Saturday, 29 December 2007

The Post-Christmas Post

Christmas morning
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
D'Arcy came to us on Christmas Eve (Mondy night) rather than Wednesday as usual. This meant he woke up at my house on Christmas morning, and opened his stocking. The Christmas Father brought him some interesting things, particularly two Bionicles that he put together really quickly. He's getting very good at them.

But of course his big and exciting present was a cubby house from my parents and sister. They came around on Sunday and Monday to construct and paint it. We got quite a lot of dog help with this, as Honey came around too. Honey and Larry get on really well, they play together a fair bit, chasing each other is their favourite. Laz is very patient with Honey, even when she won't stop with the chasing, he doesn't lose his temper. There is a photo of Honey on Flickr showing what happens when a dog tries to help with the painting.

Christmas day was great. We went up to mum's house for lunch, and my Dad was there too. After lunch my uncle and his daughter and ex-wife came around and we had a good time. It was nice and cool so we had the traditional roast - turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Being up the duff, I can no longer get into the Christmas spirit with the same gusto, but it is kind of interesting being the sober person in the room. I did have brandy butter with my pudding though.

We went to Cooma to visit our friend Davy, who was visiting his mum there, and had a lovely day with them and our other friend Peter Chicken, who we took with us. Larrry even played well with Davy's mum's fluff-ball Pomeranians.

Now I'm sick again, and still tired. I have a cold with sinus infection to boot, and D'Arcy has something which gives him a really impressive rash all over his body. We actually went to the doctor yesterday, who reassured me that it wasn't the kind of virus that should be worried about, but it's viral for both of us. It's stupidly hot today, so I'm staying inside, snoozing in front of the telly with the cricket and playing Scrabble on Facebook, and feeling miserable.

Friday, 21 December 2007

The Pre-Christmas Post

I think all the shopping is done, the food is mostly organised, and all that remains is to do some housework so that I can remain vaguely sane. However two things stand in the way of this, the first is that I have to work on Monday until 6 pm. The other is more concrete, and involves a conversation that we had with D'Arcy after dinner one night a few weeks ago.

M: You know how we've been talking about babies quite a lot lately?
D: Yeah...
M: Well, I need to tell you now, that it's because we're going to have a baby in this house.
D: What do you mean? I don't understand??
M: There's a baby growing in my tummy right now.
D: (now very anxious) But what do you mean? HOW?!?!?!

Lots of tears ensued.

The Beloved and I exchanged glances, and later observed that it was an unexpected reaction. We'd expected more anger.

After a few days to let it sink in, D'Arcy started asking some questions, and while he's still not happy, he's coming to terms with it I think. More details as they emerge, but due in June.

One of D's classmates' mum is also having a baby in June, similar circumstances - second marriage, 7 year gap, previous only child...the only difference is that the classmate is a girl, and is excited about the prospect of a sibling.

Hmmm. Very tired.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Another new addition to the household

Last Minute Larry
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
Under pressure from the Beloved we had been looking for a dog for few months. We had tried the RSPCA a few times, including the time we came home with two cats, but hadn't found our dog yet. We turned to a local group who scour the country pounds, buy dogs at a reduced rate, then rehabilitate them, and put them up for adoption. the nice thing about that is that when you go to meet the dog, you meet them in the carer's home and the carer has spent time with the dog, so can give you an accurate assessment as to whether the dog might suit you or not. So we'd met a few dogs, but none of them were quite right for us - we have a number of constraints - small child, cats, no-one home during the day some days - and so we kept looking.

Two days before D'Arcy's birthday, one of the carers rang us and said "We were just at a local pound, and there is this lovely dog there who I think might suit you - he's quiet and well mannered - but he is due to be destroyed at 10 am tomorrow, and none of our carers have room to take him. I couls email you some photos and if you like the look of him, perhaps you could ring the pound in the morning to ask more questions.

By some miracle I didn't have to work that morning, and of course when she sent the photos, we thought "oh, he looks lovely" so we rang the pound, and the staff there couldn't say anything bad about him. In fact they loved him. He'd been there for his allowed 21 days, but for some reason they hadn't been able to rehome him. The woman said "you know, there's a lot of dogs that I would prefer not to see re-homed, but this isn't one of them". I don't know how they would have gone giving him the injection...that doesn't really bear thinking about.

So we got to the pound at 9.30 and at 9.48 said 'yes' so his name is Larry. He's very sweet, doesn't jump up, has respect for D'Arcy most of the time, and after some settling in, is currently more scared of the cats than they are of him. Pretty bloody lucky.

