Well, this past week it was my birthday  - my 40th, which I have to say started to loom a little like how I viewed the Millennium. A bit of an anticlimax. Busy as I was with the final end of year chaos with three different school sections (Preschool/ Junior Primary/ Upper Primary) each with their own Carols/ Picnics/ Speech nights etc to attend my birthday falling in the middle of it was a little bit of an irritation.


I had tried to organise a little party, however disorganisation meant that trying to do that around 6 weeks before the event when it falls so close to Christmas is never going to work - caterers are booked, friends are busy or already away. So in the end I decided to do a small lunch with a few close friends at Jolleys Boathouse on the River Torrens last Friday. I wore my pink floral silk skirt, with a white peplum top. We stuffed ourselves on a three course lunch and Ruinart champagne before all returning to our children and the inevitable round of dinners/ bath/ bed chaos.

enormous mango pavlova for my pudding. I couldn't finish it.

My actual birthday was on Tuesday, and was not particularly exciting. Mr AV has been in Sydney non stop the past few weeks for work, but fortunately managed a dash home that evening to take me out to dinner before flying out again the next day. He had primed up the children in his absence that morning to present me with my present. This was after he had told me about the purchasing experience and had me worrying ever since.

The story went something like this - In consultation we had decided a new watch would be a good idea (my current watch is 22 years old and is definitely looking a little worn). I'd selected a couple of models to look at, and located them in Watches of Switzerland - so he could go and pick one out. Mr AV apparently went to Watches of Switzerland in Sydney last Friday. I have to say that currently Mr AV is in a fairly bad mood - the work he is doing at the moment is not much fun and quite stressful. So he turned up to Watches of Switzerland in between meetings and rang on the doorbell. Inside were two members of staff talking to one another. One of them approached the door and said through the glass "I'm sorry, we don't open until 10am". According to Mr AV it was 9.57am. Mr AV said "But it's almost 10", to which the guy replied "I'm sorry, you'll have to wait". So at that point Mr AV turned on his heel and stomped off down the street where he bought me something else.... Something purchased in anger and without any forethought. He then said he wasn't sure if I would like it. So aside from the fact that Australian businesses need to realise that they lose sales to the Internet because of their lacklustre concept of service, I was slightly worried about what I was going to be presented with.

I need not have worried as Mr AV bought me a beautiful bracelet. So all is good, although if anyone from Watches of Switzerland is reading this, you really need to retrain your sales staff. Someone standing in a suit outside your door ringing the doorbell 3 weeks before Christmas and 3 minutes before you officially open for the day should probably be viewed as a sale and let in.


So enough about my birthday! Aside from that I had hoped to share with your photos of our completed pool and the children splashing around and enjoying it in their school holidays. No such luck. It's still not finished. Never in my wildest dreams when I first started this whole thing in MAY did I think it would be Christmas week and it still wouldn't be finished.

Painful is an understatement. It is slowly filling with water today, and I'm told that tomorrow the filtration system will be turned on...Maybe next week I will be able to show photos of it completed and with water in it. Who knows…


But one thing that has gone smoothly with the pool is the lighting. I know I bang on a lot about the importance of lighting on this blog… but you can see why with the night lighting around the pool and the outdoor entertaining area, it's really very nicely atmospheric. These are the 5 up lighters in the pool area that wash the back wall and a spot on each of the little Ginko trees in the pool enclosure. The pool itself will have 3 lights in it (still to be installed) so will also provide some ambient light, and I'm planning to uplight the enormous tree behind the pool as well. It's a fine line between lighting your home up like it's Christmas 365 days of the year and creating ambience and interest, so I'll wait a bit and decide on the other lighting in the garden after we've had a chance to use it a bit.



To get the feeling of Christmas Holidays underway I took the children into the city last week to have a ride on this carousel that has popped up in Gawler Place. I was a little concerned two weeks ago when I saw a food truck with milk crate style seating outside it in this very location.. which when you looked a little closer was in fact a McDonalds in disguise. They're trying to cash in on the whole hipster food truck thing! But fortunately the McDonalds hipster food truck is gone, and there's now a vintage style carousel, with lions, seahorses, swans, giraffes and horses on it. The kids loved it - that's my 9 year old on the Lion. He was refusing to get on it (as he's now cool you see…), but after I forced him to he couldn't keep his grumpy look for more than one spin around, and was waving at me with a big grin by the second.


