Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quick one...

Hey there...a very quick post just to say hello to everyone. Am actually taking 5 mins at work to do this one...naughty I know but I will take it out of my lunch hour I promise!!!

As I said this is just a very quick line to say hello before we dash out of town for a couple of days. I think I have mentioned it before - the Chief Clansman is meeting up with a bunch of old school mates for a day of golf at the illustrious Bonville Golf Course at Coffs Harbour - well that is happening this week. The children and I are tagging along purely with the hope of catching some sun and surf after what has been a long, cold winter (which continues I might add). So I hope to get away from work on time, duck home and start packing....YAY!!! I am really looking forward to it and aim to do not much more than lie by the pool and read a book while the children swim, eat some beautiful fresh fruit and veg bought along the way from our favourite fruit and veg shop just outside of Bello and that is about it...who could ask for more!

We have been busy at home over the last few weeks doing what started as a few jobs around the house but has ended up being a relatively major reno project!! I will post some photos around that on another day - but I have to say that it is looking pretty good.

Well I guess I have used my five minutes up now so had better get back to it...but I hope to bring you some photos of our fun in the sun when we return from our little getaway!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Wee Waa 40

I know, I know, finally a post about the WW40.

For those of you not in the know there is a group of fantastic people that I am blessed to be able to call my friends. These are people that I have known since kindergarten, with a couple of newer ones thrown in, and despite all living in various parts of the country we all still keep in touch and try very hard to stay involved in each others lives.

Over the last 18 months we have all turned 40 and so we organised recently to all meet back in good old Wee Waa and have a combined 40th birthday celebration. It was fantastic - after the first 5mins, once I realised that none of us have changed and it was like we had never been apart. A great time was had by all (from all accounts anyway) and we have all promised to do it again very soon....can someone else organise that one though please?

Following are some photos - and I would like to acknowlge the work of Paul, Jo, Michael and Merredy in getting these out so quickly -I haven't even managed to download mine from my camera yet - I have, however, finally managed to unpack my suitcase!!!!

the WW40 Crew

the cake

a few of us

a few more of us

There is nothing quite like your old friends...

In a couple of weeks we are off to the beach to join up with the Chief Clansman's old school buddies as they partake in their "Tour de40" so we get to do it all again. I will let you know how that one goes...

early morning...

Well here I am in the very wee hours of Friday morning. Can't sleep...again! This is not entirely unusual for me and can be attributed to any number of things. This morning it is work related and that really annoys the crap out of me to say the very least. Too many hours are wasted on work as it is without adding the early morning hours as well - anyway I thought that perhaps a cathartic "blechh" on the good old blog might see me right. I would ask you all for advice but am still processing a few things, so maybe later...

The Chief Clansman is sleeping quietly next to me, wearing the sleep mask that normally adorns my face to protect him from the glare of the computer - yep, am typing this in bed...way too cold to sit up in the lounge room at this hour of the night/morning - the heater does not click on until 5.40!! Anyway, he doesn't really need the mask as after years in the navy (that was in another lifetime) he has the amazing capacity to sleep in any conditions - but he is humouring me...bless!

Number one son has just switched off the TV after watching some Olympic style basketball, so the house is,once again, blissfully quiet, other than the annoying tapping of the computer keys...oh hang on, that's me!!! Ahh well (see previous post)

Sooo, what to tell you all I wonder. I have been very busy lately, not just with work but around the house as well. I have been painting - and once I finish scraping the paint off the windows, hang some blinds back up and hang some curtains I will have officially finished my second room. I do feel a bit pleased with myself. Mind you it does come at a cost - the rest of the house has been completely neglected for the past four weeks and as per previous post it is still largely not fit for human habitation - but I am getting there and can now see some light at the end of the tunnel...thank goodness.

My piggy queen is coming to visit this weekend which I am so looking forward to. The Piggy Queen, Lynnoi, MrsShortz and myself, have been lucky enough over the last couple of years to get away on our own for a "Girls Weekend" - this has so far seen us driving to Brisvegas where we saw "The Boy From OZ" and became Hugh Jackman's 'Armidale friends' (I will tell you more about that another time) and last year we had a weekend in Melbourne where we shopped, drank, ate and laughed and laughed. This year though we all seem to have way too much on to commit to going away anywhere so the Piggy Queen is coming to us and we get to have our weekend close to home this year - before she and her family wing their way to Africa at the end of September (lucky ducks). It will, unfortunately, be a very quick weekend and will actually be not so much a weekend as a dinner and maybe a movie - but I am totally grateful for whatever time with them I can get.

