Archive for July, 2009

Two days is just not enough to catch up with everything.  On top of housework, washing, etc, I want to do those things which I have no time for during the week.

I achieved something yesterday, I suppose.  I picked up my repaired sewing maching and sewed the hems of two veils for belly dancing.  I knitted about 4 peggy squares to contribute to the work peggy square blanket(s) which will be donated to charity.  I bought and installed venetian blinds for a window which had ugly, broken vertical blinds (which I hate).  I threw them out with pleasure.

Today I had committee-related stuff to do.  I want to make an OpenOffice database for Australian descendants of my gt gt grandfather.  (I couldn’t get it to work so got a library book out on it).  I have some discarded NetGuide magazines to look through.  I haven’t begun to look at my chaotic room.  I still have a huge pile of old photo albums to organise…

I haven’t made a list.  Well actually I did make a brief list while at work, when I thought of things.  The piece of paper is somewhere… 


Then there’s my Sims 2 addiction.  In the middle of the night I thought of redesigning my vampire family’s home, so did that first thing this morning.  When I first started playing Sims 2 just two years ago I read about others having played or aiming to play 10 generations of a family.  After two years I’ve just achieved 5 generations.  I have to kill off a few surplus Sims and families have intermarried.  It’s rather a good genealogical exercise actually.

Just remembered I have a blog post to think of for Tuesday so better get off here, and continue to aportion a few minutes to each thing that needs doing.  Not much left of the weekend…


Read Full Post »

I was happy to receive the 1882 Goulburn District Directory from the University of Newcastle library in Australia today. 

Goulburn directory

I got it knowing it likely that a relative would be listed.  Two brothers of my great grandfather are listed in it as well as a couple of men related to my great grandfather’s mother.  I do love the old advertisements, etc, though.

The Goulburn Mechanics’ Institute (Established 28 years) – Lending library contains 4100 volumes by the best authors, Reference library, 556 volumes…”

Lee & Ross, Steam Printers, Bookbinders and Stereotypers…”

Professor Russell, Painless tooth extraction, gold medalist for haircutting…”  (such an obvious connection!)

Artificial Teeth! Messrs Carter & Son, Dentists..”

Visitors to Goulburn and others can obtain Superior Accommodation with all the comforts of a home by applying at St Clair Villa, which is situated in one of the healthiest spots in the city.  Bath, Piano, Good Stabling…”  Very important selling points.

William Davies and company, importers of British, Continental and American merchandise, Drapers, Grocers, Ironmongers, etc….  We are buyers of wool at full market rates…We keep the most renowned sewing machines… Our stock of guns, fittings and ammunition is large and good

There are even some handy hints:

How to make Hens Lay – To three gallons of boiling water add one half ounce common salt, a teaspoonful of Cayenne pepper, and four ounces of lard.  Stir the mixture until the pepper has imparted considerably of its strength to the water.  Meanwhile the salt will have been dissolved and the lard melted.  Then, while yet boiling hot, stir in a meal made of oats and corn ground together in equal proportions, until a thick mush is formed.

To Preserve Eggs – Pack in a barrel with powdered gypsum.  Care should be taken in packing not to let the eggs touch each other.  They will keep in this way for six months, if fresh when packed.  Always pack them small end downwards.”  Ugh.

I scanned a couple of relevant pages and will return the book.  In case you’re wondering the book itself doesn’t date to 1882 – it’s a 1977 facsimile.  Great stuff though.  I want more.

Read Full Post »

Daughter wanted me to go to Wellington to pick them up after having been in Blenheim for the week. No, I said. I have far too much to do – haven’t even done half of what I intended and it’s now Sunday afternoon which will pass rapidly.

I’m getting back into my family history research and found some great Australian sites (my parents being Aussies) and figured I’d search some more and put them up onto my Geocities website which I started while studying for my masters (and hoping to work more on after my masters). Too late. Yahoo is taking Geocities down as well. (They’ve recently taken down their 360 sites and before that it was Briefcase.) For having been a loyal Yahoo customer all these years I’m not that impressed but understand the reasoning. It’s just as well I hadn’t put a lot of work into the site. You can transfer it to Yahoo’s new web hosting service of course – for a price. Bastards. So – back to Ancestry.com I guess, where I can upload photos and add to the tree. It’s not what I had in mind, but there ya go. Anyone know of a good site where I can compile all these papers, photos, etc?

I dragged out the bag of genealogy and looked through old photos and found some old albums. I searched online for the primary school my mother went to in Ashfield, NSW. No mention of it anywhere. I found old photos on the Parramatta High School website – but none which included my mother’s class photo. No matter – I found hers and scanned them and sent a copy to the school website. They appear to be collecting old photos of the school. Picture Australia accept old photos and suggest connecting to their Flickr group, which I did on a separate Flickr account (which will just hold old family photos).  Trouble is my scans were not the best quality (I was thinking of space issues).   It would be great if NZ had a similar system – my parents took heaps of photos around NZ in the 60s and 70s.

"Bonny", Pendle Hill, NSW, 1924

"Bonny", Pendle Hill, NSW, 1924

Most old photos I have are from my mother’s side of the family, dating from the early 1920s and a few beyond.  They lived in Pendle Hill when it was farm land and they owned a couple of horses, a few chooks, ducks, cats and dogs.  They were dog people – there’s a lovely dog in just about every family photo (there’s even a studio photo of a dog in England but no date).  I only have half a dozen photos from my father.  I’m guessing my aunt has them all.  They didn’t own any pets as far as I can gather.

