Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Street Gang.

The Book Thief with Pride...

We had our book club meeting on Sunday at Jo's house for The Book Thief, and I'm pleased to say it went very successfully. Jo had invited another couple of girls to join the group, as both Lisa and Bec didn't attend this time, they were both busy. We had Rebecca and Joanne, who I think are both teachers at Cassia Primary and they seem like really nice girls too.

Jo had googled the book and found some learning questions online, which she sent around to each of us. It had discussion points such as the significance of colours in the book, who was your favourite character and why, why was this character like this, and so on. It was really helpful as it gave us something to get focused back on as we continually wandered off the subject!
I really enjoyed this book. I liked that it was written from the point of view of Death, during World War II and the cleansing of Germany by Hitler. He wrote, "I carried the souls of the dead over my shoulders and in my arms, but the children were the only ones I would carry in my hands." Very sad. I can see why it was so popular as he has a real way with words, and it sparked a lot of discussion amongst us about the Holocaust and Hitler. One of the girls had seen Mein Kampf (My Struggle, written by Adolf Hitler) in a bookstore years ago and wanted to buy it out of interest, as she'd visited a Death Camp in Europe years ago on holiday. But she was too embarrassed to because of the social connotations of buying a book written by Hitler. We all agreed it would have been an interesting read. We discussed movies that also covered this subject, as I was interested in seeing Schindlers List but it wasn't at the video store. Shane said this is probably just as well as it was a pretty depressing movie. Britt suggested A Beautiful Life which won an Academy Award in the 90's, so I might try that one.

We of course discussed every other book and movie under the sun. Jo and her mum Jennifer are prolific readers and we were all throwing book names around like anything. We are swapping books at Book Club, as I lent Jo my copy of Edgar Sawtelle, and Jo lent Britt her video of the movie Roots. So we are going through other books even while reading the Book Club book nominated!
Yesterday at Kmart I scored a movie book package for $20, which had Revolutionary Road, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Slumdog Millionaire. I saw Revolutionary Road on DVD recently and couldn't stop thinking about it for days, it was quite harrowing at the end. Jo has recently read Striped Pyjamas and recommended it to me and I loved the movie for Slumdog, so I'm looking forward to having all these read over the Xmas period.
I also recently bought Stephen King's new one, Under The Dome. It's like the Simpsons movie, where a dome is lowered over a town in Maine, except this one chops a woodchuck in half, cuts off a gardeners hand and causes a light plane to crash into it and fall burning in pieces to the ground... very good so far!
We decided this time it was Jennifer's turn to nominate a book as she'd indicated she was going to return to a classic. As neither Rebecca nor Joanne had read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Jennifer decided to go with that one. Also, as Xmas is coming up, we can't meet now until January, so it will give everyone plenty of time to read it. Unless you've read it a few times, the elongated way that she writes takes a fair bit of concentration. Jane Austen takes 50 words to explain something it would take you or me 20 words to do! I re-read this book just last year, so I'm not in any hurry to read it just yet. I'll wait til I've finished the 3 on the go I have now!

My picture this post is of the iconic Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. I really didn't like the Hollywood film version of this movie with Kiera Knightley. Not when you've seen the BBC version above, with Colin First and Jennifer Ehle. It's about 6 hours long and it's just a beautiful movie. They are appropriately subdued, as you imagine the English gentry to be, and the scenery and filming are just stunning. I have seen it hundreds of times, and I'm not joking!

So I shall check in again on this story, once we've met on 24 January, Jo's birthday, so discuss why we love this book. As I already know I do. So much. TTFN.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Could If I Wanted...

The Reader and The Book Thief

Rather than give excuses about why I haven't posted for so long, I'm going to say 4 words - we bought a house. And leave it at that. I've been very busy!

