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    July 2022
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The last to leave the nest

Did they even have three year old kindy ten years ago? My girls never attended. It was around, but not many centres offered it. Now with year sevens leaving Primary schools to be taught at High Schools, and the changes in starting school age in WA, they have become the norm.

Master x and I spent an hour being orientated to his three year old kindy this morning. He happily did every oneof their puzzles, and challenged himself by taking the numbers from the puzzles and putting together his own numbers. “Look Mum, there is no number ten so I will make one with the one and the zero. Now I will make number 38 and number 42”.

He explored the outdoors and gave his approval of the slide and the water tray. He bounced across the wobbly bridge, although he couldn’t understand why children kept jumping the queue as he waited for each one to finish, so he could have a go.

He did a wee in the tiny toilets and we read the sign that said “Please flush the toilets.” He flushed four times, just to make sure.

The verdict? “I like kindy Mummy, can I come back tomorrow?”

How will I cope leaving him for 2 1/2 hours next week? All.by.himself?

Will I ever stop missing them?

I was in such a funk today. I thought I was on a downer from hosting 44 people for both lunch and dinner on Saturday, in 42 degree heat. I moped about, tidying up but not achieving much. Miss e was engrossed in a novel and master x was happily going from puzzle to puzzle to book. We cuddled on the sofa together and watched some Charlie and Lola before his nap time.

Miss i started back at school today. She was ready. She has memorized elements 21 – 40 of the Periodic Table and written 62 000 words on her novel. She spent yesterday revising her French online, just in case she had forgotten some.


At three o clock I checked my email and saw a reply from miss i, aged 12, who was at her first day of Year 8. I had emailed her to ask how her day was going, and to tell her that I missed her already. We had both forgotten that school swimming squad training started that afternoon, so I dropped off her swimming bag and drove her from the front of the school to the back where she jumped out to train.

My spirit had lifted! She was happy, but I had missed her. Only ten more weeks until I get to hang out with my favourite girls again. Master x has his 3 year old kindy orientation tomorrow and miss e starts back at school on Wednesday – another day of funk I am guessing.

Happy New Year or the one where I am still deciding on my word

Where is my time going right now? Christmas was a week of lovely, and I have so many photos to upload and share, maybe a quick collage tomorrow?

Did you notice all of my Christmassy posts almost daily until the tenth of December when I dropped the bauble? I have just started a paper business and I did not post even one Christmas card! I handed out hand made ones to local friends, and popped some into interstate presents but that was it. Sheesh.

Yes as I mentioned I have been in a whirlwind with two girlfriends as we navigate our way around starting a new business. It is so exciting and we have achieved so much in such a short time. Our vision is becoming clearer and it is full steam ahead. Our business partner and designer is in her element with her new sense of freedom and you should check out some of her amazing creations in the coming month.

Holiday time is always special around here and I spend time with my children which I cherish. So that takes me away from the computer, juggling time with them, homme and now late at night planning, ordering, creating, accounting for our new business. They are really excited and supportive of my new venture and all the years I have spent putting their needs first has paid off with their genuine support now.

I have also hit the ground of 2012 running as far as renovations and home maintenance are concerned. Yesterday I spent all day from 8am until 5pm renovating our second toilet in the studio. Nail holes in the panelled ceiling were filled and sanded, the wooden louvre window undercoated and painted, walls given final coats of paint, the panelled barn style door we reclaimed from the original laundry was sanded and painted, cornices cut and glued into place (by homme) and finally after a clean up, I framed a series of photos taken of bridges in Paris (oh how I now appreciate a good bridge) and asked homme to hang them for me. It all looks so amazing. Sadly I ran out of paint to finish the topcoat on the ceiling so have to wait until next weekend to finish up.

As I sit out here in my lovely little studio, it is my happy place right now. Surrounded by new product and creations for our business I am happy. My word for 2011 was create. And create I did. I continued to plod away at home maintenance and renovating, my garden which is being admired by passersby. I got into a real zone with my scrapbooking and have seen great results in not only the number of completed layouts, but the style developing and growing. Christmas was a real handmade affair for me. I made card and envelope sets in handmade boxes for so many lovely ladies in my life, jars of prunes in port for the lovely men and gifts of home made fudge, chocolate christmas bark, cookies in jars and more. I hand made the tags for gifts and enjoyed wrapping each gift in brown paper and string. I feel I created strong bonds with my special four people and made new friendships. I had no idea that with three weeks left of 2011 I would be creating a new business!