We don't know anything of his back story. He was left in one of their night-cages, had no microchip and wasn't de-sexed. However he knows to sit, walks well on a leash (as long as he gets a walk every day) can even shake hands, and knows 'outside'. So he's a total mystery. He doesn't fret if he's left alone all day, just snoozes on the deck, or in his kennel, so he's not an escaper. Our vet suggested (when he saw the condition he was in - very fit, muscular, and no fat on him) that perhaps he was a farm dog who just chased the sheep too much, and so they got sick of him.

We know nothing of his breeding either. At the pound they reckoned he was a Staffy cross, but he doesn't really look like any Staffys I've ever met - his legs are longer and his chest narrower, and he sits squarely on his bum, rather than on one hip. He does have a fairly blocky head, but spends most of his time with his nose on the ground. His colouring suggests mastiff/ridgeback, but he's nowhere near that big.

He's a good guard dog too. If we're out walking and men approach me he'll give them a good bark and a growl. Same when we're at home and someone comes to the door. We had a houseguest about a week after we'd got Larry, and every time the guest came home Larry would bark and growl at him. Kind of a good thing, but not terribly sociable. I have plans to take him to obedience training in the new year, when the classes start again, so that might help. He loves meeting other dogs,but then doesn't seem to know how to play. He just wants to say 'hello' and then go on his way.

D and I are having a sick day today, which means that Laz won't get much of a walk, but he's been inside a lot, which is a nice treat for him.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

It's that time of year again...

So it wasn't too late for the icecram cake lady. She did a lovely job, as usual, and there's quite a bit left over. The rain held off just long enough for the kids to run around the park, find some stolen car number plates in the bushes, eat, and sing. D'Arcy's dad got tied up again, but I have no photos of that event. Now listening to the sound of thunder, with excitement.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

school holidays

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
In the second week of the holidays we got around to doing all the things we were going to do in the first week, except we got sick. So we had haircuts, and lunch and merry-go-round rides in town. All on the same day. D'Arcy is looking pensive, which is by far the best facial expression for a merry-go-round. Except perhaps one of excitement. Still, you never quite know where you are with things that spin.

School has been back for a week. Someone has a birthday coming up, and someone else has to organise the party, so it's all systems go here. i still haven't found out what kind of cake he wants. Last year we got him an ice-cream cake from a local ice-cream maker, but i fear it may be too late for that. I'll giver her a ring tonight and find out, but I'll need to know a design for her...

Sunday, 7 October 2007

OMG! I've created a monster

OMG! I've created a monster
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
So we've been sick for a few days. D has been watching me play Scrabble through fcebook and was very interested. He remembered that there is a Trabble Scravel set in the cupboard, and got it out to play around with. I suggested that Scrab isn't that hard (especially since each time he gets sick with a vomiting fever thing his reading ability escalates enormously) and that he might like to try playing a game with me. We got down to it, and it was great. I helped him with a lot of his words, but not all of them, and he got the hang of it pretty well. It's still a challenge remembering that you have to attach your word to something (he didn't like that rule), and that if you play what my Scrabble buddies call a 'parlour trick' (where you lay out a word next to an existing word, creating a bunch of two-letter words) that all the two letter words need to make sense. The remaining letters on the right were mostly mine, I couldn't find anywhere sympathetic for them to go. Of course D'Arcy won.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Dress up as your favourite animal day.

Someone wanted to dress up as a lion, and in the manner of Jean-Luc Picard, I made it so.

He was not entirely happy with the result. I think he's just got to the point where he's noticed that other people have opinions, and that he might want to pay attention to them, so he thought that being a lion was a bit daggy. Oh well. I liked it (and it is all about me isn't it?).

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Night (and day) terrors

So D'Arcy watched an episode of Dr Who a few weeks ago which, even by my adult standards, was pretty scary. I didn't realise how scary until quite a way into it. When I did realise, I turned it off (which may have been a mistake - it was the episode with the 'weeping angels' - statues that you had to keep looking at, or else they started to move around, and do bad things to you). D'Arcy had bad dreams that night, related to the show, but it seemed that it was all behind him. Until this week, when they resurfaced. Manifesting as waking up in the night "Mum! I'm scared" and doing this every 15 minutes or so until I wake up enough to turn on the light, at which point he goes back to sleep. They also manifest as being too scared to go into differnt rooms of the house in the evening, including the toilet. On top of this, there's been a scary story doing the rounds at school...

