Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Party week wrap up (part2) - a rugby fairy tale.

Apart from a birthday party there were a few other very exciting things going on in this house during this last week.

I think I've mentioned before that my girl is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to interests.
She loves her ballet and music and all things pink and purple, but one of her other passions in life is rugby.

She was fortunate enough to meet the Queensland Reds players after they won the Super 15's rugby championship last month  (link to the post here) 
This birthday week she was even more fortunate to meet the Australian rugby team. She got the chance to play a game with other children against some of the players and got the team to sign a poster which is on her playroom wall. - Lucky girl.

meeting the Australian rugby team and coach

Even though this was all a big thrill an even more exciting thing was yet to happen...

Sibs has a favourite team.
She has a Welsh mother and an English father and she now lives in Australia
...yet her favourite rugby team is the All Blacks from New Zealand!

Ever since a holiday to New Zealand a few years ago when we happened to be staying in the same hotel as the national rugby team she has taken an interest in the All Blacks. She would sit in awe when the players arrived for breakfast and watch their every move. She loved the media interest outside the hotel and the hype of the locals hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
When we went back to New Zealand in January we had to go and visit Eden Park to see one of the stadiums where they play.

pointing out Eden Park, Auckland

They All Blacks were playing in Brisbane on Saturday and we found out that they were appearing in the city centre for an hour on Friday morning.
Could she get to see them?
We pondered over the fact that she would miss a morning of school  (bending those rules again!) and that she may not even get close if there were huge crowds there. In the end the decision was made to live the moment and give her the chance...
We let her know the plans the night before and she was so excited. It seemed to take her forever to fall asleep - it felt like Christmas eve!
The next morning instead of her school uniform she was proudly wearing her All Blacks rugby jersey clutching the biggest sketch book she owns complete with two pens just in case one ran out!

Now, here comes the really exciting part...

making sure Greg Clark knows how to pronounce her name!

Whilst waiting for the players to turn up, Sibs was asked if she would like to go on stage and perform the Haka. (The Haka is a traditional Maori dance that is performed by the All Blacks Rugby team before a game.) So off she went with another three children and stood in front of hundreds and hundreds of people (millions according to Sibs!) Not only that, but joining them on stage were six of the All Blacks team!
What a once in a lifetime experience!

She was then presented with a cap, a scarf , a rugby ball and a huge poster....and then got to meet and chat with the players.

She even made it onto the nightly ABC news and the Sky news!
(See the camera in the top left of the photo?)
How do you top that?
Well you top that by having your photo taken with your absolute favourite player...Ritchie McCaw.
She had the biggest grin on her face in that shot.

hmm...I wonder why he's her favourite player?

What an experience for a nine year old - a birthday week that she will remember for a long time.

Penblwydd Hapus my Sibsy girl.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Party week wrap up (part1)

Well, well, well...where has the time gone...?

My girl has turned 9.

There's something 'big girl' about being 9 don't you think?

"I have a  9 year old daughter"  - sounds so grown up.
What will it feel like when she hits double figures?

Sibs informed me on the morning of her birthday that she was now a 'tweenager'.
I'm not even sure that she knows what this means - but it sounds scary!

So what kind of a week has it been....?

Well, it's been pretty full that's for sure.
There is so much that I want to write about the past week, but today I'll just keep it to the birthday party.
I'll share the other exciting happening later on this week...

The cakes were made, presents were bought and aprons were finished in time for the party,

The girls decorated the aprons in various designs and then decided that they would add their signatures to each one. What a lovely idea.  Even better than I imagined.
They then got to keep their apron to take home after the party.

They enjoyed making their own pizzas, but not as much as they enjoyed getting stuck into the chocolate fountain - now that was a huge hit!
Messy - but a hit.

I wonder if there were any sore tummy's that night?

The next day Sibs was lucky enough to get an invite to another party.
Just the kind of party she needed after a crazy week - a pamper party.
Six 'tweenagers' were treated like superstars.

