Wednesday, 31 March 2010

When I'm Calling HuHuuuuuu ...

We've been reading up a storm today. Just since I got home at 6pm, Sweeney and I have got through We're Going on a Bear Hunt, the Golden Book of Firemen and Old HuHu a bunch of times.
It's a great book. Sweeney's Uncle Joe gave it to him. He's a really thoughtful chap, Uncle Joe. Old Hu Hu dies and little Hu Hu Tu struggles to make sense of it. He gets advice from his friends, which exposes him to a range of ideas about the afterlife. These make him sad, he grieves terribly at his loss, and he finally comes to see that his memory of Old Hu Hu is all that he needs to go on.
It's kind of refreshing how Sweeney mostly doesn't get it. For all that he talks about his dad a lot, he doesn't seem sad about it.
But, what do I know?? He's three, he's hardly able to articulate too much, and in any case, I try to follow a neither-encourage-nor-discourage approach to talking about heavy stuff. Things come up when they come up.
As Sweeney would say "reeeaaadddd ittttttt" ....

Monday, 29 March 2010

Top Five

Top Five things around here at the minute:
1. Top War Movie - isn't Where Eagles Dare just the most awesome war movie ever?? Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood together on screen, totally handsome, finest mahogany acting this side of the Black Forest. Richard Burton somehow passing himself off as a Nazi, even with his RADA-Pontrhydhyfen accent. And the fact that he's so obviously Richard Burton.
"One weekend Mayor Smith, Lieutenant Schaffer and a beautiful blonde named Mary decided to win World War II." Don't know about you, but my weekends rarely get that animated.
2. Top Cat - our cat Pippi's under enormous pressure from three neighbourhood cats. One used to live here, with us, up until more than five years ago, when we left for a few years, and he's been parking up on my bed in the afternoon the past few days. The other two just give her gyp by taking it in shifts to hang out on our deck all day long.
3. Top Roast - the chicken Kimberley turned out last night. It really was delish. Thanks, Kimp.
4. Top Sandwich - my dad's staying with us at the moment, and he made us bacon and egg sandwiches on Saturday night. Ooooh-errrrrr.
5. Top Outing - Sweeney and I spent a lovely few hours with our friends Lee and Louis and Alfie on Saturday. Louis showed Sweeney the best time at the Botanic Gardens park, Lee and I caught up on each other from a delightful perch in the shade, and Alfie lounged with us intermittently.
See more Top Fives here.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet

I've been sorting through all the piles of Sweeney's paintings and drawings around the house. I'm frankly loving what's coming home from preschool these days, and I can even handle the felt tips strewn over his bedroom floor, because seeing him lying there, absorbed in some colouring or drawing, just makes me jiggy. Or whatever the appropriate term is.
Sweeney was given an easel for Christmas. By his uncles. Great gift. It's set up in the sunroom and he mucks about at it heaps.
And then there are the times when he uses his chalks as cargo in his truck games, like he's doing here with Harper the other day. Ace synergy, you boys!!
In other news, I've been getting stuff together for Girlie's baby. He's due in early May, which really is any day now. She's tired and kind of over it, hopes it really is any day now. I'm pretty confident that there isn't a box or a bag in the house that I haven't scoured for baby clothing or equipment, and was chuffed to take up a ton of stuff to her and Ryan on Sunday. And look what I made for the baby. It's a little ribbed top, so wee. Little Matthew's going to look awesome in it.
I'm making the same pattern in other stashed wool for all the babies I know right now. Right now I'm making it in a variegated pink with flecks of lemon and blue, for one of Amanda's twin girls. She and her family have already found use for some small, pink blankets that turned up mysteriously in the house a while ago. Brilliant to find people who can make use of the stuff we don't need anymore. And decluttering, to boot.
Still so much to get rid of, though ...

Monday, 22 March 2010

There Must Be an Ange

I had a morning of beauty on Saturday. The truly splendid outfit known as Hair by Ange has been running a special on getting things tended to, and I decided to go and, ahem, get some things tended to.

