Christmas Cakes

Monday, 22 December 2008

It's amazing what 1/2 and hour and a set of snowflake cutters can acheive! The kids even helped me with the pink one which is destined for Zali's creche on Wednesday. It was inspired by Zali's choice of the very Christmassy pink polka dot ribbon!

Bruny Island

Monday, 22 December 2008

Despite some dodgy weather we had a great holiday at Bruny Island with Jackie Bruce and Ben.  We visited the beach, went for walks, picked strawberries and relaxed a lot at the well equipped shack.  (I beat Jackie at tabletennis 20 games to none).  It was really relaxing and just lovely.  Jett demonstrated again how far he has come from his waterphobic early years!

We would have stayed for  a week had the cleaner not turfed us out 30 minutes before the next guests were due to arrive. Next time we go we will have to try to get the kayaks out onto the water..


Thursday, 11 December 2008

It's funny how much the kids love to pack their suitcases when we go away. If only they had such enthusiasm when we got home! Tomorrow we're heading off for a long-awaited weekend at Bruny Island with our friends Jackie, Bruce and Ben. Whilst I haven't been to Bruny since Zali was about a year old, it has many childhood  memories for me. I remember once going there on a camping trip with mum  when Paul and I forgot to pack our sleeping bags, so we borrowed mum's and she slept under towels in the back of the car. I also remember a school camping trip there in grade 6 where I sustained the sunburn which will no doubt be my undoing. And even earlier than that I remember dad telling me off for excitedly throwing my teddy bear repeatedly towards the ceiling inside a cabin on a trip there when I can't have been more than 6 or so.

Anyhoo. In other news it's been a blur of a week as usual -  I've been trying to juggle a few cake bits and pieces with work stuff, the kids, and exercise not necessarily in that order.  Jon's been settling into working from home and the kids are just having their last few weeks of school  and creche before holidays.

All his Christmases

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Jon  loves Christmas. He loves it. He loves Christmas parties,  he loves wearing santa hats and most of all he loves Christmas traditions. Unfortunately for him the Liggins' Christmas traditions generally revolve around arguing what we will do about presents this year, then having a reasonably quiet yet pleasant Christmas dinner after an unremarkable day.

This is not the McComb way of doing things. The McComb Christmases involve scheduled festivities and gatherings from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening.  At a McComb Christmas you don't get to retreat somewhere quiet and read your Christmas books. 

So as you can imagine, Jon gets frustrated with a Liggins Christmas (whilst I feel faint at the thought of a McComb one). This year however, things are looking up for Jon - a significant portion of McCombs are coming to celebrate with the Ligginses which means we're going to have to strap on the Christmas cheer and have a full blown Christmas Day - as such we've been calling it the 'Big One' since we heard the news.

Jon is overjoyed and he's on the phone talking turkey to the soon-to-arrive Adelaide McComb chapter right now.  Turkey as in turkey sizes,  preparations and cooking times.  Now I'm almost 100% certain that no turkey has ever given its life for a Liggins' Christmas celebration before.  Jon's delirious with joy,  whilst I'm  thinking about retreating to my room with a book until January.

Anyway - to add to Jon's Christmas cheer he recently found out that you could pay $5 and go and get your own Christmas tree from Pittwater Dunes which is a mere 30 minutes drive away, so guess where we all went this afternoon...

Medium Sunday

Sunday, 7 December 2008

With the kind permission of my family I was able to do a trail run/walk race today which I only realised was happening on Thursday last week. This meant I did next to no preparation unlike the Mt Roland run which I spent months getting ready for - mentally if not physically. Anyway it was great. The last time I did this walk (also as a run)  was 12 years ago with Jo my Mount Roland partner. It turned out it was the day before the Port Arthur massacre so I am always sort of aware of the passing of time from that day.

Anyway- the scenery was every bit as amazing as I remembered it and although the company wasn't as good ( I was by myself most of the time) - it was still a really nice treat to get out and do something like that. Roll on some more - I'll be checking here for dates..

Blasts from the past

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Yesterday I was sorting through some papers which have been sitting around the 'to be filed' tray for quite a while when I came across an old and battered looking notebook of Jonno's.   Careful not to invade his privacy I immediately rifled through it to see if it contained anything interesting. Lo and behold, amongst the random shopping lists, packing lists and database structures written in sporadically over the last 8 years I found this list of which i've provided an extract of below:

Ski Lessons
Lodge Extras
Space Needle

Whistler Junk Food


There's two things of interest here - firstly -  I'm paying for all the big stuff and secondly see how footloose and fancy free we were in  days gone by! Ah what fun we had on that trip to Big White and Whistler. 