So anyway, that took up yesterday (after dropping off the broken sewing machine to possibly be repaired)!  This morning I updated and uploaded drafts for the gardening diary.

Today was also cleanup day.  It took me a couple of hours to clean the kitchen (including the oven!).  My arms might feel it tomorrow after all the elbow grease on the oven trays (kids never scrub them clean).  Clothes are washing, recycling is put away.  Now I suppose I should write up meeting minutes – what fun.   Then there’s the professional blog to write for.  I’m rather disappointed with that.  I make an effort to come up with something to post on my allotted day but two others haven’t posted for two weeks now.  It’s not a good look in my opinion, but I guess I’m just too conscientious.

I feel drained.

I need a holiday but have only accumulated three days’ worth of leave, having spent two to go to my daughter’s graduation.  Oh well.

Another long week looms…

Read Full Post »

While belly dancing I’ve often thought of wanting a better costume – an actual costume, rather than just a skirt, some random top and a coin scarf.  Our belly dancing teacher has got us making bits and pieces to try and get us looking like a dance troupe and I have bought a couple of items but it’s all a bit haphazard.  However, it did get me looking at material and thinking of items I could possibly make.

I’ve often looked for ideas, from photos and videos of belly dancers, but never put anything into action.  I bought my first actual belly dancing costume recently and it needs altering, as I’ve mentioned.  This also involves making a skirt to go under the costume’s skirt which is actually see-through.  So I went to ‘Spotlight’, a material and crafts shop, and bought some material for the skirt.  I also bought material to make another coin scarf as well as stiffening for the ‘cabaret’ style belt.  Then I saw some beautifully coloured chiffon-type material which gave me another idea for both a decorated bra and some trimming to go over a skirt.  I ended up buying 5 items with which to make stuff and saw additional trimming for future reference.  This now leaves me with about 10 sewing or costume projects and a sewing machine that doesn’t work. (Below is an example of a cabaret style costume – the costume Westerners normally associate with belly dancing).

Cabaret belly dance costume

So, next step, get the sewing machine fixed.  Then I can start on them all!  In the meantime I am decorating a piece of bamboo to make another ‘cane’.  I bought the one I have currently from the belly dancing teacher who obtained them for our cane dance performance this Saturday.  Mine is pink and purple and I hate pink.  I also paid $20 for it.  I bought the bamboo for about $3 for several poles and the sequinned decoration is just $8.  I could sell one for $10 and still make a profit as they don’t take much time to decorate.  Below is an example of a cane dance.

Let me just say that in no way will I ever show off my belly (unless it somehow miraculously becomes flat and firm).  This video’s quite good actually as it shows a cane dance and drum solo, both dances of the type we’re performing on Saturday.  I’m starting to get nervous.  I hope it all goes well.

Now to get off here and start one costuming project which doesn’t need a sewing machine!

Read Full Post »

Found this manifesto on a site about a book called “The Idle Parent” which I saw here.


We reject the idea that parenting requires hard work

We pledge to leave our children alone

We reject the rampant consumerism that invades children from the moment they are born

We read them poetry and fantastic stories without morals

We drink alcohol without guilt

We reject the inner Puritan

We don’t waste money on family days out and holidays

An idle parent is a thrifty parent

An idle parent is a creative parent

We lie in bed for as long as possible

We try not to interfere

We play in the fields and forests

We push them into the garden and shut the door so we can clean the house

We both work as little as possible, particularly when the kids are small

Time is more important than money

Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness

Down with school

We fill the house with music and merriment

We reject health and safety guidelines

We embrace responsibility

There are many paths

More play, less work

While not all of the above reflect my “style” of parenting.  I’ve always believed in treating my kids as individuals with respect rather than possessions to boss around.  I have, of course, been influenced by the fact that I’ve been the sole parent for most of my eldest daughter’s 22 years.  I was solely responsible for them – the discipline and teaching and guiding.  I tried the more traditional forms of discipline and they failed miserably.  Instead I let them be and guided them as best I could.  Having said that, I certainly wasn’t a parent who let a child scream in public.  They were brought up to respect others. 

As children of a solo parent they were supposed to be lumped in with the “disadvantaged”, labelled as such because solo parents are most often regarded as poverty-stricken and uneducated who ended up alone with children because of being young and irresponsible (ie end up on the benefit on purpose).  This is the attitude of many – I know, I came across this attitude many times.  And yet when my girls started school the teachers complimented me on their abilities to read and write.  (I’m going off track here.  Memories flood back of difficult times on the benefit when they were young.)  By ‘giving up’ on strict discipline, life was so much easier.  The kids didn’t get more difficult.  They had brains and common sense.  I listened to them, played with them, helped them and they are both responsible, intelligent adults with morals and common sense.  I’m very proud of them.   You could say they brought themselves up and I just led by example.  If others moaned about my parenting, I ignored them.  More than once I’ve had my kids’ friends label me as “cool” because I don’t go on about strict rules which either have no basis in common sense or don’t allow the child to be trusted.  I’m not expressing myself well at all in this post.

I had, in fact, come here to blog about something completely different and found the beginnings of a draft which I’d started earlier in the week!

My next post will be what I wanted to blog about in the first place!

Read Full Post »