Too much has happened, hence the silence?
Starting with the best kids park in the world probably. I challenge you to beat this park at Darling Harbour. Beautiful design, children love it, water, sand, climb, play, run, free…whattya got that’s better? Been a few times now, but the photos only tell a small part of the tale.
This one of Adele’s exuberant ‘balancing act’ kills me…
Ok, maybe I overdid it with the Darling Harbour photos, but photos just don’t do it justice. Considering the rest of DH is quite toursity, bordering on tacky, (think giant IMAX theatre, boom-bastic overpriced, underderlivering waterside cafes, Disney-like amusement aquarium, wildlife park and wax museum), they did a good job with this bit. Not sure Lieutenant-General Ralph Darling, Governor of New South Wales, 1825-1831 could have seen this one coming.
Stella is walking, and this is old news…she’s been motoring since the day after her 10 month birthday. One of these situations where the body is WAY ahead of the brain. A 10 month old should not be walking with no understanding of the consequences. Still, she is giddy and loving every minute of her new found skill. Still planning on getting some videos out there.
Malcolm is attempting toilet training, but he is not very good at it yet, I must admit. Perhaps it’s because we’re doing it in Australian – he keeps going wee and getting a wombat stamp on his hand and perhaps he’s just a bit confused. There is progress however.
Adele’s talking just keeps improving and she is quite assertive with her demands. Apparently, this has helped her make friends at school and she is greeted daily with many hellos and requests to hold her hand, all day, even while trying to colour, eat, wash hands, etc.
All three children are in training in house cleaning and management and we have them slaving away night and day. Fred next door would be proud of our little helpers.
Here keeping the tree house clean of Possum Poo
Vinegar and water spray only holds a small advantage over the appeal of the squeegee
The sequence after this involved the same determination, but more wet people…
We’ve been doing a little traveling, but mostly welcoming visitors, which has been great fun.
We had our friend Dave visit and we continued with our new beach every weekend habit with a trip to Narrabeen.
This was followed by a trip to Brisbane for a urology conference and to see my brother Tony. Mostly though, Stella and I got to hang out which was excellent mother-daughter quality time, if not a bit of a one sided conversation. Here, 11 months, going on 15 years. I see some talk back in my future.
Adele and Malcolm stayed back with Doug and Hazel Ann who are visiting again. Thanks grandma and grandpa!!!
Then Glen, our neighbour in Canada popped in for a visit, and came bearing Frank’s Red Hot (which we enjoyed with some wasabi macadamia nuts and Aussie wine!?)
and loop bracelets for the kids!!!
Thanks Max, Ollie, Luke, and Sophie! Your loop bracelets have conferred magic powers to the wearer including very high jumping, extra fast running, and super loud ‘crash bang’ proclamations. In return, we provided Aussie bbq, full time child enjoyment and a trip to Manly beach with cafe lunch.
1. Barefoot. Photo as promised. In a 5 star hotel in downtown Sydney:
But the best part is the story told to me by my colleague in amazement (to be clear, she was amazed, not me) that her brother tried to get on a plane barefoot and they wouldn’t let him get on the plane, quel horreur! He had to go and buy a pair of thongs before they would let him on. She was genuinely put out by the airlines actions…some Australianisms I will never understand. The only people with an excuse for not noticing prior to, are security.
2. Restaurant service – apparently paying less than minimum wage and having to earn tips for good service actually works. Aus minimum wage is over $15 dollars, and there is no tipping culture really. As a result it seems, most things are too much trouble, if there is any trouble to come and provide service at all. In many places, you have to go up to order and pay and getting much attention in between requires a song and dance, or extreme, good old fashioned Canadian patience… Don’t know what it’s like at Michelin 5 star restaurants, but I’m not talking cafes here either.