It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


After last week's drama, we've had a trying week. First M was ill, then I was ill, then yesterday we were both down and had to look after Beth, who thankfully has been well throughout. I won't go into detail of symptoms, but the Google keywords could be:


Luckily, Beth is now happy to be babysat by the modern parenting miracle that is the DVD player. We usually try and ration TV watching, but when all we can do is sit on the sofa under a duvet then Maisy can be the family's best friend. Her other favourites are Aussie legends The Wiggles and Play School. In fact, she has developed her first crush on a Play School presenter by the name of Rhys Muldoon - Aussie readers will compliment her on her taste.

The best moment of the week was when I was lying in bed and Beth came in. I said I had a sore head and a sore nose, so she clambered up onto the bed and gave me a gentle kiss on my scalp and my schnozz and said "Beth kiss it better" - so sweet!

Other things that have kept us sane:

Stephen Colbert
Jamie Lidell
Bande A Part:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Well, we wanted drama

M's parents (Max and Val) have been very generous to us recently, both with time and in other ways, so we wanted to take them out and say thank you. When I managed to grab hen's-teeth tix to see Geoffrey Rush in a Neil Armfield production at the Belvoir it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

All began well. We fled the chilly evening air and found a nice restaurant for rather too much Lebanese food and some great wine provided by M's dad. We strolled up to the theatre and took our seats, and the play began in promising fashion.

About 15 minutes in, M turned to me and said "I feel a bit faint". Within seconds she started having what, to me, looked like some kind of fit. Her eyes glazed over and her feet started kicking the seat in front. I was trying to stay cool, but it was pretty horrifying. It lasted a few seconds and when she came round she looked a bit bemused but otherwise she was fine and wanted to carry on watching the play. I wasn't sure, but she seemed okay so we stayed.

Then it happened again, about 10 minutes later. This time a Belvoir staff member saw us and offered to call an ambulance. M wasn't sure, but the rest of us said yes without hesitation and we tried to leave the auditorium discreetly.

The ambulance arrived quickly and the 2 ambos gave M a few quick checks for blood pressure, sugar levels etc. They explained that it was probably just a faint, and that when you are sitting down then fainting often brings on that kind of spasm. As for the cause, it could have been any combination of the rich dinner, the temperature change going from the cold evening to the warm theatre, the pregnancy, the wine, and any other factor you might like to pick.

They vaguely offered to take us to the hospital for more tests, but when we heard that it would require a minimum of four hours we opted for the "go home" option. Max and Val picked up B from the babysitters and took her for the night, while M & I were tucked up in bed by the time the play was just finishing.

M recovered very quickly and her main response was that she really wanted to see that play, so she was frustrated. The rest of us didn't really give a stuff about the theatricals, we were just relieved that everyone was safe.

So what did we learn?

1) Belvoir theatre and ambulance service staff are all great
2) No more rich food for M before number 2 arrives
3) Ambos are looking very young these days
4) Geoffrey Rush is very good when it comes to first acts

I gotta get me one of those

Yowsah! It even has wheels!

Monday, July 16, 2007

I was in my dressing gown, actually

I've just been informed that I succeeded in my late-night job interview and that I am to move from Health Sciences Library to Engineering Library. Instead of my client group consisting predominately of fancy-free 19-year old women I'll be dealing with, well, engineers. Hmm.

One of the fun aspects is my parental connection. Mum and Dad are both academics. Mum's area is health science whereas dad is an engineer, so I've covered both bases. My sister is a GP, so perhaps the Medical Library will be next up.

In practical terms the main difference will be a move of physical location from suburban Lidcombe to the main campus in town. I'll experiment with journeys, but hopefully I'll be able to get a bus most days, meaning I'll get through stuff like War and Peace rather faster than I am managing at the moment (halfway through). I much prefer using public transport when I can, so we'll see.

I am pleased that I got the job partly because I risked some humour in the interview and it paid off. I figured that there's no point pretending to be more formal than I am when I am actually in the role, so it seemed like the right thing to do. The interview was by conference call and it was 1.15 am at my end, so when I was asked whether there was anything I would like to add at the end of the interview I replied "Yes, I'd like you to know that I'm wearing a really nice suit."

Maybe you had to be there.

In other news, baby number two is due a month tomorrow. All change!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Left to my own Devizes

OK, back in Oz after a few days in Bristol and a tedious plane flight. so what have I learned this week?

1) Phoebe Cross is the second cutest little girl in the world.
2) Terrorism is utterly ineffectual when conducted in the comedic mode. Setting oneself on fire and attempting to beat up a bunch of Glaswegians just won't cut it on the Terrifying the Populace into Submission to Some Vague Unspecified Objective stakes. As we know, we'll set about you.
3) War and Peace is both tremendously long and tremendously good (so far).
4) Jet lag is worse on the return trip, and you can't beat your own bed.
5) Philip Larkin was a genius, as is proved below. "Accoutred frowsty barn" - wow.

Church Going - Philip Larkin

Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,
Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
"Here endeth" much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate, and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

Or, after dark, will dubious women come
To make their children touch a particular stone;
Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
Advised night see walking a dead one?
Power of some sort or other will go on
In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

A shape less recognizable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative,

Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation ?marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these ?for whom was built
This special shell? For, though I've no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Goddess of the dawn

Here I am in drizzly Bristol after a fantastic and exhausting trip to drizzly London. I'll try and write more shortly, but here are the main points:

1) Phoebe Cross is, as you can see, absolutely lovely.
2) M&B are well, and I miss them terribly. There are some new Beth pictures on the Flickr account.
3) All my mates in London are as good company as ever (except for Ben, obviously, the miserable swine) and family are all happy and healthy.
4) It is 1.50 in the morning and I have just completed a phone conference call job interview for a sideways move at MPOW. Utterly strange, but I think it went OK in the circumstances.
5) I now need a looooong sleep.

I could spend three dollars and sixty-three cents
On Diet Coca-Cola and unlit cigarettes