Monday, 26 September 2011


The warm tastes of spring we've been having (in between frigid cold bursts) has me looking forwards for the first time in ages. I haven't been too much of a perpetual winter whiner this year but as the sun has come out I've realised just how tightly I have been rolled up.

Watching multiple blossoms going off like crazy and wee little apricots, plums, nectarines and apples spring to life amidst our still overburdened citrus trees has my mouth watering, as do the millions of tiny parsley seedlings springing up all over the garden beds and the seeds (hopefully) sprouting on the window sill. So good to be outdoors with so much going on.

I've been holding my breath, waiting for the winter and spring cold/ear infection/asthma/hayfever/tonsilitis round to hit - but here we are on September 26 and it hasn't come. We've only had a few very mild colds this year and I feel like we may at last be making it out of infancy and into normal life.

We've also just been through parent teacher interview for Wil, designed to settle the question of the advisability of school next year. I am straining not to head down ranty alley just now because the subject of school readiness and 'holding kids back' just kills me, and its death by a thousand cuts but really, no need for that here, eh? Suffice to say it was with great joy that I ticked the 'no' box on the will you be requiring care in 2012 form at childcare. I still have to get through the local kinder discussions (cut cut cut) but I am filled with steely resolve.

What it will mean to us as family to have both kids at school is making me gag with excitement. The down side of the four and a half year age gap between the smalls has meant that for all but the shortest period their time in institutions away from family has been separate. As a parent read: total pain in the arse for dual drop offs and pick ups, conflicting timelines and schedules, diverse fundraising and working bee guilt, yadda yadda. As a kid read: aside from home, we live our separate lives. They have not yet had the experience of meeting in the playground, of being protective, proud, embarrassed, amused by each other in a public kid ruled domain.

I can't wait to see the deepening of their relationship that will come from this - even the cranky I disown you bits. Right now so very much of their time together is mediated by D and I as parents: even though we choose not to interfere whenever we can, we remain a negotiating reference point. But at school they will be slugging it out alone, relying on their sense of what's right to deal with each other.

And deep down I absolutely trust them both in these dealings. Despite being kids, with all their kidish ways, inability to articulate and selfishness, they are basically good and want good things for each other as well as themselves. Won't it be wonderful for them to realise this about each other and themselves?

On the theme of anticipation, an increasingly large part of my forward vision is getting crowded with tropical palms, hot sticky nights, ceiling fans, swimming pools and rice paddies. I did some alterations on the bathers I made at craft camp [note to self: lycra is always bigger wet than dry so make things smaller!], bought some lime green sandals on super special, bought Amy new sandals, dusted off Wil's sandals from last year that I thankfully bought too big, and am pulling the summer clothes out of hibernation for a thorough inspection.

I also made a new dress

I bought the fabric a month or so ago from Tessuti - a wonderful linen/elastine, with a crisp papery feel in a wonderful shade of tomato red. I had no plan in mind when I bought it but when I spied a pinafore dress in the latest Ottobre with gathered pocket detail I locked it in. Love the pockets truly madly deeply.

I had to alter the pattern quite a bit (it was afterall designed as a sleeveless winter garment to be worn over layers) - for a start they didn't make it in my size so I had to scale the pattern up 2 sizes. Next I added a lot of length (the original was well above the knee), drafted sleeves to keep sunburn at bay and added a band for the neck to replace the pattern facings. Because of the elastine I was also able to skip the zip in the centre of the back which was less work, but also gives a softer more comfortable line as befits a dress made for a tropical holiday.

I'm not sure what else I might be needing to get done before we go - the inventory of last year's clothes will alert me to any last minute sewing needs. It's proving a little hard, despite the excitement, to get my head around packing enough hot weather clothes to last two weeks whilst sitting beside the fire and knitting for all I'm worth.

I'm also doing a bit of contemplating of having some bespoke leathergoods made whilst away - particularly a leather version of my standard handbag. Wondering if I should (a) make and take a pattern and (b) make and take the lining in order to preserve my patented nerd pocket placement system™. Wondering if I should get something else made too or instead or not at all. Wondering how much I will (a) hate going shopping for this as it will entail a trip to the most horrible loud touristy part of the island and (b) be disappointed if I feel like I could have made it better myself and beat myself up for letting capitolism suck me in AGAIN. It would, however, turn out to be a really wonderful experience to find someone who loves their work, essentially a craftsperson managing to work and live as they choose, who could collaborate on something with me, based on my needs and their skill. Maybe? Dreaming?

What I am not anticipating with anything like good humour is six hours on a plane. With kids. I hate flying at the best of times but keeping Wil in a seat for six hours is unimaginable.


Jodie said...

We are on the same page regarding leather. I am getting tired of remaking my same old messenger again and again. I am toying with the idea of trying out some leather and seeing what becomes of it. I am reliably informed my machine will cope.

jules said...

Love the dress! Those pockets rock. And the idea of the leather bag is sound, assuming I guess that you can find someone who does indeed love their work and is happy to work with your very clear wants and needs. Sounds like fun!


Suzy said...

My tips for the plane are lots of games and movies on the ipad / dvd player / ipod, and a pair of those earphones that cover the whole ear (don't have to be noise cancelling, just fit). And stickers. And fruit tingles... the "who can keep their fruit tingle longest" game usually buys some silence. Good luck!

Ruth said...

I've been thinking about that same dress pattern, Sooz, but I love the mods you make. I was hesitating about the shortness of the pattern and love the length you made as well as the added sleeves!

angelasavage said...

Sooz, if Bali doesn't deliver, I know a bag craftsman in NZ whom I reckon might be up to the task. (I met his partner in mother's group, before they moved back to NZ, before which they spent a year in Vietnam with two small kids...sound familiar?). Let me know if you're interested and I could connect you on Facebook.
Totally lerve the dress - bravo you talented woman.