So we had our next Book Club meeting a few weeks ago at Jo's house, hosted by me. It was a long time coming, as we scheduled, rescheduled and rescheduled and we just couldn't agree on when to meet because someone was going away and this person was doing this or that or whatever. And in the end Britt helped me decide by telling me that Johnny's transfer had come through and he and Alice were leaving. So we made it for the weekend before she left and there were only a few of us - myself, Britt, Jo, her mum Jennifer and Alice. Bec and Lisa were both away, in fact, I haven't seen them for months so I don't know if they even got the email about reading The Reader or have started on the next book yet. It had been about 2 months since our last meeting.
Jennifer couldn't get into the book so hadn't read it, but the rest of us had and we all seemed to enjoy it. I liked how it was such a short book but packed a lot of punch. The story is based around a teenage boy who meets an older lady one day, Hanna Schmidt and they begin an affair. He begins to read to her during their meetings and falls in love when inexplicably one day, she is gone. Years later as an older student, he is stunned when attending the Nazi trials for inhumane treatments to the Jews, that Hanna was being tried for being a German guard being held responsible for the deaths of over a hundred people in a fire. Refusing to admit she cannot read or write, she takes the blame and is sentenced to prison, and he sends her books on tape while there, which she uses to teach herself to read and write. They meet again as adults, upon her imminent release back into the world she doesn't really want to be in anymore.
The writing was well done and I also watched the movie soon after, which jarred my memory of it when attending the meeting, but this was also because it had been over a month since I'd read it by the time we met. I really enjoyed the movie of course because it starred Kate Winslet, who's a very giving actor and I felt it followed the book well. But nothing can beat a good story and I would recommend this book highly.
Jo has picked our next book, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. She had reread it recently and loved it. It's a really popular book and I'd tried reading it years ago, only to give up after the first few pages as it was really hard going. Britt has mentioned the same thing when I've seen her, so I was trying to finish the great book I was reading (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle) so I could get onto it before our next meeting on the 15th. I've just started it about 5 days ago and am happily engrossed so far, about 100 pages in. The story is about a young girl in Hitler's Germany (yes, the Holocaust again) who craves knowledge and how she obtains the books that are so important to her. It's actually written from the point of view of Death, as in, He first saw her when coming to take her brother and kept an eye on her, being very busy when Hitler first started 'cleansing' Germany. He sees her steal a book from a book burning held by Hitler's youth. Good stuff so far. I'll keep you posted.
And I was devastated to see an ad on TV this morning for the new movie 'The Time Travelers Wife'. I sat there quite stunned for a few seconds, wondering why it bothered me? Because from the ad, it looks okay; it stars Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, both actors I like. But I'm not sure they'll be able to convey Henry's tired, helplessness at his uncontrollable time travel and Clare's ultimate contentment at being mostly alone. It looks very... relationship-ey, rather than concentrating on the journey of what happens to him which I found fascinating. I'll watch it for sure at any rate, so we'll see.
Okay, am off to read more. And see what Death has to say on Leisel's latest book.... TTFN.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Waiting for the When.

I, like a close friend of mine, am coming to an awful gut renching realisation that I need to get a life. I need to do something to pique my interest more, that explores the foundations of me, who I am and who I want to be. I'm hoping to God it's not the samedom of being on maternity leave and having each week the same that is getting to me, as I love being off work and having time to scrapbook, organise or do nothing. Since moving to Hedland, everything in my life is When. When we move to Gero. When we get a brand new house. When the girls are bigger.

I don't feel there is any point spending money on nice furniture when the girls are small and spill food and drink on it all, when Saxon as a dodgy bladder and wees on everything and when we are just going to have to pay to move it all to Gero when we do go, rather than buy it when we get there and leave our current crap behind at the dump.

We desperately need a new bed. I've had our current base with slats under the mattress since I was in Perth and it's old and rickety now. The slats move and the mattress is so bad I have almost a constant backache. Going to the chiropractor does no good. I want to upgrade our next bed to a King Size and I don't see the point of getting one now as it will not fit in our bedroom. Let alone a whole new bedroom suite and actual wardrobes to match. So we'll buy a new mattress and hope that will cover us until we do move.

Next year we are going to Phuket for our honeymoon, and our plan is to go to Surfers Paradise and take the girls in the next few years after that. But while Devon and Cassidy are so small, there's probably no point as they won't be able to ride on anything and they'll be too small to remember anyway. So we'll probably stick to travelling around WA, although we've promised ourselves a trip to Darwin before we leave the Pilbara to see what all the fuss is about. All our friends go to America. But those friends don't have toddlers or babies.

Last year we got a new fridge, knowing a new baby was on the way and we'd need the room. This month we bought new IKEA shelving for our CDs and DVDs. And unfortunately, as fantastic as they are, they just make our other old furniture look worse.

We've bought an investment property in Geraldton; settlement was just yesterday. This makes me feel like we are finally adults and are taking care of things financially. Yet we are tearing our hair out over finding a decent tenant to go in the house. The stress is unsurmountable. I keep thinking I must ring the property manager, then I just ignore it because I can't handle dealing with it. We have life insurance but Shane doesn't even have a will.

So I feel like for nearly 5 years now, I've been putting everything on hold, waiting for When. And as you can see above, I have plenty of excuses why. Like my wedding dress, common sense overrules what I really want. Because what I really want is to move to Geraldton now and be with my sister, knowing my parents will soon follow and I can't do that. That would mean doing without Shane as he would then have to do fly-in, fly-out work; the money's just too good. And I can't do without him.

So I balance it. I justify why I go without now with what is yet to come, and buy small, crappy things to make do, hoping to God I get the chance to do the big things later. Funnily enough, with refinancing my unit, we actually have the money there to be able to do these things too. Am I just in a rut? Because this rut has been gnawing at me for 4 and a half years.

A few weeks ago, my cousins 21 year old son committed suicide. I hadn't met James as an adult; I only remember him as a dark haired little kid running around with us all at the beach. He was so cute, and pictures of him as a adult showing a really good looking guy, someone I would have been glad to know in my family. But now he's gone and I had to put a death date on someone young in my family tree. What if something were to happen while I waited for the When? I don't want to regret sitting around.

