Monday, October 11, 2010

All the fun of the fair

The Junior Crafter's little school held their biennial Village Fair yesterday, and it was a wonderful day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and there was an air of festivity all about the place. The Fair also incorporated the *ahem* Grand Opening of our (not quite finished and not really how we wanted it but shh don't mention the war, it's not at all PC and we may seem ungrateful) new Junior Learning Centre which was overpriced   massively behind schedule  bungled  built as part of the Federal Government's Building Education Revolution. Our local federal MP put in an appearance and cut the ribbon. I'm hoping it will be completed by the time the Boy Genius commences school next February.

Anyway, back to the fair. The Bloke Who Lives At My Place organised races and games for the kiddies on the school oval, including the egg and spoon race, sack race and three legged races; some good old fashioned fun. I held the fort on the Cake Stall for the day, along with 2 other mums, and we simply couldn't keep up with demand! We had two trestle tables, which were completely covered and sold twice over, thanks to the generosity of our school community who baked and donated all the goodies which we sold.

My contribution this year was 4 dozen Anzac Cookies and two batches of my famous Chocolate Slice, a family recipe passed on to me by my cousin, who got it from our Great Auntie Jess, who I believe had it handed down from her mother (my Great Grandmother).
I'd love to share it with you of course, but I think that publishing a recipe like that on the internet would amount to some kind of sacrilege!
Hope you had a lovely cake filled weekend too :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


You may have noticed my absence this past week. I would like to state that I have not wavered at all in my committment to Blogtoberfest. I have, however, been marooned by technology this week after we lost our phoneline and our broadband connection. Apparently the ancient copper wire connecting me with the rest of the known universe doesn't cope well with unexpected amounts of water, like, say....rain.

And I must confess, I found I don't cope well without the rest of the known universe at my fingertips.

Which got me thinking. About a time when I didn't even own a computer. Or a mobile phone. Or a GPS. And I didn't know much about the internet, and I certainly didn't access it. And I was okay with that! I got along just fine.

Back then, if I needed to write a letter, I used a pen. I remember after I left school and was applying for jobs, I wrote my resume (with a pen) and took it to a clerical services company, who typed it up for me and printed me out about 10 copies. And this wasn't in the dark ages, people, I'm not that old, this was the early '90s.

If I needed to call someone I used a payphone. Sometimes I even waited until I got home to make the phone call (imagine!). If I needed to get somewhere I hadn't been before, I used a map. If I didn't know something, I looked it up in our huge set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Or I went to the library. Or I just wondered about it for a while, and sometimes, I didn't ever find out the answer at all.

But this week, being cut off from the outside world has made me realise just how much I have come to rely upon having all the world's knowledge simply a mouse click away. And it highlighted to me the fragility of that connection which we all take for granted. That little copper wire, that can't even stand a bit of rain, is all that connects me to the rest of the world.

And I'm very connected. I buy fabric from countries I've never been to, I learnt to crochet from watching videos on YouTube, I learnt how to make Marshmallow Fondant from a cake decorator in Finland, I can look at the front door of a house 3000km away using Google Streetview, I can find the answer to my daughter's questions about the current numbers of Emporor Penguins in Antarctica, and I can see what the weather is really like in Italy today.

And I realised that I no longer wonder about things.

Seriously, I don't. Do you?

If I want to know something I just Google it. I can always find the answer, instantly, because someone, somewhere in the world knows what the answer is, and I can connect to them through the wonder of the internet and the world wide web (as long as we don't get too much rain).

And now I wonder whether it's really healthy not to wonder about things...

Maybe I'll just Google it and find out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bright sunshiny day

Today I am grateful for beautiful warm sunshine, the great aussie bbq, and the laughter of my children as they run and play outside in freshly mown grass. 

I *heart* Spring.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thank you

I really want to thank everyone who left me a comment or sent me an email yesterday, your kind words and caring thoughts really were just what I didn't know I needed. So thank you.

I am especially grateful to my gorgeous friend Trash, who left this comment:
Oh Gyps, I am sad to hear of your loss. It is difficult to explain the depth of the hole left by such a sudden loss of such an important part of your childhood.

If you know Trash, you will know she has a very special way with words. She managed to articulate the exact thing I was struggling to understand myself. Of course I was shocked and devastated by Jeannie's sudden and tragic death, as were so many people who's lives she had touched. But if I'm to be completely honest, I couldn't understand the depth of such overwhelming grief and loss, when in reality, I hadn't seen Jeannie for many many years. She was not a part of my everyday grown up life, her death would not actually leave a gap, an emptiness, in my day to day life. But Trash nailed it: The sudden loss of such an important part of my childhood. I think part of me is even grieving for the loss of the little 7 year old girl that I knew and loved, because that's how I remember her most.

Thank you Trash, for giving me the words I couldn't find.


Friday, October 1, 2010

The 1st of Blogtober

Hello Blogtober, my old friend. I have not been blogging as much as I'd like to of late, and I think Blogtoberfest is just what I need to kick start me again.

I'm beginning Blogtober with a very heavy heart. My dear childhood friend Jeannie died last weekend in a terrible car accident. We farewelled her yesterday at a beautiful funeral, surrounded by many of her childhood friends and her heartbroken parents. I am in shock, and can't believe that she is gone. Jeannie was 37 years old, taken too early.

Photo by Wildwood Pictures, used with permission.

We met in primary school, in Grade 1, and we were the best of friends for a number of years until I moved to a different school. Whenever we would meet people and were introduced together, we were always met with looks of disbelief: "I'm Gypsy" I would say, "I'm Jeannie" she would say. People had lots of trouble believing two little girls were really called Gypsy & Jeannie! People would often confuse us, and I spent quite a long time answering to 'Jeannie'!

Jeannie and I stayed in touch during our teenage years, but lost contact after that. I have kept up with Jeannie's 'happenings' over the years, through mutual friends, but it has been a long time since I have seen her. Nonetheless, I am feeling her loss very deeply, as are so many other people.

I remember Jeannie's energy, her vibrant nature and her zest for life. Even as a child she was always coming up with great ideas to keep us entertained, and Jeannie always made us laugh. Being with Jeannie was always fun. And from what I heard yesterday at her funeral, she hadn't changed a bit. 

Rest in peace Jeannie. You are loved, and sadly missed.