Thursday, 28 July 2011

Blue, Haiku and other things

Neither of these presentations of my blue layout for the Colour! Or is it Color? class is what I started out with. I will spare you the wordy details. Suffice it to say that all I could think was "Finish it and you never have to look at it again!"
So here it is in all it's blueness!

Things I learnt...
Blue is not one of my favourite colours but I'll get over it.
Haiku ain't that easy to write. If you want to have a go check out this article - it's the best one I found on the topic.
Belle seems to have the knack of writing Haiku. Check out her Hump Day Haiku blog post.
When things aren't going to plan, save yourself some stress - just walk away. That's what I should have done with this layout rather than trying to work it out in my sleep. SIGH.

The other day Belle told me about the "get a real camera" ad campaign - they have posters that say things like "If your camera also sends text messages, that will explain why your photos are rubbish."
I don't think so. I like my Instagram and Hipstamatic photos and all the other camera apps that I have, as does Cathy Zielski who has made a fabulous template to use with your iPhone photos (or any photos really) . But I must admit, after a while of just taking iPhone photos I crave to take photos with my DSLR and my (possession is nine tenths of the law!) phat lens.
Both cameras have their positive points. Horses for courses!

I'll leave you with a (or is it an) Haiku by Cathy Zielski.

Runs are like scrapbooks.
Actually! That's not true.
Forget I said that.

40 years

Forty years ago today we (my Dad and Mum, my sister and I) arrived on the shores of Western Australia having left Southampton on the 4th July - Pommies in a new land. All I knew about Australia, besides the fact that gooney birds had hilarious landings, was that it was hot and there were snakes and spiders everywhere. I cut my doll's hair so that she wouldn't be hot and had nightmares about the ground writhing with snakes and my body being crawled over by spiders.

We travelled on a Chandris Lines ship called the Britanis (you can read a bit about it's history here and see photos of her sinking here). Besides being revoltingly seasick on the first morning and chucking up in the doorway to the dining room I think we had a fairly happy time on the ship. My sister and I were free to roam the ship or stand on the stern and watch the flying fish. We were always on the lookout for porpoises but I don't remember seeing any.

We travelled via Las Palmas. Dad and Mum bought quite a few souvenirs from this place. A Spanish doll with a lovely red and black dress, salt and pepper shakers (and maybe a sugar bowl) made out of pottery in tones of brown with black stick figures, and a tablecloth (I think). These travelled with us and Mum probably still has them tucked away in her cupboard.

The party that they threw for crossing the Equator was great fun with all sorts of antics and acts incorporating a King Neptune, bikini-clad mermaids and kippers. There was a guy (maybe King Neptune) walking around the edge of the pool with a bowl of water and an egg whisk and he was whisking water at the people that happened to get the front row view of the entertainment. One feisty lady wasn't to be beaten (no pun intended) so she ducked under the rope and pushed the fellow into the pool. That's the way I remember it anyway. Maybe it was all part of the act. :)

There was a fancy dress party too and my sister and I were dressed up as old ladies. Our hair was powdered to look grey and we borrowed hats and necklaces from other passengers. I remember not really wanting to go to the school they had for us little kiddies to learn all about Australian currency, flora and fauna but we endured knowing that there were other more fun activities planned.

The only other stop that I remember is Cape Town in South Africa. We caught a cable car to the top of Table Mountain. I remember seeing beautiful wild flowers growing in the little rocky crevices. And being cold!

Just before we left England my grandmother gave me a pink glass globe light shade that she had designed.
I carefully carried it in hand baggage so that it would survive the trip over. I still have it, although it hasn't seen the light for a few years now.

It was the middle of Winter when we arrived and Australia was neither hot nor crawling with creatures when we were greeted by my Mum's second cousin, Aunty Margaret, and her husband, Gene, who promptly pinched our cheeks in a way that I forever after intended to avoid.. All our warm clothes arrived weeks after we arrived. I have no idea how we got by but we did.We stayed at Noalimba Migrant Hostel. We were only there for a few weeks (I think) and my sister and I managed to get the chicken pox.  We went to Bateman Primary School during that time. I don't remember much about that school except that I was in grade 3 or 4 but I was up to the grade 7 spelling book. It was red.

