Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sweet three

Abi is three! She's had three days of happy birthday fun culminating in the sweetest little celebration you could possibly wish for today.

My job was to create a puppy dog cake (Abi's choice)?? With a bit of help from Grandpa this is what I came up with..........

The party started with some new headbands to unwrap (and try on), a good size stash of kinetic sand, some new books......

 ..and this parcel from me......
It was at this point that Abi says VERY CLEARLY to everyone ...this doesn't look very interesting!!  Oh dear.......

..although the shiny orange ribbon belt tie did look like it had some possibilities.

With presents done it was time for Joshy to watch over the meat roasting and for the girls to watch over him.

Abi had a her little Playschool friend over for the celebration....about the right number of guests for a very sweet three year old party I think!

 These kids really love their Daddy's roast dinners (as does the friend).

Can you believe the amount of food on their plates? AND it all gets eaten. Abi likes to finish hers and then sit on Grandpa's lap and eat whatever she can steal from his plate too. Ella reckons Abi eats like "Henry the 8th". (something she's learnt about from "Horrible Histories")

 Plenty of time after for play in the back yard and no need for party games!

We finished off with birthday cake (as you do) - and the puppy dog cupcakes proved to be a big hit too!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Canberra love

Rob's Mum is staying with us for a few weeks so it was perfect timing this weekend for a visit from the Sydney branch of the P family, giving them a chance to see their Gran / G-G and enjoy some play time with the second cousins.

The two A's are not too far apart in age and share the same interest in sand (digging and spreading).

although Sydney A's interest in taking charge of wheeled objects far exceeds that of Abi's.

 Z and Ella were keen to relive the crazy times they shared at M & M's wedding last May - but without the DJ and the party atmosphere it proved hard to reach (quite) the same heights of madness.

It was a great visit. We spent a lot of the afternoon enjoying a very relaxed lunch as gentle rain showered down around us as we sheltered Bali style under Pete's deck.

The Sydney branch stayed over at New Acton which was buzzing with good food and vibes this weekend (as ever) and the city was packed with visitors for the annual Multicultural Festival...a good weekend for Sydney visitors to see our city at its best.

J & J & A & E ate their fill at the festival outlets today but luckily left enough room for another superb Sunday roast dinner tonight and plenty of playtime with the girls at the sunset hour.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sydney East Art

It was a big weekend in Sydney for us. Claire's work had been selected for an emerging artist's exhibition at the Stanley Street Gallery in East Sydney, and the opening was on Saturday afternoon to coincide with the first Sydney East Art Walk for 2015. Great excitement!!

Claire's "Better than I remembered" looked spectacular on the main entrance wall to this perfect little gem of a gallery.

And this pair were exceptionally well suited to the scale and lighting in the main room of the gallery.

The four "emerging artists" each talked about their works at the opening. Claire talked about her recent move to landscape painting and her focus on experimenting with surfaces.

Liza and Merilyn run this gallery like it is their own home base (which in Liza's case it actually is!). We're only a stone's throw here from Hyde Park but the space emanates quiet seclusion and impeccable taste.  I want to live here!

Claire and I were treated to a tour of Liza's living quarters above the gallery on Friday afternoon.  We were invited to see her collection of Elizabeth Cummings paintings but couldn't help being gobsmacked by the views over inner Sydney, the quirky art work and furnishings and the extravagently large living spaces in this most densely packed part of inner inner Sydney.

There was a large gathering of friends, supporters and admirers there for the opening. Claire couldn't have done it any better than this!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The return of Australia

Tomorrow marks the start of the new school year for Canberra kids. The holidays are well and truly over and even our TV and radio are returning to their regular scheduled programming.  

But apart from all that I just get the sense that after a few years of being in the collective wilderness we're just starting to get back to where we should be in Australia. It looks like the Abbot government is really on the nose with the punters, Queensland politics has had a massive about turn and installed a whole bunch of (mainly female) intelligent and well spoken centre left leaning party members in place of the bully boys who ran the LNP, AND Australians have finally discovered soccer, the most multicultural and cosmopolitan of all our football codes YAY!!

AND breaking news on Monday morning Peter Greste is on his way back to Australia too - how good is that!

And just to top it all off..figs are coming back in season! Most Sunday mornings Rob and I walk to our local farmer's market (the Southside Markets at the Woden CIT) and enjoy a freshly made coffee and our choice of the artisan baked goods on offer for breakfast. Then we pick up whatever looks good and make up some platters to share with Josh and Jody and the girls over Sunday night roast dinner. Platters always start with some Primo Sale handmade cheese with fresh crudites and end with the best fruit on offer with a side serve of Lindt chocolates (Joshy cooks the roast and all the trimmings).

Today's pickings were particularly wonderful I thought (yumm purple figs)

There are no mangoes at the Farmer's Market (they're strict about the within 100klm rule) but what an amazing time of the year to be able to eat the last mangoes of the season with the first figs of the season! (and luscious blood plums too).