Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just because it might not happen again for a while....

(click to enlarge and then feast your eyes).

It's the first time Wolves have topped the table since September 1962 (when they finished 5th). Wouldn't a repeat of that be incredible?!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Audrey's 4th Birthday

There were quite a few highlights to Audrey's 4th birthday bash on Sunday. I'm not sure whether the stand out things were the pin the wings on the fairy competition, the princess birthday cake, the (obligatory) treasure hunt, the butterfly cup cakes, the well stocked party bags, or the biscuit wands. I rather think it was seeing Audrey and her friends enjoy a fun-filled sunny Sunday morning at the excellent cottage in Kambah.

It was fairly exhausting trying to keep 16 kids (who aged from 2 to 7) amused, but things seemed to go pretty well. We were really grateful to the parents who all lent a hand too. Audrey went home with a real treasure trove of gifts and all the guests left with an overdose of sugar and pink icing! Here's some pictures.

A panorama view of the party! (you have to click on it for the full effect)
Audrey's "Princess cake" - lots of pink icing (and a few hours labour!)

Pass-the-parcel gets underway! (n.b it's very stressful controlling the music!)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kids in the park

My camera broke a couple of weeks ago, which prompted a new purchase. I'm a big fan of Casio digital cameras and my new EX-ZR100 is probably my fourth or fifth. There's seemingly hundreds of features, some of which I'll never understand, many of which I'll never use. It's got a high-art button on it, which does this sort of thing (click on the image to enlarge).

More than likely I'll drop the camera (again) in about 18 months time and have to buy another one with a whole host more features!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cement Rendering

I did a cement rendering course last weekend (while Amy took the kids to the zoo). It was pretty challenging (blisters on my office hands) but good fun. There was a definite 'nack', to it and even after 8 hours I'm not sure whether I totally cracked it. Here's a picture of my final effort which I was pretty pleased with. It's going to be different proposition doing the house.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The case of the severed bobble

Amy has a newish beanie/bobble hat which we bought during our trip to Thredbo earlier this year. She is very fond of the hat.

Last Tuesday Amy discovered that the bobble had become detached from the hat. It was interesting to see how investigations into the occurrence developed.

“Audrey, what happened to Mummy’s bobble hat?”
“The bobble fell-off”

Continuing our Cluedo-esque investigations we quickly realised that the bobble was CUT from the hat – it’s a very clean cut and so it seems unlikely that the bobble fell off by itself.

“Audrey, did you cut Mummy’s bobble off her hat using the scissors in your pencil case?”
[Audrey] “Eli did it!”

“Eli, did you cut Mummy’s bobble off her hat using Audrey’s scissors?”
[Eli] “Diddy (Audrey) did it!”

By Thursday the two had found the perfect alibi through conspiracy.

“So which one of you two cut Mummy’s bobble off her hat?”
[Both] “Daddy Did it!”

By Friday Audrey was elaborating on the crime to give authenticity…

“Mummy, Daddy took the scissors out of my pencil case and cut the bobble off your hat!”

Alas it is now too late to investigate further, take finger prints and so on. The crime scene has been ‘compromised’ is what they say on TV detective shows I think.


I learned a new word the other day "Mondegreen". (a favourite site) defines it as;

"A mondegreen is a misinterpretation of a word or phrase that shares homophony (sounds like) another word or phrase that has been heard."

Mondegreens crop up a fair amount in lyrics to songs - my favourite was always Billy Ocean's "When the going gets tough", which needs very little imagination to mis-hear as "Go and get stuffed". There's also the hymn - "Gladly the cross-eyed bear" (Gladly the Cross I'd bear).. if you want to see more of this stuff then click here

I was able to put my new word to immediate use when I was singing Audrey a rendition of "Bobby Shafto's Gone to Sea" (one of my favourite nursery rhymes) as she went to sleep, and being the fairy/princess/mermaid influenced girl she is was convinced my rendition was actually "Barbie Shaftoe" which put a whole new spin on the song!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

CSIRO Discovery Centre

CSIRO Science Week Expo. CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra showcases Australia’s science and technology achievements. This week is Science Week and so we took the kids along to see the large exhibition of science related things they had on at the discovery centre during the weekend.

