Jun 27, 2011

Brisbane Winter Festival

Brisbane Winter Festival Nicole has been cock-a-hoop with anticipation over re-living her childhood by going ice-skating.

Over the past week there's been an ice rink set up in King George Square beneath the City Hall in Brisbane.

We went down there with Eloise's little chum Jessica and her family. Nicole procured a nice little package where we all went skating and got cups of hot chocolate afterwards. And we got to keep the cups too.

We sampled Brisbane's public infrastructure while we were at it too, parking down by the hospital and climbing on a bus which whisked us into town on the dedicated busway through the purpose-built bus stations, architecturally more like railway stations, which are hidden away out of sight. It's quite an experience if you don't know it's there, and it ran as smoothly as clockwork, to mix metaphors a little.

King George's Square was a-throb with activity. The ice-skating rink was accompanied by various stalls selling gluhwein, hot chocolate, hot dogs, and european winter fayre of various descriptions, mostly Transylvanian.

We got on the rink pretty smartly, having fitted our skates to our feet, and off we went rather uncertainly. Nicole had arranged some seals (or bobbies as they were inexpicably referred to) which were basically glam plastic sledges that a passenger could optionally sit on. Anyway pushing one of those thingies gets your weight distributed for skating and it's much easier.

Before long I, a debutant at ice-skating, was waltzing around the rink at maximum velocity with the sledge like, oh I don't know, Simon Curry? Or was it Chris Dean? on co-ordination-reducing steroids.

And afterwards, Transylvanian pancakes. Yum.

Nicole was grinning ear-to-ear by the end and it was almost inevitable that the experience was to be repeated yesterday with Marion and Hannah.

Jun 26, 2011

Here's a little video I made with the new camera I had to buy after the last one quite literally hit the dust.

We took Lottie out for a walk in the woods. This was a very popular move. Matilda didn't mind at all and took the puppy in her stride, completely. What fun we had, trying to train that dog to walk to heel. What jolly jolly fun.

Jun 21, 2011

Girl's Best Friend

Puppy Power

Valerie over the road has a new dog, a little puppy called Lottie.

Lottie is Eloise's new best friend.

When she gets home from school, invariably her first request is to go and visit Lottie. This can get a little monotonous, but gives me a chance to rehearse the arguments, to wit: a) she is not our dog, b) we have a dog of our own, c) you can't go into someone else's house all the time.

This generally cuts little ice and sheer pester power usually leads to a time-limited compromise.

So Eloise lets herself out of the gate, crosses the road (very sensibly), opens Valerie's gate, and the yapping begins.

Lottie is very fond of jumping up, and of sticking her tongue up people's noses.

Eloise is very fond of picking Lottie up, and sticking her underneath her arm.

Sometimes Eloise comes back in the allotted time, which is nice.

Sometimes Lottie comes back with her, which is less so.

Matilda kind of likes having Lottie come over, in an aloof kind of way. Lottie likes to jump up, and to stick her tongue up her nose.

Jun 19, 2011

Faking Sleep

Faking It Poor Eloise really hasn't got subterfuge conquered as a strategem yet.

Sometimes it's a mystery what she is trying to achieve, sometimes not, but often you'll be talking away with her in the car three minutes before arriving at the destination, then when the engine is turned off she is mysteriously asleep.

Saturday being a case in point, when we'd been to a birthday party in the morning and had to walk the dog in the afternoon. The intention - to avoid walking the dog - was pretty clear, as well as it's unlikelihood of success given the fifteen minute drive, but there she was, in the back, suddenly asleep, apparently.

The Local Corella Gang

Australian Street Furniture There's a flock of corellas that are hanging around at the moment.

They're like cockatoos - well, they are cockatoos - but a little more high pitched in their squawking than our larger sulphur-crested variety.

They camp out on the power lines at the bottom of the street. There's a house on the corner with extensive bird tabulature. So in the morning and in the evening, the flock of corellas come to visit.

Jun 16, 2011


Reporting for Duty Nicole took delivery of some Ugg Boots today.

They are the mode du saison en Australie, as they are very unlikely to say.

As at is a little chilly in the evening at the moment, Nicole is delighted because they will make a significant contribution towards keeping her feet warm.

I've been wondering whether Ugg means something, or just derives from some caveman exclamation. I've discovered that they're manufactured by UGG Australia, albeit in China.... but Ugg boots go back to the early 20th Century where their story fades into the mists of history. According to wikipedia anyway.

Jun 14, 2011

House Removal

No Fixed Abode Mrs Perry toddled off to a home a little while ago, and her house was sold. We had heard on the grapevine that it was going to be taken away, and a new one built.

Yes, here quite often they don't worry too much about demolishing the old wooden houses. They take them away to a house graveyard and then other people buy them and install them, and live in them. Weird!

Anyway we had a run of reasonable weather this week (no rain) and with some preparations afoot it looked like this was the week.

They started off one day by taking down the stairs and removing some foliage and the fence from the front.

Another day they removed the roof tiles.

We wondered if they would chop the house into pieces, which they sometimes do.

But no, when it came to it, they came along with a bloody great truck which they reversed underneath it. Then they lowered the house onto it. Then the took off the roof timbers.

The council came along and pruned some trees so the power wires would be free.

And, in the dead of night, with a police escort, the house was gone.

Jun 9, 2011

Go Dancing

Lake Samsonvale While Eloise and Nicole were at dancing the other day (Eloise was dancing, Nicole reading a book) I took a quick jaunt up to Lake Samsonvale.

Eloise's class has three sessions - ballet, jazz and tap - and each goes for half an hour. She complains that it's hard work and that she gets bossed around a lot, usually just before going, then loves it when she's actually there.

She had a break last term and she's angling for another next term. She sees some merit in that pattern. In fact she might get a move to a dance school that's a bit closer to home where at least one of her little friends goes.