Ah those university days

I went back to my old college – St George’s – today.

Partly to beg, plead and plunder for my son who would dearly love to follow the family tradition (I think)  and go to the college himself this year as he studies his science degree at UWA, but also just to walk the halls and remember those “good old days”.

I don’t think I’m alone in this.

I’m pretty sure my dad, who also went to St George’s and indeed was Senior Student, also pops by to feel that red brick memory soak right in.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s no coincidence that the house I grew up in and the house I have now lived in for 13 years is also red brick…

Just sayin’.

“It’s hard to tell how much the student actually wants to come here… and how much of it is the parent wanting the student to live here.” says the acting warden – a charming man – when I visited today.

I’m sure, I murmur politely as my eyes tear up looking out his window to the old sub-warden’s cottage.

The cottage where I and a young Groover sat listening to our priest deliver pre-marriage lessons.

“I hate weddings”, was the line I remember best.


“In-laws and children.  You need to agree on what you want to do about those and you’ll be alright.”

Well I want my children to go to residential college.  And if at UWA that means St George’s.

But does my son?

I’m so excited for him, accepting his offer of a place today, the prospect of studying at UWA with his friends is brilliant.

In fact he has many more friends going to uni than I did back in the day, it must be like going on a giant road trip.

I confess I am jealous.

And yes, living somewhat vicariously.

Maybe that’s why I’m so keen on this idea of doing a post-grad degree in Archeaology….

So I had a tour of the college, and noted the changes.

Not sure I like the modern tables in that lovely old library but maybe I need to get over that…

I’m sure I didn’t help my son’s chances of getting in one iota.

But I hope.

I REALLY hope.

They offer him a place.

(And that’s if he wants to go.  Not that I’ll love him any less if he doesn’t. )

Update:  They did and he did!  Now ensconced at St Georges.

Pictionary pwnage

Oh yeah baby.

I confess.

I do enjoy Pictionary.

Groover bought “the family” (I think it was  really for me) Pictionary for Christmas.

Tonight we played.


YOU can play along too.

What’s this?

Drawn by me... easy right?

So you’ve got that one? Answer here: flamingo

Now try this one from Groover:

Another easy one... two from two right?

Answer here: dalek

So feeling confident??

This one had number one son stumped…

Ouch... tricky?

Not so easy? Answer here: spank

But this one from my daughter I thought was BRILLIANT.

Just highlight over the space next to the answer here bit.

I guessed this in about 20 seconds.

Very clever girlie girl.

Answer here: Michael Jackson – a black guy who thinks he’s white.

Yeah yeah.

I love Pictionary.

My new outdoor office

A water view and decking beneath my feet

You find me this afternoon, dear reader, writing from my new outdoor office.

I’m mid holiday, we’ve finished the pergola and the decking.

It’s 35 degrees and hot so I’m in my wet bikini (imagine me slim please) with a large glass of icy water which I hope will be replaced by a St Clair Savignon Blanc within the hour.

I am a third of the way through my reading list for this year’s writers’ festival.

I’m chairing the bloggers’ forum and for once feel a tiny bit qualified to be amongst the literati.

Of course all the bloggers on my panel have also written books.  Show offs.

Apart from appearing as an extra in my very own version of The Renovators, this week I’ve been going along to the “advanced” storytelling course led by Brian Finkelstein from The Moth.

It’s the advanced course because I did another course this time last year with Margot Leitman, not that I consider myself advanced at all.

I was a bit nervous this year.

Last year, well I was a n00b wasn’t I so it didn’t really matter if I was rubbish… but now… I’m “advanced”.

There are expectations.

And everyone else is so good, including my partner in crime when it comes to storytelling – Feline.

Still, four more lessons to go before we begin the show at The Blue Room.  There’s hope.

In fact I’m hoping to get inspired by the fabulous Ira Glass who is in town tonight.  I bought my tickets MONTHS ago and they’ve been pinned to my noticeboard winking at me ever since.

Ira is the host of This American Life, my favourite podcast, in fact I’m listening to it as I type.

He is another fabulous storyteller.

I wonder if I’ll get to meet him?

Should I take my radio to get him to sign it?  My ipod?

A sad little groupie, that’s what I am.

Still it could be worse.

I could be a fan of Justin Beiber. (is that how you spell his name?)


The lesson from lasagne

Apart from reconstructing our backyard, this summer holiday seems to be all about lasagne.

Now I love lasagne but I haven’t made it in ages – me being on a high protein diet and all – and I’m good at making it.

My bechemel sauce is thick, smooth and creamy goodness.

The bolognaise is bolognaisy.

The lasagne sheets are well… flat.

It’s not hard to make let’s be honest.

But it is comfort food and I was inspired to make one recently for friends who have been going through a tough couple of weeks.

My daughter was keen to do the cooking, so supervising from my position of on all fours nailing down decking, we got to it.

I’d forgotten how messy lasagne is to make but the end result looked like a bought one and the friend was very happy not to cook for a night.

We left feeling comforted ourselves, in the pious afterglow of a good deed done, and made a second lasagne for ourselves on return, the kitchen being already a tip site.

It tasted yummy – I hadn’t lost my lasagne mojo.

So last night we had some friends over visiting from Adelaide.

It was a hot day and we decided rather than going out for a cheap meal at our local favourite Vietnamese restaurant we’d entertain at home on our nearly completed decking.

The temperature was perfect outside as a light seabreeze wafted through under the newly installed pergola, and we admired the soft feel of old boards under our feet, and the gently swinging paper lanterns.

I cooked lasagne.

Now it’s been a while since I’ve had a dinner party – if you don’t count Christmas which lets face it, has a pretty set menu.

And I didn’t ask if there were any dietary considerations…

So boring to have to ask really but these days… well most people are intolerant to something.

I should have asked.

3/4 guests had a dairy intolerance – and my lasagne is half cheese.


But what do you do?

I cooked up the three small kebabs I had in the fridge and let them serve themselves.

The younger son, bless him, reckoned he could handle some cheesy goodness, but was dissuaded sensibly by his mother.

It turned out to be a pretty meagre spread it must be said, especially if you weren’t keen on salad.

I felt bad, but what could I do?

It has made me ponder this morning what the etiquette is when going to someone’s house for dinner.

Is it up to the host to inquire after your eating issues?

Maybe I need to consider having a “standby” meal somewhere, just in case?  And more than three kebabs.

Or on receipt of an invitation, is it incumbent upon you to say “Thank you, why that would be lovely, just to let you know I’m (lactose, peanut, seafood, meat etc) intolerant…”

Seems a bit rude.

A bit presumptuous…. “Well I wasn’t going to serve you prawns anyway!”

A bit looking at the horse’s teeth.

A gift horse? Photo by McD22

I’m leaning towards saying nothing and hoping for the best (while packing my fridge with optional extras)  – but that’s just little non confrontational me.

Oh and last night’s guests?  They filled up on the chocolate cake they brought and we all played Singstar.

A happy ending.