It was while we were at the migrant hostel that I became familiar with some of the native flora. The berries that looked like blackcurrants were not blackcurrants and I thought I was going to die cos I ate a few and then was told that they were poisonous. My sister and I came across some puffballs that we carefully approached sincerely believing them to be snake eggs. Eventually, a local kid kicked one open to prove that it was a fungus.

Oh the joys of those first few months in Australia. By Christmas we were living in Hamilton Hill - a small community consisting mainly Italian migrants with a few Pommies and Australians in the mix. Many of the English migrants didn't make it through the next two years. The culture shock pushed and the homesickness pulled and they ended up going back where they came from. Not us. We stayed.

In those days we didn't have a telephone but Mum was an avid letter writer and she kept in regular and consistent contact with all our rellies in England. Being able to tell them that we went to the beach for a swim on Christmas Day or that we drove 100km for a picnic were a couple of the novel things to write home about.

Our first barbecue was an experience to be written about too. Some friends took us to a park and cooked us sausages on an open grate that was conveniently placed in the shade of a Eucalyptus tree. Most of the sausages ended up being severely overcooked. Not wanting to waste a single morsel Mum ate a lion's share of the solid charcoal sticks. I'm not sure that I even ate one. :)

I am pleased to be an Australian citizen and have never used the privilege of having dual citizenship for myself to go back to England. I have pleasant childhood memories in England and that is all. A few years ago now I drew a mud map for my daughter of the village I lived in and she was able to navigate around Colerne and take photos and videos for me. I don't have plans to go to England either - I'd rather travel around this great South land and see all the wonders of this country.

So there you go - 40 years, and loving it!


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Do Not Call

Yesterday I had a call from Terence in the IT Department of Global Tech.

He said that he was ringing about viruses on my computer.
He went on to explain what viruses are and how they lodge in your hard disk and make your computer go slow.
I said "My computer goes slow"
He said "Ah that would be the viruses."
I asked him what his number was and he said 1086
I then asked what his phone number was and he said
080 282 020 35 and he said it was a toll -free number.
He then said "switch on your computer now and I will guide you through the process..."
I said "I'm not in a position to do that right now"
He asked "When would be a good time to be able to do that?"
I said "I don't want to. I will get my husband to look at it"
He said "Ok." and some kind of bye bye and we mutually hung up.

This afternoon I had another call from Global Tech.
I have reported both calls to Do Not Call because my number is registered with them.
That is all I am going to say about it for now.

This is how the conversation went...

Margaret introduced herself and said she was calling from Global Tech, saying that they had received error messages from my computer and that they could help me to fix them.
I asked her to confirm her name and spell it. It may have been Marfrit.

So this is how the conversation went...

Me: Where is Global Tech?
M: India
Me:How do you know there is something wrong with my computer?
M: Because the error messages from your computer go straight to the International Server.
Me: How do you know it is my computer?
M::Because it is from your IP address.
Me: What is my IP address?
M: 192 168 01 (she didn't mention any dots)
Me: How did you obtain my IP address?
M: Everyone who has internet has an IP address which is registered on the International Server and Global Tech received error messages that there is something terribly wrong with your computer.
Me: How did you get my phone number?
M: We got it form the International Server.
Me: What is your contact number?
M: Toll free 877 623 9180
Me: That doesn't sound like a normal number.
M: You have to add the international call number. Which for you is 61.
Me: Will that cos more?
M: No. It is toll free. We have another number for the U.S.
The reason for my call... You haven't let me tell you why I am calling because you are asking too many questions. The reason I called is because we have received error warnings from your computer which have been sent automatically to the International Server.
We are going to fix it for you.
Me: How?
M: We have highly specialised technicians. They will log onto your computer and guide you on what to do. You can watch what they are doing?
Me: I have had enough now. I think you should get a different job.
M: (Offended) How can you say to get another job? I am doing this to help with your computer.
Me: There is nothing wrong with my computer and you have no legal right to call me.
M: (said some things that I didn't catch). If you ignore this call, any time very soon your computer will break down. It will crash.
Me: I am prepared to take that risk.
M: What?! You are prepared to waste your money? To have a computer that won't work any more? And you have to get another one? You are prepared to make this kind of waste?
Me:I am not going to give you my details and access to my computer:
M:(Placating tone) We're not going to do anything. We are just going to show you what to do. Without our guidance you will never be able to see all the things wrong.
Me: No. I will report you to the authorities.
M: I'm telling you honestly. What are you choosing?
Me: I'm choosing to NOT deal with this through Global Tech.
M: We are here to help you out.
Me:I don't want you to.
M: Who is going to help you?
Me: I'll do it myself or get someone I know to help me.
M: No one will be able to help you. This is highly specialised.
Me: Do you have a website?
Me: I'll look into it.
M:Are you going to hang up.
Me: Is there any more information that you can give me?
M: (mumbling about me asking so many questions and repeating the error message stuff while I am writing down the conversation) What are you thinking?
Me: I am writing down our conversation.
M: (In an accusatory tone) You are sitting at your computer, aren't you?
Me: No. I am standing at my ironing board writing down everything and now I am going to go.
At which point I hung up and terminated the conversation.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green