Hmmmm what else can I tell you. The children are all well. The Number One son (previously referred to as the recalcitrant one) finally got a job yesterday. He has been employed by Subway!! To say that he has finally got a job is not entirely fair I guess though as he does have his basketball refereeing that he has been doing for awhile but is only three (sometimes four) sessions a week. But use of the word finally is justified I think when you consider that he signed himself out of school at the beginning of term and has been hanging around the house ever since - completely, I might add, ruining my two days a week leave from work, that were meant to be my first childfree days in almost 17 years!!!! So I have made it very clear he is to seek shifts (double if necessary) on Thursdays and Fridays so that I can get back to enjoying some "home alone" time!!! Anyway, we can only hope that this is the start of great things for him.

First born daughter is still doing well at holding down her three jobs and keeping her grades up at school at the same time. She has recently chucked in piano though which has lightened her load a little I guess. She was supremely frustrated with piano lessons as they were just not challenging enough for her - she is one clever cookie that one, has a great ear, great voice, great composition skills and will, no doubt, go far.

The rest of them are all doing well at their things with the "little" boys coming to the end of their soccer and hockey seasons and the "little" girls coming to the end of netball. They are an interesting mix to say the least - all very clever in their own way - and all very different, which is of course as it should be...six children is an awful lot really, when you think about it...and I say that seriously I am not trying to be funny - but they are all so different and all need different things from you that when you stop and think about it, it is no wonder that most of the time the Chief Clansman and I feel stretched to the limit. Which is, I guess, why we don't stop and think about it too much - for one thing, who the hell has the time to think!!!

Ahh well...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

touching base

Just to let you all know that I am still here! Have been very busy lately re-constructing our house - children are on the move, rooms have been painted, curtains have been hung, heaters have been installed, ovens have blown up, cooktops are missing bits, new ovens and cooktops have been ordered, snow has been waited for, soccer has been played, netball has been played, hockey has been played, work has been attended, school has been attended, mice have been caught, other nocturnal visitors have been heard, gardens have been watered, skips have been filled, Austar boxes have blown up, Mystar has been ordered, clothes have been washed, birthdays are being counted down, knitting has been done, coffee's have been had, red wine has been drunk, inventive meals have been created...and all that just since last Thursday!!!!

Whewww no wonder I feel tired!!!

And unfortunately it is not finished yet...I would show you a picture of what the house currently looks like , but truly, it would give you nightmares!!

See ya.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ahh well...

This is always being said in our house and is slowly encroaching its way into the vernacular of a few family members and several friends. It is a very useful little saying...you fell over pet...ahh well, cricket rained out AGAIN...ahh well, I didn't get the job I went for today and really wanted...ahh well (I can only think that the universe has something else in mind for me - we will wait and see I guess).

I am in real need of serious blog time but alas alack I do not think it is going to happen tonight. I am in the first stages of a cold (you know how horrible that is don't you?) and it is perhaps the most cold, miserable night of the winter so far - so things are a little bleak here...ahh well.

Maybe tomorrow the sun will be shining and I may well be seduced by a spot in the sun where I can perch my trusty laptop on my knee and tap away to my hearts content and tell you all what I have been up to...maybe, maybe not...ahh well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

sombre...or joyful?

Listening to the Rufus Wainright version of Hallelujah (yes ok, it is a favourite of ours...any version) - but this one is a little more sombre than others I think (bit ironic considering its origins)...anyway at the same time reading another Blog about knitting and it reminded me of my current project (well one of anyway). I was terribly affected by the recent passing of the beautiful Jane McGrath - I don't know why, I didn't know her personally, but her strength, her courage and her obvious commitment to her husband and family has always struck a chord with me and while I guess I knew her illness would have its obvious conclusion it hurt and upset me more than I thought anything like that would - (to the point where the boss offered me compassionate leave because he could see I was so upset!!) To be fair though I was less upset and more just plain cross that this woman had been taken away from all who loved her... anyway the upshot of this is that the first born girl and her friend Ezzy Mez are in the process of organising a girl's night in and I am knitting pink socks for all attendees (see the connection now to the blog re knitting...sorry if it took a while). Anyway we are working toward a great night with all of us in snuggly pink socks and raising lots of money for a great cause. I look forward to showing you many photos of the night when it happens.

Just wanted to get that out there!


And so to Friday...