"There's this teenage girl, and she lives through this door under the stairs, near the girls' toilets, and she has this really big knife, like butchers use that cuts through bones, and she has only one eye, and Campbell saw her during the disco, and he had these tranquilisers and a gun, and he shot them at her, but she stopped them with her knife, and she eats anything, and I know it's true 'cos Madeleine told me and she never lies"

And that is roughly how it's told, all in one breath with big wide eyes (poached eggs, thank you Kerry Greenwood).

So, sleepless nights 'r' us right now, and if any of you mummies out there can give me any hints, I'd be thrilled. You see this kind of full-blown panic is very familiar to me, so it's kind of hard to offer support and remain 'the adult'.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

We just got home from the school disco. I'm not sure why they think that the 5-11 age bracket need a disco, but we went along and stood around in the dark with loud music and flashing lights. D'Arcy liked it better this year than last, and spent more time in the hall, rather than in the canteen. He didn't want to dance with any girls, although one dragged him out for a bit of a spin. It's now bed time, but the beloved is thwarting that plan by playing bad old disco music. D is unimpressed.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Sorry for lack of blog.

Here's a snippet of some other stuff we've been up to. The Beloved bought us a new digi camera, which has decent video, but the main gimmick is that it's an underwater digital. Go Olympus!

Anyway, here is the Lego Cat video, complete with whinging.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Hey Mum! I've decided that I like artichokes!

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
It's true. In an unlikely development for fussy eaters everywhere, this one has decided that he likes to eat globe artichokes. It's possible that it's just a vehicle for balsamic vinegar, but even if it is, I'm good with that. He likes the stalk too. Sorry about the mastication photo.

Thursday, 23 August 2007


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
D'Arcy said to me the other night, "hey mum! can i use the camera?" "sure" I said. He then proceeded to take about 40 photos almost identical to this one. Very proud of himself. The lens was a bit smeary though.

A few weeks ago the school had its athletics carnival. The first graders all ran in one race of 70 metres. D'Arcy was really geared up for it, even though he hates most kinds of physical activity. The moment arrived and he ran really hard, and came in last (or almost last). Immediately afterwards he was quite disappointed, and aware that he hadn't run as fast as he wanted. Over the weeks however, he's changed what happened. He's now convinced he came third (somehow), and that is connected with how well his dad's girlfriend's daughter ran in her race (she's in Kindy at the same school) and he needed to have done better than she did. Weird.

Unsurprisingly I've been captured by the octopus that is Facebook. I apologise for the inconvenience and normal programming should return soon.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

New fun game

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
This photo depicts a game that D'Arcy made up last weekend, If you go to Flickr, by clicking on the photo, you'll see that I've made a set of them, and you ought to be able to view them as a slideshow. The same is true of the jelly photos from the same day!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
On Sunday, as promised, we made jelly. We started in the morning with the blue, ate some for afternoon tea, and then added tha pink and ate more for dessert. When Flickr gets its shit together there will be a reasonably comprehensive photo essay up there. At the moment it's only loaded 40% of the set, weird. And that was after 3 tries.

D'Arcy is at his dad's house tonight, so I am doing housework, blogging, about to watch Spicks and Specks and also preparint tohave a shower to alleviate some of the pain the osteopath gave me today.

I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today on a child-free whim. It was pretty good, but they messed with the storyline a bit much for my liking.

In other news, I found my first grey hair the other day. Yikes!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Yet another cat post...

To our great surprise, Kovu and D'Arcy have been nominated as Cat of the Month for August at Cats In Boxes. So feel free to go and check it out.

In other news, D'Arcy's dad is still away, and the beloved left for a week long business trip to the US yesterday, so D'Arcy and I are getting a little weary of each other's company. Thank goodness for school, I say. Yesterday we did a small amount of craft, and a larger amount of housework. Today I have promised jelly, after D'Arcy started singing the Aeroplane Jelly jingle in bed this morning. What Wikipedia says about the 4th and 5th lines of the the jingle are pretty true, it's not made of real fruit in any way, and I'm not sure that it ever was. It is good jelly though. I remember some time ago there was a range of native fruit flavours like quandong and lilli pilli, but they are no longer.

Thursday, 26 July 2007


D'Arcy is in the bath. Kovu is helping. D'Arcy made bath bombs using a recipe from his Double Helix magazine. It involves citric acid and bicarb soda and then some almond oil and scented oil. D'Arcy made some lavender ones (with flowers) and some rose geranium ones (with rose petals). He's very happy with them, and they are an incentive to get in the bath.


10 Tbsp bicarb
3 Tbsp citric acid
6 drops scented oil(x2)
5 tsp sweet almond oil (x2)
10 drops food colouring (x2)
flower petals or body glitter

Mix together the bicarb and citric acid in a bowl. Divide it in half and put into two bowls if you want to make two different flavours/colour of bath bomb.