I feel like I live my life waiting for the When to happen. I'm 37 next year. When is my life actually going to start? When will I have the nice house, room to scrap, and a comfortable lounge and bed? A big kitchen with a dishwasher and beautiful patio area? Built in robes, going to the movies and coffee with my sister and big family Christmases without 40 degree temperatures? Contentment and achievement in my life? When?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Doctor in the House!

Dresses done and Invitations to think of.

I have had a very lucky score on the wedding front by finding the girls flower girl dresses in one of the last places I would look. I'd been investigating some online but was worried without seeing them myself first.

Jodie was in Best and Less in Gero looking for a dress for Tayla and sent me a text of 2 dresses they had there which would be perfect. As you can see, Cassidy's dress has the gold sash belt which pretty much is the same shade as the gold of my dress. The embroidered flowers all over match the flowers on Devon's dress, which is in black and white. As the wedding party will be dressed in black, gold, cream and white, they'll both match perfectly.

The total of the dresses was $63.00 and Jodie sent them the day she bought them, so I had them 2 days later. Good old Australia Post. So a major part of the girls preparation is done now. I will need to get tights, hairpieces, shoes and cardigans, depending on the weather, which will be easy enough done next year.
I've been starting to think about my invitations too, as I want to start on them in the new year. I already have some gold edged RSVP cards to include and some shell picture cards to use for decoration, so I am going to start planning how to put the program together. Yes, I said program! I'm including the invitation, the wishing well poem, the list of accommodation and the RSVP card and envelope, so I decided to put it all together in a mini booklet. It will look tidier than sending 4 separate items in one envelope. I also have some little tidbits to include, such as the fact that we're not allowed to use confetti or flower petals at the ceremony (public area) and also I got the idea from The Knot website that I could do a little list of my something old, something new, etc for people to know.
I have already ordered some address stickers online as I'm running out of my current ones, so I just made sure they were in the colours of gold and white and I'll use them for my RSVP cards too. It was only $14.95 for 140, so they were only 10c each, not bad.
My friend Andrea (who got married in Broome in July) has offered to help me make them, so now it's just a matter of buying some flash A4 card and designing the layout. Lucky for me I have a printer of my own to use. I want them to be inexpensive but not look it, so we'll see. Luckily in Port Hedland, The Emporium carry a lot of paper supplies and metallic envelopes and the like, so I should be able to get supplies no worries.
So things are bobbling along. In a lot of ways I wish the wedding was sooner so I could get more stuff sorted, but I know I should stop wishing my life away! TTFN.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

They went that-a-way...

The Wedding Dress post. Just one, I promise.

Okay. I am going to write this now and then not mention it again. I myself am OVER hearing myself talk about it, let alone think and stress about it, so this blog is the place to vent and tell all, then leave it be.

On the Friday I arrived in Perth, Ani and I went straight to Legends Bridal in Joondalup for me to try on wedding dresses. I was stressing about this due to having a limited time frame in which to buy a dress and also because I didn't want to have to come back the next day to keep going.

Ani and I were so excited, especially considering Ani already had her bridal gown and was only helping me! We got chatting to the lady who offered us help, Lisa, who was magnificent and she said to start choosing what we were interested in and she'd put them in a changeroom.

I'll admit I was a little disappointed that there were other people in the shop with noisy kids running around that didn't give this special occasion for me any of the respect it deserves; however, I shall move on. Without saying anything about fat wog girls trying on dresses that were way too small. Ahem.

I had to wear a thin piece of cotton over my face when putting the dresses on so I didn't get any makeup on them, which was funny. The first dress was a champagne coloured strapless number that laced up in back. Ani and Lisa immediately liked it but I was very unsure. I didn't particularly want a strapless dress but decided to try it for the fit and colour. I pretty much was saying no while they were saying yes as I felt I was all bust and that I was going to fall out of the top of it. So on with the next few and some I didn't even bother coming out to show Ani as they just weren't what I wanted or didn't fit properly. I started getting a bit nervous internally as I was running out of dresses already in my size, even though Lisa had gone off to grab some others in the meantime.

Then, suddenly, I tried on the princess dress and knew as soon as Lisa started doing it up that it was perfect. I'd grabbed it to try on even though it was $1440 as it was just the style I liked. (My budget was for $500 although Shane had set it at $1000.) Lisa did it up and said it was a size too big and I needed the next one down but I came out to show Ani and we all immediately agreed it was a great dress, and likely to be 'The One'. I was very pleasantly surprised that white looked so nice on me as I thought I was too pale. (Now here I mention that getting some Hedland sun has NOT worked for me as yesterday I got a mole cut off and it fucking hurts, so a spray tan will be the go, if at all.)