Oh, how I would have loved to have gatecrashed!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

What was I thinking...?

There is an important event happening here this week -
a 9th birthday and a party to go with it.

It's all a bit of a mad rush to get things together.

I love birthdays, and I usually get organised weeks ahead and start planning and preparing and putting things together....not this year!

Somehow the "weeks until my birthday" conversations changed into days and now it's almost hours!

Sibs is having a pizza party where the girls will top their own pizzas before cooking and eating them., followed by strawberries dipped in a chocolate fountain.
I have agreed to make the dough but they get to do what they want from then on...

This has the potential for getting a little messy, so I had the bright idea of getting them each an apron
and then they could keep it to take home in their party bag.
Yesterday I went searching for aprons...hmm, slight problem...
They were too big, too small, too expensive!

In my wisdom I decided that I would make the aprons.
(what was I thinking?)

I'll add it to the list of ...
Making cup cakes to take in for her class mates...
Making a birthday cake...
Making cup cakes for the party...
Buying the party bag goodies...
Buying little prizes for the games...
Buying pizza toppings,
Making the 'pin the slice on the pizza' game...
Finding the chocolate fountain and all it's little parts (and keeping fingers crossed it works!)

Oh and in the middle of all this I've agreed to do a few more hours at my work place this week!

What was I thinking indeed!!

I shouldn't be sitting at the keyboard now, so back to the grindstone!

Wish me luck - it's going to be a crazy week...


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Boat House or a House Boat?

Isn't this a great spot to sit with a nice drink and watch the world go by?

That's where I was on Sunday afternoon.

I must admit my afternoon wasn't quite so idyllic as the photo would suggest. Sibs was in and out of the kayak, fishing off the jetty, constantly wanting to show me this and that, running around looking for firewood with her cousin, asking if she could have yet another strawberry...

Anyhow, come and have a look at this little boat house...

The land that I'm standing on to take this shot is being developed
and the story goes that this will be one of the last little boat houses on this shore.
'Council' won't let anyone build anything this close to the water any more.
I hope that the new owners keep it when they build their home.
If it was for sale and if I had the money I would snap it up...
Wouldn't it be so perfect for a weekend escape?

It's pretty well hidden when you approach from the land.
Once you explore a little further, this is what you see.

It just has that comfortable run down look. A place that has lived a little.
I used to be a fan of pristine - a wooden deck had to be well oiled and looked after.
Now I see that wood needs to be like this - grey and worn, and full of character.

A pristine painted door would look so out of place.
 The worn paintwork, chips and scratches make it so much more appealing?

I'm guessing that this is a gutting table for the fish?
I'm not sure how much fish gutting I would be able to do...?

I would be much happier sitting with novel in hand just watching.

Not a bad view...?

I could happily sit and keep an eye on my girl having fun in the water.

So from boat house to house boat...
There are a few house boats on this river and the one below is for sale.

House boats reminds me a little of the film "Sleepless in Seattle". I went to see the house boat used in that movie when I visited Seattle some years ago and it just looked like a real house on the waterfront.
There would be something quite different about waking each morning surrounded by water.
Not sure it's quite for me though. I think the constant motion would be a bit much.

If I had to choose I'd opt for the little boat house.
Ahh, well, a girl can dream...

Monday, 15 August 2011

If you can't beat them...

....join them!

Usually when my lovelies venture to the water for the weekend I find excuses to stay at home...
I have admitted before that I am not the biggest fan of sand.

When they returned from their last trip, they made me promise that I would go with them next time...
This weekend was that  'next time'.

 Considering that it's still Winter it was actually a glorious weekend, but when the sun took a rest behind a cloud it did get a little chilly. So I packed for every eventuality - lots of layers; changes of clothes; novel; magazines; snacks; toiletries to open a chemist....I think the invitation for me to join them was re-considered! They usually throw whatever they can see in the hallway on the way to the car and they are away!

When we got there though the time was spent relaxing, playing, and catching up with family.

considering whether to join in ...oh, go on then!

a little afternoon snack

tawny frogmouths keeping a sleepy eye on us

"I can't go home until I've caught something!"

