Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hallo and Hallows!

So what with the school hols/ visitors/ back-to-school madness I have only felt like I've got enough time/energy /brainpower to blog as of today. It is highly likely I'll start flooding Le Blog with catch-up doings now, but the policy I've just decided on (subject to change) is to blog one thing at a time.

Today I want to talk about Harry Potter, so fair warning to anyone who is not into him! (And while I'm doing that I'll show you some pictures of Cherub modelling the wizardy/Jedi cloak I made for Astrid's 5yo son)


When they released film of The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 last year, I made a conscious decision not to go see it. I knew exactly where they'd end the first film (I was right) and I didn't want to have to wait a year for the resolution. The Deathly Hallows is a great big finale, and is full of big battles and sad goodbyes and important revelations. I felt the need to go through it all in one fell swoop.


So last Saturday, Nell and Climber and I borrowed the Part 1 dvd from the lovely Shula, and locked ourselves into the Lego Grown-Up's Room. (Cherub was banned owing to not having read Book 7 - the rule in our house is Book First- and Fixit was sidelined owing to having to look after the banned Cherub, and also he wasn't that interested.) When it was over we had a little break and then headed off to the local cinema, where we bumped into our very good friend Pea (Astrid's daughter) and her Dad, also come to see it. The kids were very happy to see each other and elected to sit next to each other. Pea's Dad advised them that if they got scared they were to hold each others' hands, at which they both gave shy embarrassed giggles. I sat on the other side of Climber. There were concerns on my part about whether he'd be able to handle it, owing to his hyper-sensitivity. This is a kid who was traumatised by a Mr Bean movie for heaven's sake; although, that was a while ago now. And when we'd been reading the books he was so upset by the death at the end of Book 6 that he wouldn't go near Book 7 for a long, long time. But thankfully, curiousity and a little bit of peer group pressure got the better of him, and he read the book last year. When I suggested that we could see it at the movies together he was quite excited and certain he'd be okay.


And good news, he was okay, at the end, if you know what I mean! During the film, the scenes involving Snape's flashbacks had the two of us sobbing our hearts out, and I could also feel Climber shaking during the Gringott's break out and the final battle. But he came out looking fine, and pleased, and exhilarated, and there were no breakdowns or losses of sleep later either.

Even though I resented Warner Brothers for releasing the 2 movies a year apart, I agree with Pea's Dad about how splitting the book into 2 parts made the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 much better films. They didn't feel so rushed. Important things weren't left out for the sake of quidditch special effects. The tension was excellent. Alan Rickman is a legend, and was the most inspired piece of casting in film history.

In fact I'd go so far as to say that these 2 films were the best of the series, alongside Azkaban. My only quibble is that they ought to have shown Harry repairing his original wand before he snapped the Elder Wand.

I highly recommend seeing the films as a double feature. What it felt like was the same as the days when each new Harry Potter book was released: after waiting a year and lining up for it on the first day, I'd come home, shut the door on my family and fall into the book completely. For an entire day I lived in the world of Magic, and it was magic. And that was how it was on Saturday too.


Friday, July 15, 2011


It's a little bit crazy at my house. Good crazy, mind. House overfull sort of crazy, toys everywhere crazy, having to say the same instruction over and over again crazy, kids on top of each other crazy. But it is really nice to spend time with my sister and her kids, proper chill-out time, not just me minding the kids while she works.

We've had a family catch-up with some aunts and cousins that Bron hasn't seen for a long time. We worked out that between all the many cousins on my Mum's side of the family there are now 26 second cousins, and counting.

We went to Scienceworks together, along with the greater population of Melbourne. If I thought my house was crowded it was nothing to the heaving mass at Scienceworks! Climber said he thought he was getting too old for Scienceworks, but I'm hoping it's just he's just too old to experience it with thousands of little kids all getting in the way.

We've taken the kids to parks, because (a) fresh air is good and (b) tiring children out so there's less monkey business at bedtime is also good. The four of them are squished in one room, they need to be told several times - with increasing severity - to be quiet and go to sleep!

And I had the second of my holiday tap & hip-hop workshops, with the little kids this time. My sister came and took some gorgeous photos for me.

More wine, anyone?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

School Holiday Tap & Hip-Hop Workshops

Cold, wet and windy school holidays: what ARE you going to do to entertain and wear out your children, hmm?

What we did was put them through their paces at the Tap & Hip-Hop Workshop at Miss Caroline Tap Dance. They had an ace time, and sat around at home quietly for the rest of the afternoon! Perfect.


The kids started off with a 45 minute tap class with me, Miss Caroline. We had just one attendee who had not danced before but the workshop was structured so that beginners and experienced tappers would be able to do it and enjoy it. They had a great time learning the routine.

Then we had a snack break and a breather, changed from tap shoes to sneakers, and it was time for some Hip-Hop with Sarah D.


A bit of pop & lock, a bit of break dancing and a grooving little routine. The kids loved it.

Next Wednesday we do it again, this time for the younger kids. So if you're scratching your head for something to inspire (and wear out) a 4-7 year old, you should get in quick! You can check out Miss Caroline Tap Dance online or on facebook.


Monday, July 04, 2011

We Went To The Fund Raiser

The children are home on holidays for the next two weeks, and what with outings and the way they like to hog the computer, posting may be scarce from my end. Next week could be even worse, as we are expecting my sister and her kids to stay. All of which means I ought to put down the doings of this last weekend while I have a chance.

So. Friday Night. Fixit went out with some mates, and the boys and I grabbed some chicken and chips and drove out to deepest darkest Camberwell for the Opening of the Great Hottie Challenge. We heard Hottie Organiser Extraordinaire (aka Ms CurlyPops) speak -and got a little teary when she did- and wandered round the exhibition several times enjoying the variety and skill and love and creativity that had gone into the making of all those hottie covers. I had to adjust mine because my Chilean Rescue Shuttle (a crocheted cover over a toilet roll) had got a bit misshapen in transit and the the little toy miner dude inside it was nowhere to be seen. (If you go to the exhibit and you can't see him & his little pick-axe, could you please give it a little tweak?) I gave the boys some money to put in the vote-for-your-favourite tins, and although they really only wanted to vote for mine -and thank goodness they did or the tin would have been empty- I persuaded them to pick two others that they liked. Both boys favoured the penguin.


Saturday morning was tap: this photo of the stretching session is courtesy Mister Fixit. We gave him an early birthday present; a shiny new ipod touch. His old nano ipod died and K-mart ran a good special, so our normal spending limitations *ie no cash because of vets' bills* were temporarily suspended. EVERYONE wants to play with the new i-a-pod. Saturday was also catching up with Nell, back from holidays and my Mum, visiting from Sydney.


Sunday was soccer. My Mum braved the bitter Melbourne chill to watch with us as Climber's team, after weeks of defeats, and to the great joy of the watching parents (because seeing your kid's team get whupped week after week is quite dispiriting) played some great football to win 2-nil. This is them at the end of the game; Climber was so ecstatic that he obviously wanted to throw a backflip, but lacking those actual skills meant that he just dived on the ground and rolled around. Our coach is walking like a proud man too.


We celebrated with lunch in a caff, then we brought Mum back to our house, to give her birthday cake (that's my Aunt on the right, she came to pick Mum up) ...


... and her presents. You see her wearing the Queen Anne Lace crocheted scarf I've been working on for a few months now. Now what am I going to do while waiting for swimming lessons to finish, hmm??