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I don’t want to put anyone off visiting, but we’ve had the heater on pretty much all day for the last few days, there’s been talk of buying an electric blanket, and we’ve been wearing thermals. I heart the ultrafine merino and the New Zealanders who sail in them.* It’s been raining on and off for several days, which is pretty fantastic given that two months ago I felt like it was never going to rain again. It might take me a very long time to get sick of winter.

We’ve bought up big on peastraw to edge the garden and provide it with a little insulation. The lad also finds it is a handy wall to walk on and practice balancing. This may get more exciting as the rain soaks in and the peastraw breaks down.

gardening

That hint of blue sticking out from under his read skivvy is his thermal. One of his thermals. I’m so glad I stocked up on them in the Christmas sales. What with all the rain there’s been lots of indoor activity. Except for the Saturday morning garage sale we went to where we found the beads. A huge bag of beads. A bag of wooden beads on bits of nylon thread that used to be a beaded car seat cover (I’m tipping) for $2.

beads

He has played with them for hours already, and fortunately, no one has yet broken an ankle falling on them. (They’re closely related to Bluemilk’s “goddamn craft”). Lest you get the impression it’s all terribly wholesome around here with the thrifty wooden playthings and fairtrade basketry, I should point out that the little black thing, with just a fleck of white in the centre, just a little north of the yellow blocks, is a Racing Nun. We have two of them, they’re on wheels, they race. All those years of Catholic education come down to Racing Nuns. And those strings of beads? Well each of them is the same length as one member of the family (yes I know, aren’t we delightful and brilliant parents?) and the kid has taken to stringing them around our necks and telling us we’re King of the Office (brilliant parents introducing the toddler to interoffice competitiveness).

In other news, I decided to do some embroidery for the first time since the Great Cross Stitch Christmas Decoration of 1994-1995. Being your standard or garden variety toddler the lad decided he wanted in on the action, so I found him some scrap fabric and got him kitted out with a needle (we’re livin’ on the edge people) and some embroidery thread I got free at an op shop, which is what happens when you go opping at 5 minutes to 4pm and the volunteers all want to go home. After a few unsuccessful goes at saying “embroidery” he decided to call it “drawing with needles” instead. Which is perfect. My drawing with needles is coming along slowly, and I’m enjoying the colouring-in. His drawing with needles is also coming along and involves quite a lot of puckered fabric and calls for “more blue!” and “more gold!” which, frankly, is ace.

* It’s late, I’m tired, and I couldnt’ think of any grammatical way of saying what I needed to say, so I went with a completely innapropriate cliche, whaddaya gunna do?

Soaking rain. Soaking into the poor cracked bare earth that is our backyard. Soaking through all the broken branches and twigs and dried leaves that blew to the ground in all the wind earlier.

A big branch from a tree in our front yard fell on our power line at lunch time, Powercor were around to get it off within half an hour. A couple of weeks ago a tree in our backyard split in two and threatened the clothesline.

We’ve gotten out of all this pretty lightly and we’re very grateful. I just keep looking out the window again to check the rain is real. It even went into our tank.

After the Bloke climbed up and pulled all the broken twigs and leaves out of the way.

We got a lift into the Den of Iniquity. We walked and walked and walked up and down and round and round til we found a sign directing us to choose the Diversity Awards or the Electrical Switchboard Manufacturers function. It was a tough call.

The Bloke photographed the sign on his phone. The lighting wasn’t great and he was trying to look like he was texting. Experienced photographers will be surprised to hear that unfortunately it didn’t turn out well enough to read.

Tragically, the traffic jam in Spencer St made us too late for drinking bubbles, so we headed straight in to the meal. We had people sitting next to us who had been employed to do some sort of visual representation of the evening. I don’t know why. They had sketch books and nice fineliners. I was tempted to ask, but the people on the other side of them asked, and I couldn’t hear the answer and I didn’t want to ask them to explain it all over again. The Bloke was also tempted to ask, but then he caught a glimpse of the results and decided not to. Suffice to say, it’s amazing what corporates will pay good money for.

The food was ok as mass catering goes, the service wasn’t exactly seamless, but ok, the awards were distributed, the winners looked happy, the runners up were gracious. The music that accompanied the winner’s trips to the stage had been lifted from the Golden Globes circa 1984, and I kept wondering if it was The Golden Girls or MacGyver that was coming on next. Once that thought had come into my head ever single award made me giggle. GLBTI inclusiveness? Giggle. Mature age workers? Giggle. Migrants? Giggle. Recognising Today’s Youth as the Future of Tomorrow? Well that one got a giggle all of it’s own, seriously, today’s youth have a value as people right now, not just because they’re going to be grown up later, also, “future of tomorrow”?

There was excellent didgeridoo playing, there were bagpipes with a smoke machine (presumably evoking the misty Scottish weather) which were ok as bagpipes go, I prefer them outside. Preferably in Scotland. It was a shame that the Bloke had worn his suit rather than national dress as suggested. The Rev Tim didn’t speak for long and introduced Sir Bob, who spoke for a while and said the stuff you’d expect. It was generally ok without being rivetting, he threw in a few lecherous old pop star remarks that undermined the inclusiveness of the event by objectifying all the women present, and got a big round of applause. It was a bit ‘meh’, the corporate drawing ladies beside me thought it was great.

Now for the beach packing: we’ve had two days of hot weather here in Melbourne, so now that it’s raining I’m getting the gear together to head for the seaside. Typical. But hey, rain is good, and novel.

Earlier this morning, while I was winning Mother of the Year awards for making cheesy zucchini muffins, washing up, keeping the kid entertained and feeding him healthy food all at the same time, I thought “gosh isn’t it a lovely sunny day, we wont get many more of those for a while” and I opened the back door to let the air in.

Two hours later it’s dark and hailing.

If you haven’t been to Melbourne that’s pretty much all you need to know before you pack your bags. You’ll need sun hats and rain coats. Regardless of the season.

Incidentally, I lost all the Mother of the Year awards shortly after opening the door because the kid was entertaining himself by spilling his water all over the floor. Which I didn’t notice until he skidded through it and fell flat on his back. I’ve explained to him now about Occ. Health and Safety, so that shouldn’t happen again. Maybe I should invest in rubber matting…

Melbourne got some much-needed rain overnight with falls in the catchment areas and north-east of the city where up to 42 mm were recorded.

Rain that actually fell in the catchments! Filling the dams! Hallelujah!

The new fence is looking good, the old fence and bits of next door’s bananas are still all over the yard. The fence guy will be back when the rain stops. The kid is trapped inside and bored with our very small loungeroom, so I’m breaking my usual rules by leaving the tv on all morning.

Australians of a certain age group may be amused to hear that Jane Kennedy just appeared on Dorothy the Dinosaur as Dentist Jane. I giggled constantly and had the theme song to Shirty: The Slightly Aggressive Bear running through my head.

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