Big adventure for Little BGs

Yesterday I farewelled Master and Miss BG. They were heading down to Geelong to spend a week with their Nana and Papa. Initially, it was going to be just a couple of days, so I would be able to go to work, but mum insisted on having them for a week.

They were incredibly excited as they’re under the correct impression my mum will spoil them. They are heading off to Torquay today for a picnic, with several outings also planned that involve bookstores and ice cream. I’m very lucky that my parents are still hale and hearty enough to take the kids on, live an hour’s drive away, and are spoiling them in the way they never spoiled me (no, not bitter 🙂 *eye twitch*)

Meanwhile I have been doing jobs around around the house like

  • taking carloads of green waste, hard rubbish and paint cans to the tip
  • cleaning out the back of the car after taking all the rubbish to the tip
  • sorting out the games and photo cupboard
  • sorting out the kid’s craft area
  • putting stuff on Freecycle

Last night I picked up Mr BG from work and we went out for a DRINK! It was strange, as if the last eight years hadn’t happened. Then we got some Thai takeaway, something the kids wouldn’t really care for, then ate IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION, watching Season 6 of 30 Rock. It was bliss.

It’s also been terribly quiet…

Other exciting things are planned for the rest of the week, so stay tuned!

Master BG’s blog post

Today’s post is brought to you by Master BG. He wanted to go to the place ‘where you write about me and write something about me’. Master BG has been on school holidays and wanted to write something.

Today I played my harry potter game, and I showed mum i like the flowers on youTUBE.

We got babysitted on Thursday by Rory and Morgan. Mum and Dad went out for dinner. Morgan read me two transport books when I was in bed. Rory read a book to Emily.

I went  to Geelong on Tuesday and saw nanna and papa. I got an icy pole and rode my scooter and got a Kinder Surprise.

Today is Grand Final Day. May your team win, and may your team be Geelong. Go Cats!

Op shop finds- Vines Rd Vinnies, Geelong


The local shopping strip near my parents’ house boasts two opshops, a Uniting Church shop and a Vinnies, which is huge, and where my mum works as a volunteer. Mum and I popped in, originally to score some knitting needles, and came away with a stash of clothes for the little BGs.
Master BG scored a pirate t-shirt and shorts for the princely sum of $3, while Miss BG is now the proud owner of 3 tops for $4.50. The knitting needles were thrown in for free :).

Moorabool St Geelong

Moorabool St Geelong by bookgrrl99
Moorabool St Geelong, a photo by bookgrrl99 on Flickr.

I went on a road trip today for work, visiting some remote users of my library who are based in Geelong. It’s a good way to get to know users personally and ask them about their information needs.

It was a change of routine, which is almost as good as a holiday. I had a mini-holiday on the weekend, more of that tomorrow 🙂

It was a treat to see Geelong my old hometown and Moorabool Street has benefited from a beautification program of palm trees (which hides the discount stores and empty shops from view). With most of the retail activity having moved to Westfield and Market Square, this end of town can be a bit sad.

Back to the 80s

It’s probably due to Master BG starting school, but I have been reflecting on days past on my own childhood.

A recent article in The Age on Sunday took a nostalgic trip to the 80s, which looked at how the decade is being rediscovered for its music, fashion and culture.

Making money from nostalgia is nothing new-I just think it’s a hoot that people actually look at the 80s like it’s history or something- wait a minute, it is :).

One thing that struck me was that the author herself was born in 1980, so essentially she missed some of the best bits of the 1980s. Her memories of Bon Jovi, Poison and Europe were simply not mine.

So this week, I’ll be bringing you a taste of my life in the 80’s- my favourite books, music, and memories of my time there. Seeing the 80’s straddled my primary and secondary school years and the beginning of my uni days, it was an interesting decade for me. Braces, and big hair and British boy bands, glasses and moving to Geelong, and my first (forgettable) kiss.

Today is my favourite movie moments of the 80s.

It was when Tom Cruise was a hot guy in Top Gun, Robert Downey Jr was fresh faced and Demi Moore was engaged to Emilio Estevez. The Brat Pack were super hot and Kim Cattrall played a young ingenue in Police Academy and Mannequin.

A lot of what I saw was on that new-fangled device called a video recorder. We lucked out and got a VHS and looked pityingly upon those who had chosen a Beta, mainly because there was little for them to watch at the video store. One of the first videos we saw was from 1980 but is still one of my favourites- Flying High

I watched The Breakfast Club and The Lost Boys on video and taped Ferris Bueller’s Day Off from the TV and watched it so many times I could quote large tracts of it from memory (I still can!).

I was a huge Harrison Ford fan and my all-time favourite movies featuring him were Bladerunner and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Both were seen on video, butthe power of seeing the Director’s cut at the Valhalla a few years later has never left me.