Soooo...finally it is Friday AND it is the school holidays. So the past week has not been quite the nightmare it usually is. The Chief Clansman and first and second born boys arrived back home to much frivolity on Monday night...will add the photos of that later...the camera is soooooo far away and so cannot possibly download!!! Ahh well. I have had my three days at work...I still cannot help but say that smugly...working three days a week is simply sublime...but alas, alack I am sure it will not last forever, so please forgive me if I crow about it a little more...and have now commenced 11 days leave!! Yeehah!!! That is of course 11 days in total...really only 5 work days (thanks to the new arrangements) BUT 11 days nonetheless!!! The true beauty of all this is of course that the children are on school holidays so we have been able to kiss goodbye to the whole school/work routine!!! YAY! No yelling to get people out of bed in the mornings, no lunches to pack, no extra curricular activities to get them to and (the best of all) NO WEEKEND SPORT!!!!!!!! Life is truly good!!
The hols have been quiet so far. Have just, however, farewelled our Canadian friends for the evening...have had a lovely time with them (they are truly hilarious and I do so enjoy educating them in the Australian way) - as well as getting some free psychological advice from Mr Canada (who lectures in the subject) re recalcitrant youth - with the added delight of a free firework show courtesy to 1. Holy Smoke who put it on, and 2. Our location which puts us in perfect viewing sight of O'Connor Catholic College where the festivities were taking place for, you guessed it, WYDSYD08 - yes it even affects us out here in the boondocks!!! Positive so far though! Well, come on, who doesn't love fireworks?
We are now sitting back and continuing to imbibe and listening to a few tunes on my poddy. Oasis on at the moment...what can I say?...it has been an eclectic mix so far though with KD Lang's version of Hallelujah (indeed), Dire Straits, The Smiths, Oasis and now a bit of Chisel....the fun WILL continue with possibly a selection from High School Musical!!! Well, I did say it was eclectic!!!!
The holidays will continue next week when myself and a couple of offspring (still to be confirmed) are off to the home of my birth...good old WW...

(I had this photo already on file) where we are having a reunion of sorts with "old" friends to celebrate various and sundry 40th birthdays. Will be travelling via Warialda where we will visit my beautiful Piggy Queen (a "new" friend -I will explain that one to my WW friends when I see them) and will then head on to the Cotton Capital (or is that Capitol...hmmmm??). Any-hugh (that is a whole other story) I am sure it will be a blast....for those reading who may be attending, I think i have everything organised!!!!!! Fingers xxxx'd!!!
We are onto Crowded House now on the hit parade.....VERY nostalgic to say the least...

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Well, what an interesting week we have had here. Household numbers were decimated over the week and we were down to only five in the house!! As mentioned in a previous post the Chief Clansman and boy children numbers 1 and 2 have been in Albury , and now Orange, for a hockey fest. That left boy child number 3 as the "man of the house". A role he has very grudgingly tried to fill...sitting at the head of the table for breakfast, helping to put the rubbish out and of course monopolising the remote control - even to the extent of allowing me to go to bed when the footy has been on!! Whata man!! We have had fun really. It is amazing how the dynamics in a household change when some are absent...it doesn't seem to matter who it is that is away either... it is always calmer and way more relaxed.

So the travellers will return sometime tomorrow and while it will be a relief to have them back home safe and sound it will also mean a return to the more everyday dynamics of our household - back to eight people sharing the one toilet!!!! Ahh well. Which reminds me....should I clean it before they return??? Nahhhh, why bother really...

School holidays have started here so that normally heralds a relaxation in the housework...really what is the point of cleaning up when the house is going to be full of 6 children, plus various hanger-ons for the next two weeks - I can't see it myself.... Also I am hoping that we will make a little more progress on the reno's over the break, which will mean even more dust and dirt so again...what is the point??? I really can't see one...sooo should I put away the mop and bucket and vacuum cleaner for another day??? Ok...you convinced me!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A little bit about me...

Ok- so have spent a little bit of time this afternoon fiddling around with my blog page. Still very much a learner but it is starting to look a little like I imagined it. I have had a great day today. I have recently started part time leave without pay and so am currently only working three days a week. I work in admin - I hate the telephone and have never really been what you would call a people person - do you think I am in the wrong job -uh yeh - hence the cutback on work hours. That and the fact that getting eight people out of the house by 8.30am EVERY morning was starting to become just a little bit stressful.

