Overheard… at the Sydney Opera House

By Vita Forest


Max (on entering the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House for a large combined schools musical performance): Aw ma gawd! You know what scares me? That many kids with that many recorders!

It was actually very lovely.

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This week

By Vita Forest

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This week I have been

WRITING Overheard… in the classroom

READING

  • Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak with my nephew (looking for “Mas”, the moon and the “sdars”).

DRAWING in sunglasses in the Royal Botanical Gardens with a lovely group of people and picnicking afterwards.

EATING mussels with Saskia mmm!  Then recreating the recipe with my kids.

CONTINUING to walk in socks or bare feet on the new carpet (so soft!)

MEETING up with some old pals at Book club.

ATTENDING a meeting about costumes for Lucy’s musical – great excitement!

WATCHING the last few episodes of Season 6 Game of Thrones.  I know I am late on this but Episode 9 – OMG!  Nearly had a heart attack!

PRACTISING and practising and practising for the K – 2 Performance Night next week…

 

Overheard… in the classroom

By Vita Forest


Mahalia: Guess what?

Me: What?

Mahalia: My tooth fell out!

Me: Oh my goodness!

Mahalia: But I lost it…

Me: If you write a letter the tooth fairy usually understands.

Mahalia: I actually know how to write fairy (leans in and whispers) you just write tiny…

Class Term tooth tally so far: 7

Year tooth tally: 60

This week

By Vita Forest


This week I have been

READING The Circle by Dave Eggers (hope to have it finished before Book club…)

DISCUSSING with my kids how radicchio sounds to them like a spell from Harry Potter, try it – Radicchio!

FINDING out that our dance group got through the auditions and into the big interschool performance to be held later this year.

WATCHING some Olympic finals with the whole school – deafening cheers!

GETTING the carpet in at last. The kids love it “It’s like walking in a meadow of soft grass.”

VISITING Balmoral Beach with my Dad, sister Briony and kids Max and Lucy on a sunny winter’s afternoon.

SPENDING some time hanging out with the kids and the cats,  luxuriating on the velvety soft carpet, while looking out at the blooming camellia tree, as the sunshine streamed in.

This week

By Vita Forest

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This week I have been

READING The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (I’d forgotten how great it is!)

WRITING

WATCHING the Olive Kitteridge miniseries

CHEERING for Lucy in her inter-school dance performance (she even got to do a bit of public speaking!)

PRESENTING gold medals at our school’s Olympics day

EATING radicchio and Parmesan cheese salad in a pretty Japansese bowl

VISITING Sculpture at Barangaroo

Security necklace?

By Vita Forest

Survival kit

Survival kit

As some of you know, I have just experienced “The Great Flood” of 2016, where a hidden hot-water tank exploded, flooding most of my flat with water and destroying wooden floorboards, carpet and parts of the magnesite underlay…  all while I was over five hundred kilometres away.

Very character-building…

It meant I could not live in my home for over six weeks (and the “unexpected renovation” is still not quite complete – carpet will be laid next week).

It was an interesting time, with some lovely family and friends lending me and my kids their homes while we waited on ours to be repaired.  The kids’ Dad even had them for some extra time which was very helpful.

But when we were together, it was interesting to discover what we needed to make ourselves feel at “home”, to make ourselves feel safe and at ease.  (I have just started teaching a unit on The Need for Shelter where my little people of six, seven and eight were able to articulate that shelters make us feel safe and relaxed as well as providing protection from danger – how wise they are!)

For Max and Lucy, what they needed most was familiar bedding.  Despite the comfy beds and bedding on offer, they quickly requested their own sheets (flannette – delightful in our Sydney winter), their own pillows and their own doonas when next I visited the shell of our flat to feed the cats.  I too retrieved my doona from the garage, the familiarity of its weight and the design on the cover, bringing a slight unclenching of the muscles around my neck.

What else made me feel “normal?”

  • there was my silver triangle necklace hung like a talisman around my neck during the day and tipped like a handful of sand through my palm at night, to land and settle in a little mound on various bedside tables.
  • a change of glasses every now and then (it’s what you can do when you buy 5 pairs from Dresden Optics at a cheaper price than your single last purchase).
  • some good comfort reading (Fleur rang me after reading a This Week post and discovering I was rereading Possession – things must be bad!)
  • my black leather boots which I practically lived in, good for work and short moments of play.  They became my uniform, one less thing to think about.
  • my pink notebook and a sharp lead pencil to get some of the junk out of my head and to continue exploring ideas for blogging.
  • my phone – rather than a laptop – how many phone calls, notes, google searches, blog posts did I do on that tool over those weeks?

It’s not much really.  Not much stuff that I needed.  And now I am sorting through the cupboards and boxes and piles in the garage and am finding we can get rid of a lot of it.  I do tend to lean towards minimalism and this experience has confirmed that trait.

What do you think?  Do you have a security necklace too?

 

Newsflash: The Library Exhibit Is Here! [Photos]

I’m very excited to have my list included in a special exhibit based on Jessica Gross’s “Things we Like” blog at the St Agnes Branch of the NYPL! Look at the beautiful Charrow illustration that accompanies it – lemons in a blue bowl. Do pop along if you are in NYC… wish I could visit too.
Thanks Jessica for your wonderful blog!

Things We Like

The “Things We Like” exhibit is officially installed at the St. Agnes branch of the NYPL! It will be up through the end of the month, so if you’re in New York City, please do stop by. (The library is located at 444 Amsterdam, between 81st and 82nd; make sure to check the hours). In the meantime, here’s a taste.

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