Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Excitement

Exciting news! Greg has been offered a position as an English teacher at one of Melbourne's top boys' schools. He will be retiring from the government school in late June and then he can take up the new position straight after the school holidays in July. It's a well deserved move to something new and invigorating for him - and hopefully not so demanding or stressful as his current role. The whole family is delighted for him.

Zoe and I have been creating:

Zoe made this fantastic "sit-upon" from "The Daring Book for Girls". It's made from newspapers and a plastic bag, but we added wadding and made an appliqued cover for it. The cute panel is from fabric we bought at the Stitches and Craft Show last weekend.

The hat is made from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and is for a colleague of mine who finished work on Thursday. The baby is due in early May. The picture makes the hat look blue but it is really a pretty lilac - I thought it would be good for either a boy or a girl. The hand holding it is my colleague Susan, in our office at school.

Through one of my favourite blogs (A Friend to Knit With), I found Project Spectrum and think I will just have to participate! But can I get anything "Fire" finished before the end of March? That will be a challenge. Anyway, as a start I am including a picture of sunset from our balcony.

Hope you had a lovely Easter. We spent it catching up with each of my brothers and their families. With four birthdays to celebrate in two weeks, it was a great opportunity to see everyone.

We're off to Sydney later this week. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On a hot weekend in March

The Labour Day holiday was less of a holiday for the three of us, and more of a day of labour - but what a great time we had!

A good portion of the weekend was spent by the three of us getting Zoe's room into good working order. This involved throwing out, bagging for the op-shop, rearranging, boxing and creating new displays. We felt both virtuous and successful! Just look at it now:

Zoe and I also helped my uncle and his family on the stall at a couple of farmers' markets. Great fun, and an opportunity to sample the wares of other stalls. It's lovely to talk with the producers of the food, who are all really passionate about what they grow or make. The peaches and nectarines that we were selling were delicious, so they sold out very quickly. We brought home a couple of buckets of fruit, and because it was such a hot weekend some of the fruit just had to be made into something. Greg also picked green tomatoes from our vines, so now we have more peach jam, green tomato chutney and peach and white chocolate muffins. Yum!

Also made were a couple of padded coathangers, as there was nothing good enough to hang Zoe's new knitted coat on.
I have finally finished Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" - and I say "finally" because it is not an easy read. It can be hard going to read a book without chapters, that moves seamlessly from the thoughts of one character to another, and particularly when conversations are composed of both the thoughts of the participants and their words. The themes and the plot are wonderfully thought-provoking and timeless, and the characters are beautifully established and developed. It is a jewel of a book but challenging.

Year 8 camp was fantastic - surfing, canoeing, snorkelling, exploring our wonderful Port Philip Bay, seeing dolphins, seals, puffer-fish, cuttlefish and other sea-creatures. The girls were delightful, and even slept well in the enormous dormitories in which they spent the four nights. Movie night watching "She's the Man" was fun (the girls are such romantics). The view over the Heads into the bay from Cottage by the Sea was stunning. But the most fantastic thing about camp was Samry, our Ethiopian refugee scholarship girl, who was never been fully-immersed in water, surfing! Amazing!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tick, tick, tick!

Not the ticking of a bomb but the ticking of a pen, the ticking off of a list, or the ticking of a clock. That's what's been happening at Littlecote this week.

Tick - Zoe has finished "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". She was reading at all hours, engrossed in the story, and we rented the DVD to compare the novel and the film. Now she's onto another of the Royal Diaries - this one is about Anastasia of Russia.

Tick - Zoe has bought herself an 8Gb iPod Nano. She has been saving her pocket money, gift money and the money she has earnt helping at the market, and has finally saved enough! She has bought a lovely green one, and named it Minty. She is very proud of herself. Now that we finally have a replacement for Greg's faulty one (no thanks to Dick Smith Electronics, but thanks to Jedda at Streetwise), we spent a couple of hours today getting them both up to speed with iTunes and iPod management.

Tick - tick, tick and more ticks. Greg has spent the day marking English essays. He's pleased with how his Year 12 class is progressing.

Tick - I have finished the cardigan/jacket for Zoe. I am delighted with how it has turned out. Zoe loves it although she says it feels heavy, but then we are still experiencing very warm weather so we're not used to the heavy layers of winter. The cardigan is so soft and looks lovely on her. I think I want one for myself!

Tick - I am all packed for the Year 8 camp. I've prepared my lessons, telephoned parents who needed to be contacted about their daughters' progress, arranged conferences and breakfasts, organised the week for Greg and Zoe. But I haven't contacted friends and family as I had intended this weekend. I must prioritise!

Well, that must be a ticking off!