Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
There's fennel for you, & columbines; there's rue for you; & some for me; we may call it herbgrace o' Sundays; Oh you must wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died: they say he made a good end.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Shakespeare. Who hangs like the executor's axe over all of English literature ~ or shines like a beckoning beacon to be hastened toward amidst the flotsam in between ~ depending on your point of view of course.
Now I like Shakespeare. I appreciate him. What's not to like about a man who invented a character like Falstaff ~ whom I have not introduced Ditz too! I'm over the fart jokes. I am particularly fond of the Merchant of Venice [how does one extract an ounce of flesh ~ & nothing else?!], the Taming of the Shrew [my particular favourite], Macbeth & King Lear. Hamlet, I confess, drives me crazy. The lad had a nasty mind, but the play that has me howling in the wilderness & laughing till I weep hysterically is Romeo & Juliet.
Yeah, I hear you. I know, I know; I'm a very twisted individual. But seriously; how can you not laugh at this play? You do remember being a teenager, don't you? The angst. The unrequited loves. The passion. Being so misunderstood all round. See, that's what I see. It's what I saw first time round when I saw Franco Zeffirelli's version with that quite lovely theme song. We were doing this play for Senior English & honestly, I was about a cot case by the time this film was done.
I actually really like what Baz Luhrmann did with this play, despite Leonardo Dicaprio. It is grittier, edgier, & I think brings out the insane teen thing much, much better. No, I don't think the teens are certifiable, just as hormonally unbalanced as any other teen.
See that's the thing. Not many adults are going to go round behaving in the lunatic ways that Romeo & Juliet do. Forbidden love? How exciting is that? Makes you feel all grown up & daring. Sneaking out at night, getting all warm & tingly under the stars. The blood hums ~ or so I'm told. I wasn't one of the ones sneaking out to meet boyfriends in the dead of night but I heard all about it come Monday morning before class began ~ & I went to a good church school too! No wonder I'm so cynical. I confess, I'm still 'mazed at what some of my peers did without batting an eyelid ~ & thought themselves very mature & grown up with it too!
It just gallops from there. Ever watched teen boys facing off? Uh~huh. I think Shakespeare was wickedly clever but you can't possibly take this play seriously. Ironic? Satirical? Oh, yes, indeed! The whole thing from beginning to end is a teen madhouse ~ illogical, unreasonable, completely daft! All that over the top passion; the extravagant declarations of love ~ & absolutely no thought for how they are going to live day to day, on what or where! Life sure comes to earth with a bump when the tummy rumbles.
And that ending! Now I went to an all girls school & I saw this for the first time when I was 16 so I saw it with a bunch of 16/17 year old girls who all thought it highly romantic. By the time we got to "Never was a story of more woe/Than Juliet & her Romeo", most of them had worked their way through a whole box of tissues & had tears streaming unashamedly down their cheeks. The auditorium was full of muffled sobbing. My tissues were halfway down my throat to prevent me from whooping with unrestrained glee. I thought then, & think now, it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen & I do not understand why people take this particular play so seriously. Treat it as a tragedy. I think you could make a good case for its being a morality play but tragedy? Phuleese! This is teen angst at it's most extreme & it's only teens who don't find that funny. Most of us grow up & get over ourselves. Most of us grow up & wince a little about that over serious wide~eyed teen we used to be who took life so seriously. It certainly took a teen brain to come up with the brilliant idea of faking their death & only another teen brain could come to the conclusion that the only correct response to that was to kill oneself! Yep. Complete lunacy all round.
I'm pretty certain Shakespeare wrote this tongue in cheek. He had a wicked sense of humour & he certainly never took himself over seriously. What is sad is that there are people out there, mostly teens, who seem to think this sort of behaviour makes them both romantic & tragic & actually behave like this! Some even die. That is a tragedy. The play is not.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Mrs C, over at Homeschool & etc has awarded me two blog awards ~ which is lovely BUT I am supposed to pass them on to 10/15 other bloggers & the truth of the matter is I don't actually know 10/15 other bloggers, well, not well enough to pass awards on to soooo, if you like awards help yourself & leave me a note to let me know you've accepted the award.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
We are back schooling. Yes indeed. After a rather shonkey start due to all the Issi drama & a ghastly *first day* wherein Ditz made it clear she felt she was well & truly educated enough. I have yet to add in all her music but I never do until I know exactly how unpredictable AVAE is going to be for the term. Very, I think.
