Sunday, February 23, 2014


We were in Sydney over the past three days hoping to provide a bit of a diversion. Pete was given a leave pass on Friday from the Mater so we were able to enjoy lunch together and a bit of a wobbly walk to the end of Ridge Street to admire the amazing view towards Cremorne and the beautiful harbour beyond.
If you have a hospital stay ahead of you can I recommend the Mater Hospital in North Sydney, just a short walk from this very pretty park and one of the best views in Sydney (and some good lunch spots).

Trying not to think too much about the day ahead for Pete we caught an early evening movie at Dendy Circular Quay (Le Weekend - which was a bit poignant actually) and then some wonderful views from the Opera House boardwalk. We thought it would be fun to have a drink at the bar but decided we felt too old to cope with the crowds, the noise and the music.

It was quite a magical evening really. The Diamond Princess, heading out from the international Terminal, linked the two Sydney icons rather beautifully.

We ended the night at The Spanish Fly at The Spot and walked back to the apartment quite late.

Pete was scheduled for 9.30 surgery on Saturday morning so we filled in some time with Ros at the Orange Grove Organic Markets at Lilyfield (really good markets) and a walk up Balmain Road in search of the wonderful Bellingen Gelato in Rozelle.  We got Ros back to the Mater in time to talk to the surgeon as he emerged from theatre and to see Pete in the ICU. The rest of the day was spent feeling thankful relief that all went well, and that it was all over.  Rob felt too tired after a big week of driving so he didn't join Ros and me at another night at the movies - The wonderful Nebraska at the Randwick Ritz.

We saw Pete this morning in the ICU all bright eyed and feisty despite the myriad tubes emanating from his body and the mammoth scar running down his middle. He's being a very brave boy and we're all wishing him easy weeks ahead (and for Ros) as he recovers from all this.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This girl is two

Our gorgeous Peppa Pig loving girl , big sister (Dare Dare), Mummy, Daddy, Nellie (nawny doddy = naughty doggy), chocolate (doccy) loving girl (Abi) turned two today

This girl is full of laughter and fun, quicksilver action and is almost impossible for her (slow to react) Granny to keep in focus.

We had a quiet celebration of her actual birthday today over lunch. She laughed as we sang her Happy Birthday but preferred to outsource the candle blowing to me - which she found pretty funny too. There was one pink smartie on her birthday cake which she sucked on for AGES, the absolute highlight of her day!

Our "Percy" girl is personality plus, like her big sister, but more of a daredevil and probably more of a cheeky monkey too at this stage. We think she might favour her left hand like her Mum's Mum and her Dad's Dad. 

She is enjoying having a go at new words now she is two. Her Aunty Ros (and Pete) sent her a new Oobi skirt for her birthday and she loved the RICRAC trim - which she had no trouble saying (so clearly too)..another very "punny" word in her rapidly expanding vocabulary!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Doing stuff

We really admire the way Ella is really into "doing stuff" at the moment. She is focussed, solving problems and always keen to "get it right".

In the last week of the holidays we spent a lovely afternoon at the Gold of the Incas exhibition at the National Gallery. Ella spent most of the time in the "play room" experimenting with all the lovely materials and activities designed to get children and young people engaged with ancient Peruvian cultures. 

We had to be kicked out in the end by the security guards at closing time. Ella wanted to go back again the next day!

Yesterday I watched her make a "Rupert plane" - one of the hardest paper plane constructions you could wish to master. Previously, her Dad and London Davey were the only ones I knew of who were able to whip off a perfect Rupert plane from a standing start! It takes some very involved folding and sophisticated aerodynamics to master one of these.

Abi loves "doing stuff "too: daredevil acts on chairs and railings, mastering the art of going nappy-free, playing hide and seek with the big girls, lusting after the doccy (chocolates) on the rare occasions they're offered!

Joshy's current "doing stuff" challenge is to create the perfect roast Sunday night dinner. This was his first attempt at a pork leg roast on the bar-b-que - very successful - and very popular with the girls.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The stuff of legends

Post by Rob......

I took delivery today of the rebuilt 'Coolum Victa' from the maestro Adam from Kambah Lawn Mower Centre.  This old lady is vintage 1956 and has links back to the era of the FJ Holden and the 1956 T-Bird and Pontiac; a time when things were built to last.  I think they started to make them after the Second World War and she originally had rubber covered steel wheels (I still have them). 

She has her own poem written for her and ranks with the important pieces of hardware in a man's (or womans') life like old shovels and tools you inherit from your dad, old guitars, a TR and beautiful things given as gifts that encapsulate an expression of true feeling (the things that are a wrench to part with).  

I am told that she is a collectible.     

 Note the hand fashioned handle on the pull chord, a link back to her previous owner (Stan) and her previous life keeping down the buffalo grass at Coolum Beach.
Adam has completely rebuilt her internals as they were a bit tired when I took her to him. In fact she had no puff at all. This is a young man who knows a thing or two about the zen of lawn mowers.

I wrote this poem for her about 15 plus years ago when she took a little holiday after I had her doing some hard work over the road on our hill.  I am much older and more respectful now. 

The Coolum Victa

The Coolum Victa has died
Josh said that its’ bearings are fried
This is the diagnosis of our son
He is a Mechanical Top Gun.

It came to me from Stan
And he was the man
Who could make that Coolum Victa sing
And I kept it alive
But it could not survive in my care forever.

It was the pride of my fleet
But it could not meet
The heavy demands
Of a Kenyon tart's* garden
They're pretty hard  'n
Every Victa today
Must pay its’ own way.

It goes now into Victa Heaven
Where it can mow the grass
For Kenyon's First Eleven
Or perhaps prepare the lawn
For SRV** to give a concert on.

I will never forget her
Our family history will not let her
Fade away

So RIP Coolum Victa
You are laid to rest today.


She didn’t die,
Apparently she just had a little holiday.

* term of great admiration and affection
** Stevie Ray Vaughan