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 Firstly HA! to my NaNoWriMo plans.  I amuse myself greatly.
I did write a little bit.  Is all good. :-)

I am ever so lucky to have delightful friends, and even luckier that they like to do incredibly fun things and invite me along.
There are months of (thinking about doing the) preparation involved in going to Regionals - obsessively reading the catalogue and discussing it with friends.  Designing swaps (card ideas) to swap with all the other consultants and guests.  Wondering what techniques will be demonstrated.  Who will be speaking?  

So to begin, these were my swaps. 
Cherish always card

The Cherish one still needs more work.  But the Owl one was very popular! :-)  
I have vague plans to do the owl one with a brayered background of a sunset as well, just because it was the original idea and I want to get it from my head onto paper.

POsting this months late, but whahey!  Enjoy. :-)
It's nearly here!  The excitement is building!  I have a cunning plan for this years NaNoWriMo!  

I will not be typing!  I will not be dictating!  (oooh - maybe I could sing-tate it.  He he he)

I am going to write by hand!  With a fountain pen!  And possibly vari-coloured inks.  Because I can. 

I assume I won't reach the 50,000 words, but I never do, so this shall be fun!

Now to assemble my tools, and think of... A PLOT!

I'm guessing it will involve Dragons.  Or Cats with wings. 

Love Auntie Devi
With camera in hand, wandering around the fountain to get the best view, with the lovely tradesman, in his glo-yellow vest, kindly standing to one side, I quite enjoyed having a play with the fountain. Apparently, other people, on warmer days, have tried to get into the fountain, since there is a sign forbidding this exact activity.  

There is a lovely avenue of trees leading from the street to the Melbourne Exhibition Building, so I wandered down there to get another picture.  Leaves in shades of brown covered the grassy median, with little children running around, kicking up the leaves with joyful abandon.  It looked like such fun.  It was such fun.  And yes, people stared, but people have been staring at me for as many years as I can remember, so I sort of discounted that.  It did remind me of wandering down Elizabeth St. with Chook and Becca during our Uni years, doing cartwheels for the entertainment of the bus travellers passing by.  Oh, but my cartwheels were so good then!

Getting a picture of my foot kicking the leaves was a bit more challenging and I had to apply almost forgotten techniques taught at Uni.  

With my shoes beginning to pain me, I wandered casually to the Museum, thinking to wander leisurely through there till it was time.  Wondering what exhibitions were on that might catch my decidedly fickle interest.  

Leaving mere minutes later, having taken advantage of their very clean toilets (Yes, Marmie, I have inherited your ability to spot toilets at any given location!) with pamphlets and plans for family visits, I was a bit lost as to what to do now.  I could go home.  I had done what I planned. But that seemed...boring, after all the effort to get in here.  The thought of making my way into the city proper was a little overwhelming.  What to do...

Fitzroy St. used to be fun when Becca lived near there.  Wow, so long ago.  I gave it a chance.  I ignored my feet.
To be honest, my suburbaness showed in the first part of the street, when the father called out that his lil boy needed to wee, and proceeded to help him wee.  On the street.  There are times when I have hose envy, like when we would go out on the boat for a day and I would have to swim back to shore to deal with things, while the boys just stood on the side of the boat and let loose.  This was not one of those times.

This moment was soon forgotten as I walked past a gorgeous light sky blue Malvern Star chained to a rail.  In Immaculate condition.  I wish I had photographed it now.  The same bike I had as a teen.  That gave me such a lift that I bounced onwards from here, delving into any store that caught my interest with delight, exploring the different concepts available in the more exotic shops that carried handmade goods.  Gorgeous Shabby chic hats and bags and feathered hair clips, rainbow everything in the shop in which I gave in to temptation and acquired a pair of rainbow leg warmers to go with the rainbow shoelaces I had just bought.  

Oh My.  The shoes.  I am going back for the shoes.  Knee high sneakers in purple with stars. 

Vintage jewellery.  I loved it.  I so don't wear much jewellery, but I can appreciate the artistry.  In another shop, butterfly brooches made with delicate enamel work in France.  Italian glass earrings in a metallic soft pink with bronze branches and tiny birds flying on them.  

The most compact toy store ever that stocked almost everything I could have imagined to buy for a child under ten.  Finger puppets of the butterfly from "the very hungry caterpillar".

