Monday, October 10, 2011

So picking up where I left off.....

I will compress for you the last six or so busy busy months:

* I was offered a job in a bookshop, and not just any bookshop but my favourite!  'The Well' is a small independent bookshop about five minutes drive from where I live. It's staffed by people who actually read, know what is out and good, and all of the stock is handpicked ie you won't find any Mills & Boon or other crappy stuff like that. They rang me up one afternoon and offered me a job...just like that! A-fricken-amazing!!! It took me about three seconds to accept, and that, my dears, is a dream I've had since I was about six years old come true! It puts me up to a full time work schedule, and I work Saturdays as part of that, but my days at the school still finish at 3.30pm so I still have afternoons with Miss J etc. Being offered that job is one of the most flattering things that has ever happened to me, and as we pre-read a lot of the new books coming out, now when the Mr comes into the lounge and finds me with a cup of tea and a book, I can honestly tell him I'm working. Ha.

+ Miss J is going gang-busters at high school. She has a lovely group of friends, is coping well with all of the homework and travel, and was even the top year 8 science student for Semester 1.

+ The Mr was in China for a couple of weeks on business - the longest we have been apart in over eighteen years. As a consolation prize for not going to China, I bought Miss J and I tickets to see these guys and girls. We started the evening with dinner in a little restaurant, because tea and toast just doesn't cut it with tickets like these, and then we were transported for the evening. Transported? More like being put into a trance, where you can still feel your chest inside become bigger and warmer and bigger and warmer. We were given streamers to throw at the end of the concert, and the entire Concert Hall was buzzing. I have never heard such exquisite music in my life, and it is a night with my daughter I will never forget.

+ We have been working with the wonderful Miss Max and her sidekick Phil on Miss E's headstone. It has taken us a long time to be able to do this, but I think it is going to be beautiful. I will show pictures soon, but it will hopefully reflect our gorgeous girl, who she was and how we feel about her.  The cross at the grave is looking quite weather worn and tired now, so it will be good to have this special project finished.

+ Miss J finally had braces put on her teeth last Wednesday. This has been a long time coming, and she has been keen to do it whilst all of her friends also have braces. My old high school English teacher did the artwork that hangs behind the reception counter. I bet he got a big discount on his kids' braces', and he wasn't even a good teacher! (He is quite a good artist though. He would spend our English lessons showing us his latest projects and asking for a critique, or else take us into Freo for coffee - as a teenager I thought this was cool, and as an adult, well actually I still think it's pretty cool.)

+ The Mr and I are still trying to get the house organised enough and pretty enough to sell. The market is good for buying, now someone just has to sell a house that a) we want, and b) we can afford.

+ I had my gallbladder taken out last week due to moving stones and several episodes of intense pain. I do not have a dent (thank you for your concern Mr) and neither did the scales go down. I'm a bit peeved about that...I thought that if a whole organ was taken away surely the scales would go down just a little!

+ This morning Miss J went away for an overnight camp with the OT's from PMH, something she has done every year since Miss E died. She has a great time, and the Mr and I love that fantastic, caring,  qualified people who know our journey, her journey, are keeping an eye on her. This is the last year Miss J can go as a camper, as thirteen is the cut-off age.  She may be able to return in a few years though as a counselor, and she is really keen to do this. She has the option of continuing a sibling therapy program with Canteen, but isn't sure yet whether she wants to.

+ Because I am recuperating from surgery and am not allowed to do anything, I have spent the day watching dvd's and knitting a new project. I love starting new projects.

Miss J helped me wind the skein into a ball yesterday, a beautiful hand dyed 100% extra fine merino from Italy (ella rae lace merino in colour 106 for all you aficionados) Turquoise, blues and a hint of grey. Superb. 

And that's the last six months in quick review. Stay well you guys, and may summer never come!
Suzy xx


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Library

I work as the Library Officer in a smallish Public Primary School, south of Perth, conveniently only a five minute drive from where I live.  I love my job, the children and the cast of characters I work with.  We have about 380 children and a staff of about thirty?  All of the tasks associated with running the library are my responsibility, I have my own budgets, and no-one tells me what to do! Perfect.  I love that I have been allowed to put my own 'stamp' on my library, that I can play world and classical music in the background, that I do all of the collection development, and choose themes for displays etc.  I have some wonderful mums who come in to help me with shelving and book covering....essential jobs that I don't always have time to do, because I am only half time.

