Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10 rules, or seven: well, here are the rules anyway

for the benefit of family and friends who may be in the position of babysitting (so not appropriate when describing a period of time spent with amelia - try maintaining a state of detente or glasnost), we thought it timely to outline the rules of engagement.

1. always always ALWAYS use precise language, paying particular attention to verb forms. don't use present tense when you actually mean future or past.
2. promise NOTHING that you can't actually deliver. don't attempt to bribe her with things that never eventuate. she will remember; and you will be reminded (again and again and again and again and so on ad infinitum)
3. remember that she has the memory of an elephant, so YOU need to remember episodes, situations, people and toys that she has encountered from birth, including injuries to her person that she has accrued, and you will be expected to be able to recount them in fine detail if (in fact WHEN it comes up in conversation.
4. be prepared to dance, sing, act the goat, spin in mad circles, swing, jump or just generally let off huge amounts of energy in public, while keeping her warmly dressed.
5. be prepared to explain, in teeny weeny detail (but big words are ok) diggers, trucks, trains, machines, cranes, jackhammers, hedicotters (helicopters) planes boats and the like. the questions will start with wassat (which is a generic term meaning what it is, what does it do, how do you make it go, and WHY) , and will continue with same word until you have given her the works. you may have to repeat the explanation a few times, as in each time you see said item; her quest for knowledge never ends.
6. have a large selection of songs available to sing when requested. generally, the standard nursery songs are good, but she likes it when you muck up the words a bit. as in, the old danny kaye favorite - 'there's a hole in the bottom of the sea' becomes 'there's a hole in the bottom of my sock' with a toe in the hole instead of a frog in the hole, leading all the way to the head on the body on the bum on the leg on foot on the toe in the hole etc etc etc . . . .
7. learn to wake quickly and easily at 3 (or 2 or 4 or 1) am . . . and to respond immediately to the deep conversational openings that will come your way. these include discussions about people amelia has not seen for weeks, or toys that she once used in a cafe months and months ago. or the red car with the funny man that honked as it went past last tuesday afternoon. or the 'happy birthday cake' she would like to eat immediately now please because she is hungry. dog poo is a favorite, as well as 'what was man doing? . . . guesswork is recommended in such instances.
8. work on being truly creative with food. olives are to be eaten when stuck on the fingertips of a tiny little hand, and yogurt is to be smeared across ones face like expensive skin cream. ice-cream is first to be eaten slowly and steadily with a salt-spoon, in teeny weeny frozen mouthfuls - and then from the tiny fingertips again, and if there is enough, a whole hand or two will be dipped into the cone and come out blue. bananas are good for drawing on walls (keep her in a highchair!!!), and sandwiches exist to be opened up and burrowed into so the butter and toppings can be licked off. water is apt to be dribbled down her face as she does singing exercises (thanks to what she learned while showering with a certain sibling who does her singing exercises in said shower . . . no names mentioned katie) and cucumber slices with skin on get lined up into rows of 'rainbows' as the flesh is consumed and only the arcs of green remain. peas will be arranged in neat little rows and picked off one by one like targets at a gun range, and spaghetti exists to be picked up in whopping great handfuls and stuffed in ones mouth as if one has not eaten for a month of sundays.
9. get a sense of fashion, and be ready to help try out all the latest gear in amelia's cupboard. get rid of all your old 'this goes with that' thinking - there is a whole new world ahead of you where you will be swept into a mad whirl of anything goes.
10. above all, be ready for gusts of instantaneous laughter that will rock you almost off your feet as this tempestuous personality blossoms in front of you. she will shock you, surprise you, bring tears of joy and love to your eyes, drive you batty in an instant, and move you to want to hug and kiss her cute little ears off (although she is not the biggest hugger in the world, unless you are in possession of serious ningability).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

this is the part where YOU do the talking

i really have to watch my words around amelia.

recently i woke at around 5:30am, snuck out of bed to go and make coffee, and found andrew perched at the kitchen table tapping away on his computer (it was LEGENDARY that he be up, let alone AWAKE before me or the shrimp) with a coffee cup close to hand . . . i put off making my coffee, and we sat and chatted for a few minutes, before dulcet air-raid like tones erupted from the said shrimp's room. she banged her way out of bed, up the hallway and into the room, flung herself on me for ning while giving me a good whatfor-ing because she had woken up and found me gone.
i apologised, and told her that i hadn't meant to upset her, saying that her daddy and i had just been having a coffee.
she sat up abruptly at the mention of coffee, raised her eyebrows, fixing two beady little eyes on my face and giving me a look of complete disbelief, - beady eyes again - slowly scanned the table for signs of said coffee-having activities - coming briefly to a halt at the cup next to her father's hand, and sweeping the space in front of me a number of times before looking back at me with a face smothered in accusation, eyebrows raised and eyes staring right down the barrel of my own.

