The Quarter Century Princess


Okay, so my summer was pretty gloomy but, time didn’t stand still and so my daughter, the Princess, gained quarter century status on 11th September.
It’s such a cliche but it really does seem such a short time ago that she was a little thing celebrating her 1st birthday,  mesmerized by the candle and all that chocolate…..
Princess 1yrWith those big blue eyes she looked so sweet & innocent but really she was a bit of a street angel, home devil   Sophie Wright Dec 1993 Eastwood Pre-school
who grew into a determined & feisty teenager ….
sophbefore maturing into a lovely young woman with the most empathetic and compassionate heart of anyone I know.   I like to think this young man is very lucky to have her in his life….I know he spoilt her on her birthday so she probably didn’t notice that my $100 cheque, mentioned in my last post,  didn’t, and still hasn’t,  turned up…..
     Princess +

Really? You call this Spring?


I arrived back in DC expecting spring!   Silly me; why would I think that when we’ve just had our coldest, snowiest winter in 20 years?   In a day I went from t-shirt & sunscreen to puffy coat, layers of scarves & gloves.  Today we got about 2 inches of that cold, white stuff:   spring snow.Snow March 25.

I had an absolutely wonderful time home in Australia;  family, friends, a museum and 2 art galleries. Walks on the beach, rides on the river ferry. Entertaining & being entertained; great food and probably too much wine.  But, when I didn’t have a glass in my hand, I was holding this adorable little guy:     DSC02627He is so placid he even put up with my inept handling.   Grandchildren really are special even though I still don’t think I’m old enough to have one!  It was incredibly difficult to say au revoir this year.




Happy Birthday Jane!


Oh my God – my little sister, Jane, can not possibly be 50 today!   I’m pretty sure I’m  somewhere around 30 which makes her in the early 20’s.

When I said to my mother this week “Hard to think of Jane being 50 when I don’t think of myself as being 57 this year”  she replied:  “My advice is to never think about how old you are, just be sure to remember the date of your birth!”

Happy Birthday Jane  –  you were such a cutie….



Happy Birthday to the Econoboy ….


27 years ago today my second son was born.   He was the quietest, most placid baby imaginable;  the one every mother hopes for.  Econo-boyI did not foresee the adventurer he would become;  exploring the world, enjoying life, grabbing at experiences with enthusiasm.


In spite of his propensity to worry this poor old mum, he is a great son, brother and now uncle.  Happy Birthday to you!


Happy B’day Locksmith!


This day 29 years ago a wonderful mischief maker was born.  Newish Locksmith

As soon as he was able to move he was never still for more than 30 seconds at a time.  Forget about afternoon naps; forget about sleeping through the night. Ever.

His answer to what are you doing?   was always “I’m working”.   Work consisted of things like:  sawing the mortar out from between the bricks on the corner of the house; chopping along the length of Gran’s hose with a tomahawk;  “wood cutting”  Grandad’s work bench using Black & Decker tools;  painting the laundry wall in a permanent natural dye of red mud;  cleaning the toilet with every soap, lotion & makeup he could find (required plumbers to “unclean”);  testing the resilience of his cousin’s Lego by adding it to a fire;  throwing the neighbour’s deck chairs into their pool………. the long list now provides great laughs at family gatherings.

There was no such thing as “quiet time” with the Locksmith..   any downtime was spent considering what he could work on next (and thinking “Lord help me with these parents!)    What can I do next ...

10 weeks ago the Locksmith became a father and I admit to smirking as I thought of the challenges having an active little boy would bring and all that stuff about what goes around comes around….   but, though they are vaguely similar in appearance at the same age, (Locksmith on left)

Father & Son so far this placid little darling has been nothing but an angel.  Santa's helper

I reckon my son thinks he got the best early birthday present ever this year!.. Today my firstborn gets to spend time chilling with his firstborn.  Happy Birthday Locksmith!

