Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 273 - Dali

Finally went to the Dali exhibition in its last week in Melbourne. We arrived at about 7.30 pm and stood snaking for an hour before getting in. My enthusiasm had waned and I tried to be patient as Mr 16 spent 10 minutes in front of each picture in the first two rooms only. There were over 200 pictures!! Planted myself on a couch and watched people. Soon Dali's infectious surrealism spread like fungus and I found myself agitated about the crowd. Everything seemed so ridiculous and pointless. Everyone else was getting into it. I was wallowing in some kind of existentialist drama.

I wanted to go back to this (earlier today in the front yard)
Or even this - the gypsy band that was playing in the gallery while people were drinking and dancing (strange contrast to the library-like hushed quiet of the gallery normally).

Waiting in line for so long, I stared at the ceiling

Finally we left. Somehow managed to walk back to the car without melting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 272 - Sun for a change

The sun was very welcome today after such a grey and wet term holiday so far. I ventured out for afternoon tea with friends, followed by dinner with a good friend I don't see very often except online.

Here's what I made to take for afternoon tea.

First of all, the melted chocolate stage.

The brownies (not as blurry in real life)

I arrived at Southbank just as it was beginning to get dark and took this photo.

Oh, and my tree peony opened up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 271 - Box

Simple engineering is remarkable. I love this box which I inherited from my husband's grandmother. I think it came with a sewing machine. See how it opens up.

This series of photos have absolutely nothing to do with my day which unfolded without a camera and in the coldest, most miserable day we've experienced for a while (or at least since yesterday). Seriously, it's been colder than all winter.
We drove to a cafe by the sea in Albert Park to have a celebratory birthday breakfast for my sister. Pity I couldn't share pics of us battling to cross the road, umbrellas flipping in and out, faces intent, present getting soaked. The greyness swallowed the difference between sea and sky. Once inside we were warmed by good company, hot breakfast (and a heater - obviously). Laurent cakes followed too soon, and I was left with some regret.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 270 - Honey cake

Kitchen duty today, and it's a lenten day (Elevation of the Cross) so I didn't have a clue what I was going to bake since I couldn't use eggs or dairy. Finally I settled for honey, cinnamon and nutmeg cake which is the easiest cake in the world to make, and quick too.

We made piroshki as always. Today's selection was rice and mushroom, cabbage and onion, and potato - both fried and baked, as well as the sweet ones with apple and dusted with sugar. These are the baked ones, a slightly healthier choice (although they all usually give me heartburn). You definitely couldn't live on these for very long, but they're quite good hot once in a while.

I took a picture of my son's god-daughter because I love her intensely focussed expression.

Day 269 - Rain rain

Rain, so much rain lately. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful. It's just funny that the forecast predicted sunny, warmer days for the first week of the holidays, but nothing could be further from the truth. Grand final today, and somehow the football players survived. Not that I'm vaguely interested, but Geelong won against St Kilda. I feel as if I'm on another planet; football means nothing to me, although sometimes I think - wouldn't it be good to feel the solidarity that comes from that passionate team loyalty. I've seen families base their whole Winter socialising around football. Then get depressed when the season is over ('What will we do now?') Very foreign to me. Oh well, each to his own.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 268 - War hoarding

Do you think, for coffee addicts, we have a few too many coffee filter packets? You can never have too many - surely. Some aspects of my life are definitely influenced by my parents' War Hoarding Syndrome. Buying up in case they run out, in case of bad times... The types of things that fall into this category? Let me see.... Well, toilet paper, of course. Pasta, tinned tomatoes, tissues, toothpaste - that kind of thing. What do you hoard?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 267 - Kitchen tiles

My sister painted these on my kitchen tiles. They're taken from a Russian kid's book of tales by Pushkin. Pushkin is revered by Russians in the same way Shakespeare is by the English-speaking world. Even growing up in Australia, we all recited Pushkin, performed Pushkin, and had special cultural days in his honour.
If you'd like to see more of the tiles, have a look at my Flickr set

Day 266 - Lalo Symphonie Espagnole

Maxim (Mr 16) has just started to learn Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole - Andante (4th movement). This is in response to Susan's request to hear him play. Pity about the bad sound and picture quality, and obviously the piece is in its early stages.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 265 - Once upon a time

It's interesting to look back. I was weeding out the filing cabinet and I found something Maxim had written at the start of grade 2. I remember he suddenly decided he wanted to learn the violin, and later that year we found a teacher for him. Here he writes: 'I want to play vialin and I will'. He did. And he still does.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 264 - Day of Triumph

O triumphant day! The day that Maxim was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Year 10 2010 is going to be an exciting year.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 263 - Youthraising

Today's photo captures one of the small team of happy fundraisers in our Youth Committee at church. This member got up at 3 am to start off the yeast-based dough so that it was ready for piroshki-making this morning. Along with a hearty soup nicknamed 'Bob' (I'm presuming it's derived from the Russian word for beans, bobi), and the aforementioned pirohki (meat, potato and apple - that's separate, not together), the offering also included various cakes and twisted bread loaves.

I know the photo is blurry, but I still wanted to include it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 262 - Saturday in the city

Our Saturday breakfast place had the cutest looking tartlets. I wouldn't mind trying the raspberry ones.

