Sunday, 16 August 2009

a work in progress

It's been hard to sufficiently condense the learning curve for blog purposes. Relocation necessarily involves being inside a 3D learning cube - from the colour of the sky to the varieties of avocados you buy and a million other things more significant. A good deal of the tasks normally allocated to auto pilot need to be rethought, relearned, reconsidered. Often lots of them at once too. So it's been a bit intense. And school readers and notices and sometimes lunches get forgotten. Blog posts come a distant last.

So forgive the scrappy post, I figure it's better than no post at all.

The vegetation at times reminds me of Thailand and others of an iconic aussie outback, sometimes simultaneously. And that just doesn't seem like it should be possible, but the thought occurs to me daily.

The weirdness of living in a rich people's town, a tourist town, a beach town and a retirement village all at once. Wrinklies, surfies and backpackers mixing it with the Prues and Trudes. Not many people like me.

How virtuous I feel about all the walking I'm doing. The school drop off is a 3km round trip with hills, half of it pushing a pusher.

Wil is also big on walking, and running. Usually in the opposite direction to everyone else. I'm kind of over it to be honest. Makes us want to leave him at home as often as possible.

I planned on visiting the beach daily. I am not. I thought I'd use the pool everyday too. I have not. I'm not at all sure what to make of this.

Working from home, remotely, is like trying to direct a play from behind a big black curtain. Especially when there's a bit of turmoil and change going on over there. And here is so relaxed and, well, sunny.

The farmer's market is seriously inspirational. The veggies and fruit are plentiful, affordable and fresher than anything I've had since O'Connor's farm used to deliver us a box. Today I cooked a bunch of silverbeet I bought two weeks ago and I didn't even need to trim the leaves for age signs! I am loving eating salads everyday and I've been making up some great combos if I say so myself. Haven't looked at a single recipe. So much for thinking I needed to take on a culinary challenge. I'm thinking I might make it six months without spaghetti Bolognese.

The new childcare centre is nothing on the old one. But Wil seems happy enough and so far they haven't asked us to pay so you can't argue with that can you? I'm okay with scruffy so long as everyone is happy.

It's getting too hot for a doona at night, but not really hot enough for just a sheet either. This situation hit Wil first and hard since he's a hot kid and somehow scored the hottest doona in the new house, so I took to a bit of heathen quilting and added a new panel to his old sheet and monk robe cot quilt to make it suitable for his bed. Very happy with the result. I am now all in a rush to get quilts made for Amy and then D and I. I brought with me the gear to make our grown up one, but I've had to source as much stuff locally as I can for Amy and fill the gaps by leaning on some friends to shop and post on my behalf (thanks guys!).

We took a trip to Brisbane yesterday so D and Amy could see the dogs thrash the lions. I got to visit funky fabrix (for the aforementioned quilt sourcing) which is a fantastic little fabric shop. I mentioned Twitter and got 10% off! I see a few online purchases in my future. Thank the internet gods for Google Map directions or we would never have found it. Not so great were the tips on fabric buying here - it took me several kilometres of walking to discover it is hopelessly out of date and most of the shops moved or closed down. If it hadn't been for funky, the whole fabric buying foray would have been a total bust.

I was also thrilled to bits to visit GOMA, something I've wanted to do for years (starting about here). The building and adjacent library are stunning, absolutely stunning. Totally my kind of architecture (Al - wow!). I could have spent hours there - well hours more than I did spend there.

The library is a fully people oriented space with great, fun and beautiful areas for kids and playing games and using the internet and hanging out. Visionary. I tell you if I lived in Brisbane I'd be there a lot.

And over at the gallery I couldn't believe my luck to catch the current floating life exhibition which showcases indigenous fibre art. There were a couple of other exhibits I loved too, but the fibre stuff as always caught me in its magic spell. Such amazing work in such everyday items, I took a billion photos and still barely captured it (they are over on flickr, starting here).
While D and Amy were at the footy I slipped into the cinema and saw Balibo. A fabulous film featuring amazing music and wonderful performances and much to think about. I want to visit Timor more than ever and have renewed respect for Jose Ramos Horta and (some) journalists. And Mr LaPaglia, who in this role more than once reminded me of a friend or two in different ways and made the whole thing so much more real and moving. I cried a bit and have spent all day revisiting bits and tearing up again.

