Thursday, October 8, 2009

Term 4 - The home stretch

Things are indeed changing. More trees are leafing out. The possums and rosellas have been spotted nibbling on non-native tree buds. Apparently they are doing a number on maple trees... must have delicious buds. "Our" possums (we're proud to have many possums living in and with us here!) have nibbled through the bathroom ceiling and the hall wall. Tom stuffed some steel wool in the smaller hole and taped up the bigger one until he can cover it more effectively. Steel wool isn't that tasty, so apparently they then leave that part of the house alone. We're lucky they didn't land in the house, as they can cause internal chaos. And we were away for 10 days, so you can imagine the potential mess. The naughty naughty possums (Nicole's words) inhabit a strange part of our existence -- they wake us up at night, we revile them for their scratching and pooing everywhere, but they're "cute as", especially with their big eyes and bushy tails.

Ferny Creek Primary School has buckled down following its successful production of "Kids at Sea" at the end of term 3. Some catching up may be required as they spent much of the last few weeks of term 3 practising. Matthew, the principal, is gloating over the Grand Final win of his beloved Geelong Cats. It was one of the first things he told the kids -- "Barrack for the Cats... you can't lose". To be perverse, I cheered for St. Kilda, so close to a victory... it's been a long struggle for this club, so I thought they needed more support. Matthew somehow heard of my disloyalty, and I was confronted as we walked into the school on our first day. This morning, his coffee cup, precariously balanced on a tiny fence top on a wiggly fence, fell to the ground and broke. I got my own back. Gabe, Kai and Nicole are enrolled in a 10 day swimming programme -- I foolishly thought it was once/week for 10 weeks, but this is a daily trek to the Y. More catching up of school work will be required.

Tom is gearing up for the last projects and exams in his classes. The year 12s in Victoria are writing practice exams, to prepare for their VCE finals. The practice exams count for their final mark. Students with portfolios (major projects) in courses had to finish those by Oct. 3. He's managed to find a bit of time to work on some pottery, and is now making mugs and teapots. He hopes to fire those with Robert Barron of Gooseneck Pottery in November, in Robert's wood-fired anagama kiln. Tom has missed his studio and missed making pots so it's great for him to show his pottery skills to his colleagues.

I am hanging around the house, as Tom has the car. It's still chilly, so I made a nice fire in the wood "heater", and baked a chocolate cake for the gang. There were several very big hints directed my way... I can take a hint. We walked to school this morning in the sunshine, listening to the magpies carolling. Two of the girls in the year 5/6 class at FCPS found baby birds outside of their nests, so they have decided to hand raise them with a dropper, mushed worms, and some sort of mushed bird food. They aren't interested in the regurgitation method employed by many bird parents, and the worms were trying to wiggle out of their bucket prior to becoming bird food. They are bringing those birds to school every day to continue the feeding regime.

We are hoping for sunny weather this weekend -- I think it's time for a visit to the foreshore of Port Phillip, so see how the beach is faring. Water temps are 14C, so I don't think anyone will venture much past their knees. A dead tree came down in the front yard, and right now it's propped up in another tree, but we have to deal with that on the weekend as well. Fortunately most of these trees fall downhill, and it's downhill of the house.

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