Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back to normal

It's been a very busy two weeks for us with Shane the painter busy in one half of the house and then Tim the carpet layer finishing off our house reno late last week. We were sick of moving things, sorting things, packing and unpacking things, and trying to find vital bits and pieces we'd forgotten the location of, in our late night pack ups.

Ella had no trouble coping with our house in chaos. She found it all rather exciting and really enjoyed the company of Tim the carpet layer. We all agreed he was one cool dude with an awesome set of tools and very nice blue eyes.

Jody went back to work this week so we were lucky enough to have Ella's company for two days of high energy, non-stop action and in depth conversations about just about everything known to man or woman.

Ella has a very busy schedule this term: two mornings a week at proper play school (conducted at a neighbourhood Preschool), swimming class on Tuesdays, dance lesson Wednesday afternoon (Claire takes this class!), lunch with Daddy one day a week, and then two days with us. So far she seems to be thriving on all this intense activity!

We really enjoyed Canberra's Multicultural Festival this year, joining around 100,000 other people in the City to enjoy being crowded (unusual for Canberra), experiencing a cacophony of sound and movement (unusual for Canberra) queuing for food (unusual for us) and meeting up with almost every other Canberran we know doing the same thing.

I had a chat with Constable Kenny Koala and tried to teach him one of Ella's favourite sayings from "Fireman Sam" (uttered by an Aussie fireman character with a broad Australian accent): "Flying Koalas..... its raining sideways" except you have to say it: "Floi - ing Koi's roi-ning soide-woiys"...Ella can do it perfectly!
Unfortunately Kenny Koala didn't seem to find it as funny as I did. I think he was trying to maintain his Constable Plod decorum.

Highlights of the festival for me were getting to talk to the Director of the French Film Festival which opened in Canberra on the 18 February with a screening of Potiche (Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve), finding out about the Australian Cuban Friendship Society and their low cost work and study tours to Cuba, checking out the chef's moves at the Moroccan tent and getting to catch up with some of my favourite ex students (sisters) at the Palestinian tent. They are both going back to the Middle East early next year with their family, after a four year break. I wonder what they will find!

We ended off our multicultural weekend on Sunday evening with a French film: Marriage a Trois. We were amazed to see so many people get up and walk out in the first hour. Were they surprised that the actors all spoke French, that nothing much was happening and that the characters talked endlessly and in circles about their feelings and their relationships?...yes, it was a French film! All the more enjoyable for us because we hadn't seen the work of the wonderful Julie Depardieu before (Gerard's daughter).
During the week before we'd gone to the opening of The Sapphires, a musical story of the real life experiences of an Australian Aboriginal girl band in the sixties and seventies. They'd travelled to Vietnam to entertain the troops and experienced a lot of love, joy, heartache and racism along the way. We loved the show and really enjoyed the after show party and the chance to meet with some celebrities (everyone from K. Rudd to Casey Donovan) including cast members, and other Aboriginal friends and colleagues.

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