We're up to green in Nic Howard's Colour! Or is it Color? class at Big Picture Classes.
I'm afraid green is not really on my list of favourites. Don't get me wrong, I like green, but not as much as pink, red, orange, purple or even blue. Even brown, black and white come before green.
Having said that, there are occasions where I just love green. For instance - green fractals.
If I had to pick a green I'd go for lime green and definitely not shopping bag green.

Enough said.
No monochromatic green layouts for me here.
Bendy Girl - the next layout in my series on "I can do a lot of things but I can't..."
Caitlin can bend herself in half. I don't have a bendy bone in my body but Caitlin was born with gymnastics running through her veins. This is just one of the positions she can contort herself into.

And Moses.
Moses is cute no matter which camera app I use to capture his smiling (and not smiling) face on my iPhone. Here's a little selection of less than perfect photos of Moses in July.

Would you like to know what camera apps I have?
You Gotta See This
Retro Camera Plus
Plus the camera that the phone came with which is just called Camera, funnily enough!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Inspirational Blues

The other day I saw this blog post and watched the video and was inspired by the beautiful blue journal entry.
Then I saw an ad that was all blue (I can't remember what it was for).
Two days ago I saw a big blue sign at some water-based business and the urge to do something blue really struck.
So today I did something blue just for fun.

Our days have been crisp and blue. Cold, crisp and blue.
I used to love winter. I used to say you can get warm by putting on more layers but there are only so many layers you can take off to get cool.
Somehow that has all changed. I don't know if it is the cost of heating that has put me off winter or my warmth-loving thyroid. Either way, I don't love winter any more. I'm not complaining, because the weather is fabulous, but I am very much looking forward to summer.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

21 Years

Here's just a little layout commemorating 21 years of marriage.

So what's it like being married for 21 years?
Simple answer - Like this!
It's nothing like being married for one year or seven years. It's not like being married for 10 or 15 years.
21 years feels like 21 years!!
We continue to learn more about God's love and mercy. We continue to grow in grace. We continue to become more like Christ and we continue to realise that without Christ we can do nothing.

I like the passage in Philippians that says "In relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:" and then goes on to tell us what that is like. You can read it here - Philippians 2:1-18.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Caitlin is so flexible that she doesn't realise that she's doing something unusual with her posture.
The other day I turned around and saw Caitlin relaxing (you couldn't call it sitting!) at the computer with her legs up in the air doing semi splits while playing a game. When I asked her what she was doing she said "Playing a game." I guess that was obvious. I saw the legs first!
If it's not the splits in the air then it's the splits on the ground. Or she bends herself in half - backwards!
That's just the way she is.

This is a yellow layout for Colour! Or is it Color? by Nic Howard at Big Picture Classes.
When I went to put this layout in the album it was an inch too high. I'd forgotten to cut it down to 11 inches. Fortunately it wasn't all stuck down permanently and I managed to trim it at the top and the bottom. You wouldn't even have known, eh?

Cartoon 2682 from DoghouseDiaries made me think of Caitlin. Ha ha ha. She likes to flip herself or flop herself or just split herself at any and every opportunity.
DoghouseDiaries 2682

Monday, 11 July 2011


Here's another layout in my series of what the kids can do that I can't. And we're up to orange in Colour! Or is it Color? by Nic Howard at Big Picture Classes.

