Final zoo photos


Here the boys are a bit tentative about their encounters with kangaroos and emus. Sebastian did claim though that one of the emus smiled at him!

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My team

Here is my team – all the people I get to boss about on a daily basis….We went and played lawn bowls a couple of weeks ago as a team building/relaxation exercise. It just so happened that it was the afternoon after the caretaker government kicked in, so we really had a good excuse to be away from the office for an afternoon. Anyway, it was nice to spend some time away from the office, and we did in fact have beautiful weather for it. We've had a bit of a turbulent time at work and lots and lots and lots to do, and we have all been learning to make a bit more sense of our working situation which is good. So now we are just preparing for whatever the outcome of the election brings us – which, more than likely, is going to mean more change!

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More zoo

Jude and jackson

Jude and Jackson having a snack

Rachel and Jude at the giraffes


Sebastian and Zac looking for zebras

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Yesterday the small boys and I went to the zoo with Kellie, Jackson and Jasmin, and Rachel. Zac insisted on walking the whole way – until he was too exhausted and got a bit grumpy.

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Poor Zacky fell over at childcare and has scraped his nose and forehead. The chin is jam…..

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Cultural nostalgia

Just read a very interesting article by James Berger on nostalgia in Vineland by Thomas Pynchon. i have read Vineland and know I have it around the house somewhere, so must locate it (I still haven't got around to beautifully ordering my books by genre and then alphabetical order – somehow other things have taken up my time). Anyway, it is very exciting because it is about the relationship between the 1960s and 1980s and thus intensely relevant to my thesis, as a comparison if nothing else. Berger has some interesting theories about nostalgia within Vineland, primarily that this is a site where nostalgia is in fact used in a progressive polticial sense. I think that would be a hard argument about most of my films, though it is interesting that most of the non-Vietnam depictions of the Sixties return to the period before what the Reagan period would have characterised as the cultural traumas of the Sixties occurred, and before the profound cultural ruption that was caused by the Kennedy assassination. So something to think about.

For the thesis progress update – I have finished reading Jameson and his primary commentary on postmodernism and nostalgia. Now I just need to read through the entire thesis (without a pen!!) in order to prepare myself to write my concluding theoretical chapter on muse on the relationship between history, cultural memory and nostalgia and consider what is happening in the films. If I can actually manage a few days away from work I may in fact get that written before the end of caretaker ie the election, however, as I have to troupe across the country for work, this may not be entirely possible. Although, all the travel does give me some good reading time.

Hmmm, reading Pynchon. Always found him a bit tough. Still haven't every managed to get through V and don't think I understood Gravity's Rainbow (although as I read it on trains in Europe while 19 and travelling with Lucy, Joe and Karen, perhaps it wasn't perfect conditions). I do remember finding Vineland more accessible than the others, so maybe it won't be too much of a task. And at least i've nearly finished reading The System of the World, which has been fabulous. I really want to read Cryptonomicon again now that Wikipedia research revealed that all the characters in it are the distant descendents of those in the Baroque books – but maybe a bit of a break. I was thinking of reading something light and disposable, which Pynchon certainly is not. Oh well, some Jasper Fforde after the Pynchon as my easy-reading reward!

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Dirty Zac

Zachary is managing to get himself rather grubby these days. Nonetheless, he is managing to look very rock star about it…

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More taxi adventures

Yesterday I went to Melbourne for a meeting. It is now apparent to me that the taxi company actually knows my name, not just random drivers. However, my taxi related adventure occured in Melbourne. I was feeling really tired (I hate 6.45am flights) and had finished a V (my only form of caffeine intake nowadays) was just about to get into a taxi, when a guy, similar age, well dressed, asked me if I was going to the CBD. I said yes, and he asked if he could share the cab – he had left his credit card at home in Sydney and only had $40 on him – the cab fare is usually around $50+. So I agreed. Apparently he had not been able to find his wallet when the taxi arrived, so he owed the cab driver who had also lent him the $40. This was a new job he had just started, in the travel industry no less, and he thought he should just come, wallet or not. in the course of conversation we discovered that we were both from Adelaide and that he had gone to the same high school as my cousins, Thornton High, albeit and few years after them. weird. Anyway, he too my card and promised to display his gratitude – I guess we'll see. It was no drama for me – we took the cab to the hotel where my meeting was, I paid the fare up to then, and he headed off. I think his name was Lynton.

I think I catch too many taxis. I had my friendly, I-know-your-name taxi driver again last week – as soon as I got in the cab it was "hello Melissa!!

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Board games

Sebastian has begun to invent his own board games. This particular one is a combination of Senet – the ancient Egyptian game which we have played once because it was in his Egyptology book – and Mario Party on the Wii which he gets to play sometimes when he has been particularly good. So a complete collision of the ancient and the new. Its rules were very complicated and arcane. and it did seem like when we played it together it did seem that it might never  end, but all points to him for inventiveness!

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