Friday, November 30, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, (don't) let it snow

It started snowing last night and we've got a thin covering everywhere. It's still a little rainy though so it doesn't feel like it's completely taken a hold (yet).
Audrey and I went to our weekly Mums and Tots group, now looking increasingly mis-named as another guy has joined this week - bringing the tally up to 3 - I think we need to get the EU (Diversity Division) to look into our plight ;)
Audrey was her usual nosey/interested self and was fascinated in the other babies/toddlers there. She kept going until she completely flaked out and fell asleep. At this point dad took the opportunity to eat a big slice of delicious cheesecake - the group is called 'bumps' and babies after all.

Mums and Tots is so exhausting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dariusz Dziekanowski

I was lucky enough to play 5-a-side last night with Poland's great Dariusz Dziekanowski. Just in case you've never heard of him he got 63 caps for Poland between 1981 and 1990 (playing against England in Mexico '86) as well as playing for both Celtic and Bristol City. At a conservative estimate I would say he was at least 10 times more skillful than me, and, despite being about 6 years my senior I suspect that his knees and back don't ache as much as mine do this morning!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Separated at Birth?

Australia elected a new Prime Minister yesterday and handed outgoing leader John Howard a humiliating defeat. Being connoisseurs of rubbish TV though, we couldn't help but notice that new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd bears more than a passing resemblance to day-time chat show host (and sometime drag-queen Lilly Savage) Paul O'Grady. Are the two in any way related? perhaps we should be told...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ginger Bread Men

Sarah, from the British Embassy, kindly gave me some black treacle a few weeks ago (an ingredient that is hard to come by in Poland for some reason). Together with some other stuff found at the back of the cupboard, I used it to make 57 ginger bread men (and women) and a ginger bread Christmas tree.

Amy helped me out by eating the broken ones!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mums and Tots Christmas Bazaar

Today was the hugely anticipated(!) day of the Mums and Tots Christmas Bazaar. It was held in a restaurant in Konstancin (a posh country area that borders Warsaw). I met up with the Mums and Tots who I know from the group which me and Audrey attend every Friday.

It was a really nice event and very Christmas-ey. Lots of decorations, wooden things, jewellery and crafty stuff. I bought several cakes - (yum), but perhaps in hindsight jewellery may have been a more astute purchase.... Afterwards we travelled back into town to meet Amy, for Audrey's lunch.

As usual Audrey got lots of admiring comments. Unfortunately in the excitement of it all she decided against her morning nap, so as a result she's pretty whacked out this afternoon. We've got a doctors appointment this evening and the poor girl has got to have a couple of routine jabs - not a nice way for her to end the week!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

They think it's all over - and they're right - it is.

In six months time thousands of football supporters throughout England will be looking forward to the European Championships with eager anticipation. Bunting will hang from houses, and hoards of fans with red and white painted faces will crowd around TV screens in bars and sing football songs. Unfortunately for the England football team though, the songs will be in Polish and the team being supported will be Poland.

This follows England’s sorry demise last night to the mighty Croatia – a team Amy reminded me, that is basically the Australian ‘B’ side (a number of their players either grew up and/or played in Australia).

England lost a woeful game 3-2. It was a shameful display, having been handed a lifeline by Israel at the weekend. It was poor at so many levels – the players on the pitch, the management, and the FA ‘decision’ makers. Even the shiny new Wembley Stadium pitch was embarrasing.

Once McLaren has been sacked, who will want to take on the reigns? And mores the point who can sort the sorry mess out anyway? The whole system seems rotten to the core. How many ‘years of pain’ is it now? I think I might need a calculator to work it out…

Audrey has 'her' say

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Night on the Tiles!

Audrey enjoyed a Saturday night on the tiles when we were invited to Stefan and Agnieska's house, friends we met in baby-class before Audrey was born. They live in the Wlochy area of Warsaw, which is a short taxi ride from our apartment.

They have a baby boy called Franciszek who was a really BIG baby. Even though he's only 3 weeks older than Audrey he is already about 20cm longer than her. Stefan had invited another two couples round who had babies about 6 months old, so we shared 'parenting chat/tips'. It was a really nice evening and the two of them had laid on a load of nice food and nibbles. I especially enjoyed Stefan's German beer - perhaps a little bit tooo much as it made Sunday a fair bit harder for me! Audrey's head being no doubt considerably clearer as she made the wise decision to stick to milk.

The picture is of Audrey, chilling out on a Sunday in her Bonds 'lounge wear'!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


The first week at home/work hasn't gone too bad so far.

Audrey had a nasty cold at the start of the week which didn't really help things, but it cleared up as the week went on. The snow that started the week also turned to rain on Tuesday so getting to/from the Embassy wasn't too bad for me. Amy loved seeing Audrey at lunchtime and the two girls were (literally) inseperable when Amy got home from work.

I was out on Tuesday at a nearby sculpture park and saw this sculpture which looked kind of familiar.....


Trevor, Amy and Audrey

Monday, November 12, 2007


I've been listening for a while to people telling me that we're in for a long cold winter. Apparently the beavers stored more logs than normal(!) and all the birds flew South a week or two earlier this year. It snowed today for the first time this winter, so perhaps the beavers were astute in their planning.

