Monday, May 21, 2012

Elmo meets Macbeth

I've been pondering over the last couple of days whether you could get more diametrically opposite than stage shows of "Elmo's World Tour" and "Macbeth"?

Both were showing last weekend at the Canberra Theatre and for the first time in our lives Amy and I went to the theatre twice in one day. Elmo during the day (with the kids) and then sans les enfants in the evening.

We've been to a few stage productions of kids' shows, mostly all excellent, but the thing that set Elmo apart from the rest was the sheer noise of it all. We'd bought our tickets from an online offer (which had halved the ticket price) and I imagine people around us had too. They still weren't that cheap at $18 bucks a throw but for many there the show seemed little more than an intrusion to their conversations. Our 50 minute show was like watching a DVD overdubbed with the audio commentary of some other film.

Inevitably the age demographic of the audience between Elmo and Macbeth differed significantly, but at Elmo adults and children alike just chatted through the entire performance. To be honest the show wasn't that well put together, but a decent enough amount of singing and dancing (and the odd Sesame Street gag) but for most people it was little more than a "live" TV show. The people behind us virtually shouted their conversation to each other while their kid (older than Audrey and Eli) had a meltdown of all meltdowns and squealed and screamed throughout Elmo's entire visits to China and India...  

To be honest I was glad when it was over, but both Eli and Audrey could still relate huge chunks of the 'plot' to us both, so they'd obviously not been as put off by the noise as we had been. During the show they had both sat glued to their seats watching (leaving us as proud parents).

Macbeth in the evening was put on by the Bell Shakespeare Company, an Australian production company and was excellent. We got great seats in the middle of the stalls, which meant we got to experience the full gore in a couple of the more grizzly scenes.

A shame really Macbeth hadn't been around earlier in the day to sort out some of the noisy kids and parents we had been sat with at Elmo's show.

Here's a clip of Elmo visiting Australia....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Classic

Along with several thousand other walkers and runners we celebrated Australia's Mother's Day by taking part in the Mother's Day Classic.

The event is a 5k or 10k walk/run round Lake Burley Griffin raising money for breast cancer research. It was a lovely sunny morning (rain had been forecast but fortunately never materialised) and the route is really scenic (and relatively flat) taking in half of the lake and two bridges in the centre of the town.

We weren't totally sure how the kids would go with the distance so we took the pushchair which had lain unused in the garage for the last six months or so.

As it turned out our uncertainty proved justified. Because of the crowds we had to park some way from the starting line and both Audrey and Eli were complaining of being tired by the time we had reached the starting point (so with no part of the actual walk completed). The wind off the lake was also pretty chilly so the first part of the walk consisted of me pushing a (very heavy) pushchair with two well wrapped children under a blanket with Amy striding alongside.

Audrey actually walked some good stretches - we reckon she probably walked about 2k or so and Eli was eventually coaxed out of his comfy seat to take the glory as we approached the finish line.

It was a really nice morning. Amy hadn't really set out to fundraise but in the end has raised over $1,300 which made her pretty high up the rankings of fundraisers for the event in Canberra.

Here's some pictures - and a link to her fundraising page (which closes on Friday 18th) if you want to chuck in a few more dollars!

Amy's fundraising page


Some of the participants waiting to start

Approaching King's Avenue Bridge

About 500m to go! (Eli with Bob the Builder)

By the tribute wall
chocolate frogs at the finish line

Saturday, May 12, 2012

'Koko Koko Euro Spoko!!"

Seems like I spoke too early about Euro 2012 looking like a fantastic tournament - In an earlier press report I saw a picture of a guy cutting the immaculate turf in Warsaw's stadium which led me to believe everything was on track. The turf in question however turned out to be not so perfect as UEFA have ordered Poland to re-turf all four stadia.
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

Experience suggests that new turf on a pitch often doesn't lend itself to great football - or great results - I wonder if Beckham's penalty kick is still orbiting the earth - Euro 2004 anyone?

I thought it was amusing the Polish Government official put forward to refute the claims and say that everything is going to be fine was called Pawel Gras.

Away from what is happening on the pitch/dirt, Poland has chosen it's Euro anthem. It's incredible and you really should watch it - click here!

Choosing gyrating geriatrics to represent the country is a brave move, although one that undoubtedly must win favour from Poland's Mohair Beret army - armia moherowych beretów  I rather suspect this track must really cheer up Radio Maryia! It augurs well for the tournament - even if the motorways aren't quite finished and the grass will still be fresh under the players feet, it could be a whole lot of fun!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homestead Cafe

Here's a picture of everyone outside of Homestead Cafe near Hall where we enjoyed a nice Sunday lunch (Mother's Day a week early)


We hadn't taken a trip out to Tidbinbilla for a while and so took the opportunity to go there with Amy's parents.

The kids brought along their bikes and had a nice time pedalling/scooting around the excellent playground there.

We were lucky with the wildlife we spotted. I think everytime we've been we've seen huge mobs of kangaroos, but this time in addition we saw 3 emus, a koala and a platypus.

Here's some pics

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tree chopping

Amy's parents are staying with us at the moment and Amy's Dad has done a great job in chopping down a couple of pretty ugly pine trees we had in the garden. One of them was a favourite amongst the local Gang Gang cockatoos (so I was a bit sad to say goodbye to it) but it's given us a new view from our kitchen window. Here's a view of our (increasingly cleared!) back garden..