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June 2009



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Jun. 10th, 2009

The Porter's Daughter

I am feeling very proud of my "mild-mannered" husband right now. Now I need a sitter so that I can join him on this grand occasion. Anyone?

Apr. 6th, 2009


Here are Gabby's 7 bestest chums at her party on Saturday. They are dancing rather maniacally to ABBA. ABBA is a hit because they dance to it at Kindy too. Gabrielle was so excited that she was vibrating visibly for the entire party. I almost feared for her safety.

Steve and I worked together like a well-oiled machine. Herding the girls towards food and 4 party games then successfully into their own clothes (girls have a tendency to strip the moment they cross the threshold and try on all the dress up clothes and any clothes in Gabby's wardrobe that they fancy) and out the door to their waiting mums. This was all done in 2 hours so that the sugar downer would hit off our property. It worked!

Apr. 2nd, 2009

I have a five year old

She is fond princesses, her favourite colour is pink. She is standing in her newly floor-sanded, gibbed, pink batted and pinkified bedroom. Pinkeriffic


(Her mouth is mid "CHEESE!!!"

Mar. 26th, 2009

At was all pink

We are all topsy turvy right now. Gabrielle is sleeping in our room, in her bed. Her bed and our bed plus additional furniture and her snoring in our room. With us. All at the same time. Last weekend, in a bid to make Gabrielle's room a haven of dry and warmth, we ripped off the old plasterboard, put in pink batts, and put up new gib. Well, Steve and his dad did. I provided food and babysitting support along with Steve's mother.

Once the plasterer is done, in about 20 minutes apparently, I get to discover the joy of painting the first two of three coats of paint in a bedroom while telling the children to "go and play nicely in the lounge." That'll work, won't it? Gabrielle chose pink (there's a shock) so we have found the least nauseating pink there is. It should look mostly lovely. This weekend we sand, oil and wax the floor in there too. All this needs to be done in time for her birthday on Thursday and most definitely in time for her party on Saturday. It's like Mitre 10 Dream Home only with sleeping and eating allowed for.

Jan. 7th, 2009

The pizza oven

This has been a monument to the Slow Food movement. Early last year we took river stone from the Hutt River (it's legal). After that, I phoned about 12 different people and eventually came up with a free supply of clay which was dry enough to load into the car. Next we scored some terracotta tiles and some sand from our friends. Finally, we got some pea straw - that cost $15.

Step 1 was to cement together the river stone so that we had a platform the same height as the top terrace.

Step 2 was to stick the terracotta tiles to the surface of the platform with clay.

Step 3 was to build a sand mountain over which to layer the clay and sand mixes.
The central sand mountain

Step 4 was to cover the sand layer in a clay and sand mix.
First layer - clay and sand

Step 5 was to cover this layer with the sand, clay and pea straw mixture.
Second layer - clay, sand and pea straw

Step 6 was the final layer of clay and sand.
Final layer - pure clay

Step 7 was to dig out the door then dig out the sand mountain from inside the oven so that the clay could dry out.

Step 8 was to light a gentle fire to help the drying process.
It breathes fire!

Step 9, make bread.
Wood fired oven bread.

The oven didn't get hot enough. We still need to fashion a reasonably tight-fitting door to keep the heat in, I think this will make alot of difference. I also think that leaving the embers in the oven and just pushing them to the sides will help with keeping the oven's thermal mass hot enough. There is much experimentation ahead. Hopefully we will have it sorted before the tomatoes are ripe for the picking.

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