Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 32 - A brand spanking new Kitchen Aid mixer

Recently my dear old Kenwood from 1984 died a slow and graceful death. Despite prohibitive costs we (well, I) decided to lash out and buy the sexy red Kitchen Aid mixer which is reputed to be so good that your kids inherit it. Can't wait to use it but I think I'll wait until the weather gets cooler. By about 25 degrees!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 31 - Heat damage in the garden

After several days well over 40 degrees celcius, some of the plants in my garden have been burnt to a crisp. Just as I was thinking the camellias have never looked so green and bushy, one day of 46 has finished them off. The robinia, a favourite of mine with its giant ball-shaped greenery - has lost all its leaves and created a crackly carpet on the grass underneath it. Today we have a drop in temperature, but in my area it's still going to be 39 degrees. I suppose that's better than 46 but the next few days will be in the mid-to-low 30s which is an improvement.

Day 30 - I feel ridiculous OR the heat has gone to my brain

Yes, the heat has finally frizzled the wiring in my brain. Decided to give the webcam a go and ended up with this ridiculous, self-conscious photo of me grinning for no good reason.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 29 - I love toys!

You may as well know this now - I love toys! I never grew out of them, and I loved having kids because it gave me an excuse to keep buying them. This cycling duck cracks me up. He cycles around and the bits on top of his hat whizz around. As you can see, some of them are sadly missing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 28 - Scorching heat

43 degree heat and many trees have burnt leaves. I wonder how much will die in the garden this Summer? This Japanese maple will lose most of its leaves - with four consecutive days over 40 degrees, and 30s after that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 27 - Old books

This is a selection of some of my old books - most of them German. Wouldn't it be nice if these old beauties made a comeback? Meanwhile, these books sit on a shelf in a dark, cool corridor, partially protected from the heat we are currently experiencing. Four days of 40 degrees Celcius and above.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 26 - Playing with the new webcam

What do you do when you get a webcam for the first time? Mr 18 took closeup shots of various parts of his face. Here's one of the least frightening ones.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 25 - Abandoned shopping trolley

I was walking to my car after having lunch out for my Name Day, and I passed this abandoned shopping trolley full of leaves, branches and paper. Not sure what was going on here.

Day 24 - Summer School concert

Tonight we went to the concert which is the culmination of 5 days of rehearsal attended my younger son, Maxim, at the annual Summer School. Tonight's program for the symphonic orchestra was Sibelius and Tchaikovsky.

Day 23 - The flying trapeze artists

I was passing the City Square in Melbourne this afternoon, and stopped to watch the trapeze artists who set up there. What a glorious day today, especially compared to yesterday's hot, windy and dusty weather.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 22 - Fresh basil

I was given a large bunch of fresh basil from someone's garden. I love the fresh aroma in the kitchen! The basil has been picked with roots, but I'm not going to plant it because I find it just wilts. Just had some on fiore di latte and fresh tomato. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 21 - My camera-shy doggy

For some reason my dog, Tochka - a Maltese X Shihtzu - is afraid of the camera. It may be the flash. It's so funny to see her slink away from the camera, very low to the ground. Sometimes she jumps onto me and climbs onto my neck. Btw, Tochka is a Russian word which can be translated as 'spot', 'dot' or 'full stop'. I think she's more of a semi-colon.

Day 20 - the burning giraffe

We made this burning giraffe as a prop for a Salvador Dali Notables project. It's 4 years old now, and has almost been thrown out many times. It doesn't seem like that long ago my older son was in year 8, and now he's finished school. The giraffe hasn't aged much, but I'm sure that I have.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 19 - First indigenous Orthodox priest

Fr Seraphim's ordination to the priesthood 18 January 2009, the day before Theophany. This is an historic occasion - he is the first Indigenous person to become an Orthodox priest.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 18 - My samovar is tarnished

My poor samovar. It needs Silvo. By the way, 'samovar' is a composite word: 'samo' meaning by itself; and 'var' from 'varit' ' meaning to cook (or boil, in this case). A friend gave this to me when Melbourne University was getting rid of 'stuff'. Here ends the lesson.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 17 - Victoria Market

Saturday mornings we usually go to Vic Market. Today it was sunny, fresh and colourful.

