Thursday, September 21, 2017

A couple of days away with work at Coogee Beach


Before and After haircut...

If the hat fits..

Audrey got a lovely baseball cap for her birthday. It was one of her treasured possessions and she wore it for a few days, only removing it for school and sleeping.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon we went for a walk round Lake Ginninderra with some friends. It was a windy afternoon and Audrey tightened the back of her cap accordingly, so it didn't blow into the drink. About half way round the walk you cross a road bridge that looks back towards Emu Bank. Of course at this point the wind really picked up and flipped Audrey's cap off her head and into the deepest part of the water below.
I could have swum out to get it, indeed I did consider it (until Eli made me see sense - I'd have had to walk back 30 minutes to the car dripping wet - and most likely been a bit stinky too). Of course Audrey was upset - not least as the cap didn't have the graciousness to sink, but rather bobbed along the top of the water where it could be seen but not reached.
I told Robin (who had kindly sent the hat from the UK) the situation and he quickly bought and sent a second. It was a really generous thing to do and smiles followed on the day that the package arrived. I smirked as I thought of the twin of the cap bobbing along in the reeds of Lake Ginninderra somewhere along with a few old Coke cans.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Snowboarding at Corin Forest

We've had an unusually long snow season this year - possibly the longest and best in the time we've lived in Canberra. Unfortunately due to packed weekends, we've not really taken advantage of it and with it all likely to draw to a close in the next couple of weeks I was keen to at least see a bit of snow this winter/spring.

Rather than drive the 2-3 hours out to the snowfields we headed instead to Corin Forest. It's only a short 40 minute drive through picturesque country and seems to be expanding every year. It's at a lower altitude to the snow fields, but still higher than Canberra which means it does experience the occasional natural dump of snow and the owners have established a couple of excellent slopes where they can make snow using snow guns and offer tobogganing and more recently ski and snowboard lessons.

Last year the kids and I had ski lessons (I was rubbish, they were excellent) and this year I asked A&E whether they wanted to try their hand at snowboarding. I'd personally always sworn that I wouldn't try snowboarding until I'd mastered skiing (something I'm pretty unlikely to ever achieve). I've also seen a few people return from snowboarding holidays battered and bruised as although it's undoubtedly a cool and exciting sport - learning does seem to require you to spend a fair amount of time falling backwards onto your bum, or worse forward onto your outstretched wrists.

I opted therefore to watch from afar while the kids had lessons. I hated copping out, but I really couldn't face spending the next week with a bruised bum or in hospital in traction following a spill. The kids cajoled me to join in without success.

As it was they were both excellent. I guess they have less height (and weight) and despite being a bit tentative to get going their enthusiastic teacher taught them well, and by the end they were zooming down the slope unaided.

They both agreed that they enjoyed snowboarding more than skiing which in truth probably brings to end my short lived (and unsuccessful) ski career. I guess I'm condemned (probably not reluctantly) to a future watching them from afar while they hone their snowboard skills. Hopefully we'll get more time on the snow next year.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nerf Wars

Eli went to a Nerf party at the weekend and took it very seriously indeed..

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tim comes to visit

Our friend Tim was visiting Canberra with work and we had a lovely evening in Guild - a restaurant set up to serve (delicious) pizzas as well as with a huge array of board games. We played a German wooden animal balancing game(!) as well as the excellent Looping Louie (pictured).

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Audrey's (snowy) birthday

I'd done quite a bit of preparation for Audrey's birthday - from making the horse cake, to preparing 'Frog in a Pond' (blue jelly with a jelly frog at the bottom). The plan was to have a 'Pony Party' at the riding school where Audrey learns to ride.
On Saturday Canberra's weather had been glorious. The last chills of our (long) winter seemed to be disappearing. I'd sat outside without a jacket and things had looked rosy.
On Sunday morning (the day of Audrey's party) I'd checked the weather and noticed that they were forecasting a 70% chance of rain in the afternoon. The weather forecasts in Australia tend to be remarkably accurate. There's not so much 'chance of showers' which is the line almost every UK forecast trots out with annoying regularity. I guess the size and scale of the country allows forecasters to see fronts appearing more clearly.
It was dry all morning but then as we drove to the riding school (car boot full of precariously balanced party food) it started to rain. By the time we'd driven the 15 minutes out of town to the centre it was bucketing it down and by the times we were at the car park for the riding school the rain had turned to a frosty mix of rain and sleet.
After speaking to the staff along with a slightly crestfallen Audrey we decided to cancel the riding. I quickly googled films showing that afternoon, but unfortunately there was a range of 'contains violence' movies. Eventually I found Dendy in the city had a series of Ghibli films showing. They're anime Japanese films (mostly) for kids. We've seen a couple and they're good (albeit weird at times) so we headed there as an alternative.
Sure enough the film was weird (and loooong) but everyone feasted on popcorn and Fanta and we got to sing and cut the cake at the end so it was all ok. We'll do the horse riding another time, perhaps in a few weeks when the chance of snow(!) has passed.
The birthday crew
the cake