Anyway nothing much changes round here. I'm not a curriculum hopper though my Sonlight supplier is no longer supplying. *sigh* Do hope I don't have to order from the States.
Anyway it will eventually be Sonlight 7 which covers WWII. Yes, I know. Ditz did Hitler last year & let's face it; I have a ditzy girl. She is not the least interested in either the political or the military aspects of said war. Ok, nor is her mother, but that's ok. There are other ways of skinning our cat. We have begun with Back to Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce. Now apart from the fact I adore these books for the books sake alone[they are funny & charming & completely politically incorrect!] a lot of social commentary is implicit. The books reflect the thinking of the times accurately. This is wonderful if you are trying to show how British arrogance contributed to the second war & why we, as Australians, felt so obligated to stick our noses into that European soup!
Back to Billabong takes place at the end 0f WWI & is quite simply a running commentary of the times: the lack of training of returning soldiers; the lack of available work; the inability to settle to a more normal lifestyle; the toll rationing took on people [there is a totally hysterical scene in a Melbourne dining hall where the Billabong crew remeets a 10 egg cake!]; the idea that the *colonies* were this great empty wilderness that needed to be filled with good British stock; the influenza epidemic...all of which form the backdrop for the Depression & the second war & is not normally Ditz's sort of book. I fully expected to hear her usual moan of, "It's boring!" In fact Ditz has listened in silence. I have been extra sneaky this time round. My copy of Back to Billabong does not in fact belong to me. It is one of my mother's many school prizes. The award plate for club work is still pasted inside the front cover. Ditz has listened while ma & I have discussed this book many times & how much ma loved & treasured her copies of these books. And if you're not Australian & don't own your own copy it is available as an E~book, free on~line!
My second choice has been Lewis' The Screwtape Letters ~ & you'd better believe Ditz is whining about this one! She has to think, poor chicken. I got the studies free on~line though I noticed you can buy whole books devoted to discussing this book that are far longer than the original!
I still have masses of worksheets from last year & our music & Home ec. Science I've just discovered I have to order. Apologia biology I think. I'd prefer botany but no~one seems to be offering botany ~ not even on~line. Anyone? Math, dear God! Please, please give me strength! I'm going to try Liddy's prac math, which we still have. At least it's free second time round.
Ditz has opted out of Island drama. Too amateurish but her quitting suites me. I wasn't ever keen but it was at least on island. Plus a study on Singapore though thanks to the doey Travel Agent our insurance won't be through in time for the next trip either! Grinding like the Mills of God.
And just because Ditz asked, a study of flowers & their meanings. She's going to hate me for this one. Really she will. Having thunk my thunks what I thunk was *lightbulb moment!* ~ Shakespeare!!! He's always waffling poetical about flowers. Surely, surely I could do something with that? Boy can I do something with that. Ophelia drowning herself in the Mersey finally makes sense! Not that I like Hamlet. He always struck me as a snivelling brat who couldn't deal with his mama being a sexual being & whined on & on about stuff that was none of his business. He really had a dirty little mind. My opinion & not shared by academia. I'll give you my take on why Romeo & Juliette is one of the funniest things I've ever seen one day. Whooped with laughter all through the final scenes while my entire Honours English class wept into their hankies. Honestly! But I digress. Ophelia...& Hamlet if I must. It's all in the flowers ~ the whole sad & sorry little tale of love betrayed. Hamlet was a cad! And if you want some really funny reading & are over the age of consent you can read on~line Margaret Attwood's retelling of the tale from Gertrude's point of view. An absolute howler! The things people find to say about Shakespeare's plays are often as good as the plays themselves.
So there you have it in a nutshell. We are off & running.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sunday was not a day of rest. Far from it. I can't even blame the kittens who, while not asleep when I rose from my bed, were not bouncing off our walls either. Nope it's all Liddy's fault.
Liddy needed to be on a 7am boat because this is the week she spends in Melbourne for her pre~field training. This is the last of the first things. If this goes well & according to plan then Chile is definitely on! It is a scary thought.