Happy Birthday


Another point on her tiara

On this day in Australia, in 1989, the princess was born.  A welcome addition to a family containing 2 young princes.  Throughout the pregnancy I’d given thought to how noisy the house would be with a 3rd boy – and how truly outnumbered I’d be!
The boys look such little innocents with cheeky grins and their fairly new sister:  kids 30
But they could be mean when it came to her comfort object , a pink pig, which they would hold just out of her reach or hide out of sight.. Pink piggy
The princess realised she was going to have to toughen up if she was going to make it in a household containing hoodlums-in-the-making:last 2
She devised her own revenge. Wait until parent leaves the room. Let out a terrified screech; enjoy the parent’s return & shouting at boy.  Open blue eyes wide in total deniability to the boys’ claims of a setup:    Innocent
The princess was certainly a home-devil, street-angel …..angel
   And now she’s a lovely young lady… though she still gives her brothers a bit of a hard time!   Princess now poster
Happy Birthday Princess!!

Sisters – January 1982


Yes – that really is an outhouse in the background of this photo of me & Cleo. There were holes in the walls where knots had fallen out of the timber.  I hated going out there in the middle of the night.   You had to turn the light on to make sure there were no spiders but that invited all the evil people from the hills to come down and peer through the holes  a la horror movie.


Behind Jane is the laundry where you had to race to wash your hands after going to the toilet.  More lights needed,  more chances for that evil boogieman to grab you.  God forbid one goes to a gruesome death with germy hands! Sisters 1

Econo-boy passes the quarter century …

This day 26 years  ago, my second son, the Economist was born.   He was 7lbs 15oz and had masses & masses of dark hair.   I don’t remember how long he was but he grew from this little thing to  6′ 3″ . Feb 1987
He was the perfect baby;   placid, plump and willing to just go along for the ride with big brother:
As a toddler he was quite happy to just sit.   I’d plonk him down on the couch while I went off to see what the Locksmith was up to and I’d come back to find him in exactly the same spot.  E-boy
I could take him anywhere as he’d never grizzle, whine or cry. He would sit in his pram and just gaze around at the world.  Analyzing, interpreting, figuring things out.   If he got sick of a situation he’d just go to sleep!
Little did I know then that years later his antics would drive this mother deeper into the depths of the wine bottle with a series of “misfortunes”   (the yacht misadventure; etc)
Though perhaps the fact that he celebrated his 5th birthday with a broken collarbone should’ve prepared me: e-boy 5
He was a bright middle child with an inquisitive mind who grew more energetic as the years went on – promptly excelling at running, soccer and basically anything athletic he tries.   When he finished university & entered the workforce he added travelling the world to his activities and he doesn’t look like slowing down to save his mother from full blown alcoholism!    Happy Birthday young man!
  birthday boy



I’m not in this family photo because I took it: 1965

And then I wrote on the back .1965 back

It  sounds like Jane is not related.  Perhaps we just found her…   This would’ve been in January, which is summer in Australia, though you might not think so given that half their clothing is winter woolies!   It would take us 10 hours to drive from the farm to Sydney for our summer holidays and we went to the beach no matter what the weather.


The project workspace..


This is what my dining room table currently looks like as my photo-scanning project continues.     IMG_0261a

I’m pretty sure the manservant’s grandparents never envisioned such electronic gadgetry one day gracing the top of their table.

I’ve completed the albums for 1984 and 1985  –  those albums are not in the photo above as I dismantled them as I went, and had no inclination to retrieve them from the rubbish pile outside and stage them on the table, just for the sake of a photo.

It took 4 long basically uninterrupted days to do that – which was easy because the office was closed Saturday-Tuesday for the New Year and the manservant was in Hawaii.

Since then I’ve only done 19 photos – last Sunday.  It would’ve been more but my scanner  went all union  about overtime.   I could bring the image up on my computer screen but when I clicked “OK Scan”  it would tell me it was disconnected (in some loopy italic font which just screamed “I’m laughing at your frustration”! )   I’d turn it off or change to the other USB port and it’d do one photo and then do its “stand down” thing again.    I hate it when things go flaky just because.

It’s a Canon Pixma combined scanner/printer which I got in 2011 –  it’s done quite a bit of printing but up until I started *the project*   not a lot of scanning.   Even during those 4 intensive days I only did 603  photos.   Is the maximum number of scans this low?    I hope not;   I’ve got a hell of a lot more photo-years to do yet!

Even when (if?)  it gets back into the swing of being an efficient & proficient scanner it is going to be a long time before we get to eat dinner at the table.   Once I’ve finished all that you see there (and the 25kg/55lb  box under the table also contains albums), there are more albums around the house as well as photo boxes.

I was planning to spend time this weekend scanning but the weather forecast is for temps in the 60’s and that sounds way too nice to be inside fighting a temperamental scanner.