Iced Coffee Please!

Welcome to Iced Coffee this week. Or, perhaps you’d prefer Iced Tea. In that case, you’ll have to make your own. Although I’m quite used to drinking cold tea, I’ve never made the iced variety and I gather it’s not the same thing.

Well, I was going to tell you how scorchingly hot it is here and how I’ve sought refuge from the sun’s vicious rays inside the house where I’ve even enjoyed a restorative siesta. I’m not even sure that I’ve really woken up yet. It’s now late afternoon and I’m trying to get motivated. Grab the family and the dogs and hit the beach.

However, it’s Monday tomorrow. Already, that Sunday night check list is starting to churn inside my head…showers, wash hair, shopping, dinner, violin practice. I’m sure the list goes on but I don’t want to know about any extras.

By the way, I’ve been forced into a confession. It’s NOT actually THAT hot today and even the humidity is low. So, I’ve actually become something of a “sun victim”a whingeing Australian. So, I apologise for my excessive use of hyperbole, even though I still feel hot.

Monday, I went down to Sydney to get my crown adjusted at the dentist. My dentist is right near Sydney Harbour, just like the dentist in Finding Nemo and he even has a fish tank. I think the train trip takes about 90 minutes one way and so I packed my writing stuff and a book. As it turned out, writing won and I scrawled out pages and pages of poetry as the combined stress of going to the dentist and the kids starting at their new schools, took its toll. I’ve posted one so far: Modern Day Hero

Tuesday was Australia Day. This commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney’s Botany Bay in 1788 under the command of Governor Arthur Phillip. However, many Indigenous Australians consider it”Invasion Day” and a protest march is held through Sydney. Like many Australians, I do the splits between these two perspectives. I’m proud of my country but I know there have been atrocities towards our indigenous people, including the genocide of the Tasmanian Aborigine. We also had apartheid here. I didn’t even know about that until a few years ago when I heard about the  Freedom Ride which, at least from my small understanding , culminated in Aboriginal children swimming in the Moree council pool. Of course, they left all of that out of our school textbooks. Indeed, I sometimes wonder whether more of our history was left out than put in. After all, where is the line between “History” and “Advertising”?

Just asking.

I have revisited these issues this week after reading a speech by Indigenous Australian journalist, Stan Grant. I have posted his speech and a bit of an intro here:

It’s a long read but an important one in terms of how we as individuals and nations deal with the past in the present and the need to listen and acknowledge what’s happened at the very least.

Learning about anything beyond your thing and indeed getting to know anyone beyond your orbit,  takes a very conscious effort. Putting aside that book you’ve been longing to read and all those things which need to be done and saying I care enough to find out. Read and process that instead. Stop and have that cup of tea and simply listen. Thanks to the Internet, we can at least find some kind of overview or pictorial history. I am particularly thankful for those pictures which tell a thousand words.

I know that’s quite a heavy discussion point for a casual cuppa but philosophising over coffee has changed the world. Changed how people think and what they see. Caffeine is a wonderful thing!

By the way, we went to the Star Wars Movie on Australia Day and watched the fireworks on TV at night.

family portrait

Family Portrait outside the High School on the first day taken my the lovely Headmaster! PS: Note my new haircut…almost an annual event!

We’ve also had a huge journey ourselves this week. That’s because the kids didn’t return to school. They both started new schools. Our son started High School and our daughter started at a selective Primary School 45 minutes drive away in a different town. We’ve barely even been and now it’s our second home and an exciting new place to explore.

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So, instead of just throwing on the old uniforms and letting the car drive itself, it’s been a very conscious and anxious process. We’ve been trying to dot the I’s and cross the T’s after being in holiday mode for way too long. By the way, I don’t view this anxiety is an unexpected or bad thing because it’s part and parcel of starting something new. Moreover, it’s better to be thorough…over do it. Once you know what you’re doing, then you can relax.

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However, it looks like being conscious actually helped because we’re on top of it all and the kids have had a great start to the new year!

After such a huge week, we’ve had a quiet weekend.

That was until it was suddenly 5.00PM Sunday afternoon and the list of lists suddenly started sending me alarm bells. Time to get the show on the road but despite all the lists, I’d forgotten to wash my daughter’s uniform. So, it appears that the holiday cogs are still turning and I obviously needed to change gears fast.