All the shops had uneven floors, ancient tiling or ceiling decorations.  The feathered hats store had the most magnificant 1940's mirror painted with swans.  Chirnside Park eat your heart out for this sort of glamour.

Eventually, my feet informed me that they could, would and very soon intended to go on strike, even though every step I took had been careful. The only way to prevent my imminent state of crawling down a shopping strip in Fitzroy was to head back to the car. 

And drive home barefoot.

Awesome day.

Doing this again.  Only I might stop for lunch next time. :-o  And bring way more money and a Christmas shopping list.  And...sneakers. ;-)

Love Devs Xx
Yesterday, wandering through Fitzroy, exploring any interesting looking shop that came my way, I missed Andrea soooo much. These were the sort of days we would have, when we would be in the car before 7 and driving into the city, me holding on desperately to the handle above the door and reciting mantras of we will be safe, we will be safe as she swooshed in and out of lanes to get in there as fast as she could. Then finding the most amazing parks and getting her little Datto 180 into them, so we could explore weird and wonderful dress shops, fabric shops, accessory shops and once, a very intimidating leather shop where I so fell in love with little bodice, but simply had to accept it wasn't in the budget.

With my little ghostlet Boo far away *sobs* having a wonderful time at camp *yey*, and having decided that I no longer desperately needed to hold onto all my Dolly magazines (Oh, yes, the complexes and insecurities you gave me Dolly, along with my one and only hairstyle that wasn't just up or down, but the fun, too!) and had found a safe haven for them in the offer from Pip. Now, I don't actually know Pip at all, other than having adored her book so much I carried it around with me for the first three weeks after Sharon gave it to me for Christmas, so I couldn't just drop it at her house. My solution was to drop it at her workplace "Meet me at Mike's".  So, with the Boo child safely elsewhere, I thought I could start super early, get into the city and have a great big explore. :D

Friday morning arises, I awaken at a decent time, to discover that I have an icky swollen eye.  Ewwwwww..can't go ANYWHERE with that.  With a little hope left, I treated it with a hot facewasher, while frantically scanning in the last of the images from Dolly that I didn't want to live without.  About an hour later the eye was going down, I had remembered where the "hidden" stash of Dolly's were.  You say misplaced, I say hidden. ;-)  Then I realised...I had no clean clothes suitable for wearing into the city.  Seeing as how I only really have two outfits I would dare wear out of the suburbs, anyway, and one is a summer outfit.  With the washing machine recently back in action, a child's camping clothes to wash, these clothes had NOT been high on my priority list.  Sooo, instead of leaving ridiculously early in the morning, and having the hubby drive me in, at 10:38, dressed, heavy bag of 80's mags in hand, I headed out to my car.

Yes.  I was going to have to park in the city.  

Wow, 3 paragraphs, and I haven't even started the engine yet.  Oops.  :-p

Lovely drive in, I found a classical station, then a country station, my Mantra being "I will drive in with ease and find a close park (those magazines were HEAVY!) and park easily".  Thus I gently (with no Andrea-like swooshing at all) meandered into the city in a relaxed and joyful manner.  Drove past Meet me at Mike's and turned down the next street, where I found a park and successfully reverse-parked into it.  This is a big deal for me. And it makes 8 successful reverse parks I have done in my life now.  

Dialed the hubby, hoping to sneak in a rendezvous of some description...  only to hear "Grumpy Man" on the phone. Some mechanical thing wasn't behaving and he would not be even vaguely sociable until such time as he had figured out how to make it go "ping" again, so I let go of that idea without even a second thought.  

Meet me at Mike's display windowWindow at Meet Me at Mike's.

With the heavy stash of 80's Dolly's in arms, I spent a moment to admire the window display at "Meet me at Mike's".  Simply pretty.  Then inward, to a haven of retro clothes, toys, suitcases and general 50's to 80's vibe.  It felt so comfortable.  With a breath, Madame Oh So Not Good At Speaking To Unknown People faced up to the friendly man (Mike?) behind the counter and gave her well rehearsed sentence of explanation.  Apparently this all made sense to him and all was good.  After a little wander through the retro goodness that is Meet Me At Mike's, I was off to explore.  I thought maybe a trip to the Museum.
At this point, walking towards the Exhibition Gardens, I realised I had forgotten to put the inserts into my shoes.  Ow.
In the distance, I could see and hear something quite magical.  Something glorious.  Something that triggered feelings of Forbidden pleasures.  Something that drew me closer, put a spring in my step and a smile on my face...