Anyway I made Liddy drive because the airport is across one of those 13 bridges that decorate the Brisbane River, which means driving through town on the highway & that is just not something I enjoy at any time & particularly not early in the morning. Besides, as I pointed out, I had to drive back. I know there is parking at the airport but we were destined not to find it & having driven round the circuit 3 times Liddy pulled over, I threw her out & abandoned her on the side of the road to sort herself out & headed home. Liddy is very competent & is now safely in Melbourne [another city I do not like! sorry Jeanne.] doing goodness knows what in order to go to the ends of the earth.
I was home in time for church. Now we have been seeing a shift in dynamics with our little church & as always when things have to be dealt with it is uncomfortable & because I am a woos Dearest is at the forefront of the firing line [which is how it should be scripturally anyway] but I hate upset. It upsets me, don'tcha know.
Now one reason amongst many for pulling out of our island church was leadership tolerance of blatant sin by a member been given leadership positions. Scripture speaks very strongly about such sin & how it will destroy the church, especially if that sin is a sexual sin & there is no repentance. Dearest & I felt very strongly that if we must go the home church way we wanted to be with Christians who wanted more of God & were willing to die to their flesh in order for that to happen. We are tired of nominalism. We also discerned very clearly from God that we were to judge people by their fruits. How else are we to discern their walk with God? By what they say? I hardly think so!
Now I want to make it very clear: I am not a wowser. I am all for people having a quiet drink or two in their own homes. Invite friends if you like. Party on! Not my thing. One small glass of wine & I'll be snoring under your table. I know that about me & rarely indulge. Liddy, who began having the occasional drink when she was legally of age, now rarely indulges either. Like me a drink or two brings out the aggro & we don't like who we become. We don't like that our Christian witness goes down the gurgler faster than a bomb. I appreciate that for some people a glass of good wine with a nice dinner is one of the delights of life. I also think this is an area where Christians have to tread very, very carefully. We are God's witnessness. If our witness is poor we jeopardise our ability to draw people to the One who saves.
Although not drinkers ourselves we did not object when those who are had a glass or two at our meals. They brought their own wine. They even brought their own glasses. BUT. Oh dear, oh dearie me! Over time the one drink became two, then three or four & what had begun as a pleasant evening became fueled by alcohol. This made us uncomfortable. It made others uncomfortable. A spirit other than Christ's was at work.
There are other issues, even more serious issues because again they are leadership issues. If you lead people into sin you are accountable for that! Dearest & I distressed & stressed about it & while we would not refuse fellowship we have made it very clear certain issues need to be addressed, that we will not tolerate the blatant mocking of God's law in our fellowship. If that means they will no longer fellowship with us, I can live with that. If they want to start up their own fellowship, I can live with that too. I won't be held accountable for what they choose to do under their own roof. It is very clear from God's word that those who presume to teach will be held to a higher accountability. It should be enough of a warning to make any right~minded person tremble in fear.
The fallout is bitter. Other people have been shocked & distressed by the behaviour. God is good. We still have people to fellowship with who feel as we do ~ & who were totally delighted that the kittens chose to join us for worship. We band~aided as best we could but only God can deal with unrepentant hearts. *sigh* The ravening lion is still doing his work & Christians are still cheerfully feeding themselves to him.
Then it was back to the mainland to pick up Ditz ~who was late, her driver having put his steering lock on while failing to bring his key with him! One destroyed steering lock later they arrived! Ditz is very sunburned & very tired & very... well very much her Ditzy self. She had a lovely time but we had agreed to pick up Dino for mainland church & both Ditz & I barely made it! I was well & truly fading half~way through the sermon, a sermon that did not make any of us happy. Yes, we are hard to please. Yes, we have exacting standards. Yes, the Lit major gets out her red pencil & starts editing. lol. We like the regular guy but this was the new senior pastor & I just felt he was trying a little too hard & he repeated himself way to much. I got it the first time, thanks, & my bed needs me. No, I'm not at my most tolerant once I get over tired. Dino, who cut his baby teeth on the theological arguments going on over his head, got grumpier & grumpier, having got his sermon in a nutshell while waiting for church to begin. [Mama's take on the new testament implications of Leviticus! Well, what do you talk about while you wait for church to begin?]
