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Archive for the ‘Nostalgia’ Category

je-2In a shocking turn of events, I have not written any more of my novel since last week. My idea now seems very slight and unimportant in light of world events. Instead, we have moved back into our house after the renovation, and I have spent most of my time dealing with an existential crisis that has taken root in the rich compost of all the stuff in our house.

I need to cull our belongings. This is a truth universally known. But I am also a sentimentalist at heart. I know how you’re meant to get rid of things: ask do I wear them/use them/need them? Could someone else benefit from them? One or two yeses and out they go. Well, that’s all fine in theory. But in reality? There are more questions than that.

Here are but two of the quandaries I have been wrestling with. Multiply this by a few hundred and you have an idea of why I am not achieving a lot.  (more…)

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sketchofme

Me, making a to-d0 list. Sketch by H. 

  1. Attend My 20th High School Reunion

This weekend I’m going my 20th high school reunion, an event that simultaneously makes me very excited and want to fake a bad case of gastro.

I’m curious about what the women I went to school with for six years have done with their lives, although a lot of it I already know because of the massive spoiler factory that is Facebook. For many people, the only revelations left will be what everyone looks like without several filters and when viewed front on, and not from an artfully high selfie angle. Speaking for myself, I’d recommend people come to the reunion in extremely high heels, or perhaps stilts, and with one of two extra pairs of contact lenses in, so I will look as svelte and dewy of chops as I look on the Internet. Related to the school reunion is the second item on my to-do list: (more…)

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FullSizeRender 2

Sample bookshelf from my parents’ attic: Just one of the many collections of books that tells you probably more than you need to know about my family.

Our renovation is about to begin. We have packed everything from one half of our house and jammed it into the other half. The builders are going to knock out few of our walls, fiddle around with the layout a bit, and put in a new kitchen. The house is very overdue for some care and maintenance, but knowing the renovation was approaching we’ve treated it like a teacher treats their class in the last weeks of the academic year. Gradually everything has fallen apart, and we’ve stopped caring and worked around it. It’s been the domestic equivalent of the teacher putting on a video of ‘Behind The News’ every day for two weeks and reading a book while the class flicks spit balls around and braids each other’s hair.

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beststart

I was hoping the test hadn’t started yet.

 

May Blossom has just been for her pre-starting-school chat with a kindy teacher, which is called the Best Start Interview. I presume the point of this is to help decide which class to put the kids into, based on how smart they are and how high they can count, but we didn’t want to admit that to her so we told May Blossom it was so they didn’t put all the shy boys or all the kids called Gavin or all the redheads into the same class and create factions that could later become radicalised.

She insisted on wearing her full school uniform, which wasn’t required, but she felt there was no point in half-arsing it. You’ve got to dress for the class you want to be in, not the class you’re in, or something. (more…)

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NoveltiesphotoWe’re two weeks into the fitness kick here at the House of Gusto and slowly but surely, things are changing for the better. We have been aided by an unprecedented run of good health for the whole family – although obviously having typed that I will return today to seven plagues upon my house.

I have been exercising quite a lot. It turns out the trick to exercise is not trying too hard. Apparently I knew this when I was a child but had forgotten until now. A few weeks ago I came across an old homework book from when I was eight, in which I wrote the following sentence:

‘If it does not rain we are going to have our athletics carnival on Wednesday and I am going to get lots of energy so when the starter goes I am going to be champion of the novelties.’

Now that sentence says a few things to me. It says that my habit of writing overly long sentences goes back a very, very long way. It says my pessimism is deeply ingrained – these good things were only going to happen if it didn’t rain, which it probably would. And most importantly, it says that even at eight I knew that aiming low is the key to exercise success. I was not planning to win a running race. I was not planning to jump the highest or throw a javelin the furthest. I was aiming for ‘Champion of the Novelties’, which I think means things like the egg and spoon race and the sack race. History doesn’t relate how I actually fared at this carnival, but the lesson is one I carry with me today. (more…)

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legoThis week has marked an important childhood milestone in our household: the transition from Duplo to Lego. Due to my fear of my family actually drowning in clutter and the paramedics not being able to push the door open to reach us when we are lying on the floor, our feet cut to ribbons by the sharp plastic edges of the little bricks, I’ve been strongly resisting this transition by using a clever psychological technique called lying, but they saw through me. (more…)

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Helpfully, May Blossom and Pipsqueak look like twins born four years apart, so I can illustrate this post with a picture of my own child to protect the identity of my niece.

Helpfully, May Blossom and Pipsqueak look like twins born four years apart, so I can illustrate this post with a picture of my own child to protect the identity of my niece. And yes, her hair was real.

Two months ago my brother, Superchief, and sister-in-law, Doctor V, had their first baby. Pipsqueak, as she will be known on this blog, is, like both of her cousins before her, a beautiful, sparkly, dark-haired bundle of Refusal To Sleep. She is one of those babies who catch your eye and won’t break your gaze. It’s like she was born in a staring competition. I fear she is extremely clever, and I wish her parents well with that.

Although they live very nearby, since Pipsqueak was born my children have almost constantly had some noxious virus or other that you wouldn’t want to expose a newborn to, which upsets them very much because they adore Sweet Baby Cousin Pipsqueak, as Garnet has dubbed her. He was actually quite cross about her to begin with, and claimed he was the only baby in town and would I please open up my tummy so he could get back in. When I refused, because I am mean like that, he settled for shoving himself up the front of my top, where he spent a good part of Pipsqueak’s first few weeks of life. He hadn’t even met her at that stage, because of the snot, but he was distinctly unimpressed with losing his position as Baby of the Family. Of course when he eventually did meet her he was just as smitten as everyone else and has been nothing but lovely about and to her ever since. (more…)

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