i fell over myself explaining that i had been GOING to have a coffee with daddy, but hadn't quite got around to making it yet, and all the while the two blue gimlets fixed me in place whilst i wriggled and squirmed much in the manner of a moth on hatpin (while struggling not to explode into amazed laughter - andrew, weak-willed thing that he is - was not so self-restrained and lost it completely)
i throw this one over to the audience (i know you're lurking, just saying nothing)
WHERE did that cynical, critical streak come from - and how the HECK does a two year old know enough to practically demand that her parents use explicit, concise and accurate language (for that matter, how come she grasps the different nuances between 'having' and 'intending to have' at her age, AND at 5:30am?)???

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fun in Venice and Ghent





Click on any image to enlarge . . .

amelia on a swing in ghent with Julia (pronounced Yullia) from Finland - we have PLAYDATES!!! and in Venice - eating an apple on the sumptuous bed, and gazing out the window of a vaporetto (water taxi/ferry) at the Ca d'oro . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the long way home



we had just arrived back in belgium from scotland, and amelia wanted to walk all the way home in the rain, holding her umbrella, and towing her wheelie bag . . .
she had passersby in fits.
every time she met someone who had an umbrella also, she would stop and have a serious and formal monosyllabic discussion with them about her boots (she can jump in puddles while she is wearing them apparently - the method we used to bribe her to even try a pair on), and also her umbrella and wheelie bag.

the 5 minute walk took us 35 minutes in all . . . and we were drenched, because she had our umbrella, and we couldn't fit in the stroller or under its plastic cover.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the venetian adventure

ah venice. home to ancient buildings and churches, multitudinous canals and bridges, gondoliers and cobblestones, pigeons and tortuous alleys and walkways. renowned for her elegance and beauty, history and intriguing sense of mystery . . . oh, and BOATS. did i forget to mention boats? boats SHOULD feature, apparently, in an updated tourist guide because they were amelia's favorite thing during our entire stay.

our hotel was only 20 steps away from a busy little canal, only a few meters across (and yes, amelia was either locked into the pram or tightly held the entire time we were there, and could not escape from the well secured hotel), so after eating our breakfast, we would walk to the canal and watch the garbage barge picking up the contents of the hand-pushed garbage trolleys while we stopped in at a bar at for an extra coffee before heading out and around.

because there are so many islands (around 150), no cars (and that was a BONUS with a 2yr old mad to run), and thousands and thousands of stone, brick and wooden bridges (i know, we walked over most of them!), most workers trundle their gear around on little trolleys, or in the case of the garbage, rather large lightweight trolleys with a clever wheel system (also fascinating for the short one) so that one person could get them up and over the bridges, and the barge would pick up the contents. all accomplished in a very leisurely italian manner - the garbo's had time to pick up a quick coffee at the bar, and smoke a cigarette or two and exchange some gossip while awaiting the barge, and the bargeman had a similar flexibility.

the few minutes watching the barge, sitting very still and quiet the whole time, seemed to satisfy amelia's morning sense of all things mechanical, so from there on out it was way hey and 'RUNNING dadda' . . . COBBLESTONES, and puppies', with amelia insisting on 'helping dadda' (or mumma) 'cawwy pwam' up and down each bridge we reached. very time consuming, fraught with the risk of her falling, so the adults involved had a tortuous task of making sure the stroller was guided very slowly and securely both ways. a more dangerous part of the process was the risk of falling foul of italian mothers and grandmothers, who were incensed that we were making the child do such arduous work. those of you who KNOW said child also know darn well how determined she would have been to 'help.' but i didn't have the complicated language to say 'look, she is a bloody minded forceful little munchkin, and she NEEDS to do this and will rip my leg off if i try and stop her . . .', so just smiled and shrugged. the only thing that made it easier was that many people thought she was a boy - in her blue fur coat, pink and grey hat with sparkly things on it, mauve boots, or her purple jacket with pink spots, and purple hat, and would say 'che' bello' (which means beautiful boy!), and smile indulgently. i shamelessly admit that i would not argue this one, but accepted the compliment graciously . . . when i spotted a poster showing an italian guy sporting a haircut almost identical to her own natural grown locks, labeled 'SOCCER MULLET' i realised that to most italians, she looks like a pretty boy - regardless of what she wears - and when they see the hair, that clinches it . . .

