Sunday, October 30, 2016

Crazy Saturday

I'm kinda used to rushing around after the kids, but Saturday got a bit extreme due to Audrey's impeding dance concert. She's been working so hard to make the routine she's working on a success and is so excited that me and Eli are going along to watch her on the stage at Canberra Theatre in a couple of weeks.

Our diary on Saturday therefore looked something like this...

9am Swimming
11.30 Dance rehearsal no.1
(grocery shopping while Audrey was dancing)
(Audrey haircut immediately following first rehearsal)
1.45 drop Elijah at his mate's for indoor football
2.15 Audrey's horse riding lesson
2.30 watch Eli's football game
3.15 collect Audrey from horse riding
3.30 make-up Audrey's face(!)
3.45 Dance rehearsal no.2

We had a little tick-sheet and the kids helped me tick things off the list as we went!

Afterwards we headed into Yarralumla for the excellent Nara festival - celebrating all things Japanese- it seemed to be much bigger this year with a couple of stages and plenty of food and entertainment. We then had a couple of little boys stay-over for a sleep-over and had (by comparison) a relatively relaxed Sunday! (with only football training and a party!)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Solar system model

Audrey and I made this solar system model over the last few days. It features all the planets in the solar system as well as a number of the bigger moons!

I experimented with a number of different types of wire for its construction from metal coathangers (too thick) to pipecleaners (too thin) but settled on florists wire. Planets are polystyrene balls painted with poster paints.

Audrey got really engrossed in it all and we had to call a halt after doing the four main moons of Jupiter otherwise it was all going to get a bit carried away!

She also headed off to school with a load of chocolate rocks which she was going to use as the asteroid belt (or more likely just scoff with her mates).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Queensland Ballet Company

Audrey was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a workshop organised by Canberra Theatre and the Queensland Ballet company during the school holidays at the tranquil and pretty Gormon House. She had a really lovely time and ended each day with a smile on her face. Certainly the quality of the teaching was excellent. I think it was probably a one-off (QBC are performing the nutcracker in Canberra shortly) but she had loads of fun and gained ever so many new skills.

It was great seeing her performing at the end of the week concert - they did ballet, contemporary and jazz routines.

I tried to pass onto Audrey my extensive experience of jazz dancing..which basically extends to 'jazz hands' but she didn't seem to take me seriously. Nor did the guys at QBC who seemed a little underwhelmed at my talent.

Certificate - going straight to the pool room.

Mexican Orange Blossom and Painted Lady

A butterfly enjoying the flowers in our sunny garden.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Elijah's Merit Certificate

The kid's school has a nice system of regularly recognising the work that the children have done during classes. This morning was Elijah's turn to pick up a merit certificate - he also has a wall at the school pretty much dedicated to all the great work he has been producing! #proudDad #hisMum'sbrains

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Floriade 2016

Floriade is a big deal in Canberra's calendar - an annual flower festival which takes place in Commonwealth Park. The festival has been in the news recently as the National Capital Authority (a National/federal body which looks after all of the federal land in Canberra) have been in conflict with the ACT Government which looks after the 'local' land (via the Land Development Agency). It's all very complicated, but suffice to say the two bodies don't always seem to get along and appear to be at loggerheads as to whether the festival remains in Commonwealth Park or moves to another park. This therefore could be the last year in it's current location. 

Either way, the festival draws throngs of visitors from other parts of Australia and this time of year coachloads of people head to the nations capital!

The festival had been going for a month, but we hadn't managed to time a family visit because we had been otherwise tied up with football, netball, swimming, horse-riding, karate etc. Sunday was actually the final day of the festival and so we, along with thousands of others made time to go along to have a look.

Unfortunately the last month has been beset with quite heavy rain and winds and so a number of the beds were 'past their best', but generally it was still pretty spectacular. It was notable as this was the first time that the organisers had used 'drop in beds' (essentially huge boxes of flowers) rather than ones grown on site. Somehow it wasn't the same, but still effective and fundamentally the festival is FREE - so it's difficult to complain!

The kids took part in a free flower arranging session and got to take home some lovely blooms (about half a dozen people asked me where we had bought the bunches from!)

We spent a really nice Sunday afternoon there - the kids ending it with sticky fairy floss (candy floss).

Audrey working on her display

Eli with his bunch of flowers- nobody got my Oasis joke (oasis is the green foam that holds the flowers and my Wonderwall rendition was completely wasted)


fairy floss

more flowers

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flip Out!

Canberra is home to three trampoline 'warehouses'. Two 'Flip Outs' and a Skyzone. There's not really much to choose between them. Skyzone is probably a bit more 'polished' but they're essentially huge warehouses filled with trampolines and staffed by 18 year olds.

The kids love their trips there and I guess they are perfect for kids who are full of energy and bounce. Skyzone is a bit more regimented on time allotted to jump, whereas Flip Out is a bit more easy going (I think we paid for an hour and they jumped for two). Here's some pictures.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sk8er Grl

Audrey landed herself a skateboard for her birthday and she's pretty good at it so far - learning to 'ollie' in a couple of afternoons. Hopefully no broken arms await...

"The Emergensea" by John Hegley

"The Emergensea" by John Hegley
The octopus awoke one morning and wondered what rhyme it was.
Looking at his alarm-clocktopus
he saw that it had stopped
and it was time to stop having a rest
and get himself dressed.
On every octofoot
he put
an octosocktopus
but in his hurry, one foot got put
not into an octosocktopus
but into an electric outlet
and the octopus got a nasty electric shocktopus
and had to call the octodoctopus
who couldn't get in
to give any help or medicine
because the door was loctopus.
The octopus couldn't move, being in a state of octoshocktopus
so the octodoctopus bashed the door
to the floor
and the cure was as simple as could be:
a nice refreshing cup of

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bought the kids and I new sandals for summer...

A tadge unimaginative, but at least we don't wear socks underneath.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Uriarra Crossing

We like it at Uriarra Crossing. It's only a short 20 minute drive out of town and Sunday was gloriously sunny, so we headed out for a BBQ with some friends.

We've had a really wet Autumn and so the river that runs through the area and feeds into the Cotter, is torrential at the moment. In summer we often swim or paddle in the river, but the water thundered by on Sunday and the small rocks we often play on were submerged under several metres of water.

Still the banks were (relatively) dry, and despite a couple of aggressive magpies who tried to swoop us (Eli hates magpies) we cooked sausages and played with my new rocket :)

Here's some pictures.

The 'Airburst rocket' I bought it for the kids (honestly!)
Often this is only a small stream
The kids with their mates

The banks of the river were covered in Californian Poppies - so beautiful.

The Whitlams

The Whitlams are something of an Australian institution. Formed in the early 90s and continuing (following a few changed line-ups) through to the current day. Lead vocalist and keyboard player Tim Freedman is the ever present member and during the life of the band a couple of band members have died (either via suicide or drunken misadventure).

They play an interesting, rock-come-folky-pop kind of thing - often tinged with political or social commentary, their music isn't immediately accessible but after a couple of plays it's really easy to come to like their style. They sing about everything from hamburgers to social isolation. The band themselves are named after eternally popular Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (a Labor PM sacked by the Queen in 1975 - who remains the only Australian Prime Minister to have his ministry terminated in that manner).

I caught up with them playing Canberra's excellent Street Theatre. They played three sell out nights there and after the show went on to share some drinks with them at Molly's Speakeasy (an interesting bar buried beneath Canberra's streets). It was nice to have a rare night out and enjoyed the chance to rub shoulders with the band.