Dreams are made of this

Last night, Peppercorn, now aged two and one quarter years, was having trouble sleeping. Her parents both had work today. So I gathered Peppercorn up in her Grobag/sleeping bag and carried her out to the balcony overlooking the river.

it was raining and we could hear the rain joining the river and see the lights of the high rises in the CBD disappear behind mist and fog. An event centre on the opposite river bank had string of lights, ending in a bright blue light that dazzled Peppercorn.

She cuddled into my arms and we chattered very softly under she started to yawn and rub her eyes, ready to settle back into sleep.

i know she won’t remember our night time moment, but I know I will for it was so precious. The city, the river and the rain as we sat together in the night shadows. Feeling very, very grateful and lucky today.

Mad dogs and Australians


Well, Augie dog isn’t mad, rather just hot, as we were. We waited until 4pm but it was a 38C summer day, and so it was still more than hot, when Mr FD and I decided to plant some of the shrubs we bought this week.

The next fault in our plan was that where we had decided to plant was right on our front fence; that meant a walk down the hill. Mr FD must garden with Augie, so down we paraded : Mr FD pushing the wheelbarrow with compost and plants, Augie on leash beside him (on leash was we were working next to the road) followed by moi, carrying an assortment of tools and some fish emulsion. Not enough tools, as we soon realised that the ground was not only hard but had long established tree roots crisscrossing the area. A crow bar was needed.

It couldn’t be found in the shed, so Augie and I walked back up the hill to ask Son if he had any idea of its whereabouts. So that pulled Son into our adventure, much to his dismay.

I commenced pruning some of the nearby trees while the gentlemen dug holes, but I had to admit defeat as I became seriously breathless – the respiratory issue. Admitting defeat, I walked slowly back to the house, leaving the gentlemen to their endeavours.

When they returned, soaked in perspiration and heat exhausted, I was ensconced in air-conditioned comfort, cold drink in hand. Son had been bitten  inside his shoe by an ant- he is allergic to insect bites, so that meant antihistamines. Honestly, there was no nefarious plan on my part…

Mr FD has plans to finish the planting and to mulch the area tomorrow. It is expected to be 40C tomorrow. Son has already said not to speak to him.



a story of beetroots and little girls


conversation 2

Hello, Peoples!

My week has been varied. First week of term, new classes for me, more students to remember. I am dreadful with names, especially if they are Pacifika names. The names of Sudanese girls often trip me up too, and though I try my hardest to get the pronunciation correct, but it is not one of my better skills, so I often exasperate the students. I can but try my best.

Friday I went to a Teacher Librarian conference which had no TL focus but rather was on innovation and creativity; and was great. I really enjoyed the content. The brown paper bag lunch they provided was obviously at the lower end of the budget, but we survived. These days, I find, because I have been thundering around for a couple of years and making my opinions known, I have people seeking me out at conference, which is great for my ego, but it is so exhausting being nice. I am an outlier, and there I sit, and in these days of innovation and creativity, it appears a little more welcome.  Maybe, it is because I show that I really don’t care anymore. I don’t care about being mainstream.

I was told to cease and desist on my the makerspace, but if you can’t go over it, go around it, so I am seeking less visible ways (to administration) to achieve my goal. First up is seeking out two exercise bikes. I am hoping a couple of someone’s will donate them to us. One can but ask. If not I will put into my next budget  as library “furniture”.

The house is much quieter since Petite Fille and her parents moved back to their home. The conference I attended was in the city, so I spent the night before at what I now call their boutique hotel (they have a butler’s pantry bigger than many kitchens we had in previous houses!) Friday afternoon I was to return home to the country, but Petite Fille had a sad face, so Grandma agreed to spend another night.

Saturday morning we decided on coffee and cake, and Petite Fille was so excited at the thought of a “treat” – she is a no sugar child. She was allowed a lamington, which we hoped would go under the radar of her father’s approval (he was absent though!) When it arrived it was a vegan, beetroot lamington which ticked all the boxes. The Big Whatever must have been watching over us today! I could hear generations of long gone CWA Ladies (Country Women’s Association) rolling over in their graves – no sugar and beetroot in a lamington. From the way it disappeared I suspect there was in fact little to complain about!

