Tuesday, 25 March 2014

An Excuse Not to Iron?

This is so NOT me… Source
Seventeen years ago, give or take a month, one of my wedding presents was a state-of-the-art iron. I'd completed a gift registry and chosen a whizz bang model, that could be used with or without the cord. My lovely boss and his wife bought it for us, and one night soon after we were married, a visiting friend was admiring it. I proudly pointed out all of the special features, most notably its cordless capacity. I was half-way through this enthusiastic spiel when I became aware that my darling new husband was doubled over in the back ground. Laughing his head off. At me. Hmph!

I rather humourlessly then had to explain to my visiting friend, that I hadn't exactly had a reason to use the amazing new iron - on account of the fact that nothing i wore, in my opinion, required a hot press. However, I did not see how that detracted from my ability to point out the positive aspects of the appliance.


Seventeen years on, give or take a month, we're still using that whizz-bang iron. Well, my husband is still using it. I've ironed a few times over the years, but not often. And not too successfully either. We've had two ironing board covers in all that time. The current one has been horrible for years. Thin and faded, the sad ikat design from Target was wretched to behold. It had coffee cup stains and strange watermarks. And it sagged. It didn't need to retire. It required cremation. And yet, I hadn't bothered to change it.
Why not, you ask?
Because it provided me with yet another good reason NOT TO IRON!!!

I haven't tried to explain this new theory of mine to my husband yet. (Yes, may leave that one for a bit..). But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me. Why I've never liked ironing, why I've in fact, tended to avoid ironing at all costs.
"Does this shirt need ironing? Ugh, I can't face that ironing board cover - so drab and ugly. No, the shirt will just have to do…"
See what I mean?!

And then, the other day, I saw the new blue and white village collection from MOZI Australia. In the delft style, pen and ink drawing of a village scene. En masse it is lovely to behold. Up close, while I was beguiled by the egg cups (and warmers!) and impressed with the tablecloth (one can never have too many) and aprons…It was the ironing board cover, which really caught my eye.

It wasn't the fact that it would fit perfectly with my laundry's colour scheme. Though it did. Nor was it that the character-filled Dutch aesthetic fits in with much of my china collection. Which it does. No it was something about turning such an ordinary, boring and drab household item into something so different. And when I put it on at home I knew I'd been right. I was amazed to see the ironing board turned before my eyes into a glorious art work.
I'm so loving it. I'm keeping the ironing board out so I can admire it every time I walk past.
Every day.

Photo by lovedecorateletters
And, I'm sure you're dying to know, has my ironing volume increased as a result?
Um, no.
But I think, more importantly, my attitude to ironing has improved. It doesn't have to be a task to be avoided at all costs. The object of my derision (the ironing board) has become valued, and admired. I think I'm even feeling better about the laundry as a whole. I've cleaned surfaces and am now getting ready to hang some things on the wall...
So if I WAS to decide to iron a crushed shirt one of these days, what a happy task it would be!

What utilitarian object in your home could do with an aesthetic improvement? How would your attitude towards it change as a result? I feel a whole new segment coming on...

p.s. Mozi is having a sale - it's worth checking out!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Nine Year Old's Don't Want to Get Married

I have a nine year old daughter. Last week at school she gave a speech on what she wanted to be when she grows up. She is currently torn between the options of swimming instructor, cricketer, a waitress or an author. Not surprisingly, child bride did not feature on her list.

I read an article online this week that made me sick to the stomach.

The Government of Iraq is currently considering legislation that will deny Iraqi girls any such choices. If the laws are passed, girls will be denied an education, personal freedom, or the right to live a normal childhood. Instead, it will become legal for men to marry nine year old girls. And not only will the marriage age for girls be lowered from 18 to 9, there are also a raft of measures that will deny Iraqi women basic human rights.

The changes include forcing women to get their father's permission to marry, whatever their age; needing their husband's permission to step outside their homes; the granting of the custody of all children, over the age of two, solely with their father.

Some brave women protested in Baghdad earlier this month on International Women's Day. Calling it legalised pedophilia, Hanaa Edwar, a prominent Iraqi human rights campaigner was quoted as saying: "We believe this is a crime against humanity." (ABC online - link below)

Reuters: Thaier-al Sudan
The draft status law is due to go before the Iraqi Parliament after legislative elections on April 30.
Edwar asks for outside pressure to be put on the Iraqi politicians. Iraq has ratified the international convention against discrimination of women (Cedaw) so the UN has already asked for the withdrawal of the draft law.