Now what made this list particulary amusing is that a mere 10 or so pages away were some diary entries Jon made a few years later (New Years Eve 2003 to be precise). These entries are the reason we don't get to make lists like the one above anymore. As I mentioned we are conscious of not invading each others privacy so I've printed the good bits here.  :

  • 12:30am I wake up 
  • 1:00am Cathy wakes up - contractions have started
  • 15:30 Off to hospital
  • 16:00 In waiting room with family of five
  • 17:00 Woohoo we're shifted to a room
  • 19:30 Gas finally arrives -! Does nothing but annoy Cathy
  • 21:00 Hear early fireworks go off (It's NYE)
  • 21:30 Pethadine - start to relax
  • 23:30 More Pethadine
  • 24:00 Hear late fireworks go off
  • 01:30 Getting ready for epidural
  • 01:40 Bliss!
  • 02:20 Off to the emergency caeserean.

Ahhh - oh how we laughed..   Particulary the bit where I had to sit in the visitors waiting room and suffer through contractions because all the delivery rooms were busy.  And I still remember the feeling of absolute relaxation when the epidural kicked in followed by panic moments later when I was packed off to the operating theatre.. oh how we laughed..

Now -  my last tidbit from Jonno's old notebook is a few pages later where we happened to have a list of people we wanted to contact once the baby had safely arrived. There's all the usual names but then underneath in writing that is distinctly my brother's is "Not Paul". ha ha.


Saturday, 22 November 2008

The mountain run Jo and I did a few weeks ago was very close to the little town of Sheffield in North West Tasmania. Sheffield is famous for its murals and a little bit of web research has revealed that this was actually a conscious decision made by the townsfolk in the late 80s in order to attract attention and tourists. I'm not sure how many murals they had before that decision was made but now they have one on every available wall.  They mostly depict the natural and industrial history of the area.  It actually reminded me a lot of Northern Exposure's Cicily Alaska (aka Roslyn, Washington) which Jon and I visited with our good American buddies in 2002.   Jo and I bought pizza for dinner from the local pizza/bulk out-of-date-wholefoods/dvd hire/evening wear shop.  While we were waiting a couple of locals came in and spent ten minutes talking about how they'd taken their ferret for a 1.5km walk that day and now it was fast asleep at home.  Ah - country life. 

Anyway - the kind people from the Tasmanian Police Force sent me a little reminder of our visit in the form of a speeding ticket on Friday so the picture in the middle is the mural I would paint if I was given a bare wall in Sheffield.  I did know the speed limit was 60 but the excitement of having finished our race must have been too much for me and consequently I got my forth ticket for low level speeding in 2 years. YES people - four in TWO years - and prior to returning to Tasmania I had never received a speeding ticket in my life.  I blame the traffic or more accurately - the lack of it. hmmph.

More therapy

Saturday, 22 November 2008

After a big week Zali did a little Mr Potatohead therapy of her own.

Washing up

Saturday, 22 November 2008

This is what happens when the dishwasher breaks but you invite 8 people over for dinner anyway.  After our guests left Jon gave me the choice of washing up or putting the very tired children to bed.  Obviously I chose the washing up as although it was a big job, it wasn't going to argue with me every step of the way, or get out of the drying rack and come and ask me for a drink.


Dr Potatohead

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I think the combination of my big cake week last week, coming down off my post Mt Roland run/walk high, and my normally fun work being a lot less fun lately has contributed to my general feeling of being in the doldrums this week.  I've tried to do devote energy to some crafty stuff but it's all been a bit hard so tonight I hijacked Jett's Mr Potato head and gave myself some sculptural therapy.  I'm not sure that I feel all that much better, but it was fun while it lasted.

Answers to the big questions

Monday, 17 November 2008

Just in case anyone has been wondering what happens to broad beans when they go through the washing machine - here is your answer:

In other news, jon has started laying in home brewing supplies in preparation for his 'retirement'. If I wasn't already concerned, I would be now.

