A letter to Tom (the agonies of adolescent romance)

Dear Tom, You are a dear, sweet young man. I know you find C irresistible and you want to be her boyfriend. You have only ever been respectful and generous to her and I am very grateful. I am worried for you though Tom. You see, she doesn’t feel that way about you, she only wants to be friends and she is finding your attention more irritating than anything else. When this happens, I see her being short-tempered with you and I feel sad. Let me tell you a story, it’s a story of me at your age (hard to imagine I know!): When I was 17, I was in love and obsessed with my first boyfriend. There was another lad who waited patiently for things to change (and they did, I was dumped!). The only thing is, things didn’t change between him and me. I didn’t want him and the more he waited, then pursued, the more I didn’t want him. He too, was a lovely, sweet young man, but he wasn’t for me and I am dismayed to say that I abused his friendship and was not very nice to him. C knows this story and she knows that I think her behaviour towards you very similar. Tom, you can’t make someone want you, C will be a loyal friend if you let her. I think you are grand and I hope that you find a girl who likes you as much as you like C, but that girl isn’t C and I think you both deserve to be happier than you are at the moment.

An update…

Dear Tom,

You are a gentleman, thankyou for being so gallant with my daughter. You recognised something was amiss and you gave her an opportunity to be gracious herself. She lacked the courage to be upfront with you initially, but your openness allowed her to express herself without being nasty.

Thankyou for accepting that friendship will be enough, I know you wanted more.

You are a credit to your parents, they should be very proud of you xxx

wallet named

The end of the holidays

Today is the last day of my two week holiday.

I have totally chilled at times, cleaned the house like a whirling dervish, done odd jobs for my Mum (I had forgotten how much fun it is to scoot over a tiled roof cleaning gutters!), driven an unairconditioned car in 38 degrees (Celsius) for 4 1/2 hours (truly awful I can tell you), shopped and lazed; and now, it has come to an end.

School starts back on Tuesday, it is my daughter’s final year and will be a stress-filled one for her (university entrance exams at the end), but she needs to get through her induction assembly (she is a House Arts Captain) and the School Ball on Friday evening…phew, my heart is racing.

So today, I have been a bit lazy, I wagged church and instead, watched The English Patient this morning, played a bit of Sudoku and generally was quite chilled, all I needed was a Nana Nap this afternoon to get over the 0345 pickup this morning of our son from a 21st birthday party (he was decidedly the worse for wear). I didn’t get the nap, instead I did this…


I know it’s a bit rough, but it is my first ever attempt at sewing leather and I am pleased with the result :)wallet outside

wallet backwallet openwallet named

You may recognise the lining as the silk brocade with which I edged a black coat last year on a Sunday afternoon (here https://jennquick.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/the-boredom-of-black/).

My Pfaff barely noticed the 4 layers of leather and 2 layers of silk that I ended up sewing and I was grateful for the IDT (built-in walking foot) as it fed the leather through without any “stickiness” to the footplate.

The internal pockets are unlined leather as I wanted some “grip” on banknotes and my mobile ‘phone.

Not bad for an hour’s work and $15 in materials!

Small Green Marble


We all have them, little reminders of important, whimsical times in a life.

Originally posted on Storyshucker:

A massive purse sat propped open in her lap as I approached. From the seat beside her she moved a small pack of tissues, two pens, and a broken pencil to make room for me. I took my seat and gasped as something jabbed me in the left buttock.

“I think you forgot this.” I said, handing her the bristled end of a broken hair brush.

“Sorry!” she shook her head apologetically. “I wanted to clean out this old purse on the ride to work and I have thrown things everywhere.”

The bus continued its route while she continued her cleaning. She shuffled through hand-written notes, balled up scraps of paper, and checked and rechecked zippered compartments in the giant purse.

“Well look at this.” she said as she held up a small green marble. “I found it in the yard one day when I left the house and forgot…

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ball befores

It is coming up Ball Season

Here in Oz, it is the long summer school holidays. As my daughter is about to enter her final year of secondary school, it is the year of the BALL (aka- Formal or Prom). My daughter’s school is having their Ball at the end of the first week back (a tactic to get it over and done with, so the girls can get on with the serious study for tertiary entrance) and my girl is all set :)

Traditionally, a certain number of families (usually the ones who live in HUGE houses) host the “Befores” parties. This ritual involves the girls and their partners (or the boys and their partners- as in my son’s school) and the parents, all meeting, having a few cocktails/mocktails and then having photos taken before going in the chosen mode of transport to the Ball venue (my girl and her friends have hired a mock tram- no stretch limo or Hummer for her!).

The whole thing can get a bit out of hand tbh. I had one friend describe her daughter’s ball as “important as a wedding”- excuse me, I don’t think so!!! Anyway, the sky is the limit for some parents as to indulging their precious girls, but I wanted Clare to adopt a responsible attitude and so she has. Her complete outfit is beautiful, but has cost less than some girls have spent on their dresses alone (lots of Alex Perry etc etc). DSC_0949 (here she is trying on her dress straight out of the box).

Ahem, back on track, this post is about my “Befores” outfit. I am very happy with it and here it is in all it’s unironed glory :P

The top is a Sorbetto in 100% cotton, while the skirt and jacket are both from Shape Shape 2. I have aleady blogged about the skirt at https://jennquick.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/the-hippy-skirtpants-thingy (having trouble inserting a link here- sorry), so the new piece is the jacket. The fabric is a very light linen from Potters in North Perth in a tangerine colour. Unfortunately, it wasn’t cut (or stored) on grain, so cutting it out was an unwanted challenge, but I am very pleased with the fit. I know most Japanese pattern books are sized very small, but I have found that the Large from this book  is perfect for the loose shape that is so appealing with this type of look (I am a 14 Aust., 42 European, 10 USA).


ball befores   sleeve detail

I particularly like the sleeve detail with the pleats, the whole look is very loose, cool and flowing; perfect for our hot Perth summers. I also received my clothing labels in the post before Christmas, so everything feels very professional now ;) The shoes are Hispanitas and although they are a bit more orange than the jacket, there is enough space between the two items for it not to be too obvious.



There are some times when you just have to try to be a Yummy Mummy and the School Ball is one of them, Clare likes the outfit and I’m pleased. I can’t wait for the night!



Nothing to add, I admire Gordon’s eloquence .

Originally posted on Gordon Darroch's Unreal Domain:

I came across this summary of grief recently in an interview with the Dutch poet Pieter Boksma: “Immediately after the death of a loved one, grief is a kind of friend: so long as the grief is there, the departed is still close by. Your grief connects you with him or her. Later on grief becomes an enemy that forms an obstacle to new happiness and a new life. Until one morning you have to say to yourself: it’s over now, it’s time to make a new start. It’s an illness that you can only cure yourself.”

Boksma covered the terrain of grief meticulously in his 2010 collection Doodsbloei (Death’s Bloom), which followed the death of his wife two years earlier, when Boksma was 52 and his wife 50. Fifty-two is a young age to be widowed (not as absurdly young as 39, but still a good few decades ahead of schedule), and…

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Birthdays of My Dad and My Father

Originally posted on inspired2ignite:

Dad’s birthday is today; gone now nearly 5 years, he would be turning 92.

He hated Christmas.  Apparently his birthday was forgotten every year in the midst of Christmas preparations when he was growing up.  The pain of being forgotten never seemed to leave him.  He would not allow us to put up a tree until his birthday had passed, and even then did so grudgingly.

I know now Dad’s Christmas experience is only a tiny window into his life story.

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