Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Turning Two Blues

Ella's really felt the strain of turning two, especially now she has no sleep time dummy, and so many big girl choices and decisions to be made, all without the good sleep patterns of her pre-two days.

She coped really well with the first half of her family birthday celebration lunch yesterday, opening presents and welcoming guests with her customary charm, although her refusal to wear anything but her Bonds singlet (and Metalicus skirt) on a 14oC Canberra May day was a bit of a bad omen.
I don't know how she handled the wind chill factor while helping Josh finish roasting the lamb on the bar-b-que.

The promise of some bike riding with Ollie restored some good humour and a return to cold weather dressing.

Ollie was such a charming party guest, playing along with whatever interested Ella even though he is practically 5 now and so grown up! Angie had to stay home with his Daddy as his Mummy thought his virus wasn't worth spreading
Being pushed (fast) down the small dip in the garden path by Ollie was definitely the best part of the party for Ella.

Although getting a ride in Josh's go-kart was the best part of the party for Ollie.

Back inside, J & J's beautiful lunch and red wines went over very well with all the party guests. It was noticeable though that things were deteriorating somewhat for Ella. She took a dislike to her jacket, her Bonds singlet, even her (new) formerly desirable shoes. I thought it helped for a while when I found a denim pinny she would wear for a while.
It seemed to help her get through the blowing out the candles on the cake gig, once again with Ollie's assistance. Eating the cake was pretty good fun for a while too.

A few most uncharacteristic meltdowns later Ella was fast asleep - before even any of the guests had left the party.........a tired and emotional end to a week long birthday celebration that we have all enjoyed and felt privileged to be part of.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ella is two today!

Ella was jumping out of her skin this morning with the sheer joy of turning two, at last. A long, late breakfast with Mummy and Daddy, playtime with her new Raggedy-Ann doll, an early morning visit from us and a new pair of maracas to shake were all part of the excitement.

To celebrate her birthday Ella has chucked her sleep time dummy in the rubbish bin and hardly ever has a wee time accident any more. I was so impressed with her last week on our way home from lunch together at Happy's in Civic when she requested a wee stop (pretty urgently) just outside the PM's Lodge on Yarra Glen. Rob did a smart swerve onto the grassy median strip and Ella "delivered" (very discreetly of course) within 75mts of the seat of our national government - proof positive of living in a healthy democracy!

I was lucky enough to be there this morning when the postie arrived with Ros and Pete's present from Sandy Bay.

Ella knows already that when a present from Ros and Pete arrives there'll be something stylish inside. What about that yellow chicky backpack!

To go with the gorgeous 50s retro style cotton print dress with spotted bow and all-over "paper doll" illustrations just like Ros and I used to play with as little kids in the 60's.

Ros, where do you find this gorgeous stuff? Ella loves your choices and might even swap her current fave striped leggings to make sure she has a better co-ordinated match for her new favourite dress!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Captured at the Q

Maxie and Claire had a great opening at "The Q" tonight. The works looked amazing in this ideally proportioned, and lit, exhibition space and by the end of the night there were a pleasing number of red dots - with another two weeks for people to view and consider!

In keeping with the Re-Generation theme there was a range of ages represented in the opening night crowd. I think that young baby Phineas (son of Sam Wilson) was the youngest.

But the Fischers and Judy L (and friend) were certainly not the oldest.

Carolyn S. and Anne S. are great fans of Claire and Maxie's work.

Erin and John were just as photogenic tonight as at their wedding last month. They are standing in front of the painting that is heading off to Ros and Pete at Sandy Beach.

Pam and Geoff seemed to be very pleased with their purchase: Talking about my Re-Generation.

We all loved seeing the very talented architect Katrina J., seen here with the very talented Maxie.

Georgina, with the beautiful red hair, was voted the best gallery director ever.

Don and Sally came and showed their support, as they always do with anything involving Claire, Jeremy or the boys.

This is my best shot ever of Angie (with his talented Mummy).

Thank you for the privilege of being able to be the official opener of this inspiring and joyous exhibition. For anyone reading this blog who didn't get an invitation please get along to "The Q" Exhibition Space, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, Crawford St Queanbeyan from 12-23 May. Mon - Fri 10 -4 Sat 10 - 3.
And just to repeat if you want a sneak preview their amazing work is posted on:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

This is my third blog entry with the Mothers Day tag! This was a much more noisy celebration than my first blog entry in 2007. Ella is learning that her big boy cousins are very entertaining, providing she keeps a wary eye out for random biffo, especially from Angie.
Ollie is showing enormous assurance as an artist collaborator with his talented Mummy (see previous post), has a very enquiring mind, and is endlessly fascinated by how things work.
In the midst of the hilarity today he managed to find an old "Where Did I Come From" book in his Nanny's hoard and insisted Rob read it to him. Look closely at the picture below and then marvel at the very serious, earnest expressions on Rob's and Ollie's faces as Rob explains the difference between Mummies and Daddies.

Angie and Ella were just as happy running around the garden and playing hide and seek in M & R's wardrobe.

It was great to see Erin and John again and hear news of their post wedding holiday in Vanuatu. Unfortunately Erin came straight back to Australia as the Swine Flu hit - a very big event for her as she works with the Australian Government's Pandemic Preparedness Unit. So far she has done a great job of keeping Australia almost unaffected by the virus - but it's taken its toll on her and her unit - with many long hours at work!
I want to share author Tom Keneally's contribution to a collections of essays comprising The Book of Grandparents. "Being a parent is like being a slightly bewildered NCO in the trenches, with fear of consequences all be a grandfather is a little like being the general back at the chateau, writing dispatches on the bravery of the troops, besotted with admiration for them but with the warm knowledge there'll be time for wine with dinner."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Re - Generation

After many months of work Maxie and Claire are almost ready for their joint exhibition at "The Q" Exhibition Space in Queanbeyan next week. I have the honour of officially opening the exhibition on Tuesday evening 12 May 2009 from 5.30pm. If you want a sneak preview their amazing work is posted on:

The official photographer at John and Erin's wedding has posted some of her beautiful photographs on her blog at They are particularly beautiful shots of a stylish and picturesque wedding!

With all the focus on Re-Generation our garden is at the peak of its Autumn transition, creating a constantly changing painting each day of vivid, luminescent swathes of yellow, orange, russet, mahogany and claret. It doesn't get much better the further May progresses so these shots are my best effort at capturing Autumn 2009 in our little suburban block.