Everything’s Coming Up Poppy’s!

April 19, 2008

I am an Aunty!!!!
Wooooo!!!
My brother and his lovely wife have given birth to a beautiful little girl, Poppy! She is soooooo lovely! Incredibly beautiful and we are all wildly besotted!
The Most Beautiful Poppy in the World! xxx

The Most Beautiful Poppy in the World xxx

The name Poppy really suits her quite well for she is so delicate, so beautiful that no one can keep their eyes off her as soon as she enters the room, deliciously faintly scented with that lovely new baby smell, and is somewhat, ok completely addictive!

Since holding her my boys have said:
Oh Mama! If anything ever happens to Poppy I will be soooooo sad!
&
[whispers] Awww! Did you see that?! Isn’t she beauuuutiful!

We watch every little blink and frown, every twitch at the corners of her mouth – they are smiles, you know – every squeak, every sigh, every flutter of her lashes, crinkle of her brow, and wiggle of her fingers and we adore her. Oh we adore her!

She is, as my little man says, “The first girl-child in our family [and] it’s lucky she is here because we needed a girl-child.”

This same little man has taken up French Knitting to make his precious little cousin a “sausage shape” or a “P for Poppy”. He has chosen a fantastic colour changing wool that, like Poppy, is “just beautiful!”. My older little man has been somewhat more reserved, that is until he held little Poppy yesterday. Now he is devoted. He has become Poppy’s personal photographer, capturing every change and admiring it nostalgically moments after it occurs. Mum is madly knitting little booties and bonnets and embroidering pink onto everything. Dad is quietly proud. He holds her and beams. My brother cries with joy, my sister-in-law is radiant. Sleep deprived and still radiant. I am an Aunty! And I can’t stop buying pink things, filling my house and my brother’s house with fresh poppies from local growers and exclaiming, “Welcome, beautiful Poppy! You are so beautiful!” And isn’t she?!

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An Artful Disorder: Symmetry is for Faces not Vases!

April 18, 2008

As I was arranging a bunch of flowers tonight, the following passage came to mind:

There was really no point trying to arrange wild flowers. They had tumbled into their own symmetry, and it was certainly true that too even a distribution between the irises and the rose-bay willow-herb ruined the effect. She made some minutes making adjustments in order to achieve a natural chaotic look. While she did so she wondered about going out to Robbie.

These are the thoughts of Cecilia in Atonement, a beautifully written novel – which has also been adapted into a gorgeous film, as you probably know – by Ian McEwan. A novel overflowing with evocative description and vivid characterisation.

As I arranged my flowers I thought of symmetry, life past and future, that which is determined and a man I long to see. I thought of my life. My day. My tomorrow.

Like Cecilia, I have never liked symmetry – except for in a face. It’s far too ordered, predictable and balanced. It’s so balanced it makes me feel…well, unbalanced. If I see something symmetrical I have to fight the strongest urge not to rearrange it. Unless it is a bunch of flowers, then nothing can hold me back!

The flowers fell into a unsettling symmetry before me tonight and as I swiftly rearranged them I wondered at my abhorrence of that which is uniform because, you know, it extends to more than just floral arrangements. I have a terrible feeling that the way I like my flowers indicates some deeper darker truth about who I am, what I think and how I want to live: I think I’m pretty much inherently rebellious. But for now all I want to say is, Cecilia is right: symmetry is for faces not vases. What do you think?

Btw, have you read Atonement?! Every word is soooo very delicious!

I would…

April 17, 2008

[mark] it
better
do it
faster
if I
could just
find my texta.

I have marking to do but have misplaced my red pen. *sigh* While looking for it I have become distracted by videos such as this one:

Living Between the Trees – Rob Bell

April 11, 2008

Check out this video: Trees

Add to My Profile | More Videos

March 23, 2008

The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems forgiven I’m alive, restored set free.Your majesty resides inside of me,forever I believe. forever I believe.arrested by your truth and righteousnessyour grace has overwhelmed my brokennessconvicted by your spirit, led by your wordyour love will never fail your love will never fail‘Cause I know you gave, the world your only son for usto know your name, to live within the saviour’s loveand he took my place, knowing he’d be crucifiedand you loved.. you loved, a people undeserving!  

