Monday, November 03, 2014


So. It's the day before Melbourne Cup Day. Tomorrow something is happening and I hope it has a good result. It's something bookish and I will let you know if it pans out.

Tomorrow also P starts her exams. English Paper 1 or something. It's a poem or a piece of prose, unseen. They have to read it, and annotate and write a commentary. So we've done a bit of work on the language used to describe author choices and literary devices. Cue cards and everything. I think she's pretty well prepared.

She said that her friends' mothers aren't helping them, and I know it's not 'normal' for me to be doing it, or not the norm is probably a better way of putting it. I'm not sure why I've made myself so available to her, wanting to help. Perhaps I have more invested in these exams emotionally than I thought. I'm the first person to be critical of other parents who do too much for the kids, and don't encourage them to be independent and make their own decisions and mistakes. Maybe I need to think about it, but whatever. I told her it's a one-off, and I won't be helping her with anything else like this in life. Not study-wise.

She's applying to go to college next year. You know: Animal House. I'm a bit conflicted but I stupidly said yes, and I do think it would be good for her as long as she's happy living in. Get her out of her comfort zone a bit more; force her to open up social circles. Get her off our couch. I need to find out whether they accept payment per semester in case she fucking detests it.

We just spent time out the back, in the sun, armed with scissors and dog grooming tools, attacking the Gigi. Gigi loves to lie in the bushes and is a licker too. She licks (vet said maybe allergies; maybe boredom, stress. I think the latter myself.) This means she gets very matted around her 'pantaloons' - bouffy hair that grows exponentially between her legs. She also gets matted on her tummy and well, anywhere really. So we did some chopping and now she looks like some poor kid who gets a home haircut. We're going to take her for a walk too. We haven't walked her for ages cause: 1. she's too slow, 2. she always wants to stop and sniff, so we've worked out a plan. We take her for a walk around the block, slowly, and she can stop and sniff. Then we drop her back home and go for our fast, longer walk. We will see how this goes.

Haven't been to yoga for a couple of weeks. Just too hard with the study and everything else going on. But I'm going to get back to it once P is finished. It's something I feel is really good for me.

Clokes has started in a new position at work. He's still in IT but he's doing twitter and facebook for the bank. Which is kind of funny because it's what he likes to do at home too, so I guess not many people can say they do for paid work what they do in their spare time. He has to shirt up though. Before, he was with a team that were very casual: polo t-shirts, jeans even. Now he's back in shirts and the ones he's wearing he tucks in. I've never known this man to tuck, and he does, and it's hilarious. I call him Tucky when he comes home at night. Mean but funny. Before that I called him Stripey, because he wears those striped polo shirts. Mean, I know. BUT FUNNY.

Last night I cooked lasagne. There was a Neil Perry recipe I got online. Not that I love NP or anything. I don't, but this version had buffalo mozarella and white sauce. Clokes is the lasagne maker in the family and he makes a fantastic lasagne, that has superseded my own very good one. His has ham in it, no white sauce, lots of wet meat sauce and lots of cheese. The way he puts it together, lots of layers of fresh lasagne sheets. Delicious. The one I made yesterday was beautiful. White sauce on top with parmesan cheese and dotted with whole basil leaves. It bubbled and browned, and was yummy but I had to say to him that I still thought his was tastier.

We are still watching Gogglebox. We are right up against the present it seems. Last night's episode (which was the last ep of a season) had them all sitting around watching their Logies equivalent, and Gogglebox won! It was more meta than usual. Then the first episode of the new season, about half of the families had new couches/armchairs. Obviously got a cheque. Also last night, they were watching a Downtown Abbey episode that P had watched just that afternoon on her laptop, while she took a break from cue cards.

So it's all happening in our place.

On Saturday night I went to a friend's birthday and it was upstairs at an Italian restaurant in Lygon St. Lots of people I didn't know, and a few I did. Clokes was there (untucked but striped) and they had a quiz and I won a medal and got a little loud. As I do. Then on facebook next day, lots of pictures and I was tagged and I really don't like the tagging thing. It just draws attention. Annoying. But how do you ask people to untag. I thought you had to give permission for tagging. Annoying.

Well, that's about it. Teaching wise we've been pretty busy. Finished a primary program last week (series of three lessons of three weeks) and finish another one this week. Also have been doing Year 5 sessions at a school in two parts; we have a few more bookings and then finished for the year on 2 December (my birthday). P has eye laser surgery on the 5th, then she goes away to the beach with friends (instead of schoolies) and then we are having a big family Christmas here (except for my dad, and my sister and her family, they will be OS), and THEN P goes OS 9 Jan. And I go 16 Jan, so that will be good.

What do you have on for the rest of the year, over Christmas/New Year?


jo_blue said...

OH Melba, so good to catch up on your world and your people. Life sounds pretty good for you right now - hope that's right. Wish P all the best for her exams. I think you are helping because you can and you're her mother! English is your thing and I think helping is a way of staying connected...although I don't think you have that problem with P.