Three in a week

Saturday, 15 November 2008

It's been a long time since I've posted any cake photos let alone three in one week!  I'm not sure how it happened but I ended up with these three orders all for this weekend - and they really ended up getting away from me. As the black cake wasn't ready in time for the bride to take it down with her,  I had to drive it down to Port Arthur on Friday morning - I left home at 6am and was at work in the city by 9:15. I book-ended that day with the IT dinner I mentioned below so it was a very long day!  The white cake wasn't hard (the photo isn't that great but they are cupids on it) but the bride also  wanted to pick it up early which meant some late nights, and Barbie in the middle was supposed to be delivered last night on our way to the IT dinner thing but again it wasn't finished in time so I've got myself an early trip to Moonah tomorrow morning.  Amazingly it's the first doll/dress cake that I've been asked to do as CakeWoman - I guess people make these ones themselves and I generally don't do too many birthday cakes anyway.   Am I expected to give Barbie's legs back to the mum who supplied the brand new Barbie? I guess I'd better take them with me tomorrow but perhaps I won't wave them in front of the five year old birthday girl in case it causes distress.

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that my camera auto detected Barbie's face.

Slowing things down

Saturday, 15 November 2008

In other news, Jon recently had his 12 month contract cut 7 months short when the company he is contracted to, which in turn contracts him out to Hydro Consulting, had their project scaled down significantly. Whilst this was a little bit of a shock, after thinking about it for a little while we've decided that it's actually a really good thing for our family.  When I first got my animation job we didn't expect or intend for us both to be working full time for an extended length of time and apart from a small break this year, it has turned out to be the case.  So our new plan is for me to keep working until my contract finishes (June I think)  and Jon will work from home 3 days a week on his own projects and have the kids at home for the other two.  Although I'm certainly not the big income earner,  we can make big savings in childcare alone (we'll reduce our expenditure from $880 a fortnight to around $350)  and of course the change of pace will be greatly appreciated by everyone in our family!  I've got a really good feeling about this decision and I'm really really glad that we don't have big financial commitments in any other areas (such as private schools or property investments) apart from our mortgage of course - which is happily more Tasmanian sized than NSW sized.    Anyway - Jon has 1 more week of work at Hydro then he begins what he is has worryingly begun calling his 'retirement'.   As it turned out, his contracting company asked him back the very day after we informed the creche of our changes but by that time we knew that it wasn't about working and money, it was about lifestyle so it was easy to stick with our plan.

And in other semi-work related news, we both went to the Tasmanian IT Industry awards last night - I was part of Blue Rocket's representation and Jon was my date since he was effectively turfed off the Prologic table when they dumped him.  While we were there I was chatting to another Blue Rocket employee and saying how I'd just started playing royal tennis which I could now add to my list of off-beat sports I had played. He asked what other ones I had done so I mentioned orienteering and ultimate frisbee.  He said - 'well at least it's not rogaining - that's even more obscure' and I said that 'sometimes people had actually heard of rogaining but not orienteering'. He said 'yes I guess' - and that he used to have a good friend who rogainned called Paul Liggins.  ha ha ha . I can't believe he hadn't recognised my Liggins nose earlier!  Sitting on the other side of the table was someone who also knew the Liggins family in fact mum had attended their wedding 10 years earlier. Tassie huh - we love it!

Huon Show Time

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Today we attended our favourite family event for the third year running. Each year's visit always seems completely different due to the changes in weather, time we arrive, and most significantly the changes in our own children. The first time we went, Jett was just a baby and this year was the first time we didn't take a stroller at all. As usual it was great - we arrived later and finally got to take in the dog high-jump which totally lived up to my high expectations. After it finished we strolled past the always hair-raising woodchopping-at-great-heights event.  The oldish guy in white had such a high handicap that the other competitors were practically still parking their Kingswoods when he started. Unfortunately he was just pipped at the post and finished third but he got a big cheer from the highly impressed crowd.

As I mentioned the dog high jump was great - these photos are of the 2 first and second placed  dogs - Sprockett the eventual winner is on the left and Turbo is the black and white one. I have to say the event had a lot of similarities to Zali's sports day  - in that the attention spans of the dogs and the approaches they used were hillarious. Some dogs took a good run up and leapt early, other dogs (or even the same dogs on different attempts)  blithely arrived at the bottom of the jump and then had to attempt a huge vertical leap (see the photo on the far left).  They had a classification for small dogs which was also fantastic - a dog no bigger than a small handbag called Abbey (and I know that for a fact as her owner carried a handbag at all times) managed to clear 2 planks after quite a few extremely amusing refusals.  For the record I think Sprockett's final height was 2.3 metres. Impressive


