Monthly Archives: June 2014

She sells sea shells …

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Undertook one of those unforgiving jobs when we got home from our trip last night … reaching into the depths of the pockets at the back of the front seats in our car. Our children manage to stow away all sorts of treasures, travel necessities and contraband.

Yesterday’s haul included scallop shells from a previous trip to the beach, some rubber Nerf gun bullets, an airline sick bag, broken earphones and a large stash of candy wrappers.

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Shades of grey …

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How gorgeous are the buildings in Newport? A beautiful combination of money, style, timber shingles, white window frames and so many shades of grey. Some huge old mansions with sweeping lawns and magnificent, timeless, graceful architecture …. just a shame about some of the high hedges, obstructing blippers from successfully completing their daily assignment.

Today we dropped our daughter at a 3 week residential science camp at a uni campus in Rhode Island. She is so excited at the prospect of sitting in a science lab and learning about everything from new theories about the Big Bang to debates about whether to colonise space. You know your daughter is a science/math geek when the packing list for camp includes a scientific calculator and a desk lamp for doing your homework!

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Land Down Under …

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As Australians, we walked into Newport, Rhode Island with our heads held high. The sailing folklore of our young nation was born in these waters and on these docks. The innovative winged keel of the Australian challenger that wrestled the America’s Cup from the NYYC after 132 years all happened here in 1983.

A glorious afternoon of soft light, reflections on the water, the noise of the slight wind in the riggings of the yachts … oh, and maybe some cider and clam chowder.

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Lights before your eyes …

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Went to a photography class tonight at Coney Island to learn how to photograph fireworks. Excellent fun, and a completely different feel at Luna Park than during the day. Absolutely heaving with people on the boardwalk and lots of opportunities to practice long exposures.

This is the iconic Wonder Wheel in full flight … and my blip completed with 5 minutes to spare before midnight!

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A little now and zen …

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A friend was telling me about an online yoga website that has a great range of classes, and you can specify which particular style of yoga, or how long you have etc for each session. With 12 weeks of school holidays, now is a very opportune time to let a little more calm into my life.

Loving the website and my little pockets of zen, however the downside of watching it on your laptop is you get a notification when an email comes in and you don’t have the strength to not take a peek … or the kids are calling out from downstairs that they are hungry (again) … or the Fedex courier appears at the door … or you start thinking that it’s 6pm and you can have a glass of wine as you cook dinner.

Must work on my concentration and focus.

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Firm favourites …

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My daughter (in red) came home from the movies this afternoon to find a wonderful surprise at our house … her best friend from Australia just dropped by unannounced.

A fleeting, but joyful visit of tears, smiles, hugs and laughter. Enough to sustain them until we return home. They have been best friends for nearly 12 years, and having 16,000kms between them doesn’t really change the strength of their friendship … it has just moved online.

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Pure joy …

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If I was studying human psychology, today would have provided a wealth of material for analysis. I took 7 children to Coney Island Luna Park for the day and was able to see the full gamut of emotions on display … from sheer, nauseating, near death experiences … to completely uninhibited, smile-until-your-face-cracks, unbridled joy. All this, and often seated next to each other on the same ride.

Loved the exuberance of this woman in the red dress, completely oblivious to the fact that her undies were on display!

We now have 5 of the children for a sleepover and had a raucous dinner table as they all loudly retold their tales of daring on the rides. Somedays it’s just good to be a mum.

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Go outside and play …

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At home in Australia when I gave my children the directive to ‘go outside and play’ they could run around the backyard, swim in the pool, jump on the trampoline, ride their bikes or go find some friends in our street to hang out with.

The options when living in an apartment in New York are a little more restrictive. So, this is my children and one of their friends spending some quality time together in the great outdoors … until their charge runs out!

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Nearly …

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We went to a local bar to watch the World Cup USA-vs-Portugal game and found an Aussie barkeeper to serve us pear cider and IPA’s. This bar was across the road and because it was open to the street, people passing would just stop and watch from the sidewalk.

A great energy all along the street, with taxis parked in the middle of the road so their drivers could watch the game without losing business. A minute before the end of the game I positioned myself here to photograph the crowd celebrating the American win. Alas, a goal from Portugal in the dying seconds ruined my triumphant blip. So, here is my subdued 2-2 blip.

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Mad hatter …

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You can tell the seasons in Brooklyn from the window display at Goorin Brothers Hatmakers … the litmus test of both weather and fashion. From your wool cloche in winter to the straw fedora in summer, and every cotton flatcap or linen bucket for the seasons inbetween.

Incredible customer service, high quality workmanship and nearly 120 years in business, what’s not to love?

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Inspiration …

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Late Friday afternoon and I was taking a walk around the neighbourhood, delaying the soul-destroying task of going into the supermarket to stand in front of the shelves, waiting for culinary inspiration for dinner.

Every restaurant I walked past had their doors and windows open, the streets were humming and people coming home from work were stopping outside windows to catch a glimpse of a World Cup game.

Why on earth was I heading to the supermarket? I came home and opened a bottle of wine … and then we might head back out shortly to this Italian restaurant for dinner.

 

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Get your skates on …

 

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In a quest to unglue my children from the computer during the school holidays, we went roller skating at Prospect Park today. An amazing facility that we used frequently in winter to go ice skating. It has been transformed for the summer with an under cover roller skating rink and an outdoor water play area.

As school holidays don’t start for most children until next week, we virtually had the place to ourselves. I must admit that there was a lot less fluoro clothes, permed hair and bad disco tunes then when I last went roller skating some decades ago!

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