Bilbo walking beach

Bilbo at the Beach

Yet, we did manage to make it to the beach for that walk. It was beautiful down there, except that last week’s storm has caused further damage and loss of trees along the beach. Today, we’ve lost a 10ft Banksia tree. It’s currently still alive and like a beached whale, I couldn’t help wondering whether it could be salvaged. Given a new home. We must have lost over a hundred trees at the beach in the last year and it is so disappointing. Just because nature killed them and not a bulldozer, that doesn’t mean it’s not a loss.

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By the way, Bilbo surprised me this week by going swimming at the beach. However, our trip to the beach today that he wasn’t actually enjoying himself swimming but trying to rescue the dogs who were in the water and herd them out.

However, just because I’m thinking deep, that doesn’t mean we haven’t had a great week. We surged with pride when we saw our kids all decked out in their new uniforms. The kids are catching up with old friends and meeting new ones and I can feel things coming together. That’s fantastic. Our daughter has even picked up her violin again after a 3 year break. I’d almost given up but still had a cupboard full of violins. Besides, you’d know I’d never give up. Not once I’ve seen the light twinkle in their eyes. Miss was passionate about the violin when she first started and as they have a violin ensemble which performs at the Sydney Opera House, her interest has been rekindled.

family playing violin

The family playing violin

I hope you’ve had a great week and thank you for popping round for coffee. It’s been great to catch up. This has been part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly linkup hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster, and here is the link: Linky

Best wishes,

Rowena xx

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Iced Coffee Please!

  1. Pingback: #WeekendCoffeeShare: Sunday 01/31/2016 | Jottings and Writings

  2. bettylouise31

    Found you blog interesting and informative of your life in Australia. The comments on history brought mind to victors goes the ability to write history the way they desire.

  3. Nancy

    Thanks for the iced coffee! It was interesting learning a little about the history of Australia and your holidays. I am going to do a little web surfing to find out more. There are plenty of points that I am sure are left out of or slanted in our U.S. History books as well. I guess people prefer to forget times when they have acted less than kind, even though that is the only way to avoid repeating the past mistakes.
    Glad your children are off to a good start to their new year. I am wondering, at what age to children begin high school there? Your son looks very young in the photo. I especially like the photo of their shoes. It really says a lot!
    Oh, and by the way, I’ve decided to hop the next flight out of nasty, cold, snow covered NJ and come hang out on the beach with you and your crew! I don’t mind the heat at all! Just thought I should warn you. 😉

  4. roweeee Post author

    Nancy, i’m sure my daughter would swap her room for a spot in the snow with you any day…especially if you cleaned it up for her in her absence.
    Kids start high school aged around 11-13. My son turns 12 in March and he is at the younger end of the year.
    I had another rude awakening about my lack of Aboriginal culture today. My son came home with his English assignment and he needs to look at an Aboriginal poet. Would you believe that I did two years of Australian Literature at the UNiversity of Sydney and I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a poem by an Aboriginal Australian. I also studied Australian History. I studied how a group of Australian poets adopted Australian animals and Aboriginal symbols etc to develop an Australian voice but I don’t think they were Aboriginal.
    I must admit back then we mainly studied the English poets like Keats, Byron, white Australian poets Like Banjo Patterson. I didn’t find out abut Khalil Gibran and The Prophet until about 5 years ago. I still don’t know how that happened.
    My aunt wrote the history of the Stolen Generation, where Aboriginal children were systemically removed from their families. Her partner is Aboriginal so you would have thought that I of all people might have been better educated?!!
    We have had some lovely weather over the weekend and had a great beach walk yesterday. I’m taking the dogs again in the morning after the kids have gone to school. You’ll have to join us in spirit.
    xx Rowena

  5. roweeee Post author

    Yes, Betty Louise. I think I’ve heard words to that effect before. So true. Hope you’re having a great week and thanks for popping by xx Rowena

  6. hollykerrauthor

    I have ‘ok’ knowledge of Canada’s history, despite majoring in history in university. I wanted something different, so I focused on europe and Russia, totally forgetting the fascinating history of my own country! Now that my kids are getting older, and my son, especially has taken an interest in the subject, I’ll enjoy catching up through their projects.
    Best of luck for the kids at the new schools! I bet you felt the weight lift off your schools as they went through the doors!
    ps. Love that everyone plays violin!!