So that brings me full circle to this year’s word… Several words have been buzzing in my head and then just this morning Purpose settled in my mouth. It hasn’t left me all day and yet I am not sure I fully understand the implications. But I think I will stick with it – purpose. To live a life of purpose. After enjoying Multiple Mum’s year of Nothing New last year I challenged my family to a month of nothing new for January. We all feel we have been more than blessed with our Christmas gifts and need for nothing. So apart from the essentials of food and toiletries, no new “stuff”will come into our lives. I ran out of dishwasher tablets two days ago and forgot to buy more. We have resorted to hand washing and I really enjoy this time to chat over our chore. Miss e aged ten decided we should not buy any more for January – I am not sure how long the novelty will last but good on her for accepting the challenge.

So as I stumble into 2012, I will be making things up as I go along. Thinking of a monthly project for our family – suggestions greatly accepted.

I look forward with so much hope. The past two years have taught me the lesson that young people, people I really care for can die. They can become seriously ill and show me a courage I have not seen before. My special wish for 2012 is a speedy recovery for my friend Rachel who has endured open heart surgery, collapsed lung, reintubation, a tracheostomy, and a pleural embolism since her stroke 8 weeks ago. Her husband and her girls inspire me whenever they are around. My wish is to see her back home with her family.

Happy New Year to all who pop in here for a chat or a glance. May it bring you happiness.

Crazy Christmas Caper

An opportunity came up recently to jump in feet first.

I have teamed up with two gorgeous ladies who love all things paper as much as I do and we have today, launched our crazy little dream.

With the closing down of our favourite and most local scrapbooking store we have started our own business called all things paper. We are chasing our tails in this pre Christmas time getting our business registered, ABN sorted and sourcing product. We are yet to find a retail location which suits but today we launched our website and calendar of events. We will be starting off with a 12 hour scrapbooking day followed by classes, in a local hall.

Our heads are spinning but we are oh so excited. We have big ideas and our creative juices are flowing. Our online store will be open in the New Year which includes party items and custom made stationery.

So if you are so inclined, check out the very beginnings of our adventure, three mums hand in hand, seeing where this will lead.

all things paper 

If you are local, come say hi at one of our classes, we would love to meet you.

Cards for class

Miss e and I have been busy making class Christmas cards. In the past we have created our own cards and she has proudly handed them out, sans any sugary treat. I have always resented the twenty odd candy canes and chocolates she receives with her cards, but this year I took the “if you can’t beat ém then join ém” approach.

We made all her classmates, her two teachers, and her year one buddy a reindeer card, with red M&Ms for the nose.


It is tradition at her school to post the cards in a lovely, red, wooden Santa’s mailbox. The year 7s deliver the mail to each class after lunch. Miss e eagerly took them into school today and when I collected her, she told me that the joy she felt on seeing  her classmates’ faces was quickly replaced by a little pang when every one of them ripped apart the card to eat the M&Ms. They took us both hours to make!

I was so proud of the effort she made to write a unique and meaningful message on the back of each card. Here is one example…

(I will excuse her grammatical and spelling errors, after all it is Christmas).

Published author in the house!

As my long term readers will know, 2009 was the year of homme writing his first book. It was finished and at the publisher’s in March, with the publishing date being October.

It was published, and the first run was sold out before it reached Australia! Can you imagine!

Homme has been waiting with baited breath to get a copy in his hands. He has had many, many requests from his clients. Well finally this week, he received his six free copies. And he is chuffed.

I am not a writer. I have no ambition to write anything more than a blog post. But I can see the passion in him and I am so proud for him to have his first book in print. He is very talented in his field of expertise and should feel really chuffed to see his thoughts and ideas on paper.

His publisher has already requested a second book from him and the outline is already with them.

Now if only he had the same confidence to share one of his novels….

Oh Christmas tree

I love the Christmas tree! I keep the sparkly lights on whenever I am home. As is our tradition we purchase a new ornament each to place on the tree, every year. Our ornaments are ecclectic and loved. Each one triggers a memory and my all time favourites are the paper doily angels my girls made in Kindy. They have a photo face as the head of the angel. They are tatty and gaudy and the girls tried to hide them at the back of the tree this year but I wanted them front and centre.