The Fountain in Exhibition Park was working.  With real, precious water flowing through it, energising the park, sharing that beautiful sound of Motion.

So happy!  I walked around and around, enjoying, indulging my eyes, ears and other senses in the feeling of flowing water. 

Was good! :D

Off to get ready for Circus now, will post more long winded waffling later.  :D

Love Devs Xx

I don't write this to please anyone cos I can't possibly imagine reading my soul dredging to be pleasurable to anyone, but I do need to express it when it is there, so just say thanks that my poems are usually short. ;-)

I have been thinking thoughts, thoughts chaotically flying

wild and wonderous thoughts of love and trying

painful anxiety weakens will, till another's words make clear and still

the idea that t'was burgeoning inside, longing to be lived un-defied,

t'is not about our need to be, the ultimate in mastery,

but to be the amatuer that tries, with love and joy in all life supplies
I have been sitting here with sad and glad feelings, thinking about my beloved house.

We used to worry about keeping the resale value of the building high, by not doing freaky, weird things like painting rooms rainbow and installing rainbow coloured kitchen doors. And just this morning I realised...it doesn't matter. I can do whatever I want to this house and it won't affect the resale value at all, because whomever buys this house is going to knock it down and put 3 flats on the block. You can't build in the backyard because of the tiny side driveway, so down it will go. Our patio that Dick built himself. Will go. Our lovely EK/FB housing shed. Will go. The violet/azalea/cherry tree garden I spent years digging up and re soiling and planting and tending to...Will go. And it will break my heart.

This makes me cry, cos our house is a happy house with welcoming vibes, well built and deserves to be kept well and live for centuries. But at the same time...it releases cultural pressure to paint rooms cream and white and beige and instead my dream of a kitchen with every pantry door painted a different pastel colour and retro laminex benches is viable. The fact that I'm painting the ceiling in my toilet with glitter just isn't going to be a problem for anyone. When I finally get to the front door and paint it blue, with clouds, sun rays and of course a rainbow...well, that will be fine too.

*sighs* But this glee is offset by the sadness I felt when I went out to photograph the court from our driveway, as I intend to every morning from now, to show the council how it is no longer possible to get in and out of our driveway without doing a four point reverse. And occasionally asking the rental neighbours to move their car just a little further away from our driveway - maybe even into their legally approved parking that they don't like to use because it is so difficult to get into/out of thanks to unacceptably slack council planning.

And now, our next door neighbour has sold his house to a developer. We are going to have flats next to us. We are going to have builders who don't care about our house, possibly damaging our house, or as happened in another development in our street, building 15 cm's onto our land. However, I will make them knock it down and do it again. Next year is going to be so stressful, trying to make sure this developement has minimal negative effect on our future.

So...I'll have to hide in my glitter painted toilet to recover. :-p

Auntie Devi xx

In Dawson St, we had a lurid carpet, a very 70's blue and purple or green. Our rug at the front door was a lovely co-ordinating blue shaggy sort of fabric, which was really lovely. I spent happy time sitting there, in the extra yellow sun rays that shone through the tall and thin window next to the front door, with the amber glass. It was warm, people were constantly walking past, but unless there was a door knock, I wasn't really in the way. The warm, amber light was soft to my skin, which is probably due to my issues with sunlight on my skin, but I didn't know that then. I just knew it felt like a sun cuddle that wasn't as rough as the outside sun.

Apparently I had problems giving up my bottle as a 2 year old. I still have chuppa chup issues, so let the Dr. Phil analysis begin! Mum finally suceeded in convincing me to give the bottle up by asking me what I would want in return, which considering out very restrained budget, must have been a bit of a last resort for Marmie. I replied I wanted the Cookie Monster. How cool is the Cookie Monster! He is Blue (my favourite colour then), furry, cuddly looking but not interested in being cuddled (very much like a cat), willing to learn if you applied cookie incentive and he shared my love of bikkies! Mum makes the best bikkies. Anzac bikkies stolen straight from the oven tray, too hot to eat but once you bounced them in your now burning hand for a little while, so melting delicious. I loved biscuits so much – they represented warmth, comfort and a contented sleepiness to me, so delicious on the tounge and that solid, happy, vague feeling after eating them, which I still get whenever I eat wheat. Which explains why the Anzac's stand out in my memory...no allergic reaction after those to fog the brain cells!

