Friday, January 27, 2012

Climber turns 11.

The 11th Annual Festival of Climber started with presents in the morning...


... followed by pizza, cricket and birthday cake in the park with friends and family.


It continued on the next day with a trip to a shopping centre for a fun-filled choose-your-own-present adventure with his Aunt Bronwen,  followed by a trip to the Muppet Movie with me.  That night his Grandma came to stay at our house too.


The next day was pancakes for breakfast!   And then another trip to a shopping centre for a fun-filled choose-your-own-present adventure, this time with Nell!


We think he's had a good introduction to eleven-ness.

Monday, January 23, 2012


We've been to see The Show! Twice!!


( In case that makes no sense, this is what I'm talking about)


We took Nell and the kids to the opening night.  Here we all are, looking pretty excited!


The show was lots of fun and both times Alan's tapping went over a treat.  So proud!  Considering he learnt from scratch, I'd say he did a good job with his technique, but the main thing was how fantastic he was at selling it.  He's a great showman.  Impossible not to enjoy it, as the roar of applause at the end of the routine showed. 

Astrid's crew were with us too and the kids were very happy to hang out with each other...


... particularly because we all got to go backstage afterwards and hang out in the Green Room and there were PACKETS OF LOLLIES THAT ANYONE COULD JUST HAVE.  Both my boys were pretty excited to offer Myf, Alan and Adam an M&M or two from their packets.

Astrid's husband also arranged for us to go and have a squiz at the empty stage which was AWESOME!  Climber had a little play on the drumkit, then they all went charging off round the empty auditorium and finally they insisted they wanted to push the buzzers on the desks.  In fact they refused to leave until we asked them some music trivia and they each answered a question.



It was a super-fun night.

Then Fixit and I got to go again for the Closing Night -which was also the very last show ever- and the After-Party.  It was very special and exciting to be part of it.  I think at a standard showbizzy party Fixit and I might have felt a bit over-awed and awkward, but as well as Astrid & Anthony, and Alan,  we knew a few other people, and so proceeded to have a fantastic time. I gave myself 2 little missions for the party, which were (1) to tell Denise Scott that I think she's awesome, (she's so nice and we had a lovely chat) and (2) to make sure I introduced myself to the Big Cheese (Producer), and I managed both of these.  And missions aside, it was all chat, chat, chat, fun, fun, fun! Fixit and I caught the tram home in a pleasant haze, and my sister Bron, who was babysitting, told me later that we staggered in Rather Noisily.

I have to tell you something about showbiz parties though,  (and you know, I've been to one now, so I know all about them) and that is you should BEWARE the free drinks being constantly brought to you by attentive waiting staff!  It all may seem like a lot of fun at the time, but you might be quite sick and sorry the next day.  There's something to be said for having to hunt and gather (or even pay for) your own drinks.  

Miss Caroline and AB

Saturday, January 14, 2012


We've had a little holiday! I took Climber and Cherub with me to Sydney, to stay with my Mum.  She was a wonderful hostess, feeding us, taking us on expeditions and generally spoiling us. Cherub, in particular, enjoyed her house, being blessed as it is with an enormous big bathtub and an inclinator for getting up and down the stairs.  Big fun for a small boy.

Day 1: We had a lovely flight up; no need at all for the sickbag held ready on the lap by Cherub who had been traumatised by his last flying experience.


We walked to the park, and the boys were very excited by proximity to Sydney's famous Harbour.  Water, boats, little crabs in the rocks! Very exciting.


We also explored the nearby market and tasted the local coffee and gelati.


Day 2: Beach Day!  We caught the bus to Coogee Beach, where the water temperature was lovely. (Our beaches down south are too cold for a snake like me.) I decided to try body-surfing the big waves there, but gave it up after 2 attempts; and indeed, minutes after I said to Mum that the waves were too short for body-surfing - as soon as they broke they dumped straight down, hard - the announcement came over the tannoy advising people not to even try.  However, I saw lots of people trying while we were there.  Nobody caught a single wave, everyone got dumped. Impossible waves.


The boys didn't care though, and spent their time trying to run away or jump through the evil waves.  They were both dumped regularly anyway, and found it great fun.



Day 3:  The Harry Potter Exhibition at The Powerhouse.  Apart from all the queuing, we really enjoyed it.  You can pull mandrakes out of a pot, check out the different wands of various characters, admire the figures of Dobby & Kreacher the House-Elves and Fawkes the Phoenix (my favourite non-human characters), see the Deathly Hallows and lots more besides.  Really worth it if you are a Harry Potter fan.  Cherub was very chuffed to have been picked for the Sorting Hat; my Mum had briefed him on what went on so he was very good with getting his hand up quickly! (The boys also really enjoyed playing with Stellarc, the interactive AI robot in the permanent collection at the Powerhouse.)