With such lovely places as this on our doorstep it's time to re-think my sand aversion...

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Census night and changing times

It's census night here in Australia. 

I was trying to explain to Sibs what a census was all about
 and I think she eventually sort of got it when we got to the Mary and Joseph story!

Even though she is not entirely sure what it's all about she asked plenty of questions.
My favourites were -
"Do we have to include the cats?"
"We can't have 'friend' to play otherwise it will mess up the census"
"Oh no, Dad is away...(wobbly bottom lip)  he won't get any services if he's not on the census!" 

Apologies for the terrible photography -( maybe my phone isn't quite so good at night?)
but allow me to just take a moment to comment on the question about ancestry.
It asks - "What is the person's ancestry?" and then gives 7 options with a 'other' box at the end.
How come "English', 'Irish' and 'Scottish' get a box...and no 'Welsh'? Hmmph!

I also had a little chuckle with this box - I ran out of counting fingers!!

Anyhow, I completed my census online and it was super quick and easy.
When I pressed "submit" it made me recall that earlier conversation.

No donkey to get to the census city...not even a pencil was needed!
I bet even a generation ago would not have envisaged a situation where one would be sitting on the sofa,
 ipad on lap, completing it?

Times are a'changing.

Talking of changing times...
What is going on in some parts of England at the moment?
Riots and looting on the streets of London and some of the major cities?
I was watching the UK news earlier today and just couldn't believe what I was seeing...

I hope it settles quickly and safely.

Monday, 8 August 2011

"You like vinegar in your salad don't you?"

This morning as I was showering my girl headed downstairs for breakfast.

When I got to the kitchen she proudly told me that she was making her own pack up lunch
and had prepared mine too.

There was a huge slice of left over pizza, a small tub of salad, a muesli bar....now it gets interesting...

some feta cheese that she didn't want to cut (as it was slimy), vinegar - Malt vinegar?

"You like vinegar in your salad don't you?"

(yes, but, ummm that would be Balsamic...)
No words needed....just a thank you cuddle.

precious times.

Caru ti Sibs

Friday, 5 August 2011

Banana smiles!

Have you got any idea how much bananas cost in Brisbane??

They are hovering around the $13 per kilo!
(That is roughly £8 per kilo)

A banana is treat time - big style!

Bananas have not graced my grocery list for a little while.
  Sibs was complaining to a work colleague visitor from the UK that came for dinner last week how it was "months and months" since she had a banana (poor deprived child..!).

On Wednesday evening this same lovely lady came to dinner again
and arrived with a bunch of bananas - how kind.

Banana smiles all around!

Happy weekend,

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Birki bargains!

Do you like my Winter shoes?

I took this photo by accident whilst playing around with my phone.

These shoes make me smile...they are so different to anything else that I own.
They were bought on a complete whim,/a spur of the moment/ a 'what the heck' impulse buy!

I do have a bit of a thing for shoes...
and I also have a bit of a thing for a bargain and sometimes these two things combine!
Let me tell you...

Apart from when in work shoes, most of the time my feet spend their time in open shoes.
When I moved to Australia, I quickly wore out my summer shoes as I was wearing them for about 10 months a year as opposed to 10 weeks a year back in the UK!
Time for some shopping...

If you like Birkenstock, here is a bargain website http://www.footshopping.com/
You can buy direct from Germany and save lots of $$$.
I usually group together with a few friends to bump up the order so that we save on the postage costs -
(if you spend over a certain amount postage is free.)
With regards to the above Winter shoes, in order to save the postage costs
I needed to spend just a little bit more...so these found their way into the virtual basket.

I now own...well, let's just say quite a few pairs of shoes courtesy of this website.
Fortunately, or unfortunately my feet won't grow any more...but Sibs will need some Summer footwear...

 These are so cute...

...and these

 ...and these

...or maybe these!

(All images (apart from my feet!) from here.)