In stark contrast to the Timor experience was the flash hotel experience. We took a punt on a 'mystery' hotel deal on the internet and landed in the heights of luxury at the Sebel (bonus!!). You should have seen the valet parking dudes trying to work out how to deal with the Kingswood. Hilarious. Took them forever to get the car back to us and they stalled it twice right in front of us. Yoof have no idea what a choke is or why you need one.

And in amongst it all my darling girl celebrated the beginning of a whole new year. Luckily we organised presents before we came and brought them with us, and with grandparents all in residence it wasn't quite the shamozzle the rest of life has been. (How amazing are these candles with flames that match the candle colour?)

Such an event is worthy of a more substantial post. Another thing.

But I'm off now to watch Stephen Fry doing his thing in America. Love his thing.


innercitygarden said...

I'm very jealous of the trip to GOMA.

A little while ago we got a mystery deal and stayed in Melbourne, I handed the keys of the 20 year old Cressida over and warned the parking guy "the acceleration is inconsistant". I was hoping they'd crash it and insurance would shell out for a new car. No such luck.

(The baby carrier is working a treat, everyone at playgroup was impressed)

Helen said...

I'm so glad you are enjoying the wonders of this area :D

Suse said...

Mr Fry did not like Florida one little bit, did he?

Happy birthday to Amy!

And I have to tell you, B and I had exactly the same experience with valet dudes at a posh hotel in the city here years ago with our 20 year old Triumph. We watched other people who'd arrived way after us, receive their cars and drive off, while we still waited. Finally someone came and told us they were having trouble starting it and it would be a while. B offered to go do it but they were adamant. Finally we heard a deafening roar and our old blue darling skidded into place in front of us, the young guy roaring the accelerator wildly so it wouldn't stall yet again.

It was part hilarious and part embarrassing.

Janet said...

Happy Birthday Amy!!!!

It all looks so beautiful.... maybe when we visit we can go to the beach.

I think we will be staying in the not posh bit!

Emma said...

With a new baby in tow, I'm often quite over taking my 2 year old out - so it was nice to see that little bit of honesty. I love a spirited, feisty kid but they choose the worst times to express those qualities!

Prues and Trudes... :)

Theoretic Gal said...

Sorry about the dud fabric store link :-(

sooz said...

Theoretic Gal - don't worry, I appreciated your effort in finding it! I should have called ahead but I was too lazy :-)

frog said...

I kind of envy your move - I've just found out we have to move in three months - fruit and vegies like that would certainly help the reorientation process.

Just had our girl's birthday celebration at school. Her teacher is a lovely woman but I didn't need to be reminded that we were 44 days late for it.

Ali said...

Sounds hectic, and happy. Your bit about having to re-learn all the autopilot routines struck a chord.

And Amy, Happy Birthday!

Leonie said...

Wonderful post!

Fantastic pictures, so clear and bright.

Love the jungle animal fabric, it's fabulous, does it have it's name/manfacturer on it anwhere, I'd like to get some.

knitting sprouts said...

I just came by your blog via ric rac blog and was very interested to read this post. I lived in that area for 8 years - in the hinterland. it is a strange place to live. I loved some bits of it and hated others and in the end was more than ready to leave. I miss the vegetation more than anything. I hope you find your way. And isn't the gallery, library and museum in Brisbane fantastic!

greatbalancingact said...

Beautiful photo of Amy - took my breath away.
Like you, I love GOMA. If the Asia-Pacific triennale comes to Brisbane this year, I highly recommend a return visit. Roo and I have seen these exhibitions a few times and they are brilliant and very kid-friendly.

Nicole Murphy said...

Haven't the time to be loving your blog like I know I would. A friend sent me your link ages ago but am just getting into it. Have a newspaper deadline so can't keep reading, although would love to. Thought I'd just let you know I've put you in the Bendigo newspaper we write for (80,000 circulation I think) for this coming Friday as our favourite new website. You can see yourself mentioned in our Food Fossickers column if you go to and click on food fossickers. You're in the Nibbles section. You may have another whole new set of fans.

sooz said...

Wow Nicole, thanks! I'll look forward to reading it!