flinder’s peak take two

I took my mate Mike up to Flinder’s Peak this morning to kick-start 2017. Even though we began the ascent before 7am it was still really hot by the time we reached the top and we were lucky to make a quick descent before it got crazy hot. We both carried about 2.5 litres of water which was just enough for the temperature which reached about 36 degrees Celsius.

It was great to have some company (I usually hike alone) and I hope I have piqued his interest in climbing some more mountains (perhaps when it cools down a bit).

buy nothing new in january

I’m still recovering from the consumeristic binge that is known as Christmas, so I proposed to Kitty that we make a family pledge to ‘buy nothing new’ in 2017. 

Kitty, being the wise lady she is, suggested we trial it for January which is a great idea as it’ll maximise our chance of success and see whether this is something we can sustain longer term. 

So for January 2017 we’re planning not to buy any new items like toys, clothes, books, games etc. 

The last time I didn’t buy anything for a month was October in 2010 and it worked out well. 

If there’s something we need we will buy secondhand either through thrift/op shops (preferable) or eBay/Gumtree. 

We’ll still be buying essential groceries from the store, and there’s a couple of items that we don’t think we can do second hand like some school uniforms (that we can’t find in the second hand store at school), and underwear. 

Luckily Lifeline Bookfest happens in January which will cover all our book needs (with our regular library borrowing). 

We also have kerbside collection in January which means we’ll (hopefully) be able to get rid of a few household things so here’s hoping for a net ‘stuff’ loss over the month of January.

twenty years

Twenty years ago this evening my fifteen year old self went on my very first date with a lovely girl from my high school. Little did I know that night would change my life forever. Thanks for asking me out that night Kitty and thanks for a fantastic twenty years together. Here’s to the next twenty!

our kids’ quotes 2016

It’s that time of year which means I can finally publish the list of quotes we’ve collected from our boys throughout the year.

This year Junior Pixels was 6 turning 7, Little Bear was 4 turning 5, and Little Whale turned 3 during the year. My favourite quote this year is a tie between love in your heart and the itchy footprints one.

Little Bear: “can I do the mix machine for the cake?”
Mama: “sure”
Little Whale: “oh wait Orsie I need to put my ear mouse on cos it’s noisy”

Junior Pixels looking at fireworks
“explosions for celebrations? I’ll never understand”

Junior Pixels getting dressed himself
“now I know how hard it is to be you Papa”

Little Bear: “Mama makes the freshest pancakes”
Papa: “did you know some mamas don’t make pancakes at all?”
Little Bear: “yes, they get them out of tins”

Junior Pixels at the art museum looking at old paintings
Junior Pixels: “Mama Mama I studied this at Kindy! It was very famous! This is actually it!”

Papa to Little Whale: are you Winston Scott?
Little Whale: “no, I’m just Winton today”

Little Whale: “I not cold Mama. (Standing in dressing gown and slippers). I not cold. Look my teeth not even wobbling (chattering).”

Mama (to Junior Pixels): “if you walk across the log you can put your arms out like an aero plane to balance ”
Little Whale: “Mama aero planes no have arms!”

Little Whale singing to teddy’s toes before falling asleep:
“This little piggy stayed home…
This little piggy went to the shoppings and got the things…
This little piggy went to school to pick up boys…”

Stereo stops working in car.
Little Bear: “why has the music stopped Mama? (Thinking) I know maybe it’s the blue teeth not working.”

Junior Pixels: “Mama why is it in your heart that you feel love?”

A short story by Little Whale Scott
 “There was a long neck dinosaur who couldn’t reach the trees so it ate up the whole school. And when it did poo it had changed it into playgroup.
Then it changed back to school.
Then he drove in his monster truck to a different playgroup.”

