Tag Archives: photos

Cottage Living

It’s hard to believe that a few weeks ago, I was happily living in a caravan & tent set-up in the middle of a paddock. Or that a couple of weeks ago, I was homeless, and struggling to remember who I really was. Time flies past, and a new normal asserts itself, and the past is suddenly a distant memory.

Okay, not that distant.

Have you ever stopped to consider what a miracle of modern life plumbing is? I mean, really, it’s freaking amazing. Water comes into your home, and just sits there, quietly, waiting for you to turn on the tap. And then? BAM! Water! And turn on the other tap, and BAM! Hot water.

Hot. Freaking. Water. At the turn of a tap. How amazing is that?

And, showers? Showers are like heaven. Seriously, when was the last time you stood in the shower and truly appreciated the range of human accomplishments that have taken place to make that experience a reality?

And let’s not even get into the wonderousness of having an indoor toilet. And electric lights. And, oh my goodness, MY OWN BEDROOM.

Seriously, I haven’t felt this way about having my own room since I was 15, and I finally stopped sharing a room with my little sister. I feel an overwhelming urge to make a “Keep Out” sign for my door. Possibly with a skull and crossbones.  But I refrain, because, as it turns out, a Mum Look is equally effective.

More effective, actually. I don’t remember my little sister being at all cowed by signs.

But, moving on. Since my last post, a lot of people have asked me to share some pictures of my little cottage. And so, without further ado, I give you…

Jo’s Amazingly Awesome New House
Now in Pictures!

That's my little cottage, looking all farmy and flat.

That’s my little cottage, looking all farmy and flat.

There's nothing quite like having cows a few steps outside your door.

There’s nothing quite like having cows a few steps outside your door.

"Good morning."

“Good morning.”

The kitchen (Ignore the dishes stacked on the sink!)

The kitchen (Ignore the dishes stacked on the sink!)

The dining area

The dining area

The lounge room (or living room, for those with an American bent)

The lounge room (or living room, for those with an American bent)

The library  Okay, fine, it's just the other side of the lounge room. Whatever.

The library
Okay, fine, it’s just the other side of the lounge room. Whatever.

The boys' bedroom

The boys’ bedroom

The playroom (I cleaned all the Lego off the floor for this shot)

The playroom
(I cleaned all the Lego off the floor for this shot)

My bedroom (It's MINE, see, ALL MINE!)

My bedroom (It’s MINE, see, ALL MINE!)

I also have a desk. Trust me, it's exciting.

I also have a desk. Trust me, it’s exciting.

So, that’s the house. What do you think?

Oh, wait. I forgot one thing.

How about that view?

How about that view?





Filed under Random Stuff

Feelin’ Older than the Hills

You never feel older than when you’re talking to a young person and trying to explain how things were “back in your day”. I remember being a child and having my mother tell me that when she was my age, TV was only in black and white and then thinking, “How is that even possible? She must be sooooo old!”

Now I have the perspective of age to understand how quickly things can change. Of course, her real message was that we should be grateful for what we had instead of asking for more. But at the time…

I’ve recently started learning what it’s like to be on the other end of that conversation, and I don’t like it.

I don’t like it one little bit.

“Can I borrow your camera?” Big Brother asks me.

I think for a moment. He’s careful and responsible, unlikely to do anything that would damage it, and giving it to him just about guarantees me fifteen minutes of peace. “Sure,” I say, and hand over my trusty Nikon.

Ten minutes later, he’s back. “Look at the pictures I took!” he says excitedly.

I look.

He’s taken 129 photos.

Most of them are of the wall. Or the ceiling. Or half of his own face.

As I flick through them he starts giggling. “There’s a funny one coming up,” he says. I click-click-click my way through blurry close-ups of individual toys and photos of his feet before I finally come to the “funny” one. It’s a close-up of the back of Little Brother’s head.

In frustration I say, “You don’t have to take photos of everything. If you stop and think about what you’d like a picture of, you’ll have a lot more nice photos at the end. Then I can print them out for you. Photos should be special.”

Big Brother looks at me with all the condescension of a teenager. “It’s okay,” he says. “You can just delete the ones you don’t want.”

I pause, searching for words to try to explain that deleting them isn’t the point. (Although, quite frankly, I’m not sure what the point is.) Big Brother has already moved on. “Can you take a photo of me?”

He strikes an amusing pose and waits. I sigh, point and click the camera, and wait. Big Brother is back at my side in an instant. “Let me see, let me see, let me see!”

Finally, it’s too much. My cool is gone. “Just be patient,” I say. Then words I never thought I’d say come out of my mouth. “When I was your age, we didn’t have the option of seeing pictures straight after we took them. We’d take 24 photos, and then take the camera to a shop to have them printed before we could see any of them.” I paused, letting my words sink in.  “Sometimes it would take weeks, or even months, before we could get to see the photos we’d taken.”

Big Brother looked at me seriously, absently chewing on his lip as he considered my words. Then he nodded slowly. I allowed myself a moment of hope.

“Was that when there were dinosaurs alive?”

Sometimes, my boy, it really feels like it.


Filed under Life With Kids

A Letter to my Son

Dear Little Brother, 

On the day you were born, you were so warm and small and sweet. I held you close and thought about the many ‘firsts’ you had before you.

Your first baths…

Your first smiles…

Your first full-body belly laughs…

Before I knew it you were mobile, disappearing around corners quicker than I could catch you.

You explored the house. (And made a mess!)

You ate sand at the beach.

And dirt in the garden.

And you did it all with a happy (and cheeky) smile on your face.

And then one day, you found your feet and stood up.

(Although sometimes staying on your feet is still tricky.)

And suddenly you’re not a baby anymore — you’re a little boy. 

But you’ve got plenty more ‘firsts’ to come. So keep on smiling!

Lots of love,



Filed under Life With Kids

Walking with Big Brother: Easy as ABC

Not too far from where we live, there’s a 5km long walking track through some beautiful parkland. It incorporates a lot of riverside walking, a dog park (with obstacle course), a basketball court, skate ramps, and a delightful swimming/fishing pond complete with ducks to feed. I like to go walking/jogging there, and soak up as much of the outside world as possible. The boys like to see the birds, feed the ducks, and generally do outdoorsy boy things.

Last week, my 4-year-old was feeling a bit cooped up after some uncharacteristically hot weather (yes, it’s summer here in the southern hemisphere) and so I left Baby at home with my husband and took Big Brother for a special walk. To keep us both him entertained, I suggested we play the ABC game: Let’s find something that starts with A, then something that starts with B, etc etc. And I stupidly bravely decided to take photos of everything we found.

Big Brother ran out of patience for the game at about N, but I felt rather obligated to continue the game all the way to the end. (Otherwise my photographic journey would be incomplete!) I hope you enjoy our ABC walk.

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Filed under Life With Kids