I haven't had a chance to get into my garden this past week, but the second flush on Lady of Shallott in my front garden combined with the inky Black Knight salvias is a lovely combination. I have a lot of weeding to do this week. Amazing how it gets away from you so easily...


Along with Gardening, I'm also planning a lot of baking this week. I've already got a copy of this book for myself (Biscuiteers are a UK company I've used in the past to send iced biscuit boxes to friends and family in the UK- the recipe book and guides to making biscuits at home are fabulous), and I have been using it to make a Gingerbread house today with the children. An alert to Adelaide readers, it's on the Dillon's bookstore bargain table at the moment for $9.95 if you're interested. I've already picked up a copy for my sister for Christmas (don't worry, I have got her a few other things too, so I'm not totally stingy).

gratuitous shot of my new iPhone cover - Scalamandre Zebra wallpaper.

This week we have movies, gardening and plays with friends planned. I've spent the past few days in a mad post school rush of Dentist/ Haircuts/ errands, so hopefully this week will be a little more relaxed, and I'll finally get my Christmas cards written and addressed and the thank you cards I've been lax on writing too. Hopefully there'll also be swims in the new pool, although I can't say I'm holding my breath on that one. 

Hope your pre Christmas rush is going well too.

64 comments:

  1. Hello Heidi,

    Happy belated birthday to you. It appears that we share the same birthday by some cosmic coincidence. It was a quiet birthday for me this year as we are preparing for a trip during the Christmas break so I was absorbed in the details of arranging that. As busy as we find ourselves each year around our birthday, I truly feel sorry for my sister who celebrates her birthday on January 2. I think that is the single worst day for a birthday - who on earth is in the mood for more celebrating after New Year's day festivities?

    Your pool lighting looks like a success and I see pool parties in the near future for you. Perhaps a Christmas day swim?


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    1. Well happy birthday to you too CD! How funny we share a birthdate, yet more in common! It's a difficult time of year for birthdays - my Sister also got the wrong end of the birthday deal, she's Christmas Eve, so it's always merged into Christmas day for her and been a bit lost.
      Hopefully there'll be a Christmas Day swim, we usually play Croquet or cricket in the afternoon, but if it's hot enough then we'll have a swim instead to work off all the pudding! Hope all the preparations for your UK Christmas proceed smoothly.

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    2. Heidi, My goodness, I never even thought about having a birthday on Christmas Eve, which by the sounds of it, is as bad as a January 2 birthday. We both commiserate with our sisters it seems.

      I love the vision of you all playing cricket or croquet on Christmas day - quite unheard of in the northern hemisphere (too cold!), but what marvelous memories your children will have.

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  2. Happy birthday Heidi!
    Glad you managed a lunch out, and that the present was a success. I'm shocked at the cruddy level of service at Watches of Switzerland!
    Sorry to hear about your pool... I'm so over our renovation too. I can't imagine it will ever be finished and it is so small.....
    Chaos here in Sydney, but hoping very hard that everyone is released soon, safe and in not too traumatised a condition.
    Have a good week and fingers crossed for your pool being finished!

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    1. Thanks Ruth! I was a little shocked too - you'd think they would have been falling all over themselves to let him in. Oh well, they lost an easy sale!
      Hang in there with the reno. It will be worth it in the end, but it's a very painful process and you have my sympathies, especially with all you've had on this year.
      Fingers crossed the Sydney situation ends peacefully… Mr AV flew up to Sydney this morning, and then after sitting in the airport for a few hours flew back home this afternoon - all his meetings were supposed to be in buildings around Martin Place and his colleagues were in lock down, so he had no where to go. Scary times in the world...

