Did I rave about the kids movie theatre yet? Because someone should have invented them years ago

So, Village Southland now have two special kids movie theatres. I took the small person during opening week. And I didn’t even mind that going to the movies costs a fucking fortune these days because IT WAS AWESOME.

Normally taking a small kid to the movies is really fraught and most parents I know avoid it but…

  • The sound is lower!! (I always worried about that…)
  • They leave the lights on low!!
  • There’s an intermission, so your kid can go to the toilet without missing any of the movie/stretch their legs/go buy a snack etc.
  • There is no allocated seating, so your kid can wander around and sit down wherever and THAT’S FINE. Apparently they’ve changed this and now there IS allocated seating. I don’t know why. But there are also three different kinds of seats, including bean bags.screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-9-08-12-pm
  • There’s a huge SLIDE running down the side of the seating. Sure, my kid took one look at it and went “that’s way too high and scary, big pile of nope right there” but still, SO FUN.
  • There was also a play area before you went in, including colouring pages which
    you then scanned in so they could display them ON THE CINEMA SCREEN before the movie started.

Best of all, it’s all just parents with small kids, so you don’t need to spend a single second worrying that you’re disturbing anyone else. Sure, I was kind of worried that, because of this, the place would be full of screaming kids running wild, but actually, the kids were all really well behaved in the session we went to.


It leaves me with the question – why has it taken this long for this to exist? Why did it occur to nobody before?

ETA: Having re-read this I should probably specify that no, I wasn’t paid to write this or anything. I just think it was a fucking great idea and someone’s a genius.

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Adventures in weaving

After a few years now, of seeing woven wallhangings out and about (and selling for hundreds and hundreds of dollars), I decided to learn to weave.

Because a) how hard could it be? and b) surely it will come in handy after the apocalypse.

I decided to start with a mini loom kit from the Handmaker’s factory and it was so easy. I plunged straight in without watching any tutorials or anything so I made a lot of mistakes in my first wallhanging, but I still think it turned out fine.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-39-31-pm screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-39-40-pm screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-39-59-pm screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-40-13-pm


My 3yo was so tremendously in awe and jealous of said wallhanging that I had to make her one for her room too. Her brief? “I want blue and red and some of that shiny silver and some of that “cotton wool”, mummy.”



Ready to hang on her wall. I ended up having to put it somewhere really high and pointless to stop her from pulling on it … maybe it can go somewhere more appropriate to its size when she’s not, you know, three years old…

She loves it.

But having made two little ones now, I wanted something bigger, so I bought this:

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-8-45-09-pmIt’s the “apprentice” loom from Loom and Spindle. I threaded it this afternoon. Wish me luck!

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Grandma power 

I was on a train the other day. An Obnoxious Youth in a huge cap with a hoodie hood over it, glaring and blaring hip-hop from his phone, got on and immediately claimed a whole six-seat section of the train, putting his feet up on the seats. 

The train filled up, and everyone steered clear of him. Until a little old grannie got on. 

“Excuse me, young man,” she said, walking slowly into his legs so he’d have to move. 

“You won’t like my music!” He said in a desperate sort of way. 

“What was that, son?”

“You won’t like my music,” he said in a clearly voice.

“Oh, I don’t know about that. Music’s music, isn’t it? So, who is this singing then?” 

They had the most adorable little chat. By the end of it, his hood was down and he was sitting nicely in his seat. 

Hats off to you, grandma. I want to be you when I grow up. 

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Polyester melts: when sewing, belly dancing and parenting combine

You never know what random life skills are going to pop up when you have a small child.

See, I used to belly dance. I was semi-professional by the end; I briefly taught and you could hire me for your party (well, if I felt like doing the job. I often didn’t).

The lessons that I took away from it are not what you’d imagine. Two words of Arabic (“beladi” and “habibi”). The fact that smiling while you dance is phenomenally more important than getting every step perfect.

And that polyester melts.