We walked across to the Arts Centre, Black Box, to have a look at the Indoor Laneway project, an exhibition of digital sound and art work. A wonderful collaborative project by students of Whitefriars College and Mooroopna Secondary College.

Day 261 - Escape

Last day of term and we've flown the coop. That unbeatable feeling of packing up and leaving the workplace for the long-awaited stretch of 2 weeks. Sunny day and the promise of many more. Blossoms, the sound of grass being mowed, people walking their dogs, planned outings. Very nice.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 260 - Safe return

Mr 16 has returned safely from Cadet Camp. I wasn't sure what condition to expect him in. I kept imagining him 'out there' without a tent in the cold, windy night. Would he return sick, broken, battered, bullied, burnt? He came back healthy, a few blisters, chatty and hyped. Now he's showered, well fed and the washing machine is humming happily. So am I.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 259 - Banana-choc shake

Warm day today - warmer than most days we've had so far this Spring. Not that Spring has had a chance to kick in. Coming home, Guest Photographer made me a lovely banana-choc shake. Immediately put me into a good mood. A small luxury makes all the difference.
Guest Photographer has taken a similar photo, in fact, he took the original photo, but I don't apologise for this. Living in the same house will sometimes lead to replicating photos.
If you're interested in his photo, read his post:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 258 - Sunny laundry day

My day off, and a sunny one. Laundry always seems so much more cheerful on a sunny day. Just enough breeze and the right amount of sun. For a change I have time to myself without anything pressing. Everybody should have a day off a week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 257 - Duck family

Our duck couple at school have had ducklings. I've been hoping to catch a glimpse of them for a few days now. Today I rushed out with the camera after a tip-off from a colleague and followed them across the grass over the path and into the pond. Amazingly the boys stopped to let the ducks pass. Seems they have more respect for them than their teachers. We just get bowled over. Might start quacking.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 256 - The whole bloomin' lot!

Everything is either blooming or about to bloom. My absolute favourite time of the year - well, apart from Autumn when everything is changing colour. Pity it's a gloomy day and the colours have turned out dull.

The Crab Apple (Floribunda) is in full bloom now, and will probably lose its blossoms with a few more strong winds.

The Winter-flowering Quince has almost finished flowering.

These succulents always look the same.

Day 255 - Retro

We had lunch at Retro in Brunswick Street for Mr 19's namesday (St Alexander Nevsky). Retro has a Fitzroy flavour - a little like a colourful Salvos.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 254 - Packing for camp

Packing for Cadet camp. Mr 16 on the piano for a prolonged play, getting the most out of an instrument he won't see for 6 days. Sleeping under the stars, digging your own toilet, doing whatever it is Cadets do out in the bush. I'm just happy I can stay home.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 253 - Dichotomy

A strange picture, in my opinion. The cadet uniform doesn't sit well with the music making. Yes, I've heard of army bands. It's just that cadets has not been Mr 16's favourite activity. The uniformity, the yelling, the endless marching for no particular reason, punishment for a hair out of place... Compare that to the freedom of musical headspace.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 252 - Reprieve

Just enjoying the bliss that comes from a release of anxiety. The same feeling you experience when you come out of feeling really sick. When you can rejoice in all things around you once again, take your focus out from within yourself and your problems and back into your environment. Currently, our crab apple is looking spectacular. I so love deciduous trees.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 251 - Audition day

So relieved that Mr 16's audition for the Victorian College of Arts Secondary School is over. Now I can unfocus and refocus. Breathing easily. Mr 16 was happy and enjoyed a drive through Maccas lunch on the way home. Parents weren't permitted past a certain point in the school building but I managed to take a picture from the front entrance of the ceiling. Then a second picture through the window in the cafeteria.

The next photo is a bit of a worry. See the red tower in the photo below. Apparently this expels all the underground exhaust. I wonder where I can research this.

Day 250 - The pantry of my mind

Feeling stressed, Mr 16's physical wellbeing is unclear, and I'm unsure about how to proceed with the audition tomorrow. If he were worse, I'd have rung today to ask for a later audition, but he's borderline. Going to bed and hoping to sleep. Maybe the morning will make things clearer. Meanwhile, the pantry has been a source of temporary comfort.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 249 - Fragile

Fragile today. Mr 16 is getting sick, and I'm worried about Tuesday's audition. I would love to learn to let go and stop worrying when I can't change things.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 248 - Nothing much

Well, at least I got out of the house for a bit longer today, and even drove my car - felt a bit weird. Starting to feel a little more normal. Mr 16 had the second of his two sessions with the composition team that was chosen by the 3MBS competition. This time it was in the Bishop's Parlour - love the way they've retained the original names at The Convent. He came out excited, chatting happily about the constructive criticism the students shared when looking at all the compositions. I was even more convinced that he would thrive at the Victorian College of Education Seconday School (VCASS) where he would be doing this kind of thing every day.

Still tense as the audition day (Tuesday) approaches, and true to my compulsive/obsessive nature, I become more panicky that he'll catch my virus and not be able to hold the violin.

Coming back with Mr 16 from dinner and a relax at my mother's place, we found Mr 19 and a friend baking muffins at 10 pm. You can read more about that here, if you like.