Add flower petals or body glitter to this mix.

In a small jar mix 6 drops of scented oil, 5 tsp almond oil, and 10 drops of food colouring.

Gradually pour the oil mix into the dry mix. Using rubber gloves mix it up. it should hold together without crumbling too much.

Press mixture into a mould. We used a silicon muffin tray, greased with almond oil. Anything rigid should work, but I think you need to grease it.

Make the second half of the mixture using different flowers/glitter, oils and colours.

Leave in the tray to set for a few days.

Ours ended up a bit crumbly, a little bit more oil would probably fix that. They fizz up satisfactorily, and turn the bath a pale shade of food colour. More would be better probably for that skin staining psychadelic bath experience.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Cat Help

cat help
We have had a good two weeks holidays here. Getting the cats at the beginning was a good idea. D loves to play with Kovu and Kovu is a pretty good player all round. We had friends over today, and everyone played well together. Even Mort came out of the laundry to see what was going on.

Questions and Thoughts
Why is it that cats like to help? Morti corners so fast sometimes that he loses his footing and ends up sideways on the floor. Then I laugh at him and he gets up in a hurry, pretending that he 'meant to do that'. What is it with cats and boxes?
cat in a box

And how many cats can you fit on one cat tower anyway?
Angels on the head of a pin... or something

Friday, 13 July 2007

New name

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
The cat formerly known as Mickey is now known as Mortimer. They are both settling in well, though Kovu is much more confident in the house than Morti - any noise sends him bolting for the laundry. He is getting more relaxed as time goes by. We shut them in the laundry at night and when we go out, as we're still teaching them that they aren't allowed on the table or benches, or allowed to scratch on the carpet.

D'Arcy's dad chose the school holidays to have a holiday himself (away from D'Arcy) so that means that D is spending most of the holidays here, which is a bit of a challenge, as I have to work Monday and Tuesday, but we're still managing to have some fun. The cats are a good distraction, as are some friends he's been playing with. Yesterday we went to see Shrek, which I didn't think was as funny as the last two, and today we went ice-skating for the first time ever for either of us. It was really hard, but fun. I fell down hard once, which has left me with a headache, and a sore hip. D'Arcy spent a lot of time flailing around looking like a cartoon character and falling over, but he enjoyed it, on the whole.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

New additions to the household

So today was nominated as "getting pets day" in our household. The beloved is a dog person and has been keen to get one since day one. I am much more of a cat person, and was hesitant, but agreed that we could get a dog,l as long as we got a cat as well. We rolled up to the RSPCA today to check out the animal scene. We looked at dogs first and identified two that we thought looked possible, but on further examination one of them turned out not to get on with cats. That was a deal-breaker for us. The other dog, who we ended up meeting, is a big sook and has some bahaviour issues (scared of people; jumps; plays a bit hard, doesn't travel well; isn't at all self-sufficent - follows people around the house etc...) but the guy was confident that with his keen-ness to please, this dog could be trained to have better manners. And he's lived with cats well, and also small children. In our meeting session with him, he mostly ignored D'Arcy. It seems that his previous family didn't give him the attention he deserves, and also failed to train him at all. He's a lovely looking dog, but I'm not quite convinced he's the one for us. We'll sleep on that one.

Then we went to the cattery. We went through the first cat room, without seeing any that really stood out to us. In the second room were a bunch of cats in multi-cat cages. It turned out that they were all seized in February in a raid on a 'hoarding' house. They rescued 53 cats, most of which were taken somewhere else, and 13 were taken to our local shelter. After meeting a few of these cats, D'Arcy took a liking to the big ginger tom called Kovu, who has a best mate (the cat formerly known as Mickey).The staff suggested that they'd go better as a pair, and they were doing special deals on the hoarding-house cats. They are both reasonably timid, but Kovu is much less so, and the staff at the shelter reckon they'll settle down once they're in a stable place for a while. Neither like to be picked up much, but they both come up for stroking and purr a lot.Kovu is about 3 I think and the cat formerly known as Mickey is just under one. Interestingly, they're both now overweight. The shelter staff got a bit enthusiastic about feeding them up, so we'll have to slim them down, but that shouldn't be too hard. In the car on the way home, Kovu broke out of the cardboard carry box we got him in, and D'Arcy got very worried that we'd be arrested for having an unrestrained cat in the car, which is illegal, we were informed by the shelter staff. Fortunately we got them home OK, without arrest or other mishap. As you can see they are currently coming to terms with our bathroom, and will stay there for the next 24 hours or so. I'm very excited to have cats in my life again, and these boys are lovely. I can't wait to have them wandering around the house.

