Saturday, September 22, 2007

Travelling Davey

A birthday wish for Travelling Davey

It’s been thirty years now

Since he was a baby

He’s now an IT Journeyman

Plying this trade like a true Artisan.

But there is much more to the Davey I know,

And some secret stuff is beginning to show

In his travelling journal

Stuff that's bubbling down there

In his very own kernel

But like that skilled playwright

Bill Shakespeare

Travelling Davey gives them

Only what he wants them to hear

But he is in a joust with the ‘force’

I am referring to the Kenyon Tarts

Of course

Who decrypt each line

Working out the metre and time

In this time of self discovery

I send my best wishes

To my friend

Travelling Davey

I hope that it’s not too long

Before we can share a beer again

Down under in Coogee

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The best zoo in the world

The early morning bus number 373 from Coogee Beach takes us through Saturday morning awakening traffic to spectacular Circular Quay. It's still too early for the indigenous buskers to be working but it's fun to watch them applying their body paint straight out of the Chromacryl bottle.

Armed with our Zoo passes we board the Taronga Zoo ferry and take the best seats in the house to capture that amazing bridge, that amazing opera house, Kirribilli, Garden Island, and, best of all according to Ollie: the bumpy waves.

We had to see the crocodiles first. Ollie quickly became impatient with my map reading ability so tried to find where they were himself. Jeremy also became disillusioned with my map reading ability and took over the job too. He ended up as lost as I was - we just zig zagged back and forth around the "best zoo in the world" on this perfect Spring Sydney day with both O and A finding delight in every ordinary and wondrous thing - even the sleepy crocodiles who were doing a great impersonation of big hunks of logs in the water.

The cable car ride was too thrilling for words - gave us the best view of the elephants and that stunning harbour view.

Ollie's day was made perfect by the crocodile treat to take home and an extra bumpy ride back to Circular Quay on the ferry - this time up on the top deck.
Back at Coogee there was time for a quick drink and then some beach time. Angus caught up on some sleep as I tried to emulate the womb experience for him by trundling him up and down the paved boardwalk in his stroller. Ollie headed straight for the water and ended up getting happily soaked as his "paddle" went a bit out of control.
We ended a perfect day back at the apartment with imported beers and great takeaway from Coogee Thai.
We woke today to another perfect Spring day. We enjoyed breakfast at Barzura's with the Davies who were recovering from a noisy night at Coogee Sands. We handed over the keys so they could enjoy the next night at our apartment while they caught up with son Gareth. We envied them being able to stay on.
Back in Canberra we were able to catch up with the beautiful Ella who dazzled us with her smiles and her dumpling soft thighs. She is very settled at the moment, sleeping well and just starting to roll onto her side. She slept her first full night in her cot her last night.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Not in Sydney

We're not in Sydney this weekend because APEC has made it a no go zone for everyone else but Asia-Pacific world leaders and their hangers on. Annabel Crabb summed the week's events up brilliantly in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald September 8, 2007. I've copied it into the blog for Dayv's benefit in case it didn't get reported in the UK.


AND on the Friday there came a great confusion on the conference, and they spake in tongues. Thank God for the arrival of Vladimir Putin.

APEC was in dire need of a language as yet unmastered by the rampaging Kevin Rudd.
It was almost a relief to haul out the clunky headphones and embark upon the agonising choreography of simultaneous translation at the Putin/Howard news conference; the missed cues, the bungled allusions and the long stretches of everyone looking vaguely stupid while Viktor the blank-faced interpreter delivered a guttural account of what the Russian President had just said.

Howard never looks entirely graceful at these events. We cannot blame him for that - they are impossible - but this one brought a special clanger, when he enthusiastically endorsed the idea of a 2012 APEC in "convivial" St Petersburg, only to be reminded with Slavic chill by Putin that Russia favours Vladivostok.