We missed the 8.15 home & waited nearly an hour for the next boat where Ditz got flirted with by TWO! yes, two, different boys!!! Ditz got creeped out & her mother was ready to hand her a burkah on the spot! Her father will once again consider bricking her in her room until she turns 45! Oh my!
I walked in my own door with relief, thinking I'd slump in my chair & tease my kittens before heading to bed but Dearest had been waiting 7 hours for me to reappear, desperate for computer help. All that church must have had some effect. I didn't grump. I barely sighed. Eventually I opened my Facebook page to find Liddy, thoughtful child that she is, had left me a message assuring me that yes, she's arrived safely; yes, she got picked up; no, no strange man has run away with her yet; yes, her host family is totally wonderful & hasn't God got a great sense of humour because her host's sense of humour is just like ours & no, she's not picking up pointers for dad; he has enough bad jokes of his own! Thanks, Lid.
Friday, February 19, 2010
True, Kirby likes a slightly more high risk lifestyle. It's not like it's been cold....I believe he also escaped last night while I was dropping Ditz at the church for a weekend camp. [They've gone down to Burleigh Heads] He spent some time on the verandah before Liddy noticed & while he wasn't spooked & didn't run away he wasn't real happy about being recaptured & relegated to the rank of prisoner again. We do have hawks & they do take small pets so he can't be given the unsupervised run of our yard just yet. He's been staring longingly through our big windows for days & it must look & smell amazing to any cat worth their salt.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing & devote our attention to eating ~ Pavarotti.
I can manage to ignore people quite well. The kittens are another matter entirely. They do better if they are fed regularly & often. I fed them while cursing Google. What is the matter with Google at the moment? It is sending me all round the world instead of where I want to be. No matter. I fed the cats & went back to fending of Dearest with one elbow because his suggestions were not helpful & while it was taking far more time than it should I did actually know what I was doing ~ though far too frustrated to give on~line lessons about it just then.
The hands of the clock went round & round & Ditz gravitated towards the kitchen. Being Ditz & my daughter she wanted to make dessert. Apple Crumble from here. Great recipe & it made absolute heaps. In fact it made so much there was enough for breakfast too ~ & it is healthy enough for a substantial breakfast! Just so you know we are not completely decadent. Chocolate, as we all know, is a whole food & good at any time at all!
Having taken care of the essentials Ditz offered to cook dinner ~ which was macaroni cheese with hot buttered toast because neither Ditz nor I are eating meat & Dearest just had to eat whatever got served up by then ~ & grateful for it too!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Ditz was performing yesterday. At 8AM. That's right 8AM!!! This meant Ditz had to rise at 5.30 am ~ which is almost unheard of~ to be on a 6.35 am boat so she could meet her lift on the other side by 7am. All of which we managed. Not without difficulty. Ditz was barely awake & what I am normally doing at that hour of the morning, before I have to wake up properly, is blogging.
There was only one small hiccup as I dropped Ditz off [apart from the fact the child has a cold & is whining incessantly about a piddling little stuffed nose]; for a whole 20 minutes said child had to be on her own with no~one to drive crazy except herself.
However Ditz did eventually, albeit reluctantly, get out of the car & wander down the jetty. I hoped she was a little more functional in an hour, before she had to sing, & went home to my cats, who on finding all their alpha females gone & Dearest still in bed, had had a meltdown & gone into hiding. *sigh*
Several hours later Ditz returned to the island glowing with virtue & the sort of giddiness performing gives her. I inquired after the performance anxiously. The target audience was a bunch of psychiatrists & psychologists ~ notoriously hard nuts. Ditz looked Smug. She'd missed rehearsal. Peak hour traffic & an erratic GPS got them to the uni late. I waited, knowing how fraught Alison can get in these circumstances but
"We're all good," my child informed me. "Alison loves me forever & ever."
For being LATE?
"No; for having a spare shirt."
Whoa there, Nellie! Come again?