As far as the dog plan goes, we'll go back and have another look soon, perhaps try the dog-jail too, but the boys need some time to settle in, before they get traumatised too much. The staff reckoned that because they had been with so many other cats, as long as a dog is cat-friendly, they should cope OK in a multi-pet household. My mum also recommends ARF, who foster out dogs for adoption, so when you go to meet a dog, you're meeting them in a household setting, rather than a refuge setting, which has to be a good thing. The only problem with ARF is that they can be a bit too precious about their babies. They have a screening process to match potential owners with dogs, but it is very rigorous, similar to an overseas adoption process - as my mum was heard to say "it's only a fucking dog!" She did end up with one though, eventually, so we might give them a go.

New additions to the household

Meet the cat formerly known as Mickey...

New additions to the household

Meet Kovu, who is D'Arcy's cat, all his own.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Much more Mummy than D'Arcy

Julie at Bookworm has the 'books I have read' meme with a difference. You bold the books in the list that you have read, and add three more of your own at the end. The list is 430+ at the moment, and very broad ranging. I liked the look of it, so I'll have a go.... I reckon the clusters are interesting. And only adding three was a big challenge. It's true, I have read no Jane Austen, and as Catch 22 has been strangely impenetrable to me, I haven't read it either. Got half way through a number of times. I've also read some of this list to D'Arcy. His reading has improved a lot recently, which has got to be a good thing, and he's pretty pleased with himself.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corellis Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The Durbervilles, Thomas Hardy

27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alices Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer

60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding

71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Joness Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnights Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend

113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. Georges Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker

137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick OBrian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Element, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlottes Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophies World, Jostein Gaarder

176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery

181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay

184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Gross-mith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans

196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, DC Andrews
201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan
204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan
205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan
206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan
207. Winters Heart, Robert Jordan
208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto
212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
213. The Married Man, Edmund White
214. Winters Tale, Mark Helprin
215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault
216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell
218. Equus, Peter Shaffer
219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice
223. Anthem, Ayn Rand
224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
225. Tartuffe, Moliere
226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
228. The Trial, Franz Kafka
229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles
231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther
232. A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen
233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read
237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono
238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde
239. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
240. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
241. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
243. Summerland, Michael Chabon
244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
245. Candide, Voltaire
246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
247. Ringworld, Larry Niven
248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault
249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline Lengle
251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony
258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum
259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde
261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde

262. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel
263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
264. A Yellow Rraft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris
265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
266. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
267. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock
268. Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland
269. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. OBrien
270. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
271. The Cay, Theodore Taylor

272. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
273. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
274. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
275. The Kitchen Gods Wife, Amy Tan
276. The Bone Setters Daughter, Amy Tan
277. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child
278. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
279. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
280. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
281. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
282. Haunted, Judith St. George
283. Singularity, William Sleator
284. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
285. Different Seasons, Stephen King
286. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
287. About a Boy, Nick Hornby
288. The Bookmans Wake, John Dunning
289. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
290. Illusions, Richard Bach
291. Magics Pawn, Mercedes Lackey
292. Magics Promise, Mercedes Lackey
293. Magics Price, Mercedes Lackey
294. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
295. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker
296. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
297. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love
298. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace.
299. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison.
300. The Cider House Rules, John Irving.
301. Enders Game, Orson Scott Card
302. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
303. The Lions Game, Nelson Demille
304. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust
305. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh
306. Foucaults Pendulum, Umberto Eco
307. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
308. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
309. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz
310. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
311. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk
312. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
313. The Giver, Lois Lowry
314. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin
315. Xenogenesis (or Liliths Brood), Octavia Butler
316. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
317. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
318. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)
319. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill
320. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern (or William Goldman)
321. Beowulf, Anonymous

322. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
323. Deerskin, Robin McKinley
324. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
325. Passage, Connie Willis
326. Otherland, Tad Williams
327. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
328. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
329. Beloved, Toni Morrison
330. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christs Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
331. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin
332. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
333. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
334. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev
335. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
336. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
337. The Genesis Code, John Case
338. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
339. Paradise Lost, John Milton
340. Phantom, Susan Kay
341. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice
342. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman
343. The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
344. Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson
345. The Winter of Magics Return, Pamela Service
346. The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz
347. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
348. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler

349. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime ONeill
350. Othello, by William Shakespeare
351. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas

352. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats
353. Sati, Christopher Pike
354. The Inferno, Dante
355. The Apology, Plato
356. The Small Rain, Madeline Lengle
357. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick
358. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater
359. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
360. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
361. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
362. Our Town, Thorton Wilder
363. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King
364. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass
365. The Moors Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
366. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
367. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster

368. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
369. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
370. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
371. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
372. Howls Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
373. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
374. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
375. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer
376. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
377. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
378. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston
379. Time for Bed by David Baddiel
380. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
381. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
382. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
383. Sewer, Gas, and Eletric by Matt Ruff
384. Jhereg by Steven Brust
385. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
386. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
387. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
388. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz
389. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
390. Neuromancer, William Gibson
391. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
392. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr
393. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault
394. The Gunslinger, Stephen King
395. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
396. Childhoods End, Arthur C. Clarke
397. A Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman
398. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott
399. The God Boy, Ian Cross
400. The Beekeepers Apprentice, Laurie R. King
401. Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson
402. Misery, Stephen King
403. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
404. Hood, Emma Donoghue
405. The Land of Spices, Kate OBrien
406. The Diary of Anne Frank
407. Regeneration, Pat Barker
408. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
409. Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia
410. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
411. The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg
412. Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
413. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
414. A Severed Wasp - Madeleine Lengle
415. Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
416. The Mabinogion (Ancient Welsh Tales) - translated by Lady Charlotte E. Guest
417. The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
418. Desire of the Everlasting Hills - Thomas Cahill
419. The Cloister Walk - Kathleen Norris
420. The Things We Carried, Tim OBrien
421. I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb
422. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
423. Enders Shadow, Orson Scott Card
424. The Memory of Earth, Orson Scott Card
425. The Iron Tower, Dennis L. McKiernen
426. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
427. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L’Engle
428. Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy
429. Hyperion, Dan Simmons
430. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Jon McGregor
431. The Bridge, Iain Banks
432. Everythings Eventual, Steven King
433. The Taking, Dean Koontz
434. Many Lives, Many Masters, Brian L Weiss
435. Not What You Expected, Joan Aiken
436. Fifth Business, Robertson Davies
437. Loitering with Intent, Muriel Spark
438. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula le Guin
439. The L-Shaped Room, Lynne Reid Banks
440. The Shiralee. D'Arcy Niland

Friday, 29 June 2007


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
Today was "Crazy Random Dress Day" at school. We got three days' notice of this one, and inspiration was at an all time low. So I said "how about wearing your skeleton jammies? They're cool, and if you do that you won't have to get dressed in the morning". I've never seen someone so enthusiastic about something for a long time. He was happy about it all day too. As we walked into school we got to see some of the other kids ideas on what 'crazy' and 'random' was. My favourite was the kid who had put on his school uniform, but backwards, and inside out.

In other news, the deck is now finished. Expect photos soon, now that it's stopped raining for a while. Gotta take D to his dad's tomorrow, and people coming for dinner tomorrow night, so a bit busy for the next 24 or so.


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
Playing with the Cuisineire rods again and this tower got built. I remember that this is the fun thing to do with them when you're not using them to learn maths.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Oh dear, it's happened again

look mum...
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
Lost another tooth. Hope some more grow before the next round fall out.

Sunday, 17 June 2007


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
Not much going on. We blew more things up last weekend. I've been playing with the new toy though, and there's a series of new photos on Flickr. This one of D'Arcy's eyes was taken while sitting in a Starbucks and he was 'bored' and hanging off my legs, so I started taking close-ups of his face to relieve his boredom. It mostly worked, and I like how he framed his eyes for me in this one. We've been getting a deck added on to the house. I suspect there are photos on the camera that haven't been downloaded yet, but as the beloved was supervising the decking I'm not sure whether there are photos or not. I guess I'll find out. He's off travelling again this week, so the deck guys will be left to their own devices while I'm at work.

Friday, 8 June 2007

In honour of the Queen's birthday

It's the weekend for blowing things up. In our case, that means small children and my ears. We had a firecracker go awry. It burnt a hole in D'Arcy's trousers through to his skin, enough to blister a bit. It also temporarily deafened me.

Also we have a new toy. A Pentax toy, which enabled me to take photos of the fireworks. Well only one photo 'cos the battery went flat. But it's kind of a nice effect. It was very windy tonight. We might try another night if we can get over our fear of blowing up the child.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

So this shelf contains a collection of cocktail shakers. It is directly behind the dining table. We were sitting having dinner, and the beloved pointed quietly over my shoulder.(You may need to look at the Flickr version which is bigger). I turned around to be confronted by this scene...

