Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our weekend

It was a big night out in Queanbeyan on Saturday night to watch Ella, Angus and Ollie perform in Bom-Funk Schowcase X111.

It was a BIG thing for Ella to wait (nervously) backstage (for ages) without her Mummy and Daddy for her class's performance to begin. But once on stage, in front of the big audience, she didn't stop smiling and kept on making all the right moves!

It helped that it was a family affair, with Claire her teacher (and choreographer) and Angus her favourite dance partner, especially when he busts his special MJ moves. Tonight's performance from the preschool funk class was "We Will Rock You".

Claire would have been very proud that at least three of the dancers have been caught in this photo all making the same move at exactly the same time.

Ollie had a starring role in the opening sequence of the preschool funk group's dance, before going on to perform beautifully in the Boyz Crew's very funky version of "Transform Ya Mix" later in the night.

This is my best pic of the night (very difficult conditions for getting well lit shots in focus). Angus is in the midst of one of his signature MJ moves (to the delight of the crowds) and Ella is dancing, smiling her heart out and looking like she is loving it.

Claire and Jody were the heroes of the night..Claire for getting these performances from such little people while developing their love of music and movement ...and Jody (and Josh) for getting Ella so calmly through her little person's nerves to perform with such confidence on stage.

We ended off this weekend of glorious Canberra winter weather (15 - 16oC max) that included some intensive gardening for Mum, and the usual Sunday morning gym session, (with freshly made fruit bagels after from the Woden Farmer's Market) with a wonderful long lunch with S and D and baby Yasmin.

S has the most wonderful palate and an exotic food background so lunch was amazing, with lots of original touches: interesting olive dips with fig vincotta, pomegranate & cos lettuce salads, Middle Eastern and Asian influenced dressings on fusion dishes that just worked!!

Baby Yasmin is just gorgeous but is at an age (just four months) where she keeps both her Mummy and Daddy very busy and awake lots at night. So it is doubly amazing that they still make the time to cook so beautifully and still invite their friends over for lunch (lucky us!).

D stayed up until midnight the night before making our gorgeous dessert. He said he was inspired by the Vincent Gardan (from Sydney's Patisse) masterclass in last week's Masterchef . The dish had so many components: candied citrus, chocolate ganache, poached pears in syrup, handmade pastry cases - delicious.

All done in between being attentive loving parents to gorgeous baby Yasmin! They are an inspiring couple.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mary Poppins

We used the Queen's birthday holiday weekend to treat Ella to a matinee performance of "Mary Poppins" at the wonderful old Capitol Theatre in Campbell Street in Haymarket, Sydney. The treat was really ours, to share her excitement and joy at the familiar songs, the "awesome" staging and effects, the wonderful costumes and the great showmanship of the cast. We all rated it the perfect musical for small girls!!!

We managed to cram in some great eating experiences in our 24 hours in Sydney: a rushed Yum Cha lunch at crowded East Ocean in Sussex Street, some famous Dixon Street Street cream puffs after the show (we had a long wait in a queue to get these), an amazing early evening sushi feast at the Elizabeth Street end of Hay Street and then a Pho and noodle lunch (including our beloved sugar cane prawn rolls) at our favourite Cabramatta eating place Thanh Binh today.

It is amazing to be in the company of a small person who is so delighted with everything life offers. She amused us last night as we watched her selecting our sushi plates while giving us a running commentary about the relative tasty-ness of fish/shark eggs, seaweed salad and black vs toasted sesame seeds. And she made a great effort with this huge platter of combination crispy noodles at Thanh Binh today.

Thank you Ella for a wonderful Sydney stop-over.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vivid Sydney

We joined thousands of other people at Circular Quay on Saturday night to see what excitement Vivid Sydney, the winter festival of light music and ideas, was creating down on the waterfront.

A team of French lighting experts had prepared a light show on the sails of the Opera House that was decidedly geometric and Art Nouveau-ish I thought.

With the odd jelly fish and sea creature references thrown in.

Unlike the painterly visions created previously for Vivid Sydney by the likes of Brian Eno I didn't find the geometric approach quite as engaging, although I do appreciate the efforts made to keep me and thousands of other Sydneysiders amused during Winter.

There were dozens of children friendly light sculptures set up along the full length of the Quay - very playful and entrancing, making the mood very festive. We even saw a celebrity couple in the midst of all the festivities: Gary MacDonald and Diane Craig, walking in front of us along the promenade then turning into a Chinese Restaurant!!!! Gary MacDonald has a very nonchalant walk!

One of the other reasons we headed to Sydney was to check out the progress of the painters who are transforming our apartment block from the rather neglected state it was into this........... How stylish does our stairwell look now?

They have replaced our West facing windowsills and done such a thorough paint job on the exterior casement windows in our bedroom that we can't open them anymore! Oh dear!