They don’t bring home hand made trinkets any more, and it makes me sad. Master x starts pre kindy next year so another round will begin.

Speech night. And the winner is….

We attended miss i’s school Speech Night last night. It was held in Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia. It is the final farewell for the Year 12s, as well as the awards ceremony for academic and values presentations.

I love a bit of pomp and ceremony which is why I always enjoyed march outs and parades when I was in the Army Reserve. The evening started with a procession of the Year 12s entering the hall, carrying the school flag and House flags. They were followed by the school Principal, Council members and teaching staff. Teachers wore their academic robes which is a tradition they have for the school assembly each week! Very Harry Potter.

Miss i was seated on the stage already. She learned at assembly on Tuesday that she had won the Year 7 English prize for top academic mark. Here she is receiving her book award. What, you can’t see her? She was the absolueley first student called out and I had no idea of the process so I snapped away as she skipped across the stage. Look closely, that is her head directly behind the Principal’s!

I enjoyed the speeches by the Head of Council and the Principal who listed dozens of achievements in all areas, by the students throughout the year. She spoke of a first place in the West Australian Writer’s Award, a second place in the Now and Then writing comp and achievements for the Tournament of Minds and debating teams, all of which miss i was  involved in .

I was interested in the story of the guest speaker, but was not impressed by her style in trying to get her message across. It reeked of motivational speaker trying to sell her own books.

Interestingly, the book miss i won was a book her year 6 teacher had suggested she read. Then this year the author of the book came to visit her creative writing class. And now she owns the book with it’s bookplate.

The orchestra performed, the Barbershop sang and finally the Head Girl gave her speech which was moving and strong and appropriate.

We are so proud of miss i and her achievements this year.


Miss e attends a school with an English Principal. David writes a pantomine every second year for the whole school to perform. This year it was titled Jackie and the Beatstalk. Boys play girls, girls play boys, there is a villian with audience prompts to Boo and Hiss and all the songs were based on the Beatles.

Miss e and her year 5 class performed the opening number and were dressed as Mods and Hippies. It was held in the school hall, after an afternoon of picnicking and sausage sizzles on the school lawn.

The pony tail got another workout and miss e looked gorgeous! She looked remarkable like Barbie, as her friends pointed out.

Well this Barbie also played violin as part of the school band supporting the panto.

Why I love entertaining, and drive my family crazy.

I love to invite people over. Bbqs, dinners, pot luck dinners, drinks on the deck, kids’ birthday parties. I like have an event to look forward to, to plan for. I like to have a date in my diary to work household maintenance and chores around.

You see, I am crazy like that. And I make my family crazy. I had a date in the diary for four families to come to ours for a bbq and swim. The date was for the Saturday after dance concert. I made this date while I was still neck deep in concert preparations. Because I like to have an end date for getting stuff done.

I have an ongoing list. This past week, on top of everything outlined in my last post, and generally scrubbing my home, the list included pruning the espaliered olive tree and adding some more support braces. This is a two person job, one of which must be handy with the drill (I am not).


The list also included clearing the side verandah of all the tools required to make the ship prop, oiling the deck, mowing and tidying the garden (my usual Friday job), planting white petunias in pots all around the garden and courtyard, weeding and sweeping the pool area and side garden, attending to the rapidly growing passionfruit vine, and assembling new furniture in the studio to store all of my scrapbooking supplies (again a handy husband was required).

My family are well versed on how these things pan out. After breakfast on Saturday, I start to hear, “What needs doing now Mum?” I love it. We all pitch in tidying and attending to tasks in the knowledge that at three o’clock it is “tools down” and we sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

I take pleasure from setting a table with flowery tablecloths and runners, and picking roses from my garden.

I love inviting friends over to share time and food with. I like to serve and serving my friends gives me pleasure. We had a lovely evening catching up with friends who have very recently relocated back to Perth after more than ten years living in the UK, our long-time close friends who just live around the corner, Rachel’s husband and three of their girls, and Simon’s wife and their children. Strangely, every family knew at least one other family. It was a great night.