Soooo -today I have dabbled in a little bit of housework, a couple of loads of washing (it was a good drying day in the New England today), a bit of work in Illustrator working on a hang tag for my knitted products, a spot of grocery shopping (the supermarket is a whole other world in the middle of the day), a bit of cooking - I have poached some pears in a vanilla syrup...

...they look yum anyway... and now the blog.
The children -well 4 out of the 6 anyway - are home from school. The baby girl and the middle sized girl are making a batch of choc chip biccies...

They are good at that...they keep the cake tins and the morning tea bags full that is for sure.
The baby boy and the middle sized boy are home too - both doing a really good job at avoiding homework or physical activity. Mind you they do a fair bit of physical activity on the weekends...


...and soccer (up the hill last weekend...chilly!!!!)
The big boy and girl are both off doing their stuff this afternoon. The big boy is allegedly at school/basketball (and I say allegedly because he has been a little bit naughty lately and has taken to wagging school which has the Chief Clansman and I almost at our wits end - well me anyway...) and the big girl - well I believe she is shopping for a digital camera. She has been working very hard at two jobs (which is about to become three!!) and managing to save money for the camera. She is off on a school excursion to Brisvegas in August so wanted the camera for that. Mind you, I had it in the back of my mind to buy her a camera for her birthday/Christmas....so I guess it is back to the drawing board for me!!! Ahh well!!!! The Chief Clansman is, of course, still at work.

He and the middle sized boy (and the big boy too if I have my way)are off to Albury and Orange on Monday for PSSA Hockey. The rest of us will stay here and keep the home fires burning...although we don't have a fire to keep burning anymore, not sine the reno's started....let me take you back a bit.

This is what our house looks like...

It's not a bad house - big enough, nice size yard, reasonable location etc, etc. BUT - it had a stinky old fire in the front room which pumped out good heat but unfortunately also pumped out a lot of smoke, ash and dust. The 3am kickstarts were also starting to wear a little thin...so the Chief Clansman and I put our thinking caps on and came up with the great idea that we should take the fire out along with the wall that it sat in that separated the front room from the kitchen. So that is just what we did...

everyone (well almost) got in on that act...note the summer attire...no fire needed when we started!!

then it was just the Chief Clansman on his own...

...nah not really - he was really just the labourer - our beloved Pete was really the man in charge.
Anyway I will show you a photo of the finished product when it is - finished that is!!!!
It is almost there and is looking fantastic...but back to the beginning - we won't be able to keep the home fires burning, but we will have that split system fired up that is for sure.
Well time is ticking on. I feel I have had a reasonably productive day... and you know what? I get to do it all again tomorrow!
C ya.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Don't you just love the weekends??? I do...even the ones that don't include public holidays!! Mind you, this one right now has been especially busy for some reason. There was the haircutting, the de-lousing, the birthday party present shopping, the soccer, the hockey, the netball...and that was all before midday yesterday!!! Since then we have handled call outs to check the alarms at TAFE, cajoled Laddie No. 3 to take the soccer field (he was a little stressed as he was playing against his former team...he took his new team to a 2-1 victory with him responsible for the 2 goals!!), shopped for Laddie No.2s new sandshoes and SKINS for his trip to PSSA hockey in Albury, delivered Lassie No.3 to the first of the two birthday parties she was to attend this weekend, done 5 loads of washing, watched the end of Lassie No.2s netball game, visited someone in hospital, dropped in on friends to collect Lassie No.1 and deliver her to her babysitting job for the night, dropped Laddie No.1 off at Midnight basketball where he was reffing...and then...phewww...we sat down and had a quiet glass of vino while we watched the last episode of Bed of Roses and then the fella's watched the Wallabies... I didn't stick around for that... a quick check out the window to see if it was snowing (unfortunately not) and then it was in to bed to read for a bit and wait for the phone to ring to collect those still out and about...of course it wasn't actually me that had to go and do the collecting...god no, that's a daddy job that one...but I was here providing moral support!!!! And that my friends was just Saturday!!!! Today has been not quite as busy but almost. Washing (it NEVER stops), ironing, hockey, hockey and more hockey (they are still there as I type...), a spot of baking and a bit of craft and now to the blog....and the rest of Sunday, a glass of wine, some comfy footwear, perhaps a spot of knitting, and oh yeah...the de-lousing of my own head....ohhh didn't I mention that?? Ahhwell...

So until the next instalment, have fun and keep smiling....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Public Holiday Monday

Yippee...gotta lurve the public holiday Monday...the only time my "Mondayitis" retreats...