10 December 2014


Every year our jacaranda gets off to a slower start that the other trees in the neighbourhood and I think to myself 'oh, it's not so spectacular this year'.

And then a few weeks later its blooms intensify and I remember that it just takes a bit longer. Why do I struggle to trust in the reliability of the beauty of this tree?

My mum's Alzheimers is progressing, inevitably, and Lil has been dragged to various appointments and assessments with me, largely against her will. Mum's pug collection was a rare moment of delight and connection between Mum and Lily as they played with them, lined them up, and 'taught' them on Mum's bed.

We dragged the kids to the Emily Floyd exhibition at Fed Square with the promise of the Noodle Nightmarket at Birrarung Marr afterwards. But they loved the exhibition and we didn't have long enough there for them. Lots of hands on stuff for kids to do and lots to absorb as well. We are a bit crap at getting around to all the many great things on. A resolution for the new year, perhaps, to see more of my own city. I've been hopeless at that this year.

We revamped our dining/sewing room. It's quite a spectacular room, with this wild crazy wallpaper, but it had horrible curtains I'd never liked, a ceiling painted in multi-coloured pastels that I'd loathed (the ceiling is gorgeous pressed metal but I'm not a fan of that style of painting even though I understand it's true to the period). This amazing nouveau box window badly needed repainting and so we did it in glossy black to match the doors and skirting boards, did the ceiling white, took down the curtains and got a new table that actually seats our family plus guests.   When I say 'we' I mean we got proper painters to do it.  I was so impressed by them I started to fantastise about chucking in my job and becoming a painter.  It seems to me that it would be a hugely satisfying profession.  Each day you'd see a measurable change  -'I painted that much, it looks much better'.  We've got a new sideboard that accomodates nearly all my fabric and notions and will get a window box built in for my machines. I think this might mean that I can actually keep things a bit tidier and we can use the room for, you know, actual dining without the drama of having to move all my sewing stuff out.

It's a lovely place to sew.

There have been occasional ice-creams, amongst other treats. Tooth flossing has entered our daily routine.

We had a slightly disasterous night away where we had no water, except the nearly continuous rain that fell outside. Grace and Lily picked wildflowers and saw kangeroos, but it wasn't the relaxing mini-break I had been hoping for amid the busy-ness of the end of year.

Ruby and Nina continue to confound me, alternating as they do between thickest of thieves and cruelest of siblings. I'm trying to learn how to stand back more, to be supportive without intervening too much. These are hard lessons and I feel I'm a slow learner.

Meanwhile Grace and Lily make shops and schools, potions, medicine, restaurants, gardens, pick bouquets, bicker, cry, laugh, cuddle, set up massage tables and dog training schools and make Pokemon islands, raise babies, read stories and walk imaginary dogs.

I can't help reflecting on the year and the contrast to last year when at this time we were in New York, or about to go.  After our three months away I vowed to make several changes, including seeing more of my friends, stressing about work less, and making more time for various things I had decided were important, like seeing movies, reading books, taking a class or two.  In all truth I have not managed to implement any of these changes and if anything have seen less of friends, been more stressed about work and done less of the many things I like doing!  On the upside, my resolutions are ready-made for 2015.

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