Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three dolls

We joined J & J and Ella and Abi at Yong Jing Restaurant in Kingsford on Sunday for lunch - as they were heading back to Canberra and as we were heading to Coogee. They'd had a wonderful day on Saturday at Luna Park celebrating Ella's success with term two preschool sessions and squeezed in some beach time on Sunday morning before a sharp Southerly blew in the clouds and caused temperatures to plummet.
Abi found the whole Kingsford restaurant scene hilarious - allowing me to get my best pictures yet of her light up the world smiles.

We found it amusing too to watch her watching us eat our spring rolls, wonton dumplings, bar-b-qued eggplant and rice.  She is SO INTERESTED.  Jody thinks it's time to start offering Abi some solids sometime soon - but maybe not Yong Jing spring rolls just yet.

I was so happy to capture Abi's hilarity but struck by the similarity to photos I took of her big sister (see below) at the same age (5 months).  What do you think?

I think Abi's hair is even more wonderful than Ella's at the same age though. Jody has had to cut it already and she still has a patch that stands up like a cute mohawk - the start of a giant curl maybe?

Ella was very happy with herself and had loved her day at Luna Park.

A month back I'd managed to get a another nice shot of her with her current favourite doll using my lovely macro lens.  That makes three dolls in this post.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hearts and flowers

There was a lot of love in the air when we returned to Canberra and caught up with the girls (after a two week absence) on Thursday.  Ella organised a playdate with us for ALL of Friday....a day to hang out with Granny and Grandpa and catch up on all the things we enjoy doing together on a Canberra winter's day.  She greeted us early on Friday morning - dressed in her best gear (including the new Paper Wings flouncy skirt from Mini Mojo's at Coffs Harbour) and this beautiful little love note, just for us.

We started the day with a visit to the fresh food market at Fyshwick where Ella enjoyed catching up with some familiar people, sampling the freebies and tucking into cinnamon bread sticks (2) and a hot chocolate at Crust bakery.

We then had a lovely visit with Claire and Maxie at Form Studio and Gallery, catching up with local family news and progress in the local art scene, and especially the beautiful new exhibition featuring the acclaimed printmaker Cat Poljski (and my sister Maxie).

That left us with a lovely long afternoon to enjoy some time in our rather winter bedraggled garden, which Ella enjoyed nevertheless - planting flower heart gardens using the early flowering camellia japonicas and some shells Rob had collected from Sandy Beach.

This is SO Ella.........

We took a walk up OUR hill and checked out the big old tree house and swing that was constructed by who knows who in that ancient old gum tree all those years ago.

and chatted with all the local friendly oldies out walking their dogs (and their grandchildren) in the grassy parkland on top of the hill on this perfect winter afternoon.

I have captured the start of an unusual expression for Ella in this pic.  She gets a bit bored with my photo taking and entertains herself by putting on "mango zombie" faces (and other variations on that theme) for the camera.  I've gotta be quick these days.

Ella talked her Mummy into staying with us for dinner too on Friday - Rob drove her home in the dark!...and we've all promised ourselves there will be a sleepover very soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mello Bello

We finished our jaunt up north with another short stay with Ros and Pete last weekend.  This time we headed away from the coast looking for a good lunch spot...to beautiful Bellingen, home of many mid north coast alternative types and some great cafe food, good coffee and interesting shopping that caters to the town's interesting residents.

We thought 5 Church Street looked to be a good choice.  A homey place, full of soul, live music, (although sadly not playing this Sunday afternoon) mismatched retro furniture and lots of fresh local food on the menu (including lentils and red beans, of course).

Ros and I made sure we allowed enough time for a browse through the gorgeous old Hammond and Wheatley Emporium on Hyde Street. It is such a special place that even the boys enjoy a (short) browse themselves before finding a spot to chill out together and compare their phone apps (they're both still novices in this area by the way!).

Ros, Pete, Rob and I had a lot of fun planning our trip OS next year for the WEDDING!  We've got a rough outline already done - some accommodation options even - we just need an idea of the timing now!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Noosa rain

We headed for Noosa last Tuesday for three days at our favourite apartment 10 at the Noosa Lookout Resort. On the way north we stopped off at mellow Maleny in the beautiful Blackall Ranges for a lunch and coffee break in this cute little village with its focus on all things organic and locally sourced.

Under grey skies and shivering somewhat in the cool mountain air we decided against the highly recommended house made gelati at Colin James Fine Food and opted instead for their great coffees and some lentil pasties and locally made ginger chocolates from the Maleny Organic Co-op.

The closer we got to Noosa the greyer the skies became. Instead of the technicolour sunsets and sunrises we were used to seeing from our apartment windows this picture shows it about as good as it got for the next three days of our stay. We ended up quite intrigued by all the variations of grey that washed over us at different stages of the next few days: mist, fog, rain, vapour, cloud, storm, drizzle and wind.

....... A great excuse for some cocooning time in Noosa.

We braved the weather on Wednesday with an outing to the kitschy mid week Eumundi Markets. On our way, heading into Noosaville, we were successful in finding Belmondo's wonderful Fresh Food Market in Rene Street and its star attraction: Clandestino Roasters.

We loved the irresistible array of beautiful food available at Belmondo's including gourmet take home goods, and really enjoyed Clandestino's coffee - served with tasting notes, vintage spoons and information about the source of the beans and processing information - serious stuff!

