Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Hobart Times

Three days in Hobart made this week very busy. We learnt a lot by visiting Clarence High School (in Bellerive Oval territory) on Wednesday and Rosetta High School (about 11km north of Hobart CBD on the Derwent River) on Thursday and Friday. It was very cold even by Hobart standards, with lots of snow on Mt Wellington - an amazing sight for us because it is so close to the coast. By cutting back on our sleep we made time to try some great restaurants and enjoy the cafes and pubs along Salamanca Place. I found this wonderful hand dyed beanie for Ella in one of the craft shops there.

Ella was awake when we visited Sunday morning for our walk with Nellie the beagle. She is sleeping very well at night and looks much more alert and stronger in her movements every time we see her now! She was one month old on 21 June and 5 weeks old tomorrow.

We are in the depths of winter here in Canberra. Heavy frosts have turned the last Camellia Sasanqua flowers all mushy. But after the frosts the days are clear and beautiful.

Davey finished work last week and leaves for OS Wednesday. Good luck Davey!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hello and goodbye

Saturday morning brunch - we are all excited - welcome back to Maxie & Rod after their second wonderful holiday in Turkey, time to say hello (and goodbye, sadly) to Dayv, heading off to Thailand then London, Brussels, Paris, Nice........... on 27 June for who knows how long, hello to Erin who we haven't seen for a while, and another chance to catch up with the boys (Goosy and Olay) and our beautiful grand daughter Ella P.

Dayv is counting down the days until he goes OS. We loved his look: lime shoes picking up the lime stripe in the zip up top, the T shirt; we were reminded of good times in the 80s when every story he and Josh told was about something "Rad". We were so disappointed to see the fate of his treasured record covers, fallen victim to the leaky, broken down removal van.

Olay stayed busy all morning, learning chords and hanging out with the boys, who he much prefers to all females, except for his darling Mummy.

Ella met Maxie, Rod, Dayv and Erin for the first time. She was very cool about all the excitement. She had slept through the night for the first time on Friday night and still seemed very sleepy doing brunch. She loves her darling Mummy too! She is four weeks old on Monday 18 June (Happy birthday Ros!).

Goosy fought against it all morning-even defying Claire's usual strategy of sitting him in the rocker under the bathroom exhaust fan. He finally caved in on Granny's lap and snoozed for over 20 minutes, a long sleep for Goosy.

Josh & Jeremy, the world's most handsome young Dads, focus on what we are really here for - brunch!

Good to see the beautiful young Erin again, busy at work and thinking of replacing her Mirage!
Sunday morning Rob & I got up early so we could take Nellie the Beagle for a long, tiring walk. We enjoyed the cold, clear, beautiful, winter Canberra morning after a damp, miserable week with some unprecedented snowfalls around the Bungendore district.
Afterwards, drinking tea around the table with J&J and baby Ella we could swear that Ella was really looking at us and considering an interaction.
I am going to Tasmania for three days this week: a study tour of some Hobart schools who use ICT in innovative ways - so there is lots of homework to be done this weekend to make up for my days away from school.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Yum Cha for the Queen

Ella found her first Yum Cha at the wondrous Noble Palace today a bit of a yawn! While J&J, Granny, Rob & I feasted on and relished our soft shell crab, whitebait, calamari, shark's fin, seafood, pork and choy sum dumplings, Ella slept on and on and on.

Claire and Jeremy and big O & little A were meant to join us for Queen Elizabeth's birthday Yum Cha but the boys have heavy colds and Claire has had very little sleep for a few nights so they needed to have a quiet day. We did a little babysitting for Claire late last night while she had Big O checked out at Casualty. He developed croup around 9.30-10.00pm which was quite frightening. They both arrived back from hospital after midnight. Big O was much improved and ready to party!!! Jeremy made an early return from Sydney this morning after a worried night on his own.

Rob and I spent a lazy afternoon yesterday (cold and blustery outside) watching DVDs: The Queen and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (in recognition of the monarchy and our british heritage giving us a long weekend).

After Yum Cha lunch and then coffee together at Double Shot (with baby Ella still asleep) Rob and I went home for a while before heading to another film session at Dendy, a new release French film: Orchestra Seats. We loved it - typically French with its intense characterisations, beautiful dialogue, gorgeous Paris backdrops, but not very big on plot. We loved seeing the beautiful Cecile de France again who we had both admired as Gerard Depardieu's muse in "The Singer".

Big week this week with M&R's return from Turkey and Dayvy's farewell brunch next Saturday. We will get to meet his May apparently.

It has turned wintry cold this week, with a couple of light frosts and some national dramas: wild weather and flooding around Newcastle / Sydney and a shocking prime mover train collision in Victoria, killing 11 people.

I found this amazing fungus growing up from leaf litter under the silver birch in our back garden. This is not the first amazing fungus I have seen here - but this is the biggest ever!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ella's first visit

Ella came to lunch yesterday with J&J. She had a big feed, a short doze, had some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa and then christened her new change table (the one at our house) after filling her nappy with a big poo. J&J & little E are all travelling very well, with Josh back at work this week. Ella even lets Jody get a reasonable amount of sleep at night. Jody is starting to feel well again and was able to have some good walks with baby Ella this week (and Nellie the Beagle in tow).
J&J & little E were not able to stay on for an early soup dinner with Claire & Jeremy, Mum and big O and little A as they had another gig to go to. The big O is recovering well from his eye operation last week and looks much more lively. Little A is starting to roll, twist and crawl around the floor and is looking strong enough to pull himself up on furniture. We had a fun few hours and covered a lot of territory: from buying indigenous art (Papunya Tula-Ningura Napuralla) on ebay, Wakakirri dramas (at school), Bali holidays at Xmas, & discussions about the rest of the family, with the boys working through all their pet projects at our house (trains, Indonesian puppets, drawing, guitars and reading books).

After all the previous day's excitement Rob & I had a quiet Sunday. Rob took Nellie the Beagle for a long early morning walk. He then picked me up for a brisk walk up to the Farmer's Market on Ainsworth Street get a supply of our fave Pink Lady apples.

I wasted a lot of time on this sunny warmish Sunday trawling through websites planning our trip to France (still over a year away) while Rob was a lot more productive doing chores outside. Josh rang me this afternoon. He & J & little E had just been to lunch at Double Shot. Ella slept though the whole event. They called in at Mum's, hoping to show off little E afterwards but unfortunately Mum was out.