What do you think? Nice huh? Now for the killer. I know I set a budget and that it shouldn't matter if you just LOVE a dress but the problem with this little number is that it was about 4 inches too long. And I knew I would not be wearing massively high heels at my own wedding because I wanted to enjoy the day and not be in pain. And because the lace overlay (the doily part) was so intricate and hemmed about the bottom, it would have needed a professional dressmaker to alter it and would have cost over $500. Debbie was the dressmaker/tailor at the shop and she would have done this for me, increasing the cost of the dress to $1950. Added to that is the fact that I would have had to return to Perth to get the dress fitted again before the wedding once the alterations had been done. Now on the day I thought that this might have been impossible, although Shane has since assured me it would have been okay, and workable. It had cost me $360 to fly down this time and I was lucky to get that so cheap; I would have been unlikely to pay less than $500 to fly down again in the future, let alone the trouble of getting Mum to have a day off to watch the girls during the week and Shane managing them over the weekend, which involved a lot of prepping beforehand by me!

So I started to sweat, thinking that my beautiful dress was going to cost me in the realm of about $2500. And beautiful as it was, I knew deep down inside that although I would look great and love it on the day, come the next day I would be stuck with an extremely expensive dress that I might be lucky to get $200 bucks for. The common-sense part of my brain started to take over the dress-loving part of my brain... And the winner? Try on more dresses.

I continued with a couple and then referred to an electric blue bridesmaids gown we'd picked out. I'd seen this on the website and loved it, especially as it only cost $330 and in my still-in-hedland, not-yet-seen-any-white-dresses frame of mind, it was perfectly what I wanted. So I put this gown on and Wow! We had another freakout; it looked so nice on me. I needed to have some of the cleavage stitched over as I showed a bit too much, but you could see this would be easily done and the colour looked amazing on me. But not bridal enough. The next decision was, white? Or gold? I tried on both and Lisa and Ani decided gold was the one. I wasn't convinced either way but apparently the gold looked better with my colouring.

As you can see in the background of the photo, there is a cupboard of tiaras, feathers, combs, hats and whatnots to choose from and next to that a big array of veils. We immediately found an elbow-length veil that was gold with a silver wave along the bottom (matching my beach theme) and Lisa attached it with a little tiara. I hated this immediately as I was looking for something different, like a flower or little hat. Ani and I sussed it out and found in a box a bamboo and ribbon fascinator coloured gold and black. We put this to one side of where the veil was attached at my crown and VOILA! The look was complete.

The dress had to be ordered in my size and colour so I won't get that til Xmas and I brought the veil, $190 and fascinator, $60, home with me on the plane. And the next day I was lucky enough to find the most gorgeous black long-sleeved Alannah Hill cardigan with embroidered flowers on it that would be perfect to give me the warmth I would need over the dress during the after-ceremony, before-reception travels and whatnot. Let alone the fact that this cardigan is so gorgeous I would live in it otherwise, $200 bucks or not.

Now all I need it a black pair of shoes (and I have heaps of them) and my outfit is done. So far I am at $799 for my 4 purchases and am really happy with them. Well I was until I got home and suffered an agonising few days of indecision and whether I'd done the right thing. I was torn up inside, had a good cry and decided to forget about it til tomorrow. The next day, I rang Legends and was told, changing my mind or not, the gold dress was mine and I could order the other but my deposit could not be changed over. And that made my mind up for me. There. Enough.

My sister is excited about my decision as this means her bridesmaids dress can be black. Then all we need is a black waistcoat for the best man and a gold one for Shane and the wedding party is done. Black and gold doesn't really go with my beach theme but my colours are gold (sand) and blue (sea) so at least the golds will match. Plus I think the room would POP a bit more with blue accents throughout the white tablecloths and gold sashes and whatnot, rather than black which could look a bit dank. Hmm, not sure. It's hard as I can't organise centrepieces and things from afar, this is something I'll need to do in Geraldton at a later date.

Anyway, this is my dress journey. I am glad to share it. I have been told by a few people that I will only get married once and I need to get the dress I love, but I know myself too well and I think I would regret spending so much money on one thing, when that much would go towards so many other items that would make our wedding day so special. TTFN.

A Testimony to my Fantastic Photography Skills!

Another picture of my most gorgeous girls. We were on our way out to meet Mum for lunch and the girls were dressed up nice and had their faces wiped clean for a change. I decided on the spur of the moment to get a picture of them and had to take about four to get this half smile from Devon. Usually, she sees the shiney light of the focus and just stares. I took it that day to the shops and got a few 8 x 6's developed and gave one straight to Mum to show the girls at work, and one of the ladies asked when PixiFoto had come to town! Mum said no, Tracey took that at home and they were most impressed. See. I can take a good photo. It just takes four tries that's all. TTFN.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Lights, Camera - Supermodel!

Now. I'm a mum and a housewife. This involves not showering every day, which then follows with not using my toner and moisturiser every day. This involves not washing my hair every day. Unless it's Thursday and I'm meeting mum for lunch, then doing my food shopping, I usually tie my hair back, rinse my face with water and off I go, washing, folding, wiping and mopping. Or typing!

