back to the fray

24 Jan

Six loads of laundry down, one to go. We did well, this year. We’re almost completely unpacked already, too.

Our one unwelcome guest was a dead possum in the back yard – I guess that the neighbourhood cats have been making the most of our being away. I am a traitor to my feminist values – I played the “girl” card and made Fraser move it.

We headed out this morning with the best of intentions. We’d get the children’s new school shoes, get some school uniform essentials, buy the Bigster a new school bag, do our grocery shopping and buy a new lunchbox for Otto. All before coming home, getting changed, and heading to the Ballet.


We managed to get to the shoe shop (new runners and school shoes for Otto, replaced Bigster’s last set of school shoes where the stitching split – hooray for the people in the shop  who didn’t charge us for the new shoes). Then I picked up a new pair of cargo pants for Biggie, on the way to the chicken shop for lunch (Otto’s request/reward for behaving at shoe shop).

I can’t really blame the kids for the next bit. See, the shoe shop and chicken shop are just near one of three (AFAIK) foreign language specialist bookshops in Melbourne. So while the kids and Fraser finished lunch, I snuck out.

It’s a funny thing. Every year, I see lots and lots of books at Lorne Beach Books that I absolutely lust over and long for. And every year, I buy one or two and request the others for my birthday. (See, for example, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Lore of the Land, Mrs Woolf and the Servants and Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create your own Jane Austen adventure.) 

This year, Fraser decided to go back to our old habits and only buy a token gift for one another at Christmas. The pay-off was that we ‘notionally’ allocated some money for each of us to spend on whatever we wanted, no guilt, no questions asked. I immediately thought of Lorne Beach Books and mentally set aside my money.

Now their range is as good as ever, their books as desirable as they always were. But somehow, having a sum of money set aside for buying them made me more picky? – at any rate, I found it easier to resist, even without trying, and in the 2 weeks we were there I spent a total of $30 on books for myself. Weird.

Anyway, it is possible that I made up for my restraint today at Language International. I’ve been working on French grammar exercises, but only having one real grammar workbook means I do one set of exercises on one point and then move on. So today I bought 2 more:

  • French Grammar Drills (“Perfect for Beginning and Intermediate Learners!” “Practice with More than 150 Exercises!” (I hope their French grammar is better than their English)); and
  • Schaum’s French Grammar 5th edition.

Then I bought a French verb wheel (because it is OMGadorable) and another book (with CD) about Alex Leroc, journaliste. This one is called L’ange gardien: À Perpignan, un justicier masqué protège les citoyens en danger. Il apparaît toujours au bon moment pour défendre les victimes contre leursagresseurs. Comment fait-il pour être si bien informé et qu’est-ce qui le motive ? Alex leroc, qui se trouve à Perpignann pour le mariage de sa sœur, a très peu de temps pour découvrir l’identité de ce Zorro du vingt et unième siécle. hee!

Meanwhile, I found a DVD of German-English songs for children and a rather good book about Germany for the Bigster. (I see there are also books about France and Spain in this series).

Then we were too tired to be bothered going hunting for school clothes, so we came home. Biggie’s practising her recorder, Fraser’s doing something on the PC in the study, and I am on the armchair watching Otto play with the dollshouse that I cleared out just before we went away (it was used to store “random paper junk” before then – she’s never really played with it before). That means we have lots to do tomorrow – but for now, I have to either restrain Otto from getting TOO frocked up to go to the ballet (she wants to wear the tulle and satin number she had for my cousin’s wedding) or suck it up and find a pink hair ribbon to match.

I guess I’ll try my sewing box first…

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Posted by on January 24, 2009 in books, family, shopping


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