29 August 2006

Listen Up!

Tonight I have discovered a new website that has downloadable audio files of audio books. Librivox:

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net (via podcast and catalog). Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.
The Internet is really making life interesting. Pandora is another great listening site that customises radio stations to your taste musically. I have actually discovered some new artists that I like on Pandora. You enter the artist you enjoy and it selects other similar artists as well as your favourite and plays a range of music.

27 August 2006

How TV Effects Your Kids

Yesterday I watched a great movie called Thumbsuckers. It contained a great line that has really made me think "Television is a Trojan Horse in our Homes" (Thumbsuckers). I don't watch much TV anymore. In fact I reckon I would watch less than 2 hours a week. I don't find any value in it. In fact I find it annoying. I get news online now and I like that I can read lots of views from around the world.
This link is to an article that highlights some of the negatives of tv watching by kids. In talking to students many have tv's in their bedrooms. Some houses I know have 3+ TVs in them. Trojan horses?

26 August 2006

Museum Trip

I went to the museum on Tuesday, as I said a couple of posts ago. Here is my favourite couple of pictures. I love the red flying horse. I think it is a symbol for a petrol company or something, but it is too beautiful to be that. I think my Uncle Jack used to have a petrol station with the flying horse symbol too, so that could be another reason why I have such a fond feeling about it.

There was also this cute model 'Mr Whippy'. How real does this photo look though? But I swear the model is quite small.

I also loved the Windmills

Tulips Make Appearance

Andy bought me some tulip bulbs. I am enjoying watching them appear. Each day I go to the place he planted them and watch as one by one they peak out of the ground. It has been the best gift of flowers I have received. There are now six little budding tulips to observe.

22 August 2006

Trips to Melbourne

I haven't posted for nearly a week. It's been a busy six days since my last post. We had to rush to Melbourne last Thursday for a last minute health issue. All is well now though, so that is good. Today I went on the museum trip to the city with the school. I went to IMAX for the first time! It was a HUGE screen. I will put some photo's up of the trip later when I am not so tired and can find my camera.

Whilst waiting we visited Dandenong and I must recommend to anyone who can access it, the Op shop in the main street that sells books only. It is towards the end of the strip heading for Melbourne. It gets books from the surrounding libraries and there were heaps of books in great condition, very cheaply priced. I could have spent more time there. There was also a great Lebanese bakery that had a great feel and yummy food in the same stretch of shops though more toward the Gippsland end of Dandenong.

If you regularly read my blog, you will notice a new look and tags. I would love to go back and tag all my previous posts but think it may be too time consuming. It would be interesting just to see what I mainly write about! I will possibly play around with it more. Blogger has introduced more options, so naturally I can't resist.

Today I left my book at home by mistake, but whilst going through my back pack found another book and read it all today. It was No Worries by Bill Condon. I enjoyed it. It was quite insightful and I was moved by the plight of the young male protagonist. It was an honour book for the Childrens Book Council Australia, book of the year awards for older readers.

16 August 2006

Mothering & Home

I am reading a book at the moment called Unless by Carol Shields. It is about a mother who is quite successful and has all that we hope for, loving family, beautiful home, satisfying career etc. Her eldest daughter suddnely withdraws from the world, abandoning university to sit on a street corner, wearing a sign that reads only 'goodness'. What a frightening reality for a mother. I haven't finished the book yet, but the concept of it haunts me.
I remember when I went on holidays once I met an older woman and we were discussing our daughters. Hers was older than mine, but had pursued similar things, and then unexpectedly dropped out. She had got caught up with a shady boyfriend and turned her future plans on their head. Her mother was shattered and I was scared. I remember having nightmares all summer that my daughter would have some catastrophic thing that would 'ruin' her future.
I began to reflect on my own pathway through to adulthood, (I think I arrived a couple of years ago, despite getting grey hairs and wrinkles so young). I realised my parents were probably pretty concerned about some of the routes I'd taken.
I'm proud and pleased with my daughter and I expect she will take some interesting paths and I, like my parents did for me and other mothers all over the planet will still love her and hope for the best for her. When people tell me how amazing and wonderful she is I feel proud and grateful to the powers that be. I was discussing this with a work colleague last week and we agreed, his daughters are much older too, that you never feel you can relax, that the mission is accomplished.
Getting back to the book, there is this great quote about homes in it and I like it.

"Our house if full of rough corners that seem to me just about to come into their full beauty. I often think of how Vicnete Verdu, the Spanish writer, spoke of houses as existing between reality and desire, what we want and what we already have. Probably this old house is not as lovely as I believe. My eyes are curtained over. I used to be able to see the separate rooms with their colours and spaces, but now I can't. I've overvalued its woody, whorled coves and harbours, convincing myself of an architectural spaciousness and, at the same time, coziness.." (p57)
I love it and I identify with those sentiments. She goes on to say she should have employed a decorator a long time ago. I have been a decorator, so have even less excuse for the tangle of styles and half completed schemes in my home, yet it is my home and there are corners of it that I find harmony and promise of visions to be realised.

14 August 2006

Beautiful Willow

I walked down by the river yesterday. I love these willowy trees. I also took some film of an amazing flowering camillia.

It had two different pink coloured flowers. One was the lighter pink and the other a darker pink. It was so tall also.

I haven't been for a walk for ages. I really enjoy the late afternoon walks but only manage them on weekends. After school I am always too tired. I need to walk before school on weekdays.

I had full intentions of doing that, this morning but Ella is sick with a cough and I worried and listened to her coughing most of the night, so couldn't get up this morning, despite my plans.