Today I took down the display that I had put up to greet the children at the start of the year.  I took a picture for you.....
(Actually...the picture does this no was actually quite large and vibrant, 3D elements, the whole shebang!)  The theme was China, with an emphasis on the Chinese New Year and festival celebrations.  We have a lot of different ethnic groups in our school, and I think it's always good to celebrate the different cultures.  I was able to haul out not only the non-fiction books, but also a really nice collection of fiction set in a China.  The paper lanterns were made by Miss J, and the money bags and some pictures were purchased in  Melbourne's Chinatown on a recent trip.

I like putting displays together, although when I started this job is was something I had little confidence in.  I like wandering through the collection, letting my eyes travel over the different groupings of books, and imagining what I could do with them to make an interesting and engaging display...the possibilities are endless.  My next one will be another I have never!  I will take some (better) pictures to show you when it is up.

Monday, March 7, 2011


It has been a long weekend here, the perfect opportunity to stay home in Perth because everyone else is down south. Last night, (Sunday) the divine Misses M & L joined Miss J for dinner and a sleepover.  This occurred in our lounge room, filling it with giggles, ipod music, reading by torchlight, sleeping bags, chips and crunchie clusters.
This morning after breakfast, we took them out on the boat.  That sounds grand doesn't it? 'The boat' is an 11 foot inflatable dinghy...a solid one like they use for surf rescue...but a dinghy nonetheless. Doesn't matter.  We sped, tootled, jumped bow waves and visited a river side cafe for coffee and ice-creams.  The paperbarks on the side of the river where we parked were trailing vines of a weed called 'Bridal creeper', but the girls didn't know that when they made these...
Thanks Miss L for modelling, and thanks Labour Day (whatever the heck that is) for giving us a day off!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Suzy in a Nutshell

  1. I am 41 years old
  2. I am the middle child of an original family of 3, still the middle child in an extended/blended family of 9
  3. I have been pregnant 4 times
  4. I have given birth to 2 gorgeous daughters
  5. I held my 4 1/2 year old younger daughter, Miss E while she took her last breath (chemo's fault)
  6. Grief is my constant companion
  7. I have been married to the Husband for 17 years
  8. I work as a Library Officer in a public Primary School, and this is the perfect job for me
  9. I love to sew and knit, and want to add crotchet to my skills
  10. I really love to read, although don't read as compulsively as I used to
  11. I have some of the best friends that the planet has to offer
  12. I almost always sing whilst driving
  13. Red and turquoise are my favourite colours
  14. Gooey peppermint chocolate is my guilty pleasure 
  15. I take anti-depressants, and have learnt I don't cope without them
  16. A little black velveteen rabbit called Pixie is sprawled on the carpet at my feet
  17. A really uncoordinated cockatiel called Hugo is trying not to fall off the top of her cage to my right
  18. This is their usual occupations
  19. I find it almost impossible to wake up in the morning
  20. I live in a teeny tiny house and I am really tired of it
  21. I wish I was a famous author
  22. I also wish I could climb through the back of the wardrobe and enter Narnia
  23. I have had the honour of meeting 'Aslan' and he is truly loving and wonderful
  24. I am a vivid dreamer, and so is my older daughter, 13 year old Miss J (we enjoy swapping notes)
  25. I wear a mouth guard at night to protect my poor gnashed teeth (courtesy of said dreams)
  26. I am a sucker for a calico bag 
  27. I should buy shares in my local fruit and vege shop
  28. I think summer is highly over rated
  29. I still draw stick figures
  30. That's about it