Day 16 - Gingerbread house

I think that maybe it's time to eat the gingerbread house.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 15 - Immersed in reading

Here's my husband engrossed in reading 'Finnikin of the Rock' by Melina Marchetta. Great, I'll use him for a quick but pertinent review for my boys' reading blog. Nothing better than a male role model for boys.

Day 14 - Old map of Russia

This is part of an old map of Russia hanging in my study. It shows the different terrains - desert, tundra, forest and steppes - and which animals live there. I inherited this map while teaching at a Saturday school for Russian language a long time ago. Sorry about the terrible photo quality, especially since I left this photo late and had to use flash and ceiling light. I love old maps, especially massive ones.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 13 - Getting together with friends

There's nothing more pleasurable in life than getting together with good friends.

Day 12 - Sunny days indoors

I love the Summer school holidays. It takes me several weeks to relax and I feel just about relaxed now. Lazing around, warm weather, good company - you can guess what else is happening in this photo. Trouble is, soon I'll have to start tensing up as the time to go back to school approaches...

Day 11 - Mixing salad for lunch

Here I am mixing salad for lunch with family and friends. Another lovely day with warm weather, good food and company, laughter.

Day 10 - Drive up the mountain on the sunny day

Quite spontaneously this morning we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and take a drive to the Dandenongs. Here are my sons about to enjoy lunch.

Day 9 - Byzantine chandelier

I adore Byzantine art and architecture. Here is an example of a Byzantine chandelier which is in our church in East Brunswick. It was made recently from a Byzantine design. Simple but beautiful.

Day 8 - Family dinner

The second day of Russian Orthodox Christmas we had a family get-together at our place. These are the cousins gathered for a forced photo by Aunt Inna. They look happy but I'm not sure this is how they felt! Sasha is the tallest one, and he looks happy because at midnight before this day he finally got his year 12 results after a long and stressful wait (one result pending because of teacher's error) - and he got a perfect score!

Day 7 - Maxim's paper icon

My younger son likes to draw mini Byzantine icons for feast days. Here's his Christmas (Nativity) icon. He has boxes full of paper icons and wreaths for different feast days.

Day 6 - Christmas eve

It's Christmas eve for Russian Orthodox 6th January. We go to a vigil service in the evening which lasts about 3 hours. I'm singing in the choir so time goes a little quicker than if you stand in the body of the church. The icon of the Nativity is painted in the Byzantine style.

Day 5 - Sasha doesn't get his year 12 results

'What is this!?' 18 yo went in to get his year 12 IB results, and the physics mark for one batch of students was pending! Frustrated, dismayed, confused.... No indication of what happened or how long it will take to receive final mark.

Day 4 - it's still Christmas and it isn't yet Christmas

Although I love shiny, glittery Christmas decorations, there's something good about the simple, wooden German ones. As you can see, we still have Christmas decorations up in readiness for our (second) Christmas when others have taken theirs down.

Day 3 - Seinfeld fan

We all love Seinfeld in our family. Here's Sasha doing his Kramer face.

Day 2 - school holidays

My younger son, Maxim relaxing during his Christmas holidays. You can see my laptop on the couch in the background, where it almost permanently resides, ready for me to do some time-wasting.

Day 1 - Christmas tree

Since I'm Russian Orthodox and we follow the Julian calendar, our Christmas is 13 days behind everybody's else's. Hence the tree still presiding in our dining room after New Year.

365 photos challenge!

Around New Year I saw on Twitter that people were taking up the 365 photos challenge. I thought about it and decided it was too hard. That would mean taking and posting one photo a day. Before I knew it, I had signed up to this challenge in 3 groups:
Twitter 365 group; 2009/365; and 365/2009. Don't ask me why I joined 3. Probably because I couldn't decide on one.