So as you can tell, I'm very slack with my skincare routine. Especially at night, I hate having to wash my face at night before I go to bed, I'd rather shower and freshen up all over, especially with the back pain I've been dealing with; the hot water helps. And I never really thought my skin suffered too much for it, apart from being a bit oily. But on the weekend, in Perth shopping for my wedding dress, Ani took me to the Bobbi Brown counter at Myers in the city for a makeup trial. And the wonderful woman Casey who served us, informed me of my yellow undertones (who knew, I thought I was pink girl) and the dehydration around my eyes causing the blue bags. FYI: I am now moisturising my eyes and corners twice a day.

Ani has seen Casey before and was impressed with her knowledge, so we were glad to get her to help us. And help us she did! She spent over an hour with me, knowing that Ani was helping me with my wedding makeup on the day. She discussed my makeup habits, my dress colour, hair style and all sorts, finding out all about me and as she applied everything step by step, she explained what she was doing and why. She even gave us a little booklet showing the steps and let Ani make notes, so we could refer back to it later.

The main lifesaver was the Bobbi Brown corrector in bisque. It went on over my dark circles and blended perfectly. It didn't look like I was wearing anything and didn't sink into the lines under my eyes either, really nice stuff! I don't even know how much it cost, but Ani and I both bought some! Then concealer, then a light dusting of powder all over. This set my face with a base to work on, so Casey could add the colour.

Next came liquid foundation, powder, bronzer (which I've never been brave enough to wear, I always thought I was too pale) and blush (again, something I never bothered with). This gave me really nice colouring, subtle but enough to show up in the wedding photos.

I wanted dramatic eyes, so next came darkening my eyebrows to frame my face and beautiful eye makeup with lashings of mascara. She used shades of gold and stone and a chocalatey brown fine eyeliner on the upper and lower lid. Was very fiddly but wow, what a great effect. Surprising the whole look tied together with a light pinky lip colour and I looked stunning. All day walking around I kept catching sight of myself in a mirror in a shop and doing double takes - check me out!

Casey wrote down all the details, prices and colours for me so Ani and I will investigate cheaper options or online shopping to buy most of the products. I had to leave Ani some dosh to get the products I'd ordered once they arrive and when I get them, I'm putting them away in the wedding crate! Nothing is getting used between now and then, except the fantastic bisque corrector! Oh well. Back to normal life. I'm off to bring in the washing... it's a housewife's life, but somebody beautiful's got to do it! TTFN.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


And hello to all my fans out there!

I know I haven't written for a while but I honestly have been eyeing off my blog and thinking... well, what can I write about? I've taken a break from wedding stuff and have been spending a lot of time sorting junk for our garage sale last weekend, so you can understand why there hasn't been much to inform you of.

On Friday I head to Perth to shop for my wedding dress. I'm staying with Ani and can't wait! We usually only get to catch up once a year and even then it's only for a couple of hours, so this time I get a whole 2 days with her. She's gonna be sick of me by the end of it, yay! We haven't fine tuned our plans yet; so far on Friday we're wedding dress shopping and Saturday we have a make up trial booked at Bobbi Browns in Myer City. No doubt we'll manage to fit in movie and dinner one night or both and I'm looking forward to doing a bit of shopping too if I get the chance.

On the book front, I had to order the books for the bookclub online and only got them on Thursday. I ended up finding a very reasonably priced website online where the book The Reader only cost $11.99, much better than the $20 it had been everywhere else. So I also ordered Madame Bovary and The Buccaneers. Great idea as I got free postage, but the trouble is that I've started reading all of them at once! I need to concentrate on The Reader and get that done first, shouldn't be too hard as I'm halfway through it already.

One thing I have been doing to pass the time is to update my Family Tree. I started a tree last year sometime on a great website and because so many other people use it worldwide, it links up with their trees and I have expanded out many generations! I'm back to the early 1800's on my Dads Mums side and have found some fantastic things out. Until next Wednesday I have access to historical records such as Census records, War Registration cards, Electoral records and even Convict Transportation Registers! And yes, one of my distant rellies was shipped to Van Diemans Land for life on 28 July 1842. Naughty girl!
I've been printing copies of everything I can find, as the next time I get this access it'll cost me $250 a year. It's such a shame that I don't have any details of Shane's family. I only have as much as Cheryl can remember and I need to contact a couple of rellies about the details they have. Another thing to do on the long term list.

Probably the biggest news and taker of my time in the last 2 weeks is that we found out yesterday that our offer on a house in Geraldton was accepted! We are now on the property market! Well, we already were due to my unit in Balcatta, and we are still pending the finance approval, but you know what I mean. It's a 4 x 2 house with a tenant in it and is costing us a pretty $386,000. Nice! But it gets us into the local area and will hopefully help us to buy our dream house when we eventually move down there.