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Postcard bomb! older daughter, the delightful Miss J.  She is thirteen, tall, blond and blue eyed, affectionate, witty, talented, is great with little kids, smart and compassionate. I'm very proud of who she is, and not only do I adore her,  I also really really really like her.  She has started high school this year, and is attending a public high school near Perth that is geared towards educating bright kids.
I think Miss J starting high school has been much harder on me than it has been on her.  My daughter heading off every day to cross busy main roads, catch a train, walk again across more busy roads and into the school.  She is very responsible and level headed, so I know she will be careful...she assured me herself that she has no wish to be squished.  I trust her, but I don't necessarily trust the world around her...those drivers that run red lights, people who are pushy or mean, not to mention those that have desires to do awful things to children.  All possibilities of how to avoid harm have been carefully thought out and arranged....using high visibility streets - not the back roads, walking with friends - not alone, having a mobile phone with plenty of credit  to call mum with, etc etc. It is still hard to let go.  My fears have needed more conquering than hers.  I found it very difficult to tread that line of making her street savy, and allowing her to retain that innocence she still has about her environment being wonderful.
Then there were all my fears about high school itself.   How would she go with making new friends (only one other girl from her primary school has gone with her), not to mention how would she deal with the older teenagers?  Would they be nice to her?  How would she cope academically ?- she was a big fish in a very small pond, now she is an average fish in an ocean.
Well, Miss J is at the end of her fifth week of high school....and everything is just fine, actually, more than fine.  She is coping well with the travel, and in fact has discovered the joy of people watching, telling me all about the guy whose piercings were symmetrical all the way down his face...the other kids she catches the train with,  and is relishing the new found sense of independence.  She is making friends, a couple of girls she mainly hangs with, but new friends in all of her classes.  She likes her teachers....said that her head clicks with her maths teachers, her music teacher is very funny and a bit hyper, her english teacher has a nose piercing like me and is lovely etc. She has joined the debating competition, inter-school tennis and a maths competition.  She is organising her way around the school, finding her niche, making herself at home. And then today, the postcard bomb.
A whole heap of the new year eight students have their lockers in one particular building.  Most of their classes are in this's well known that it's year eight territory.  About half way through the day today, they went to their lockers to find that a postcard had been shoved through the vents, into each of their lockers.  The front of the postcards were all the of those free art postcards that you can pick up in cafes and cinemas. On the back of each, was a different, hand written message.  This is what Miss J got...
"Our lives are not judged by the breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away".  Other kids got messages about loving, forgiveness, appreciating beauty and laughter, and in one case, that "Mr D is an awesome teacher!"  The handwriting on each was different too....obviously a group effort.  We don't know who organised this, whether it was a teacher or one of the older kids in the school, but I'm not that worried any more about how the older kids treat the younger ones. 
And my girl?.......she is girl is just fine. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have cancelled summer...

Actually, I cancelled the rest of summer about two weeks ago.  Nature is not paying attention to me.  Perth has been hot this summer, really really rivers of sweat down your back hot.  A recent trip to Melbourne confirmed for me that I am ideally suited to cool, even cold weather.  Cold weather energises me, makes me want to tackle jobs and move.  Maybe I should move to Tasmania?  Roll on June, that's all I can say.

Have just come home from book club.  We have decided to read 'Into the Wild', gee, I wonder who they got that idea from?  We have also decided to start reading some of the big classics, not as monthly books, but as well as, quietly on the side.  We may not discuss these for a couple of months, but will take our time slowly reading and cogitating over them.  The first of these is 'Middlemarch' by George Eliot.  It was great to crank the group up again for the year, and to indulge in conversation that ranges from books and movies to everything else.

I wish I could sound more interesting tonight, but I have sweated myself into exhaustion today, and have just noticed that I have to top up the bird's water was full this morning, but on hot days she likes to sit in it and bathe in a fairly extravagant style and is now down to a couple of centimetres.  She's a lovely bird, but not too bright.  Her name is Hugo because we thought she was a boy, but we realised she wasn't when she started laying eggs.  By that stage however the name had already stuck, so Hugo she is.

Off to bed, and may you be cool.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Not yet

The name 'Suzy Supertramper' deserves a short explanation.  'Suzy' is what people call's an affectionate shortening of my real name.  'Supertramper'is sort of what I aspire to be.  It came to me while I was watching 'Into the Wild', where the main character eschews all that he currently knows and is, adopts a new name (Alex Supertramp), and heads off into the wilds of Alaska.  It's based on a true story, pieced together from journals and diaries he kept whilst travelling on foot through America and Canada, is very philosophical, and ends with his unfortunate death.

I don't intend for my story to have the same conclusion, but I do have secret ambitions to live travel more widely and well...even if only through my own suburb.....and to lose weight whilst doing it.  I intend for this blog to be my space, and record of what I hope will be some sort of transformation of my life.

I bought a new pair of sneakers today....and not my usual $30 wonders...I went into a sport shoe shop and got fitted (just like buying  a new bra, but requiring less nudity!) and came out with some fancy shmancy Brooks shoes.....and I must confess that in all of my 41 years I have never had a more comfortable feet.  I christened them this evening by going for an evening walk along the river with the Mr, and I am well pleased with their performance so far.

It's not just the weight issue I need to work through though.  My headspace is not peaceful, and my body is not energetic.  I prefer sleep to facing the day, and drinking wine at night to doing anything constructive in the evening.  I think that needs to change. So here I am.
G'day!  (Actually, it's 10.55pm, so G'night!)