Bits and pieces.

All of the family are back under the one roof. Tom1 enjoyed the time alone here but was a bit lonely by the end of it and was very glad to see us, judging by the non-stop talking that’s been going on since we’ve been back. David2 has come back from Central Australia, exhausted, smelling slightly and in need of a long sleep in, but he had a wonderful time. Ryan3, Evan4 and I are back from Creswick, where we just chilled. They played the Wii, Playstation 3 and golf, while I sewed 2 quilt tops, knitted a cowl in one day and visited a blog friend and laughed myself silly. The boys cooked dinner every night which was a very agreeable luxury. Not being a ‘foodie’ as such, I didn’t mind that the meals were very basic… I just loved lolling on the couch with a glass of red wine in front of the telly and having my meal tenderly brought to my knee. Awesome.

We stayed in an apartment style unit, and right outside our back door was a little lake. Or pond. Whatever.

On the last afternoon, I’d just come back from Ballarat and was sewing with some fabric I’d been given, when I looked out of the glass doors at the back and saw these two:

p3300149THIS, Jodie, is why we holiday in the country! I leaped up and chivvied the boys out from in front of the Playstation where they were killing soldiers and told them to get some bread to feed the ducks.

“But Mum, it’s supposed to be bad for ducks to feed them bread, ” said Evan4, who was clearly reluctant to move away from his life as a maniacal killer of the military.

“Rubbish! Anyway, these are country ducks so they wouldn’t eat all that much bread. Besides, it’s brown wholemeal bread so it’ll be good for them. Now come on and enjoy the nature!”

p3300150The first night there, I was sitting on the couch with some circular needles and the Malabrigo wool that I bought a little while ago. I started a cowl. As I was knitting, the wool started to get tangled because I was knitting with both ends from a  single ball, so I sat and kept knitting. Kept knitting. Kept knitting till the wool was all gone. Just have to sew in the ends and I have another finished project.

p3300165Knitting for hours without a break is murder on the right thumb, though.

I took with us the strips of fabric that I cut out when I was making the second Rainbow Quilt for my friend Liz. They’ve been sitting next to my sewing machine since January, so I sewed them up into a quilt top for me on the first day. Then I turned to contemplate this:

p3290148It’s the fabric that Moogsmum sent me in a swap. It’s vintage and girly and so not suited to my boys… BUT! I still owe one of my nieces a quilt, so I took the plunge and cut into it. I tell you, after making 120 squares for this quilt, I’m loving how it’s going to look and I’m sorely tempted to keep it for myself.

p3310175They’re colours I haven’t worked with before and the quilt is going to be such a dreamy, feminine looking thing…. just like me.

Still, I have to give it to Morgan, otherwise she’ll think I love her sister more than her. *sigh*

***

My friend Karen from work lent me Barack Obama’s memoir ‘Dreams From My Father’. I thought it would be an ok read and I was mildly curious to see why it was on next year’s year 12 reading list for Identity and Belonging. I started reading it just before we went away and I polished it off while I was up there. It was really good. It was intelligent, insightful and it got me thinking about lots of things that I’ve never really thought much about before. I can highly recommend it.

Then I picked up the latest Dean Koontz novel “Relentless”. I’ve never read anything of his before, but judging by the 50 or so novels he’s published the guy has quite a following. The basic premise of the novel was an engaging one, so I plunged in expecting to be entertained. What a gyp. His writing was a sad disappointment. The plot was full of extremely convenient devices to get the characters in and out of trouble, which is very lazy writing. A dog who ‘just happens’ to be able to teleport who is thus able to kill some bad guys following our fearless heroes; family members who ‘just happen’ to be ardent survivalists who ‘just happen’ to have a bunker filled with guns that they built by blowing the shit out of a mountain and it ‘just happens’ that NO ONE who lived in the neighborhood noticed the blasting and the heavy earth works;  not to mention that the teleporting dog ‘just happened’ to be taught how to do it by a 6 year old mathematical genius, who also made a couple of devices to turn back time, so when the narrator gets shot in the chest he doesn’t actually die because they turned back time just long enough to be able to kill all of the bad people instead…

Purlease! I’m all for the willing suspension of disbelief but this was ridiculous. It’s a shame because there were some twists and turns that I really liked and some turns of phrase that were really well handled, so I’m sure the guy can write. But this novel was lazy, almost cynical in its belief that the reader would blindly follow no matter how ridiculous the plot lines became. If you base your story in the real world, there has to be a level of believability that we can identify with. Otherwise, go and write Fantasy where anything can happen.

So there!

***

The first day back, I received notice from the Child Support Agency that the child support that Tony pays has been adjusted.

To $190.50 a month. For 3 teenage boys, because now that Tom1 is 18 he doesn’t have to pay for him any more. Honestly, all I could do was laugh. He has to pay $2,286 a year for them, which apparently equates to $6.26 a day for all three of them. Yep, that about covers it.

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8 Responses to Bits and pieces.

  1. amandab says:

    I am loving the look of that quilt. Your blog has been one of the ones that got me asking my mum to teach me how to knit and sew. And crochet.

    She tried to teach me how to knit when I was about 7 at Brownies. It didn’t go well for anyone involved.

    I really, really want to be able to make my daughter a quilt like that, so I guess mum and I will just have to swallow our apprehension and get to it!

  2. libby says:

    aww the quilt is very pretty! isnt it nice to just veg and do nothing, but still acheive something 🙂 I have gone from a non knitter to a knitter of scarves… big loopy ones made with those enormous rocket needles.. the bigger the better heheh. My yr 10 is reading of mice and men and tales of the unexpected for gothic horror…. must steal them and read them!

  3. Dave Freer says:

    🙂 The duck/bread thing is from stale bread and a nasty reaction to fungus in it.
    Heh. And as professional writer of fantasy and sf – anything can happen only if the writer is a lazy oik. Otherwise one co-incidence a book is your due ration, and the rest according the character and ‘rules’ of the setting.

  4. river says:

    $6.26 a day. Yep, that’ll keep them in rice and beans.

    I used to read a lot of Dean Koontz, but his latest novels don’t seem to be as good as the earlier ones. I read the blurb on the back, then put the book back on the library shelf. I do own a couple of his early novels, my favourite is “The Watchers”. Some of it is a bit over-the-top, but still an enjoyable read.

  5. Stomper Girl says:

    I love how you are a duck expert, especially country ducks. As for the child support… well I think I’ll just growl in your ex’s general direction.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    That is going to be a really lovely quilt. Sounds like a great break, but yah boo sucks not only to the ex but to whichever idiot set down the formulae.

  7. Marylee says:

    Quilt is going to be exquisite! Keep it. 🙂

    Is there no appeal on the child support?

    I’m not a Dean Koontz fan either.

  8. Jayne says:

    Like River I read some of his earlier work years ago but none recently, his style and my tastes have parted ways lol.
    That sucks about the child support, lemme guess, he didn’t put in a tax return last year?

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