So, get this. I whinged and whined a month ago when we got our second killer electricity bill. It was TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO DOLLARS – averaging nine dollars a day. Almost killed my frugal soul.
We stuck to our guns over the past 30 days, and only used that stupid split system thing to warm the room if it was really cold. It was then turned off, and our little heater was put on. First thing we noticed was that it worked really well (the insulation no doubt helped with this), and also – the type of heat was so much nicer. A lovely steady un-blowy, un-eyeball frying gentle warmth.
As well as this I have been using the little oil column heater in the bedroom most nights. I was a bit apprehensive about our impending bill. It arrived the other day…FIFTY DOLLARS. Hello?! Victory! Victory!! Now I have a serious loathing for the stupid split system, and a feeling of impending doom about super-hot summer days. Will we be able to resist cranking it over to cool us down? Will we even be living here then? Who knows. I am feeling happier about going over budget on the food shopping today though!
One of the blogs I tend to regularly check up on is Pickle Pepper, kept by Karen Erasmus. She’s an illustrator. She regularly posts her work and I love to see what she’s up to. When she mentioned recently that she won a competition last year and the prize was an exhibition at Oak Hill Gallery in Mornington, I was surprised.
I don’t know why, but I had assumed she was based in South Australia. (Of course, now I’ve actually bothered to check out her ‘about’ page, she lives on the Mornington Peninsula, as do I.) But anyway, we found ourselves driving through Mornington for the first time in ages on Sunday, in an effort to see if Small Z would sleep in the car. Ha.
Put it this way, she ‘rested’ for about an hour with heavy little eyes and her favourite ‘Sleepy Bee’, but there was no sleeping. After a wander around the shops we headed to the gallery. This adjoins a gorgeous formally laid out rose garden that I’ve always wanted to wander through. Luckily. Because we got to the front door of the gallery and saw this…
BUGGER. Anyway, Small Z was as keen as me to see different kinds of roses, and brought along Sleepy Bee so he could smell them too. Obviously it’s the wrong time of year for some crazy rose frenzy, but there were more in bloom that I had thought. There were even some of what I call ‘painted roses’, which I love, and had bought for my mum now and again and L, when Small C was born. They are white and blush pink with splatters of hot pink over them. Lovely.
I have a feeling that the rose garden is entirely maintained by volunteers. One of them was hard at work in the middle of a flower bed and gave Small Z a rose of her very own, after de-thorning it. Small Z had a lovely time smelling all the different coloured blooms and found a waddle of ducks to chase. We heard her saying, as we got nearer to her, “It was nice to meet you, ducks.” Very polite.
I hope to get back to the gallery before the end of the exhibition, but kind of doubt I’ll make it as it finishes next week. Humph.
This weekend had is hit and miss aspects. We are now all sick with the same hideous bug, to different degrees of despondency. M has had it the worst and the longest, Small Z has a recurring fever, horrible hacking cough and a nose that explodes at regular intervals. Me? I’m just going with the cough and the very snuffly nose.
Because Small Z seems to come good for several hours during the day we have gathered false confidence on both days this weekend and gone out. Yesterday we arranged to meet D&E and Small E at an hysterically bizarre venue – Selandra Rise. A property development site. Why? Purely because The Mudcakes were playing. For free. And it was basically halfway between our two houses.
Despite the Bureau of Meteorology being an organisation known for its incredibly precise predictions (yes, that is sarcasm) the day was vile. A steady, unrelenting drizzle greeted us… and the 50 or so other people who attended. Obviously the organisers had counted on having a slightly better turn out – there were multiple stalls, food, a petting zoo full of ‘baby’ animals that were so young that some of them were basically still in utero, and plenty of be-suited people with shiny white teeth spruiking the house and land packages.
The ‘MC’ for the day, who stood bravely in front of the stage in his suit with his cordless microphone, appeared very savvy, except for several references to the upcoming performance of ‘The Mudrock Kids’ and his suggestions ‘for the guys out there to get on over to the tradies area where you can talk to real-life tradies and find out about becoming one’. Yeah. That’s right. Because female tradies? That’s just weird.