Since she was very young music was a language that Sophie-Lee could understand. She can compose music in the same way that her dad can take photos and her mum can scrapbook. Music seems to run in her blood.
Sophie-Lee doodles on the keyboard and random pleasing music is the result.
Not only that but Sophie-Lee has perfect pitch - something that has come in handy on more than one occasion.

One day, not long ago, Sophie-Lee asked, "What's this tune?" and sung it to me. 
You know... DunnaLA dunnaLA dunnaLAla.  DunnaLA dunnaLA dunnaLAla. (Can you can hear the tune in your head?)

How on earth do you work out what a song is that you have in your head (and half the time can't even sing it out loud in any recognisable way?!)

Well I started with Google. 
I searched the most popular classical music that people know and came across a site that had samples of the top 100 classical music pieces. To help out it has keywords like: powerful; rousing; scary; wedding; horses; lively; and more.
I decided the tune that we were looking for was lively so I listened through all the lively tunes. 
Then I listened through all the rousing tunes.
Then the light tunes...
You get the picture.
I ended up listening to all 100 samples just in case my idea of a suitable keyword was different to the creators of the list.
That took quite some time.

Then Sophie-Lee comes out of her room and announces "Found it!
Mozart Symphony 40 in G min"
(If you want to listen to it you can find it here - it's the first movement)

How did she find it?
She played it on the piano, worked out it was in G minor and looked up G minor works.
Ta da. (Gotta love Google)

I said, "What if you played it in the wrong key?"
Soph said "I don't do that!" 

True story! And an example of how perfect pitch can come in handy.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Scrapbooking Series

I have decided to do a series of layouts about what the kids can do that I can't.

I will tackle them in no particular order with no particular deadline.
Here is the first - combining red and pink on a layout for the Colour! Or is it Color? class at Big Picture Classes.

She can juggle a soccer ball.
She can play soccer. Not only one game a week but three games in a weekend.
She is Susannah. July 2011.

I like the colour combination.. I've done it before - all these are from 2007.

And I'll probably do it again.


Monday, 4 July 2011

The Entertainer

I have a little bit of a scrapbooking bug.

The other day I took my real camera with the phat lens to the park to take some decent photos rather than the snappy shots I take on my various iPhone cameras.
While we were at the park Declan and Hudson played football (the one with the rugby ball), Susannah, Sophie-Lee and Malachi played soccer, and Caitlin and Reuben played on the the play equipment. There were a couple of other kids at the park and they were highly entertained by Reuben's slapstick humour. He would run up the slide and then fall flat on his face and slide back down. Or he would run towards the children playing and then pretend that he hit a pole or the bar and fall down dramatically. All the time the two children were laughing their heads off. The more they laughed the more Reuben acted. The more Reuben acted the more the kids laughed.
Later, Reuben was happy for me to take a few photos of him. I decided to scraplift a layout that I previously scraplifted from Leeann Pearce a few years ago.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Seeing Red

Do you remember this layout? Well here we are with another of the same calibre. It seems I am starting a trend - fun/funny photos of me and Peg.
And Peg has done something with it too which you can see here - in fact I stole her words!
I've decided to change formats for a while. I've just about filled my 12x12 album so I am going to aim at filling my 8.5x11 album with my Colour! Or is it Color? layouts. It's different working in a smaller space but I like it.

Oh! And...
See the white and black with a touch of red card behind the main photo? It is one of a whole pile of cards that I collected with my friend at the Finders Keepers market in Sydney in May. I am thrilled to have used it rather than just leaving it in an ever increasing collection of stuff.


Friday, 1 July 2011

Colour My World

In 2007 I did the Scrap 52 Challenge using 52 Scrapbooking Challenges by Elsie Flannigan.
I used to have two of these books but I can't even find one at the moment so I can't tell you what the #35 challenge was but I produced this layout for it. I also remember being inspired by a digital layout by someone whose name also escapes me. (My memory for names is almost non existent).

Ahhh. After much brain strain and thinking out loud, it came to me - C. D. Muckosky.
BTW, my layout doesn't look anything like C. D.'s layout, which, if I could find a picture, I would show you.

Hennyway. I decided to do me another rainbow layout.
I started with these tags that I did for Nic Howard's class Colour! Or Is It Color?

You know I'm a fan of rainbow ordered stuff and the black background just heightens the pleasing visual effect. Mmmmm. So here's my latest rainbow layout - Colour My World.

There's no black and white with kids!!!