Monday, 23 March 2009

A toilet stop and a bit of Melbourne History

I have to admit to being a bit dismissive when it comes to our Australian heritage. After visiting the UK I was blown away at the history greeting you around every corner! Wherever you went there were castles, churches, abbeys...hundreds and hundreds of years old, Saxon, Celt, Roman, it was just everywhere!
When we returned to Melbourne I remember grumbling about how new everything was, nothing very interesting! Well yesterday when I least expected it I saw a glimpse of something that intrigued me. On the way back from a weekend in the beautiful and historic (I am now much more appreciative) Ballarat we had to stop along Hoddle st in inner Melbourne because Mr 4 yr old, Cam, had to go to the toilet right NOW!! We pulled into a little street to find a tree or a vacant block, anything...we ended up parking next to an old factory with a big clump of bushes nearby and Dad took Mr 4 to do his business. While that was all going on I happened to notice a funny little house on the other side of the street! It was made of very rough looking timber, unpainted and raw, the windows were covered by old wooden shutters and the roof looked to be made of iron with little flourishes of Asian inspired decoration around the gables. I turned the car around when the boys got back in and noticed a blue heritage sign on the gate reading "Singapore Cottage"
When I got home I decided to look up the great Internet and found that this little house would have been brought out here to Melbourne in pieces around 1855. It has markings on every plank and board so someone would know which bit went where and often these were in Chinese! The demand for housing was so strong after the gold rush that the government imported these houses from Singapore due to the lack of skilled builders and building materials available at the time.
This house is made from exotic Asian timber apparently. There are not many left now, but this one in Collingwood has been saved and heritage listed! I'm going to keep an eye out on any open days! Id love to look inside..something about people making these tiny places their home fascinates me! We are such a land of bigger is better when it comes to housing! as viewed by the miles of soulless Mc Mansions around...I find this little house warm and comforting (very impractical, I'm sure!) but lovely all the same!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Cosy = My Dad

When I think of the word cosy my Dad immediately springs to mind. Its not as if he was particularly cuddly or warm, he was 6ft and rather skinny most of his life. Its more the safe "cosy" I felt whenever we were together. Dad worked in an office and for as long as I can remember he carried musk lifesavers around in his suit jacket pocket. That lovely musk smell would greet me every time I hugged him around the waist, and so forever more that smell will make me smile, make me feel loved, happy and cosy. His lap was cosy too, his laugh big and expansive..I would sit and watch old British comedies tucked up on Dad's lap or scrunched in next to him as close as I could be! When I hug my boys now I just hope they feel that same amazing feeling of belonging that my Dad gave to me. When they curl up on a couch with their children I hope they'll remember the cosiness they felt as a child just as I do. Now that Dad's no longer alive, I really miss him but I hope wherever he is now he knows what a lovely legacy he left me! Hope he's cosy too :)

Read more Cosy stories here! Words and Pictures

argh! I want all of these

At Bride & Wolfe they have the most beautiful timber silhouettes! I just couldnt convince the lovely husband to part with that much money for something to hang on a wall! maybe one day, because I really am in love ;) There are such creative people out there!!

Monday, 16 March 2009

no comment :)

Just testing! are comments showing at the end of this post? Ok I can see they are but something happened with the comments to my previous two posts! Oh well, it must have been the code I used. Carry on.... :)

fun with colour at Polyvore

I spent a lovely day chatting with my bird catching cousin discombobula and the lovely Jane! It was fun to watch them try and sort a set of derwent pencils in colour order, while marvelling at the full spectrum of blues and greens and reds.....
If you love colour, collage and just creating stuff you'll love this's a set I made earlier :)
trees of green
trees of green - by Cloudbusting on
mushroom retro
mushroom retro - by Cloudbusting on

Nesty bed


How I would love this bed!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Hurrah! for dead fish sandwiches

There are many things in this world that I'm unsure of but one thing I can say without any doubt whatsoever is my sons would rather clean their rooms than eat sardines! But I remember a time back in 1978 when sardine and onion sandwiches featured heavily on my school lunchtime menu! How did my Mum ever get me to try this sandwich filler? I wish Id asked her when I had the chance, but anyway, next to curried egg and lemon butter, sardine and onion were my favourites! Of course along with their tastiness came the big problem of their rather strong odour! My poor classmates would howl in protest as I opened up my lunchbox "Mrs Marinoff, Andrea's eating dead fish sandwiches again!!" and my poor teacher used to smile apologetically at me as she made me sit at the back of the room while the other kids sat out front on the mat.
The funny thing is, I secretly liked freaking the other children out with my disgusting sandwiches! Always being one to enjoy the limelight I grinned broadly as the others screwed up their faces and moved away!
I look back now and think about how I must have had much more courage and confidence than I do now. The thought of people having that reaction to something I do now doesn't appeal to me, but at 9 I quite enjoyed it! Wish I could channel that 9 yr old Andrea some days, a bit of her sardine eating courage would really do me well!

This story was inspirded by words and pictures
read some of the wonderful school lunch stories!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

What makes me happy

Have been enjoying reading the blog The Happiness Project
and in an article about enjoying childrens lit the blogger quotes C.S.Lewis

Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of child­hood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childish­ness and the desire to be very grown up.

This made me smile, (as so much of what this great man said often does)
I have been reading a few childrens novels lately, one with my son and one because I enjoy being immersed in something I know will make me feel good!

Alex and I have been reading Jackie French's Fair Dinkum History books. The current one "Crims and Convicts" is proving to be really interesting but terribly sad as well! It is written in a humourous way, the illustrations are full of vomit, farts and poo (10 yr old heaven) but even Alex was shocked at hearing about the conditions the poor prisoners had to tolerate! This is also tying in nicely with his school work which is Australian history, each child in Alex's class has been given a new identity as a convict. Alex is a blacksmith who stole something...which he cant remember! ;)
Anyway a good book and next in the series is Squatters and Rotters

Im also revisiting a book I picked up for a dollar at the local second hand shop years ago, "The Children of The New Forest" by Captain Marryat. Its set in the 1600s during the English civil war and is basically about 4 children who are left homeless and parentless but learn to fend for themselves thanks to a nice woodsman.. so many of the good childrens books are sans parents who either die or desert them ;) Probably why I loves the Famous Five too..

I also get caught up in the beautiful descriptions of the countryside in and around the New Forest and with the four children.

What childrens books do you like to revisit?

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Wordie love!

I love this! enter your blog address, play with colours and fonts and make a little wordie pic!

Wordle: cloudbusting