That’s not to say I didn’t go to the movies we went to the Astor in Ararat to see The Man from Snowy River and ET. The Pix in Geelong West (now a church) was where the arthouse movies played and where I saw my first French language movies during my VCE year. My VCE year (1988) was when I saw Monty Python’s Meaning of Life for the first time on telly. At school the next morning, our English teacher overheard us talking about it and launched into singing “Every Sperm is Sacred” – he was an interesting teacher!

The Village Twin (as it was then known) in Geelong was where we would go, usually with my sister and brother being dropped into town by dad. We would head to coles to get cheap lollies and soft drinks before going in! It was we saw Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Goonies and Back to the Future. My sister was a very big Michael J.Fox fan, and her side of the room was plastered with posters of him as well as Michael Jackson.

The 80s were the decade in which I discovered James Bond, largely through this song

Then I realised the better Bond movies were those of Sean Connery, and Goldfinger the best Bond theme song of all.

I remember cutting history class at uni to watch Dead Poets Society, though now I really can’t see what the fuss is about. St Elmo’s Fire and Dirty Dancing were okay, but not great movies.

So next time will be fashion- it will be scary reliving that in my head…

Empty Rooms

The little BGs are back from a sleepover weekend with their Nana and Papa in Geelong. They get to have their breakfast in the lounge room (a huge no no in our house), play with my brothers’ old toys (Transformers and He-Man), and poke around in a different shed. I get to go out to dinner with Mr BG to Eclectic Tastes on a Saturday night, have a fossick around Daylesford on Sunday, and read the paper uninterrupted. It’s a win-win situation.

The house was quieter and considerably emptier. There was no squabbling, no patter of little feet, slamming of doors, huge thumps then giggling- just silence. Getting up in the middle of the night and passing their bedrooms en route to the bathroom, I was struck by the stillness. No quiet breathing, or little coughs or snores. I must admit I tossed and turned in the early hours of this morning, when I’m usually rudely awakened by a cry and the words “Mummy!”

Yes, I missed them, and told them so several times. I got a few extra cuddles from Master BG, which was nice. I think he and I are both coming to the realisation that next year he’ll be a big school boy and we are running out of time together, so we have to make our time count.

This however doesn’t stop him from behaving like a vuvuzela when I’m on the phone…

Suddenly 30

So there I am, back in my old bedroom and I wake up from a weird dream involving Matt Smith as Doctor Who, and whom I’m REALLY happy to see. Which was really weird, because I had been watching ‘Silence with the Library’ which is a David Tennant…and I’m going off tangent…

It was 5:45am and I couldn’t sleep, so I started rummaging through the wardrobe, and dug up an old box of photos. They’re vaguely arranged by chronological order, depending on where we used to live. With Dad being a teacher in the Education Department, we would move every time Dad got a promotion.

I saw photos from milestones such as weddings, baptisms, first holy communions and confirmations. New school photos (and there were a few new schools for me!), old friends and old boyfriends, Christmases past, 21st parties, all of us looking younger, fuller faced and with less or more hair. I’ve grabbed a few to get them scanned and will post them up soon.

Trips down memory lane will often put you into a reflective mood and in tribute to the many who have gone before me, here are 30 things I did apart from #blogeverydayofjune

  1. Op-shopped till I dropped
  2. Got a parking fine (in connection with said op-shopping)
  3. Got very muddy at bootcamp
  4. Got very sweaty at the gym
  5. Got very relaxed at dayspa
  6. Learned how to crochet
  7. Finished knitting a blanket
  8. Started and nearly finished knitting a hat
  9. Discovered I was going to be an auntie and a sister in law (again)
  10. Took Master and Miss BG to the dentist
  11. Made pumpkin scones for the first time
  12. Applied for and got our passports
  13. Drank some very nice red wine
  14. Enrolled Master BG for primary school
  15. Babysat Bill and Trev the kinder budgies
  16. Planted some bulbs in the garden
  17. Pruned 20+ rose bushes in the garden
  18. Scraped ice off the car several times before heading to work, gym or bootcamp
  19. Ate the most delicious macarons from the Lindt shop
  20. Caught up with my mum’s group for the first time in months
  21. Got to know Joomla! all too well for work
  22. Participated in drafting a user survey to understand our users’ information seeking behaviours
  23. Had at least two dreams about Doctor Who (but don’t tell Mr BG)
  24. Made a lamb roast and birthday cake for Mr BG
  25. Watched the entire 3rd season of Mad Men on DVD over a long weekend
  26. Cuddled two little BGs a million times
  27. Yelled at two little BGs a million times
  28. Read some really great blogs
  29. Connected with some really great people
  30. Really appreciated my lovely mum and dad for putting us up at such short notice  last night

OMG- it’s nearly over!

My dog ate my blog

I was on my way home from a delightful day in the warmer climes of Geelong, where the temperature actually reached double figures, when Mr BG rang. He said “Don’t bother coming home”.

My first thoughts were the house had burnt down, but then why was he ringing on the landline? My next thoughts were “?” Apparently there is a major blackout in Ballarat, so there’s no lights, no heat and a mightily pissed off Mr BG looking for matches and candles.

