Saturday, 25 April 2009

New vids

Just to let you know there are two new vids of Jack on Youtube. One is Jack creating artwork and the other is more puddle work. We got 9mm rain last night, just enough to create a good sized puddle for jumping in. It also meant that all the bogong moths hatched out of the ground and spent all night thumping against the windows.
Just press the top two pics on the video bar on the left hand side of the blog or click on this

Thursday, 23 April 2009


We had to leave town last weekend. We hadn't been chased out of town due to our political views or fancy north shore duds, but rather because we were invited to a very boganical baptism and whilst it would have made great blog fodder, we just couldn't face it. We thought the best thing to do would be to leave town and so I blamed S for being a romantic and booking us a getaway for our anniversary (never mind that our anniversary was in March and we were taking Jack along). On Saturday morning we set off for our overnight jaunt with 1 suitcase and many entertainments and edibles for Jack.We timed our departure so that we would arrive at the very civilised Brown Brothers epicurean centre at lunchtime. And we did get there just at the right time to score an outside table where we (I) could watch Jack playing in the playground as I sipped my wine and ate some rather good olives. We watched in delight as people strolled in and were turned away gasping, "this is an outrage we've driven up from Melbourne!" I guess they should've booked. It did seem odd though that some people were still being allowed in and surely not coincidental that they were not the outraged (rude aand pompous) ones.
Over the years we've had some great meals at the BBEC and whilst this one was okay, it's hard to top the one with S and my brother Z where we were given a glass of 20 year old sticky to have with our dessert and compare with our other glass of sticky. The first time that S and I went there was on the way home from our honeymoon and we had a lovely meal. It almost (almost) made up for the fishing trip earlier on in the honeymoon where I got really seasick.
Sometimes eating with a toddler can be a challenge. Gone are the days of luxuriating over a meal any longer than 1 course. I had a goat ragu with green olives and strezzoprede (which are small savoury dumplings that literally translate as priest chokers - due to them being served in a monastery to priests who found them so delicious that they gulped them down so quickly they choked - what a happy little tale) and S ordered the Beef Spiedini, which he later admitted to ordering because it came with a glass of the very delicious Patricia Shiraz. For anyone interested mine came with a glass of D'Avola Nero and Jack's pasta came with apple juice.
After lunch and another play in the playground, we checked into our accommodation across the road at Lindenwarrah, which is so very civilised. We decided that it was time for a sleep (one glass of wine at lunchtime) but Jack wasn't up for it so we went for a drive to the King Valley instead. It's a nice area but not a patch on nearby Bright, but Jack did eventually fall asleep and peace reigned. On our return Jack and I explored the garden and courtyard (with fountain) briefly till a grumpy old man in a too short robe scared us back into our room.
The reason we were so keen for Jack to sleep was that we wanted him to be in a good mood for dinner. And he was. We managed two delicious courses and he was well behaved. Nothing at all to do with the wonderful waitress who fussed over him or me with the song and dance act with the dinosaur hand puppet. My back was to the restaurant so I have no idea what the other diners thought.
The next day we did a small amount of wine tasting (what a way to start the day, Jack was highly amused by S spitting the wine into the spittoon), I purchased some mustard from Milawa Mustards and some verjuice and we went to the Milawa Cheese Company where I purchased some very good bread (sigh) and we also saw some lovely jersey cows (for all that delicious cheese). And then we headed home. A minibreak indeed but our mission to avoid the christening was a success and we had also had a romantic trip away...just the three of us.

The artiste II

Another advantage of the exponential increase in Jack's vocabulary is that now when he draws (which seems to be alot at the moment) he can tell me what he is drawing. I find this enchanting and amazing to watch as he confidently uses crayons or paint and then tells me what it is. His concentration is intense (I can tell by the way he moves his mouth as he draws) and he's not at all self conscious about his ability to draw.
At first he was doing a lot of cow drawings (Cow Series crayon on paper 2009 currently showing at the Jack D gallery) but he has been moving on to other subject matter. As soon as he completes a work I write the subject and date on the back. Otherwise, with him being so prolific, I would have no chance of remembering. Anyway here's a selection:

Cows (1 from a series) Cows (2 from a series),
Portrait of Peppa Pig (painted today),

Portrait of Peppa, George and dinosaur - grrr (also today - George and the dinosaur are blue),

Maisy, some birds and a snake (Maisy is brown and the snake is purple)

and finally my favourite, this is Mum (me!) and an apple. I am so honoured. Sorry the pics aren't great but you get the vibe of the thing.

