Archive | family

the world is going to shit, mum: why my boy is learning survival skills

The Little Man (not so little anymore, but always to be my Little Man) has recently developed quite an interest in survival skills.

He’s been shaping a bow shaft and making arrowheads from bits of wood. Whittling knife blades and learning about flint napping. Reading about what you can eat and what you can’t eat in the bush. And learning how to make rope from tree bark and vines.

While driving to Armidale last week, I questioned him about this new interest.

(Seriously, mums of soon-to-be teenage boys – the best place to have conversations with them is in the car. They are your captive audience! Put on a few of their tunes and start a conversation. You might be surprised at what you learn…)

His response was not what I thought it was going to be…

“Donald Trump is going to fuck things up, Mum. And we need to be prepared because it’s not only going to affect America. It’s going to affect us too.”

I took a few minutes to formulate my response, because, to be honest, his answer kind of floored me.

Little Man followed the recent U.S. election with great interest and was as shocked as the rest of the world at the results. He now listens carefully to news reports and reads world news from a variety of sources, obviously coming to his own conclusions from what he reads.

An honest and open conversation about imports, exports, trade agreements and sustainable living – interspersed with our shared love of black humour – lasted the next 30 minutes to Armidale. It was a conversation that made me grateful I have a son who takes an interest in the world at large.  Grateful even more that I have the relationship I do with him.  And it made me realise that having conversations like this with your children are important…

…because you never quite now what another person is thinking until you ask

Little Man and his pocket knife getting ready to shape arrowheads
preparing to make a blow dart gun
the Little Man is not a boy anymore
hammer and chisel blows
hollowing out a section of wood
my Little Man deep in thought

As to his choice of language, we’re a family that allows swearing, which you can read more about here.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you have regular, deep-and-meaningful conversations with your kids?

And what has been their reaction to the new president of the United States?

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20 winter photos to take this australian winter

chasing-the-snow-7

With suggestions that we might get snow this weekend, I thought I’d put together a winter photo checklist specific to an Australian winter.

There are plenty of Northern Hemisphere-based winter photo checklists, but they all include fun snowy things like snowball fights and snow angels.  We’re not lucky enough to get that much snow here in Australia, but we are lucky enough to get the much-cooler-than-summer weather.  Cool enough (especially for we mountain-dwellers) that there are days when we don’t see the sun and don’t stick our heads outside unless absolutely necessary!

It doesn’t mean that we should put our cameras down for the season, though.  There are still plenty of memory-worthy photos to be taken.

I’m going to aim to take a few of these myself, and post them over on my Photography by Tasha Chawner Facebook page.

want to join in the fun with me?

You can download and print the 20 photos to take this Australian winter photo checklist photos here.

photos to take this winter

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leaving home

I don’t think you ever really believe this day will come…

my Beautiful Girl has left home  – gone to the Territory for her first big adventure

Even though we knew the time would come when she would fly the nest, and even as the day drew closer, it still didn’t seem real somehow.

As we were putting her on the plane – her so calm and relaxed, me willing myself to let her go – it still didn’t seem real.

Hearing the emotion in her voice as she told me she’d cried herself to sleep the first night… it was all I could do from booking a plane ticket out to Alice Springs straight away.

I keep telling myself that I am not the first mother to have watched their child leave home, nor will I be the last.

but man, it freakin’ difficult

the kids having one last mad-chat on Sissy's bed

one last mad-chat on Sissy’s bed

saying goodbye to the dog

saying goodbye to the dog

walking the terminal to board a plane to Alice Springs

no looking back now

boarding the plane to Alice Springs

it’s really time…

waiting to depart

waiting to depart – so near and yet so far….

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{photography} melbourne

We’re a week back from our week away in Melbourne, and I’m still in a post-holiday-funk…

you see, i’ve fallen in love melbourne

The coffee, the food, the culture, the people, the bustle – so much to see and do… your senses are engaged constantly, but it’s in a civilised, relaxed sort-of-way.

I really struggled with taking photos this trip.  The trip was a finishing-high-school-celebration for both Daughter and the family.  It’s been a big year and we all needed a breakaway, but I felt to take photos would have been to absent myself from the holiday.

But when a photo presents itself wherever you turn – a face that holds a story, the lines in the architecture, the movement of the street…

and because I’m not that confident with street photography

I was seriously afraid that someone was going to come and yell at me about taking their photo!

So these are my favourite images from our week.  The ones that I was confident in taking, and the ones that stretched my boundaries just enough to be uncomfortable…

PS. I’ve added commentary to each of the images because each of them is special for a different reason… Please feel free to add your own comments below.

boats at st kilda with melbourne background

The Melbourne skyline from St Kilda – I love the similarities between the tall masts and the skyscrapers – a world apart, and yet the same.

the-best-coffee-in-melbourne

With each turn in the alleyways of Melbourne, you are taken into a different world. This alleyway just happened to be the home of our new favourite cafe!

little-birds-are-everywhere-in-melbourne

Horrified or not, these little birds are everywhere in the city – even sitting above your head as you dine…

Mum, I want to be a rock climber

All my Little Man wanted to do was go rock climbing. Apparently he has the knack…

why are there homeless

Every day as we walked down Elizabeth Street, we passed this homeless camp (I don’t know how else to explain it) – a perfectly made bed on the street… regardless of their homeless status, they still had pride. And they prompted many a discussion about how people become homeless.

do drug dealers deal here

Shoes strung over ‘wires’ in the alleyways – my Little Man informs me that this is a sign that drug deals happen here… is he right?

Although I could see myself moving to Melbourne, I honestly think that this is my get-away city… for when I need a break from my little town, a dose of culture and bloody good food.

a counter balance to the quiet

Any recommendations of great cafes or places to visit in Melbourne will be duly noted and followed through upon.

until next time melbourne…

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