Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Attack of the giant vegetables

When it rains, it pours ... vegetables. After considerable effort and investment to get our vege patch up to scratch, it is now paying us back with mountains of zucchini (courgette), cucumbers, peas, beans, lettuce, carrots and is just now delivering the first tomatoes.

The kids love picking and snacking on snow peas and raspberries straight from the garden and are even taken with the novelty of eating raw carrot with the big bushy tops still attached.

The zucchini plants have been ridiculously prolific and despite my best efforts to pick them (and give them away), occasionally a few sneak through and go gangbusters. These three enormous marrows are the result of our week away on holiday. No idea what I'm going to do with them but as the family is well sick of zucchini, I think I'll have to hide them in muffins and loaves and fritters.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Studio 52 opens in Blackheath!

Huge congratulations to Hannah Surtees and Emma Tout-Kelly who are about to open their wonderful Studio 52 Creative Hub & Store in Blackheath.

In their words ... Studio 52 is a Creative Hub & Store. A place to connect, create and inspire. We run creative workshops for Primary aged kids during the school holidays, we are also a working studio, designing and printing items for sale in our store and we promote designer/makers from within the Blue Mountains, allowing their work to be accessible to locals and visitors alike.

They've been working so hard to get this place set up, and we're really proud of them :-)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Nina's 3rd birthday

Nina's 3rd birthday by Bianca Nogrady
Nina's 3rd birthday, a photo by Bianca Nogrady on Flickr.

Hard to believe but three years have passed since Phil and I were handed an utterly gorgeous little bundle of squirm called Nina and took our first tentative and terrified steps as parents.
In an appropriate fashion - namely in a house packed to the rafters with toddlers, babies and parents - we celebrated Nina's third birthday this week. Her party was one to remember ... our ears are still ringing after nearly 20 kids and 20 adults somehow managed to cram into our house.
Nina was showered with presents and rather enjoyed being the centre of attention when her Elmer the Patchwork Elephant cake was brought out and everyone sang 'Happy Birthday'.
It was a wonderful day, and a fitting salute to this beautiful, hilarious, precocious, cheeky , loving little girl.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


'Gamma and Gamma' come to visit

Grandma and Nina in the garden by Mistress B
Grandma and Nina in the garden, a photo by Mistress B on Flickr.

Last time Pam and Keith Robinson saw Nina in the flesh, she was just six months old, while Pascal wasn't even a twinkle in his daddy's eye.
So there was plenty of catching up to do when they visited this time, and all parties made the most of it!
We've had a lovely nearly-four weeks with Pam and Keith staying at Casa Noginson, spoiling Nina and Pascal to within an inch of their lives, and generally making themselves incredibly useful around the house by tackling all those jobs that Phil and I just can't seem to find time to do. The bathroom has finally had the finishing paint touches put on, the lounge room has been repainted, the garden is looking better than ever, and now that they've departed back to the UK, we face the unwelcome prospect of doing the washing up ourselves for the first time in weeks.
Nina loved having her 'gamma and gamma' around, and had them jumping through all sorts of hoops. I'm not sure Keith's legs will ever be the same after running up and down a strip of bubble wrap for Nina's amusement ("Again, Grandad! Again!).
And Pascal was never short of someone to cuddle or feed him, so he was happy as a pig in mud.


Don't get between Pascal and a sandwich

megalong valley picnic by nospuds
megalong valley picnic, a photo by nospuds on Flickr.

Some of you may recall that we went through all sorts of grief over Nina's weight, or lack of it, when she was younger. She was always just hanging on to the bottom of the so-called 'healthy weight curve', barely eating enough to keep a sparrow alive yet somehow still having the energy to run rings around us on an hourly basis.
We don't have that problem with Pascal. In fact, Pascal is never happier than when seated in his high chair or on the floor with some kind of food in his hand. Sandwiches, bread crusts, fruit, cheese, vegetables, rice cakes, egg ... it all goes down without touching the sides, with great lip-smackings of approval.
Despite this consumption (which is currently about twice the volume that Nina consumes, and she's 3 times his age), he's right on average weight. Go figure. He does have those gorgeous little rolls of chub on his legs though, which I just adore.
Meanwhile, Nina still barely eats enough to fill a sparrow but still has the energy of a roomful of grasshoppers.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Gumnut baby

Gumnut baby by Mistress B
Gumnut baby, a photo by Mistress B on Flickr.

Pascal is growing so fast... one minute, he's a little wriggly newborn, the next he's a barrel with legs who's already outgrowing clothes his big sister was wearing not so long ago!
He's a better sleeper, and eater, than Nina ever was, although we're still getting nights where the longest stretch of sleep I get is one hour. But even in the wee hours, when I'm cross-eyed with tiredness, he just throws me one of his chubby-cheeked smiles and I melt all over the place.
Pascal's gorgeous babyness and Nina's wonderful exuberance are the perfect balance for the third baby occupying my time - my new book project. In contrast to The Sixth Wave, this book is about death - a bit of a change of subject matter.
I'm exploring the human experience of death from a range of perspectives, and to do that, I'm interviewing people from all over the world to talk about their personal experiences of death. It's inspiring, challenging, rewarding, exhausting and emotionally intense, but I'm incredibly excited about the project and can't wait to share some of the amazing stories and insights I've come across in my research so far.
The book has a publisher (hooray!) so all I have to do is find time in between nappy changes and cuddles to write it. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Pack horse

Pack horse
Originally uploaded by Mistress B
There are advantages to having broad shoulders and being a solidly-built Yorkshireman, as Phil has discovered now that he's the daddy to not one, but two little kiddies. Nina, despite weighing well over 10kgs, still loves riding on Daddy's shoulders (and why wouldn't you, when the view is so good!), and now Pascal is discovering the benefits of a broad warm chest, courtesy of our hug-a-bub sling.


Pascal Oliver Robinson

Pascal Oliver Robinson
Originally uploaded by Mistress B
... born at 11.15am on Wednesday 9 February, 2011, weighing 3.6 kgs, displaying a healthy vocal ability and already looking as cute as his sister.
And so the Robinson/Nogrady family expands to a happy foursome with the arrival of Pascal. So far, he has proven a champion eater, sleeper and pooper, as most newborns do, but already seems to be showing signs of being a fairly calm little character.
Nina is being a gorgeous big sister, bestowing lots of gentle little kisses on Pascal's sleeping head, and is adjusting really well to having a little baby in the house.
Lots more pics and video to come!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Choccy chops

Choccy chops
Originally uploaded by Mistress B
So it has been a very VERY long time since we've added to this blog, and yes, we're very slack, but in our defence, it has been rather a busy time!
Phil has been burning the cerebral candle at both ends, working very hard as a consultant on HotFrog and also working hard on his own project nospuds (www.nospuds.com.au), which is coming along in leaps and bounds.
Bianca has been mothering, baking and travelling around the country talking about The Sixth Wave, and in the meantime, also brewing up another little person (aka Bob the Bump, due around February 13).
And Nina has been gorgeous, which takes a lot of effort. She is growing into a very affectionate, strong-willed, fun-loving, funny and absolutely delightful little individual who continues to charm the pants off both of us.
Anyway, that's about it for the time being but I thought I should probably update this blog before it became totally obsolete.


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