Monday, July 31, 2006

Fortunately, our router is pedal-powered.

I was happily reading some political blogs when the lights went dim, I turned them off and went to check on Sean who was virtuously organising the rubbish. As we discussed the brown-out (they always make me think of Sim City) the lights went out. We rushed to the windows; our house was right on the edge of the darkness, our neighbours on the street behind us had lights but all the neighbours on our street were dark.

Once I'd rung my sister to check if she had power (she didn't) and we'd finished sorting the recycling by candlelight I took the last bits of rubbish out. It was a lovely night; moonlit and breezy. Curious, I went for a walk.

The light flowed along the main road along the bottom of the valley and sloshed up the bottom of little roads coming off it. The last bright house was flaring against the dark, light pouring out of every window. It looked as if the energy allotment for all of Northland had managed to power Minouris's tower o' entertainment devices and get no further.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A good party.

A hundred-odd guests, 30 of them born since our wedding, the rest over twenty-one.

Fifteen family, four neighbours, four work-mates, four adults dancing, four men in bright colours, two women wearing their wedding finery, twenty-seven Playcentre people, thirty-six people I've roleplayed with (including five of the seven in my 1982 AD&D group), seventeen bloggers (adrexia, argentbear, china-shop, eloieli, flatlander, fraser-by-proxy, half-pie, house-monkey, me, no right turn, not usually about penguins, repton-infinity, rincewindTVD, seven is a journey, stephanie pegg, and xenogram), twenty-four people who were at the wedding ten years ago, thirty-three old friends, a dozen new friends, six people I hadn't met before, one chandelier, one ham, and one cat.

Well, I had a good time.
Thank you for coming.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Shallow but triumphant.

Two babies and ten years on I fit my wedding dress. I'm going to wear it tonight.

Hah! to all the corseted ninnies who are undoing the work of their feminist great-great-grandmothers with every pull of their laces!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mr. Wiggles.

Sean's work-mates like to sneak about like investment banking computer ninjas, plotting and planning at moonlit meetings (well, it's got to be more fun than doing it straight, right?). They even have code-names for each other in their secret emails, which are mostly from Thunderbirds, but they call Sean Mr. Wiggles (yes, I laughed and laughed). We haven't known the real reason why, we've looked unsuccessfully for a Mr. Men book about Mr. Wiggles and I've wondered if it is his wily coding practices, but nothing seemed quite right.

Now we know. We are informed that about a year ago the accountants were trying to talk about him (they speak with one metallic voice you know) but they didn't know his name and instead they referred to him as Mr. Wiggles because of his intensely red shirt (which would make him Murray, of the crocodilian smile). Maybe they were thinking also of his vibrantly purple shirt and deep bright blue shirt; perhaps he needs a bright yellow shirt to complete the band.

Thursday, July 27, 2006



"Hi, my husband just gave me a multi-coloured chandelier for our 10th wedding anniversary and we're having a party to celebrate on Saturday, so I am really hoping that you might be able to come and wire it in before then."

"Sure .... we've got someone working in Northland now, so he'll be along around lunch time."
A very good first impression of Parsons & Associates Electrical 1976 Ltd. ph 386-2605. They do say "Call us for Prompt Service" in their entry in Northland in the electricians' Yellow Pages Locality Guide but I expected to have to ring more than one place at least.

I'll take a photo when it's up.
... 2pm. It's up, it's lit, I took a photo and sent it to Blogger, but it hasn't yet got all the way there.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tutira Mai Nga Iwi

I'm running a Playcentre meeting again tonight, and that means choosing another karakia. I think "think as one, act as one" is rather nice as a starting thought for a meeting that works by consensus.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Which means that tonight, when I'm running the meeting, will be 10 years from when I last remember passing around my grandest newest underwear to a largish group of my friends (both sexes) for editorial comment. Perhaps I should take my rocket-ship Thunderpants along tonight as an ice-breaker ... perhaps not.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Baby all gone!" Hazel at 13 months of herself.

Iris and Hazel turned two and a half and four and a half on the 13th and 12th of July. There's been a sea change of independence lately. Iris finished her weaning process a few weekends ago with a last offer, attempt and a complaint,
"Your breast-feed all gone Mummy,"
and a switch to thinking Sean the more desirable parent for most purposes. I haven't been posting here as much as I was because I'm going out, and Sean and I often wake up after a full night's sleep with only the cat between us in our bed. The babies are gone. Our backaches are recovering, we can expect the kids to sort out many of their disputes themselves, and they can usually pull themselves together and tell me why they're crying.

Sean and I haven't yet finished our discussion about whether to have any more children but oooh, this independence is headily addictive, and when I visit tiny Veronica I get a sharp jab of schadenfreude more than envy
"Ha ha, you have a newborn!"
After more than five years either pregnant or breastfeeding it is a pleasant change to be a host organism only to things too small to see.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Scifaiku bouquet.

Guinevere cuts her
null-gee hydroponic rose;
alba for the chaste.

Arthur, kind captain,
and Lancelot, sing and rock
their IVF twins.
I didn't know about scifaiku before.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Iris's cheetah poem.

