Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Very Bad Deal

One of the more unfortunate aspects of being at home looking after Audrey is that we’ve both become addicted to an atrocious day-time game show called Deal or No Deal.

The show is hosted by a guy called Noel Edmonds who appears every day in his trademark bad-taste shirt/jumper combos. Edmonds was a mainstay presenter with the BBC in the 80’s and 90’s starting as a DJ and then moving on to host a series of game/quiz shows. Amongst other things he was the eponymous host of both Noel Edmonds Breakfast Show and House Party. During this time he also created the puerile ‘Mr Blobby’ character which subsequently (and rather depressingly) went on to have a No.1 hit in the UK. Edmonds 'first' career come to an abrupt halt when one of the contestants on his show died in a televised stunt and he was deemed (in my eyes, if not the courts), to blame for the death.

Now though he’s back. Deal or No Deal gives contestants the opportunity to win anything between 1p and 250k. It’s actually a really painful 30 minutes of television. Edmonds tries to build up the tension by speaking periodically on the phone to ‘The Banker’ who is cast as the villain. Actually anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that it’s really just a production assistant back-stage.

The show really drags. There’s less skill involved than flicking a coin and the programme culminates when the contestant opens his/her box at the end to reveal whether the cash prize they’ve won (or lost) is more or less than the amount in their own box. I decided after watching one episode that you could save a lot of time and bother by just jumping to the end and opening the player’s box in return for a cash offer but that wouldn’t really give Edmonds his stage. Edmonds contract for hosting the show is rumoured to be around 3 million pounds.

So why then, if Deal or No Deal is the most low brow and brainless programme you could imagine, are we always there at 5.30pm watching?? I think I'm ready to answer the question....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mums and Tots

Audrey went along to her first 'Mums and Tots' session this morning (although perhaps as I'm going to be going along with her, maybe I should lobby for it to be re-named 'caregivers' or something PC like that?) It was held at Penny's house who is one of the members - she has a 5 month old boy called Moritz. She laid on a huge spread of yummy food.

It was really well attended and there must have been around 10 other mums, as well as Amy, me and (of course) Audrey. At 9 weeks old she wasn't the youngest - there was a baby boy aged 3 weeks, but typically most of the other kids ranged from 6 months to 14 months.

It was interesting to watch Audrey's reaction to the other kids crawling, toddling or running around her. She quickly realised (as did we!!) that there were others there who could scream/cry far louder than her, and kept close to mum as a result. She didn't seem too terrified though and gave a few of the mums a gummy smile. Everyone admired her and said how beautiful she was (would we have gone back if they'd said she was ugly?) and it was also nice to chat to some of the mums, some of whom have been in Warsaw for years and years. It's a real international mix of people.

The meeting only goes from 10am-12pm but poor Audrey was exhausted in the afternoon, due to her excitement at seeing the other kids this morning and a particularly late night last night (I think all 3 of us could do with a long sleep!)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Party on!

Audrey went to her fourth party in as many weeks last night! A bash thrown by Dianne, who works with Amy at the Australian Embassy. It was a posh affair and we all enjoyed catching up with people we hadn't seen for a while. Audrey acted as a human magnet and groups of clucky women (and men) soon surrounded her.

We met up with Ewa our Polish teacher which was great, and Audrey also enjoyed some 'cuddle time' with Auntie Pene, from the New Zealand embassy (who had been so good to us when Audrey was born). All 3 of us disappeared a little early as there was a rugby game going on in France which we watched on S4C (which we can pick up in Poland!) complete with Welsh commentary (though in hindsight I wish we'd stayed at the party!)

Pene and Audrey

Friday, October 19, 2007

Warsaw in Autumn

There are some lovely Autumnal colours around Warsaw at the moment - to see a few more pics click on this link

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Autumn Almanac

It was a lovely day in Warsaw today, warm and sunny. Me and Audrey went to the park and sat and enjoyed the afternoon sun. The breeze blew the leaves of musty coloured-yellow.
Almost every bench in the park was full of parents sat alongside babies in prams, catching the last few rays before winter sets in. Amy missed out on the park as she was at a work lunch (I guess I missed out on the nice cakes she ate while she was there!)

My folks left Warsaw today. Here's hoping that their trip home doesn't take as long as their journey here!

The Five of us at Wilanow on Monday

We heard good news today that Audrey's Australian citizenship had been approved so we can get her passport without having to resort to trying to smuggle her in one of our bags for our trip to the UK next month.

