Friday, August 28, 2015

I love Book Week.

Yes, I do.


I know lots of parents find it a pain to organise costumes and some just pull out something they already have, like an Elsa dress, when we all know that's a movie, not really a book. But I enjoy it for lots of reasons.

It really makes my kids think about what books they like. They think about it for weeks, they talk about it with their friends at school, they hear about other books that they might not have read. The kids actually talk about books without even thinking they are talking about reading, they discuss likes and dislikes of characters and story lines.

This year our school organised a few guest visits too. Miss 9 walked to the car holding a heap of drawings, drawn after a presentation from Leigh Hobbs, I am not sure what he spoke about, but the drawings were great. Books are not just words, they are illustrations and art, be it the cover only or a full picture book. You should never really leave picture books behind, if you do, you will miss out on so many gorgeous stories, told simply and often with great artwork.

Immy was more than excited to learn that the author of her favourite book ever, 'All Through the Year', Jane Godwin, was coming to school to speak to them.

After school, I asked her what Jane Godwin was like. At first, she said, well, she is really different than I expected, because she has brown hair. I didn't think she was a brown hair lady. I have no idea why she had an image of what Jane Godwin's hair should look like in her mind! With the hair issue quickly behind her, Immy went on to tell me all about Jane's new book about a bear and a cave and the way it's written and how it's going to take a VERY long time to get the book here from China, but can we please please get it as soon as it arrives.

I checked out Jane Godwin on instagram and said hello, and Jane showed me the cover of the new book, then I noticed that she has a new book for Christmas this year too, so I am going to grab that for Immy's birthday in December.

Immy had been dressed as Mr Huff from a book that she only selected a few weeks ago because she thought it was a Jane Godwin book, it's actually an Anna Walker book, but Anna was the illustrator for All Through the Year...it was a great way to remind Immy that books often have someone who writes them and someone who draws the pictures, but not always.

Still, it was a good day when she had met Jane Godwin, and then Anna Walker commented on her Instagram image.

The teachers at school were all dressed as the Crayons from The Day the Crayons Quit, so that has been added to the book wish list this week too.

I am restraining myself from running to the book shop - yes, I still go to the book shop and hardly ever buy books online, I am not sure if it is because I despise paying postage or I just need things instantly, or I don't have time to get to the post office when they are not left at the door, or that I just love going and checking out all the new books.



This is only our second book week, and one of the benefits of changing schools was Miss 9 could wear the same outfit as last year, because Hermione is still the greatest character she has ever met.

Book week 2015 has certainly not been difficult, or expensive and didn't take too much effort at all, especially when I think of how it just encourages kids to think about books. And as the school captains reminded the kids at assembly, remember the words of Dr Suess:

"You can find magic, wherever you look, sit back and relax, all you need is a book"





Thursday, August 20, 2015

Excursion Tales





Last week I did something for the first time.

I was the parent helper on a school excursion with around 80 or so six year olds. We were headed to one of Melbourne's most delightful buildings which contains the Immigration Museum. I really love that place, but I am only ever there for events. Cocktail partys, talks and now with the six year olds. I have once again promised myself to go back there and actually read all the fascinating exhibits.

That photo above is not mine, because a responsible parent obeys the rules and does not use their phone when they in charge of six year olds - those kids can disappear faster than an iphone swipe!

When you go with a school, the kids sit in a room where they are told more about immigration and a case study about a couple from Vietnam. It was here that Immy was desperate to join in with the other kids and answer a question.

"Put your hand up, if one of your parents was born in another country" asked the instructor.

Little hands shot up everywhere, stretched as high as they could be, fingers wiggling.

We soon got reminders that Sydney and Adelaide were actually still in Australia, so those kids should put their hands down.

But Immy was still sitting there arm up, back straight, with her best, pick me, pick me face on.

"And you" she points at Immy. "In which country were your parents born?"

To which she answers. "My Dad, he was born in Benalla".

And guess what, it might actually be in Australia, but no one else had a parent with that claim to fame.








Friday, August 14, 2015

Do you ever get ideas of what would make a good business?


I get them about 720 times a day.

But I am not really the type of person who would start their own business. I'd like to think I am, but reality is I get so many ideas in a day I wouldn't be able to stay focussed on the one business. Well, I probably could, but it also takes a brave character, ready to deal with the business not succeeding, and I have to admit, I love my regular pay arriving in my bank.

It's all about the old risk reward ratio isn't. I first learnt about it at uni when I did my economics degree, but mainly we talked about risk reward when I worked at the Stock Exchange. You take a big risk, you should get a big reward, it might be monetary but it might also be flexibility, enjoyment and the hours you want.

If you think of 720 business ideas a day, nothing makes you more excited when someone you know starts up their own business. It's kind of like when friends announce having a baby, I just feel so excited for them and everything the future will bring them. It's not all going to be champagne and meredith cheese on crackers, but there are going to be some marvellous days ahead.

