Thursday, May 5, 2011

Running genes

Not from my side of the family at all - my claim to sporting fame is having got a compound fracture of the arm by falling over in a backwards-running race. These days they don't do novelty races for the athletically challenged, they just have everyone participate. I actually like the idea of that better as the novelty races were totally humiliating, even before the accident. (I graduated to being sent as far outfield as possible when playing any sort of ball game. Mostly I would then be away with the fairies whenever a ball came anywhere near me, but if I was alert enough to realise the ball was coming I would cower down at grass level with my arms over my head. This did not endear me to my team-mates nor the sports teacher.)

Anyway. Today at their primary school cross-country day Running Boy came fourth and Cheekus came eighth. (Last year Princess ran for the first time ever; in the preceding six years she had walked-and-chatted with assorted friends. She came a very creditable 20th with no preparation whatsoever.) RB's result was terrific for a sprinter over 3 km; CW's was totally unexpected as his only purposes for going to Little Aths appear to be to socialise and to inveigle his way into pushing the equipment trolley at pack-up time.

And to chase the beetles which one evening fell from the sky, we don't know why.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011


By now everyone everywhere must know about the floods in Queensland. This story brought me undone.

We're lucky, the people we know are safe. I haven't been online for yonks and I'm wondering if the crafting community is getting mobilised for flood relief the way it did for the Victorian bushfires in 2009? Otherwise, if you're local here are some ways to help; for the others, the Salvoes say donating money is the best thing to do at present.

I remember helping to sort goods donated for bushfire victims and although many things were superb and most obviously very well-meant there were too many decrepit strollers smelling of old wee, tattered lamps, obviously incomplete toy sets and so on - it looked suspiciously as if people had taken the chance to upgrade and told themselves they were being good by donating the junk they were replacing. It was still junk. There was a small mountain of stuff that simply could not be given to anyone, let alone those who had been through the bushfires. Mind you, there were many toys we volunteers thought were good but were directed to reject. The strangest thing I remember seeing was a huge crate of sweet potatoes. As we finished, pallets were made up and shrinkwrapped to send out: a load of portacots; a load of new sleeping bags donated by the manufacturer; a load of high chairs in various conditions. One day, a harried and upset woman came through to pick out particular things for a family that had been burnt out. She was a relief co-ordinator and was trying to assemble a household's worth of essentials, knowing that many of the things - a wardrobe for instance - would not be there. I don't know how much of her list she was able to find.

Anyway. Crafter I'm not, but if anything's being organised let me know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That's that, then

About a week ago I was made-redundant-by-surprise. There were some post-termination negotiations as a result of which I can't say anything more, except that if anyone is looking for a rather good senior *****r I may be interested. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy ummmm

After only 17 years of marriage the CEO can be forgiven for forgetting it was my birthday...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There's a new frog in town

We have two new frogs courtesy of J's Mum's weariness with cricket procurement and enclosure-cleaning. I have to admit that relative to a dog or even a guinea-pig, frogs do not give a great deal back in terms of companionship. J is one of Cheekus' Four First Row Best Friends. He has seven Third Row Best Friends, one of whom is the only girl in any Row, and strangely only two Second Row Best Friends.

I now have two young Spotted March Frogs. They have less appealing faces than my eight remaining Southern Browns but have beautfully patterned - spotted - skins. The little one is rather green and the bigger one is brownish grey. They are slightly less shy than the brownies and like to sit in the water. The marshies have little claws and no webbing on their feet; they can't climb very well but they swim with great verve.

The brownies like to hide in curled-up leaves and look faintly horrified at being made to swim. They like to clamber up the sides of their container using their suction-toed little treefrog feet. I think there is no doubt the brownies are obese. Their bellies bulge out all over, they ignore crickets sauntering brazenly past them and a representative sample (one) failed the hop test. This is when you let a frog climb to the top of the box, hop off, and then gently encourage it to keep hopping in the grass by moving a hand close up behind it. (No contact required.) My sample brownie managed three short, floppy, rather pathetic hops before deciding that being eaten by a hand probably wasn't so bad after all and staying put. If anyone knows of some helpful frog-conditioing exercises let me know.