I love…

March 16, 2008

I love how the sea beckons me, picks me up, kisses my face and tousles my hair in warm greeting like an old forever friend.  

I need…

March 10, 2008

…a new blog. This one is not very beautiful or functional. *sigh*Suggestions? 

reclaimEd

February 28, 2008

roses tipped with pink

grow new days

& smell like freedom,

making her heart

shine like the sun

glistening on the ocean

outside his window.

The Happy Swim

February 12, 2008

Late yesterday afternoon as I was swimming at the beach with a friend, we were suddenly surprised by the appearance of a little black and white head in the water. It was one of these little fellas:

  

 A Fairy Penguin.:) 

It was rather enchanting.  

Switching Off

February 9, 2008

Right now I am supposed to be writing a seminar presentation on study skills for Year 11 students. I am supposed to present as the hip-young-technoliterate-teacher who, while being techno savvy, spurns all temptations to use the internet, ipods, skype, blogs, mobile phones etc for evil and redeems their use for good. One who masters technology without being mastered by it. One who knows the temptation of technology, her own limitations and successfully resists the urge to be distracted by this new evil lurking amongst us. I’m supposed to speak clearly and coherently and with much conviction so as to benefit our students. I am planning on saying how it is so important that instead of switching off our minds apathetically when know we have to approach study we should switch off that which distracts us…We should shun all that makes our mind wander and begin to embrace the wonder of learning. I am supposed to be writing all this in a convincing speech. But alas, I cannot for I am distracted… by technology of all things. mmedia.jpgGah!!!!If you have any advice as to how I can inspire my potential scholars on how to get ‘switched on,’ I’d appreciate your suggestions. You could help me use this blog for good instead of evil. 😉 How big a distraction is technology for you or your children?How do you master it? 

que cherchez-vous ?

January 28, 2008

“L’homme est fou par ce qu’il cherche, et grand par ce qu’il trouve”

-Paul Valéry 

 I read this quote today and have been pondering it ever since. If we are considered insane for seeking grand things but great if we finally find these things, what does that say about our dreams and dreaming them? What about those who seek the seemingly impossible? Are they insane or are we for not trying? 

What is it you seek? 

Like a ‘Sorry’ in the Sky

January 28, 2008

So we’re sitting around the table tonight and discussion turns to the enormous ‘sorry’ that was written across the sky on Australia Day. The ‘sorry’ story made the headlines briefly and was removed abruptly, as if it had just evaporated into thin air. It’s rather symbolic really.

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You see, saying ‘sorry’ has been a matter of contention in Australian culture for quite a few years now.  Many Australians have thought that saying ‘sorry’ to the Aboriginal people would be beneficial, would aid reconciliation. However, some of our population, indeed our last Prime Minister, John Howard, thought that there was no point in saying ‘sorry’. Their argument went along the lines of, “well we didn’t kill your family, steal your children, give you grog or keep you uneducated so why should we apologise for things that the generations/governments before us were responsible for? Why should we say sorry?” In my opinion, we have a lot to say sorry for: invasion, the stolen generations, inequality in health and education, deaths in custody, the introduction of alcohol…and I could go on. These things still affect the Aboriginal people of Australia today, regardless of who instigated them. 

 

Kevin Rudd has stated that he will say ‘sorry’ on the 12th February 2008, so long as there are no legal ramifications – which, by the way, there aren’t. Saying ‘sorry’ has no real consequences. We don’t have to give land back, reunite families, offer equitable access to health or education, or provide rehabilitation. There will be no compensation – which is lucky for how would we ever compensate for these life-shattering losses anyway? –  Isn’t that great. Ha! A sorry without consequence.