sadly, any attempt to dress her in a skirt still elicits dreadful screams and tantrums, and ends with amelia broken-heartedly sobbing her heart out face down, or flat on her back on the floor ripping said skirt straight back off again wailing, 'NO SKIRT, NO SKIRT, WANT RED TWOUSIS', and just takes too darn long to try and get through, so we don't bother, meaning that for now she will just have to keep on being a pretty boy until the rest of her hair catches up with the long bits at the back.

and lets face it, we looked WAY less strange standing watching the garbage barge go about its business with a 'bello ragazzo' in hand than a 'bella ragazza' . . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

some things never change

a change of scenery

for the last few weeks we have been staying in a 19th century inner city apartment in brussels central - close to cafes, parks, SHOPS and the like. however, the couple so graciously sharing their space with us are newly pregnant, and keeping amelia QUIETLY entertained has been somewhat of a challenge. we go for HUGE walks each day, and play until our ears and eyes fall off and out with tiredness. trouble is that so many of the sights and sounds are new, so she ends up super stimulated as well as exhausted. i.e. travelling on a train recently, where two people across the way from us chattered away in french for the entire journey. amelia, while needing to sleep, simply stared at them and kept saying vigorously to me, "mumma, peoples TALKING, theys TALKING peoples TALKING!!! . . ." i imagine that that was a comment on the language, because she was completely intent on their faces and hand movements all the while.

however, tomorrow we are off to venice for a few days, where flight on a baby plane, the bridges, cobblestones, more bridges and a veritable plenitude of bouncy-castle-like structures will keep her amused and even more exhausted. we might even pack in a vivaldi concert as well - she rather likes his music, and there are often lovely performances in medieval churches to be had for a small entrance fee.

then, we take over an apartment in ghent, where the university at which andrew is doing his visiting professorship is based. it is a medieval city (the center), so more B.C's, and trams, cobbles galore, and a VERY WELL EQUIPPED outdoor park on the same street as our apartment. we spent a few glorious moments there on sunday while on the way to meet the landlord, and she appproved - heartily. i will take a video of amelia on the equipment, worth a watch.

we arrived at the apartment a little late and a tad flustered, but our little family fitted in well straight away. well, at least, that was amelia's take, because she immediately leapt on the beds in our room, and in her room when we were being ushered through, and then removed her socks and orange trousers in the living room, and busily set up a play scenario with her doll - putting it, and herself to bed in 'melia's bed' . . . we had explained to her that we will be staying in a different house for a little while, and that she would have her own room, and she cottoned on smartly. we said this was our new home, and that was the way she viewed it.

the landlord and wife were enchanted by her, saying she was very sweet, and also delightful. andrew and i were surprised that the sight of her brightly striped rear-end (clad in a fluoro-coloured onesie) rollicking its way across the beige leather couches and footstool in between face-plants onto a small cushion tossed off an (also beige) designery chair failed to terrify them into changing their minds. while they took us on our little tour, both he and i were earmarking the lovely, breakable and no doubt well-loved things that will be disappearing into high cupboards within seconds of our arrival.

conversations with the midget

i won't describe the sleeping parent scenario again, because this story starts almost the same way, just a little later in the morning. in fact, it was WAKE-UP time - which for amelia means sitting bolt upright and starting her day quickly.

"mummy, DOG POO."
"what, where? dog poo where sweetie?" said the mother, climbing her way out of a deep slumber.
"dog POOOOOOO. different tails. i lub puppies." (referring to a dog who looked like thomas but with a different tail - seen 3 weeks or so ago) "red twousis dadda. and SWIM PANTS. 'melia got swim pants dadda."
"erg, snurgle, mmmm . . . you have your red pants on?" the father don't wake up too easily.
"yass. had nice seep dadda? had nice dweams too?" the midget enquires tenderly, flinging one solid thigh over the side of the cot and attempting a break-out.
"i did sweetie, thank you, di YOU have a nice sleep, and nice dreams too?" the father almost always responds promptly to such solicitous questions, emotion overcoming his urgent need to catch a few more zzzzz's.
"i geddup now dadda. watch fishies?" (The Blue Planet- the latest obsession) "and ning. ning on couch wif mumma. ning and fishies guys?" . . . .