See more at: http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/100320141

What can we do? 

Write letters*/emails/tweets/posts..
Voice your concerns to:

The Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs (Australia)
twitter: @JulieBishopMP
e: Julie.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au
w: http://.juliebishop.com.au

Voice your protests to:

The Consulate General of the Republic of Iraq, Sydney
Level 1, 42-44 Birnie Ave, Lidcombe NSW 2141

Voice your support to act to:

Cedaw - UNITED NATIONS Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
e: petitions@ohchr.org

And share this post if you agree - the more people who see it and act, the more chance our voices have of being heard and the more chance there is that this evil legislation will be STOPPED! 

* I will post copies of my letters under PAGES on the front of this blog. Feel free to use them as templates.

I'd love to hear of any actions you take on this matter - feel free to share your ideas and thoughts.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

A Week's Worth of Favourites

It was one of those weeks where we all spun like tops, careering from one dizzying task to another, with a few head colds thrown into the mix (which may account for some of the dizzy spells..). Jonathan was frantically busy, which meant we hardly saw him, but thankfully he was around for the extra early morning start on the day Jesse went to the swimming carnival. Not my forte (early starts or swimming!).

Thankfully, there were highlights from the last seven days to make up for the mayhem in between. Okay, so I didn't make it to the school assembly where Jesse was giving a speech (10 out of 10 on the mother-guilt table, this one!) but I did get everyone where they were supposed to be (mostly), help a friend, bake oatmeal choc-chip cookies one afternoon, and do some fun things with the kids (to make up for the more angst-ridden moments the rest of the time…)

Last Saturday saw us at another Book launch at the Children's Bookshop in Beecroft. We're old hands at these events now. We know to get there early to get our books signed and photos taken BEFORE the crowds arrive. Jacqueline Harvey, the lovely author of the Alice-Miranda series, has boundless energy and enthusiasm and the girls and I had a blast.

If you are looking for some excellent reading material for girls aged 8-10: think boarding schools, exotic destinations, mysteries to be solved, the occasional baddie, adventurous girls and friendships at their best - these are definitely worth checking out! Plus the cover art is so cute!


Then I heard this fab song on the radio (ABC 702!) and have been bopping to it ever since. I don't know what it is about but it is strangely compelling. Go check out Gooey by Glass Animals.

Monk Pear tea by T2. Thank you to my sister-in-law who reminded me that life is too short to drink bad tea (I always have at least three half-drunk cups sitting around the house that I've lost interest in).
I was so taken with this mantra that I shared it with Jonathan, who did feel the need to point out that this tea is $14 per 100g, which is a lot more than a mere supermarket blend blah blah blah. But yes, I was able to point out, if I never finish a cup of supermarket blend, and can actually reuse these leaves if I so chose  (see, I'm so thrifty people!) then I'm probably saving us all money. Anyway, it tastes fabulous so I'm drinking it from now on.

Then in an op shopping win I found this gorgeous tea set (from T2) for $5. The quality is not great (Wedgwood it is not) - but for a shot of red rose opulence to improve your mood on a dull day - this would be my first choice! But keep your heads down, it's gone straight to the present cupboard!

Arch continues to have a blast at preschool. By the end of the second day he is so droopy tired, but also happy and proud.
Everywhere we go he grabs my legs and whispers: "Tell them I'm at preschool now!"

His room at home has become a mini art gallery - those paintings just keep on coming!

I had a chance to check out the nostalgia vintage shop with a friend after school drop off.
I caught sight of this canvas hat box and had to steady myself (swooning can be dangerous in public places). It needs a clean and perhaps the stains wouldn't come out? But the red and white stripes were like so Ralph Lauren eat your heart out!

Sorely tempted!

Also loved this little collection of wall mounted glazed pottery shell vases. Don't be put off by the scary plaster head.

And then at the end of this crazy busy week I took all the kids to a local antique shop packed with so much stuff general manoeuvring is fraught with danger! But hey, we like a challenge! It's been a local icon for decades and developers have just bought the site. More hideously ugly apartment blocks to appear I guess. The owner swears he'll reopen somewhere else, but seriously? How will he ever move all this stuff??

It's always worth the challenge of getting all four kids inside to see their eyes nearly popping out of their heads. Yes, this is what home should could be like!!!

aNd here's Arch discovering old phones - yes my vision was going blurry at this point. We made a break for it and left!

Hope you had a great week too!