Sunday, March 23, 2008

Down by the Inner City Farm

What a way to study Child Development, sitting at the best cafe in town, drinking coffee, my "chickens" chasing and massaging goats in the nearby paddock, the smell of peppercorn trees and hay down at the Collingwood Children's Farm..

I just had to take a few photos of the girls amazing story they set up yesterday, involving gnomes and fairies negotiating playground politics. I am so intrigued by the processing of experiences which goes on in play.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Harvest Festival In the Big Smoke

Such a wonderous unique little Primary School Harvest happening this morning. The children listened to the Scarecrow tale in amongst the growing community garden, they played games with hanging apple pieces and their hands tied behind their backs, and feasted on the abundance of food cooked by them, and brought in from the gardens and kitchens of the school community. What a feast, and a memorable experience for the children.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Children's Book Trawl

I got to a couple of school fetes this weekend, and I am so excited to have found a little pile of delicious kids books!A Bell for Ursli- a little Swiss book apparently famous and well known by all Swiss children, recently republished by Floris Books, an amazing little Puffin collection of Scottish and New Hebrides folk tales, The Mouth of the Night, actually containing the Celtic Dragon Myth, the story my daughter's class teacher is telling at this very moment. The Class 2 period in Steiner Education is immersed in Celtic stories.; a collection of Greek myths, told so very amusingly, and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, or Blue Kangaroo fame; Mrs Pepperpot's Year, cute stories about a little old woman who becomes even littler at random moments, and has adventures; a delightfully illustrated version of Grimm's Jorinda and Jorindel (my second picture book version of this divine tale;Suzanne and nicholas at the Market by the incredible Japanese illustrator/author Satomi Ichikawa. I couldn't believe my luck to find this little book, having fallen in love with another of her, A Child's Book of Seasons. Her illustrations are miniturist in nature, and so intimately revealing of the realm of childhood; and Aesops Fable illustrated by Bernadette (yes just that), also featured in Steiner Education in Class 2 , this one with European style illustrations.
Oh Joy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Early Morning Creative Industry

Chicken 1 - really into mermaids...
Chicken 2 drawing a fridge with ice pack, orange juice and a person sleeping next to the fridge...

I am not one of these mothers who sets the alarm to be up and baking before the kids wake up. Perhaps I secretly wish I could be, but I have come into the habit of regarding my children as alarm clocks.
Hence, the first sounds this morning were of the two Chickens out in the "studio" drawing. This is a common waking sound, the sound of creative industry. After drawing, came dressing for the one-off Saturday morning dancing class (note maroon leotard) and a bit of catching up with a scarf knitting project for Chicken 1, well in time for chilly mornings (who knows). We are BIG on scarfs, warding off the "evil wind" from getting in behind the neck.
The soundtrack to the morning was my mate Mick's luscious CD "Little Treasures". The Chickens love it and keep playing it over and over again.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Sweltering Start to Autumn

What felt like an appropriate nature table a week ago now seems ridiculous! Ah, Melbourne weather...

Seriously hot days have been strangely enjoyable, taking us all by surprise after the cool week last week. From a feather down parker to nudies running around the backyard this afternoon, fans at night, and a homemade icy pole frenzy.
Our gorgeous Greek neighbours have plenty of ripe tomatoes, many of which arrive in paper bags at random intervals via Chicken 1 and 2.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Healing teal waters of Rosebud

Oh, the colour, the colour! This is all I could think or say yesterday at Rosebud. The kids bathed in the blissful shallow waters of Port Phillip Bay, and I bathed in the colour. I drank teal, till I felt disoriented.
Walking up the long long pier, I had an overwhelming sense ofwalking life's journey, expecting to jump off the end into tropical Bardo. What a delicious breather!ahhhh

The great pier of life.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Chicken 1 fitting a dress she fashioned for Chicken 2 on Sunday, using found material, straps contructed with wool twisties (a skill learnt early in Steiner school) and sewn with thick blue wool. Chicken 2 is rapt!!Having the first official procrastination "study break" of my Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning. This course , being completely online, (yes I am now at uni, though it looks bizarrely similar to our messy study) feels totally unreal. However, there are lecturers in Darwin apparently guiding me through this process of becoming a teacher. Apparently one of these teachers, whose "lecture" I am attempting to read today, is very keen on using quotes from the Old Testament to exemplify the concept of "Student Assessment". Apparently, some biblical guys asked other biblical guys a rather unfair question, which resulted in the second bunch being unfairly slain. Eek. Lesson being, you've gotta get assessment right. Point taken.
I start picturing my new lecturer, a woman, standing at the front of a sleek air-conditioned lecture room in Darwin, perhaps wearing a light batik cotton frock. I picture her trotting off to a bible study class on the weekend, fervently jotting down all the great quotes she can transfer to her lectures on education that week.
Why not. I need a "study break".

Monday, March 3, 2008

meeting arabella cucumber

The girls and I met a most inspiring dollmaker named Anna yesterday at a pre-loved children's market. She was sitting on a rug stitching a gorgeous doll, and had many of her others to sell. She has a blog arabella cucumber , and wanted "Chicken 1" to send her pictures of her own little handmade dolls. I thought better than that, post them on the brand new blog. The last two dolls are Charlie and Caroline, and were made by me.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

under the maidenhair tree

I went once to a natropath. I was undergoing a health meltdown and a spiritual crisis. I said, "I just want to move to the country and be surrounded by green". She prescribed me nettle tea and a book, "The Return of the Bird Tribes". I was thrilled to be told to read a book, and although I never finished the book, discovered the pathway of dosing myself with nature need not result in a move to the countryside (a craving which nonetheless grips me every so often).
I bought a great guide book of trees at a fete yesterday, and spent the afternoon dreaming into the illustrations of massive oaks, weeping willows, plum blossoms and mystical maidenhair trees, part of the Gingko tree family and native to China.
I have decided to start my blog today, imagining myself sitting under the shade of a maidenhair tree, it's two lobed leaves turning Autumn yellow, writing "stuff".