If only APEC organisers had thought to chopper in some interpreters from Texas. The US President, for whom the English language is not a tool so much as a room full of baited mousetraps, started the day in great form at the Opera House, where he told business delegates that he thought John Howard was a terrific host "of the OPEC summit".
"I mean APEC summit", he corrected himself grinningly. "I've been invited to the OPEC summit next year." (Not true, in case the oil producers among you were wondering.)

The President plunged on, traps snapping to the left and right of him. He voiced his abhorrence of terrorist groups operating in the Asia-Pacific region, including the evil "Jenna Islaaanah Nia", who does indeed sound like quite an alarming young lady.

He congratulated Howard on his visit to Iraq last year, which had given hope and succour to "the Austrian troops there".

One could almost sense the craning CIA sharpshooters wearily exchanging their live rounds for tranquilliser darts. "Time to get the big guy out of there, Hank?"
"Roger that, Chuck."

Meanwhile, Rudd and China's President, Hu Jintao, nattered away animatedly in Mandarin, despite the general feeling of all that they should perhaps just get a room. The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, grumped on ABC radio that it was no big deal to speak Chinese; he spoke French, actually, but he did not go on about it.

Hu should be careful. No sooner had his farewell endearments dispersed to the winds yesterday morning than Rudd was already two-timing him with a handsome Russian. The Labor leader popped up at Putin's official lunch and delivered an erudite speech sprinkled with humour and literary references to The Brothers Karamazov.

(So like Rudd to ignore the more obvious Dostoevsky text, Crime And Punishment, in favour of a lesser-known work, in a cosy hint that he has read further into the oeuvre than was mandated by the English curriculum at Nambour High.) Who can stop this man? In any language?

Who needs to be an Asia Pacific world leader when you can have Ella come for dinner? I took this sequence of startled expressions on Saturday late afternoon in between courses (for Ella).

Look very carefully at this shot. You can see Ella's first two teeth emerging. Jody saw the first one last Thursday morning and the second one became obvious that same afternoon. This is pretty early for teeth to be emerging but we all know Ella is very advanced. It also helps to explain her being a little less settled than usual lately.

We did get lots of smiles too!

Rob and I have spent some time organising more things for Coogee. We bought a TV & DVD at the opening of the new Dick Smith mega store in the Canberra Centre on Friday night. Far more interesting was our success in picking up 4 beautiful bentwood chairs from the Fyshwick Antique Centre that we think will be just perfect for the apartment. Also bought a small dot painting from the Central Desert region - very similar to the one I picked up in Alice Springs last year.
Rob is already sketching plans for how he is going to fit all this loot in the Mirage next Friday night when we will be trying to transport it all up to Sydney. Claire and Jeremy have booked into the Coogee Sands Hotel so we will be able to have some fun together next weekend. A trip to Taronga Zoo with the boys will be the highlight.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Spring starts

We celebrated the start of Spring with a stay at home weekend, baby sitting Nellie the beagle while J & J & baby Ella enjoyed their first weekend away at Coogee. We tired Nellie out with lots of walking and garden mulch spreading in perfect Canberra Spring weather. We so enjoyed the novelty of being quiet little homebodies that we even resisted going to a (cut rate) advance screening of Lady Chatterley's Lover at Dendy. A Saturday afternoon spent reading and snoozing was too appealing.

We enjoyed a visit from Big O and little A for Father's Day. Big O loves going through the same routine every visit: setting up Rob's old wind up train set and his surviving 50 year old Matchbox cars, building towers with the 25 year old wooden blocks (no lead paint; they were manufactured in Australia), eating a selection tof the food on offer, checking out the parrots and filling up the bird feeder. This afternoon the added attractions were watching Nellie do her amazing ball catching act and blowing some bubbles in the back garden.

Little A loves standing up now and moving himself around with the help of furniture and grabbing peoples' knees. He learnt "up" and "down" today, bobbing up and down with a big cheeky grin on his face to show he knows which is which.

Josh came and picked up Nellie tonight after a great weekend at Coogee. Although Ella has a cold and was not always in the best of spirits while driving and shopping they had great weather and great dining (including their favourite Than Bhin at Cabramatta) and they loved the experience of staying in the apartment for the first time.