Well I guess that's enough of the ramblings for now. Here's a nice photo to end the rambling with. Good night, and if you can't be good, be careful. TTFN x
Cassidy and Devon showcasing the new pj's Grandma got them in Phuket. Devon's got the leg lock happening so she can stand up no problems! She'll be driving a car next, geez!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The First Fastest Report for The Time Travellers Wife.

I am writing this late. Shamefully late. I only just remembered the other day that I'd been to a book club meeting and not informed my nearest and dearest (all 2 of you that read this) of the outcome.

This time we were meeting at Britt's place and I decided to take Devon with me. That way Shane could muck around outside and not have to duck inside and check on her every 6 minutes, as Cassidy will stay outside with him. I knew she'd sleep and look cute and not be a problem, so I thought, why not? She actually ended up staying awake and playing with her toys most of the time and only fell asleep in my arms towards the end while I was chatting with Britt and Alice.

So I was the first to rock up, then Bec and her mum Robyn who was staying with her from out of town. Jo managed to make it for the first time and we get along well, so I was glad she was there. Lisa was up in Broome for the weekend and Alice later arrived with some nibblies, yum!

After we'd been chatting for a while, I asked about the girls reading the book and everyone had read it. Except Bec. Now I'll be honest and say I wasn't impressed with this. We've had 3 books and she's only managed to read 1 of them and that was the crap one she'd recommended. After she admitted she only read it coz it was the only English book she could find while on her honeymoon and even then she didn't finish it! When asked why, she said she's been real busy with meetings and there's been lots of stuff on like the Hedland Cup and blah blah blah.

So you can see why I wasn't over the top about it. It feels awkward going on and talking about the major things that happened in this awesome book, nutting out the whys and wherefors, knowing that you're totally ruining the story for someone! She says she doesn't care as she'll read it anyway, but it still doesn't feel right. Maybe because I know I wouldn't read a book if someone ruined what happened like we do, we really dissect it down to the ground.

I just don't really know why she's in the book club and I won't be surprised if she ends up not coming at one time or another. I sound really mean don't I? I don't mean to be, I'm only letting go as I know only certain people read this. She's a nice girl, I don't know why she just rubs me the wrong way.

Anyway, we talked a lot about the Time Travellers Wife and dissected Henry and Clare and his time travelling gene. As I've previously said, I love love LOVED this book and was really hoping the other girls did too, which they did. Jo and I in particular went on to discuss heaps of other things we'd read and want to read; she seems to go through books as fast as I do!

I took the role of the next hostess and suggested the next book 'The Reader'. I'm really intrigued by this book, which largely involves German War crimes. The only other book I've read that even comes close to this is The Diary of Anne Frank, which was fantastic, but the fact that this book has been made into a movie is a good sign to me.
Jo was heading off to Karratha the next weekend and said she'd look in Angus and Robertson for the book for us both. Unfortunately they didn't have any copies there, so I just ordered 3 copies online. I was lucky and found a website where they would combine postage and the book only cost $11.99 each which was fantastic. Some I found were over $20 so I was pleased about that.
Once I got looking I also found The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, so I ordered them too which gave me free postage, yay!

Some history about me. Years and years ago there was a BBC series about The Buccaneers starring Carla Gugino and Mira Sorvino and heaps of English actors that I love from my Classic Dramas. I taped it and have watched it at least 100 times since then, the video tape is getting pretty trashed. I'm keeping an eye out for a DVD copy and now I've finally found the book. Even on Ebay, I've had a hard time finding it, well, in decent condition anyway.
Madame Bovary is an Classic Drama movie that I saw years ago on the ABC and stars the amazing Aussie actress Frances O'Connor. Love it, love it, but never read it.
I have a, well I won't say bad, but I have a habit of watching and re-watching movies or show I love. Bored? Only Days of Our Lives on the telly? Put on Gimme Gimme Gimme or Buccaneers or Red Dwarf on the DVD for something funny or interesting to listen to while I do housework or scrapbook. Jodie's the same I've noticed; she'll watch her favourite movies over and over. I just get so much enjoyment out of seeing the jilting scene from Sex and The City or watching Elizabeth being crowned Queen.

So now I've got more on the way to read. And you know what? I can't wait! TTFN.

Friday, August 14, 2009

LOL cat breaks the sound barrier.

I have lots to write about wedding updates, but it's late and a game of breaking bricks on Facebook has caught my interest. So I'll write more later... meanwhile, enjoy a cat. Running. Nice. TTFN.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Campervan - Experiment Number One!