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Ngoobra and the hairy man
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken
As part of reconcilliation week. D'Arcy's class studied an indigenous story Ngoobra and the Hairy Man. Then last week D'Arcy drew a picture and retold the story. The big red triangular part of the picture is a cave, which in the story, was where Ngoobra met the hairy man, and underwent his manhood ritual. That would be the hairy man on the left.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

New Skills

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
It's a bit hard to see in the photo (despite the fact that I got him to hike his trousers up) but these shoelaces were tied by the boy himself. We've existed on elastic sided boots until this year, when I bought him his first pair of 'school shoes'. He's been wearing them, grudgingly, for a few weeks, and refusing to try to tie the laces himself, but insisting that I do them, or appealing to his teacher when they come undone at school. Until friday. I sat down with him. and went through the process again, and this time he got it! Then last night he said to me "thanks for teaching me to tie my laces, mum"

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Random Question

"Hey Mum!"
"What does the Tooth Fairy do with all the teeth?"
"You know, I've always wondered that"

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
Yes, it finally happened. A mere 2 months later than first advertised. When he came back from his dad's this morning, the tooth was hanging on by not much, and sure enough, when I picked him up from school he greeted me with a closed-lip smile. It had fallen out during the morning.

In this pic he is holding the letter to the tooth fairy that he wrote, which you can see in close up on Flickr, should you so desire.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

quince post mortem

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
The quinces cooked themselves beautifully. And here's a photo. They tasted good too.

D'Arcy was fantastically behaved all day, helped me tidy the house, and then voluntarily went and tidied his room. He gave me some lovely DVDs ( Planet Earth) and some Dr Who stuff too, that he chose himself. I failed to take any family snaps of the 4 generations. Bugger.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Late Night Quinces

An hour or so ago, I looked in the cupboard and found 3 lovely ripe quinces lurking behind the rice, and I realised that what I really wanted for Mothers'Day brunch was some nice stewed quinces to go with the french toast I'm planning, if I can be bothered to get the recipe that Maggie used on The Cook & The Chef the other night. So I got to work.

3 quinces
1½ cups of sugar
1 lemon
1 stick of cinnamon
5 cloves
3 cardamom pods
3 cups water

Heat the water, sugar and spices until sugar dissolves, and then simmer for a bit.
Halve quinces, having washed and de-furred them. Don't bother to peel or core.
Squeeze lemon juice on cut quinces (but not cut fingers).
Put quinces and lemon skins in oven proof thing with a lid. Pour over spice syrup from first step.Or put quinces into it, if you started the process in the oven proof thing with a lid.
Whack it in a pre-heated oven @120°C for ages (6 hours should do it, but longer is probably fine). Turn the quinces over a few times in the 6 hours.
When it's finished, the quinces will be a lovely colour and not too astringent. When they are cool, scoop the cores out of the halves and slip off the skin with a knife. Then slice and serve with some good plain yoghurt, or cream, or icecream, and some of the amazing syrup.
There will be syrup left over, use it wisely. You can flavour things like cream or custard with it. I like it as an ultra-decadent bircher muesli addition.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Saturday Morning TV

Saturday Morning TV
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, when he got up this morning, D'Arcy turned on the TV. Fortunately in our house the channel is rusted on to ABC (kind of) so what he got was Rage where the guest programmers werePeter Bjorn and John. The first thing I saw was The Bangles Manic Monday so I was hooked from that moment on. I also (for some reason) decided that if we were watching Saturday Morning TV we should be eating sugary cereal, so we broke out an old box of SpecialK with forest berries that I found in the cupboard and got to work. This photo shows the end of bowl #2 and please note the special devil-child eyes feature.

I know, what was I thinking?

Sunday, 29 April 2007


Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
I've been looking through a disk of old photos (before separation) and found this one of a two-year old D'Arcy jumping on the bed. He had just had his first haircut not long before. I've been really enjoying looking at the photos, seeing how much he's changed in the 4 years since I got a digital camera. I look at some and think "wow, he still does that facial expression" so it has been educational. I haven't looked at these photos for about 3 years, so he has changed a lot, but has also stayed the same. He's always been cheeky and funny, but with a seriousness that the beloved picked up in some I showed him. He gets very worried about about death and dying, and things scare him unexpectedly. One of his famous utterances at the moment to the beloved is "can we talk about space?" and then they do. Sometimes D'Arcy will say "OK, stop now, I"m getting scared" when the talk turns to black holes, or the sun exploding in millions of years. I remember being scared by those things too. The hugeness of space, and the enormity of the numbers used were daunting to me. They still are. If I want to freak myself out I think of that kind of existential stuff...