England lost 2-1 to Russia in the football, which was a bit of a bugger (see ya Steve McClaren), perhaps rugby SHOULD be our national sport!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Audrey and the Kids In America

On Saturday night, Audrey's favourite band, Mabel Rankin played (perhaps?) its last ever gig in Warsaw. The venue was Patrick's place and the event was (another?) leaving doo for Jon and Emma.

We thought you might like to see just how rapt Audrey was with Jon's performance (even though Douglas insists that it's him that is the talent behind the band)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Up yours Delors!

England 14 France 9

Are you watching Jacques Chirac?, Gerard Depardieu? Marcel Marceau we can't hear you (geddit?) Eric Cantona, Inspector Clouseau, we have beaten them all, Edith Piaf, you're not singing anymore...Louis Pasteur, feeling sour? Napoleon Bonaparte your boys took a HELL of a beating! your boys took a hell of a beating...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Trevor's Mom and Dad come to visit

After a horrendously delayed flight on Wednesday evening, my mom and dad arrived in Warsaw and came to meet Audrey (mom's namesake) for the first time. They're staying for a week, which I'm sure will fly by.

It was really nice to see them both, and it'll be good to show them around the city a bit as well.

That said, we were all wrapped up in our thick coats today as dark grey skies appeared overhead. Poland's winter has just begun its long slow assault on the disposition of its people. The Poles aren't fully fed up with it now, but give them another couple of months!

As a result we stayed in the warm for much of the afternoon and mom and dad got to watch Audrey sleep, poo, coo, cry, get bathed, cry some more etc. We're planning to meet up tomorrow lunchtime and on Saturday evening my mom and dad are going to see the Moscow City ballet, which we hope will be great for them.

I've loaded a few more Audrey pics up from the last week as well - so click here if you want to see them!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

England 12 Australia 10

ok, before I start I must admit to not being much of a rugby fan.

I did get to watch the second half of yesterday's World Cup quarter final between England and Australia though (poor Amy and Audrey had to stay at home).

It was a scrappy game and both teams seemed pretty poor, England emerged victorious (again) basically through Jonny kicking a load of penalties (again). This time though he wasn't as infallible as 4 years ago and missed a few. England wore nasty socks and Australia were rubbish in the scrum.

I was of course chuffed that England won, but perhaps not as much as a lot of the others in the bar, and certainly not as much as Channel 4 news, who said England had beaten their "Arch Enemies". It seemed a bit strong (or comical?) to me - "Rivals", ok, but Gregan and Co, aren't exactly the Red Barron, or Dick Dastardly.

Oh well, at least it's all set up for a semi final against France - our 'arch enemies' and then maybe a final against Scotland or Argentina, both obviously our 'arch enemies'. Perhaps it's just that nobody likes the English and the English like nobody?

In the evening we went to Emma and Jon's leaving party at their apartment. Audrey had been a bit out of sorts in the morning, so we didn't stay for long. Audrey shared the limelight this time as there was another baby (Seb) also in attendance - Jon said that the party got extra 'cred' by having lots of babies in attendance ;)

Audrey didn't care who won the rugby

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nuts about Walnuts!

It's Walnut season in Warsaw at the moment and it's possible to buy big bags of them for not very much.

My impression of walnuts has always been defined by the rather bitter, dried up things that you crack during Christmas in front of a Bond movie on TV, but these are quite different. They're quite soft and really sweet (I guess which comes from being fresh). They're now a staple in most of our meals, although it's tricky encorporating them in cups of tea!

Audrey enjoyed a trip to the Australian and British Embassy this morning, and was coo-ed over by hoards of ladies. She's been really good today after a lengthy bout of colic last night which went on until about midnight..zzzzz.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

It all became worthwhile..

when you returned my smile..

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sunday Lunch

On Sunday we went to a farewell lunch for Emma and Jon Baines, friends who are leaving Warsaw soon, hosted by Kathryn and Douglas (Kathryn works at the British Embassy with Emma). Audrey was perfect!! She slept for around 4 hours. What joy! We were able to sit up at the table and eat our lunch, including dessert and tea/coffee, without having to worry about nursing our little princess. She waited until after we had all finished before she demanded her lunch!

Audrey was passed around to be nursed - which, of course, she loved! She does like to be the centre of everyone's attention! (must take after her Dad!) After lunch, the boys went out into the backyard for a game of cricket and we were then entertained by Douglas and Jon (aka Mabel Rankin) who played 3 songs to wrap up the day's events. Audrey was bounced in time on her Dad's knee and fell asleep on the final song - what a perfect end to a perfect day!

Mabel Rankin perform at their 'secret' gig