The Mudcakes were great, despite the rain and the fact that most people stood about 50 metres away from them in order to stay dry. Small E got up on stage and accompanied them on bongos while M and Small Z danced at their feet. However, about an hour after that Small Z faded rapidly and we had to bail. Each time I see E lately I think (and it’s very possible) that next time I see her she’ll have a newborn. Oh. My. GOD. And then I panic and try to arrange to see her ‘just one more time’…
This morning, the weather was so beautiful that staying home felt too hard. We went out on the trimaran, arriving a bit early and having to wait for about 40 minutes for the tide to lift us off the mud. It was excellent to be out even though we just stayed on the creek. We did some motoring and some gorgeous quiet rippley sailing with just the jib up. Anchored just past the Warneet pier and had copious cups of tea for an hour or two.
We then pulled up at the pier, and I was thankful that M has had several solo manly adventures which have enabled him to be very good at pulling up alongside such structures without any assistance as I am both not very mobile or good at balancing at the moment. We wandered up to the park and Small Z had a brief swing before we headed back out – racing the tide to get back home. It sunshowered…
That was when Small Z suddenly hit the end of her rope and demanded I cuddle her. She then fell asleep for about an hour while M secured the boat and made hot drinks. If you are unaware, she never ‘falls’ asleep, no matter what her exhaustion level, so we figured her fever was kicking back in. The drive home was fairly dire, but it was still worth it – feeling crap on the boat was far better than feeling crap at home.
We have finished off our evening with M cooking an awesome roast chicken and his new amazing baked spuds – the secret of which is semolina used in a way he won’t divulge – and some stewed rhubarb. Judging from M’s ongoing symptoms, we are all going to be under the weather for the next few days at least. Better now than in six weeks time…
Do you know how often I am blogging inside my head? I find it SO frustrating not to be able to post when I have the urge. I do need to maybe reduce the size of my posts – and maybe posting a snippet or two more frequently will balm my soul? So where’s it at?
Last weekend, after urging from M, I took the two Small’s to stay at my mother’s new place. The added incentive was that SWWNBB and Small A were going to be there. Put it this way. The daylight hours of our visit were fine. I snaffled Small A, stuffed him in the hug-a-bub that SWWNBB is yet to master and kept him there, slumbering for two and a half hours. I walked with him in there and Small DB asleep in the pram.
I had been wondering if Small Z was OK, and then glanced down from the cliff top path I was walking along and saw her and her Nan down on the beach making sand castles… So we went to join them. In retrospect I should not have let Small DB down to play in the sand. She ended up with freezing feet and her cold got worse 🙁 (bad parenting moment).
(Eeek. Look at her little red pants – I have been making her trousers from woollen jumpers – a whole other blog post…)
Night time, was when it fell in a heap. The spare bed is in the middle of the room, thereby allowing small people to fall out either side of it. My mother won’t move it against the wall as we don’t stay enough for her to bother. We might stay more often if the bed was moved… And there’s your first Catch-22…
So we slept on the mattress on the floor, which we don’t object to, except that I should have brought our own little heater. The one in the back room is one of those blowy reverse cycle ones that parch your countenance to truckstop fried egg. So I turned it off. Whereupon, an hour later, we were in a icy cold crypt and Small DB was coughing up a little lung. So I turned it on. And we fried. And this happened about six times during the night. Utterly fulfilling the term ‘reverse cycle’. Boom, boom.
Small Z was an angel and slept through me lurking around, strategically placing damp towels and a bucket of water to try and hydrate the air. She slept through Small DB and her cough and frequent waking. She even slept through both of us giving up and getting up in the morning while it was still dark.
I was so grumpy from the night of horror, and the fact that M had been urging me to, “Go and stay there – it will give you a bit of a break…” that I bundled us all into the car before 10am and headed home. Highly disgruntled. Small DB finally slept once we hit Frankston, so I drove home, M jumped in, and we continued on a family drive to Flinders. Small DB got a good sleep. I ended up with a custard donut… Things improved.