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  3. Happy happy Birthday!!! Glad you had a lovely lunch.
    Totally understand your exasperation at the store but having worked about 20 years ago whilst at uni n the jewellery store in the sydney Hilton, feel that the store may have had alarms set for opening times & security was set for those specific times. Who knows though ?
    I hope the store does contact you and make amends. Perhaps a fabulous discount on your watch of choice!
    Our eldest god daughter's birthday is 4 days after Christmas and our second eldest god daughter is 4 days before Christmas. We've always bought separate gifts even now the gorgeous girls are 20 & 17. Both girls have always felt ripped off as everyone always busy for Christmas. Den xx

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    1. Thanks Den! You make a good point about security, maybe that was it? But it certainly wasn't explained… I was comparing it to when I worked in crappy stores when I was at Uni and we'd always be staying back late and opening early to sell a (potential) $20 top if a customer was knocking on the door.
      Christmas is such a difficult time of year for a birthday… I always avoid doing anything with friends as you just know that no one is in the mood to add yet another thing into their busy calendar, so most years have a very muted celebration.

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  4. Happy Birthday Heidi. Only 40 sounds good to me I was 60 this year SCARY. Can't believe a high end store would treat a potential customer like that. Come to think of it yes I can. Reno's are painful we're waiting for my son's new gyprock walls to be flushed then we can paint. WAITING WAITING. Hope the pool is up and running soon. Cooler week this week here in Adelaide so maybe that's a good thing for you with the potential swimmers. Sydney what can we say !!!

    Karen

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    1. 60? Well happy birthday to you Karen! I'm sure you feel only 40, or 30 maybe… the years certainly seem to speed up the older you get…
      The gyprocking at our place took forever, so your Son has my sympathies! I'm not so happy about the timing of the pool filling, as I have two non swimmers, I'll have to be in with them, and it's going to be a little chilly!
      Fingers crossed Sydney resolves with no one hurt.

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  5. Happy birthday! 40- so young!

    Love the pool and the lighting!

    Glad you have a nice week planned.

    Cannot think what with the hostage thing. Mr FF flew into Sydney at lunch and obviously can't stay where he usually does so he is elsewhere.

    JUST AWFUL for those poor hostages x

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    1. It would be horrible to be going into 12 hours of a hostage situation… the poor families as well.
      Mr AV is going to try again to go to Sydney, but is not sure at this stage as his work is in Martin Place right where it's all shut down.
      Am happy to be 40! So funny to think how I hated turning 30, but 40 has been fine!

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  6. Happy birthday darling Heidi! Poor mr. Av! My heart is with the hostage and their families this am. #1 story here in Canada. Crossing fingers for a good outcome.

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes Wendy! Such a scary situation in Sydney, they're doing 24 hour coverage on all the news channels here, but no one knows what is going on due to the media blackout, there's not a lot they can report on. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.

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  7. Happy belated birthday Heidi! Bet the bracelet was lovely!! Yes the whole in store thing is a bit much. Do you know I had to send a complaint letter about John Lewis last week? Service is going to the dogs. But don't worry too much about the pool bc it might catch up and then it's just perfect. But funny how the pool has taken half the time as the house?! Love your peplum top but I don't wear that bc my hips don't need accents. Love the phone cover. I hit a zebra wallet in homie of that print. Merry go rounds are cool. Love the gingerbread house and haven't made one in 33 years. X

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    1. Thanks Naomi! Curious to know what it was that happened in John Lewis to warrant the effort of a letter - I'm often threatening to write something to management, but generally don't (the blog will suffice!). THey must've really angered you...
      The pool has become a running joke amongst everyone we know, as no one can believe it's still not finished!! I realise it probably seems ridiculous to be complaining about it (because of course we are fortunate to be putting it in), but as you said it's taken almost as long as the entire extension took to be built, which seems disproportionately long, and comical in the extreme (except I'm not laughing about it).
      I've always loved that wallpaper, but it doesn't work in my house, so I get my fix with the phone cover now!

