Wednesday, 14 January 2009

22 months

Dear Lily

Today you turned 22 months old. Yes, I am finally on time for the first time in a while.*

This last month could be summed up with the following words: Christmas, Sydney, Beach, Summer, Hot & PhD. However, that doesn't really reflect just what a full-on month it has been.

We were inundated with guests and family over the Christmas period and by and large you took the enormous disruption in your stride. You love being around lots of people - especially 'your people'. Christmas day was probably a bit too full-on, but even that you handled admirably - preferring to give than receive and taking time out by requesting milk whenever you needed to recollect yourself and recharge.

Despite your preference for giving, you actually got a pretty amazing amount of cool toys, books and craft supplies for Christmas. In fact, you were thoroughly spoiled. We are going to have to manage this better in future years in order to stem the inundation of things into your life.

After Christmas we spent a week up in Sydney with Grandpa David and Grandma Sarah - and Midnight and Freya (dominant household members of the canine and feline variety). Oh how you love being up there.

You woke crazy-early (well far earlier than your usual 7:30-8:30am) in order to go for a walk with Midnight (and Grandma and Grandpa), while Papa and I returned to a blissful morning sleep-in, followed by a lovely peaceful breakfast. After you often crashed for an early nap - exhausted from running around after all the puppies in the dog park and getting up stupidly early. This is when Papa and I continued with our relaxation by reading or wandering down the street for a coffee. It was a hard life.

Post-nap we generally headed to the beach for a picnic and play. The water really wasn't that warm and so we tended to dig a 'pool' in the sand for you to play in and took it in turns to go and fetch water to keep it full of water. (Of course, in reality we let most of this burden fall to your willing servant - Grandpa).

Fortunately when we returned home it was to a house full of wonderful new things to play with. You have had so much fun with everything, but have been particularly enjoying your new dolls' house, painting easel and musical instruments.

Once home I also had to launch myself into Operation PhD Blitz, which has meant lots of Papa time for you - and time with other lovely family members who have been coming over to look after you. I am so proud of the way that you have adjusted to this and am loving the fact that it is really increasing the already close bond that you have with your Papa.

Other than that, it has been hot hot hot. Sometimes we deal with this by filling up your clam shell with a little bit of precious water (which we then put on the tomatoes in the evening). At other times we have made use of the lovely local pool in order to cool off and to have somewhere bearable to eat dinner in the steamy evenings. It isn't the beach, but it has still been pretty good to us.

On a far sadder note, my baby girl, these last few weeks have been darkened by harrowing daily news reports from the Gaza strip, where over 1000 Palestinians, including 315 children, have been killed in a horrible war. Though far away, the death of so many innocent people has seemed awfully close to your mama of late - especially the death of so many children and the orphaning of so many more. While holding you tight at night, I have been praying for them and for peace in their homeland. I can only hope that when you are old enough to read this letter that this time will be a footnote in a just and lasting peaceful settlement.


*Of course, then I got interrupted before finishing this letter and had to finish it today and so it is late after all...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


COHRE Statement on Gaza crisis - 12 January 2009
European governments and citizens hold the key to imposing accountability on Israel

Israel’s ongoing invasion of Gaza has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation caused by Israel’s 18 month long blockade of the Gaza Strip. The invasion of Gaza has violently forced an estimated 80,000-90,000 people from their homes. 75% of Gazans are currently without electricity and over half a million residents have no water supply. There are severe shortages of food and essential medicines. Sewage from non-functioning treatment plants is flooding into residential areas. Israel’s excessive and indiscriminate use of military force has been disproportionate to the threat posed by rocket fire by armed Palestinian groups in Gaza. Israel has targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure, including the destruction of homes, mosques and schools. So far around 900 Palestinians have been killed including 250 children. Israel has wilfully impeded humanitarian aid and aid workers from reaching the residents of the Gaza Strip. These actions constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law as set out in the Geneva Conventions and serious violations of international human rights law as set out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other human rights treaties...

Download the full statement here [Word Doc].

I realise that it is very controversial (and complicated), but I think that Naomi Klein makes a good point: "Enough. It's time for a boycott".

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Marble cupcakes

We made some marble cupcakes (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World) because P. has to take something in tomorrow for a section meeting.

I love the way that they turned out. They were very yummy - especially when topped with chocolate ganache.

Lily liked them... quite a lot.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Words fail me

This is just so horrific. It makes me want to scream and cry. How could they?

This report (pdf) is pretty awful too. I think that I am going to use it an a case study in my thesis.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

I hope that you all had a lovely NYE.

We spent yesterday morning at the zoo and the afternoon at the beach. It was such a lovely sunny day. Lily ran around like a 'mad fool' (as she now calls herself) and paddled about in the water, while we ate yummy hot chips and drank soy lattes. I love Balmoral.

In the evening, Lily shocked us all by staying awake for the 9pm fireworks (she had had an early sleep and a huge day) and so we wandered down to the harbour to watch them. She enjoyed the lights in the sky at first (although she kept asking to see the bangs), but quickly got very tired and told us "I don't want to see them anymore. They're a bit scary." So we wandered home to bed.

I heard the midnight fireworks, but couldn't even be bothered lifting my head to watch them out the window (my Dad's guest bedroom actually had a pretty good view of them - as I have found out in year's past by making a habit of watching them from bed... oh I am so lazy). Cuddles with Lily was quite celebratory enough for me.

This morning P and I wandered up to Milson's Point in search of coffee and found a gorgeous little french cafe that we had never noticed before. It lead us back to our ongoing reverie about running our own little cafe somewhere and then on to other (possibly more realistic) schemes about what we might do when we grow up. I love those mornings when the world seems so full of delicious possibilities...

This is also why I love New Year's Day. The new year is such a clean slate and life feels full of delicious possibilities. What are your schemes and dreams for 2009?

I think that I might...
  • Start baking pastries and new kinds of bread
  • Do more walking (maybe in the evenings with our little night owl)
  • Stop buying juice from the supermarket
  • Sew myself a new wrap around skirt (or two...)
  • Take more photos & video
  • Send more handwritten letters and cards
  • Come ridiculously close to finish off my annoying PhD and move on with my life
  • Start handmaking Christmas presents a little earlier in the year
I'd add that I plan to do more yoga, but that one is getting a little repetitive these days and so I'd better just leave it off...


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