Day 4:  Ferry Day.  I think this was my favourite activity.  I think you can't go to Sydney as a tourist and NOT do this.  Chugging through that picturesque harbour with sunshine and the spray of seawater on your face is just a wonderful thing to do. We were blessed with a beautiful day; sunny but not too hot, the Harbour was sparkling and the view was superb.  So nice was it that we abandoned our initial plan for just a short trip to Circular Quay and back so that we could have a second beach visit.  Instead, despite having no snacks packed, and no swimmers either, we hopped aboard a ferry bound for Manly. Impromptu, spontaneous fun, and well worth it.


In Manly, we stayed at the shallow beach, had some sushi for lunch and a little paddle in the water...


...before heading for home.


I had a bit of fun using the panorama feature on Climber's camera, his Christmas present from my Dad, which he let me use for the holiday.



Day 5: Another walk to the coffee/gelati shop and the park, and then time to fly home. We said goodbye and thank you to our kind hostess, and boarded the plane.


(Unfortunately, the flight home was bad.  We landed in a southerly gale which bumped the plane like anything as we descended and made Cherub and me sick and miserable.  Also, Melbourne was absolutely freezing on our return and is only just starting to warm up again, days later!  Still, it was lovely to get back to Mister Fixit and Basil-kitty.  Mister Fixit was pleased to see us but had enjoyed his peaceful stay at home, but Basil had obviously missed me very much and was my shadow for the rest of that day and night.)

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to live in Sydney, but it was a great holiday destination.  Thanks again Mum!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy New Year!

I know, I know.  I am late.  It has been the New Year now for 4 days, but unfortunately Melbourne got hit by a heatwave for 3 of those 4 days, and if you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that our house is disgustable in the heat. As, indeed, am I.  The computer room is the worst of the worst, and only my children went in there voluntarily.  So we put 2012 on hold for a few days and spent our limbo-days in swimming pools instead.  My sister is visiting from Canberra again with her kids,  flat-sitting for our aunt, in an air-conditioned apartment with access to the body corporate private pool.  We spent two days over there, doing as little as possible. We spent one day at MSAC, which is an enormous aquatic centre with a waterslide and a wave pool, and another one at our local pool with Astrid and co.  I didn't shower for that whole time and the knots in my hair had to be seen to be believed.  But the cool change came last night, my hair is washed, our dishes are done, our life is coming back into order.  So I have now declared my official start to 2012.   I hope it brings happiness and health, kindness and sharing, and somewhere cool to go in a heatwave to everyone.


I just read this post over at Fairlie's blog.  This part is almost word-for-word of a blog post brewing in my head recently.
Part of what made blogging so special, particularly in the early years was the cut and thrust and repartee of the comments box. I think it's fair to say that comments are to bloggers as applause is to actors.

In the initial couple of years of my blogging life, there was an immediacy of the comments process but of late, that interaction has declined. Facebook seems to have taken over that role to a large extent, and I know many of us are reading and replying on Facebook via phones and/or iPads, which are not so conducive to the more traditional forms of blogging. (Geez...can you believe I used the word 'traditional' to describe blogging? Things move fast in the digital age.)

I think I'm lucky, because I've found a little niche of blog-friends, who are frequent and/or thoughtful and/or witty commenters.  Occasionally, I'll receive a lovely email or one-off comment from people who've been reading regularly, but quietly, and that is also a delight. My real-life friends quite often weigh in about a blog-post in person, or on facebook, (oh the irony!). And you know, lurking is okay of course; sometimes I lurk.  If I'm quite honest, I'm a bit of quid pro quo commenter, in that I really only comment regularly with people who I know will reciprocate.  Otherwise I'll just drop the odd comment in when I feel like it.  But if I think back to a few Decembers ago, I think there were a lot more blog-readers popping into each others' comment-boxes to wish each other Happy Christmas and New Year.  These days I'm not sure now if people are reading less, or just saying less, or indeed if my blogposts are just less comment-worthy.


I do think the start of a brand new year might be one of those times when we could go the extra mile, so to speak.  Not that I want to boss you or anything.  But I think it would make a lovely start to the New Year if you were to leave a message in the comment box, witty, thoughtul or otherwise. 

Happy 2012!
Caroline x