Somewhere Different

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We have been to Melbourne for a couple of days.  The reason was to visit our daughter and celebrate her birthday.  However, I managed to sneak in a spot of shopping.

Last year I got rid of my knee-high black boots as the heel was simply higher than what I was comfortable wearing.  I had been debating for some time about replacing them and I finally found a pair that I was happy would suit my needs.

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I wore them for most of the past two days, including quite a bit of walking and they are very comfortable.  I am really pleased with my purchase and expect they will last me quite a few years.

My other purchase was at a small, independent fabric shop in the northern suburb of Ivanhoe.  There were lots of beautiful winter fabrics but I bought a piece of linen to make something for myself next summer – probably a blouse of some description.

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I fell in love with the colour and pattern of this piece and am sure it will make a gorgeous garment.

 

Weekend Plans

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My apologies for disappearing for nearly a week.  This week has been a bit of a blur.  On Monday GMan made a flying visit to Melbourne to attend the memorial service for a dear friend who died unexpectedly a couple of weeks earlier.  It was an emotional day but I am so glad that we were able to attend.  RIP, Carol.

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The rest of the week has simply been going to work and doing my best to keep my head above water.  A menu plan and meals in the freezer have been most welcome.  Honey soy chicken was on the menu last night.

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Now it is the weekend and this looks like being a full one.  Tomorrow we are going to see Miss O play netball.  It only seems like the other day that she was born and now she is 8 and playing her first season of Saturday morning sport fixtures.

After the netball match, GMan and I are heading off to a computer shop to look for a tablet computer to buy then out to lunch with my mother.

To round off the day we are going to see “The Lady in the Van” starring Maggie Smith.  I am looking forward to this film as she is an excellent actress and I have enjoyed several of her other films.

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What are your plans for the weekend?  I hope it is great.

Christmas – Traditions & Expectations

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It is less than 3 weeks until Christmas and there is no doubt that it is one of the most stressful times of the year.  This is partly due to the pressure we put on ourselves as a response to the media and advertising hype that invades our lives.

The images and expectations are thrown at us every day but reach a crescendo at this time of the year.  Perfect gifts, on-trend decorating, mountains of food and joyous relationships are portrayed in all types of media.  We have been exposed to these expectations for our whole lives so we continue to burden ourselves with our quest for the ‘perfect’ Christmas.

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Then there are traditions.  The definition of this innocuous little word is:  “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way”  Many families have traditions around Christmas and this can be a lovely touchpoint, especially for children.  It could be putting out reindeer food on Christmas Eve, hanging stockings on the end of your bed, going to Midnight Mass, viewing Christmas lights in your suburb or putting up the Christmas tree on a certain date.  All of these and many other little things are what can make Christmas special for your family.

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The problem with traditions is that they can actually be a cover for a guilt trip.  You know the scenario – “but we always have hot turkey lunch” – when you would really rather be playing cricket at the beach and eating a burger from the deli across the road.  That might be a bit extreme but it is an example of the sort of situations that arise every year in many families.

Expectations need to be modified as children grow and families take on different forms.  What is a fun activity for a 5 and 8 year old might be utterly tiresome for those same children 10 years later.  Trying to force them to conform to ‘traditions’ that you set up will only drive them away.

The addition of partners adds a whole new dimension as they have their own family and that needs to be respected, too.  In time there will be grandchildren and the whole cycle begins again.

The end result of striving for the perfect Christmas is generally less than perfect and can be downright horrible so perhaps it is time to reassess.  Set realistic goals, enjoy the moment and don’t set yourself responsible for the behaviour and happiness of others – that is their responsibility.

What is your experience?  Do you have traditions?  Are you prepared to let things go as circumstances change?

Real Life

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I apologise for the absence this week and lack of response to your comments.

Just like real-life this blog is filled with celebrations, sadness, routines and the unexpected.

2015-10-03 01My mother-in-law passed away at the beginning of the week and my mind has not been anywhere near my blog.  Due to family circumstances we will have a memorial service next month so we have not had a funeral to attend but there have been many other details to arrange.  This will continue to be the case over the next few weeks but hopefully not to the extent of the past few days.

I am looking forward to reading your previous comments and responding and hope that you will bear with me during this time.

Live Life

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This blog is not about my life laid bare for all the world to see.  However, I have alluded to the fact that I have been very busy recently so tonight I wanted to share a little of that with you.

