Jan 27, 2014

Eloise Feeds the Birds

Here are the King Parrots which came to see us at O'Reilly's. All they require in order to share in Eloise's love is a tray full of bird seed which they gorge on before limping away like dead weights on wings.

A Walk Across the Treetops

Eloise's insatiable lust for rainforest birds must be sated at all costs and this can only be achieved by firstly situating ourselves in rainforest settings and secondly by situating the birds in Eloise's hands.

It has been years since we went up to Lamington National Park and this seemed to be a good location for some rainforest bird action, since it ticks both boxes, being a rainforest resort and additionally having rainforest birds aplenty and a feeding area in which to offer them a hand to sit in.

Also there is a treetop walk on wobbly bridges and a ladder going up an enormous tree for Eloise to climb up and then down, which she did with great alacrity.

Jan 23, 2014

School Holidays are for Bike Rides

It was on a day in the school holidays - I don't recall my school holidays being encumbered by inconvenient things like parents, although I don't actually recall very much about being eight years old - that I decided it would be a jolly wheeze for us to take a little bike ride to Nudgee Beach.

Because after all in the days when we were dogged, as it were, we did on occasion ride bikes along the brook to Nudgee Beach, where we would take the sea air before returning whence we came. In retrospect, I do remember bleeding paws and rescue missions.

But anyway, be all that as it may, I persuaded Eloise that it would be a great idea by firstly failing accurately to describe the precise distance to be traveled, and secondly by providing the outright bribe of chips at the cafe.

Clearly, in the Queensland summer and this, the hottest Queensland summer in at least a year, sunscreen was a priority, but I trust my daughter to make the right choices and so I left her to her getting ready while I attended to the decreasingly helpless daughter number two. Slip slap slop.

Eloise currently rides an elegant - classic even - lady's bicycle, previously owned by an elegant, classic, lady. As a lady's bike, it is a step up from the previous pink pushbike, with larger wheels, proper pedals, capable of distance. It seemed only fair that Eloise should get the chance to finally put the bike through its paces.

We rode along the side of the brook for a while, skipping a few playgrounds, crossing from one side to the other and then back, crossing some roads, Eloise on her bike, Lyra and I on mine.

We took our first break after Kalinga Park under the railway flyover at the confluence of the channels where the Kedron Brook became Schulz Canal. Crisps and a spot of fruit, a little walking around.

Then under Sandgate Road, by the shopping centre, alongside the Arterial with trains overhead on their way to the Airport, under the sun. We stopped at the velodrome for a toilet break, and looked at the map. We were nearly a third of the way there!

To cut a long story short, it's actually quite a long way to the beach. By the time we'd made it there and back, the phone app thingy was telling me we'd ridden 36 kilometres, at least 26 kilometres of which were punctuated by moaning ululations of apparently agonising fatigue, and marked by a linear pinking of number one's shoulders.

Between the fear of exposure as an outright negligent sunscreen applicator if not an inappropriate delegator of slapping, or slopping - I forget which - and the fact that Lyra was on the back seat of my bike stewing in brine after having taken an impromptu swim, we were in a little hurry to get home and got our 36 clicks over and done with in a mere three hours and seventeen minutes.

While at the beach, we ate chips and potato wedges, drank fizzy drinks, went to the playground, and had a paddle that escalated out of all control. And a good time was had be all!

(except Eloise, maybe)

Jan 14, 2014

Do No Harmonica

I can bang out something resembling a tune on a harmonica. I am being utterly literal, the noise I make with the thing resembles a tune, though you'd be hard pushed to name it, very very loosely.

Lyra loves it though, giggles inanely and thrusts the mouth-organ into my mouth organ for more. Endlessly. And now she has worked out how to blow into the thing so it will make a noise too.

Jan 2, 2014

Make it Stop

We have this electronic keyboard thingy on which I like to have a tinkle (so to speak), Lyra likes to have a bash, and Eloise likes sometimes to play a bit of music.

It does have this problem however, a feature which is supposed to be a tutorial device but which plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and other annoying tunes using a General MIDI palette of sounds. Endlessly, and at high volume.

The worst thing is Lyra is learning to bogle to it.