Monthly Archives: September 2015

Blanket Date or Doona Day

The early morning cool breeze and soft folds of blanket were tempting me back into bed. I dashed my husband’s hopes and justified my desire to have one cup of coffee in bed whilst leafing through my new book.   ‘Why not? We have had early mornings because the grandchildren stayed over and we sat chatting and sipping wine until after 1 am.’ However, I resisted as I had things to do that wouldn’t wait. ‘If I am not going back to bed, then we have to make it,’ I said.

Blanket versus donna?

Blanket versus donna?

How can I have an immaculate bed when I don't iron the donna cover?

How can I have an immaculate bed when I don’t iron the donna cover?

Why I have this compulsion to make the bed once I am up intrigues me. There is no logic for why a messy bed wrecks my day’s organisation as our bedroom is tucked away at the end of the veranda and I don’t need to walk past it once I am up and dressed. In fact if the bed wasn’t made, I might not notice until later that night. If all our problems can be blamed on our mothers perhaps I will add this to the list. Mum always insisted that her children tidy their rooms and make their bed before going to school.

But getting back to a messy bed. Who cares? The bedroom isn’t my office so why does it make such an impact on my efficiency? I haven’t got an answer but I just know that I am calmer and easier to work with when the bed has been made. Muttering about hang-ups and hangovers, I reach for the covers.

Cat having Blanket Date

Cat having Blanket Date

A claw sinks into my hand and anchors me to the blanket. Ouch! Obviously Cat doesn’t mind a messy bed. I extract my hand and very cautiously lift the blanket to find said Cat, curled into a lovely warm hollow and displaying no intention of leaving any time soon.

'Don't disturb my Doona Day'

‘Don’t disturb my Doona Day’

The Cat won the day and I left him there while I pondered on blankets versus doonas. If I were a retailer I would be persuading customers to buy doonas because then they need a doona cover that must match the décor, the season, the latest colour trend etc.

Moi, I prefer blankets. One of my best decisions and investments (and I mean investment as we ate sausages for weeks) was to buy a pair of gorgeous very light mohair blankets that 20 years later I still adore cuddling under.

Mohair blankets are so soft and light.

Mohair blankets are so soft and light.

I particularly dislike the trend of hotels to provide a doona in a sheet bag but no additional sheet. This is great in winter but means in summer you need the air-conditioning on very low to keep the room cool enough to sleep under a doona. I wonder how a committed ‘greenie’ feels about this use of energy. You either sleep with nothing or under the doona and by the middle of the night I find I am having nightmares because I am too hot. Most recently my husband was staying in a Hyatt hotel during a 35-degree evening where all he had was a doona. He phoned to say he had finally understood why I always take the doona out of the bag, so that I can use the bag as a top sheet with the option of the doona. This does cause great confusion in the morning when the hotel staff come to do the room.


I do love the look and feel of the donna wrapped and crumpled.

However, I do love the way the doona plumps up around my body when I sit up having coffee in the morning. There is truly something very sensual about being wrapped in a doona and having a Doona Day sounds so much catchier than having a Blanket Date.

A Father’s influence

A brand new father

A brand new father

‘The pleasure of your company’ has always been my father’s response to questions about what he would like for father’s day. To him it is just another day to enjoy our company.

I grew up with the understanding that a person’s intellect was far more interesting and of value than what that person owned. Dad has never placed great value on possessions although he is certainly observant and notices any new jewelry my mother’s friends are wearing but he would be far more inclined to give Mum an interesting book that he would then read. Occasionally and probably to keep the peace and because he adores my mother, he succumbs to gentle persuasion and goes with her to the current favourite jeweler.

I didn’t get my sense of fashion from my father. It isn’t that he is disinterested in clothes but they are there for a purpose and there are more interesting things in life to consider. His desk is cluttered with books, journals, and articles that intrigue him with little room for irrelevant toys and his tools have to be functional. Even his choice of cars were chosen for a purpose: the enormous Studebaker that fitted his four girls across the bench seat, the Range Rover that carried us all onto the beach at Stradbroke Island to go fishing, and the Audi that fits his golf clubs.

Despite being a slightly built man, Dad has always kept himself fit. This is possibly one of his few  vanities. He has always run and swum, and passed on his love of exercise to his daughters. In fact I start feeling guilty if I slack off and don’t workout each day.  Now that he is older, he still insists on walking the dogs around the block and if it is raining I hear him on the exercise bike. I think his next challenge is to set up a running track beside the bike for the dogs to use in rainy weather. Dad has always played sport, whether it was rugby whilst at university, squash with his mates, tennis with his girls, sailing around Moreton Bay and of course his golf game. Sport is where he has allowed his highly competitive nature its release. There are still 89-year old men who talk about his prowess on the rugby field. Forget about letting his girls beat him at tennis, and if you surfed he would be delighted to take you out the back and wait for the longest largest wave back to shore. It was not that he expected you to follow his example, it just never occured to him that you wouldn’t. Now his grandsons play golf with him and boast of his ‘Hole in one’ effort. He laughs about this last achievement as he says he is so blind that he hadn’t realized the ball had gone in and he was wandering around on the green looking for it.

Dad is incredibly clever with a very retentive memory and loves nothing better than sitting having a discussion about current affairs through which he sprinkles remembered facts from past read information. You can try to contest his knowledge but rarely do we get the better of him. I love listening to my nephews challenge him on something they have studied and watch his eyes light up at new knowledge.

He has been a moderating influence in my life, gentle and wise. He is a man of few words so when he speaks we listen. When he says, ‘Susan, have you considered….’ I know I had better pause and have a second think. I still treasure the moment when he dropped by one day during a challenging period of my life and said ‘What ever you decide, I will back you.’ He has probably forgotten that moment from 20 years ago, but it has given me enormous strength throughout my life.

So at 89 years of age, the star of my life is still my father and on father’s day we will gather as many of the family around as possible, have a barbecue and toast our good fortune in having each other.Susie & her father

Tutus and the little girl in all of us

'Tutu Reimagined' has inspired me to add pink and a box pleat skirt to my wardrobe.

‘Tutu Reimagined’ has inspired me to add pink and a box pleat skirt to my wardrobe.

Yesterday I saw a lovely exhibition ‘Tutu Reimagined’ at the QUT Art Museum. The Australian Ballet’s 2003 project invited selected designers and architects to create their vision of a tutu. Feathers, beading, resin beads, and ballet slippers were incorporated into gorgeous designs. I am so pleased I saw it with another girlfriend.

As a little girl I never took ballet lessons which is probably a good thing as I quickly grew into a long-legged gangly girl far too tall for any male dancer. I would have looked like a tarantula on steroids. However I envied the small girls who flounced around in their pink leotards and frilly tutus. My sports attire of shorts, t-shirt and life jacket wasn’t nearly so glamorous.

What is it about a full skirt which brings out the little girl in grown women?We flirt and twirl, and laugh when the wind flicks it up allowing a glimpse of long gorgeous legs. It complements the waistline and for those lucky enough to have a curvy bosom it is a reflection of the female shape. Sometimes I worry that with my boyish figure I look like a stick insect in a skirt but I don’t care. I know I become more coquettish when wearing a full skirt.  However, sadly there quickly arrives an age when other than on stage a girl should not wear a short fluffy skirt. But fashion hasn’t neglected my girlish ego. The elegant box pleated skirt is back in vogue and I am already practising my pirouette.

For a lady who generally wears black, navy and cream I might even introduce a little pink to the wardrobe but I am not sure about the petticoat or crinoline. Check out the scene “La Crinoline’ on the porcelain de Choisy le Roi plate at Maddie and Marie.