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  8. Happy Birthday Heidi! I'm with you I liked turning 40 and I'm still enjoying the decade, though next year I'll be 45 so apparently time speeds up? Can't believe the pool is still not finished, that's been very slow indeed. The lighting is perfection though.
    There are clearly very foolish people working in that watch shop, my MrBP would have been furious. I bet the bracelet is gorgeous! The pink skirt: beautiful!
    Terrific phone case too, long story but I need a new one and I think I'll look for something fun like yours. Hope Sydney is resolved soon and that the innocent stay safe. xo

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    1. Oh the pool has been such a long slog! The kids swam in it today - it's freezing, and hasn't had the filtration system turned on (still!!) but they were desperate!
      Mr AV was furious indeed, I'm happy the bracelet is so lovely, but he did have me worried for a while about this gift he bought and wasn't sure if I would like etc…!
      So sad about Sydney. We are all touched by the tragedy. We are so far away from the troubles in the Northern Hemisphere that we tend to feel very safe here, and something like this so random and that is so out of the blue hits hard.

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  9. Happy birthday Heidi - your comments about celebrating with your friends at Jolley's sparked some nice memories for me. I studied for my doctorate through one of the unviersities in Adelaide, and after the graduation ceremony, I took my supervisors there for a celebratory/thank you lunch. It (and the food) was gorgeous - so I can imagine what a lovely afternoon you had.

    Here's hoping your pool is completed soon - my sister has moved to a new house in Sydney, complete with pool, so I'm hoping to quite a bit of use from it when I make my annual visit in January!

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    1. I had no idea you'd spent time in Adelaide Annie! What a nice place to celebrate, it's always perfect for a long lunch (and the food is reliably very good).
      I'm sure you'll get lots of time in the pool - it's been so hot already, it's bound to be perfect sunny weather when you arrive for your holidays.

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  10. Happy Birthday Heidi! and your still only a puppy and look fab in that floral skirt and white peplum top. I'm hoping Mr AV is not in that Sydney coffee shop!!!

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    1. Mr AV is referring to me as a Cougar GSL - I am 5 weeks older than him, and so he has been referring to our "decade" difference. Needless to say I've not been impressed!
      Thankfully Mr AV had not made it into the CBD at that point, so was fine. But as is the way, one of our close friends worked with the poor Barrister who was killed. So sad to think she's left her 3 children to grow up without her, and such a waste of life. Legal circles are small in Australia, so I think they all feel affected by it.

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  11. Happy birthday!

    I'm glad your gift worked out in the end, and fingers crossed for swimming soon.

    Were the watch people actually Swiss? Because that would explain it :)

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    1. Thanks Abby! Well the kids are in the pool, but it's freezing and still not clear water so I'm not going in just yet!

      No, the watch people are Australian… it could be the Swiss would give better service!! But you did make me laugh!

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  12. Very happy birthday ..I'm glad you had a nice day ... of course would love to see the bracelet

    Dont get me started about service in shops ..when I worked in retail , a million years ago , no way would a customer be turned away like that , times change

    It's all happening in Sydney , hearing stories from friends who were evacuated from offices, people who know people involved etc, even in a big city like Sydney it's amazing how wide this has rippled to people one knows.

    Hope the pool is filled , today v cool and overcast in Sydney.

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    1. The bracelet may make its debut in a future blog post.

      I worked in retail too, 20 years ago, and I would have never got another shift if I had provided poor service. I just wonder if maybe it's too easy to get a job now? Back then it was the recession and so hard to get a casual job that you were grateful and worked very hard.

      The Sydney news has had a very wide ripple - we all feel very affected by it across the country, with friends knowing a victim, Mr AV working in the near vicinity and his entire office in lockdown… we're a vast country geographically, but still a small country in terms of the bush telegraph I guess...

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    2. Re retail, the manager at my local KF told me when that he has experienced backlash from his young staff if they are criticised. He has even had calls from their parents.

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    3. That doesn't surprise me. I can remember getting told off at work for something back when I was 17, and my Mum fully supported them when I was telling her about it and told me to pull my socks up (it was something fairly minor, and they were pretty over the top in their reaction, but Mum was old school like that and thought it appropriate). Calls from parents is a step too far though. I heard that Universities were getting parents ringing up to complain about marks their kids get from a lecturer!

