Friday, July 31, 2009

Audrey having fun in the winter sun

Audrey enjoying the late sunshine in our garden. A shame that Dad's shadow features quite prominently!

Eli looking a tadge disappointed that the cricket was delayed due to rain

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Interesting conversations with a 23 month old..

Audrey's speaking has developed significantly over the last few weeks. Unfortunately in amidst this development 'No' has become a favourite word of hers. Here's a conversation the two of us had at lunchtime today in the garden.

'Come and have your dinner Audrey'
'Come on, it's cold in the garden'
'Don't you want any dinner?'
Is 'no' the only word you know?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mulligans Flat

This morning we took a lovely (albeit cold) Sunday walk out to Mulligans Flat, a nature reserve in the North East of Canberra.

Recently, large parts of the vast area have been surrounded by a tall and imposing fence with the intention of removing ferrel animals (mostly foxes and cats) from the site and returning some native animals into the reserve. The reserve is also recognised as one of the best bird watching sites in the ACT.

During our walk we ran into a couple of wardens who gave us an interesting chat. We stopped for a picnic on some felled trees where they are planning on reconstructing an old sheep station (dating way back to the 1950s!)

There's a series of walking routes you can do in the area, but as we had two little kids with us our adventuring was reduced to a 40 minute stroll, but we'll definitely be back when the weather gets warmer.

The highlight of the trip for me (and hopefully Audrey too!) were the large numbers of kangaroos we spotted - at one point there must have been about 30 of them on a large grassy area in front of us. It was lovely to see them. Here are some pics I took - unfortunately the kangaroos were a bit shy, so they're not that big in the photo!....

No, I'm not sure how I got away with carrying the much lighter Eli, while Amy got to carry Audrey either!

The spot where we stopped for our picnic

Kangaroos on the grassland

Audrey posing (somewhat reluctantly)

Another (beautiful) knitted garment, courtesy of Audrey's Great-Nan.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Putting old wood to good use

An excerpt from the latest New Poland Express magazine which I thought was good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pictures of Eli

This was going to be a much longer post but it's been somewhat curtailed by two children, who after spending most of breakfast grinning and smiling at each other then spent the next 30 minutes crying uncontrollably!!

Peace now seems to have returned to the Hickman household! (temporarily one suspects)

We're off to get Eli weighed and measured this morning as he reached 3 months old yesterday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fly me to the moon?

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the moon 'landings'. Even though I was only 4 months old at the time of the Apollo 11 mission, I still had my doubts about the legitimacy of the mission.

Personally I think it was all faked to help the US out in the cold war. Besides there must be a lot of debris still on the moon that we've never been shown pictures of.

If you want to know more then there must be a thousand conspiracy theory sites on the internet, but personally this picture is enough proof for me to believe that it's all an elabourate hoax organised by NASA.

Take a really close look at the picture, and see if you agree - it's clear that the shadows on the moon's surface are clearly all wrong, also why aren't there any stars? I'm also perplexed by the reflection on Neil Armstrong's visor....

with thanks to

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tim and Hayley come to visit

It was nice to catch up with Tim and Hayley and their two lovely kids who made the trip from Sydney to Canberra this weekend. We enjoyed a nice brunch on Saturday morning followed in the evening by a Chinese meal at the somewhat kitsch Woden Hellenic Club.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Magician at Dickson Library

I wonder what kind of haphazard career planning leads you to be any kind of children's entertainer? It's certainly not a role I'd fancy after watching the Magician show at Dixon Library on Thursday.

It wasn't that he was particularly bad (although he was no David Blaine) but whatever they were paying him wasn't anything like enough. I was sure that had he been a real magician he would have made himself disappear long before the end of his act.

The library had somewhat cruelly hemmed him into the children's book section of the library, literally in a corner with no escape. There, stood somewhere between 'The Hungry Caterpillar' and 'Dear Zoo', he had become surrounded by 50 onlooking expectant kids ranging from 2 to 10 together with a smattering of their school holiday embattled parents. No way out. Trapped. General Custer had it really easy compared to this guy.

He put on a good show, all the usual stuff with cards and rope and magic boxes, but the poor chap was often performing within a couple of metres of the kids on the front row. This meant that children (sometimes egged on by their parents it has to be said) would jump up uninvited out of the crowd to check in his box of tricks or under his coat, or in his hat so as to discredit the particular trick. Even his white rabbit wasn't safe from their clutches.

I noticed that he began nervously checking his watch with increasing regularity throughout his act.

In the end he made it through his 45 minute set (timed to the second) then he speedily packed up his tricks and dashed for the exit. The crowd of children slouched away, in less than a week it would be poor teachers who would be under their expectant gaze and they wouldn't even have a rope knot-trick to fall back on.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

NAIDOC on the Peninsula 09

We went along to NAIDOC on the peninsular this weekend.

The rather clumsily titled NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee and is held nationally to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.

There's been a number of things going on throughout the week to celebrate NAIDOC. The day we went to at the peninsular by the National Museum had loads of stalls, a lady dressed up as a bilby as well as the (very good) Brisbane based Lexine Solomon Band.

Audrey had a nice time and Eli enjoyed watching his sister dancing to the music.

Audrey found a sand-pit and is shown playing with the sand - a fair amount of which disappeared up the sleeves of her coat.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Here's a pic of Eli on his mat this morning, enjoying a bit of peace and quiet away from his noisy big sister. He's starting to build up the strength in his neck and continues to put on the weight.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our (not so) Green Credentials...

We've always talked about using terry nappies. Unfortunately talking is as far as we've got. Although easy to use, disposable nappies are terrible for the environment - there's probably about two cubic miles of waste nappies on some tip in Canberra for which the Hickman family are responsible. We can console ourselves with thinking that it'll biodegrade sometime before the next ice age, or perhaps maybe not.

Our guilt was compounded last week when Babies R Us (surely they could have come up with a better name than that for a shop?) ran a half-price offer on our favoured brand of nappies. We therefore spent most of our savings on the things.

Our garage now has a pile of over 1,000 nappies in it. After they have 'passed through' our family they too will be transported to some far off tip where they'll fester for another 200 generations. If you're reading this 500 years in the future, circling the planet in a spaceship while looking down on the diseased and stinking planet earth. we're sorry.

Vaka Moana

It was a lovely sunny day, so we took a trip to the National Museum of Australia to see Vaka Moana a free exhibition charting human settlement in the Pacific Islands. It was a really nicely presented exhibition and pretty interesting.

It's always tricky trying to read/look at things with a couple of kids in tow, but Audrey became fascinated/distracted by shadows cast on the floor by one of the display lights and Eli fell asleep, so we managed to catch the general gist of the exhibition.

Afterwards we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the seats overlooking Burley Griffin (no sign of the Burley Beast though).

the excitement of mirrored glass!

view over the lake