Sunday, September 18, 2011

Joy pockets

For many months, I have read just my favourite 4 or 5 blogs - the ones that feel like old familiar friends that I miss when I don't drop in to see what's been happening. Tonight I rediscovered the delights of just hopping from blog to blog via the favourites of my favourite bloggers, attracted by a name such as "milkmoon" or "dreamfarm girl". What an amazing thing blogging is - to be able to peek into the lives of other women (for I never seem to end up at a man's blog, with the exception of "Quilt Dad"!) and read their thoughts about life, love, mothering and the rest of the universe. Sometimes, I check out a blogger's profile and read their lists of favourites books and music and think "Ooh....she loves "Room With A View" AND "Cold Mountain" AND "The English Patient" AND Fleet Foxes!!! Will I send her an email to say I love them too? No....that is like stalking my inner shy blogger says to herself.

Anyway....I know lots of my favourite bloggers like to list what they are grateful for, and I do mean to do it, and sometimes do it the old fashioned way with a pen in a little notebook my big sister gave me earlier this year, but often I forget to do it for weeks at a time. I should definitely be at least thinking of what I am grateful for as I tend to be a glass half empty person and dwell on life's little and big difficulties. I came across a thing called "joy pockets" which is a lovely idea, but trying to do the links and copy the html code thingy etc was all too hard so I shall just make my own little list of things I am grateful for today.

- Watching "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" on DVD with my two girls who love Narnia as much as I do and letting them stay up late to see the ending. (And then having a quick, painless bedtime as it was an hour past their usual time for lights out).

- Having my husband rub cream into the knots in my back and shoulders while I watched "Grand Designs Revisited" on the TV in our bedroom instead of on iview on the computer when I get a spare few minutes.

- Making biscuits with the girls and cutting out all sorts of shapes and then icing them with pink and white icing and hundreds and thousands.

- Watching my hollyhocks grow taller every day and their spires of buds uncurling. Oh...the anticipation!

- Living in a street with lovely neighbours who look out for each other and happy children who like to chat over the fence.

- Waking up this morning and feeling spring in the air and not needing to wear slippers on my feet.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Time with my big girl

My big Squidgy Girl and I have been trying to get some special time together for weeks. Finally, on Sunday morning we headed off to the Petrie Markets, just the two of us. The Petrie Markets are a happy place for me. I used to go them with my big sister when they were the rough and ready Closeburn Markets near Samford and we would scoff home made ginger beer and dutch pofertjies (sorry - can normally spell quite well but that has defeated me) and buy little antique blue and green bottles from the "bottle man". Later in the 1980s, when the markets moved to Petrie, my sister and I were both renting rooms with a guy in a lovely cottage at Clayfield and on Sunday mornings we loved to head to Petrie and buy ourselves a second hand book to read, a few avocados, a bunch of roses, some fudge, some strawberries and maybe a bottle from the Bottle Man. Then we would go home, enjoy our flowers and food and lie around reading our new books for the rest of the day. When my sister married and had a little boy, I used to steal him and take him to the markets and return him asleep at lunchtime, thinking she was such a generous sister to share him with me. Now I realise it was probably a gift to a tired mother.

I have gone to the Petrie Markets with so many friends, a boyfriend or two, and now I take my own family. Once, I was there with my close friend, Suz, our little girls and a pregnant belly when I ran into my ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. We chatted under the sunshiney blue sky and enjoyed seeing each other happy. Gee....that wasn't what this post was going to be about.

Anyway, big girl and I needed some time together and we made the most of every moment. When we arrived we were in awe of this amazing bougainvillia.

Then we spent some time at an artisan's shop with a man doing traditional Japanese weaving. I forget what it was called but he said it was a traditional pastime of Samurai warriers waiting for battle (or something like that). My girl was entranced and wanted to try it. I said I didn't think she could but on our return visit a bit later, the nice man must have noticed her longing glances as he offered to let her have a go. She LOVED it! One of the things I love about this girl is her zest for life, for meeting new people and bonding with them, for trying new things and having new adventures. She sucks up life like a little anteater devouring ants.

There used to be pony rides (and sometimes camel rides) at the Petrie Markets years ago and then they disappeared. I was told the insurance cost became too high. So we were delighted to see a lovely horse and two gorgeous tiny Shetland ponies giving rides for just $5. Can you see the tiny white dog watching the horse and girl go by?

For some reason (they said it was the gorgeous weather) there were heaps of lovely stall holders with antiques, vintage wares, collectables etc so we had a lovely browse. My Squidge spotted this lovely painted parasol for $10 at the stalls of Julie and Pam. After the price was kindly knocked down to $8, she parted with some of her pocket money and was a very happy customer. Apart from looking beautiful, the parasol was very handy for balancing on tree roots.

Julie and Pam had some fantastic things for sale. I had only $20 of my housekeeping left and had already bought food and some vintage tablecloths so was being very strong. I loved this wooden box full of old pegs and lace.
I also fell in love with this funky red china jug which I think looks sort of '50s and would go in our '50s house but, even after it was knocked down a couple of dollars to a very affordable price, I still didn't have enough cash. Do you take layby, Julie? You can't quite tell from my photo but it doesn't have a handle. Cool, hey?

Here are the two secondhand tablecloths I found at another shop selling oodles of old linen. They were in the "seconds" basket as they had some small stains. They were $2 each! I really love the pink and white one. It was all beautifully ironed so I put it on our table when we got home and my little girl promptly splashed chocolate milk on it. C'est la vie! Now I know why my mother got annoyed with us every night at teatime and said "All over my clean tablecloth!!!" when we spilt our milk. Sorry Mum!

So, that was our lovely mother-and-daughter morning. Weren't we lucky? And the weather was extra gorgeous. Blue sky and sunshine after a freezing, windy Saturday. We think we should have some special time together once a month.
(Photo by Squidgy Girl)

Special love to all the mothers and daughters out there, especially to my wonderful friends who help me mother my girls and to the amazing woman who has changed my life and is soon to leave this life behind. You are an awesome mother, my sweet friend, and have made me a better one than I was before.