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IMG_7130Last week was the Sydney Writers’ Festival and I spent too much time around people who muck about with words for a living. So I hope you’ll forgive me for a flight of poetic fancy I have taken today. Here is a poem, in honour of the crisp autumn weather and the deep love I have for my children and the disgusting state of my handbag. I present it with apology to ee cummings, whose verses I have adapted.

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Portrait of Garnet by his sister or Smiths album cover?

In lieu of a proper post, today I have a fun game for you, dear readers. It’s called ‘Are These Songs By The Smiths or Things My Three Year Old Said Today?’. First neat and correct entry on a postcard wins a trip to my house. Second prize is two trips to my house. (more…)

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wewillrockyouMy dad is not a fan of musicals. He has long professed that his favourite musical, if forced to pick, is Westside Story, because all the noisy people get shot at the end. So it was with some trepidation that I went to see We Will Rock You with him last night.

We Will Rock You is a musical by Ben Elton, based on the songs of Queen. When arranging the tickets I made very sure Dad was aware that it was a musical. With musical numbers in it. Sung by people in character. It’s a singy play. You know, like an opera but less in German, and with more drums. There’s going to be dancing. There’s a high likelihood of the audience being bullied by the cast into clapping our hands above our heads in certain parts. Are you really sure you want to come, Dad? Because Mum does want to see it, and if you’re just going to come and have a sitting-up nap or fume all the way through, please allow me to not get you a ticket. (more…)

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IMG_5212Every day at half past four in the afternoon, Garnet takes off his trousers. ‘I want to be all nudie-dudie!’ he announces. He’d take off his shirt too, if he could manage it, and keeping his nappy on requires a long negotiation that in the best case scenario ends with the nappy remaining on and me reading him fifty books. The weather has only just started to cool down here for the autumn, so I’m permitting this, largely because the part where he drops his daks around his ankles is my favourite part of the day. Because that’s when he shouts ‘I’m Benny Hill!’ and cracks up laughing. (more…)

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hugsHappy New Year from the House of Gusto, where we specialise in creating problems for ourselves, and then complaining about them! This year has kicked off in fine style, with a wonderful country holiday featuring daily trips to swim in the sea, huge and delicious meals with friends and restful afternoons on the verandah.  A perfect life, you might say, if not for the issues of Sleep and Cats.

Why the italics, you might ask. What has Gusto done to merit that? Nothing. Gusto is being an exemplary feline. It is the jellicle cats that are the problem around here. The cats created by T. S. Eliot in his 1939 book of poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and made more annoying to the power of infinity by Andrew Lloyd-Webber in 1981. You see, about three months ago May Blossom, Garnet and I tagged along with Other Jess to a Year 6 Production of Cats at the school where she works. It was pretty amazing. And just like that it became, like Singin’ in the Rain and before that the song ‘1234’ by Feist, a complete obsession for May Blossom. (more…)

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bruceIn a fit of wild optimism a month or so ago, H and I drank more than one glass of wine and like the unbridled hedonists we aren’t we got a bit crazy with the laptop and the credit card and booked tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. Going out to a concert! we thought. Like young people (well, young people in 1987)! So what if we will have a three-month-old baby at that point? It’ll be absolutely fine.

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May Blossom at work in her office.

A month or so ago we let May Blossom watch Singin’ In the Rain. We were on the hunt for a movie that wouldn’t frighten her, and that seemed to fit the bill. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would then spend hours every day afterwards explaining the finer plot points to her: why Kathy hits Lena in the face with a cream pie. Why Don Lockwood is trying to escape from his marauding fans. What fans are. Why it’s funny that Lena has an ugly speaking voice. Why the policeman makes Don stop singing in the rain and go home. Why Kathy’s job is to jump out of a cake and dance. It’s endless. She particularly likes the big song and dance numbers, though she is pretty disapproving of much of what goes on in the tribute to slapstick, ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’. ‘That’s not very safe’, she says every time Cosmo dances on top of a piano or runs up a wall. That makes me laugh more than the slapstick itself, which is good because not much has been making me laugh lately. (more…)

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