Currently, I’m in my parent’s spare bedroom hastily putting together a blog post. It was going to be about my lovely sister, who’s just gotten engaged to a lovely guy who is besotted with her and who just announced her hard-won pregnancy.

It would have taken about an hour to compose in my head while I drove back home. Sadly that didn’t happen. The kids are in their pyjamas (I pack PJs for the trip home so they go striaght to bed), but I need to go and brush their teeth, and put them to bed in the room on which I’m currently madly typing.

Then I have to wear my mum’s pjs and go to bed in my old bedroom- the one which had the Duran Duran wallpaper 25 years ago.

Gotta go- kids are getting frisky 🙂

On the road yet again

It’s Sunday, and I’m on the road to Geelong to visit my parents. We haven’t visited for weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing them and have roast lamb for dinner.

Road trips make me think of travel and today it’s the travel meme with thanks to Ghylene.

1. What country and/or state do you live in? Victoria- the family emigrated here in 1972 when I was a year old. We’ve moved around, but never left the state.

2. What was the last country you visited other than our own (or that you want to if you haven’t been out of your country)? Ireland, 2001 to visit relatives.

3. What is your favorite kind of trip (i.e. camping, laying on the beach, cruise, etc.)? For big trips, I love to visit cities, stay close to the centre in an apartment and explore. My favourite kind of weekend trip though is to get a house in the country (mountains or beach) and relax.

4.What is the farthest location south that you have gone? Hobart, Tasmania, 2000. Beautiful city.

5. What is the farthest location north that you have gone? Orkney, Scotland, 2001. Ate the best food, visited lots of neolithic sites, and trod on way too many cow pats.

6. What is your preferred mode of transportation when traveling long distances? For Australians, long distances mean air travel is the best option.

7. What kind of vehicle do you own or would like to own? Currently own a Subaru Forester, but I have a hankering to drive, just for a day, a Porsche 911.

8. What is your ideal destination? I’m currently compiling a list of the places I want to see. I want to cruise down the Nile, visit Rome and Florence, Normandy, Barcelona, and New York. That’s for starters!

9. Who is your favorite travel companion? Mr BG, although the first time we travelled overseas was nearly our last. We fought every day!

10. What is the largest city you have visited? London- a fabulous city

11. What destination would you recommend to a friend? I recommended to Jenelle that she go to Edinburgh, and she did!

12. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Paris

Memories of Myer

My wanderings through the Til you drop exhibition had me reflecting on my former life, before I was a librarian, when I was a Myer Girl.

I worked at Myer Geelong for 7 Christmases  from 1989 to 1995. It’s like in Ballarat where, if you are a recent arrival, you measure your life here in winters (I’m coming up to my 7th winter); in retail, you measure it in the number of Christmases and subsequent stocktake sales you have survived.

My first Christmas was spent in Confectionery, where I discovered the joy of Lindt chocolate for the very first time. I also discovered that after a couple of days working in Confectionery you got sick of the smell of chocolate, and you became quite immune to the lure. Well, except for Lindt!

Then, just before uni started, a job came up in the records and video department, and I was working Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday morning as a casual.

It was like being let loose in a candy shop- a huge music collection of all types of musical genres, classical, rock, pop, country, jazz, blues. Mind you, there was a lot of dross-(Jive Bunny which was particularly loved by one staff member), but it was there I was exposed to a lot of music I wouldn’t have otherwise listened to, for free. It was there I learned to love Lou Reed, David Bowie, the Who, Rolling Stones, (early) Elton John, the Beatles, the whole grunge/grrl scene and punk.

A lot of it had to do with the staff with whom I worked. Being right next to Home Entertainment and Computers, I was working in a predominantly male environment, who were constantly ‘borrowing’ stock to demonstrate sound systems. I really enjoyed working alongside boys, and I still do. They were funny, rude, protective and looked quite fetching in their shirts and ties- well, some of them more than others…

Lessons learned

  1. I don’t like being called toots.
  2. I learned to stand up for myself. Lessons 1 and 2 followed very closely.
  3. I learned that there were a lot of mothers who would get Enya’s Watermark for Christmas and 18 year olds who would get Bat out of Hell as a present.
  4. A cassette will melt if left on the dashboard of a car on a 40 degree day, and it is not the fault of the manufacturer, but of the customer.
  5. I learned to love black. I wasn’t working in fashion, but I had a discount card and a 25% discount off black and white apparel for work. My wardrobe still bears the mark of being a Myer girl. An untested theory arises from this- does it mean that Melburnians wear a lot of black because they used to work at Myer or aspired to work there?
  6. The experience stood me in good stead for my first library job, which I got largely on my customer service experience (as well as my grad dip).I worked alongside staff who had been working at Myer for years and who took great pride in the service they delivered. They were incredibly professional in their approach to their work.
  7. I still love Lindt.