It wasn't a gentle Bing Crosby type of snow either, but a fine rain-like snow that came down with meaning. It was wet and cold. I'm not sure if like the Eskimos the Poles have 400 words for snow, but today's could certainly be described as okropne (horrible)

More importantly today was Amy's first day back at work and mine as 'real' stay-at-home dad. My first day has gone ok and (despite the weather) I nipped into town for lunch so Amy could see (and feed) Audrey. I hope Amy's day has gone ok, but we both know it'll be tough over the next few weeks/months. I'm afforded time to write this blog as Audrey dozed off on the way home and is still asleep in her pram. When she wakes up I'll sing to her about the wheels on the bus, which I suspect if it carries on snowing won't go round and round quite so easily tomorrow.

Footnote from Amy: Well, as Trev writes above, today was my first day back at work. There were tears this morning when I left (from me, not Audrey!) and again when I first arrived at work. The day did go quite quickly though and the visit from Audrey and Trevor at lunch time certainly made it more bearable. Audrey charmed the local staff with big smiles for everyone - she obviously puts on her best face for public appearances!! We're not sure how long Trev and Audrey will be able to keep up the lunch time visits - a lot will depend on the weather and considering it's already started to snow they may not continue for too much longer :(

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Audrey's modelling career launched!

Last Saturday Audrey appeared in her first advert! The ad was for the Wolves merchandise catalogue and appeared in the Wolves programme sold during their league game against Bristol City. It would have been seen by thousands of fans ;) Unfortunately she received no fee for the whole page ad (I think her manager sold her short), but it's certainly a worthwhile addition to her portfolio.
To think, I actually sent the picture in, just to brighten up their day! A new modelling career is launched - watch out Kate Moss.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My head weighs 5.1kg

Which I think is a fair bit more than the average (4.5kg)

You can calculate your own head's weight by filling a bucket of water and putting your head in it. The amount of water that is displaced equals the weight of your head as 1 litre of water roughly weighs 1kg. Does this mean that I've got a bigger brain?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Remember Remember the 5th November

We took a short break to England last weekend. It was really nice to catch up with Robin, Shan and the boys, and do a bit of DIY in Flowering Cherry in Newbury. We also took a quick trip up to Wolverhampton to see Audrey's grandparents, which was great as well.

5th of November is Guy Fawkes Night in the UK and so the streets and skies throughout the whole weekend were full of bangs, and flashes. It was especially pleasurable this year, as although a bit chilly England was dry (often Guy Fawkes Night manages to coincide with days of unbroken clouds and drizzle).

On Saturday night we had a bonfire party at Robin's place, which his 3 boys loved. Audrey wasn't too sure about it all, so spent the night indoors with her mum (I guess at 10 weeks old fireworks are a bit difficult to work out!).

Generally Audrey had a good trip, but it was hard at times moving her around the country - she's been used to a nice daily routine over the last few weeks and so sometimes trips in cars, planes and strange places did get a bit much for her. (no doubt she was also unhappy about missing Deal or No Deal on tele!)

It was a good adventure for both her and us though. We had an amusing time on the plane. On the way to the UK we put one of the plane's two toilets out of use by stuffing it FULL of used nappies - (we HONESTLY thought it was a bin!) We were very apologetic to the steward after realising our mistake, but I don't think the line of passengers that formed down the aisle after our actions were terribly impressed.

We also had another weird experience near Cheltenham where we sat and watched an empty Mazda roll down a hill in a pub car park, into a parked VW Beetle (leaving both cars a bit worse for wear)
Audrey also got to use both her new passports during her trip and is can now class herself as a jet-setter!

Here's some more pictures from the last 5 days

The Middleton boys Joe and Patrick (Sam peeking between them) in a cafe in Hungerford

Eat your heart out Sydney harbour bridge - this is Newbury!

Sam with a sparkler

Audrey (in her filmstar coat) and her Grandma

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Saints Day

On All Saints Day the Poles decorate their cemeteries with candles and flowers. As far as I can tell it's unique to Poland and also not just restricted to Catholic cemeteries.

This evening a group of around 12 of us went along to Powazki Cemetry (the oldest in Warsaw) which on this day is lit throughout with lanterns and candles. There are some huge graves and tombs there, containing Poles of varying fame and wealth and also a number remembering the 200,000 soldiers and civilians who died during the Warsaw Uprising.

The night started at Sarah's place where we enjoyed deeelicious chocolate brownies, and ended with a well-earned cup of hot-chocolate (with added Nutella!) courtesy of Kathryn.

We're off to the UK for 5 days tomorrow. Audrey gets her first taste of flying (aged a mere 10 weeks old) - please let her sleep!

Audrey the Aussie/Pommie

Lucky Audrey acquired two passports in a day yesterday. After collecting her British one from the British Embassy she went across town to gather her Aussie one and then ran into Ian Forsyth the Australian Ambasssador who she gave one of her gummy (yet cheeky) smiles.

The advantages of having two nationalities is that she can take her pick when it comes to the cricket, and it'll no doubt it will also be easier for her to secure a bar job in Kings Cross when she's on her 'gap year' in 18 years time!