Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fresh Veggies

Our new (wicking) veggie beds are now filled with carrots, parsnips and peppers/capsicums and cucumbers.

Here's Eli with some of our crop picked this morning...

Cricket on Merry Beach

Eli playing cricket on Merry Beach

Dads and Lads (plus Audrey) camping trip to Merry Beach

Another weekend - another trip down to the coast!

This time it was a Dads and lads (plus Audrey) camping affair - three of the other Dads who had come on our camping trip to Wee Jasper last October plus a 'new' Dad - Simon - who brought with him an excellent sense of humour and most importantly of all an absolute stack of top-notch camping equipment for us all to share!

We headed to the delightful Merry Beach.

I don't think I will ever tire of Australia's beautiful beaches. Growing up in England I was satisfied with beaches in Wales and Scotland (some of which are scenically beautiful - if you can enjoy them through the rain) or Brighton (covered in pebbles), or Bournemouth (covered in dog shit) - both of which get jam-packed with people when the Mercury touches anything past 17 degrees C and people dash southwards to the coast and the Sun once again typesets out its 'Hotta than the Costa' headlines.

I do actually think Britain has an amazing coastline, you just have to be lucky, both with your timing and location to really enjoy it. The lack of people in Australia combined with the vast coastline though makes things different here, where even the laziest holiday-maker can find some serene white-sanded beach with 2 other people on it.

Anyway enough of that. Merry Beach where we camped was (unsurprisingly) another one of those lovely beaches. We pitched our tent within yards of the sand. Merry Beach prides itself on the amount of wildlife (particularly kangaroos) which live there.  In addition to the kangaroos there were so many parrots, wading birds and the odd lizard. I also encountered my first personal close hand knowledge of a leech which stuck to the back of my leg during an afternoon walk and left a bleeding wound when I yanked it off and chucked it into the bush. I think (from Clint Eastwood films) you're supposed to burn them off with a cigar but as we were all non-smokers we didn't have one handy.

Our two nights were spent on the beach and enjoying a lovely (aside from the leech) cliff top walk. The friendly kangaroos came to see us in the evening as we sat chatting with beers - the kids tucked into bed in the tents. A few kangaroos tore up guy-ropes during the night as they hopped past our tents.

The kids had a great time. It's good getting in groups as the kids pretty much entertain themselves. Amy got a rest at home and I got to have a couple of nights having man-chats and drinking beer and a particularly harsh Scotch liqueur one of the chaps had had since 1995 or something which he brought along.

It was good fun and I'm sure our camping adventures will continue.

Sparklers at sundown

The early morning view from our tent

Eli looking out

Audrey looking into the sun

The kids getting ready to pelt me with water bombs (while I try and get them to pose for a picture!)

Our well equipped shelter (thanks Simon!)

Beautiful Merry Beach

Audrey and Rohan make a "sand-head"

stepping out for our cliff walk

Around the headland

The camping gang

friendly kangaroos

more friendly kangaroos

The "prawn man" came on Saturday night and sold us the fattest tastiest prawns I've ever tasted - Eli liked them too!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A couple more pictures from our stay at Rosedale

Walking down to the beach as the sun comes up!
Eli's favourite feature of our holiday home

Our holiday to Rosedale

We were lucky enough to have a week on the coast just south of Bateman's Bay where we stayed in the beautiful surrounds of Rosedale. Here's a short video of our stay there.

Soundtrack is by Jay Lagaaia (Audrey's favourite at the moment!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Separated at Birth

I haven't done one of these for a while, but saw this on Private Eye and thought it was pretty clever.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dancing Horses at Canberra's Enlighten Festival

Thought these were really magical the kids loved them too!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Enlighten Festival

Together with our friends Barb, Simon and their son Jack we went to Canberra’s Enlighten Festival.

It’s an excellent event comprising some of Canberra’s most significant buildings entirely lit up with rotating (and sometimes animated) images. In addition the fountain that runs down from the High Court was lit (with kerosene flames) and provided a fabulous back-drop to things.

The night was wet when we started and our planned picnic ended up being eaten while sat under the cover of the National Gallery. After eating we found that inside the gallery was a huge craft/art event laid on for kids and Audrey delighted in drawing a lady dressed in Peruvian clothes (there’s a gold from Peru exhibition on at the moment).

Afterwards we walked from the National Gallery through to the National Library, watching lit up dancing ‘horses’ – fabulous in the dark. The wet evening failed to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm. We stayed for a couple of hours – there was much more we didn’t see – there was a tent somewhere with bands playing for free – but bedtimes dictated we head home from what was an enlightening(!) event.

Audrey gets to work!

With our friends (after doing craft!)

The National Gallery

Dancing horses

The High Court

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Trevor and Superman on the 'silver bike'

We have a tow along bike which both the kids love.

I was inspired to purchase one (courtesy of Aldi) as my brother Graham had them for his kids in the States (I distinctly remember his kids trying to lean the opposite way in an attempt to get me to fall off).

Fortunately neither Audrey or Eli have got wise to this trick yet!

An early crop

There's still plenty of veggies still left in the ground, but we harvested a courgette/zucchini and our first carrot this afternoon.