Back in the 70's, it wasn't as easy to get hold of Sesame St merchandise as it is now. Out in the country it was even more of a challenge, we didn't have shops like a Target then, so if your local didn't stock something, you had to plan a trip into the city, 3 hours drive away. No internet shopping either! Also, as I mentioned, the budget was restrictive, with the new house and farm to manage. My Marmie, however, is a resourceful and creative woman and shortly after presented me a blue, furry Cookie monster hand puppet, who had a bright orange inside to his mouth and he could eat cookies with my hand helping! Cute bobbly big brown eyes the wobbled when you wiggled your hand. He was awesome! I love him, and still have him. Eventually, he somehow developed a hole in the back of his mouth, because I decided he needed a throat for the bikkies to go down.

Devi and her monster of Cookiness!

At some point, I took Mr. Cookie monster to play in the amber sunshine by the front door, on the furry blue rug. Which seemed a bit smaller now...Oh, I must be just growing bigger and it's smaller by comparison...right? And funny how Dad's big coat is missing those two big, bobbly buttons down the bottom. Ah, well, it still does up and he's not stressed about it. All is good.

It was quite a while before all these things went click in my airy fairy head space.

Auntie Devi Xxx



Yesterday, Nina and I had a lot of fun and went on an adventure with the Ruccis group!

The daytime was mostly focused on Nina's medical appointments, finalising with an X-ray, that as far as I can tell looked like no bone damage. Yay!

In the evening we ventured into the city with Anna, Luth, Judy, Tristan, Tanya, LaShae and Brock, meeting there with Michelle, Ben and Daniel, to watch a mesmerising, glorious, wonderful Youth Circus group called Trick circus perform their act “Operation”. Absolutely loved it. They are so incredibly flexible and courageous and funny. Slightly scary too, I admit to gasping in fear a few times, even though I was (fairly) sure they knew what they were doing. The acts were well co-ordinated, with timing that flowed so easily. I loved the trapeze work, with their smooth transitions between different people getting on, off or higher up creating such beautiful patterns. Talk about taking the work of art that is the human body to higher ground. :-)

Some of their acts, like running up to a table and sliding over it before doing tumbling or acrobatic just looked like plain exuberant fun. Even though I know it would never be possible for me to do, so thrilling and freeing to watch. :-)

LaShae had collected flowers along the way and Anna put them in our hair, starting the adventure of with that yummy feeling of carefree abandon.   I'll never outgrow my hippie 70's attitude - just hide it occasionally.

Auntie Devi

 Memory Lane


Andrea visited yesterday and looked at the Ruccis Production photos. She recognised the big pink hat immediately and laughed, then commented that she seems to have huge gaps in her memories but remembers things well when she sees a photograph of the event. This is why I scrapbook. Get those memories down on paper with visual triggers.


Memories of things we did with Andrea. Friday nights eating cheese CC's with tzatsiki dip, looking at fashion magazines for dress ideas. I loved Andrea's “sewing room”. It was impossible to walk through, piled high with suitcases of fabric, stacks of magazines, a sewing dummy. A total treasure trove, there was always something interesting to look at or talk about in there.


Preparing for Melbourne cup. 
While the actual event was something of a let down, sitting watching boring horses in a crowded area where the loo line took over half an hour, the drink line about the same and that charming gentleman in a lovely suit behind us, who decided rather than line up, he would simply pee on the grass behind our blanket. Such elegance and consideration! The preparation for the event, however, I adored. Discussing patterns with Andrea, the days we would get up early and be in the city by 9 am, she would take me to fabric stores I had never heard of, milliner's (such a delicious, olde world word) goods stores (Oh I wonder if they are still there? I haven't made a hat since our last Melbourne cup event), exotic little beading shops that had been owned by the same family for decades. Traipsing home with trimmings and patterns and outrageously yummy silks and chiffons, matching thread and buttons and oh all those yummy little things that finish off an outfit. Two months of cutting and sewing and fitting, late nights and Andrea's, with the TV on showing fashion parades, discussing topics from ways to improve our diet to which 80's music was best (with me carefully avoiding politics, a passion of Andrea's) while we were sewing feathers and flowers on hats and then changing my mind and unpicking. 
The fun of Alicia joining in and her fun and gorgeous Star Trek outfit.


