Giving Birth

I'm about to push out my third child.... which is actually in the form of a 124pp book.  Foolishly, around this time last year, I put up my hand to write a book to commemorate our primary school's centenary.  What was I thinking?  Of course it has been a task of gargantuan proportions, but I have to say, for the most part, thoroughly enjoyable. 

North Cottesloe Primary School in Perth was established in 1913.  What to say?  Without boring the pants of everyone with the year by year history of the P&C's achievements ("$145.56 was raised at the 1982 voting day cake stall" zzz), I decided to morph it into a social history of childhood in the area, told through the stories of all the ex students I interviewed, who were kids in the 1930s to 1950s.  Each interviewee would start with "I've not got anything interesting to tell you" but without fail they all did, some snippet of life in their mid-century childhoods that is a fascinating (to me anyway) insight into how different life was then.

Thanks to some hard cash from Lotterywest and the Council, we were able to commission a brilliant design agency who have taken my text and pics and turned them into something really stunning. 

Here is a sneak preview of the cover.

I'm looking forward to it being finished and getting my life back.  I'm also nervous about how it will go down, no doubt there will be something in there somewhere that someone does not like (I'm not very good at taking criticism).   It's also given me a real appreciation of social history, and I just love all those stories of everyday domestic life, the bread and butter of all our pasts.   Hmm,  maybe there might be another book brewing in there somewhere...

The world does not need more bad pots

For the past two years I've been dabbling in a bit of pottery, I may have mentioned it.  Starting out with a beginners class at Perth Studio Potters, I've now nearly finished a semester of Cermaics at TAFE.   It is quite different at TAFE, all about the skill and art in pottery, rather than the craft.  Oh yes, there is a difference.

I've made lots of really bad pots.  But this is not one of them.  This one was charmed from the moment it centred on the wheel like a breeze, to when it came out of the kiln from it's glaze firing.

I won't bother putting up any pictures of the dud pots.   As the wonderful Bela tells us constantly at TAFE, the world does not need more bad pots.

This week I had to buy a wedding present for some girls who are tieing the knot.  Perth Potters have a great gallery open on Saturday mornings where you can buy amazing pieces for snip made by people with far more experience, skill and creativity than I will ever have.

They gave me a copy of this when I was there and I've been enjoying living the history of ceramics in our little town.  For over 50 years a group of passionate and dedicated ladies (mostly ladies) have kept the craft alive in Perth.

It is full of lots of shots like this, god bless.   Another collared shirt on fetching jumper, you might remember the look, from the eighties.  I know I do, I had plenty of both.

Going back a bit further to the sixties, look at the ladies down on their hands and knees laying crazy paving out the back of the studio, no old jeans for these dames!

By loveliest of all are the stories of passion and pleasure gained from the process of mastering a craft, and constantly adding to the skills and ideas that take a lifetime to gather to be a truly great potter.   I hope I'm still throwing pots when I'm in my eighties.  Now that's something to aspire to.


The delicate topic of toilets

The builder has insisted that this week, before the slab is laid for the extension I must go immediately to the plumbing merchant and select all sanitary ware and bathroom fittings.  Whooaa there, but I want to dither endlessly over such things, why so soon?   Apparently plumber needs to know such things yesterday, search me.

So we go for a romantic outing to the plumbing merchant in an outer suburban semi-industrial part of town (builder's guys, major discount, which we like) to choose taps, showers and .... lavatories.  When I suggested to the sales guy that we look at lavatories, he said 'you mean toilets?' which immediately got my English snob husband on edge.

Having a brief discussion before we leave home it is agreed that the loo we've put in the studio has a major design fault.  Whilst it may be groovy and sleek, the inside of it has a large flat area with the water sitting in a small recess at the back.  How to put this issue delicately?  Well, not how my husband explained it, that using it was like having a shit on a dinner plate that you had to scrape into the hole.  I don't know who was more embarrassed: me or the Ygen salesman, but he kind of got it right.  

(The builder explained to us later that due to toilets now using less water, the design of them has had to change so that the water area must be smaller to allow for the reduced amount of water to have enough whoosh to adequately deal with the, ehem, contents.)

My bug bear with modern toilets is that they are not very comfortable to sit on.  True I have got a bony arse, but I find toilets today feel like they have no seat at all and you are actually sitting on the rim, as opposed to the nice old big flat bakerlite seats that you could settle down on for a nice long magazine article, or two.   When I explored this topic with the Ygen and suggested he might like to sit on the toilet and see what I mean, he got very embarrassed, but did it anyway. 

Sorry, but if you are in the game of selling dunnies, you've surely got to be get over being embarrassed about what they are actually for, non?

Anyway, we finally found a lavvie that had a more central larger water hole, but I compromised on the uncomfortable seat. 

Since when have I had time to read a magazine on the kazi in the last ten years anyway?