Saturday, October 10, 2009

goodbye dear friend

au revoir 'uvver one andrew (bevan)'.
if only we could have told you how much amelia loved your company, and how often she has remembered you and talked about you since she last saw you; perhaps you would be with us still.

we are sad that you are not.
sleep well and sleep peacefully.
you are missed, and you are dearly loved.

visiting the king

on our final night in scotland, we took a long walk around the city, up to the top of the royal mile to edinburgh castle, where amelia wanted to go in through the entrance door. andrew reasoned with her that it was closed and that there was no one 'home', but she would not be persuaded . . . so, he offered to knock on the door (a little wooden one set into the drawbridge itself), and did so tapping quietly. amelia insisted he knock louder, which he did, and BOTH were very surprised when the door creaked open and two men stood there; one saying 'helloooo' in a very broad accent, and the other, a policeman, walking past her and waving while grinning broadly. apparently they had been watching A and a on cctv, and decided to give her a wee thrill.
we told her that the king himself had opened the door, and she seemed very satisfied with that.
as with dunottar castle, she loved the medieval rooflines and cobbles and antiquated nooks and crannies of edinburgh streets, along with the braw wind that blew both around us and through us as we wended our way back down from the castle.

Friday, October 9, 2009

conversations in the dead of the night

3:45 am.
our room is dark and silent; everyone in the city (bar the drunks and the homeless people) is asleep. then, from the portacot next to our bed a clear bell-like voice rings out:
"HEY GUYS, . . . . guuuuuys, I lub puppies. . . . dadda, dadda, DADDA . . . . i lub puppies . . . (dadda responds unintelligibly with a muffled groan). 'i lub flowers, and puppies. i lub GREY puppies. s'vewy dark dadda. vewy dark.' (Dadda: 'shhhhh, talking quietly, roofie and peter are asleep). the voice in the portacot gets louder: 'yass dadda, evvybody seeping'. (Mum: 'shhhhh, quiet quiet. its night time; time to sleep). 'lying down knickers on, bed dadda (i am lying down, wearing my knickers in bed dadda). (Dadda: 'mmmhhmmm). 'DADDA, DADDA . . . KNICKERS . . . BED ( . . . . got no legs dadda. scawwy cow got no legs (back to the staghead from edinburgh). can't wun; can't walk. (combined parents: 'shhhhhh, stop talking bubba, time to sleep'). "bummel bees, watch bummel bees dadda?' . . . (collective groan from parental bed) 'bummel bee sore bottom' (referring to character in movie who loses his sting and has it replaced with a teeny weeny pink plastic toy sword) . . .

the conversation continued in this manner until she finally crashed out, about half an hour later.

next morning (well, later on THAT morning), i was walking out to the kitchen with her to make coffee with amelia chattering away nineteen to the dozen, and me responding monosyllabically. she turned and looked at me, pointed THE finger and demanded: 'mumma, TALK AMELIA!!!'

i think that was the first time in my life i have ever been told off for NOT talking . . . i wonder why?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

vocab update

time to update the list of the latest favorite sayings of the inphenom:

LUB: on seeing two greyish dobermans in kelvin grove park, glasgow, "mu, two grade (grey) puppies! i LUB DEM." the list of things worthy of being lubbed has since grown, and she will march down the street reciting that list for all the world like a rosary. "i lub flowers, i lub puppies, i lub mummy, i lub birds, i lub fie (sic) engines, i lub thomas" and so on thru the list of HER people.

MY people: when she meets someone new, they become, rather rapidly, MY bart, MY peter, MY roofie (ruth, the friend we are staying with), and when they leave, she will often bleat rather plaintively "MY (whoever), i want MY (whoever). they can also be 'mines' or 'mine' as those words are used interchangeably.

