I'm homesick for Australia! It's coooooold here, and gray, and far away. These pics are Eowyn and Coco waving to Daddy across the Pacific Ocean, Seren relaxing in her lovely (old!) home, and Dad saying goodbye to Eowyn and Coco at Sydney Airport.
We have a fabulous new book, with pictures of every country in the world, and acknowledgement of those groups of people who yearn to be considered a country, in some way.
This makes me think of a part of the bible, which my sister Rachel, Poppy and Kate read in Vvoomba, in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, overlooking Mozambique:
"All of these died in faith witout having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed he has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:13-16
I am going to make Bens, Eowyn and Cosette two recipes my Mum taught me - Spaghetti Bolognese, and Pavlova! Yummy! Tom and I went together to Bologna seven years ago!
It's just possible I'm going to attempt giving up the internet for Lent, in which case, if I don't get to post before Wednesday, my blog shall be a little bit quiet for a few weeks. Happy Lent!
This is a discussion from the wonderful Bens' blog which I thought I might just transplant over here... My good friend Kate said:
"I am always interested when Americans say they are the most blessed nation on the earth. Certainly, they are the richest overall, but the most blessed? What is this sense of destiny as God's chosen people that so many Americans seem to share? And as an Aussie I tend to think I come from a pretty darn good country too: we call it "the lucky country" (sometimes with heavy irony). Isn't this interesting; the difference between luck and being blessed?"
Kate, I'm with you in wondering about the way States-siders worship their country. A two-hour drive north from here to Canada brings us into a paradigm similar to Australia - so perhaps there's a clue in the historical events which separate the Europeans who happened to end up becoming "Canadian", and those who became "American".
Interestingly, Latin American countries are also extremely patriotic, in a manner similar to the USofA. Perhaps there was a quality in some of the Indigenous people of the Americas which lends itself towards fiercely loving one's country in 2007. These mysteries...
...is in the oven (Seren's yummy recipe) Bens and the girls are playing the phonics game, and so, for the first time in umpteen hours, I can sit down and relax! Mothering is much harder work than anything I've ever been paid for!
Thank you all for your lovely, encouraging comments about my blog! Oh, Coco is yelling, SO enthusiastically, "THE FIRE'S ON!!" Our fire is somewhat moody.
Sam and Becca, I am terribly disappointed you won't be visiting us in the summertime! Now, Sam, you and I are both in the situation (when Tom, Anita, Ed and Seb leave) of being the only Jones' in the country we're living in, and not having a clue when next we'll see the rest of the family. It's so much better when there's a ticket booked, or a roadtrip planned, or something exciting to anticipate! Makes the time we all had in Australia all the more significant, doesn't it!?! I MIGHT have enough frequent flyer points from Oz to get to Europe, or at least to Maine! Not in January as we'd planned though, as Bens shall be in uni. And not enough points to reach Thailand or Australia, either. Who knows, SamBecca, we MAY be seein' you!?! As for the rest of our beloved, long-lost, far-away family and friends ... je ne sais pas!!
Bens, Eowyn and Coco are playing 'The Phonics Game'. He's a lovely Dad, and wonderful with the girls, but I am PEEVED by this ridiculous, insulting, Americo-centric game. The hideous woman on the tape successfully managed to insult the entire world, including the southern united states, in her lovely schpiel on accents and learning to speak clearly and properly.
I AM FED UP WITH THE EGOCENTRIC OBLIVION TO ANY OTHER WAY OF SEEING characterising this country. Look! The bloomin' spell-check just affirmed my point by underlining characterising. It did it again! Blimmeee Charlie! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
AND it's day 18 of being sick. Bens is trying some herbal remedies he found on the internet, because in this LOOOOOVELY country, medical care is the privilege only of the wealthy, rather than the right of the masses, so we would have to pay ridiculously large sums of money to go to a doctor (and be told influenza is a virus and to rest and drink a lot of fluids...) IF ANYBODY ELSE TELLS ME TO REST AND DRINK A LOT OF FLUIDS I'LL ... I'LL ... I'LL ... no, I shan't do anything untoward - I mean, they are well intended, but how the ____ is one supposed to rest with two small children?
Here is my dear and wonderful friend Karina Hollands (nee Moss), of the-amazing-icecream-crawl-18th-birthday-present, and white water canoeing, and Karina's Posh Party in Parramatta, and Forster Beach Mission (what, more icecream?) and Siena, Italia, and 'If you see Karina, send her home to me!', AND her lovely boys, Lucas and Felix. It was very wonderful to see them!!!!!!!
Well, I was exercising a far degree of unrealistic positive thinking in assuming we'd be better today... Coco's party was wonderful - our friends here are just delightful and we're very thankful for them. We had to have a lot of meds on board to ensure we didn't cough on them or totally space out... This is Influenza Day Nine, and it's actually painful, not just annoying. Eowyn and Coco are simply amazing in braving the awfulness of being so sick, as is Bens, as am I...
This song, from Rachel and Victor's wedding, is helping me through.
Blessed be your name
When there's pain in the offering
When the darkness is all I see
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your glorious name.
You give and take away,
You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say,
Blessed be your name.
Love you all,
PS Bens and I just watched Little Miss Sunshine and Sam and Becca's recommendation, and it was GREAT!
PPS We all watched SHREK and SHREK II and But I'm a Cheerleader at Seren's recommendation, and they are all great too! Why did I put Shrek in capitals. Dunno. But I'm not going back to change it
PPPS The pics are a little incongruous with the blog entry, but you know who they are.
PPPPS The cake. You don't know who the cake is. The cake is a MONSTER CAKE, made for me by my excellent cabinmate Caro, who lives in Germany with her Martin and her Germany. Hi Caro! Danke schon!! Our cabin, for reasons which you must imagine, was called the Monster Cabin...
PS Eowyn, Coco and I have been out for the count all week with influenza - the real mcCoy! We're getting better, just in time for Coco's party tomorrow (but there won't be any goody bags!!) I love my little family!!
PPS Coco and I made her cake together today! What fun! Can anybody guess what it is? (If you can, I'll send you a very small piece!!!)