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    4. sorry, just reread that and it doesn't make a lot of sense - I meant my mother would never have thought it right if I'd complained about them telling me off - she supported them. Times have changed!

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    5. Wish we had a branch of Liberty's in Sydney!
      In teenage student days at DJs we were trained how to look after customers. And if already serving someone we had to acknowledge and smile at anyone waiting and assure them we'd be with them in a minute. Also in the shoe department (I sold sandals and slippers and cheaper shoes - never allowed near good stuff like Ferragamo) we served several customers at once. Had to find out what they wanted and bring out at least a couple of options while at same time addressing others and their wishes. Out the back in stockrooms we used to run. We worked so hard but it was great fun. The floor walkers were always turning up unexpectedly to keep an eye on us too.

      A bit like Liberty's, we could earn commissions. There were older stock shoes/sandals where most of the sizes had sold so they didn't put samples on display. They were often rather unusual designs too and needed someone with more adventurous tastes. The commission for each pair was marked on box so we knew how much we'd get if we sold them. I made a study of these and how much. Could tell from clothes and shoes women wore whether they were likely to be interested. Often they'd say things like "Don't see anything here I really love, have you anything else?" Depending on their shoe size I'd trot out a few pairs of the sandals with commissions. Often they'd adore them. So every week I'd more than double my salary - DJs were pleased because they'd sold shoes at full price that they'd had difficulty shifting and customers went away over the moon.

      Your flowers are so beautiful Heidi! Our roses are just re-emerging from sleep after their first flush, hopefully might have a few in flower for Christmas. Hydrangeas are so lovely this time too. Also love your floral skirt, so pretty! Glad you managed to celebrate despite all the other things going on - and the bracelet!
      A heartbreaking outcome to the hostage crisis. Feel so sad - such a terrible waste of two beautiful and promising lives - and for the dreadful impact on their families, friends and work colleagues. But it's encouraging how so many people have taken up the "I'll ride with you" message. It's touched many hearts - and so many beautiful flowers people have left in Martin Place. Pammie xxx

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    6. Well Pammie that show has done me no favours! I got online to have a look at Liberty, and then bought my sister an apron. I threw in a pair of rather nice PJ's for me to make the exorbitant postage on an apron worth it. Then I got an email to tell me the PJs had shipped but the apron would go out separately. Then came the email to say the apron was out of stock so it was cancelled!! So I have a lovely pair of paisley print liberty pjs under the Christmas tree in their purple bag, and nothing for my sister!
      I don't think DJs have floor walkers anymore. The Liberty tv show with the customer service emphasis and gift wrapping, and all the things they emphasise has I hope been watched by Australian retailers and I hope they've learnt a thing or two!!
      I can imagine you'd have been a very good shoe salesperson. I still blame you for those Leopard print D&G's (although can't say I was hard to convince!). xx

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  13. Well a very happy belated birthday wish to you Heidi - I honestly believe that life gets better and richer with every passing year - perhaps it is just more wisdom which makes it seem so? I didn't like turning 39 but didn't mind tuppence turning 40 - the anticipation was much worse than the event! Hopefully the pool will be finished by Christmas Day - will be the start of a fabulously fun summer for the children when it is filled and up and running. I always figure that to enjoy/survive Adelaide in summer one needs a pool - and ours were much loved by the children & their friends when we lived there - better than air conditioning!

    Fortuitous that Mr AV was still in the airport yesterday morning and hadn't already arrived in and about Martin Place at the time...so simple to pop in to a cafe for coffee....such randomness in life...and such a sad, tragic outcome for those 2 hostages who lost their lives....

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    1. Thanks Virginia! Completely agree with you about surviving Adelaide with a pool and also Air conditioning… amazing to think that it was so unheard of when I was a kid, and we all survived somehow (I can remember sleeping in the cellar a bit!).
      Very sad news from Sydney this morning, quite incredibly random and a shock to all. Hopefully this will be a one off attack, rather than a prompt to others to do similar.

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  14. I am a follower of your blog, however have not commented before. I can imagine how angry Mr AV would have been
    at being turned away from Watches of Switzerland. As a regular visitor to the USA where the service is 11/10, I am
    usually appalled when returning to Australia at the lack of service received here. As you say no wonder more we are shopping online.