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Last Weekend

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
Here's a nice sunsetty beach photo from last weekend to raise your spirits, in case they needed raising.

D'Arcy has gone away with his dad for the weekend, so I've spent the day in my pyjamas talking with the Beloved about home improvements. Now I'm cold because the magic Anzac day line has been crossed and it's time to fire up the heating for the winter. Only I didn't. Yet. And it's been raining! Yay. I hung out washing in the rain, and it made me immensely happy.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Public Holiday post mortem

It's always a shame when you lose a good public holiday to having to do annoying things. This post started life as a response to Ampersand Duck's post about Anzac Day, but it got too long and whingy, so I put it over here. She had to work on hers, but mine was lost to other reasons.

I was already annoyed that they put the school holidays around it and not Easter. I'd much rather have had it during the week when a day off school would be more appreciated by D'Arcy than in the middle of the hols, when the first time he says "I'm bored" is at 9am.

My Anzac day involved grumpy children. Well, one grumpy child. And the movies. He was slightly grumpy before we went in, and then really grumpy when we came out. He claimed it was because he'd been scared by the movie (which he had - bloody Disney!) but he was totally obnoxious for the rest of the afternoon.

It had started badly by being on a Wednesday. Wednesday is a swap-over day for D'Arcy. Usually it is not too hard, his dad brings him to my house on his way to work. Being a public holiday with no work for his dad, meant that I would be expected to pick him up at his dad's. This is a slightly bigger deal than you might think. When we first separated, I moved to a place about 10 mins drive away, so picking D'Arcy up from his dad's was no big deal. Then when we bought this place, we chose it becuase it was much closer. All well and good until about May last year, when his dad decided to sell the house and buy a farm. This has made swap overs hard. My house is on the way from the farm to the city, so it's much easier for his dad to drop D'Arcy off, or pick him up when he's in town. However this has led to white-trash tantrums on my front lawn about "you never come to my place to pick him up or drop him off" so it can be a bit tricky. On top of this, D'Arcy has been harbouring some tiny hope that we might live together again as a family. At least his dad's tantrum brought it home to him that it's not going to happen. Still he does try to use the swap over time as an opportunity to address those feelings, which often manifests as not wanting to go with the parent who is picking him up. Dropping him off works better. But I don't think I ought to have to drive for an hour each time becuase someone decided to move a long way away. So yesterday's solution was to meet in a cafe half way, which was OK, but kind of weird. I don't think it is sustainable in the long term. Part of the problem is that D'Arcy is with us for half a week each. I've structured my work week around that, and can't change it easily. I'm starting to think that a week at a time in each place would be good, but annoying to implement at the moment. What a quandary.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Writing in the sand

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
So we went to the beach for the weekend. It was a lot of fun. The house we stayed in was very basic, but very cheap and perfectly livable. Saturday was lovely weather, and we spent a lot of time at the beach. Sunday was cloudy and cooler, even raining a bit, but we went to the beach anyway. We think we might do it again.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

What's in it?

Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
We're off to the coast this weekend, so I'll leave you with this plasticine rendition of a name.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Early morning ballooning

Early morning ballooning
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
This morning we got up at dawn's crack to go and check out the Balloon Fiasco Fiesta. It was a lot of fun, but we'd go earlier next time - we got there around 7 and lots had already got underway. We stayed there for a while, becoming more annoyed by the "get the hell out of here" music by the minute. So we did. We went to breakfast and did some shopping, came home, had lunch and a nap. All in all a successful day, I reckon.

Friday, 30 March 2007

The Dread Pirate Roberts

The Dread Pirate Roberts
Originally uploaded by Crit Chicken.
So today was a fundraising day at school where instead of wearing your school uniform, you dress up. The theme today was 'movie stars' but that was a bit hard for six year olds to comprehend, so we went with 'characters'. This is the result of 10 minutes rummaging in various cupboards and then five minutes of cutting and arranging. I'm pleased with the outcome, and I only wish that all the dressing up tasks in the future should be that easy. And I didn't even have to say 'no' to the sword going to school because he forgot to ask!

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Welcome to the new abode

Here's hoping that the Beta version stops screwing me around. Starting now. Not a very inspired first post, but really! Here's a picture of the boy to try to lighten things up a bit... He's grinning like a maniac 'cos I've just taken a photo of his graffiti. He decided that the best thing to do would be to stick his stick on moustache on the wall, and then draw a face around it. It was definitely one of those "D'Arcy, that's very funny, but never EVER do it again" moments.

So, here we are. It's a bit sparse as yet. I'll have to figure out if I can import the archives and stuff in, but I think not. Bloody Blogger.