Monday, July 16, 2012

More of Wrapped

We made the National Museum of Australia's Flickr site!

Click here to see the pic

National Museum of Australia's Flickr site

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A weekend spent geocaching

It's wrong to call something a craze when it's been around for 10 years already, but "Geocaching" was something I only discovered by accident last week when I looked on a webpage of 'things to do with kids during the holidays'.

Essentially it's a treasure hunt using GPS co-ordinates. What makes it incredible is that there are literally thousands of locations around the world where people have hidden things and cataloged them for others to find using GPS. Some are as small as a matchbox, others huge boxes containing 'treasures'.

When I first read about it I assumed it would be restricted to the US (where the idea was born), but I found that even in the suburb of Canberra where we live, there were about a dozen hidden treasures (or caches to use the correct term).

The website allows you to search in a particular location and then if you've got a fancy GPS equipped phone (or GPS device) you can track down the item to the nearest couple of metres. Have a look if you don't believe me - there'll be a geocache somewhere near where you live.

Saturday afternoon was a bit dark and gloomy in Canberra and so rather than face an afternoon in front of Dorothy the Dinosaur, Audrey and Eli and I set out for our first 'geocaching treasure hunt'. Actually I think I sold it into them as a "pirate treasure hunt" and so we walked off down the road variously "ooo-arrring" and "shiver-me-timbering" to each other.

It was only a shortish walk and my phone (which provides a handy compass which the kids loved) told me that we were within a metre of our first cache. A small tin box secreted under a sign (you'd never have found it if you hadn't been looking for it). Inside the box a small 'log book' (bit of paper) and a tiny pencil. We wrote our names on it and re-stashed it. We were hooked. Obviously we made sure that no muggles saw us (muggles is a term for a non-geocacher - I was a muggle until Saturday!).

Eli, who until this point had complained about feeling tired was suddenly rejuvenated and then like Audrey and I wanted to head to the next point (a short walk along a path hidden amongst trees) I couldn't find it at all and started getting dispirited but then the kids found a small metal box with another log in it. It was great! Then rain came and put an end to our hunt, but not before Audrey had spied a beautiful rainbow over our house.

Sunday led to two more cache finds - one hidden cleverly in a brick another in a fencepost. 4 geocaches in a weekend. Many more to follow I'm sure!

A purple sparkly cache in Manuka

Elis showing the cache found in Morgan Place

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wrap it up

Audrey, Eli and I went along to 'Wrap it up' at the National Museum of Australia.

It was a craft activity linked to the Tjanpi (an indigenous tribe)‘Wild Harvest Family’ woven grass sculpture which is on show at the moment in the Museum.

Here's a picture of the real thing.

It was a really well organised (free) event and the children had the opportunity to make grass/cotton/paper sculpures using sticks and material. We stayed for over 2 hours twisting thread, fabric and wool.

Here's some pictures of our day

Eli and Audrey with sticks

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tree Planting near Coree - Greening Australia (no.3)

Audrey, Eli and I joined our neighbours Phil and Nina (and nearly 70 others) at a tree-planting session organised by See-Change and Greening Australia near Coree a few kilometers outside of Canberra. It was a part of the ACT that I hadn't been to before. Some of the scenery from the Uriarra Road is absolutely breathtaking with huge rolling hills, mountains and forests. The area was damaged by the bushfires in 2004 and Greening Australia is helping to encourage re-planting of native trees in the area. 

The three of us (Amy took a break at home) planted about 17 or 18 little saplings. Hopefully one day they'll grow into lofty gum trees or splendid shrubs. Here's some pictures of our day (the kids loved it). 

To see our previous tree planting exploits click here (2010) or here (2008)

Audrey gets a piggy-back from Phil

Hard at work

With a wattle

From little things big things grow

Thursday, July 5, 2012

-4 degrees in Canberra

A chilly night in Canberra - thank goodness I had my hot date!

p.s Whoever named this brand of hot-water bottles deserves some kind of award!
p.p.s In case you're worried Amy had her own hot date!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spiderboy and the fairy

Eli striking a pose as Spiderboy while Audrey gets ready for a day of fairyness

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Workin' at the Buswash

I was lucky enough to accompany Audrey on a school excursion to the Action Buses 'Buswash'. A bus full of under 5s headed off to Tuggeranong to go in the bus wash there.

It was a well organised affair and we played "Spotto!" on the way there (I-Spy) and sang 'wheels on the bus' on the way home.

The bus driver (Bob the Bus Driver) showed us the sights of Tuggeranong before driving us first to the bus station (we had to wave and cheer at the people queued up at the stops) and then to the depot for the wash.

Without exception the children loved their morning out. Audrey sat next to her best mate Amber. They look like peas in a pod. 

The bus was very clean when we returned (apart from the greasy fingerprints on the inside windows)