It's not me , it's you...

I've noticed lately that when I point to a photo of Jack or his reflection in a mirror (and boy does he love a mirror) and ask him who it is that he says, "You!"
I realise that I am the cause of this because for months I've been pointing at photos and saying, "Look, it's you," but what is the solution? I can't say, " no, it's me" because that could get confusing and a bit Groucho Marx. For the moment I'm having a chuckle until I work out a way around it.
I may have said this before, but every day Jack says new words and it's very entertaining. Before Easter I asked him what he wanted and he replied, "beer" and looked puzzled when we fell about laughing. He now also says (apart from many other 'normal' words) bum, boob, burp and fart. The last one after he had just done one. To say he was very pleased with himself would be an understatement.
Still, I have to say I'm pleased that we don't have the problem a friend has with her little boy. The other he walked though the room saying, "F**k!, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, !" in front of Nana and myself. My friend tried to rescue the situation by saying, "Oh Darling I think you mean truck," but he just looked at her and said, "no, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k!"
Surely me laughing couldn't have helped but it was very funny.

Monday, 20 April 2009


Don't talk to me about Easter. I fully expected us to have a exceptionally naughty weekend devouring these suckers (well my egg was actually a half egg loaded up with Rocky Road, S got a Ferrero Rocher egg and Jack got a train with eggs in it) especially as we so rarely eat chocolate in this house.
The view I expected on Sunday morning was choc full of easter eggs, bunnies and bilbies and instead I spent a whole lot of time looking at this instead (but goodness that's not our toilet - look how white and new it is - that's our toilet's stunt double).
Jack was sick on the Thursday before easter, at 4am, on me. S waited until the day after me, I have a feeling that the bacteria kindly got together and decided that we shouldn't get sick at exactly the same time and so yet again we were a plague house. It seemed strange then that I should be reading Year Of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks which is about the plague (infecting a village in England in 1666). Put things into perspective really. I felt awful but was boil free. What a relief. And for anyone that hasn't read it, it is a great read and I highly recommend it. Just don't eat custard while you read it.
And of course I imagine you were all expecting a million cute photos of Jack with chocolate all over his face and fingers, devouring his eggs in a great orgy of chocolate consumption., we took things easy for awhile there and though Jack was the first back on the chocolate bandwagon he's only been having one egg a day from his train. Although if it was up to him it would be more, many more. Okay, so there are some photos after all from last Friday night. Please note the matching father and son flannies.

Monday, 6 April 2009

playgroup tart

A while ago I was accused of being a playgroup tart. I have sampled most of the local groups except for one and had been invited along but it clashes with storytime at the Library. Last week the planets aligned and we went to storytime then onto the Botanical Gardens and Zoo to meet the group. Really though it was the same crowd (and not the boganical kind) so it was very enjoyable. We had a quick look at the zoo, where Jack was surprised and delighted when the pig that he was oinking at, oinked back. The geese weren't so thrilled at having ten children honking at them. Then another easter egg hunt, more egg and spoon races and running about on lovely soft grass (no bindies). Jack managed to find more eggs this time
and also had a play with his friend William.

William's mum Renee took these lovely pics of the two of them together. Very cute.


Every day Jack seems to learn more new words. It is amazing and entertaining. I like it when he tells the dog to sit and it comes out, "SHIT!" Fortunately Lucky only sits on command.
Another new word is beggs which is of course eggs. We have no shortage of eggs around here. The easter eggs have been in the shops since boxing day and Jack's also been playing with these fantastic eggs that Ganma bought him for his birthday. They come with spoons for racing and when you drop them they break open and the 'yolk' falls out. They have provided hours of entertainment. When Scarlett was here, she and Jack were flinging them around the house then delightedly exclaiming, "Oh no!"

I took some to playgroup and they were a big hit. They were the warm up for the easter egg hunt (we've been partaking in a few of those). Jack wasn't really sure about the concept and stopped after he found his first egg (to eat it) while all the other kids scooted around stuffing their bags full. I'm sure he'll get better with practice.


We had our second book group meeting last week. I think we're improving because we managed to talk about the book (The Kite Runner) for at least 30 minutes before we were distracted. I took along some pumpkin hummus and dolmades and I also made some baklava for the first time. I promised myself I would take a photo for the blog as I polished off all the wonky side pieces that were not fit for public scrutiny. I finished the last piece yesterday and then suddenly realised that I hadn't taken a photo. You'll have to take my word for it that it was good: flaky, nutty, buttery and sweet, though not too sweet because it had some lemon juice and zest in it.