This may not be an accurate representation of how things turned out.

Anyhoo, felt a gazillion bucks when I came out. The haircut's great, the eyebrow tinting looks fab and non-caterpillary, the eyelash tinting didn't make me look like I'd been punched in the face, and the foils ... the foils!!
I didn't actually know what foils were, but now I'm a fan. A superfan. An obsessed, stalker-type fan.
In other news, nothing else matters, now that I've got foils.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

La La Love You

This just in ... The Pixies gig in Auckland last night was just the best, best thing ever. I still can't quite hear properly, my face is still sore from grinning the entire time they were playing, and I can't confidently leave behind the feeling that my chest is about to explode.
Our journey began with a descent into hell, courtesy of Jetstar. No cheap fare is worth this happening to your loved ones:
Yes, Jetstar - you suck. I'm never, ever travelling with you again.
But things got better, and after what felt like three years, Sweeney and I arrived at Simon and Anna's house. He was asleep in the car when we got there, and stayed that way until 9am the next day.
This is where we spent most of yesterday:

Simon and Anna's house was a lovely place to while away some holiday time. Had a million things I wanted to do, and just flagged it in favour of lying about with Sweeney. Lots of chats, some stories, a complicated game involving cars, tigers and a parrot. Bliss.
Then off to Ginny and Daniel's to drop Sweeney off for his sleepover with Riley and Archie, and into town to the gig.
The gig. Words fail me. I got into the stadium about fifteen minutes before The Pixies took the stage. It was like being at a party twenty years ago, running into bunches of people I hadn't seen in ages. Then we were in The Presence, and it was fabulous. They played some B-sides that I didn't recognise, then Doolittle in its entirety. Then back for most of Surfer Rosa - my favourite -and Come On Pilgrim for the encore. The encore was played with the lights on, so the crowd could all see each other. Eerie. Great.
Read this review - it captures it pretty well from my pov, even though it's from the Powerstation gig, not the one I saw. They played the same setlist and it was indeed The Business. The stuff review was a bit rubbish - the writing, not the review itself - but don't get me started on the journalistic values on display on They're like the Jetstar of media.
Today was catching up with people from last night, playing in the park and walking along the beach at Pt Chevalier, and watching Sweeney and Simon bond over planes and ice blocks. More bliss.

Even flying back to Wellington on Jetstar at the end of the day couldn't ruin it.

Monday, 8 March 2010

All I Want Is (Someone Other Than) You

What's in the kid these days?? We have our usual bedtime chat about, I don't know, whether a giraffe can drive a car, or why it just isn't possible for Blessing's dad to have been coloured blue ever, and somehow, SOMEHOW, he steers it into talking about his own dad. This stuff is fraught with landmines these days. It exhausts me, to be honest.
When Martin died, Sweeney just seemed to roll with it. He seemed to accept without question what was happening, all the hard things that were happening. Now he's getting kind of stroppy about it. "Why have I just got you??" he asked tonight, after a long, circular conversation about whether we could go check if his dad's eyes were still closed.
I'm so sick of having to tell him his dad is actually dead, over and over. Having to be kind about it. Feeling kind of stroppy that I have to do this at all. Like I said, it's a minefield.
In other news, we went to Frank's birthday party yesterday, at Staglands. One day we'll go back and actually look at the animals and not just run like madmen around the tracks. Met some nice new people, met up again with some more familiar faces from the kids' parties.
In other, other news,I'm thinking of orange cupboards in the kitchen. Maybe it's the ancient Penguin copy of Cold Comfort Farm I'm reading every chance I get right at the moment. Maybe it's the bowl of gorgeous oranges on our bench. Maybe it's all the lovely orange tops Sweeney's wearing these days.
Who knows?? So, Sweeney's having deep, confusing, yearning thoughts about his dad, and I'm thinking about paint. My mission this week is to get Sweeney's mind onto paint.
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