Monday, December 21, 2009

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Savings or Credit?

I am in our local supermarket, rushing as you do. Pinched faces. A bag of oranges and chicken necks. People pushing trollies, arguing with their children, talking on mobiles with rapt in-attention. I am in the very long queue studying trashy magazines. Rice crackers and rice milk.
For one glorious second, I glimpse behind the masks of all the shoppers to see the child within every shopping adult. Cat food and watermelon. The child that glories in the magic of Christmas. "Savings or credit?" the cashier asks.
A beautiful salesgirl in a store confides to me in a tear-filled voice that she has never enjoyed Christmas. Has always felt betrayed since she first discovered presents from 'Santa' under her mother's bed. "I still believe. I still believe," I whisper in her ear. I hope she hears me.
I believe goodness is rewarded. But it is wise to choose savings over credit.
I'm going to take a short break to enjoy the coming festivities and think about Tale Pedder's future direction. I shall be still reading your Blogs. Thank you for following me, commenting or lurking. I wish you and your loved ones a joyous and Holy Christmas.
Stay safe. Play nice.
I love this photo of me and my daughter above. You can see the light in both our eyes if you look closely. May your light within your eyes glow more brightly this Christmas and the following year. That is my wish for you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fabbo Friday and A Wasted Ticket

Wags the dog is flying over our heads on a trapeze. Before us in garish technicolour are acrobats, jugglers, ballerinas, a gyrating purple octopus, a Skinny Santa, a spinning dinosaur and four men in colourful skivvies. Murray, the red Wiggle, is suspended in the air playing his guitar whilst thousands of twinkling lights surround him.

We are seated in the 'Hot Potato' seats. I am directly behind the tallest man in the world and his son who insists on standing on his seat for most of the concert. The father has not stopped taking photographs of his son. 'Smile! Camera!' The father continually orders. As he is badgering his son to pose, Wags has swooped over the crowd again, Sam Wiggle has just passed us running through the crowd and both father and son have totally missed all the madness caught up in capturing the moment .

When he is not being photographed by his father, his mother is videotaping him. The couple spend the entire concert photographing their child from every angle. Looking at the shots they have taken and working out different angles to take next.

And of course, they all have missed the concert that they have seemingly captured on their camera.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chit-chat Wednesday and my Christmas Play list

I am feeling rather blubbery today. It is my daughter's final day at preschool and emotions have been running high at her school.
I love the school and her teachers and consider ourselves blessed that Daisy was given a place there. I love the light that speckles across the playground area, the way the Aboriginal Cadigal people are acknowledged at the school. I love how I am welcome to pop in throughout the day if I wish.
'Big school' is looming and my daughter is wildly enthusiastic about going but I look back on that lovely light filled preschool with regret for her that the creative freedom she enjoyed is about to end.
Don't you think they should pay teachers a bucket more than what they get? It's such an important job, and a great teacher can shape a child's life so much for the better.
One thought consoling me is that two teachers from Daisy's preschool are a part of my bookclub so I'll see them in the future. They operate the preschool very much from the heart and when I see the tears certain teachers try to hold back it's obvious how fortunate Daisy was to have gone there.
To cheer myself up I'm posting my favourite Christmas carol singers and albums that I dig out every year. I do love a good Christmas carol and will blub quite happily to Oh Come All Ye Faithful or Silent Night.
One of our very favourite carols albums is traditional, by the Kings College Cambridge Choir. But I also love the Mediaeval Baebes at Christmas with their lovely fairytaleish voices. I love tracks like Gaudete and The Coventry Carol from their Christmas album Mistletoe and Wine. Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash are also two favourites. And I can't wait to listen to Bob Dylan's new Christmas album.
If I had to pick a favourite carol it would be Oh Come All Ye Faithful - such a joyous tune. I truly wish I had more time to listen to carols. So much to do and I still haven't done my cards...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and My Holy Trilogy

We have started spinning towards Christmas and everything is becoming blurred and slightly tense as we race to compete all our tasks.
People in the city streets look tired and snap like crocodiles if you go too near their path. It is dangerous to enter stores as you suddenly begin to want to buy gifts for everybody you have ever met, including the nice old man you've spoken to once or twice in the park.
I do love this time of year however, despite all the madness. Three people I always find inspiring at Christmas time are Jamie Oliver, Nigella and Kirstie Allsopp. It wouldn't be Christmas for me without a Jamie Oliver DVD to show me how to stuff a turkey, Nigella for just being wonderful Nigella and for looking so glam and being so witty as she stuffs her turkey and I'm so excited as Kirstie's homemade Christmas show starts on Lifestyle channel in Australia tonight.
I only wish we had got this sooner as she recommends people avoid the big retails stores selling tacky, trashy stuff and make all your gifts. I can’t imagine having the time to make anything - I'm still trying to find a spare fifteen minutes to do Christmas cards. But I love the thought that one day I'll be organized like Kirstie, Nigella or Jamie. I'll have their beautiful homes, enormous trees and pull Christmas off with style, wit and ease. Love Kirstie. Love her style, her beautiful Devon home and her common-sense. And so three cheers for Kirstie, Jamie and Nigella. They're my holy trilogy of Christmas hope and possibilities for Christmas futures.
And now I must try to get time to write a few cards.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fabbo Friday and Gingerlilly tea

Don't you think these images are lovely? I do. I know that a lot of the Blogs talk about her work but I can't stop thinking about her photos today. She's whimsical, English, fairy-tale and retro. Totally fabulous! I want to buy her washing print to inspire me as I do the ironing. This week we had to cull from over a hundred prints and paintings we had, but I am sorely tempted.
Enjoy your weekend and thanks for visiting me. xx