sports day

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Zali's sports carnival came around again amazingly quickly and was held today in overcast conditions.  Like last year it was pretty amusing - 3 - 5 year olds have trouble focusing for the length of a race and there were also a lot of other um.. technical .. mistakes made by competitors. Luckily they were assisted by a bunch of grade 4s who had been enlisted to keep everyone going in approximately the right direction until it was time to stop-  luckily they were also on hand to hold back some of the relay runners who would have kept going forever had they not been accosted.  There were also a lot of runners who needed to work on some aspects of their start, such as say facing in the right direction, taking their hands out of their pockets and improving their reaction time so that they start running before everyone else has finished.      My favourite was the teddy bear race - competitors run half the length of the track, grab their waiting teddies, and complete the rest of the course. Most of the runners still haven't found a balance between having a teddy they can pick up quickly, but one which isn't bigger and heavier than themselves.   Zali did well in everything although her pickup style could use some work (photo 1).  Now  - have a look at her with one of her relay team-mates in photo 2 (top right).. Zali is almost a head higher than most of her similar aged classmates but this size disparity looks like the sort of thing you might see in the half time matches at the AFL.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
Christmas Cakes Monday, 22 December 2008
Bruny Island Monday, 22 December 2008
Packing Thursday, 11 December 2008
All his Christmases Sunday, 7 December 2008
Medium Sunday Sunday, 7 December 2008
Blasts from the past Saturday, 29 November 2008
Sheffield Saturday, 22 November 2008
More therapy Saturday, 22 November 2008
Washing up Saturday, 22 November 2008
Dr Potatohead Thursday, 20 November 2008
Answers to the big questions Monday, 17 November 2008
Three in a week Saturday, 15 November 2008
Slowing things down Saturday, 15 November 2008
Huon Show Time Saturday, 15 November 2008
sports day Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Big Sunday Monday, 10 November 2008
ReeDip Friday, 7 November 2008
Rain Rain go away Friday, 7 November 2008
Spectacular weekends Sunday, 2 November 2008
Recovery Friday, 31 October 2008
Big night out.. Thursday, 30 October 2008
The olden days Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Shopping Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Finally Sunday is Green Sunday, 19 October 2008
Bad hair day Monday, 13 October 2008
A different Jett Monday, 13 October 2008
A perfect weekend Monday, 13 October 2008
Ok Ok Monday, 6 October 2008
Red Saturday Sunday, 5 October 2008
Purple Friday Friday, 3 October 2008
Brown Thursday Thursday, 2 October 2008
Pink Wednesday Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Yellow Tuesday Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Blue Monday Monday, 29 September 2008
Taste testing Sunday, 28 September 2008
Adding some colour Sunday, 28 September 2008
Monday Morning Sunday, 28 September 2008
Saying Nothing Saturday, 27 September 2008
The blog has spoken Thursday, 18 September 2008
You be the judge Saturday, 13 September 2008
Hanging out with Zali Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Fathers Day Sunday, 7 September 2008
Dangerous Cupcakes Sunday, 7 September 2008
Xooting along Friday, 5 September 2008
Sick Day Wednesday, 3 September 2008
I need a lie-down Sunday, 31 August 2008
going out essentials Monday, 25 August 2008
the little stuff Monday, 25 August 2008
more craft Sunday, 24 August 2008
crafty cat Sunday, 24 August 2008
this is living! Saturday, 23 August 2008
games in the games room Saturday, 16 August 2008
No more door Thursday, 14 August 2008
NEWS FLASH Tuesday, 12 August 2008
shaggalicous Tuesday, 12 August 2008
flat out snoozing Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Everyone's a critic Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Swings and Roundabouts Friday, 8 August 2008
music to my ears Monday, 4 August 2008
Moments with Jett Sunday, 3 August 2008
before and after #15 Thursday, 31 July 2008
before and after #14 Thursday, 31 July 2008
before and after #13 Thursday, 31 July 2008
before and after #12 Thursday, 31 July 2008
before and after #11 Tuesday, 29 July 2008
before and after #10 Saturday, 26 July 2008
before and after #9 Saturday, 26 July 2008
before and after #8 Tuesday, 22 July 2008
before and after #7 Monday, 21 July 2008
before and after #6 Sunday, 20 July 2008