As mentioned previously, we went camping last weekend in our new poptop campervan and sadly I've just realised I haven't even taken a photo of it all popped up and sassy! Not even un-popped up either, so you'll just have to picture the glorious thing yourself. We've owned it for 2 months but the guy we bought it off was shocked when Shane told him we'd taken it out already!
It's a campervan which is towed behind the Luxey (Shane's other pride and joy) and you wind up the roof, then pop the beds out either end. It quite comfortably sleeps 2 in either bed and has 2 tables inside that flatten to become beds as well. It's so big inside it has an oven under the stove and an aircon too. Noice.
So we decided to take the thing up to Pardoo Station and give it a tryout. Pardoo is about 100 km's north up the coast on the way to Broome. We didn't go to go fishing at all though, as the tides were way out, like Indonesia out, so we'd be paddling and living and that's about it. We've been to Pardoo before, actually it was the Hedland cup weekend last year we went so we knew what we were in for. I like it as it is basically a caravan park, so it has toilet blocks, a campers kitchen, a pool and a tiny shop, so you aren't totally in the wilderness and most importantly for me, I can have a shower at night and use a proper toilet instead of a hole in the sand, ugh.
My beautiful Devon. Her first venture out as she naps so much we'd left her in the car when we walked the 50 odd metres to the water, but Shane went back and got her when we heard she'd woken up. She looked a bit shocked at first but loved being outside. It'll be better for her when she can sit up so for now we just had turns standing her in the mud so she could feel it between her toes. (Notice my tattoo, will put up a better pic later. I tried SMS'ing a pic to my friends but it wouldn't work on my stupid phone, darn).

Mummy, Cassidy and Devon. You can't tell too well but we're standing in mud; awful grey suck-your-shoes off mud. I was surprised when I got home that I still had my toe ring, I was sure it would've been gone. Was yucky to walk in as you were trying not to lose your balance or tread on a crab or something worse under the surface.

Daddy and Devon, awww.

Cassidy posing near the rocks. We walked for ages up the end and back looking for crabs to show Cassidy and found a couple too.

The girls on our first night. It was SO cold and I was up checking on them all night. It wasn't until the next morning that we realised our aircon was reverse cycle and had heating. Sigh...
I'd decided at the last minute to take along Cassidy's old high chair and use it for Devon to sit in and good I did too, it was so much easier feeding her sitting in that. As you can see she has a rusk and devoured it, she loves them!

Cassidy relaxing a'la, "I wonder what the poor people are doing today?"

Devon relaxing a'la, "Geez Mum, I hope I don't fall off this chair, I can't sit yet you know!"

My beautiful, beautiful girl. Sitting on my lap reaching for the camera.

Cassidy dressed up ready for our walk out to the islands off Mt Blaze.

We walked all the way out to the nearest island (above) only to find the water was still out further behind it! We had to thread our way across sharp coral (luckily we'd taken our thongs) and Shane sometimes had to carry Cassidy over it. We saw heaps of purple poisonous sea slugs and a couple of octopus too. We headed back soon after, a total walk of over 2 km's we figured.

Heading back to the car, we actually found a puddle of water decent enough for Cassidy to stroll in. Being August it wasn't at all hot while we were away and quite cold at night. But I must say it was good to get some sun and be out in the sunshine and wilderness. It was so quiet when we weren't making noise coz the waves were so far out. Very nice. Although hardly relaxing as you still have showers, meals, sunscreen, shoes, sand and bugs to worry about! TTFN x

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wedding Progress Report - commence!

I am absolutely so excited I just had to write a little update.

I rang Jo at the African Reef Resort last Thursday to go over some details for the wedding, as Shane and I have decided to change the venue. The restaurant in the hotel was going to be the place, although it posed a lot of problems with where to put tables and decoration as it's an awkward shaped room.

We've now decided to move over to the Southgate Room, a separate room in the facility which is really spacious (we now have a guest list of 67 people), and also doesn't pose any problems with decorating. Because the restaurant is used the day before and after, we'd have to set it up on the wedding morning and then rush to clean the place up immediately afterwards. It would be very rushed as well as trying to get ready and I don't want to ask anyone to do that for us or pay a wedding organiser, who charges $50 an hour. In the Southgate Room, we can set up the day or two before and clean up the next day, rather than having to have it done on the spot for breakfast the next morning.

Jo was on her day off, so I ended up writing her a big email with all my questions about the room attached and left her to reply at her own convenience. I've eagerly checked my email every day and lo and behold, this morning there was my reply. I nervously opened it and nearly jumped with joy! Jo is so casual and her first comment was being so pleased about us wanting the extra room for dancing as that always makes for a fun party!

She basically has agreed and easily answered all my questions and even supplied a photo of the room so I could get an idea of the decor. When I saw it in June, it was being decorated for a wedding that Monday and had the white drapes hanging everywhere, chair covers and was really flash, so I wanted to see the room in its boringness. Jo mainly suggested the chair covers would be essential, and looking at the chairs I can see why; they're pretty ugly. But then made my day by saying the Resort is looking at purchasing some for ongoing use, so they might get those over the next 11 months for us to use! Yay!
Also included in the room hire of $800 is the staff, all tablecloths and skirting for bridal, cake and present tables, equipment for dance floor, lights, MC lectern and projector (hmmm!). One great thing is that I asked about a separate area for the kids so we can set up a DVD player. She said that outside the room is a lounge area with a TV and DVD player, and this can be set up for the kids including colouring books and crayons! How good is that? I have about 14 kids under 10 so its important for me to have an area they can run amok in, especially as I'm thinking of hiring someone from my sisters daycare to 'babysit' kids for the night.

