A massive bite for Mother’s Day

I was struggling to get pyjamas on an overexcited Mia when she took a massive bite of my arm. I screeched and slapped her.

Damjan came running into the room holding Lana, who he was trying to put to bed.

Consequences were swift. Damjan took over Mia’s bed time routine and I took Lana.

Mia cried as her beloved mummy disappeared. ‘Mummy! Mummy! Mummy…’

Later that night, Damjan said that he asked Mia, ‘Do you know what happened? Why did mummy go away?’ Mia didn’t say anything for a while but eventually admitted, ‘Mia ate mummy.’

Damjan said Mia will apologise to me tomorrow.

A story about poo

Having had her nappy changed for the evening, my toddler Mia was watching as we put 5-day old Lana on the change table.

The action started when I took off the newborn nappy. Having not poo’ed for two days, the liquid brownish yellow volcano erupted. Spurt! Spurt! Spurt!

‘Oh!’ I said, as the soup poured onto the change table mat. ‘It’s poo!’

Mia looked on in horrified fascination. ‘Poo! Poo!’ Then Mia started crying.

My resourceful husband stepped in. ‘Yes, Mia, that’s where poo comes from, remember your body book? You eat the pear, it goes down your throat, into your tummy, then comes out as poo?’

He whipped out the book from the book shelf and tried to distract an increasingly hysterical toddler while I struggled to contain the mess.

‘She’s vomiting,’ I exclaimed, as yellow curds tumble out of Lana’s mouth. ‘She’s throwing up!’

Damjan managed to taken an overtired Mia away and sit her down with her bedtime books. ‘Can you manage?’ he asked. ‘Sorry that my hands are tied.’

‘I think I can,’ I mumbled. ‘AARGH! Wee! Wee!’

Lana looked oblivious as poo, wee and vomit come out every hole. At least she wasn’t crying.

Biennial spring clean

We do our ‘spring’ clean each summer. Last year I was very pregnant so didn’t get to do my usual task of cleaning the windows.

Today, I got out the newspaper and water bowl to wipe away two years of dust.


Dirty window


Clean window

It took an hour and a half for six windows and a set of glass French doors.

We’re fortunate that we can clean the windows ourselves. When we moved into the apartment, we replaced the original impractical sash windows with wonderful tilt-and-turn windows. This means they can swing (turn) right open as well as tilt from the base for a small gap.

On the radio today

If you were listening to By Design on Radio National this morning, you would have heard me being interviewed about community scale retrofit of homes.

A friend put me in touch with the show’s presenter, Fenella Kernebone. Fenella suggested I pop into the ABC studios to do the interview by tardis.

I thought the TARDIS comment was a geek joke until the ABC security guard at the front desk asked, ‘Are you here for the TARDIS?’

Tardis studio at ABC Southbank

Tardis studio at ABC Southbank

The fine print on the sign explains that the most remarkable characteristic of a TARDIS is that its interior is much larger than it appears from the outside.

In a small booth with a big mike

In a small booth with a big mike

I’ve now been interviewed by journalists four times (twice for newspaper, twice for radio). It’s always hard for me to predict what the end product will be.

My company gave me media training last year and I learned that I should always prepare a key message and back it up with three lines of evidence.

In most cases, if you tell the story clearly enough that the journalist can use it verbatim, then you’re doing them a favour.

I think I need more practice.


‘I’m hungry,’ my brother said. ‘Let’s get something from the shop over there.’

We crossed the shopping centre floor to reach what was called the ‘Cafe & Boulangerie’.

Jason said to the shop assistant, ‘Do you have filled baguettes?’

‘Baguettes?’ She looked confused.

‘You know, long sandwiches.’

‘Um. We only have foccacias.’

I started laughing.

It permeated the air

We were on the highway, driving back from regional Victoria to Melbourne. The landscape passing by was fields with the occasional five-building town.

‘Why does it smell like chips?’ I said suddenly.

Simone and Rob sniffed the air. ‘Hmm, it does, doesn’t it? Strange.’

Two minutes later, we saw the McCain’s factory on the horizon.

‘Ah, McCain!’

Fractional pants

‘The weather is warm,’ Damjan said gleefully. ‘I’ll wear my three-quarter pants.’

‘You know, in Chinese they’re called seven-tenths pants,’ I said.

‘Seven-tenths? Seventy per cent?’ Damjan looked astonished. ‘What do we call them?’

‘Three-quarters,’ I reminded him. ‘Seventy-five per cent.’

Damjan started laughing. ‘Why are they shorter in China?’

‘They’re poorer, I guess,’ was the obvious response.

Climate rally

On September 21, Damjan and I joined 30,000 people (supposedly) at the climate rally in front of the State Library of Victoria. The rally was part of a series around the world in the lead up to an important climate change conference in New York.

Ben and Jerry's: If it's melted, it's ruined

Ben & Jerry’s was the only corporation that I saw at the rally. I like their sign, ‘If it’s melted, it’s ruined.’ True for ice cream, true for Antarctica.

Next major extinction? Pollies

There’s that photo showing the Coalition ministers-to-be. They look like they wanted to be taken seriously, don’t they.

Homemade sign

Handwritten homemade signs are still being made.

Climate action is on my agenda

And here’s me. Climate action is on my agenda. When we left the rally, Damjan walked around the city holding this sign. We got a lot of people smiling at us and saying, ‘Good on you!’ Not surprising for the one electorate in Australia that voted in a Greens MP. Oh, there was one guy who said, ‘Tony Abbott is great!’ We thought he might not have read our sign properly.