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    1. I can't work out why it's so bad here - we have some of the highest minimum wages in the world, so people performing those jobs are well paid, and I would have thought that there's still a lot of competition for positions… but consistently in restaurants there are too few people (probably because of the high wages), and then in shops the concept of service seems foreign to them. So different to 20 years ago when I worked in retail and we fought for each sale, and did not get shifts if we didn't perform and give good service (and the secret shopper!! We lived in absolute fear!).

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  15. Happy (belated!) Birthday!! Sounds like you had a fantastic time xx

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    1. Thanks Michelle, it was a fun lunch and a nice break amongst the chaos of end of school year chaos!

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  16. A belated Happy Birthday to you, Heidi!! Glad you had a nice day and the present from Mr. AV worked out. Hopefully you will get a new watch for Christmas instead? Fingers crossed that the pool will be done by Christmas.

    I saw the news about the hostage taking, so tragic and scary. What is going on with all these lone gunmen who feel the burning desire to go out with a bang and take innocent lives with them in the process?

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    1. Thanks Louise, highly unlikely there'll be a watch appearing for another 10 years I'd say!! If the pools not working and finished by Christmas I'll be beside myself!! It's been so long and my patience is definitely wearing thin!!
      Very sad news from Sydney. If only we had the answer to how to turn around the call of extremism.

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  17. What a lovely treat to open your post to see such a beautiful arrangement of flowers. I hope you had a very happy birthday Heidi and an enjoyable lunch at Jolleys. I haven't been there for a while, but we are planning to take our son there after his graduation from Uni next year. Your children were very keen to get in their first swim. I personally would not have chosen today's weather to even dip my toes in!! Re the watch saga - I do most of my shopping on-line these days, as I can stand dealing the majority of retail staff in person. Glad to hear Mr AV was safely away from the Sydney chaos, but saddened to hear your friend's colleague was one of those killed - a very sad event. Just love the phone cover!!. Hope you have a good week. Jo xx

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    1. They are so pretty - I've been really enjoying them on the hall table. I think Jolleys is a bit of a Uni graduation institution… I seem to remember going there for Mr AV's graduation with his parents and grandparents after he graduated.
      I do most of my shopping on line too, and have to say it's so much easier, so less a waste of time, and the packages are usually beautifully wrapped. A friend was telling me that her kids had bought their Dad a very expensive tie in Dj's the other day for his Christmas present, and the sales guy just threw it in a plastic bag. She said it didn't feel very special at all, given the tie was over $200!!!
      Very sad about Sydney, has been playing on my mind the past two days. Have a good week too Jo

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  18. Happy Birthday Heidi!
    Hope you had a wonderful day.

    How do you manage to do so much with three under tens?
    The lighting is looking rather good. As are the flowers.

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    1. Thanks Si, I had a good day, very low key which was nice in the end.
      I don't feel like I get anything done at all!! I suppose the blog is a way to make me feel like I do though as I'm forced to think about what I've done that isn't child related. Most of my day is spent making food, cleaning up making food and picking up stuff and putting it away as now they're all on school holidays, and the house looks like its been ransacked most of the time!!

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  19. Happiest of birthdays to you - I'm glad you let 40 pass without some sort of personal melt down. So fashionable these days to treat 40 as 30... ! And a bracelet is a very good outcome from male shopping rage.

    I have spent the past two days organising our program's coverage of Sydney and even though I'm in Melbourne feel quite worn out by it all. The sight of those hands at the window yesterday took me straight back to 9/11 - I was working that day live on air in London. Chilling. It could have been so very much worse which I'm sure is of little comfort to all those who know and love the two people who died. I am so moved at the way Australia and Sydneysiders are reacting - very unexpected but very moving. I have watched the pile of flowers grow and grow all day.
    Anyway this is supposed to be a thank you for your lovely post - and a nod to your birthday. I hope you have a lovely relaxed week. x

