How to bow – the caterpillar lesson

I’ve been looking at some old family videos which we’ve recently digitised, and came across this one of my son’s second cello lesson.

Here he is learning to bow.

Or not.

My friend The Poshi and I decided we’d share lessons and get our sons learning Suzuki cello.

I even bought a cello to encourage him, though I never learned to play myself.

That’s where the whole Cellobella name came from.

We lasted a year or two but the boys hated it… well my boy did.

I think he was too young.

And in retrospect he must have found reading the music so hard given his undiagnosed need for glasses.

He plays the piano now and I don’t have to force him to practice.

And yes, I still have my cello.

In the back room.

Untouched by human hand for years.

Funnily enough I discovered that my boss also has an untouched cello which she’s never learned to play.

Weird huh?

Exposed as a bad parent

It was a VERY close call.

Last night, I came in from bridge and immediately got ready for dinner at a friends house (a superb roast pork).  

I jumped into the shower, then realised, getting dressed, that all my clean underwear was in the family room where I’d been folding it earlier.

I was in a racy mood… had had a glass of wine after the game… and thought “bugger it!  I won’t bother putting clothes on.  I’ll just wander down the hall in the nicky noo… give Groover (watching telly) a thrill.

This is the view from my bedroom door… you can see I’m aiming for that dining table you can see at the far end.  Groover was on the sofa in the lounge.


So I start walking along – I get to the raised part of the corridor and I’m doing the whole stripper routine… you know… post strip.

The full Leo Sayer moment.

And Groover looks up… grins… hesitates… and then says quietly “T’s here”.


T is Hugamuga’s scaly mate from school.  14.   (Hi T)

I stop.  My face blanches.

“Is he joking?” I wonder…

I decide discretion is the better part of valour and retreat into my bedroom and put on a dressing gown.

As I’m putting on the gown I’m thinking that Groover is winding me up and I should just go with plan A.

But with gown now covering up my bits I head down to pick up the grundies.

T is in fact here.

Sitting at the computer with Hugamuga.

Oh my freaking God!!!

How bad would that have been?!

Total.  Parenting.  Fail.

Luckily his view was obscured by the printer.


Groover admitted this morning that he was tossing up whether to tell me about Hugamuga’s friend.

I put it to you that it would have been UNFORGIVABLE if he had not.

That is the test, my friends, of a good relationship.

Would you have warned your partner?

Isn’t she lovely…


How beautiful is my new little niece?!

And how clever my sister in law?

Okay… and I know you had something to do with it my brother but lets face it – your real work starts now!

Love.  Love.  Love.

Welcome to the world!

I’m very excited to write that my brother’s first born entered the world this morning at 9.08am Melbourne time.

My mother has already “done her numbers” and she has the soul urge of an artist. Three. So to celebrate her birth I thought I should put something up that’s arty.

She was born on my paternal grandmother’s birthday, and this little girl (3110g or 6lb 13oz) is my kids’ cousin… so I think we’ll call her Cuzie…

Apparently mother and baby are doing well and my brother sounds deliriously happy… he probably is a bit delirious given he’s been up all night. 🙂

Now to organise a weekend in Melbourne!

A working boy


My boy started work at Red Rooster last night.  I am so proud of him.

I can’t remember being so industrious when I was 14- all those years ago.

Yesterday he got up at 6am to finish his paper round before school started at 8am.  After a full day at school he arrived home on the train at 3.30pm, in time for a quick snack before showing up on time at work at 4pm.  I picked him up at 10pm, after a six hour shift.

Of course I couldn’t resist going in to buy chicken.

I arrived at peak hour – about 7pm – and there was a huge queue going through the drive through.  Inside, the queue reached the door.

Hugamuga was behind the till – looking very serious – concentrating very hard on getting the money right.

He was on his own!

No Trainee badge.

Occasionally both of his hands would touch his head but he was keeping it together – people were getting their food and paying their money.

I asked for a whole chicken.  This was good I found out because it is on the quick-list. 🙂

I got my chicken, I left.

My heart was full.

He’s  very loyal our boy.  He got the job with Red Rooster first so even though he hadn’t started, when Coles rang, offering him a better paid gig with better hours, he said he had committed to another employer already.

I think I have raised a better person than myself.

I did exactly the opposite when I got the job with my current employer. 

The day they rang I was supposed to be heading down to Katanning to find accommodation for a job with the Department of Agriculture as an advisor.  The farmers down there definitely dodged a bullet!

I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had accepted the Katanning gig?

Maybe I would have married a farmer.

Although, I would have still been at that nightclub in Fremantle that fateful night back in 1990… so maybe not.

But enough about me.

Today I get to be a proud mother. 

Go Hugamuga!


My Mum’s racy past


This is my mum and my daughter in 2005.  We were in Italy, in Venice in fact.

I thought I wouldn’t like Venice.  I thought it would be too much of a cliche, too geared for tourism.

It was.  I didn’t care.  I loved it.

The other week I caught up with my oldest cousin.  

When she was a teenager, my mum was a young adult.

According to my cousin she was the coolest auntie a girl could ever have.

