Dec 24, 2009

Obligatory Christmas Barbie Number One

Christmas in Australia Nicole's had a few days off work so we've been working our way through our savings procuring fripperies for the little un.

Nicole has also been working hard on the Santa fantasy. Last night Eloise got an email from Santa telling her that the elves had sent her something and lo and behold if there wasn't a christmas stocking in the postbox for her to hang on her bed.

Yesterday we picked up the tow-along bike which will be Eloise's conveyance to school in the years to come.

And dare I say it there's a Barbie.

Considering Eloise's draw drops open and gasps of delight are uttered when Christmas cards are opened, we should be in for some excitement tomorrow. Which is not even to mention the presents that other kind people have sent her.

We've been busy this week with all that, and eating.

Today we were casting about for a thing to do and decided to go up to Jolly's Lookout for a barbie. It's a jolly little place which looks out (jolly, looks out, get it?) over Samford Valley and over Moreton Bay. It's on the edge of the rainforest so the wildlife sounds interesting and it's high up so it's cool.

A bit windy today though. Nicole worked hard on the wood-fire she was attempting to light but the barbecue she had selected faced directly onto the valley and the wind was blowing straight into her embers.

A couple of others turned up and they soon had their fire roaring but we were struggling away with a lot of smoke and not a lot of action. Of course I had to call into question the Slimm pyro genes. It seemed like every time I turned my back the fire would go out and I would have to come and sort it out!

Nicole of course blamed the wind, the alleged dampness of the wood, and the fact that she hadn't remembered to bring the hand-axe she doesn't even possess.

Anyway after a couple of hours the fire was sort of going and some sizzling noises were being heard. Oh, no, that's rain.

It didn't really start raining but the light was failing. This was a little concerning as someone had been playing with the lamp that we had brought and it was dead.

But all was well and as dusk settled over the mountains we tucked into our kebabs and salad, then left.

Eloise has left a carrot for Rudolph on her windowsill along with a mince pie for Santa. She's tied the stocking onto her bed. 'Tis the night before Christmas.

Nicole won't go out to the shed to fetch the tow-along. There's animals out there. So there are limits.

Dec 16, 2009

The Infernal Beast

The Infernal Beast So the Christmas Tree went up and festooning with lights and decorations done. Eloise delighted.

Presents have been received through the post and placed beneath tree. Eloise delighted.

Matilda has caught a sniff of something in the air, it transpires. Two presents found in garden, opened. Lindor chocolate box, opened. Chocolates absent.

Presents in cupboard.

The Grand Performance

She's Got Legs The Grand Performance came round on Saturday and it looks like they took some advice from last year - it was vastly improved.

And not just because our darling featured in three wonderfully chaotic nearly-dances to music that failed to be offensive.

But firstly - no epic ballet in the first half. Secondly - it didn't go on for four hours. Thirdly - we had front row seats. Fourthly - classy music... well, Spanish Flea - Tarzan and Jane - Spice Up Your Life to name all that I can remember.

Still with the girls cloned up with identical costumes and make up and hair styles it took a couple of minutes of size-sorting to work through the thirty shuffling pre-ballerinas to work out who was who and which was which.

So it was mildly entertaining, if perishing cold with the fundamentalist air-conditioning going bananas. I only fell asleep for a little while.

Toddler Overcomes Fear Of Santa

Santa Clause It was Eloise's Christmas Party last Friday at the childcare centre (a separate affair from the graduation, please take note).

She is becoming quite the gregarious little creature and we didn't see that much of her. Nicole managed to grab an hour's break for work so she could come and endure, erm enjoy the party with me.

I saved her the trouble and the focus/commitment by queueing for Santa on her behalf. I should point out that clearly Santa's don't need to be that convincing to pass muster in a four-year-old's eyes - I mean check out those eyebrows! and the fake beard!

Anyhow I was almost at the front of the queue when the call went out for the Seahorse kids to go and get ready for their performance. How gutted was I!

Soon we were, um, treated to a set of performances of children speaking in French, singing the twelve days of Christmas Aussie style ("Five Kanga-rooooooooos") before Eloise and her cadre of militants came out dressed up in tiger masks, lion masks and fairy dresses to sing us some strange but strangely cute about animals creeping up on you so you'd better watch out then roaring loudly.

So the tiger mask stayed on while we went to see Santa afterwards and previous episodes of last-minute Santa fear were avoided as she is this year buying into the Christmas mythos (albeit minus the whole R-word thing) religiously. Oh, there's the R-word.

And then the usual but different wankoid clowns, this time Peabo and Bryson or something, came out to perform bad magic badly in a kind of post-ironic-Tommy-Cooper-but-with-ridiculous-wigs-and-make-up way.

Dec 11, 2009


Graduation Wednesday saw Eloise graduate (ahem) from Nursery along with around 40 other kids.

The ceremony was turgid with the threat of extreme cheese but, proud parents that we are, we soaked up the song-singing and hand-shaking and the fromage factor receded, or we became inured to it, or something.

My lovely wife volunteered my services as official photographer and I set up a little studio in the corner where they all queued up to have their family portraits done with their certificates and their gowns and their mortar boards.

Dec 7, 2009

Countdown to Concert

What You Lookin At The countdown to the Christmas Dance Concert is well and truly underway and we have moved from one set of finely-timed contrived activities to another.

There was a rehearsal on Saturday where legions of kids and more legions of parents descended on the dance studios in somewhat heated conditions.

On Sunday we went to a barbeque with some friends who we have met through the dance school too, and straight after that on the way home we were back at the studios today to pick up the costumes.

For the ballet dance Eloise will be wearing a pink dress with babooshka head dress, for tap a finding-nemo type costume with fish eyes and fins, and for jazz a spangly swimsuit type affair with spangles.

Needless to say all the costumes had to be tried and tested as soon as humanly possible.

Today was the photoshoot at the church up the road from the dance school. Legions of kids. Legions of parents.

Tomorrow - dancing.

Thursday - dress rehearsal. We can't make that because if clashes with the nursery Christmas party. Which reminds me - Wednesday, Nursery Graduation.

Friday - day off.

Saturday - concert.

Dec 6, 2009


haramaS It's been a blur of late and non-nights. I've typed 600 pages of photography fact. I've prepared and printed 21 pages of colour photographs and hand-printed 12 pages of black and white. I've trimmed and mounted 40 photographs onto black card. I've mounted god alone knows how many transparencies. The ridiculous minutiae of presentation have been attended to.

My computer has broken. Photos have been chopped in half. Assignments have been forgotten or de-prioritised then completed at the last available minute.

Boxes have been packed, portfolios purchased and assembled.

Slides have been forgotten and delivered at the last minute by Nicole. Reams of printed notes have been drill-punched at the last minute by Will.

And all this whilst maintaining some sort of semblance of regular life with the swimming, the dancing and all that.

On the last day I had no sleep and made it through on coffee-flavoured fumes until handing the heap of stuff in just 30 minutes late.

One of just two people out of the original twelve to do so.

It's over.

I am catching up on sleep.