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    1. Oh no meltdown! It didn't bother me at all, except for Mr AV's comments that I was now a Cougar due to our "decade" difference in age (we are 5 weeks apart in age).
      Very sad with the news coming out of Sydney, and now Pakistan too. So much sadness so close to Christmas. Mr AV has been telling me about the crowds in Martin Place and the flowers and the grief as he's in the vicinity at the moment working. Hope the workload is decreasing for you Ann, I know how much you're hanging out for your holiday in Tassie

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  20. Happy Birthday belatedly Heidi. The flowers are gorgeous and three of my most favourite. (I adore Christmas lilies as well.) Gee, even your gingerbread house is stylish and a nice shape. A pool is such a boon with children in a hot climate. We had one in our last house and instead of dreading the heat, we looked forward to it. Many a Christmas day was spent with all the cousins (and some adults) splashing around. Likewise when mine were teenagers it was great because our house was the hangout place and we got to know the friends well. Hope its finished soon for you. So very sad about the hostages it leaves me teary Tonkath x

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    1. Thanks Tonkath! I have some pink lilies in the dining area at the moment, and the smell with the gingerbread house and pine tree is so Christmassy to me.
      I'm so excited to be able to get the kids out swimming. It's just been switched on and we have to wait a few more days for the levels to be corrected before they can swim. They've already been in with the system off, so the next few days will be a bit tortuous I think as they'll likely ask every 10 minutes if they can go in now!
      The Gingerbread house is a little wonky, but I"m happy it's standing up! Previous attempts have required jam jars to prop up walls, and have produced much mirth from my family.

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  21. Dear Heidi,
    Happy belated birthday!!!! I now realise that I am officially old enough (albeit a young teen) to be your mother so cheers to that! I’m guessing the bracelet is a little bit special so enjoy.
    I have fond memories of Jolley's as child and as an adult. I had my graduation lunch there as a mature age student and was pregnant with my now 26 year old* gasp*. The thing I love about Adelaide is how the stalwarts like Jolly’s Chloe’s , Rigoni’s ,Cork and Cleaver to name a few continue to endure and are as good as they were back in the day.
    Just about everyone I know who have ever put a pool give a similar story of ineptitude and delay. Ours was a tragedy as the stupid pool guy forgot to put the temporary fence back one day and our beloved Ralph the wonder dog was run over and killed out the front all the worst as it was my son's end of Year 12 day and his birthday. Can’t even talk about it 9 years later.
    Sydney siege is just so utterly sad and devastating . I woke up early and raced to the news the next morning hoping for a safe outcome and sobbed like I haven’t in years at the terrible news’s so shocking.
    Hope the pool is finally getting a good workout now . I dare you to get one of the huge pink flamingo or swan pool toys a la Playboy Mansion to lull around on (I love mine tee hee).
    KateBx

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    1. Thanks Kate - I'm sure you look far too young to ever be mistaken for my mother! A few of the stalwart good Adelaide restaurants have gone, but some remain as you said. It's hard to find places that suit older people (as in anyone over about 30), as so many places are now no bookings/ pop up style/ communal tables/ no service yet still cost the same as somewhere with proper acoustics, bookings and linen tablecloths.
      So sad about your pool and the dog, I'm sure it was just an awful day for all, especially for your son's birthday. My pool guy was telling me our pool had been really quite a smooth project, which just beggars belief really…
      The news is just depressing. I'm finding it hard to watch. What to do about these extremists?

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  22. Happy birthday Heidi! Your flowers are beautiful, it's all so dark and gloomy just now here, those flowers are joy to behold.
    Where oh where can I find that iPhone cover, my eyes are out on stalks with avarice! It would match my umbrella - see what I mean about me being a neutral lover but yet I am bananas about pattern on wallpaper and fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tabitha! They are the most beautiful bunch of flowers, and have brightened my whole week (and they smell gorgeous too!).
      The iPhone cover was via etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/186633563/zebra-masai-scalamandre-iphone-case?ref=shop_home_active_2
      and they have a matching mug if you so desire!

