Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Christmas!

Amy's parents (Ivor and Wendy) are visiting us over Christmas. It's been really nice to see them and they've enjoyed spending time in Canberra and seeing Audrey (and hopefully us as well!)

We've taken them round some of Canberra's many sites. We had a lovely picnic on Boxing Day in the Botanic Gardens (one of my favourite spots in the city) and spent yesterday at Cockington Green a minature village just north of the city centre.

We also took in the new Portrait Gallery. Audrey particularly enjoyed racing around the galleries 'talking' as she went while me and Amy took turns in pursuing her. Note to self: investigate reigns!

The weather has been lovely over the Christmas period with temperatures in the high 20s but still with a nice breeze. We've also had a couple of big storms that have kept the plants growing.

Audrey, Amy, Wendy, Ivor and Trevor by the edge of Lake Burley Griffin

Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the hazards of sleeping on a blow-up mattress when your in-laws come to stay for Christmas..

Our blow-up bed has sprung a leak, so they’re lying when they say,
It gives you rest that is unique, aren’t they?


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Canberra Storm

Just in case you think it's always sunny in Canberra I thought I'd include this to balance things out a bit, it shows a big storm we had a couple of days after Christmas. The thunder was right over-head.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Audrey Opening Her Presents

Here's a short video of Audrey opening her presents on Christmas morning. It's not really an acadamy award winner but never mind. I'm sure the excitement around Christmas will build as she grows older (at 16 months old she doesn't really know what's going on other than seeing that a wilted tree has appeared in the corner of the room)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ho Ho Ho!

Today was Audrey's playgroup Christmas Party. The group met at Edison Park in Woden in a nice shady spot under a tree. It was lovely for me to see everyone again (I took half a days leave from work) and the party was held in beautiful weather (it's forecast to be 30 degrees C for Christmas)

Everyone was in the mood for Christmas. People brought lots of tasty bites to eat and the kids really enjoyed charging around the park together.

One of the highlights of the party was the arrival of Father Christmas who delighted/scared the children in equal measure. I'm not sure how he found Edison Park en-route from the North Pole, but he looked kind-of familiar. I was especially surprised to find that he had an English accent!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Quiz 2008

Last year I did a Christmas Quiz, which a few readers enjoyed. It'll help pass the time during Christmas day, just before watching Live and Let Die for the fifteenth time. Here is 2008's offering - you should be able to print it from here...
Christmas Quiz No.2

Alternatively you can view it here...

Christmas Quiz No.2

If you have no joy from either of these routes, then drop me an e-mail and I'll send you a copy.

Audrey at Christmas Drinks

Our friends Tam and Andy organised Christmas drinks on Sunday. Everyone had a really nice time and it was great to catch up just before the hectic Christmas break begins.

Andy took some lovely pictures of Audrey in their garden which I thought I'd share (thanks a lot Andy)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree

We bought our Christmas tree last weekend. Real Christmas trees aren't a big seller in Canberra unlike Warsaw where in the lead up to Christmas they were for sale on the corner of most streets around the city.

One of the reasons perhaps is to do with the longevity of cut trees in the respective countries.

Our tree had already started to droop as soon as we got it out of the car boot. By the time we had carried it into the house and decorated it, it looked decidedly sick. Despite generous watering it hasn't really pulled round.

In terms of decoration, the tree seems to have drooped from the top down, which makes a star/angel completely out of the question. The bottom branches seem fine, although baubles at a low level of course, enter the territory of an inquisitive 15 month old. It's only got 6 days to survive now - just hope it makes it...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Jokes

I'm proud to admit that one of the highlights of my week is when the free Canberra Chronicle arrives in our letter box.

It's not the most high-brow of journals, certainly no Financial Times or Economist. It probably is even a step or two down from most free local papers of its type. It contains the usual stories of birds making nests in garages, bizarre letters from residents about the state of the roads, and gardening/cooking columns

The highlight comes in the form of the Chronicle Kids Club page. A small section of it has one liner jokes and I'm an absolute sucker for them. This week they went beyond themselves and listed Christmas jokes. As your unlikely to ever be lucky enough to get your own copy of the Canberra Chronicle here are some of my favourites....

Q What did the cow say on Christmas Day?
A Moo-ry Christmas

Q. What do you call people who don't like Santa?
A. Claus-trophobic

Q. Why does santa have a garden?
A. So he can ho ho ho

and my favourite...

Q. Why does Santa always go down the chimney
A. Because it soots him (geddit)

This stuff is GOLD! (perhaps I should just get out more)

To see 2007 jokes (not unfortunately from the Chronicle) click here

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Audrey at the Party

We went to a really nice engagement party at the weekend. Congratulations to Alex and David. Here are some pics of Audrey in her party dress.

She's become really attached to a doll recently - going by the name of "Baby!" It goes everywhere with her and is gradually growing more and more grubby!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


An artistic legend came to Canberra today. Bigger than Hockney, Done or Damien Hirst it was Rolf Harris. He was here to help celebrate the opening of Canberra’s Portrait Gallery. It’s a tremendous building on the shores of Burley Griffin which opened for the first time last Thursday. Rolf was leading a children’s drawing session outside of the gallery and we joined the gang of parents and kids waiting with easels for his arrival. Amy pointed out that it was probably the parents who wanted to see Rolf more than the kids (I knew in my case this was most definitely the case).

He strolled into the area unannounced, dressed in paint stained trousers and trademark akubra hat and led us through a 30 minute session, on how best to draw portraits. Rolf’s a really unassuming character and was really good with the kids, wisecracking and chatting as he went through his show. Despite being 77 Rolf remains ageless. The Peter Pan of the art world. After the show he signed a book for us, and as we left he was surrounded by 30 children all clamouring for his time, wisdom and skill. Thanks for coming to Canberra Rolf, you made my day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Audrey Showing off Her Footballing Skills...

A future Wolves star in the making perhaps?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Over the Moon

We managed to catch an excellent astronomical event last night when Venus and Jupiter aligned in the night sky to give the crescent moon a smiley face. It's something that happens every few years and with the clear nights we got in Canberra last night we got a really great view from our back door step. Perhaps the moon knows that Rolf Harris is in town at the moment!