before and after #5 Sunday, 20 July 2008
before and afters Sunday, 20 July 2008
During Wednesday, 16 July 2008
From Garage to Games Room Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Happy birthday to me! Monday, 14 July 2008
Going to the gardens Sunday, 13 July 2008
Great ideas which weren't Sunday, 13 July 2008
drained Sunday, 13 July 2008
little changes, big differences Monday, 7 July 2008
Sydney Monday, 30 June 2008
Blue Mountains Monday, 30 June 2008
Mustard in all forms Monday, 30 June 2008
Dark Side Beware Sunday, 29 June 2008
Quiet Moment Thursday, 26 June 2008
Travelling Tips Saturday, 21 June 2008
an unexpected day out Saturday, 21 June 2008
MTB oh no Saturday, 21 June 2008
Cute Little Things Friday, 20 June 2008
Saving the world - one little brother at a time.... Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Un-cupcakes Monday, 16 June 2008
holiday day Thursday, 12 June 2008
one thing always leads to another Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Orienteering and then some more orienteering Tuesday, 10 June 2008
After Wednesday, 4 June 2008
$200 makeover Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Perfect Pear Monday, 2 June 2008
having to ask 'Y' Thursday, 29 May 2008
a gem Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Who said jewellery need be expensive Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Assembly Tuesday, 27 May 2008
um Sunday, 25 May 2008
What bits of March come before the 1st? Saturday, 24 May 2008
from earth to youtube and back - all in the space of the kitchen Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Better late than never Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Pyjama day Tuesday, 20 May 2008
a park with views Sunday, 18 May 2008
Click Sunday, 18 May 2008
Hanging out with the marsh children Sunday, 18 May 2008
Not in the careers guide Thursday, 15 May 2008
going round in circles Thursday, 15 May 2008
Theory Thursday, 15 May 2008
Doors and Windows Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Book Worm Sunday, 11 May 2008
Good Wholesome Fun Sunday, 11 May 2008
Soccer Lowlights Sunday, 11 May 2008
Melbourne Stuff Sunday, 11 May 2008
I know you've missed me Sunday, 11 May 2008
going away Sunday, 4 May 2008
not just colourful language Friday, 2 May 2008
Tradies Thursday, 1 May 2008
Fresh Air Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Holidays Monday, 21 April 2008
Art Cake Monday, 21 April 2008
Zali and Charley Monday, 21 April 2008
Sports Bag Thursday, 17 April 2008
Hmmm.. maybe next week Monday, 14 April 2008
Just like a bought one! Saturday, 12 April 2008
cupcakes anyone? Saturday, 12 April 2008
Cakes and Contracts Thursday, 10 April 2008
getting dizzy Thursday, 10 April 2008
Bristles Tuesday, 8 April 2008
The usual Tuesday, 8 April 2008
career highs and lows Thursday, 3 April 2008
Boats Tuesday, 1 April 2008
Tassie kids go to the beach Tuesday, 1 April 2008
zoo animals Tuesday, 1 April 2008
cruisey Sunday, 30 March 2008
back in a bit Thursday, 20 March 2008
Green things Monday, 17 March 2008
change in style Friday, 14 March 2008
time poor Tuesday, 11 March 2008
engrossed Tuesday, 11 March 2008
at the beach Tuesday, 11 March 2008
special delivery Friday, 7 March 2008
good not evil Friday, 7 March 2008
checking out the competition Friday, 7 March 2008
every piece Friday, 7 March 2008
Um.... Friday, 29 February 2008
Wiggles and biscuits Sunday, 24 February 2008
Scorpions in the sink Saturday, 23 February 2008
A Snakeoff Monday, 18 February 2008
simply divine Saturday, 16 February 2008
Cakes Saturday, 16 February 2008
Big Day Friday, 15 February 2008
The perfect swirl Friday, 15 February 2008
A little weekend Tuesday, 12 February 2008
taking it with me Wednesday, 6 February 2008
something for everyone Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Getting Out Saturday, 2 February 2008
Getting a grip Friday, 1 February 2008
Getting Picked Up Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Putting it into context - or - How one thing leads to another.. Tuesday, 29 January 2008
holidays Tuesday, 29 January 2008
beach babes Tuesday, 29 January 2008
My light fantastic.. Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Work News Monday, 21 January 2008
Tip Saturday, 19 January 2008
bliss Monday, 14 January 2008
open air Sunday, 13 January 2008
Last of six... Saturday, 12 January 2008
Letting the cat out of the bag Friday, 11 January 2008
Happy Feet Friday, 11 January 2008
Happy Teeth Friday, 11 January 2008
Yum Saturday, 5 January 2008
Jett at the beach Thursday, 3 January 2008
Zali is four! Thursday, 3 January 2008
reflections Thursday, 3 January 2008