I gave birth to our beautiful 2nd daughter and felt like I was exploding with joy.
Grace has the kindest heart, the twinkliest eyes and the cheekiest grin around.
Her legs are always bruised, she adores a cuddle, she still won't try bananas.
She is rainbowy and joyful.
We love her to bits and think its just great that she's eight and so utterly fabulous.


We had balloons, cake*, flowers and friends for tea
Her poppa made her heart shaped bread.
All she wanted was a surprise -  and she loves her bike, but equally the books, hair clips and necklace.

Jack Johnson spoke for me when he wrote these lyrics (this song always makes me cry)

"I've got an angel
she doesn't wear any wings
she wears a heart that can melt my own
she wears a smile than can make me wanna sing
she gives me presents
with her presence alone
she gives me everything I could wish for
she gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home"

Happy birthday gorgeous girl
Love you

* not the official party cake - that will come in 2 weeks when we go bowling and then for afternoon tea! - and I think we're branching out from the Women's Weekly and going with Donna Hay.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

~ the Fiji files (part 2) ~

We did venture away from the pool and hammocks...for about half a day.  

40 minutes from Castaway Island on the larger island of Malolo is a traditional Fijian village - Shell villageAbout 400 people live there  - ruled by a chief, without many of the basic amenties we take for granted but with facebook and satellite tv.
The villagers make their living from fishing, selling crafts to tourists and working at the nearby island resorts.  

There's a local hall, a (relative)mansion for the chief, a school, a medical centre, a rugby pitch and lots of shack-style houses.


We were able to have a look through the goods for sale, walk through the village and visit the school.

147 students attend the school(kinder to grade 8) which has moved from 67th (out of 69) of Fijian schools to number one in the last 8 years.  This is due, in large part, to a new headmaster with very strict rules (daily health inspections, mandatory 1/2 cleaning chores for each student, no swimming or tv during the week, compulsory cadets) and an engaging smile when asking visitors for donations.


The kids bought tacky souvenirs and made friends with the local children.  
I took photos (completely unable to capture the colours or the feel of the island) and pondered happiness amongst the poverty, the lack of stuff but the sheer abundance of love and good humour and the casual disregard for the natural beauty (so much rubbish just discarded along what should be pristine coast).



The contrast of the resort and the village lifestyle was stark.  
It was fascinating and uncomfortable.  
I want to know how to help - more than just buying some stuff I don't need and handing over my spare Fijian dollars.  

Next time we'll be more prepared - medical supplies are hard for them to source but we can buy them easily here and take them with us.  We'll also stock up on books, stickers and stationery.  Practical works for me.  And I like the idea that there'll be a next time.




Thursday, November 15, 2012

~ the fiji files (part 1) ~

Our holiday was all we had dared dreamed about ;

  * barefoot days on the beach (or by the pool).
  *snorkelling in sparkling seas (and gasping with wonder at the plethora of rainbow coloured fish).
  *breath-taking sunsets, endless sunshine, beautiful flowers
  *delicious cocktails, evenings alone (while the kids revelled in kids club).
  *braids (even for Jack).

No one wants to take the braids out.  
They save so much time in the morning.  
And when they're gone the holiday will really be over.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

~ reconnecting ~

We turned everything off in Fiji.
No phones, no email, no blog, no (wasteofspace)book, no IG, no TV.

For days we read, we talked, we kayaked, swam and snorkelled, we lazed and revelled in all the time we had to just be ourselves.
Time to think and dream.
Feeling no obligations.

It felt like more than just a tropical escape, a blip in our lives.
I want it to be more.

I'm finding it so hard to come back and re-establish where I want to be in this crazy, busy, totally connected world we live in.

I'm still on Fiji-time.
(and wishing it was still Fiji-warm)