I dropped into an office supplies store on the way home and purchased a set of neon coloured sharpies, so I am off to play with my pens! Not that I can draw, but I shall amuse myself never the less.


days of the week, snap, snap

house dress

I’ve lost track of the days. It happened before the semester break even began. Last day of term I emailed Daughter2 in Perth and informed her that I was going to sleep all day the next day. A fast reply from daughter informed that I was flying over to Perth the next day. I had thought my flight was two days hence not the next day.

Today, I had to think really hard to remember it was Tuesday. I know it is the second week of vacation but even in term time, the days just tumble by, forming weeks, months and years. Is it life in general or me? Is it you, is it me, is it us?

The time I spent in Perth was too brief but wonderful. Peppercorn, now six months, not only sits up, but crawls and is now pulling herself up to stand. She will be seven months on the 9th of this month! She is so determined to go, go, go.

Petite Fille and her Mummy and Daddy will be moving back into their own home next week. They have spent over five months with us while their house renovations have been evolving. Petite Fille has been with us just long enough for her to have forgotten her own home, and so she is a little concerned to leave Grandma and Grandpa. Yesterday, she told me she was going to marry me so that we could be together for ever and ever! I shall miss seeing her little face each day, but I have to admit that keeping up with a three year old day after day does take more energy than I possess sometimes!

So, if I can keep my days straight, I will be back tomorrow… or maybe the day after. Hang in there!

A week in the life of a teacher librarian

edutech 1

The conference was great, well, elements were great, others were hoohum, as all conferences are, but on the whole I found much to ponder and reflect upon.

The first day I was like a honey pot around which a couple of colleagues form other schools swarmed around. Possessing a magnetic personality can be such a burden at times. The second day I was solo all day, as we followed different conference streams, and these days I prefer that.

My motel room with its city views was a room overlooking a building site, on a bust inner city road. The footpath to the motel was blocked and so I had to walk a block out of my way to circumvent the building site to reach the motel at the end of the day which impressed me not, but I broke the budget and ordered a glass of wine along with my room service dinner.

edutech 6

city views!

The next morning, suitcase in hand I decided not to walk back to the convention centre and so asked for a taxi. A very polite driver who almost drove us in front of a bus and then in his haste almost reversed over a woman walking across the motel drive way. The short drive was less eventful but did feel longer than it should have!

Day to was in the ballroom

Day Two started in the ballroom

My major grump was about the little things that can make a conference less of a positive experience – not enough food at some breaks,  a lack of seats to sit upon when eating, and surfaces to rest a glass or cup during a meal too. The food was all finger or fork food, but as you had to leave the food area with drink and food, if you couldn’t claim one of the few standing tables or rare seats well then you were in for a juggling act. I twittered my annoyance at having to sit on the floor, more than once.

might be a floor seat, but damn my shoes look great

might be a floor seat, but damn my shoes look great

I am becoming more and more angry about the lack of creativity and innovation in my school, and if I had the flexibility might consider branching into something new, but I am in my late fifties now, and the main bread winner and so I am rather constrained in my possibilities. It’s bubbling around in my consciousness now, the need to create and innovate is growing, and so I may just increase my environment scanning. I’ve never been afraid of career change, but I am realistic that being in my last fifties, well, in Australia that means possibilities are not plentiful. Ageism is alive and flourishing sadly.

Garbed in her trusty scarf and socks, Flamingo Dancer goes forth to fight ignorance and information overload everywhere!

Garbed in her trusty scarf and socks, Flamingo Dancer goes forth to fight ignorance and information overload everywhere!

On the home front, Daughter 1 celebrated a birthday and Petite Fille and I baked a chocolate cherry cake. It was delicious even if I do say so myself.


Peppercorn goes to ground!