About 10 days ago I was part of a gathering of my extended family.  Like many families, sometimes it seems as though the only times we connect with cousins and others beyond our immediate family is at funerals.  Some months ago I came up with the idea of gathering on the centenary of our grandfather’s arrival at Gallipoli.  He was not in the first contingent of Australian forces who landed on 25th April but was in some of the reinforcements who arrived in mid-July.  A series of events led to him meeting his future wife (our grandmother) in England, and so, our branch of the family grew and flourished.

After much anticipation, family members gathered from near and far for a day of celebration and reminiscing.  The weather was kind, memories were shared and connections rekindled.  We had an amazing day.

2015-07-22 01I think this photograph captured the essence of the day perfectly.

Another Series Gone

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When I began the ‘Sew My Stash Sunday’ series I was really confident that I would do some sewing every week and always have something to share.  Unfortunately, that has not been the case and some weeks I just end up beating myself up (metaphorically speaking) because I have not met my goal.

So, I have decided to put this series to bed for the moment and I will post on a Sunday if I have done any sewing in the previous week and have something to share.

The last week has been a bit topsy turvy as I spent a couple of days in Brisbane.  My mother had a specialist medical appointment and Izz had a night in hospital to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.  I spent the time with Miss O and attended a school music concert in which she was singing in the Junior Choir.  Here is a photo I took of her in the obligatory black trousers and white shirt.

002And another with one of her friends before the concert.

005I did not manage to get a photo but they all had vests to wear as well which were provided by the school.  The back was plain black and the front was black with multi-coloured musical notes and symbols.  They all looked very smart in them.

The coming week is going to be similar as once again I will be away from home for a couple of days.

On Sundays I usually try to get myself organised for the week ahead and today it was even more imperative.  I have made sure that we both have enough clothes for work and underwear clean and ready.  Meals are planned for the week.  Lunches are semi-prepared.

Do you use some of your time on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead?

Away From Home

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I have been away for a couple of days as I have had some family commitments.  Luckily, I had prepared the ‘Wordless Wednesday’ post on the weekend so it was ready to go.

I don’t have anything particular to share but I have noticed recently that everywhere I turn there seems to be discussion about excess stuff and decluttering.  Is it just me or have you noticed the same?

2015-05-28 01For ‘Flashback Friday’ I will find one of my previous posts on decluttering and living with less.  In the meantime please share your thoughts.  Have you decluttered?  Do you wish you could?  Is there any particular aspect you would like me to write about and discuss?

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Some Random Stuff

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There is no real theme to this post – hence the title.

A couple of years ago I wrote this post about the highs and lows of social media.  One of the wonders of it is the ability to easily connect with family and friends.  Today I have spent some time setting up a group for my cousins and other extended family.  This will allow us to keep in touch across vast distances and generations.  The catalyst was a seed of an idea to organise a get-together on the centenary of our grandfather’s arrival at Gallipoli.  He was not with the first landing on April 25th 1915 but it was significant for our family as a sequence of events that followed this led to him spending time in England where he met his future wife (our grandmother).  I already have feedback from far and wide which simply would not have been possible without Facebook.

As I was taught at school – “new thought, new paragraph”………

The decluttering continues – I have a small bag of a few more things that will be leaving the sewing room.  I generally keep a plastic supermarket bag on the bag of the door in the sewing room and add anything that I find and then drop it off to the op shop when the bag is full.  I also have 2 small cartons of books which we sorted from the bookshelves last month.  They have been sitting on the floor next to the bookcases waiting for me to get organised and find a new home for them.  I have listed them on a couple of local buy/swap/sell sites as well as Freecycle but if I don’t get a taker by the end of the weekend I think they will be going to the op shop as well.  It is a difficult task to balance the desire to have things gone and not hanging around, against finding the perfect home for them.  How do you manage this conundrum when decluttering?

I have also set up a ‘Decluttering’ tab at the top of my blog.  Check it out if you are interested.

Finally, I just wanted to share these couple of photos with you today.  In my next life, I think I will be a dog………….

004or maybe, a cat!

003These photos were taken at about 4.30pm and the cat has been on that chair ALL DAY!

The weather is not looking fabulous here – in fact it is pouring with rain and blowing a gale so I am not sure what the weekend will bring.  I hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are.

End of an Era

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Last Friday marked a major milestone in the life of our younger grand-daughter.  Izz turned 5 in August and next year she will join her older sister at school.

She first attended daycare at the tender age of 4 months and has now completed 5 years (at 2 different facilities).  Last week we were privileged to witness the graduation ceremony for those children are moving on to the formal part of their education.

2014-12-20 01Yesterday was her last day at daycare and I imagine that there were some emotional farewells.  It certainly is the end of an era.