1. I love cooking up a storm for a crowd. I love looking through my cookbooks and deciding on the menu, trying out new dishes, making something delicious, sitting around with a glass of wine and lots of yummy, veggie meals with family and friends. I even love cleaning the house so visitors aren't confronted by the usual pigsty... well not the actual cleaning part but the clean look when it's done.
|Carnivorous plants on my window sill|
2. Discovering a New Plant. I picked up a carnivorous plant at the Garden Show a couple of years ago and have built a little collection on my kitchen windowsill. They are freaky, lovely plants that look so unusual and they gobble up the flies and ants that make their way into my kitchen. And I can look at them while I do the dishes.
|Littlest Monkey decorating last year's tree|
3. I do love an event. Birthday parties, Christmas... I love the planning and anticipation of them all. We have an annual Eurovision party. We invite everyone we know, ask them dress "Eurotrash", hire a projector and watch the event on the big screen. I spend weeks planning the menu - vegetarian dishes from the host country (no small feat considering the meat consuming cultures that have hosted the country in the last couple of years).
|(image from wikipedia)|
4. The Latest Obsession. My eldest monkey is obsessive. Maybe lots of 7 year old boys are like this but he seems to get hooked on one thing and practises it religiously until he suddenly moves on and it's something else. At the moment it's skipping, before that Star Wars and before that the Footscray Bulldogs (for those who don't reside in Australia this is a football team. Monkey Man and I are both completely disinterested in football so this one was hard to fake an enthusiasm for). His obsessions used to worry me - all day, every day, all games, toys, playing, clothes were on topic. Songs were written and birthdays planned. Until I discovered that I've got a bit of the obsessive in me too. My latest is silkie chickens. I realised this the other day when we took the kids to the Royal Melbourne Show and I spent half an hour standing and gazing at the cute little silkies in the petting pen.
|My yoga props|
5. Yoga. Now I don't practise anywhere near as much as I would like to and some days I find it hard to motivate myself to start or go (especially my 6.15am class in Winter!) But I love doing yoga. I love the light, rested feeling I get after a class. I love the discovery of muscles (yep real muscles) growing in my arms. I love when I find I can suddenly do a pose after months of struggling. And I love that for two hours I'm focussed on getting my body in the right possie and I don't think about all the other little or big stresses that have been filling my head for the day.
|Our ugly naturestrip in need of transforming|
6. Planning the Next Garden Move. I love to have a plan. Little ideas up my sleeve. I'll move this here, dig up this bit of grass and make another veggie patch, plant a passionfruit there, squeeze in another fruit tree. This week I've started eyeing off the nature strip. Watch this space.
|Mangosteen from Footscray|
7. Walking. I've never been into sport and until fairly recently haven't been very fit. But I started to get into walking long distances when I was without a car for some of the week. I'd put my youngest into the pram, walk eldest monkey to school and keep walking to Footscray a couple of suburbs away. I'd purchase a couple of exotic ingredients, have a snack with littlest monkey and start the journey back. Littlest monkey would fall asleep in the pram, we'd be home for an hour or so and before I knew it, it was time to do the trek for school pick up again and I'd walked most of the day. This year I've been a bit lazier. Must walk more I do enjoy it.
8. Listening to and watching my monkeys play "Jumps on the Bed". Eldest Monkey Boy was a wriggly, jumpy little thing from the moment I felt him in my belly. As a baby he was as strong as could be and he pushed himself onto his feet to bounce on our laps at a very young age. Monkey Man started a game of Jumps on the Bed with him when he was a baby which has evolved and become their family ritual over 7 years. Littlest Monkey has enthusiastically joined in. As soon as Monkey Man comes home from work he'll be commanded to participate in this game. They have a series of olympic moves which all take place on our bed. A little Monkey will shout out the move and they'll rush to perform it - "catches, surfboard, bridges, toilet, pet shops, plant, horses, trains, diving under the water". There's lots of laughing and shouting and tickling and fun. Until it ends in bumped heads or a fly off the bed or a kick in the belly and then of course there are tears!
|My current read|
9. Reading. I love a good book. I've been an avid reader since I was a kid. In my 20s I used to spend most of my holidays on the couch with my nose in a book. So much for exercise! After having kids I felt too guilty to read - there was so much else I needed to do. I didn't pick up a novel for a couple of years. Fortunately, I'm over that now and read a novel in bed at night and the newspaper over breakfast and lunch. I read all Monkey Man's present books before him. In fact I'll read almost anything if I'm desperate ... and I'll let you in on a guilty little secret - I even love to read (well it's not really reading more like ogling) the Ikea catalogue!
|My first success with a germinating seed|
10. Growing. The excitement of seeing a seed pop through and watching it develop into a lovely, juicy, edible thing.