(Talking about growing up and families)
Little Bear: “Winnie do you want to come and live with me when we’re older? ”
Little Whale: “yeah. I cuddle Orsie babies and my babies”
Little Bear: “you don’t lay babies. we’ll have to have a girl there to lay the babies and go to hospital to have them. ”
Little Whale: “the babies not be snotty.”
Mama: “I’m sure they won’t get sick if you take care of them and keep them warm”
Little Bear: “I saw in the babies movie you just wrap them tight and tie the blanket up with ribbon”
Mama: “ah I think that was just the family who lived in Mongolia and needed to get their baby home and warm on the back of a motorbike…”

Little Whale: “read this to me! (pointing to article not suitable for kids in the big issue magazine)”
Papa: “no, it’s for grown-ups only ”
Little Whale: “I grown up, I wear undies now”

Little Whale: “(driving along in back seat of car) Mama I’m a cloud”
Mama: “really?! Wow! What do clouds do?”
Little Whale: “they do this (puffs cheeks out and blows) like that”

Little Bear: “mama no I don’t want sun scream on! It hurts my eyes!”

Little Whale: “I’ve got itchy footprints”

Junior Pixels: “Orsie: the red poppies are for remembering people and purple is for animals in the war”
Little Bear: “Winnie: the purple flower is for remembering all the turtles that dies in the war”

Little Bear: “Mama: why did I have so many cries today?”

Little Whale looking at his shadow and waving his hands to make it move.
Little Whale: “Mama why does my shadow have no teeth? ”

See also: our kids’ quotes from 2015 and 2014

what’s your best time of day? and why? 

What’s your best time of day? And why? 

This is probably the easiest question to answer so far. As much as I love being a father of three young, overly energetic, and enthusiastic boys, as Michael McIntye says: “you never love your children more than when they’re unconscious but still breathing”, so that moment when they’re all asleep at night, usually about 8pm (after a 7:30pm bedtime) is by far the best time of day; pure bliss. 

I love using that child free time at night to read, watch films or clips not suitable for the boys, spend quality time with Kitty, and to reflect on how amazing it is to be a father of three amazing boys 😍

Next question for K:

“What are the best features of middle age?”

søren kierkegaard quote

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

~  Søren Kierkegaard

if you only had $10 in your pocket, how would you spend it? 

“If you only had $10 in your pocket, how would you spend it?”

This is an interesting question. I’m not a big advocate of spending money for spending money’s sake, so unless I wanted to buy something I wouldn’t necessarily spend the money in my pocket: I’d leave it there. 

But if I look at the things I’ve really enjoyed buying over the last few weeks that add up to $10 then it’s easy to answer this question:

  1. I found a pair of County Road shorts in excellent condition, but missing a button, at my favourite op shop (Yesterday’s Thrift @ West End) for $1 (and Kitty repaired them for free)
  2. I bought a huge bucket of over 100 passionfruit from a roadside stall on the way to climb Mount Warning for $5
  3. We discovered a roadside stall selling Little Gem bananas on the way to Byron Bay via Madura Tea Estate for $2 a bag – I’d never had Little Gems before and they were delicious
  4. We watched a 99c iTunes rental of The Night Before, a Seth Rogen Christmas Comedy last night after the kids were asleep – great movie 🎥 

Even after all these purchases I’d still have $1 left in my pocket and I’d do with that what I’ve been doing this year and add it to an old glass jam jar I have on my shelf. So far this year I’ve collected $104 in coins from pocket change alone in that jar. 

It’s pretty amazing what you can do with $10 if you put your mind to it. 

New question for K:

“What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?”

→ a toast: to sobriety

I enjoyed this article by Bernard Salt on modern Australian teetotalism:

“The benefits of not drinking alcohol over a sustained period are many. I am sure I have saved thousands of dollars by only drinking water (or soda water if it is a special occasion) and that my health is better. I also think it’s a good idea for people who attend a lot of events for work purposes to remain clear-headed
But there is a problem. I don’t like the term teetotaller. It is a hangover (no pun intended) of the tut-tutting temperance movement of the 19th century. And I don’t see myself as a tut-tutter. I see myself as a modern, liberal-thinking progressive sort of person who prefers to drink water. What the teetotaller tribe needs is a market makeover based around a groovy new phrase that emphasises the wellness benefits of drinking water.

I am not a teetotaller, then. I’m a non-toxin drinker. I am a waterist. In fact, I am a bit of a water courter: I seek it out.”

I’d happily call myself a waterist; water is life.