I'm peeing, Mummy.
I'm weeing, Mummy.
I'll go past, you stay still.
I'll go fast, you go slow
like an elephant,
like an elephant.
Like a cheetah;
fast like a cheetah to the loo.
Well, I'm impressed, I think she's got Sean's face and my cadences.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Cat found tucked up in doll's bed with a small teddy. Just a tad cutesy.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?

If you read this because you know me (or know someone I know) and wish Sean and me well then you and yours are invited to get down and celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with us on the 29th of July, at our place in Wellington (email susan at for details). Party will start at 4pm so the flock of children can get up steam and will go on until late.

Susan and Sean

Saturday, July 15, 2006

"Gazing through trees in sorrow"

Syd Barrett is dead and my record player isn't even plugged in to mourn with. Would his music have been less haunting if he'd had a happy life?

Remember this of me.

Tonight I sang and patted Iris to sleep while rocking Hazel on my lap. It took a long time and Hazel was very patient. Iris's black lashes slowly stopped quivering, her breathing got noisy and Hazel whispered to me

"You're a lovely mother and a beautiful singer."

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Smugly, Hazel erects an unfamiliar umbrella.
"It's my new umbrella," she claims.
"I don't think so," I reply, "whose is it? Is it Hilary's?" a silly question now I think about it because although I saw Hilary in the rain yesterday it wasn't at our house.
"I don't know," she says, "what does it smell like?"
We sniff the umbrella. It smells unperfumed but artificial, not like the rainy day I was expecting.
"It smells like shop!" It does indeed, but does that bring us closer to solving the mystery?

I don't think so, so I come and write this. As I type I hear in the bathroom where Iris is having a shower,
"No, not you come in my shower!"
"I'm not coming into your shower, but I'm showing you this little house. It is already so clean it is new, see?"
Noises of the shower door opening, a little scuffle, and closing.
"Oh, it doesn't fit in my door."

Hazel is now under the umbrella in the playroom and Iris says she's finished in the shower, perhaps it's my turn.

Troy: the musical.

I went to Troy: the musical at Circa last night. It was rich and strange and very good. It finishes this weekend so now would be a good time to go if you've been considering it.

My favourite thing was Circe played by Robert Tripe. She's the one who turns Odysseus's crew into pigs. She claims (in a torch song) "Men are pigs, men are pigs, women say they're okay, but we're lying," and then proceeds to back up the claim with more compelling evidence than I've ever heard assembled for it before. I'm still not convinced but she tried. He also did Achilles exactly as I've always thought he was; shallow, pretty, vain, glorious, and yet sincerely in love with Patroclus.

The person I went with who's done Honours in Classics was deeply amused, I think her favourite scene was Clytemnestra hacking Agamemnon to pieces in the bath. Ruth liked the fairly butch Athena.

It was great, and I was reminded again of how good professional actors are at their job. Now I'm wondering how it would work as a school production.

And the moral?
"You can't have it all. Pride comes before a fall. We're all on our own. There's no place like home."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Good bird.

They were pretending they could see Sean's work out the window.
"Can you see your daddy's big black building Iris?"
"I can see it, I can!"
"Is he waving to you?"
"My daddy is waving to me,"
"He's waving to me too. Wave wave," Hazel matched her words with actions and I took a photo.
"Now that bird is flying to him," said Iris.
"That bird is taking a message to him."
"Yes, a message, we need to write it," Iris mimed writing, "H I J, I'm writing to my daddy," she reached a finger out the window, "here you are bird, here you are, take this my note to Daddy."
"The bird says 'okay little Iris' and takes it."
"You're a good bird."
"'Thank you, you're a good daughter,' it chirped."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lovely weather.

There was an injured seal at Scorching Bay today, it was the same grey as the sand it had beached itself on. The seal was breathing fast and there was a hole in its side. Every so often someone would ring DOC and they'd say they knew about it already. We warned each other to stay away and gave the seal a bit of peace as it rested in the warm sun.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Day job.

My new day job as a lion tamer seems to use many of the transferable skills I've developed during my parenting career.

But burning the pots is still a liability.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Evisceration by kindness.

Hazel drew me a picture today; it has a person on a scooter looking over their shoulder while going through a door which opens onto a huge tree with a ladder behind it. The wind is trying to warn the person of the danger of hitting the tree but it can't talk, only blow. Hazel tells me the picture is a present because I didn't hit her when I was angry.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Carrying a warm sleeping child from the car in to her bed.

Hazel and Iris tested negative for giardia, cryptosporidium, and rotovirus. Hazel has a rash and spots. Neither Hazel nor Iris had diarrhea today though both still had it yesterday. They had a lovely time at their grandparents' for the weekend. Their mother's a bit of a liability though. Trying to make dinner tonight I cut my thumb and it's still bleeding, I burnt the oil, and the spaghetti boiled over. My washing's not yet folded, the roster's still not quite right, and I didn't even start on sewing the trousers I've been planning.

Must be bed time.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


My children are at Grandma and Grandad's in Palmerston North. Sean's probably there by now too. Downtown I was able to float in and out of shops without any vigilance, it was fun and I have some new boots which are the envy of all my previous selves.

But now I have a roster to finish writing, laundry to fold, and the house is empty of excuses.

Well, at least I've got the blog-related procrastination out of the way. I'll be much more efficient now.