 

As my dad said rather facetiously, “We can say sorry and Cathy Freeman can carry the Aboriginal flag if she wants…as long as she carries the one emblazoned with the Union Jack as well. Archie Roach can sing from time to time…we kinda like his tunes – he’s a good Aussie.”

 

Let’s say sorry, what can we lose?

 

Today I’ve been reading Saussure in preparation for teaching this year. You probably know Saussure, he was the French guy who revolutionised the study of linguistics. He was of the view that language was a system that consisted of a signifier (the word or sound) and a sign (the object to which the signifier referred). The signifier never was the sign. For example you don’t get much of a sense of what a dog is by reading or hearing the word ‘dog’ in isolation to the object to which it refers. ‘Dog’ doesn’t tell you anything about what it is to be a dog. In this way language is arbitrary. But Saussure argued that it is this very arbitrariness of language that makes it so important to use language correctly. If I start calling a dog a ‘dooshka’ communication is going to be limited, hindered because you will not know what I am talking about.

 

All this, and the discussion of the significance, or lack thereof, of saying ‘sorry’ has left me with this question: what does ‘sorry’ actually mean? To us? To the Aboriginal people? Because if it means “sorry bad stuff happened to you, but it wasn’t our fault and we’re not doing anything about it,” then I’m mad about that. What kind of sorry is that? What does it signify? What is its sign? And what does it say about our culture when our most potent words are emptied of meaning? I want to know exactly what kind of ‘sorry’ we’re offering before I start applauding politicians on the 12th Feb. How will a ‘sorry’ aid communication between disparate people if we don’t have a clear understanding of what ‘sorry’ means?

 

I know I’m sorry. Sorry I belong to such a racist and discriminatory society that is afraid to speak meaningfully into the hurting lives of its citizens – even if they were only recognised as citizens of their own country in 1967.  Sorry we don’t have a language to express what we mean. Sorry our words are empty. Sorry I fear our ‘sorry’ will evaporate into the ether like the words that appeared in the sky so briefly on Australia Day, or Survival Day – the day we are supposed to celebrate the tenacious endurance of a race that our ancestors tried to erase like an inappropriate news story.

 

On the upside: It will be so nice of us to make Aboriginal people “full participants” of society…after over 200 years of abuse and deprivation!

 

[end rant]

 

I’m still mad.

Thanks if you stayed with me through that. 🙂

 If you’re still game, here’s a question:

What does ‘sorry’ mean and what should ‘sorry’ look and sound like? 

Yesterday…

January 27, 2008

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Watching the Tall Ships Race.

Sydney Harbour, 26th Jan 2008

 

It was swell.

January 2, 2008

Just when the temperature finally heats up, all Sydney beaches are most miserably closed! It’s just not right! It’s just not summer! High winds in Queensland have severely affected Sydney beaches. The news reports that all beaches from Queensland to Sydney are closed! 

 This is completely bad news for my beach faring family! So far this season we have cancelled a couple of trips down to the beach due to the rough surf and hazardous conditions. We have sensibly resisted the powerful urge to swim in the unrelenting heat, till now.  Today we finally succumbed.   

My brother took the boys to see the first day of the second test at the SCG while I met up with a friend. It was a hot day. So hot that you couldn’t sit in your car for a minute without the aircon on. So hot that your clothes stuck to your skin, the air felt thick around you and sapped your mind of rational thought. Perhaps that’s why the promise of cool water was too much to resist. By 4:30 we had all found our way to Bronte.   (Photos of Bronte here).   

 The beach was mush. Most of it was white water. Churning white water frothing on the surface hiding the terrible undertow. The beach was closed. I had walked down earlier in the day and had checked out the state of the surf. The beach was certainly too dangerous to swim in. Despite the hot day, no one was in the water. Actually, when I say “no one was in the water”, I mean no one was in the surf. Some people were paddling in the areas that were protected by the rocks. However the tow there was still quite strong and most people only went in up to their knees. The dangerous surf sign was up and the flags were down.*sigh*However, the Ocean Pool was open! 