WHERE'S MINES?/WHAT HAPPENED MINES: used when any object or person she considers important is not immediately visible. case in point: we put her to bed fully clothed (including shoes - which are apparently must haves for any toddler intending on sleeping) a few nights back, and once she was asleep, took her jeans and shoes off, leaving her in her swim shorts that are also must-need attire every day ( i kind you not) and tee shirt. when she woke up in the morning, she tottered out of bed, walked past a full length mirror in our room, took a double take - threw her hands wide and shouted "WHAT HAPPENED MINES jeans . . . . they fall ober (they fell off)!!!! . . ." the famed red twousers are almost always the subject of such intense inquiry. we left them at home while we trotted over to scotland, and every morning, afternoon and evening the call went up and the explanations had to be made of just WHERE they were and WHY she was unable to wear them. grannY - how is that search for a replacement going?

she also has a huge range of imaginative play going: keeping 'dory' and 'nemo' in her pocket (two fishy characters from finding nemo), and if asked, will produce them on the palm of her hand and let you have a pat or a kiss. she will also 'swim' them to you, holding her palm perpendicular(ish) to the floor and making it 'swim.' she will also make you a cuppy tea and a piece of chocolate cake if asked, producing invisible slivers of said cake and placing it in one grubby paw before proffering it to you and then giggling as you 'eat' it. peter (our host) had her guffawing last night as he accepted his pieces of cake (and there were PLENTY), and tossed them in the air, swiftly moving his head to catch them with a snap of his jaw. that game went on for a very long time. cuppy teas are managed in a similar fashion, altho she prefers to pour REAL liquid into any cup available, but hasn't yet mastered the art of stopping at 'when' - tending to just keep on pouring until the vessel in her hands is empty. these games are brilliant distractions when she is out of sorts, engaging her immediate attention and taking her mind of any angsty thoughts, altho one has to ensure one has enough time to play until the bitter end, because heaven help anyone who starts a game and does not see it through until its natural conclusion!!!

she is also rather fond of collaring people in the street or shop and putting them thru a litany of body parts (which she names as she touches each on on herself), i.e. head, shoulder, elbow, hand, arm etc, and then itemising her clothing, interspersed with a kind of meaningful gesticulation and gobbledegook which we can only imagine is her version of french and flemish! people love it, in general, and will murmur things like 'petite mignonette', 'petite chou' (literally 'little cabbage'!), or ask me - STILL - 'c'est un garcon madame?' - is it a boy . . . :( . . . even if she is in pink and purple. its that blimmen mullet - gets them every time.

she recites a list of the people in her life, the grannies and poppa and grandad and chelsea and katie (in all different orders), thomas etc, and all the aussie friends and playmates, and we always talk about what she has done with each person, or what that person has done with her - and she always acknowledges who has made or given any clothing she may be wearing . . . standing solemnly in front of someone with grannIE's purple cardigan telling them the buttons are 'la'ybux, grannIE's laybux.' both andrew and i are amazed at her capacity to remember so clearly and accurately - even when we arrived at the apartment in brussels, where we had stayed last year for 3 weeks, she went unerringly up the passage and in the door of the room in which we had stayed, announcing that it was 'mines woom' - altho she was only 8 months old when we were here last. seems to me that we consistently underrate kids' abilities, to our own detriment . . . well, i do at least. but, i AM learning . . . with amelia's willing and forceful assistance :)

Castlemania



The first should be called 'la travisparta' - and shows the window from which Amelia put on her impromptu concert - it is one of the windows in the great hall, adjacent to where the marischal and his good lady wife lived - above the kitchens with the enormous enormous ovens, and the brewery where all the beer was made - they didn't drink water, but instead ale - at breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. No tea or coffee for the underlings either, too darned expensive. Just beer is all. And the odd nip of uiske bagh I am SURE. (I am not frowning BTW, just struggling with the extremely strong sunlight that saw Andrew and I suffering from a headache the following day . . . no wonder far-northern scots have those long rather arrow-slitty eyes!!!) If you look closely you will see that Amelia is in fact singing, while chowing down on a piece of leftover chicken from lunch - carefully wrapped in a navy blue serviette and placed handily in my han(dy)bag . . .

We call the next one, 'taking the plunge', as Amelia's Dadda stops her from plummeting off the edge of the historic ruins after climbing up helter skelter. She simply LOVED climbing up the winding staircases that ended in nothing, and back down them again . . . with a parent or Krystal in hot pursuit, and giggling fit to bust.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

amelia + bouncy castle + the shoreline

this is only a short clip, but the whole castle visit consisted of such short mad runs . . . the reactions of the asian tourists are typical btw. perhaps it is the tights, or the fat little legs, or the very solemn but whistle-stop conversations she has with them regarding her current activity? the second one is a quick glimpse of the glorious shoreline at Stonehaven, and of course the lovely Krystal Simpson who was amelia's adoptee of the day. we were to hear phrases like "my krysel cawwy 'melia", "my krysel hole mines hand" , "mine krysel kuddle me throughout the entire trip. you can also see malcom and dionne simpson in the 2nd clip. malcolm became mines maccum, and dionne became dinanna (and then andrew bevan was remembered as well, because he was with dinanna last time we saw her). that MEMORY!
video
video