13 August 2006

Magnificent Weather

Today is sunny again. I love this weekends weather. I have been getting my home into order and clearing some of the paper mounds and clothes mountains that have accumulated during the week. This crisp sunny weather just doesn't tolerate clutter and disorder and I feel a lot of energy to clean up.

12 August 2006

Yesterday's Journey

I caught the train from Pakenham to the city yesterday. The course I had to attend was across the road from Flinders Street station, so it was too easy. I really enjoyed the time out and completed the novel I have been reading every night for weeks. I got some clips that I will put on revver. I observed a lot of people. Just the perfect past-time.
The learning was affirming. I picked up a couple of new things but mostly felt that we have made good progress toward implementing the changes to curriculum and many of my gut instincts about it were confirmed.
More later...

09 August 2006

Happening in my Head NOW

It was warm this morning. I am not sure how warm, maybe it just felt warm because my car was not iced up. I felt spring and I noticed it took more than usual to ruffle my feathers.
I am doing this year level co-ordinator job this term and whilst it is as time consuming, it isn't as frustrating as the curriculum leadership position was. I have more patience with young people I guess, than for my fellow staff members.
I have been reading this blog called
G-Town talks, it is written by a principal of a school and she talks in her recent posts about good teachers and weak teachers. I hear what she is saying. I find thinking about it all very frustrating.
Tonight there is a full moon. I read all about it in Mystic Medusa's email. She says it is a good time to pay attention to your dreams.
I put my 100th clip on Revver tonight. I like sharing my little glimpses of the world.
I think it is my hobby. I want to learn more about making videos and animations. It's fun.

08 August 2006

Dave’s State of the Blogosphere

Dave’s State of the Blogosphere
I find this article on "Darren Rowse: Problogger", quite staggering. 2 blogs created per second. It seems humans have a lot to say out loud.
I guess with the amount of posting online, it also makes it seem quite amazing to find a random blog you like reading. I feel like it is still quite anonymous due to the vast amount of voices out there. The chances of other people finding your blog and reading it seem less than the chance of someone overhearing you telling your secrets to your best friend.
I still can't quite feel free enough to tell anything online that I wouldn't want the world to know. I notice that the teenagers I work with don't seem to have any such reservations on their 'myspaces'.

sunset birdsong

If you think your neighbours are noisy, listen to this....

07 August 2006

Auntie Angela

An amazing coincidence today, the very same person I was referring to in my last post, came to visit. I looked up my planner and her name was there. I remembered I was intending to take my daughter to Echuca to visit Angela this mid-term break but had forgotten about it.Joh Blogs: Camping on the banks of the Murray
We were obviously in one another's orbits!

Gado Gado

When I was a kid, I would have wonderful holidays with my Auntie Angela and Uncle Jack in Drouin East. They had 9 kids, although probably less for most of my memories as I was the same age as their eldest child. They were my godparents and were the epitome of godparents as I adored them and loved being in their company.
Uncle Jack was Dutch and had spent his childhood in Indonesia during the war and Angela had lots of exotic (to us) foods as a result of these influences.
I have a memory of a special meal we had of Gado Gado with Kerupuk or (crook cooks) as we called them. The large table was laden with this delicious food and we sat around the deep fryer counting as the hard colorful peices rose out into crunchy prawn crackers, as I know them now.
Last night for the first time, I made Gado Gado. We had a special visitor coming who was vegetarian, and Andy spent a lot of time in Indonesia when he was younger, so I felt it was appropriate. It was great and brought back wonderful memories for me also. I was quite relieved that he recognised it as I put it together mostly from memory.
I was amazed that I remembered and recognised all the ingredients when I went to the supermarket to find the parts. As it drew closer to putting it together I remembered the Internet and looked up the recipe and verified my memory. I was quite pleased by the whole experience.
I didn't use potato and substituted snow peas for beans but it was very yummy. For desert I resorted to nana's Jam Roly Poly, which I will save for another day.

05 August 2006

37days: Be the camera

37days: Be the camera I really love her writing and can't insist enough that you read 37 Days.

The Weather Man

I watched this film last night and it was painful in parts. Not that it was painfully made or poor quality type painful, but difficult to watch the awkward struggles of the main character and the dissappointment of his father. I couldn't stop watching it though. I hoped for the magical happy ending. I felt the ending was honest and the film left an impression. I recommend it. I liked it even though it wasn't enjoyable most of the time. It is not a feel good movie, but a feel movie.

04 August 2006

ThoughtAudio.com - an audio book publisher providing free audio book downloads and podcasts of philosophy and classic literature titles.

If you enjoy listenting to books read to you, download these to your MP3 player. I love audio books. You can listent to them before you go to sleep, in bed and don't get cold hands from having them poking out from under the covers.
ThoughtAudio.com - an audio book publisher providing free audio book downloads and podcasts of philosophy and classic literature titles.

My how Fiat's have Changed

The first car I bought for myself was a red Fiat 850
much against my father's wishes. From the moment we entered the car yard he tried to steer me away from the 'red sports car' as pictured above. It was a bargain I thought. He totally disagreed. I'm sad to say he was totally right about everything. The car was a huge expense and whilst I have fond memories of it, it really was not an ideal choice for me.

02 August 2006


I am reading another book by Joanne Harris "Five Quarters of the Orange". I loved "Chocolat". The book was sensational as well as the film. The current read is terrific also. I find her books talk about food in a very delicious way. They inspire me to be mindful about cooking. Does it have this effect on anyone else?
Speaking about mindfulness about food, in Victoria there is 'Australia's largest slow food festival' happening at the end of this month. 'A Taste of Slow' , doesn't it sound amazing. What could be better?
Joanne Harris's website lists 11 books she has written. I am not sure why I haven't devoured them all yet, but I certainly intend to. Make sure you read the about the author link for a smile.