She fought back to her parents.

She travelled the world.

She slept in the nude.

My cousin tells me she once overheard an argument between mum and my grandparents.

They were upset because she’d cashed in her savings to buy a ticket overseas to follow my Dad to Canada (eventually).

Mum said it was her money and she would do what she wanted with it, cashed up and took off and the rest, as they say is history.

The effect on my cousin was profound.  

She kept the boarding passes mum gave her and used to look at them and imagine being like my mum.

In later life she travelled far and wide and still does.

Listening to my cousin I felt a kernel of pride that this was my mother she was talking about but interestingly also a sense of wonder.

Who was this woman?

This racy, defiant, inspiring person?

She just seemed like a normal mum to me… a little vehement about me not being a teacher (she didn’t enjoy her chosen profession…) but otherwise…

It is only now as an adult,  I recognise that I grew up with a pretty radical person.

Mum was always experimenting.

From eggplant patties (don’t ask – they were a disaster – even the dog wouldn’t eat them) to Transactional Analysis, she explored her inner and outer worlds and took us along for the ride.

This year she is celebrating a significant birthday.

Dad and I were going to start planning a party but we’ve been informed that there will be several functions.

A festival of Mum.

Bring it on – you deserve it!

No going back

How did I look after my two kids when they were little?

Yesterday, we picked up the younger cousins (4 & 3) for a sleepover.  My sister-in-law needed some free time to pack as they are moving house soon.

The big cousins are fantastic with them.  Hide and seek, mudworld, swimming, they are like built-in au pairs who look after the two littlies with good grace and humour.

Within an hour of getting home yesterday, in the middle of the first game of hide and seek though, the 3 year old started crying, holding her neck.

There was no blood but she was in a lot of pain and couldn’t be comforted.

We all packed into the car and went to see the doctor who prescribed Painstop and thought she must have strained her neck, like whiplash.

It did put a damper on things but Dippity remembered the chocolate icecream we’d bought and the Princesses DVD and 3 decided that she wanted to stay on the sleepover!

Dippity was brilliant at cuddling her and distracting her from the pain.  Brilliant.

Of course I rang her mum to let her know of the drama but that 3 seemed okay if sore.

The rule with children is “never wake a sleeping child”, we all know that, but because of the suspected head injury the doctor advised that we should. 

So we did, and she cried, so we gave her some more medicine and took her for a wee and she went back to sleep.

In the morning she was fine.  Her neck still stiff and putting a tee-shirt on and off painful, but smiling and wanting to go for a swim.

(We rang mum to tell her she was better, and mum reported a lovely sleep-in)

Today we’ve had mudworld, a swim, a tv show and now they are walking to the DVD library for a movie (we’re hoping it will tire them out a bit).

I’ve got 20 minutes to write this and reflect, maybe finish a cup of tea.

You know, I don’t think I could look after little ones again full-time.  They are exhausting!  Little balls of never-ending energy.  

I’d forgotton how you become the entertainment machine – always thinking ahead to the next activity, the next snack, the next meal.

It makes me appreciate my teenagers.  Sure, sometimes you only get the odd grunt out of them but they are self sufficient.

And I especially appreciate how good they are with their small cousins.

Happy Birthday Hugamuga!

My baby is 14 today.

And, poor thing, is lying in his unmade bed today.

You see, Groover and I had birthdays in the last couple of months and the kids did not think it necessary to make a fuss.

No cups of tea, no homemade cards, no thought on the morning of our birthdays.

To be fair, Hugamuga did make a bowl of soup for his father for his birthday but failed to tell him it was his present and it sat, congealing on the stove until Groover chucked it out, not realising it was a gift of love.

And on the afternoon of my birthday I did come home to a lovely present, bought after school.

So this morning was a pretty lame affair.

And Dippity is likewise looking at a fairly quiet day in April.

It’s not like we’re asking for much.  Some fussing, a homemade card, a cup of tea perhaps, presented in bed on the morning of our birthdays is all that is required.

Trust me kids, it’s worth sucking up to your parents.


First birthday parties

I went to a first birthday party on Sunday. It was a bit weird.

I didn’t go with my family, just me, and it did feel odd going to a baby’s party without a… well… baby.

I was out of that space.

It made me wonder about how the people I invited to my first born’s first birthday felt because we had quite a big party and a lot of the guests didn’t have kids.  I even had nametags.

That’s my dad holding up his one-year-old grandson.

Of course for your first child you want to have what’s really an adults party.  To thank your support group and to celebrate surviving the first year.  

It’s more about you than your child – and really – now I wish I’d bought Miss Lithuania and Smartrider a present rather than their son – who, let’s face it – is highly unlikely to hold it against me!

Yeah.  That’s a great idea.

Next first birthday party I go to – the present will be a “well done, you survived the first year” gift.

Miss L looks happy she survived huh?

I learned a new tradition – not sure if it’s Lithuanian or not – but at this party the birthday child was allowed to grab his first birthday cake.  Apparently his mum and sister got to do the same.

Have you heard of that tradition?

I think it’s kind of cute… if a bit sticky.