Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pretty....or not

As we've mentioned in other posts, Audrey's talking has really taken off and you can now have a really nice little conversation with her. The other day she said to me, "Mummy, pretty eyes". heart melted. My lovely little girl thought her Mummy's eyes were pretty despite the fact they are bloodshot from lack of sleep and accessorised with huge bags. Then, we were outside hanging out the washing and I heard her say, "Ants...pretty ants". seems that pretty was just the catchword of the day...not such a compliment after all!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Audrey's Second Birthday

Audrey celebrated her second birthday today. Yesterday we caught up with some friends at the ever-popular Bite to Eat cafe in Chifley (and ate a cake) and today we enjoyed the company of her friends at playgroup (and ate another cake).

The combination of sugar and red and blue food colouring seemed to power-up Audrey for a little while (at one point she was laughing maniacally). She had a lovely couple of days. We're dreading tomorrow when we suspect she will be expecting a third day of festivities (and perhaps more cake!). Can't believe our lovely girl is two.

The Hickman's celebrating Audrey's 2nd birthday

2 cakes in 2 days - yum!

Reading birthday cards in fairy dress

In affectionate rememberance of Australian Cricket

On 29th August 1882 English cricket was laid to rest when the Australians defeated an English side featuring WG Grace at the Oval. On that day England were bowled out for a meagre 77 runs (I thought the Oval was meant to be a flat batting paradise?). Actually I believe the obituary published in the Sporting Times was far from accurate, during the next 127 years English cricket had many many more low points.

On 23rd August 2009 though Australian cricket was similarly well and truly laid to rest.

I must admit being English and living in Australia I've been a bit coy about predicting the outcome of this ashes series. There was always so much chance to be left with egg on my face. Sure England started well - Monty's miracle in Cardiff, saving us by the skin of our teeth, followed by the superb win at Lords, but I always had a terrible suspicion that something was going to go wrong. Following the rain spoilt game in Birmingham, sure enough Headingly, scene of Botham's heroics in '81 was the moment of England's demise. In the absence of Flintoff and KP even erratic Mitchell Johnson got wickets as we capitulated in traditional English fashion.

And so on to the Oval, the Aussie's spirits lifted, England considering recalling retirees to their dispirited middle order ranks of walking wounded.

In the words of Skinner and Baddiel - we've "seen it all before". Only the rain could save us.

Enter England's new heroes Jonathan Trott (ok perhaps he's English in the strictest sense but who cares) and a revitalised Stuart Broad (he does have a public-schoolboy foppish haircut, but his dad was a decent chap).

But it was still not over. Even with Australia needing to chase down 546 I still had my doubts. The fat lady was clearing her throat but with Ponting at the crease and looking confident I could already imagine the headlines as he steered Australia home with a double century.

Then at around 11.50pm (Canberra time) Fred skimmed the ball at incredible speed and sent one of Ponting's stumps cartwheeling out of the ground. Ricky, the self-styled pantomime villain of the piece was out. Australia's resistance was broken. Fred, despite his aching bones (and enormous ego) had produced a piece of magic. Good had defeated evil. I actually wished the margin that Ponting was out of his ground by had been smaller. It would have made the moment even better. In the end Ponting trudged off with his fat lip and the Australian's succumbed.

Obviously in 18 months time the Australian's will win the first three tests Down Under and reclaim the ashes with consummate ease. England seem to just come on holiday when they come to Australia to play. But for now it's MBEs all round and on to Trafalgar Square - hurrah! The end of the series also means that I can get to bed at a half decent time rather than 1am every morning zzzzzzzzz

(Please note these views are not necessarily a reflection of those of the entire Hickman household)

shot of the series from Prior

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Eli Smiling on His Rug

Eli, reached the grand age of 4 months old today. He's doing really well. We got him weighed yesterday and he weighed in at 6.76kg (measuring 63.5cm) which is good on both counts. He's recently started making really lovely gurgly noises, which his sister loves impersonating, much to eveyone's amusement!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Maisy Mouse Birthday Cake(s)

Not one.....but two birthday cakes for Audrey's second birthday on Monday. Made by yours truly!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Twilight Zone

Audrey and I went along to the Botanic Gardens tonight for a 'Twilight Forest Adventure'.

It was a specially organised evening run as part of Science Week which allowed a small select-group of Canberrans to be escorted through the Botanic Gardens at night in search of nocturnal animals and bugs. We enrolled a couple of weeks ago and were lucky to get in (there was a waiting list of 88 people who didn't make it!)

The Botanic Gardens has a rainforest area (a pretty unusual site in temperate Canberra) and we got the chance to walk through the rainforest in the dark with only torch-light to guide us.

Our excellent guide Bruce (who we knew) picked out a few possums (both ringtail and the bigger brushtail) a very friendly Eastern grey kangaroo and a very sleepy wattle bird. The other groups spotted owls and one lucky group saw three sugar gliders which are a very cute marsupial.

Our walk lasted over an hour and although she was kept going by the Milo and buscuits which we were given at the end of our (free) walk Audrey was a very tired little girl when we got home at 9.30pm, some 2 hours past her usual bedtime.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Spring has Sprung?

Saturday was bright and sunny, and there was a definite feeling of Spring in the air, birds were singing in the trees and buds were bursting from the trees. I took this picture of Audrey outside of the neighbours house where a host of daffodils and bluebells were fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Sunday was cold and rainy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Party Time!

Last weekend was a flurry of parties.

First off we were party animals at Thomas's 2nd birthday, a friend of Audrey's whose parents had prepared a big bash for him at their home. There were loads of goodies and I think we all had a bit of a sugar-rush from eating all of the chocolate biscuits and the oh-so-sweet (but lovely) birthday cake. It was quite a big affair as there were lots of relatives there and everyone was really friendly and welcoming. Audrey enjoyed her time spent with other pint-sized party goers.

After a lunchtime nap we then headed over to The Somers' for a farewell party to see them off before they head off to Noumea in a couple of weeks time. We'll be really sad to see them go as they've been good friends to us during our time in Canberra and it's been nice knowing that they're just around the corner. Again they organised a lovely spread of grub and it was nice catching up with people there. Noumea isn't too far from Australia so hopefully we can pay them a visit at their posting.

The picture was taken the next day and is of Audrey at Black Mountain Peninsular playground where she's become adept at walking along the rope bridge and whizzing down the slide!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sam the Koala to be stuffed

Poor Sam the Koala, whose image was beamed around the world following the Melbourne bush fires, unfortunately died in surgery last week.

Aged just four years old Sam was put down following surgery to an unrelated infection. There are now plans to stuff Sam and display her in Melbourne Museum alongside other Australian cultural heroes Phar Lap and Don Bradman.