Sunday, August 17, 2008

Much Later

At last - a post!

So much has happened since I last updated this blog.

Greg "retired" at the end of Term 2, amid many tears and compliments. He had a wonderful time at Blackburn High in many ways, but was ready to move on. He is enjoying his new school, although he finds the gung-ho, boys-own atmosphere a little surprising. He is also surprised to find that the technology doesn't work as smoothly as he thought it would. His classes are going very well - the boys work hard and the standard is good. He hasn't yet had to take Saturday sport (which will be tennis), so he has been able to settle in a little. He has to attend a Yr 9/10 camp in September - ten days on Fraser Island! To prepare for this, he has had to upgrade his First Aid qualifications and will have to complete a four-wheel drive course. The camp is no picnic - roughing it in tents and cooking all meals. Still, it's much better than the cross country ski camp where they camp in the snow!

We all attended the Grammar vs Scotch football match at the MCG - the 150th anniversary of the first Australian Rules football match ever played. Grammar won - and with it the premiership. Very exciting!

At the start of this term, we hosted Tara and Peter from Chelmsford Girls' High School in England. They were visiting my school for a week, viewing classes and getting to know our programs. We had a great time taking them to football matches, the Windsor, shopping and showing them around our gorgeous Melbourne. They were lovely people and we had a lovely time getting to know them. I'm now hoping to do an exchange to their school at the end of January, and hopefully, this will include Zoe and Greg. Zoe might be able to attend the school for the time we are there - Year 7 before she has even started Grade 6 here!

Zoe had a fabulous time on her first horse-riding camp with Bella D. It was freezing cold, but a great experience. They camped in tents, cooked over an open fire, and learnt to ride. She said she had to sleep fully clothed in order to be warm enough!

I have been busy with my knitting - I have finished a long cardigan for myself which I just adore. I completed a vest for Greg for his birthday, and some fingerless gloves which were almost complete for Zoe for her camping adventure.

Zoe has been reading the Cherub series of books, and she loves them. They are rather challenging for an eleven year old, but very exciting.

I am reading "The Household Guide to Dying". I read some very positive reviews of this book before buying it, but I don't think it is very good. It seems to be rather forced, and Delia, the narrator, is irritating in her smug cleverness. The emotions seem to be manufactured, and I feel as if the author is trying to manipulate my response. It has taken me ages to read because I just don't find it appealing.

Sadly, our friend Gavin died on June 30. His funeral was in the same week, and it was beautiful. Hundreds attended, including many from his cycling group, the girls' school, their church, and many other old friends. It was a very Christian funeral, and all the more moving for that reason. I can't believe how Louise is managing to hold up. She is so pragmatic and practical. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose your spouse, and the father of two children. Of course, Jessie and Georgie don't seem to have understood the magnitude of it all, although they must certainly be feeling his loss. He was such a lovely man, with a wonderful approach to life and love.

I have been training for a full marathon. I am following a training plan from Runners' World magazine, and have to run five times a week. On Sundays, there is a long run that varies in distance each week. Last week I ran 26.5 km! So far, I feel strong and comfortable. I have bought new runners that seem to help my achilles, and I have a Nike+ sportsband, which I love. The marathon is on October 12 - still some time to go!

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