Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not such a Smartie?

The ones on the left are Smarties the one on the right was found in the same packet - an alien Smartie?

See also

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weston Park

Yesterday was a really sunny day so the four of us enjoyed a picnic in nearby Weston Park. Here's a couple of pics...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Justine Clarke is Great!

One of my earliest childhood memories is being taken to my parents to meet the Goodies at a local bookstore in Wolverhampton. The Goodies were huge at the time - probably bigger than Elvis, though given it was the mid 70's Elvis would have definitely had the edge of them in terms of calorie intake. I remember being speechless when I met them. Bill, Graeme and Tim all there in the flesh - astounding!-I was lost for words...

Fast forward 30 odd years and I'm in the Canberra Theatre with Amy, Eli and Audrey. We're watching Justine Clarke and I'm similarly in awe as I had been with the fab-3 all those years before.

Justine is a big-deal in Australia - especially in the under 7's market. She's done it all, from actor to jazz singer to long-term Play-School presenter (yes - Play School's still going strong down under whilst the UK Big Ted, Humpty et al are all drawing their pensions). She's here promoting her second (tricky?) album and heavily pregnant with her 3rd child.

And what a show she puts on - despite her maternal size, she leaps around the colourful stage. I'm clapping, Audrey is clapping, two hundred other tots are clapping - then I'm shouting and people are just looking at me.

We know all the songs, we should do as been listening to them in the car for weeks. 'I like to Sing', 'Making the Garden Grow', 'Gumtree Family' they're all there. The crowd loves Justine, and she's a great performer. Despite this I seem to be the only one at the end chanting 'More, more, more!'

At the end there's a chance to meet Justine in the reception where she's signing t-shirts and posters for kids and parents alike. I'm prepared to say a few clever witty words to her, but like the 6 year old facing the Goodies all those years before I'm lost for words. Justine Clarke is great!

The video is a bit dark, so you might need to adjust the settings on your monitor

Friday, June 26, 2009

Eli on His Change Mat

A short video of Eli taken on his change mat.

You can also watch it by clicking here

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Audrey and her little bother

A short clip of Audrey playing with Eli on his rug. you can also watch it by clicking here

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Life immitating the 'Hollow Men'

Since arriving in Australia I've been trying to learn Australian colloquialisms of which there are many. Last week Prime Minister Kevin Rudd introduced a new one to me.

As Prime Minister Kev is pretty much unknown outside of Oz, I'll describe him for you. He's a dork, a nerd, a dweeb.

Basically he's got the same sensible-parted-hair that his mum probably licked down for him as he grabbed his school satchel. His glasses similarly spell out 'Mr Sensible'. He would undoubtedly have been bullied at school - I can almost imagine a young Kevin Rudd sobbing as the bigger kids threw his blazer on top of the bike shed roof.

I guess there's nothing wrong with being a nerd though - just ask Bill Gates.

Like Bill, Kev has got power....

Probably following a focus group feedback session, Kevin has taken to using colloquiums no doubt to appeal to the 'ordinary Australian'. He used the phrase 'fair shake of the sauce bottle' no less than 3 times in a short speech on Sky TV. He also referred to the new defence minister John Faukner as 'Faulks'. urrggh.

It reminded me of Tony Blair, who as his empire crumbled took to wearing open neck shirts in a bid to appeal to the masses. Both things too painful and phoney for words.

As someone said to us last week, "Australians can tolerate a nerd, but can't stand a try-hard."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Audrey's first haircut

We'd been putting it off for a while but finally agreed that Audrey should be taken for her first haircut. Just Cuts in Woden isn't exactly Toni & Guy but Audrey is none the wiser about these things as yet so we got away with taking her there.

She was a bit anxious at first but the hairdresser produced a large box of toys for her to play with and these distracted her enough to allow the cutting to begin! Here are some pics of her new 'do'.

Looking through the box of toys proved a good distraction

Sporting the new 'do' and a new pair of trainers too!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Penny's 2nd Birthday Party

Today Audrey got invited to her friend Penny's 2nd birthday party.

She really had a fun time, and devoured lots of party food.

The party ended up in the garden where all of the kids enjoyed the swing and slides (which had been hastily assembled that morning).

Audrey ended up in the sandpit together with a mass of plastic toys and ended up saying 'starfish' for the rest of the day.

All good parties should end up on the slides!

Eli on his new sheepskin rug

The Simpson 4kg Easiloader

At my age I should be going through some kind of midlife crisis and longing for a TVR or at very least the latest Jag'. Instead, on Friday we became the proud owner of a Simpson Easiloader spin dryer.

Until that point our house resembled a Chinese laundry (not that I've ever actually seen a Chinese laundry?) with damp baby clothes hung over every available flat surface.

With temperatures recently dropping as low as -6 degrees in Canberra it was typically taking a couple of weeks for a washed pair of jeans to dry out, and even then the trousers were still suspiciously damp/wet when you dragged them over your chilly legs.

Now our life and house is transformed! We've been drying clothes round the clock (yes, we're dreading the electric bill) but at least it means that we have our spare room back and our clothes no longer resemble wet towels.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Time is Flu'ing by!

Initially, being vegetarian I assumed I'd be immune to Swine Flu, but since finding out it doesn't work like that, I've been following the spread of the "Global Swine Flu Pandemic" (GSFP?) with some interest.

The original hyperbole inferred that we were all going to be dead within a week. Images of ill looking Mexicans in paper masks abounded. 'Hundreds Dead' - queues of people waiting outside of hospitals, smog filled streets full of people coughing.

It took over a week before Australia got its first infected person (the UK was always ahead of the Australian Swine Flu count) a lady somewhere in Sydney, who was discharged later that day. Our TV screens have since been filled with a growing count, 50, 100, 150 and now somewhere 'over 1200'. Apparently it will take 16 days from this point before everyone in this country is infected.

In typical Australian competitive fashion the victim count is broken down by State (Victoria has a huge lead with over 800 victims - much to the disgust of New South Wales). The ACT where we live is alas bringing up the rear with a paltry ten cases.

Nevertheless, schools have been closed, rugby teams have fallen victim and even Snow white has been quarantined after Doctors expressed suspicion around dwarfs Sneezy and Dopey.

I also read on Saturday that parents apparently holding 'Swine Flu Parties' where children with mild versions of Swine Flu can mix with other kids so as to build up their tolerance (I'm not joking!) I wonder if a similar thing took place with the Black Death?

One thing I've noted though with all of these cases is....nobody has actually died.....I'm not trying to be morbid and wish severe illness on people, but the count of people with what appears to be a 'harmless' GSFP, feels akin to counting the number of people with bunions or in-growing toenails.

I always thought a good cure for the flu was to take cough syrup, hot lemon or asprin. Apparently though the press tell us that the only real remedy is to panic (and of course keep a scorecard).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Audrey's new jumper

A consignment of new knitted items arrived last week from Audrey's Great Nan.

Amongst the clothes were a dress, a hat, knitted trousers and two jumpers for Eli and this lovely jumper for Audrey.

Eli is still a little small for his clothes, but at the rate he's growing he'll easily fit into them before the weather gets warmer.