Specifically, that if you’re sewing a dress or skirt out of cheap satin, you can cheat on the hem. You don’t need to bother stitching it; just run a match along the raw edge. Nobody’s going to notice on a dance costume anyway. Especially if you’re smiling.

What does this have to do with parenting? Because it turns out that this sewing cheat that my dance teacher passed onto us isn’t quite as well-known as I had imagined. My own mother, it turns out, had no idea. She panicked the other week, because half of the hem of the satin Queen Elsa costume that she had bought my child tore right off while they were out.

My child wasn’t upset. She just ran right up to me when she got home and showed it to me, demanding I fix it.

And, within 60 seconds, I had.

With a match.

Then, this week, a friend brought around a Tinkerbell costume that her daughter had grown out of. It was just the right size for my child, but it had some fraying bits.

“Can you fix these, mummy?” My child asked. “Of course I can, darling,” I said.

And I did. With a match.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 9.04.41 PM

You can barely notice the bit where it caught fire and I had to blow it out. Stop looking so closely.

SO, to sum up — when confronted with a fraying princess costume, do not spend all night long mending it, for the love of god. Just get out the damned matches.

They won’t even fit in the damned thing in a month anyway.


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Random sick musings

I did one of these the last time I was just wrecked by being sick. Realised it’s all I had the energy for.

So what have I been up to? I’m glad you asked.

I’ve caught up on a bunch of movies I’ve had on my to-watch list for ages. I saw Suffragette, which I didn’t enjoy even though I expected to. I just don’t think they spent enough time getting us to care about or understand the motivations of any of the main characters. I thought they were pretty one-dimensional.

Also I get that being a militant suffragette at the time was awful – I already knew that it was awful, so I was expecting that, and worse – but would it have killed them to include a few lighter bits in the script? It made me think of that Joss Whedon quote, where he pleaded with writers, “make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”

I also watched Only Lovers Left Alive, which I had been putting off because how many vampire movies can I watch?

All of them, my friends. All of them.

And this one was so unpredictable – I mean, nothing much happens, which is why it was hard to predict, but once I sort of got that that was the point, and it wasn’t particularly going to go with any of the usual themes, I really enjoyed it. It was frequently visually gorgeous, and the music was great and I love the three lead actors in everything they do. Also it kept being unexpectedly funny. There’s this one bit where everything’s looking a bit bleak and Tom Hiddleston’s character just randomly gets angry about some bad wiring he happens to notice up on the wall, and I laughed out loud. You wouldn’t think that would be funny but they made it work.

And I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower because the cast looked good and I like teen movies. Well, sometimes. This was one of the times.

I also caught up on Call the Midwife, which I had forgotten is just so great, and watched a lot of Disney because my child has also been sick. She’d never seen Dumbo, for instance, and I hadn’t watched it myself since I was little. My god, the pink elephant scene. That scared the shit out of me as a child. WHY IS IT THERE:

Teh Internets
I also read basically every comic up on www.fowllanguagecomics.com and he has parenting down, man.

I’ve also been slogging my way through www.harkavagrant.com but wow that shit is dense. Though hilarious. If you like history and stuff. That cartoonist has a kids book out now, The Princess and The Pony. I tried to get my child interested in it – I read it to her in the bookstore – but the fact that the pony does farts somehow annoyed her (I think she didn’t believe that was really in the book) and she thrust The Gruffalo at me instead. Ah well.

Apart from The Gruffalo, I recently read Lady Killer on no more recommendation than The Bloggess was reading it on a plane and some jerk tried to tell her it was anti-feminist based on nothing but the cover. I enjoyed it. I’ve been thinking I need to read a few more graphic novels since I’ve liked the ones I’ve read. And it wasn’t anti-feminist.

I also just read The Bloggess’s second book, Furiously Happy. I kind of hope her husband is nicer and more supportive in real life than how he comes across in it, but I guess she wouldn’t be with him if he wasn’t. I enjoyed it but her first book had a bit more of a linear narrative; this one’s a bunch of anecdotes sort of loosely about her struggles with mental health problems. It’s poignant and real but also laugh-out-loud funny.

