Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gold in them 'thar hills!

The first time I've planted potatoes but despite quite a long growing period I've been really pleased with the outcome..(just dug these few up for a meal but there's plenty still in the ground)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weetbix Tryathon

There's a big kids event that takes place in Canberra which we've missed up until now - the Weetbix Tryathalon.

It's a short tryathalon race - 75 metre swim, 5km bike ride and 500 metre run in the style of a full size Triathlon. The focus is on fun though and nobody times the kids (in truth it would be a nightmare anyway) so it doesn't really matter if you end up first or last.

We had to be there early and we found good spots for our bikes. It was a beautiful sunny February day and the race got underway before the heat of the day really hit.

The kids went off in groups, so it was tricky trying to be all places at once (especially as there was only me - whereas other kids had an entourage of family members who could watch the swimming, cycling and running at various vantage points). Still, with a fair bit of running around I saw them take part in most things. Most incredible was the amount of pushy parents at what was pitched as a friendly/non competitive event.

Both Audrey and Eli had loads of fun. They knew a few other kids taking part and the day was both exciting and inspiring. Well done both of you, you made me proud.

pre-race anticipation
Audrey runs from the pool

Eli on his bike
Both the kids rode really well and overtook a lot of the field (non-competitive mind you)

Eli running for the line

with medal
With medal

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Australian Open

I'd planned for a little while to take the kids to the Australian Open. I was never really sure what the 'right' age to take them was as I didn't want them to get bored or not be interested in what was going on around them.

Having seen them sit through two seasons of Canberra Raiders (and in doing so become ardent supporters) I thought I'd take the trip as there's a bucket flight operator (Tiger Air) recently started operating from Canberra so by booking early the flights and tickets weren't overly expensive.

We had great seats in Rod Laver Arena. We sweltered on the first day watching Andy Murray (the kids sat glued though a three hour match which was pretty impressive) and then had a night session watching Djokovic and Poland's Radwanska)

Audrey was amazed by how many courts there were (I think there's in excess of 25) and I couldn't help but compare it to Wimbledon which I've been to countless times. It held up well in comparison. I guess it lacked some of Wimbledon's 'tradition' by way of strawberries and cream, but made up for it with a surplus of fun things for everyone to see and do. When we got home the kids were already discussing our trip in 2018!

And Murray (who despite being world no.1 would do better if he adopted a more side on approach to his forehand)

Djokovic serves

Night session fun

Aga Radvanska (Audrey really supported her!)

Melbourne Zoo

We took a trip to Melbourne to stay with a friend of ours and stayed at his beautiful place in Richmond. The main purpose of our trip (apart from visiting Brian and Kim!) was to see the tennis, but we spent a lovely sunny day at Melbourne zoo.

It's considerably bigger than Canberra Zoo and whatever your opinion about zoos (and I accept they're a bit dubious despite their efforts to justify themselves as bastions of animal conservation) it was really well presented. There was lots for the kids to see and do and we ended up spending an entire day there and still didn't see it all. The newer enclosures seemed to be thoughtfully laid out and there was no sign of my experience of zoos from when I was a kid with mentally impaired tigers pacing up and down or folorn looking orangutans looking out from a glass cage not much bigger than a phone box.

Rather, things like the butterfly enclosure were a particular hit (I think we were there for over an hour) and we saw a lot of talks including an excellent one about Australia's own fairy penguins.

Here's some pictures of our sunny day.

The kids pretending to be giant turtles


Audrey strokes an albino snake

Penguin feeding time