Friday, May 28, 2010

The coolest thing ever

Things that have been the coolest thing ever recently:

Google Chat
Pocket Money
My brother's old skeleton money box

The Noodle finds many other things cool, but those are the coolest, apparently.

He thought that the kids at school had invented using 'cool'. Hahahahahahahahaha. He was shocked to find he was at least the third generation in our family to say 'cool'.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Red Salt

Ate dinner at Red Salt with in-laws. Was not especially red or salty, but was tasty and the espresso tasted most like coffee.

I ate risotto, because the junior for reasons unknown dislikes the texture of risotto intensely (although enjoying both rice pudding and porridge, which bespeaks a worrying inconsistency). So it was nice to eat some without either a) much complaining or b) someone else at the table eating baked beans for dinner.

I would tell you all about it, but the somwhere between one and several glasses of Pepperjack Cab Sav are wreaking havoc with my typing. You would have enjoyed it though. And the jelly and ice cream children's dessert option was super glamorous.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Computer gone away

So we had no phone or internet access for a few days.

Sad, a little bit, to see it back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Discrimination link

Cristy, in a garden somewhere, defining and deploring discrimination wherever it may be found.

Cristy also has links to other recent posts about attitudes to children in public spaces, and the 'I hate children' discourse that seems so acceptable to so many adults. It's been *ahem* a 'robust' discussion.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunday lovely Sunday

The clouds are coming across, but Canberra has given us another sunny, clear, crisp weekend. A weekend for being outdoors, but not too late in the afternoon or first your fingers feel a little stiff and the cold spot in the middle of your back starts to chill and the next thing you know your muscles are stiff and your nose is running. The washing will dry outside in this weather, but it takes all day.

We spent part of our afternoon picnicking at Nara park, watching the small sailing boats puttering about, the swans avariciously eyeing the sausages inna bun and the children setting up complicated stalking games in the shrubbery.

What has your Sunday offered you?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The best children's books ever

Becauase the Guardian knows not uncertainty! Even about something kind of subjective like the Best Children's Books Ever.

You'd never guess from the headline that this para would follow lower down:
The following – a combination of personal recommendations, enduring classics and currently popular borrowings from school and public libraries – are suggestions and starting points only, of course (and the age ranges attached even more so), but hopefully there will be something, somewhere for everyone.
The lists are quite nice, if you are a person who has not ever thought about children's books before. Which I think is zero of you out there. But hey, a stranger might accidentally pop by one of these days. You never know.

You would be better off going to visit Charlotte's Library or Misrule, O Stranger with a burning need to know about children's books. They will tell you much stuff about many books, authors and other wordly items.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cats and oral storytelling

Charlotte's Library has her regular reading round-up, and one of the links discussed the writer's recent discovery of Carbonel, a book I much loved sometime between being 6 and now. It's about a cat, and includes a verse which ends 'minion of the twiggy broom' which is something I quite enjoy saying from time to time.

I don't think the Noodle has read Carbonel, and I don't think I have read it to him either, but I have certainly told him bits from the story at different times. I quite enjoy telling him stories from books (and films, too, sometimes) out loud, as if they are just stories for telling. I do honestly attribute them all, despite the temptation sometimes to have a little, domestic, Australian-style literary scandal.

Sometimes it means telling all the fun bits without the sad bits or that we might be in a mood for talking only about things with elephants in them or scary things. Sometimes it's just that the book as a whole really isn't all that great, but something about it is utterly fabulous. Sometimes we just don't have that book available, for unknown reasons (where are all my Little House books, anyway? And if anyone has my copy of We didn't mean to go to sea I would be super pleased to have it back again. My life is a wasteland without it.) And sometimes it's just that stories struggle to be told, they want to get out there into the brains of others like toxoplasmosis worms.

Anyway, next time I go to Canty's secondhand bookshop in Fyshwick (the best secondhand bookshop in Canberra, which is saying much, because Canberra is full of wonderful secondhand bookshops in the same way it is full of dryness, acorns and people in suits) I expect I'll find a copy of Carbonel sitting there, ready to be read (aloud or not) as well as talked about. It's time for a cat tale.

On an unrelated note, sorry for all the spelling and typing errors recently. It is not lack of love, it's complete lack of copy-edit-ability. It's deserted me utterly and I am bereft. (Would rather be desserted at this point, possibly with mint slice biscuits or a nice rhubarb and apple crumble).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On Time

This post could just as easily be called 'on privacy' or 'on being assertive' or 'on being an individual who is a member of a collective'.

Basically, if I have time to do something I want to do or need to do, I always feel guilty anyway if I actually do it instead of doing something else. Not even necesssarily something else with a family member, or something else productive. Just something else. Doing things that are for myself just feels plain old wrong.

This post could just as easily be called 'A room of one's own'.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Noble librarians.

Judith Ridge posted about this on Facebook. Parliament is holding hearings into Australian teacher-librarians.

I personally can't imagine the hearings would need to go for long. My transcript.

Parliamentary Person: So, teacher-librarians are pretty ace, then?

Everone in Australia: Yep.

Parliamentary Person: Well, that's all right then. Let us shower school libraries with buckets of cash for books and reading programs and author visits. And new technology.

Everyone in Australia: Hurrah!

Parliamentary Person: Oh, and while we're at it, annual holidays to Paris and foot massage vouchers for all teacher-librarians as well.

Everyone in Australia: Huzzah!

Parliamentary Person: Any other questions?

Everone in Australia: Well, we really loved reading Harry Potter and Keys to the Kingdom, what else do you recommend?

Parliamentary Person: No idea. Go home.

People of Australia: Boo!


The real terms of reference and transcripts are available at the House Standing Committe on Education and Training in the link above. The next hearings are on 13 May at Parliament House in Canberra. (I nearly forgot to write 'Canberra' because that is where I am, but you are probably not.)

Incidentally, one of the things I find endearing about Canberra is the fact that quite a lot of Real Adults walk around along footpaths reading from novels as if it is perfectly normal. They never seem to get run over while crossing the road, which is also nice.

Monday, May 3, 2010


My parenting strengths might not be setting boundaries or consistency or bilingualism, but I am very good at nonsense.