She also gave me ideas of how many tables fit in the room and people per table, so I can finalise my seating plan (yes, I'd already started one knowing we were moving over to this room).

I feel super organised. I've spent the last couple of days on EBay and have bought my disposable wedding cameras, invite programs, guest cards and some gorgeous hair accessories for Cassidy. Jodie is checking out shells and starfish for my centrepieces and I ordered my bridal underwear yesterday too.

Adding to this joy is the fact that I spoke to the wedding dress shop yesterday and the dress fitter Debbie. She assured me that even with my large bust size (which was posing a problem for buying a dress off the rack), I shouldn't have any problem with buying a dress from their store. They go up to size 26 and I only need to get the bottom half of the dress altered about a month out from the wedding. This will be especially helpful as I soon intend to get off my butt and start walking again so I'm hoping my baby weight will FALL off with hardly any effort, heh heh.

Wow, I'm so ecstatic. Things are just falling into place for me and good timing too. I have so much going on, and therefore going on in my head, I was starting to get depressed and sick to boot. I lay awake for at least an hour in the middle of the night, running over things I have to do. It's getting a bit better now our holiday and trip to Broome is done, but we're going camping this weekend, so I have to starting packing and organising AGAIN today and tomorrow.

But I do feel so much better and hopefully this will reflect through to my health soon. All I need now is a few good nights sleep (yes Devon) and I'll be back to my old self. Shane will be so pleased! TTFN for now my friends, I hope you're pleased for me too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spot The Difference!

Can you tell which of the two versions of Spiderman below is the transvestite? Hint: it's all in the shoes...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Going, Going, Gone...



And gone... Taken just a couple of hours ago. Poor bubba was staring out the window, a long thousand mile stare and I watched her for a bit. Sure enough, after a minute or two, the eyes started to drift shut and the head started to nod. Kids are fascinating, but only when they're your own...

Andrea and Rob's Wedding Pics

Cheeky me nicked these pics off Andrea's Facebook page. These are her official wedding photographs and the photographer did a damn fine job. Has given me a lot of ideas for my pictures too.

The bridal party: James, Jo, Britt, Jordan in front, Shane, Brianna in front, Andrea and Rob, Bella in front, Chan (Andrea's sister) and Patrick (Rob's brother). Bella is Rob's daughter and Brianna and Jordan are the kids of Andrea's friend Angela.

Now I love this shot. There were a few like this he did, underexposing the light and concentrating wholly on the dress. Beautiful. I did offer to buy her dress from her for $50 but she said no. When I told Rob later he was most upset as he wanted the money to pay for the wedding!

Before the wedding: Bella, Britt Marie, Chan, Jordan, Andrea, Jo and Brianna.

Again, a single focus shot. Lovely.

The group shot of all who attended. Notice Cassidy standing down the front on the left and Shane and I behind the guy in the blue shirt. Great shot. I'd already seen this in a magazine and want to get the same kind of shot in the amphitheatre at our wedding. The tiers should make it look amazing.

After the ceremoney we all wandered down to the Sunset Bar while Andrea and Rob walked down to the water and got their photos done. They took shots right up until and after sunset.

Lovely black and white shot of the bridal party. There were heaps of people around watching too.
Quite moment for the bridal couple.

Absolutely one of my favourite shots. Andrea looks so relaxed and natural, especially her smile.

Again, a beautiful shot with the sun in the background and Rob staring wistfully off into the distance. At the camels perhaps?

Cutting the cake at the reception. I sadly didn't get to eat my piece as Cassidy demolished it on the night! But I managed to keep all our place settings, a menu, table number setting and pink ribbons for scrapbooking later on. It was a beautiful wedding and it's such a shame on one hand that I feel I have to compromise on missing out on so many beautiful features. Chair covers are damned expensive but in the room, they absolutely made the place look beautiful and brought out the pink everywhere. We'll have to see... TTFN.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Little Devon in the Big Bath.

I took this pic last night when Devon got in the bath to commemorate her moving up into the big girls seat. From birth I have used one of those lay down chairs in the bath and she's loved it. However, she has recently perfected the art of arching her back, causing her to slide down in her rocker (and fall out of it on her head one awful night, thank god we have a rug on the floor). But arching her back in the bath chair meant she nearly went for a swim one night, so Mummy made an executive decision.
BTW - that shocked look on her face is pretty standard these days. Comes from having an older sister who is constantly singing and yelling at the top of her lungs in the vicinity of the baby. What? You're taking my photo in the bath? No!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

LOL Kitteh