Sunday, July 30, 2017

Times when I miss you most

It rained on Sunday when we were outside and some distance from our car, I grimaced and pulled my hood up, but as the wet drops fell onto our heads Audrey turned to me and said, "I love the way the rain smells."

Eli and I had a lengthy kick around with an AFL (Aussie Rules) ball on Saturday afternoon. It didn't matter to Eli that the other two boys who joined in with us, Matt and Max were three or four years older than him. It mattered even less to him that they both had down syndrome (Matt could kick the ball a hell of a long way, even though Eli often scampered to get to stray balls quicker than both of the other boys could).

It's times like this when I miss you most dear Amy. I know you would have been so proud of our children.

I often think of you 'watching over us'. I sometimes look up when I pull our car onto the driveway of our house expecting to see you waiting for us at the window, or bending over, pulling up weeds from our lawn. But of course I never get to see you smiling back, and my heart sinks again for the millionth time.

On occasions though I realise how much you live on through the kids my love, I can see so much of your beauty in their characters and how much they are shaped by you.

Jam Time

Audrey made a lovely batch of strawberry jam on Friday night. We'd printed up special stickers too, should keep us in supplies for a few weeks! (nb still shop-bought strawberries at this stage of course).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kathy and our strawberry patch

Our good friend Kathy (who used to be Amy's boss) is our jam guardian angel. A few months ago, she taught Audrey how to make our/her own strawberry jam and Audrey really took to it.
Last weekend, armed with two buckets of strawberry plants Kathy came round and helped us build our first strawberry patch. There's a fair amount of horse poo in there and I'll have to make sure there's plenty of mulch in the summer to prevent it from drying out, but hopefully...come the summer we'll have our own strawberries to make jam with. Watch this space!

Another shot of Eli with our fidget spinner cookies

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

If you buy a drone, learn to fly it first

This was my second drone I've stuck up in a tree. Fortunately this one still worked when I got it down...

NAIDOC by the lake

I really like Belconnen Arts Centre. One of my favourite jobs was working at Disability ACT and the window by my desk looked out both over beautiful Lake Ginninderra but also over the fabulously appointed Belconnen Arts Centre. It's not the Louvre, as it's only a small centre, but it has some great exhibitions and it sits right on the banks of the lake which I think is more natural, calming and somehow more beautiful than its bigger brother Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra's centre.
NAIDOC is a week long celebration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. It's not particularly strong in Canberra compared to other parts of Australia, but the city still goes to some effort to recognise the valuable part the culture plays both historically but also in present and future Australia. I think it's an important part of Australia's make-up that the kids should understand, learn from and respect.
We spent a lovely Saturday morning at a NAIDOC celebration at the art centre. It included face painting, craft as well as damper making/cooking. The wind blows in off the lake but there was enough fun, with music and laughter to make light of the chill.

Audrey and a Bogong moth
Eli made a Wolves boomerang which while not entirely culturally sensitive was pretty good.
Chilly (but sunny) Canberra day

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Skating in Garema Place

Audrey's quite a decent skater (I'm not). Amy skated pretty well too - I remember skating together one snowy evening in Warsaw by the rink that is set up by the Palace of Science and Culture every year.

Canberra now has its own outdoor rink (running until the end of July) and Audrey skated around with some competency (while Eli and I watched on the sidelines)