May 31, 2011

Urban Climb

Urban Climb This weekend saw a birthday outing for Eloise's class.

It was little Daisey's birthday and she was turning 5. Eloise is in a combination class of Preppies and Year Ones which is quite nice as it means she gets exposure to more kids, and as they're younger she probably looks after them, or something, knowing her.

The birthday party was to be a climbing party. A rock climbing party. That raised a few eyebrows...

I volunteered to be a belayer, that would be the chap that ties the ropes and stops the terrornauts from falling to their deaths.

Anyway we turned up at this place called Urban Climb. It's basically a warehouse with some big walls in it, and they're covered in colour-coded hand- and foot-holds.

We goggled a bit at the really impressive overhanging walls, wondering how on earth anyone was going to escape alive, then thought what the hell, presumably if the body count were too high, they'd probably get shut down or something.

After a while the volunteer belayers were taken to one side and training commenced. We learned how to tie bits of rope to harnesses and stuff like that.

And before long we were tying children to our pieces of rope and they were haring up the walls like little monkeys.

Eloise did particularly well. She was initially nervous but pretty soon she was up and down the walls in an inexhaustible cycle of climbing.

She got Daisey's Dad to belay her up the overhang and almost made it up the straight part using the difficult handknobs. Every time she fell off she was determined to try again and she was the proverbial last man standing at the end of the day.

She's agitating for a return visit already.

May 30, 2011

Matilda vs Humanity

Out in Public Somebody had the bright idea of taking Matilda to the market.

Eloise thought it would get her out of having to walk the dog.

Nicole thought it would be amusing. She said that she thought that Matilda would be fine. I don't believe that she really believed that.

I thought it was a bad idea. I put a post-it on the door to say "This is a Bad Idea."

But I was not listened to.

In actual fact, other than pulling us into flower beds a couple of times, she was OK. No dog fights. No stealing food from the mouths of babes, though she came pretty close to achieving a nearby metaphor.

If kids came up to stroke her I would look earnestly at the parent and intone "Don't get food near her."

That did some sort of trick.

May 24, 2011

To Market

To Market The score when we went to the market this week was as follows:

Made a list. Eloise made the list this time. So we ended up with 12 tomatoes.

Collected bags together.

Got dressed (her, not me).

And off we went, to Kelvin Grove. Drove around the block three times looking for a parking space, and began the amble, via the cash machine to the market.

Generally the market is negotiated in two passes: once up the way just to see what might be what and once the other way to perform the actual shopping.

There are distractions that have to be managed: dogs, shiny things, and so on. Eloise generally agitates for flowers and plants (to put in the garden these days rather than in a vase).

The essential shopping for veg takes place at a venue of discretion each week. Fruit takes place with Our Friend from Stanthorpe.

Plants and flowers are at the bottom end, and coffee from the Bunker people always rounds it off.

This time the bags were heavy with food and begonias. The amble back to the car was slow. Eloise had to carry the flowers.

May 18, 2011

A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races This apparent attempt at telepathy or telekinesis or something is actually the Ginger Preparedness Pose in the relay race.

Today was Sports Day at school. By the time we'd fandangled around in the morning eating breakfast in a sleeping bag (sleeping bag is popular at the moment) and putting off actually getting ready and then cycling into school (did I mention that Eloise is now an independent cyclist), which is probably about as quick as walking, Sports Day was about to begin.

I had to leg it home to get my camera and by the time I'd got back Eloise had completed the hundred metre dash and claimed second place.

I say she claimed second place... she claimed to me that she'd been in second place but as there was a ribbon that said "Second" on it for people who had achieved that accolate - a ribbon which she was self-evidently not wearing - I treated the claim with a dash of salt....

A little later, after I'd located her and then her hat, which had been deposited in some random location, and rubbed shoulders with my esteemed co-parents past and present, she ran the relay race as part of a Gordon (her house, red in shirt and claw) team, and lost.

They then had tug-of-war, which they also lost.

Then it was the parents vs Y7 in the tug-of-war. We showed no mercy. They were anni-hi-lated.

May 10, 2011

Cheek by Jowl with Nature

Carpet Python We woke up the other day around seven am, and Nicole went to open the window, then we laid back to listen to the rain and the radio for a while until Eloise woke up.

After a few minutes Nicole gave me a nudge, asked me to put my glasses on and have a look at the window.

"Oh yeah... it's a snake."

And sure enough a carpet python was making its way in through the window to ensconce itself upon the curtain rail.

Where it remained, in its newly discovered hiding place.

After a couple of hours (after dropping Nicole off a work and Eloise at school) I phoned the snake man to get his take on things and he said to leave it until midday or so (ie when he could come round) and see what happened.

At two o'clock it was still there, coiled up and comfortable, and the man came round, lifted it down as calm as you like, gave it a little stroke, pointed out the rat in its belly, popped it in a black cloth bag and that was that.