Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thai Food and Cultural Festival

Audrey wasn't that keen on Thai food, Eli loved the green chicken curry and we all enjoyed the jazz and Thai music laid on for us.

It was (I think) our third annual trip to the Thai festival at the Thai embassy in Canberra which despite the changeable weather was absolutely packed with people. In the morning we caught up with our friends Gill, Anthony and their two children Tommy and Chloe, and due to the close proximity of their house to the Thai embassy we were all able to walk round to the festival and smirk about the gridlocked roads as people struggled to park in Yarralumla's (posh) streets.

The festival had loads going on, from dancing to massage to music but the main attraction for the vast majority of visitors were the busy and bustling food stalls which surrounded the main embassy building selling Thai food of every description.

We negotiated the voucher payment scheme, bought our delicious food (and beer!) and sat on the lawns near the fortune tree. Here's some pics of our day.

that's me in the hat
Eli enjoying a lollypop!
Relaxing on the lawns by the embassy

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Trying to repair our house leads to plenty of trips to Bunnings DIY store. I've wondered whether it is quicker and easier just go get my salary paid directly to Bunnings stores. We've got 3 stores in Canberra and the largest of them includes children-sized shopping trolleys (which Audrey and Eli absolutely love). It's a good initiative as it often means that the kids are reluctant to leave the shop! Here's us on our trip to get more stain for the fence.

Like watching paint dry

We've got a slatted fence round our garden and for the last couple of weeks we've been digging out the ivy and vegetation which was growing over it. We've done a pretty good job - when we moved in the vegetation actually concealed an oil drum and old broken swing set (which gives you an idea of how much greenery there was).

At the weekend, (in between a 4th birthday party for one of Audrey's friends and swimming lessons) we started staining the fence which, considering how much it's been ignored, is not in too bad a condition. The kids of course wanted to 'help'...although a lot of the 'help' ended up with them painting each other. There's still a bit more for us to do (probably not as big a job as the Sydney Harbour Bridge)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Someone up there likes us...

I read an amusing article this morning about the Wolves emblem appearing in the clouds above Telford.

Personally I wonder if it's not a bit of jiggery-pokery with Photoshop, but it makes a nice story nonetheless (on what must have been a very slow-news day!)..

If you want to read the full article - click here

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chocolate pudding is so much fun...

....especially if you choose to eat it with your hands rather than using your spoon....

Some good news at last!

Yesterday I had an appointment with my oncologist. Usually Trevor goes with me but this time he took the kids to dance class for me so I went on my own.

I changed my medication around 6 weeks ago as the previous one hadn't been working for me. I wasn't expecting any real news as the oncologist had warned me at our previous appointment that we might not get any results for 3 months. My tumour markers had been trending up and up and up so I was feeling slightly anxious when we looked at the results....but Hurrah!! at last the markers have decreased and are now at the same level they were 5 months ago. Still way above average but a lot less than what they were 6 weeks ago. A positive sign that the medication I am on might actually work and stabilise my condition for a while. I was so happy as every other time I'd been to the oncologist I've had to deal with disappointing news.

As I didn't have Trevor with me, I kissed the oncologist instead!! She didn't seem to mind! So, I go back in 7 weeks for another check up. I'm hoping that the trend has now reversed and my markers will continue to decrease and maybe I might even get them down to 'normal' levels some time in the future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mondegreen No.2

Trevor: "Audrey, when you go to school next year we'll have to buy you a uniform."
Audrey: "A unicorn?"

Audrey at Blueberries dance studio

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Supersize Me!

American retail colossus Costco opened recently in Canberra.Sadly it seemed to be a major event in Canberra’s calendar – everyone we know is currently starting conversations with; ‘Have you been to Costco yet?”. A smattering of American friends we have (from Audrey and Eli’s playgroup) are overjoyed that the US chain has finally come to Australia – with Canberra the country’s third store.

We paid a visit on Saturday after swimming lessons. It’s a weird experience paying to go in a shop ($60 for an annual membership). Apparently (according to the Canberra Times) 8,000 people have already signed up – so a cool half a million dollars just for opening your doors.

It’s a strange shopping ‘experience’. A shop as big as a small town, basically laid out no-frills and ‘big-boxes’. Essentially if you’re looking for a 15 inch meat pizza and 5 kilos of strawberry ice cream washed down with 10 litres of Coke then this is the place for you – big boxes of chocolates sit next to Levis 501 jeans and children's toys. Coles supermarket's biggest packed of crisps (175g) topped by Costco’s giant sack (500g) an obese person’s heaven.

We wandered round for a bit before we decided to purchase anything. There’s an array of sampling tables (which we all gorged on), tempting you to buy everything from dried fruit to cheese to meatballs. There’s a really awful bakery section with huuuge cupcakes with fake cream piled on top. (12 for $10). A few years ago I visited a similarly gigantic Walmart in Texas which sold bullets and guns – a line (fortunately) unavailable here.

Some of the aspects of the store were amusing – a guy cooking steak had a large bi-lingual sign on the front of his burner which read “Hot/Caliente” (it was clearly intended to cater for America’s Hispanic population, who unsurprisingly absent from Canberra) definitely a "lost in translation" moment (unless all of the shoppers are Dora the Explorer fans)

At one point a fat guy walked past us sporting a t-shirt which read ‘real men don’t eat salad’ I wish I had taken a picture of him as he personified the store he was in.

Does it add anything positive to Australia? Probably not? Is it somewhere to go to buy a zillion toilet rolls for $20 probably so.

Afterwards we went to Rodney's Garden Centre - a short stones throw away from Costco and had a nice lunch in their garden (where we took these pictures).

Eli and a metal dogAudrey shows off her 'pink hair' and Wolves tracksuit bottoms which have suddenly become very short

Saturday, September 10, 2011

When Sleeping Beauty met a Tarantula

The kids left this scene on the bathroom sink (they said the spider was giving the princess a cuddle). I'm waiting for the B-movie to be made - probably starring Bruce Campbell.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Out of the mouth of Audrey no.10

"Even though Eli tickles me sometimes, I still love him."

Let's go fly a kite!

Aldi had kites in stock this week and they were selling for a bargain $7. Together with Audrey, Eli and our neighbour Phil we headed down to Lake Griffin by the Yarralumla boat shed to fly our latest craft. It was Fathers' Day in Australia and the children and of course Amy, had treated me with cards and chocolate in bed this morning.

Even though we're only a few days into Spring the days have been warmer and the wind blowing across the lake was pretty good for getting the kite aloft.

Here's a picture of me and the kids flying our's a normal sized kite not a miniature one, (it's a perspective thing)

I did let Audrey and Eli hold the twine for a while, even though it seems from this picture that I'm the only one having fun!

Audrey at Kids' Pantry Canberra

Audrey went to her friend Ivy's party on Saturday (with Amy) while I took Eli swimming.

I later came home and killed Ivy in the garden (the weed not Audrey's friend, but amusing nonetheless)

It was Audrey's 3rd party in the week - she has a much busier social life than we do. Ivy's party was was held at Kids' Pantry - a cooking party led by 3 chefs where the kids learned to make cheese twists (which we all shared for lunch), fruit sticks and decorate a cupcake. The excellent venue also had a chicken coop with some very well fed hens and vegetable garden. Here's some pics

waiting pensively with decorated chefs hats
Sitting in the veggie garden