Thursday, November 22, 2007

one tiny life

I can't remember the last time I felt so passionately about something, and I really need to write this down. The tragic death of a little girl named Shellay Ward a few weeks ago, and the horrific details that are now emerging about her life, is almost unfathomable. It is tempting to not think about Shellay, to not imagine the filth, the suffering, the despair. But we really must. We really must because we cannot let it happen again. We need to open our eyes to the children around us, love and nurture our own children more, and realise that we as a community can make a difference. I want to stage a day of awareness, a day to embrace the memory of Shellay and tell the world that she will not be forgotten, though it would most definitely be easier to forget, to ignore, her desperate story. I think everyone who wants to shed light on this tiny girl's soul, which saw pretty much only darkness, should gather on a Sunday some time in the near future (maybe January or February) on a beach and bring with them a shell. These shells will form a line, as long as humanly possible, to protect the children who nobody seems able to protect. It will be A LINE IN THE SAND - drawn to say enough is enough. We cannot stand by and let another tiny, sacred life be treated with such appalling contempt. We will nurture and protect all children, and bring back the old philosophy that 'It takes a village to raise a child.' I don't think the day should be about the many negative aspects of Shellay's life, not about blame or punishment because that will come in other arenas. It should be a way of shedding light on her tiny life. She deserves it.
If you can help me with this project in any way, even with ideas, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

time to breathe

Forgive me for getting all Deepak Chopra, but sometimes, in the middle of the daily chaos, the washing, the renovating, the dust, the toast crusts, you really just need to stop. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Savour everything. And be grateful. Today seems as good a day as any to remind myself of that.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

the grass is ris'

And so, here it is, springtime. Freezing as all get-out, but springtime nonetheless. Much has transpired since my last post, naturally, since it was sooo last season. Our extension is up, lined, and looking fabulous. We have a roof, walls, and even plaster as of Monday. Our kitchen arrives on September 17th and with any luck I will be toasting my 35th birthday with a glass of bubbly on my beautiful Caesarstone benchtops from my lovely aluminium bar chairs (thankyou
Today I created a Facebook account, prompted by a friend I have not seen in almost a decade who now lives in Italy. I have been reading about him and his beautiful wife and little boy on their blog, and today he made me one of his 'friends' on Facebook. Which led me to create my own account. Isn't it amazing how small and big the world can be, all at the same time.
A big hug for the Perry family, in memory of the beautiful Leila. May she and Ambrose be lying somewhere sunny, on a bed of clover.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

darling girl

Happy birthday to my darling girl number one, Miss Elsa. As I write this, in front of my computer terminal at work, wishing I was at home to wrap her presents in preparation for tomorrow morning, I can't quite believe I have a nearly-five-year-old daughter. How did that happen? One minute she was a tiny, tiny baby who filled up my whole world, and this time tomorrow she'll be five. Old enough to start school. And I hope she knows this, because I tell her often, but if she happens to be reading this in 10, even 20 years time, I am so proud of her, and I love her very much.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

the hit and miss list

I find it increasingly hard to fathom the amount of things I need/want/should do on any given day, so I have done what any good woman would do: I have made a list. Lists are fabulous things for any number of reasons. To list a few: they are easy to make, they create the (usually false) impression that you are very organised, and they fill you with an enormous sense of achievement - even if all you have achieved is writing down the insurmountable tasks you face.
My list has 22 items on it, under the heading Things to Do. Some of these are quite urgent, like 'clean bathroom' and 'wash sheets'. And if my list is still floating around a week or so from now, they will reappear on it. Others are semi-urgent, like cooking the pumpkin soup, minestrone, risotto and vegie lasagne I recently found in a Donna Hay magazine and, in a very uncharacteristic rush of blood, went out and bought all the ingredients. Semi-urgent because that was over a week ago and some of the ingredients are looking a bit the worse for wear.
Having looked at my list for some time, I realised there was no chance of me achieving it all in one day. Maybe not even in one week. But I have made a pledge to tick three items off the list at the end of each day, and today I did just that (I cheated a bit by writing 'wash sheets' in after I'd already done it, but sometimes you just need to be creative). I write this with a pot full of minestrone on the stove, clean sheets on the clothes line and a sparkling clean bathroom. Three down, nineteen to go.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

for what it's worth

Went to the beautiful Newcastle Waldorf School ( yesterday and discovered Elsa can actually start there from next term if we so desire. Hadn't really considered it would happen so soon, but given the organic nature of the school it won't be an issue as far as ''catching up'' goes. Big decision now is whether we send her next term or wait until term three, when she will have turned five but will have had an extra term of preschool, possibly making the transition a bit harder. Big decisions, but then you can't avoid them when you have children. A poem I found recently makes me think of the Waldorf school, and the Steiner method of education, and I'm completely swayed whenever I read it.

I meant to do my work today -
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand -
So what could I do but laugh and go?

- Richard LeGallienne

Sunday, February 4, 2007

so hot right now

Okay, I'm officially not very dedicated to this blog, but hey, at least it's here, right? At least it made it from the many fabulous ideas that float around constantly in my head to actually exist. And for that, I'm sure, we are all truly thankful.
I tell myself that once I am established in my gorgeous new study, adjoining my gorgeous new kitchen/family room and covered deck, I will be a daily blogger. I may have absolutely nothing of any interest to blog about, but by golly I'll be blogging anyway. And reading it all myself, just in case nobody else does.
The extension is still pending, and of great excitement although not feeling terribly real since no actual work has yet been done. This includes actual work that needs to be done by us, including demolishing a not-insubstantial brick wall and relocating a great deal of quite heavy pavers. Still, it is nice to know we have only these tasks standing between us and real progress.
There are really not many spare moments to be had in our corner of the world, what with one thing and the other, but even those rare occasions lately have not been at all fruitful due mainly to the fact that it is so incredibly hot. I realise I risk sounding like an old person here, but I seriously cannot remember summers being quite so intense when I was a child. I can't even hang out the washing these days without wearing a hat, not only to prevent sunburn but to stop me from passing out due to heat exhaustion. It kind of frightens me that maybe my children will grow up in a country where there is a certain part of the year where you just can't be outside for any length of time. Kind of like those Scandinavian countries where they have to stay indoors for three months of the year or risk freezing to death, only at the other extreme. Did somebody say climate change?