Waves periodically crashed over the walls turning the usually calm lap pool into a wave pool but it was safe. I walked down the steps and dipped my toes into the water expecting it to be refreshing but warm. It might as well have been ice. The water was sooooo cooooold but so enticing.   

 As I said, by 4:30 we were all at the Ocean Pool and while it took us some time to jump in, once we were in it was divine! Oh how I love the sea! We swam across the pool and climbed up onto the wall closest to the surf. Holding onto the ropes we braced ourselves for the crashing waves that splashed a spangled shower of salt and bubbles over our heads and into the pool. While the waves were of a frightening size they were not as strong as I expected them to be once they reached us having lost a lot of their power on the rocks (they would push you into the water if you were not holding on but were not strong enough to pull you free of your grip on the rope). Thus we spent the afternoon splashing but mostly being splashed by the beautiful ocean. [Ooh! and I just found out Rebecca’s theme for the month is weather! I guess now I can safely confess to having a few weather widgets on my dashboard! ] 

Happy New Year!!!

January 1, 2008

NYE Fireworks Sydney 2008 ptI

 

These are the fireworks I would have watched had I stayed awake. Oops.We had a very nice family celebration at home, eating delicious food, waving sparklers and watching the 9pm Sydney fireworks. After desert it was bedtime for little men and a tired mama fell asleep next to them. It was a nice way to usher in the New Year in my opinion. Happy New Year all! May 2008 be a year in which you grow in your love for God and those around you!! Love to all! 

 

NYE Fireworks, Sydney 2008, ptII

11238 points + 1 Ambulance = …

December 30, 2007

…so much fun!!! 
 I am loving this game! Let me know what your high score is.  HT: Rebecca [She knows where all the fun  stuff is!] 

I hope they eat my words

December 28, 2007

Have you seen this great website?  It’s called FreeRice and it features a vocabulary game in which your correct identification of a definition results in the donation of 20 grains of rice to the UN to eliminate world hunger. See what others have said about it here. But even better, go play! Go change the world one word at a time. 

Postcards from a holiday

December 27, 2007

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Caves Beach, December 2007
 

lifeblood

November 27, 2007

I am dead tired!

Yesterday I donated blood. I took a group of Yr 10 students to the Blood Bank in what we affectionately called ‘The Vampire Bus,’ and we all donated 470mls to help save a life or two. It doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice, 470mls is not that much blood, but today I’m really feeling tired. Soooo tired. Like I could just fall-asleep-anywhere tired. And this has got me thinking…

Isn’t it amazing how God says the life is in the blood of every living creature? I love how the Bible shows us that God has life all figured out well before scientists and doctors know much about it. This whole “life is in the blood” idea has really got me thinking about the significance of Christ’s death, the shedding of His blood to give us life, and His words at the Passover meal he shared with his disciples before going to the cross. It’s so significant…but right now I’m way too tired to take my thinking any further. But I’d love to hear what you’re thinking…

Isn’t it incredible that blood saves lives and God uses the blood of His Son to save us spiritually?

Isn’t it amazing the way blood works? It really is the life force! No wonder I feel dead tired with less of it!

Blood is amazing! That Jesus blood brings us real life blows my mind.

Oh! How I could fly on the viewless wings of Poesy!!!

November 20, 2007

I have just been allocated an Extension English class for next year! Wooo!!!
I get to teach solid texts from the canon and I’m very excited about it.

My first task is to choose a theme or a character that has been represented in literature throughout the centuries. I have a few ideas. For example we could study ‘Heroes’ and look at Beowulf, The Odyssey, Ulysses as represented by Joyce in Ulysses and then I would need some contemporary texts including poetry and film. Or a closely related theme we could study could be ideas of ‘Saviours’ in literature throughout history. Or we could study the theme of ‘Redemption’ and look at Cry, the Beloved Country

Ooooh! There are so many good options my mind is all a flutter! What theme would you study – either one of mine or of your own invention – and which film, poetry and fiction texts would you choose?