Peppercorn, who turns six months this coming week is crawling! That baby can certainly work a rug, and loves nothing better than to roll and crawl about the floor. I think she gets very frustrated by the constraints of her baby body! She reminds me of her mother as a baby so much – very determined and already setting her own achievement goals. I miss them dreadfully since they returned to home.

Another three or four weeks until Petite Fille and her parents will return to their own home, renovations complete. I guess life will return to normal, though I am not sure I will recognise normal anymore!

psst, over here!

Claire McCardell

I can neither confirm nor deny, that I have been absent for some time. Well, I can, but I have been listening to so many politicians rabbiting on during our election campaign that I can no longer think in real speak.

One daughter and her family living with us during their house renovations, and then other daughter arrived with Peppercorn for a visit, so for the Flamingo Dancer nest has been brimming. As Son works in IT  and works from home, we have and the entire family minus one son-in-law home for a period. Happy chaos.

As most of the extended family had not met Peppercorn we had a parade of relatives marching through the door. We also took Peppercorn to visit with her Great Grandmother Flaming Dancer. Peppercorn has two great grandmothers, but the other lives in New Zealand and not is great health, so she may not get to meet her, but one great granny is a pretty good start. We posed for a four generation photo with all my girls.

Tomorrow I am attending an educational technology conference in Brisbane, and I am so excited it is ridiculous. I just love attending a good conference, where bright minds share. As well, I am overnighting in a motel in the inner city, so I shall pretend I am a high flyer for a day or two!

Wednesday it will be back to the real world and the classroom. We are into assessment period again, with just four weeks of semester left (yay for small mercies).

So despair not, I have not vanished, but family always trumps blogging. You need me, I know…

Of course I can, said the brush to the comb.


Favourite memory of the weekend is of three year old, Petite Fille, using a hair brush and comb as her violin and bow. Perky nose wrinkled tight for she was concentrating very hard, as brush tucked under her tiny chin, she hummed a high pitched melody as she drew the comb back and forth through the brush bristles.

We exclaimed at her talent and suggested that one day she would play for an audience and they would rise to their feet to clap their appreciation and Petite Fille merely nodded and said, “Of course they will.”

Her Daddy entered the room and we asked her for an encore. “Of course, I can!” she consented.

No one ever played a brush and comb with such delicate touch and feeling.

To achieve, first we must believe.

End of vacation blues

There goes those two weeks! New school term tomorrow, and I honest to the Big Whatever have done no preparation beyond wadding through my email inbox. Deleting emails took an hour, and by that time I was so over school that I closed my school laptop and put it in the car, where it can languish until tomorrow!

I am covering a colleague’s ICT class for four weeks so will be refreshing my coding skills. He is not a man to introduce anything new, so I can trust that nothing has changed in the unit since I taught it last year.

Over the break, I have had swarms of ideas running through my head for the library, but I need to sift and filter (do sift and filter mean the same, or is one more intense. I hope so, since my word choice!) I have neither time, energy nor assistance to do a lot of big picture stuff, but I will just try to do what I can do, one day at a time.

The manga and anime club kicks off this term with Manga Tuesday. Initial interest was about 40 students, but I expect that to be somewhat less when the day arrives. I am allowing the students to run it, as while I stock the graphic novels, I really don’t know the genre at all, so I am praying some of the older, or more enthusiastic students take up leadership.

Missing my Perth based Peppercorn.

four months

ready for swimming lessons!

However, home was where Petite Fille was waiting, with a butterfly cake that she had decorated with flowers. It was an earl grey tea cake with chocolate lavender icing. Yes, it was yum!

cake 58


All good things come to an end


From west to east, flying home today. Sad to leave Peppercorn and her Mummy, as always. I am not subtle in my “suggestions” that they move east and close to family again. Peppercorn’s paternal grandmother agrees as they live in Queensland too.

Comfort in knowing I am going home to Petite Fille, and a second birthday celebration. Petite Fille has been telling her mother that Grandma must have a flower cake, the gift of a toy truck, and a party with a friend called Anne Jones. We don’t know anyone named Anne Jones.