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chit-chat Wednesday and The Magic Hat Bookclub

I started a bookclub!
Yes a real and honest bookclub where people meet and discuss books. At first I thought people mightn't be interested or I’d only get a few along but the reverse was true. More than enough people were as keen as mustard.
I played around with the idea of joining an online bookclub, but for ages I had fantasies about living in a country village and starting a bookclub. Finally I thought, 'start one where you are!'
We have a great venue - Better Read than Dead bookshop in Newtown have kindly given us a room.
The first meeting was the other night and I was terribly nervous. It's one thing to come up with these ideas but I realised I had teachers, academics and book club experts coming along and I knew nothing about running a bookclub. Of course I didn't have to worry. The women present were all lovely and although not all of them knew each other, it only took minutes before they were all chatting away as if they were old friends.
The book we had selected for the first meeting was 'The Time Traveller's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger. It made for a lively and stimulating discussion.
We called ourselves The Magic Hat bookclub as the books we are reading for future meetings are pulled from my magic hat.
As the official Magic Hat Bookclub Facebook forum states:
It is a bookclub for fab bookworms who love words, glamour and magic hats.
I do think bookclubs are a lovely thing to do. One friend I invited said, 'No way. I don't do groups and life is too short to read books dictated by others.' I do see her point but I disagree. I think when you read outside your comfort zone you discover incredible treasures that enhance your life. I attend crime writer Tara Moss's Literary Salon. Through her salons I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and Monkey Mask by Dorothy Porter - two books I never would have thought would interest me but I loved both of them so much!
Tara's Salon also inspired me to start my own bookclub as her events are very glamorous, stimulating and fabbo but I realised I knew many fabbo people as well and I don't see them as often as I would like due to the fact we all live such busy lives.
My neighbour and pal are also starting a craft group which also has a large number of people wanting to come along. I do love the idea of forming these community groups of women in inner-city areas where we can meet to learn crafting skills or discuss books. It is the always inspiring Pip Lincolne from Meet Me at Mikes! who also got me thinking about bookclubs and crafting groups as she had achieved so much with her Brown Owls in Melbourne.
How about you? Are you a person who loves group and community meetings? Do tell, I'd love to hear. xx

Monday, December 7, 2009

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and My Cousin Dimity

Today I didn't feel like my usual inspiring Monday post. The hot weather in Sydney seems to have zapped my brain and I could barely move, let alone think. I had my ballet class this morning and it was like being in HELL. I've had three lessons so far and the tin man is still rusty as the tin man was three lessons ago. My ballet teacher told me about one of her latest students who is in her eighties. Can you imagine? She can't do the jumps but she does pretty much everything else. I'm willing to bet that she's more flexible than I am at the barre. One of the other students had her adorable baby daughter who was running around in her nappy as we sweated it out. I watched that child bending and moving to the music and had to sadly admit she was even more flexible than I am.
However, I am a sucker for torture and punishment and so no doubt I will be back next week trying vainly to do an arabesque as I contort myself into impossible positions.
My mother told me tonight on the phone about my third cousin ( I'll call her Dimity) Anyway, Dimity has long been an inspirational figure in our house. She's in her eighties and beautifully groomed and styled on a quite modest pension. She spends her free time doing beauty treatments for women who have been through chemotherapy for cancer. Dimity is eighty-four (oops, gave her age away there) For the last few months she's been sneaking out of the house on Sundays telling people she's going to church and she's been actually going to karate classes. She is working her way up through her belts.
I'll think of Dimity when I'm standing at the barre feeling like a total pants fool next week. It's never too late and you're never to old to have a bash or make a pants fool of yourself.
Enjoy your week.
Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them - Richard Bach

all images courtesy of weheartit

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fabbo Friday and Wild Blood

A fab movie I saw on World Movies last week was Wild Blood, released in Italy 2008 as Sanguepazzo. It is the true story of Luisa Feradia, 1914-1945, an Italian actress who graduated from supporting roles to more featured parts in the late 1930's because of her beauty. Luisa became involved with Osvaldo Valenti, a famous actor who was linked with several Fascists. He was arrested with a pregnant Luisa and both were executed on the street without trial. Luisa was 31 when she was shot.

Monica Bellucci portrays Luisa. The character Luisa comes from nowhere, she has no idea of how to eat or behave, and has to be groomed by the studio heads. Osvaldo is played extremely well by Luca Zingaretti. These are not the most likeable of characters at times, especially Osvaldo, but you cannot help feeling some degree of sympathy for them when a pregnant Luisa is shot.

Monica as you can imagine looks divine and the costumes and jewellery she wears are all jaw-dropping. I think Bellucci has to be the most beautiful woman actress on screen of this time. She reminds me of a modern day Sophia Loren. She is a welcome change to the trend of stick-thin, haughty looking actresses that seem so favoured. I loved all the sets of this movie. I don't know a lot about Italian films of the 30's and 40's and so it was an interesting film for that alone. It is gritty and disturbing in places but a movie I would watch again. It seems strange that since its premiere at Cannes in 2008, there has been little heard of this movie. At least not in Australia
Enjoy your weekend and thanks for visiting me. xx

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chit-Chat Wednesday and Dollhouse Blues

I'd like to live inside my daughter's dollhouse
drinking endless cups of gingery tea
composing spidery fairytales in thumb-sized books
to read to my daughter when she played with me
all my problems would be miniature
and fit on a china saucer and plate
in a world that's flowery, cozy, and pink
I could daydream amongst my doll friends
and have ample time to be and think

all images courtesy of weheartit