There was quite a lot to entertain them, admittedly a lot of stuff there was for “bigger kids” like the balloon room (yep a room full of balloons) and some of the more complicated science stuff. The face-painters had also only been paid for half a day's work, so we (understandably) had tears from Audrey and Eli as we watched them pack down. The dinosaur petting zoo was similarly being loaded into the back of a Transit van when we arrived just after lunch.

Nevertheless they loved the reptile show – interestingly neither they nor any of the other kids watching were upset at the sight of mice being fed to a huge goanna (fascination obviously overtook revulsion) to the extent that they tried to re-create it at home with Dad as the mouse and Eli as the goanna. We also sat and enjoyed an ice-cream in the sun, which while not particularly "science-y", made for a pleasant afternoon.

Audrey and Eli get up close to a croc!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Meringues - one pink one blue

Chosen by Audrey after we'd riden on the bike to our local bakery - enjoyed with gusto by both Audrey and Eli on our return...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Greatest Discoveries of Mankind

In 1543 Poland's Nicolas Copernicus discovered that the earth moved around the sun, which was the centre of the solar system

In 1822, geologist William Buckland uncovers the first dinosaur remains

In 1858 Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species

In 1919 Albert Einstein unveiled his theory of general relativity in which he proposes that mass warps both time and space, therefore large masses can bend light.

On 6th August Trevor Hickman discovers that Banks's Mild can be purchased 10,000 miles away from where it is brewed (Wolverhampton, England) - in Canberra, Australia.

The last one was definitely cause for much celebration!! - what's more they were a snip at just $4 a can - thank you Plonk Beer shop in Fyshwick!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Fairies come to town....or do they?

On Saturday afternoon I (Amy) took a very excited Audrey and a not-so-excited Eli to the grand opening of 'The Fairies' shop in Mitchell. The ad had promised that Harmony and Rhapsody (from The Fairies TV show) would be there to meet and greet children from 1-3.30 pm.

We got to the store around 2pm and I could not believe the number of people at the store...the crowd was spilling out in to the carpark. Never before have I seen so much pink, fairy wings, wands etc. Little did I know that so many young girls lived in Canberra!! We duly took our number from the somewhat harassed Fairy Assistant at the door. Number 10.

"What number are they currently up to?" I asked. "Number 3" the Fairy Assistant muttered, not wanting to make eye contact. Oh dear....we were in for the long haul. I was tempted to leave then but Audrey was sooo excited I couldn't let her down. So we looked at the merchandise (of which there was plenty) and I managed to get away lightly by only buying 2 books (1 each - it seems Eli was now excited to be at The Fairies shop). We joined the long queue to pay for our goods and then set about waiting...and waiting....and waiting.

There was fairy dancing and colouring to keep the children occupied but it all still worked on the number system and they were only up to number 5! Aaarrrghhhh.... The children were very good although Audrey did say a few times, "Waiting is boring". Finally, the dancing was up to Number 8 - I didn't care any more and shoved Eli and Audrey into the space to dance. They did 2 rounds of dancing - for Number 8 and Number 9 and then yes! our number was called for the craft room. Hurrah! We were getting closer to getting into the room to meet Harmony and Rhapsody. I pushed the children into the room to do colouring. It turned out the (other) harassed Fairy Assistant had called Number 10 by mistake and it should have been Number 9. Too bad! My kids were at the table now and we weren't moving. All the other parents thought the same. It was now almost 3:30pm.

Finally, after about 15 minutes in the colouring room we made it into the room to meet Harmony and Rhapsody. I did a double take at the two fairies sitting greeting the children. Something wasn't right. These clearly weren't the fairies from the TV show. They were dressed the same, had the right colour hair, but were NOT the fairies!! I said in disbelief, "It's not even them!". A dad next to me laughed (almost hysterically) saying, "No wonder they hid them away in a separate room!". We muttered about false advertising etc and having to wait for so long but our children didn't seem to be too bothered by it and gladly posed with the fake fairies.

I thought Audrey must have been fooled but on the way home she said to me, "They didn't do fairy kisses goodbye like the TV ones". Did she know they were different or not? I wasn't silly enough to ask, only silly enough to have waited almost 2 hours to have the pleasure of being duped.

Here's the pic of Audrey and Eli with not-Harmony and not-Rhapsody and a picture of the real deal so you can tell the difference!

Audrey and Eli with not-Harmony and not-Rhapsody

Harmony and Rhapsody - the real ones

Audrey and Eli while away the hours doing some art work