For reasons that will probably forever escape me because there's no way on God's little green planet that Ditz will ever again fit into her spare orange VM shirt, Ditz had shoved her spare shirt into her bag along with her make~up kit, her spare ribbons & bobby pins, her snack & water bottle. Thank goodness she did. One of the girls arrived in the wrong uniform & without her other shirt. At that time of the day on a school morning numbers were minimal so she was going on, wrong shirt or not. Ditz arrived just before they were due to perform, had a spare shirt that fitted the other girl & Alison was able to relax & pretend there had never been any drama to start with.
I ever tell you how much I love you, Ditz? Way to go girl!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We are a little kitten obsessed just now. This is partly because the kittens are obsessed with us. Where are we? What are we doing? Why are we doing it? And why aren't we smooching with them? Nor are they backward in asking for smooches.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Murphy's Law [whatever can go wrong will] operates extremely effectively in our house. It is particularly effective when plans & budget are extra tight.
For some strange & unknown reason [probably to do with Creative Generation & the next Singapore tour] AVAE had not resumed when school went back, not even when the private schools went back. I breathed a sigh of relief thinking I had a good few days to settle kittens into their new home & we would have a term, like we always have, before performances began. Perish the thought!
Alison's e~mail came through late Friday, I think, because the girls had already left for the movies & I had to ring them & inform them not to be too late; there was a change of plans & we were now juggling times & commitments like nobody's business because Ditz was in rehearsal Saturday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon [yes, today] & is performing at the Uni by 8am Wednesday. KERBOOM!!!! Our term has started with a boom. At least the non~academic side of it has. Between Issi, kittens & the cold Ditz has picked up not much academic work has been done.
Meanwhile this is what happened when the storm started coming in last night. Both cats headed straight for Dearest. Kirby is parked between the computer & the printer, too dark to see, but Marlo promptly wedged himself between Dearest & his keyboard. ☺
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Unfortunately our council has limits on how many cats you can keep or I think we would have put dibs on Susie for Ditz. The boys were much more settled this morning though Kirby decided I need to be awake early because he needed a cuddle. Hm. I woke to a mouthful of cat hair & a resounding purr! Marlo at least waited till I was on the computer to crawl into my lap & become completely ecstatic! Though I keep water & a litter tray downstairs the boys remembered I have their bickies upstairs & when they were ready for breakfast they went & found it. I was so pleased as they had to be shut into our bedroom yesterday for church. Just too many people plus the 3 little girls! It was kinder to leave them somewhere safe where they wouldn't be disturbed. They, however, were highly insulted & not at all happy about the process.
They are far less frantic today though we are settling back into our usual routine & they got upset every time I went out in the car ~ once for Dino, once for Liddy.
Meanwhile other wildlife has been arriving in droves though why so much of it chooses to arrive in Ditz's room [who is less than thrilled] I do not know. With all the rain we have been hearing at least 3 different varieties of green tree frogs. This monster plonked himself against Ditz's window & scared the life out of her.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
One of the hazards of renovating & still building is a total lack of doors in this house. We thought our barrier was adequate until I left this morning closely followed by 2 thudding wackes as the boys launched themselves at the ply & scrabbled over it to join me, eager to explore their new home.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Walking along the boardwalk we check out what's happening in everyone's garden: who's planted what; who's hung a bird feeder; who's added an ornament; what's flowering, what's died, what needs cutting back.
The girls like to swim in the outdoor pool but there's been a little trouble with vandalism & the first thing the girls had to do was fish a lounge chair out of the pool. I do not know what pleasure people get out of doing this stuff but do it they do.
I always enjoy seeing what people have been working on & how much talent is being discovered even in old age.
Now we are back home & Ditz starts schooling again tomorrow. Oh, how she is looking forward to that!!! We got 6" of rain overnight & all the holiday washing got an extra rinse. Liddy, who has been stock~taking for 7 days straight & working big hours, was very glad to see us; she hadn't managed a wash & needed uniforms & socks. Well, I got her uniforms dry. Issi has hardly let me out of his sight & is in constant danger of being stepped on. Life is about to get back to what passes for normal around here. Oh my!
Friday, February 5, 2010
We did the short circuit, the 45 minute Wompoo walk ~ well 45 minutes is what it said on the trail guide but I'm pretty sure we took longer than that. Ma might be good for an Olympic sprint around the circuit but Ditz & I are dodderers.