      Delete
  23. Oh, I tried to put a gingerbread house together last week, I was almost weeping and wanted to take a claw hammer to it - binned the whole damned thing in a fit of rage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has made me laugh a lot! I've made some dreadful gingerbread houses in the past. This years at least is standing up! But previous years have had collapsing walls, been stuck with pins to hold it together, and one famous year had a jar of jam inside propping up walls that had then been accidentally iced in under the roof. You could see it through the windows!

      Delete
    2. Almost superglued it together before my tantrum!

      Delete
  24. Happy belated birthday Heidi! I hope your pool is now in full operational mode given the weather there the last week! And I am pleased that the birthday present story had such a happy ending & I just love the flowers, gorgeous pinks. I hope the mad Xmas rush hasn't become too crazy for you & that you have an opportunity to just sit back by the pool & watch the kids splash about, I'm still decorating in bits & pieces & this weeks events here have both broken my heart & lifted it as well, I know the brother of the barrister as I was a lawyer in my past life & while that made me feel somewhat "close" to the victim, what really made me feel bonded to her in spirit is that she is a mother to children just like I am. I have been sticking to my boys like glue this week, I;m sure they are sick of me! If I don't get a chance next week, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful Xmas & a truly fabulous 2015 & thank you for sharing your wit, knowledge & interests here, I have enjoyed your blog posts so much.
    Engracia
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pool is being used every day - even when it is freezing!! The kids absolutely love it and are sleeping very soundly at night.
      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Engracia, and that you've enjoyed the family time and are settling into the long Summer holiday break with your boys xx

      Delete
  25. Love your pink skirt - and you're only 40? Spring chicky you. Can't believe the Watches of Switzerland thing - let her in! Let her in.
    So lucky to have a pool, looks wonderful and your weather is perfect for that. Mum says raining and cold at home, heading there tomorrow, so just the same as winter here then...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jody, it's the Oscar de la Renta for the Outnet one I bought a couple of years ago. I need to find more reasons to wear it (not really suitable for the School run or housework…)
      Hope you're enjoying your family time in NZ and that you're getting some Sun!

      Delete
  26. Belated but best wishes for your milestone birthday Heidi. As luck (?!) would have it, all three of my children were in Sydney during the seige. All required evacuation from their locations. The pool looks fab; hope you're floating in it by now. X KL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks KL, glad to hear that your kids were all ok, despite obviously being close to the siege. It was certainly scary times, and a tragic outcome. Hope you're enjoying the break and the slower pace of the annual Building shutdown!

      Delete
  27. Happy belated Birthday, Heidi! Pool is looking great and so are you.
    Re: Watches of Switzerland - insuring a jewelry store or factory over here is perilously expensive, and your coverage has all kinds of conditions attached regarding security and safety. I do think the staff could have been more helpful and forthcoming about why they couldn't open the door.
    Looking forward to seeing that bracelet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fred! I hope it was a case of some sort of security thing as to why they couldn't open the door a few minutes earlier, who knows, but service here is so bad it could be any reason (including not bothering to open a minute before time!!). I keep forgetting to take a photo with the bracelet! I'll try to remember this week.

      Delete
  28. I love your skirt so much! It looks like a fabulous batik. You all have such a way with color down there. What fools the watch people are. The fact of the matter is that they may have strict rules about making sales before 10AM--but I have a feeling had they simply let him in, it would have easily been after 10 by the time he made his selection! Happy birthday to you! Oh I feel for you on your slow pool. I don't have one (kinda silly here, as you can't even use it more than half the year), but my neighbor has been putting one in for well over a year. They are on a steep hill, so the foundation work has been dizzying. Hope it's finished soon! It looks like you're 95% there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stephen! Funnily enough I used to wear an awful lot of black and charcoal (the Architect's uniform), and have only got into colour since finishing formal corporate work. I wouldn't have been so sure about Mr AV's inability to choose something in under 3 minutes - he could well have!! He tends to make up his mind fairly quickly and just want to get out of a shop as fast as possible… hence the bracelet decision.
      Even though our pool had so many delays and caused me so much angst and frustration the Pool builder told me it had gone smoothly… so I shudder to think of what the norm is!!

      Delete

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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