in case you forgot how tiny she was to start with

Sunday, October 4, 2009

whey hey and bouncy castles

amelia is very fond of bouncy castles. you know, the big blow up jobbies that kids climb and slide and, yes, jump on. so when we arrived in Stonehaven (in aberdeenshire) yesterday, and announced that we were off to see a castle she immediately decided it was one of the bouncy variety - the only kind she knew up until yesterday!

it was a 2 1/2 mile walk, part of this across unfenced cliff paths, so we took it easy, her being carried (under sufferance) where no fences exist. andrew, the carrier, and krystal simpson, her nominated person for the day (she adopts people she meets, and then tugs them around by hand to do her bidding) were regaled with details of bouncy castles she has experienced, and all their nuances. by the time we got to the steep steps down from the cliff face, it had been established that THIS bouncy castle was a d'frent one, and that she would not have to take her shoes off for the visit. as we reached gate of the castle, having climbed UP a set of steep steps, amelia took immediately to the stoneclad buildings, running happily in and out of the powder magazine, garrison quarters, kitchens, whigs gallery (see link for history) and the rest. http://www.dunnottarcastle.co.uk

up and down every stone staircase, including ones that ended abruptly where the walls had crumbled, into every nook and cranny, no matter how dark or pokey, calling us in with her. across the verdant green centre lawn, and across to the chapel and main quarters of the family - she marked the end of her visit by perching in a ruined window, overlooking the well and silver-room, eating leftover chicken coujons from lunch, and raucously singing baa baa black sheep to the people milling around below, much to their amusement. we have never sen her respond so vigorously to a building before; perhaps it was the scale, or its proximity to her self-named 'big sea', the many rabbits we saw en-route, or the labyrinthine nature of the place, but it was a source of great delight to her, and thus to us, and the other visitors who experienced much hilarity seeing the little blighter enjoy herself so very much.

she even got to bounce, bless her cotton socks. she shot into a stable with andrew, dark and airless as it was, and gaily held his hand while she bounced to her heart's content on the hard granite floor. the trip home across the cliffs was followed by a few packets of crisps and some good old single malt whisky at an inn established in 1771, although she got limited to water!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

glaswegian adventuress

glasgow suits amelia. well,all of scotland really. from the stag's head in the pub across the road from our hotel (one of those basement pubs at the bottom of a huge georgian terrace house), which - after terrifying the nappies off her for a little while, is now ok because it has, as she keeps telling people we meet, including the chinese takeaway venor, "s'got no legs - can't run - can't cash amelia, scawes amelia", to the dilapidated playground in kelvin grove park, where amidst sweeping elm and oak trees, beneath the towering gothic spires of the university and museum, and the loud bellows of her genetically similar playmates, to the snug, tiny, darkwooded whisky bar (no pun intended), where she went to sleep while rich scots accents flowed around us and her parents indulged in special beverages of the aged and single malted variety . . .
she likes the big black taxis that her whole stroller fits into, and the double decker buses that rumble their way through the broad streets.
she likes the wind that lifts her nearly off her feet as she collects 'a leaf, anuvver one leaf, ANUVVER one leaf', to take home to her daddy.
and she likes the squirrels that run up to her stroller, hoping to be fed, and that take any food at all straight from your hands - although we didn't tell her the effect of the chocolate coated coffee bean i gave one last night (it was the only food scrap we had - for once a quick whip around under the stroller cushion garnered NOTHING! usually it is good for a half loaf of bread, packet or three of raisins, and a small bag of rice bubbles). he DID sit straight down and start eating it tho, so hopefully the chocolate delight will make up for the caffeine kick that soon ensued.
there's an energy about the place that suits her - shouting voices and loud loud laughter, and piercing looks and smiles from complete strangers. and small muscly bodies packed full of vigour, ready to launch into some physical endeavour.
its almost like she kind of belongs here . . .
we took a walk to 466 St Vincents Terrace last night, where her great grandad used to live. the house has gone, taken down to make way for a road. but it felt right strolling across the piece of ground upon which it originally stood with her in the stroller, wild wind whipping around us, and the lights in the houses glowing dull in the darkening evening. back to one part of where it all started.