Life with Andrea as your friend is never boring. She lives with all engines on full, and you have to rev up to keep up with her and join in the fun. If you suggest an idea, she will come up with ways to make it happen, all you have to do is work hard and watch the miracle become reality.

Auntie Devi

 Synethasiests can have great problems in Prep. CAT was okay...purple crayon - C, yellow crayon - A, Red crayon - T. Can take forever just to write one sentence - not even considering the issue of trying to write a white - I and a clear - O. Ahhh...Memory lane. :-p


I have some really strong memories of Prep. I really enjoyed school in my first year.

On my first day, Mum wanted to know if I wanted her to walk me to school and for years afterwards, I felt guilty that I had so casually brushed off this important parental moment with a “No, I'm off now!” before hooning down the street on my lil black bike. I can't recall if I did go with Debbie or not, vague memories of starting out with her, but she had a friend walking with her and I wanted to get there, NOW!

After Nina's first day at Primary school, I called Marmie and apologised for not allowing her this special Mum-daughter moment. Her words brought laughter to my soul, when she described how she bravely stood still and composed at the front door, waving goodbye, before doing a happy freedom dance at having her youngest finally at school and 6 whole hours of independence ahead of her!

At some point during this first, glorious day, lil Preppie me needed to use the toilet. I'm sure Debbie had shown me where it was, with her inbuilt mothering skills, but my attention span rivalled that of a fishes and I hadn't taken it all in. Bravely, I asked some grade 2 girls (Oh how grown up they were!) for assistance. Kindly, they showed me to the toilets and suggested that I definitely use the first cubicle. Wanting to please such impressive girls, I waltzed straight in and shut the door and came face to face with a horrifying, hairy, ugly, eight legged Huntsman Spider on the wall.

Thus began a year of peeing my pants on the school room carpet, until I figured out I could get a pass and ride home for lunch (we lived a mere two blocks away) and safely use the toilet that My Own Marmie made clean and safe for me.

I adored my Prep teacher. Mrs. Noble. Even her name was awesome, like one of the Knights and Princesses stories I so enjoyed. I believe that I frustrated her greatly. I believe that applies to each and every one of my teachers, with the glorious exception of Mr. Wright, our Physics teacher. Many memories of her explaining to me what I should be doing, when I would insist upon doing it differently, because it wasn't right the way she wanted it done. Writing confused me greatly.

The blackboard, one of my favourite things in the classroom. Oh how I wanted the right to go up and draw on it, clean it. Especially clean it and re write the Aa Bb Cc that decorated the very top of the board. The colours were WRONG! Really, everybody should know that an A is yellow not red? It took me until grade one, encouraged by a discussion with my sister (whose A IS red!) that the alphabet's colour should not be discussed with other people. Finding out Debbie's Alphabet has completely different colours to mine (Glorious jewel tones, instead of my Amber/brown/purple with odd exceptions colour range) helped me realise that other people weren't wrong...just really weird, cos they see letters in whatever colour the chalk is. How bizarre.

Learning the Alphabet lead to a devastating disappointment for me. My name. Julie.

At home I was mostly called JR (loved Dallas!), which I quite liked. I longed to have an exotic, fantasy name like Aurora, Persephone or Crystal. (Not so keen on Dynasty - put me off Crystal quite effectively!) Julie was a warm name, a huggly-snuggly name, a name with no dramatic heights to aspire to. Likewise, I liked intensely bright colours. Sky blue was my favourite colour. Julie HAS a sky blue letter in it – e. Right at the end of the name, a glorious burst of bright blue. However, J is a creamy yellow, U is a pastel amber, L is a very pale apricot/yellow and I is white. Exceedingly blah to me and then the lovely bright sky Blue E at the end was always a bit startling. Right up until I turned 37, everytime I saw or heard my name, I involuntarily got this vision of soft, dull creamness with a shockingly disruptive bright blue. It shook me a little each time, which has become quite wearing.

Later at school, as Julie was nicknamed to Julz, people kept telling me to spell it Jules or Jools. My sister made a point that did niggle at me, that Julz would be read J-uh-lz instead of J-ooh-lz. But the Z leant the name some of the drama I so adored and Z is a lovely shimmery Bronze/brown that went really nicely with the other letters. So I persisted.  But it still wasn't...quite right.

Auntie Devi Xxx