Monday, November 26, 2012

Well, I am afraid to say the Willows have found things a little slow round here the last few weeks.  We have been potty training - WITH SUCCESS!  So, our orbit has been very close to home.  But, with everything in hand now, this weekend we decided to show the Willows a little bit more of Darwin.

Alas, we didn't make it to the crocodile park because by the time we got out of church on Sunday it was just too jolly hot to take the children out.

Anyway, on Saturday we hit the city with the Willows in tow.

First stop was the USS Peary memorial.  We thought it important to highlight Darwin's wartime history to the Willows, it being the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese this year.  On 19 February 1942, 242 Japanese aircraft bombed Darwin and its harbour.  Darwin was subject to another 63 bombing raids over 1942 and 1943.

The 19 February raids killed at least 243 people including 91 souls on board the USS Peary that was sunk in Darwin harbour

Although, the Willows are British their long term host is American so they felt they should pay their respects at this memorial.

[I hasten to add, I had intended taking some photos of the Willows and Darwin harbour but the man who was sleeping rough beside the memorial was already giving me some extremely strange looks as I was photographing the Willows on the gun!]

Of course, no visit to Darwin is complete without soaking up some sun under the palm trees on the Darwin foreshore. 

Next, the Willows checked out some accommodation at Mandalay house.

Can't see them?  They are hiding on the fence.

Then, off to take in some aboriginal art in the city centre.

After all that sight-seeing the poor Willows and Ginger were stifling so they took a well earned rest under a Frangipani tree which shades Lyon Cottage, built in 1923 for the British Australian Telegraph Company.  And which, unlike much of Darwin, has survived both bombing and Cyclone Tracy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Joining LMLD for PHFR


Ginger is looking 'too cool for school' in the rainbow dress and beads Grandma sent down from Singapore.

She even found a book to co-ordinate with the outfit.


A few months ago I was doing research into dyslexia and its inheritability.  There is clear indicativity that it is strongly inheritable.  A Father with severe (but largely overcome) dyslexia puts our kids in a very high risk category.

Like any Mother, I decided act on this news.

I got in touch with Ginger's godmothers - speech therapists both.  

The consensus was that early and wide exposure to the sounds of phonics are the best preventative measure I can put in place.  Phonics being extremely difficult for Dyslexics to 'hear'.

And, of course we continue to send prayers that neither child will be affected.

In my travels I constantly came upon recommendations for the phonics programme Jolly Phonics.

Then a blogger whose wisdom and discernment I trust - Mama UK - mentioned that she had used it in teaching her kids to read.

I am in no way seeking to teach reading at this stage, but I think the musicality of the program makes it great for really young children.

And Ginger loves it.

We have been working on book one for a while now, about five minutes a day, a couple of times a week.  Ginger loves to sing the song "S, S, Snake in the grass"

The other day at the supermarket while we were waiting at the deli counter Ginger pointed out the "T" in FETTA which scrawled on the deli glass.

It made me so HAPPY.


Tom Kitten has been crawling almost 6 weeks now, and I am ending up with all those photos snapped just as he reaches the camera.


Tis mango season here in the NT.

And in the interest of preserving the bounty into the future we decided to buy a dehydrator.

Turns out dehydrating mangoes is actually a lot of work.

It took me literally a whole day of work to fill the dehydrator.

Because no sooner do I peel a mango and get my hands sticky than I have a child begged to be picked up, or I have to go and monitor the fragile truce that exists between a toddler and a crawling baby!

And, that dehydrator is huge!  Reading dimensions on an internet site would probably have been a good idea.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Willows come to stay

The Willows have arrived from Pom Pom's blog via Quilter Liz in Victoria.

It has been a long journey for them, and to quote Prince Charles on his visit to Australia last week, they are "so jetlagged that they are a few snags short of a BBQ"!

Fearful that their tiredness may have left them vulnerable to illness, the quarantined themselves for a few days while the rest of the household was sick.  But, word is, they are out and about now.

Of course like all houseguests we had to make them feel welcome with hugs and kisses on their arrival!

Then it was on to explore the facilities.  Toad availed himself of some four-wheeled transportation.  Watch out Toady, your last adventure on the road did not end well.

Ratty decided to give some tropical fruit a try.  It is mango madness here in NT at the moment.  Mangoes galore in our house too.  Ratty thought some of these might just about be big enough for him.

Mole thought that the tropical blooms currently on the sideboard would be worth an explore.  One can never tell where one will find a setting which co-ordinates so well with one's striking orange bloom!

Greater adventures planned for coming weekend, there may even be crocodiles involved.  Ratty and Mole a little nervous but Toad full of his usual bravado.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Well, I am posting this much later than I intended to!  Poor Ginger has been sick with a middle ear and throat infection, and now it seems as though Tom Kitten has succumbed to the same.  At least Mr Provincial and I are on the mend since we all got sick at the same time.

So joining in Auntie Leila's challenge to spruce the bedroom up.


Well, this is where work started  - on the bookcase.  Inherited from my great-Aunt it is not one of our favourite pieces of furniture.  But, how much better it looks now that I removed all the double stacked books off it!  In fact, I think I could even say it is looking PRETTY now.


I cleaned off the enormous pile of Tom Kitten's outgrown clothing (and a few bits of mending) that had accumulated in this space.  I made enough room for my jewelry box to be retrieved from elsewhere in the room, not actually much in it but the memories of picking it out on a day trip to Crow's Nest with Mr Provincial and Ginger make me happy.

Given that the change table is likely to be a part of our room for a while to come I tidied everything up and it looks a lot better. I suppose I am HAPPY that the children I am so blessed to call my own mean I get to have something as utalitarian as a change table in our room.

I finally got all the odds and ends which seem to find their way onto the dresser cleared away.  Much better.   


Tom Kitten offered his own particular brand of help to the bedroom sprucing process.


My favourite chair and painting, sit next to a small stack of mending.  Didn't quite get everything off the bedroom sprucing to do list!

I still love this bed, bought in Melbourne when we were posted there.  A mattress update is in the works as the springs have sprung in this one and on one side they have a tendency to stick into you:)

Did manage to switch out the drawers in the bedside tables, only 6 months late.  We swapped sides of the bed when I had a little internal hot water bottle and the airconditioning just wasn't cutting it.  When we swapped back when Tom Kitten arrived I never got round to swapping the drawers back over.  A five minute job now done.

Missing pillow explained by a still slumbering Mr Provincial who took to the spare room bed after our all nighter with Ginger and her poor ears.