I lived in college. It was OK, better than staying at home that's for sure. It opened up my world in so many ways and allowed me the space to make some very stupid decisions, which I really needed to do and learn from! Don't know if that's a good thing or not. Where is P applying to (if you can say)?
Twitter and Facebook - who knew that could be a fulltime job!!! Lucky Clokes.

Poor Gigi - Dog groomer?? I wish I could take my cat.

As for me I just want the year to end. It's been a tough one and I want a fresh start. Endless meetings and committee's and my seemingly endless research project and people leaving and other people being very busy so I can't see them...Uggh. Writing reports now and my classroom and students are the one area in my life that has turned out exceedingly well thanks to technology. My principal is proud of me which is good because I would not want to cross that man! i'm playing by his rules to incorporate more technology into classrooms and having good results but it makes me look like I'm sucking up! Still, you can't argue with results!

After Christmas and New Year kids and I are going with a friend and her boy to a resort for a week in QLD. Can't wait. Despite living in the tropics for 6 years, this will be our first resort holiday ever. :D

Cheers. Jo

suze2000 said...

Yes you can remove tags of you. And you can set your privacy preferences to prevent tags from showing up on your timeline until you approve them. (though I'm not sold that it actually works)

Anyway to remove tags, you just go to the photo in question, click on the arrow in the top right corner and select Remove Tag. :)

squib said...

Hope all goes well with the bookish thing. I feel a bit weird about seeing you in the tagged pic like I have intruded on your privacy, especially as you hate being tagged

Have to take our old dog out separately from my "run". He sniffs one tree for an hour, these days. Once, when I took him on my run, some busybody thought he was abandoned and gave me a passive aggressive lecture

Melba said...

No, I don't mind that you saw it, squib, in fact send me a friend request if you want to, would love to be facebook friends with you, BUT ONLY IF THAT'S COOL WITH YOU, am absolutely happy to keep things separate! But you know my name and I know yours, so that's not why I was talking about tagging! Not at all. It was that my other facebook friends, from different 'boxes' in my life (I only have friends living overseas, to keep in touch, I got rid of all people here, including Clokes and my dad and sister) could see it and then they feel the need to like or comment and it's just annoying. Like I want to control what photos of me are on other people's pages... It's not a big deal, more a small whinge.

The dog. We took her around one block and she was dragging her feet, sniffing at every tree and she even pretends she's going to wee (assumes the position) but looks up at us, you can tell it's such fakery... then doesn't wee, but sniffs as she starts walking again. I think she is getting old. She's 10 this month. But it's like it's happened very quickly.

Thanks re the bookish thing. Agonising, the waiting.


Thanks Suze for tagging hints. Will have a a look.


Hey Jo! Good to see you! The problem with dog groomer is they don't groom, they wash and do a bit of clipping but last time they didn't do the matted bits so it was annoying.

But yes life is good at the mo. P started exams yesterday, English went well. She has another English paper today, and then nothing more this week I think, and then pretty solidly through next week.

She's applying for colleges at Melbourne Uni, do any other unis have residential colleges in Melb?

Sorry to hear things haven't been that good, I'll try to get to your blog for a read. It's always good though to have a holiday in store, to look forward to. I'll comment more at your blog.


Gotta go. Teaching in the middle of the day... breakfast time!

squib said...

You deleted Clokes?! I completely understand re: having no control over your pictures. Although your picture was nice. My mum once posted a pic of me wrapped in a red beach towel and no kidding, I looked like a polony. When I asked her to take it down, she became mortally offended and we had a fight about it. I was so glad when she left fb

Melba said...

Yep I deleted Clokes. We don't follow each other on twitter either; his feed is all sport and mine is all literature. I said: no offence but I am carving out my facebook page for writing people and things... I got rid of all old school friends and mother's group friends and work friends and uni friends; all sorts of 'static' - the only old friends I have on there are overseas people including your good self now, and writing people. He understands.

Alex said...

It's surprising how many people's jobs revolve around Facebook and Twitter and shit, now. There's even whole podcasts devoted to people who work in that field. I've tried listening to them, but lose interest too quickly. That still begs the question though, why does he have to dress up to manage some social media accounts? Different culture in that department?

Also, if you've got questions about Facebook stuff, wouldn't you consult the professional you're sharing a house with?

I sympathise with Gigi. Ten is getting up there. I imagine when she goes out, she wants to take her time savouring all the interesting smells and so forth, and people keep trying to get her to hurry along. Poor ol' dog. I don't know about the hair thing. I think we only ever owned short-haired dogs. I don't see a problem with just attacking her with scissors though. Dogs don't give a shit how they look.

It seems odd to me, the idea of moving into a college when there's no need, but you're right, if you can afford it, it'll probably do P a world of good. Maybe you're putting so much work into these exams as a sort of "last hurrah" send-off type thing. Meh, I dunno; I'm not a shrink.


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