  7. Nancy

    You know, if we get more snow, cleaning a room will sound like a fair swap for some beach time!😊
    It sounds like you are really learning a lot about your history through your children. I guess it is good that the curriculum is now including more diverse topics.
    Our kids here, have four years of HS starting at 14/15, that is why he seemed young to me. The school systems are so different all over the world.

  8. roweeee Post author

    Isn’t it interesting picking up on all those similarities and difference around the world meeting different bloggers! You just couldn’t meet the number of people in real life and get to know anything about them at all.
    I can’ even remember what I learned in the early part of high school anymore. Do remember studying Keats and Wordsworth later on. I loved Keats. It was like he lived inside me. I went to his house in Hampstead when I was over in London back in 1992. It was incredible.
    I am amazed at how much I have learned and grown through my kids. Sure, there are areas which have been cut off but new areas have grown and developed…especially with our Aboriginal culture. There was none of that when we were at school. I quite ashamed now to admit that all we had were racist jokes. Not a good reflection but at least I’ve grown up! And, to be fair, racist jokes weren’t just about Aboriginals either and all of that has at least cut back.
    Hope you have a good week. It’s almost time to pick up my kids. xx Rowena

  9. roweeee Post author

    Yes, it certainly was a relief to have them start. My daughter caught the train for the first time today and the timetable was wrong but luckily her friend’s mother rang me. They’d caught a train 30 minutes earlier. Grr!
    That photo of the family all playing the violin together is a bit deceptive. It was taken a few years ago and we had a family “jam” once a week where he played the first song in Suzuki Book 1…a variation of Twinkle. She is back there again now but they’re doing it at school so that’s the encouragement she needs.
    I was the same as you. We studied the Causes of WWI and the French Revolution in High School and in First Year Uni. It was great because I had a few distractions in First Year, especially after being at an all girls’ school. Not an unfamiliar story! xx Rowena

  10. New Journey

    I know its late on Monday and your Tuesday Morning…but I am having a hot chocolate and off to bed…..glad things a starting to make sense with the drive to and from school….and how wonderful the kids are doing well…that always helps when they are happy in their worlds….nothing worse than sad faces on our kids….you sound great….sorry about the trees on the beach…I agree its a loss no matter how they met their demise…..happy Tuesday my Aussie friend….kat

  11. roweeee Post author

    It’s now Tuesday night here and I’m try to translate that into your time zone based on your comment but it’s a bit much for this bear of little brain.
    Hope you enjoyed your hot chocolate. I must’ve gone shopping at the wrong time of day today because I bought Mars Bars, Tim Tams etc which were all on sale. Unfortunately, you can’t really classify any of that as food.
    I’m back off to Sydney again tomorrow as I’ve had a bit of a complication with the crown on my tooth and they’re having some trouble. I’m not the easiest patient.
    I’m not sure how the whole school thing is going to pan out. I thought I’d pretty much had her catch the train every day and then a violin lesson cropped up after school and a course on living with teens. So, the schedule is still up in the air. Just trying to rest when I can. Had a huge sleep this morning. It was great.
    Hope your week is going well!
    xx Ro

  12. New Journey

    LOL I Just asked Google, your actually 18 hours ahead, almost an entire day…LOL I knew we lived in different time zones but dang girl your into the next day most of the time…LOL so as I write this at 7a Tuesday its 1a Wednesday for you…hope your having wonderful dreams….just heard on our news about some ass that killed a bunch of kangaroos…..how terrible….hope they catch them….bummer about your crown…dentist are bad enough to go to but to have to go back to deal with your crown again..Aghhhh…hint if its your bite, let them sit up to bite down on the paper….laying back puts your jaw at a different angle…my sister learnt this the hard way with her crown and when I got mine I insisted on sitting up…just a thought…I am so glad I don’t have young kids to buy all that fun food for….I don’t buy any for me, otherwise I just eat it….glad your getting some rest…have a wonderful Wednesday….kat

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