I have some friends who say that they would love a business but they just can't think of an idea for one. But, they are everywhere, I bet you have them all the time too.

A couple of years ago I hosted some market research at my house and one of the ladies attending said, why do paper towels have to come in a roll, why can't they be in a box like tissues. Guess what the brand (and it's a big brand) now has available?

This week, after my LumpyBeGone surgery I have been bra shopping for bras that are suitable for people who have had chest surgery. Went to Myer, the most unhelpful woman in the history of shopping, said "There is one post surgery bra, it's here" then she walked off. It was of course the most ugly thing you have ever seen. I went to another shop, lovely 22 year old shop assistant said sorry, there is only one option unless you have larger breasts, the second option is for larger breasts only. Really?? Let's be open, I am not exactly missing out in this department.  So if you can sew up a boulder holder that is wire free without an elastic band that is 2 inches wide, get sewing, there are patients out there in need of your garments.

I also thought maybe I could buy an Australia Post office business and actually provide really good service and see how that worked. I have a nasty mark where I had to bite my tongue while watching the way a woman (the owner of the business) so rudely spoke to a very very elderly man who got his PIN wrong a few times. He was getting stressed and apologising and she was using her cranky voice, saying, 'I have customers waiting, you know it or not?'  I was the next customer and I walked very very slowly to her counter, a little steam billowing from my ears. I really don't like it when morons are rude to people like that. I also hate that post office and it's pathetic lack of service, but I have to go there because there is no other post office.

I also want someone to start a business where they are like a travelling salesman, but instead of wanting me to change my power company, they ring the doorbell, and say "I am a window washer, for $100 I will wash all of your windows right now". I will say YES every time they knock.

You see the trick is always about finding something that people don't want to do and being the person who does it for them.

I would like to see a blow wave bar on every street corner. Oh, to be able to whip in and 20 minutes later just have my hair done, I can't make an appointment like the old days, I am not that organised, I just want to walk in and voila, good hair day!

There should also be a Mum who does school lunches, not like the canteen, but you text her and say, "Can I please have two school lunch boxes tomorrow, slip some cash in her paypal and the next day your kids get homemade school lunches, you don't even have to worry about play lunch snacks, it's all sorted.

I could go on and on.

Have you got any weird and wonderful business ideas that you might take on, or want someone else to take up?




Monday, August 3, 2015

Don't share your poo germs around


This is a sponsored post










I read too many parenting posts, I actually try not to because so many of them just annoy me, which was kind of the inspiration I had for the the 'You're a crap parent' post last week.

One of the things I didn't mention in that post was when people go on about how dirt is good for your kids, let them get grubby, don't ruin their immune systems by not letting them play, be at one with slugs and snails and nature. Just get them into nature, it won't hurt them... 

I actually don't know too many kids that don't get grubby. Isn't that why we are stuck in the laundry washing clothes so much? Kids have their hands in everything. The dirt, the monkey bars, their food, their hair, sand pits, chewing gum on the footpath. Kids are constantly playing with grime and hardly ever complain about being outside even when it's freezing. It's fantastic. They should keep doing that, and I doubt you could stop them, kids and filth are peas and corn.

The thing that everyone needs to do more of is just wash their hands. PLEASE. Use some soap and wash your hands. Then wash the kids' hands too and get the germs off them. Chances are they have wiped their bums, picked their noses, used their hands to eat, god knows what other sorts of stuff and all everyone has to do is wash their hands more. 

Or use some alcohol rub if you are out and about. Change a nappy - clean your hands. 

Because dirt and grime are fine, but sharing your poo germs around are not. SO MANY BUGS are simply spread because people don't clean their hands properly.  It's even got a name - Fecal-Oral  or Orofecal! Your kid gets some poo germs on their hand, then they put their hands to their face or they touch something, then you touch that thing, then another kid touches it, then they bite their nails and BAM, the kid just swallowed poo germs. Vomitness. 

With so many people not washing their hands, I find a regular spray of disinfectant never hurt.

When we have any type of cold/flu/virus I harp on and on to everyone about more handwashing and I also get out my trusty disinfectant sprays too. Glen 20 is my spray of choice. Sometimes I feel like I need to spray it in my eyes to cleanse them of the things I read in the newspapers...of course if says on the tin NOT to spray in eyes, so I don't spray in eyes...instead, I use it on as many surfaces as I can and even clothes don't miss out. In winter when the whole class seems to be sick, a little extra Glen 20 spray on the girls blazers has not hurt them (I spray it in the laundry, not while they are wearing them, just in case you were wondering).

So go outside and play, let everyone get filthy, your dirt germs don't bother me, just use some soap in the bathroom and feel free to use a little disinfectant spray on your door handles. 










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