Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gooey stuff

When I was a kid my Christmas stocking always contained some gooey bubble stuff. I'm not even really sure what it's called other than I know it's made in Germany and sold in a toothpaste-like tubes. You blow it through a straw and can make pretty large bubbles. When I was younger it always provided lots of entertainment on Christmas Day after you had opened your presents, gorged on chocolate and broken your brand new Action Man's arm.
I was therefore so pleased when I found the same product in our friend's toy shop.
The product as a kid always had a really strong chemical smell, but they've obviously changed the formulation. The basic straw has now advanced too so you can't suck back and leave yourself with a plasticised lung. It's good fun stuff.  


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a quiet Christmas (forced on us slightly, as poor Amy had her gall bladder removed on 19th of December) but enjoyed it nonetheless, in the company of Amy's parents, Ivor and Wendy.

The kids loved opening their presents. Prior to Christmas Audrey had presented us with a long list of gift requests which included an ipad, but fortunately the horseriding Barbie seemed to fit the bill just as well. Eli got a load of Lego including a batman plane which we enjoyed building together. Both of them got presents from around the globe (particularly the UK of course which was so kind).

Even though I've lived here 5 years now a hot Christmas is still a novelty compared to the wet/cold ones in the UK. The kids obviously know no different - one day we'll have to take them to the UK over Christmas so they can trudge round in the rain and see the pre-Christmas sales while listening to Paul McCartney and Wings bashing out another rendition of 'Hope you're having a Wonderful Christmas Time!' and experience what a "traditional" Christmas should really be like.

Here's some pictures

Batman Lego
horse-riding Barbie 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Water Pistols at Dawn!

Canberra's Christmas Carnival in the City

Canberra laid on a whole lot of free children's entertainment in the lead up to Christmas.

There were camel rides (which were ultimately a bit too daunting for our two) as well as a gigantic bouncey/jumping castle, electric boat rides and a harness trampoline.

We spent a sunny afternoon there after school. The event was well publicised last year but hadn't gained so much attention this year so there was hardly any queue for the activities.

Here's a few pics;

Christmas Concert

The kid’s school had put huge effort into organising this year’s Christmas Concert. Eli had a starring role (as a chick) and Audrey was a horse (with pink and grey tail of course).

It was so nice to see them (and the entire school!) on stage. Seating was at a premium and we were lucky to get there early and get seats.

Afterwards there was a small Christmas fayre and we all celebrated the end of the (exhausting, yet satisfying) school term.

Audrey as a horse

Eli preparing to make his entrance as a chick
The grand finale

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eli's School Christmas Picnic

I took a day off to go and help out at Eli's school Christmas picnic in nearby Weston Park.

Eli loved having me there and we all excitedly boarded the bus which arrived without incident.

Once there we staked our claim on a small area, the kids had snacks and then we headed for two laps of the small model railway that is in the park.

Afterwards it was lunch - which featured a surprise visit from Father Christmas then play time in the water and climbing areas.

The kids had a great time. It was great seeing Eli with his school mates. They're all between 4 and 5 but vary greatly between a few hunking boys and a couple of tiny miniscule girls. I think I was a novelty act who carried none of the weight of authority that the teachers did.

Eloise, Eli's teacher is fabulous. I'm not sure what she's paid but whatever it is she should be about triple of what it is.

Here's some pictures

Eli (4th from left) having his snack

Eli second from left with his mates

Mica and Darcy

Evelyn and Eli

Eli enjoying a sausage

A visit from santa

whacking the pinata

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dr. Stovepipe

We went along to the final "Guerrilla Gig" of the year - this time in Canberra's North - Corroborree Park. It was our 4th out of 9. It's been a nice series - gigs take place in 'secret' locations around Canberra and you're only given a few hours warning as to where they're going to be.

This week's gig was performed by Dr. Stovepipe, who played their set from an old car. It was a lovely sunny day and the shady spot they'd picked was fantastic. We sat and listened to the music. Eli made friends with a friendly ladybird who crawled over his hands for quite a while before he let him go back into the grass.
It was a foot-tapping brand of music - the musicians were really accomplished and the lady on the fiddle was excellent. They told jokes and made wise-cracks between the fast-tempo-ed music which was as diverse as 'King of the Swingers' a song from Sesame Street and an East European gypsy song.
Here's some pics.
That's us on the left (in a blue t-shirt)

Me with Eli and Audrey (right hand side)


Christmas Tree

Our friends Belinda and Alistair kindly dropped us off a Christmas tree last weekend and it got decorated in blue (our old red and white baubles now looking a bit tatty). Eli was in charge of the candy canes which got hung at Eli height along the bottom (with a couple eaten along the way).
Our house now has a nice pine smell reminding us that Christmas isn't very far away!

Pleased with their tree decorating skills!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cicada time!

Every year around this time of year the air in Canberra is full of the noise of cicadas. Australia is home to 200 different species and this year seems to have been a particularly bumper year for them.

I went to Audrey and Eli’s school last week (held outside in the playground) and the noise of the chirruping from the park next door to the school was so loud that you couldn’t hear the teachers speaking.

They’re big insects with large eyes. I imagine they’re pretty harmless and the birds feast on them. They must migrate somewhere I guess as you don’t see or hear them all year round. Here’s one I spotted on my walk home the other day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Eli shares his Christmas biscuits

Eli's pre-school teacher (Eloise) kindly sent us this picture of Eli sharing his 'topic talk' Christmas biscuits!