Friday, June 29, 2012

Climate control

Before you go any further, I warn you, this is not a post about the impending carbon tax, global warming or melting ice caps.

It is in fact about my daughter’s vain attempt at acclimatising us all to the slightly colder climes of the south.  With our family holiday just weeks away, Lily has clearly picked up on the excitement and perhaps, trepidation of journeying south in the middle of winter.

So, she has decided to take matters into her own hands and replicate what we will all be experiencing, all too soon... just perhaps not indoors.

Now, I take pause here to contemplate Lily’s fascination for all things cosmetic.  A quick glance through previous blog posts will lay testament to the cosmetic industry and their various applications. (Hairdressing for toddlers comes to mind

Research unequivocally shows that she has a bent towards product. The seven signs of ageing fly in the face of all that is our Lily. You would think any mother in her right mind would take this on board and clear the decks, ensuring the bedroom of said child takes on more of the interior design style known as underground bunker. But clearly, I missed that approach.

Johnson and Johnson baby powder has a lot to answer for, is all I can say. 

Making a bedroom look like a snowstorm has just hit it is just the starting point. 

Dolls prematurely greying; bed sheets absorbing unmistakeable aromas; child looking like a yeti.

Mawson’s Hut is looking mightily attractive about now…

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Minus nine degrees celsius

Thought I would try writing it in full to see if it looked any better.

It doesn’t.

Is there such a temperature? I mean, a human-inhabitable one, that is? Apparently, that is the forecast for an area in Tasmania that we, fearless travellers with child, intend on visiting in the not too distant future.

Reassuringly, I continue to read the Bureau of Meteorology forecast. That will be the minimum temperature. You will be delighted to know that during the day it will warm up to a very temperate 0.

It is about now that I am seriously considering my state of wellbeing and my capacity to make judgments.  I am thinking that perhaps it is best for everyone if I just sign over power of attorney now, before I make any more irretrievable decisions that may subject my loving family to a lifetime of holiday cryogenic experiences.

While I thought Germany, in the height of the northern winter, would bring about many wonderful memories, we were extremely lucky with the weather. Not so lucky with the language barrier, but we managed to hold our own as our regular bloggees will know.

Mum, it's cold when you haven't got any hair!

So back to my holiday planning.

Look...many courageous men and women have endured climatic hardships whilst accomplishing incredible feats. Mawson and Hillary come to mind.

On that basis alone, I think Team O’Connor should be able to manage the wilds of Tasmania... in a hire car...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Digital immigrants

I once heard my favourite educationalist, Sir Ken Robinson, refer to the notion of 'digital immigrants' being all those born before the 80’s; while all those younger generations that attracted an alphabetical moniker are known as 'digital natives'. I lost track after the Baby Boomers…are we Gen Y, X or ‘i’?

OK, so I may be showing my age when I can recall the Apple IIe, PacMan, VCR v Beta, cassette recorders, record players, electric typewriters and having to get up to change the channel; but I think I can legitimately claim a visa into the new age.

I am now the proud owner of all things ‘i’ – iPhone, iMac, iPod and iPad. Apparently, we also have an AppleTV, seemingly a product that escaped the ubiquitous ‘i’ prefix…not sure what happened there, Steve? (Clearly, that was a rhetorical question to which I am not expecting an answer…)

It is really ironic, though. Before I met my geek husband, I was a big Apple fan, still am. I had always owned Macs; disregarded PCs as inferior Mac mimickers. In our early dating days, when my geek boyfriend (as he was at the time) was courting me, he would deride my loyalty to such a product.  I, in turn, would just bag him endlessly and call him a geek. (Surprising really that he hung around…)

But marry we did and slowly over the years I have crept up on him like an insidious virus that just won’t go away…he is now a MacMan – wishing he was Steve Job’s love child.

With this as a family context, it is no wonder that our love child is in fact 'digitally indigenous' - approaching digital media with all the confidence of one with no fear, nor understanding of its potential. Which leads me to my next point…

Lily’s first foray into digital communications.

Her first email

The fact that she can’t read or write yet is superfluous to requirements, apparently. She can email and no one is going to stop her…

Thankfully it went to a good friend who could decode child-speak! (Sorry, Leah!)

Friday, June 1, 2012

I would have made a good pope…

…or so the 37th US President, Richard Nixon, thought. I am not sure how or why he arrived at that conclusion, however.

A fetish for dressing up in long bejewelled gowns, perhaps?
A proclivity for wearing tall pointy hats?
A tendency to drive around waving regally at passing crowds from a bullet-proof glass pope-mobile?

Or maybe he was just trying to get his kids into the local Catholic school.

Unbelievably, the time has come for us to start thinking about potential educational institutions for the short one. Being in the game (as opposed to on it…), I feel I am somewhat versed in all things ‘school’. But I quickly realised that looking in from the outside gives one a whole other perspective.

Not unlike Nixon, I am assuming, our lineage finds itself steeped in Catholic traditions. Both sides of the family spent years growing up in RC schools and for the main, it hasn’t done us any harm…well…except for maybe those subjected to the ways of the Sisters of ‘No’ [sic] Mercy. They did have a tendency to instil their values and beliefs via the swing of a cane…

But I digress. 

We thought we would try our luck at the local Catholic school and apply for enrolment. Aside from filling in more paperwork than at tax time, there is a set of criteria that one has to meet before you are even deemed suitable to hand over several thousand of your dollars, ensuring that sought after placement. Reading down this list, our chances seemed to be getting slimmer and slimmer…
  1. Regularly worship at parish
  2. Active parishioners
  3. Frequent church attendance
It appeared that we needed to do a little bit more research into this gig. 

OK, so we know there are a number of truths within the Catholic faith.
  1. They own the best real estate on top of every hill in every city and town on earth.
  2. They love a good drink.
  3. They feel guilty about everything.
Now, I would consider myself all over points 2 and 3 and in anyone’s books, two out of three are pretty good odds.

You know…I think I would have made a good pope!

Short one's baptism with her two beautiful God parents