Speaking of graphic novels and mental health problems, only this time not so funny, I also recently finished Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant because I thought reading about someone going through putting their elderly parents in care might help me somehow come to terms with the fact that my Nonna has dementia or something.

I say “or something” because any time anyone comes to assess Nonna, she throws them out of the house or just doesn’t let them in to begin with. So we don’t know what’s going on with her. But she’s losing it and while I’m sure it’s always very upsetting when this happens, Nonna wasn’t easy to begin with. And she isn’t losing it in a vague “oh dear, where is my knitting” way. She’s losing it in a “I’ll call my son every hour to have the same borderline-abusive conversation with him and then when he tells me it’s time for him to go to bed I will call him at 3am to tell him he’s a horrible son for not devoting his life to me and I’m selling the house and he gets nothing” way.

Anyway, the book is from a cartoonist for the New Yorker and because of that, I kind of expected it to be funny and it wasn’t. I mean, there were some funny bits, but it was mostly just really honest, and kind of gut-wrenching. I mean, her parents decay and die, as promised on the label.

Even thinking about it has made me sad again.

I should go have some panadol or something.


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Being sick is balls.

So, I had surgery last year to try to get rid of my pregnancy-related sinus issues. It was months before I was well again, since my worn-out immune system kept picking viruses up.

All up, I was almost permanently sick with a variety of things for about 18 months, and then I spent six months well. Great!

Except in the last two months I’ve had two viruses and two sinus infections.

I am so sick of sinus infections. I recognise them straight away now; the sore throat, the headache, the sore face, the pointless cough that disrupts your sleep.

But I’m looking favourably on sinus infections right now, since I have just spent the last week completely wrecked by a really fucking awful virus.

You know how there are a whole bunch of symptoms, with cold and flu, and you don’t normally get them all?

We got them all.

My child has never been really sick. The odd snotty nose, an ear infection when she was small, something that the GP described as “very weak conjunctivitis, maybe?” But she went down like a sack of potatoes with this thing, and mum and dad followed.

Heaps of her kindy class have gone down with it, apparently, and all the parents got it after them. Heaps of my friends with kids got sick too, but they didn’t get it from us, since we haven’t caught up in weeks. One child was sick for a full three weeks with it.

But it’s all the secondary stuff that happens when everyone is sick that gets you down. The house is filthy. The refrigerator’s empty. The child is frustrated because she’s ready to play now but mum and dad are still crook (you shouldn’t have COUGHED IN OUR FACES for a week, daughter).

Oh, and since everyone else was sick, my mother tried to change one of her own blown light globes. She proceeded to FALL OFF HER LADDER and FRACTURE HER LEG.

I feel especially bad because my third cousin is in town for a few weeks for work (she’s normally in America) and we haven’t gotten to do any of the fun stuff I had promised.

Screw this. Bring on another six months of being healthy.

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Because the MOTHER-FLIPPING feature wall is finally FINISHED that’s what it MOTHER-FLIPPING IS!!!!
Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.58.00 PMAnd all I have to say is, I will never doubt the difference between proper Contact and cheaper imitations ever again.

I cut the bottom bit of the stencil using proper Contact, and it was the best stencil ever. The knife cut out my design nicely, without tearing; it  didn’t break while I was putting it on the wall despite the many holes in it; and it came off nicely too.


I couldn’t find any proper Contact for the rest of the stencil (I think it was the Christmas break; I expect it was all bought up by kids going back to school) and so I bought cheapo el-crappo fake no-brand contact from Bunnings for the rest of the stencil. How bad can it be? I thought. Ooooh dear.

It tore while I was cutting AND while it was being put up. The adhesive didn’t stay on while the paint was drying:

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 9.19.44 PM

which lead to this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 9.18.40 PM

Those are NOT clean edges, people. NOT CLEAN EDGES AT ALL.

It took me months of on-and-off handpainting to clean that shit up.

Also, the sticky residue it left? IS STILL THERE, MONTHS LATER.

Moral of the story? Much like cheap superglue, cheap Contact is CHEAP FOR A REASON.

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