This picture of Rob at the Eumundi Markets enjoying some of my organic hand made samosas with date and tamarind chutney after he had already downed one of his favourite Eumundi kranskies is just to prove to Josh and Jody that he can eat a kransky without spilling it all over his shirt!

Well away from the overcrowded, over hyped markets, this time we discovered the wonderful Cocoa Chocolat in Eumundi and its hand made, Parisian style, "to die for" chocolates. Our favourites were the dark chocolates filled with locally grown ginger preserved in syrup.

Between showers and storms we were still able to do some beautiful Noosa national park walks and a bit of idle browsing (mostly by me) in Hastings Street and at Noosa Junction.

On Thursday morning I got soaked on my way home from my morning walk so it took a while for me to dry out enough to plan our day's outing. So that day we ended up only making it as far as the Sunshine Beach Surf Club for a local seafood lunch in the club's restaurant overlooking the rain soaked beach.

Tragically there was a fatal accident on David Low Way that morning, only a little way from Sunshine Beach. With the road closed and a sombre mood about we decided not to do any more sightseeing by car on our last full day on the "Sunshine" Coast.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brisbane Sunday

Going back to the place where you grew up arouses all sorts of memories, some good, some not so good and some hazy and ill formed.

The Old Museum Brisbane on Gregory Terrace in Bowen Hills has good memories for me. I'm smelling the aromas of the dusty halls filled with old glass cabinets of insects and artifacts and the well trod timber floors, from its days as the Queensland Museum (until 1986) and remembering the excitement of seeing the mind blowing Scandinavian Design Exhibition back in 1968 and my first original Picasso paintings in the rooms given over the the State Art Gallery collection before the collection found its permanent home on Southbank.

The Old Museum Brisbane is now home to the Queensland Youth Orchestra and together with the buildings surrounding it, forms a lively performing arts precinct in the city.

Last Sunday the Old Museum hosted the Finders Keepers Design and Art Market.  The place was packed with high quality work, talented young designers and trendy young (women mostly) locals.  The men there all had a slightly bored look on their faces apart from those queued up at the organic hand made beer marquee.

We met up with my friend Jane later the same day. We used to teach together at Canberra High School a hundred years ago.  When she moved to Brisbane I suggested she look at Bulimba as a possible place to live, which she duly did. Rob and I loved our time living in Bulimba back in 1972. 

This Sunday Oxford Street Bulimba was packed with movie goers, shoppers and a buzzy bar and cafe crowd. It took us ages to drive through the jam of cars and people.

But we found a quieter and much more sunny spot down on the river at The Jetty Oxford.

K. Rudd is a regular at The Jetty, but not this afternoon it seems.

We spent a few hours over drinks catching up with a year's worth of family, travel and work news as the sun slowly worked its way across the western sky.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Four weddings and another one

It's been physically and emotionally tough this week to pack up Granny K and all her belongings for her move to aged (hostel) care.  Alongside all that we've had to get her townhouse ready for sale too.   There's been lots of opportunities to be reminded of things past.....This selection of photos, framed proudly (if a little wonkily) on her bookcase tells a story - about us but also about family life over the last half century.

Exciting news from the UK this week also made us turn our minds to the anticipation of another family wedding in the next year or so (more on that later).

This is Granny K (Mum) and Dad on their wedding day in Brisbane on 20th September 1941 just before the war was really starting to heat up for countries in close proximity to Asia.  Betty was 27 when she married and Dad was 26.  Their wedding outfits were very elegant, and good quality, but they reflected the prevailing mood of wartime austerity. Dorothy Coleman was a well known studio photographer in Brisbane at the time.

Twenty six years later on the 25th November 1967 Maxine (my sister) married Rod at St Andrew's Church in South Brisbane. Ros and I were their bridesmaids, and looked very fetching in powder blue satin with upswept hair dos (lots of teasing and hairspray).  The 60s social revolution had not really hit families like ours so Maxine and Rod's wedding was still quite traditional - although Maxine had tried to introduce some personal expression by designing and making THE DRESS (and the veil).  Maxine was a week off 21 years old when she married Rod (who was 21 himself by then).

Forty years ago in 1972 we were married in the Catholic church on Annerley Road on a hot January day (the 8th) in Brisbane.  I was twenty years old at the time and Rob was three days off being 21.  The 60s social revolution had even hit Brisbane by now but not much of it influenced our wedding.  There were a few informal touches (that Carly Simon style hat was considered very daring) and my dress, the colour of Rob's shirt and the length of his hair were all a bit hippy inspired but apart from that our wedding was mostly what our families at that time expected it to be.  We didn't have a professional photographer and relied on friends and families for their "happy snaps".

Then, in 1978 on the 4th March, Ros married Pete in a beautiful sub-tropical garden setting in Sunnybank in Brisbane.  They had a marriage celebrant and a casual buffet style reception under marquees in the garden...no veils, no trains, no professional photographers, not even a tie for Pete.  Ros was 19 when she married Pete.  Pete was just twenty. I remember really enjoying Ros and Pete's wedding! 

Mum in particular found it hard to cope with all the changes that the sixties and seventies brought to the family and society in general but even she was happy with and supportive of the choices Ros and Pete made for their wedding and everything after that.

We were all so young!!! It's an absolute miracle we've all made our marriages work the way they have....they've stood the test of time.

I do envy our kids though who've never felt the pressure to marry quite so young and who were left pretty much to choose whenever and however they wanted to do it, and even IF they wanted to do it all.  Whatever they choose to do Davey and Cath will do it beautifully I know. We can't wait to be a part of it too!