Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas in Sydney

Christmas day was marked by present opening ceremonies (starring our children), followed by a lovely Christmas lunch, a little nap and lovely evening feasting on more ham and lunch items. A very lovely day.

Boxing Day on the other hand was spent at the epicentre of trouble in Sydney - Cronulla. We visited Damien, Kellie, Kaitlyn, Isabellah and Jasper and took a trip to the beach. As a result of recent events in Cronulla, it now boasts the mantles of the safest beach and safest suburb in NSW.

The beach was well attended, but crowds were well down on a hot Boxing Day prior to the riots. Anyway, we had a blast and Owen had his first beach visit.





Owen was so impressed and felt so safe he even made a new friend.


The photo below depicts two brothers. Can you choose the one that normally resides in Melbourne?


Well, we've got an action packed 2 weeks ahead of us. Visits to friends and families, trips here and there as well as the ride home are all planned between now and January 8th. So if you're in Sydney and want a piece of the action, give us a call! Have a great New Year everybody.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Tomorrow we're heading north to Sydney for Christmas. We're all staying for 2 weeks and then returning so that I may go back to work to keep everybody in the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed.

It's been a very busy day just one day before the road trip. Karen had a wisdom tooth break away last night and it required an emergency removal today! Barkley had the cruellest cut of all today and will be feeling a bit sore and sorry for a couple of days before he forgets what all the fuss was about! And now we've got to pack and get the house ready for our imminent departure!

As well as being busy today, we've been very busy for the past month - the silly season. We've had Christmas parties, picnics, Xmas conerts - The Works.

We recently had a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens with some other folks who keep a blog (weblog - this kind of website) about kids and family. We took the dogs and they were a hit with the daughter of Kathy (the organiser). Alia was rapt in Hayley and Barkley and they did not mind the attention at all.




It was a gorgeous day and we'll be doing it all again some time in the New Year.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Spring has sprung

Well, it's certainly been a busy few weeks. It started with Damien, Kellie and family making the trek south for a week during the school holidays. During the holidays we went to the awesome ABC Gardening Australia Show at Caulfield racecourse. Angus even met B2. There really was something for everyone.


Just after the departure of Damien, Kellie and Co. we went to Healesville Sanctuary for an early morning breakfast and animal meet and greet before the crowds arrived. That was a great experience too, and only made available to Friends Of The Zoo.



Hot on the heels of Damien, Kellie and Co. was Viv, Brian and Angela. Their stay entailed lots (I mean Lots) of gardening, landscaping and general around the yard stuff. The transformation has been amazing and not a Spring minute has been wasted.



It wasn't all hard work of course. There was a local property open under the Open Garden scheme - so Karen, Viv and Ang couldn't resist. Patrick accompanied them.



One morning recently, Owen decided he'd help the dogs eat their Weet-Bix for breakfast. He's a great little helper!


Since the school holidays it has been Angus' birthday. The present from Nanna and Grandad was a scooter. While Angus got used to his scooter, Patrick mastered the art of no training wheels. Here's our happy big boy.


Playgroup has also been keeping Karen, Angus and Owen busy. Here's a few action shots and a photo of Angus and his mate Brendan.



And around the house, well butter wouldn't melt in their mouths!




We hope you're all well and we'll see you at Xmas time if not before (for anybody feeling like a trip South).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

And now for something a little different

Kathy over at Zucchinis in Bikinis has invited all Melbourne baby bloggers to The Inaugural Melbourne Baby Blogger Picnic. See below for details. If you're interested, leave your details in the comments of this post on Kathy's blog.
Baby Blogger Meet-Up
Ok, so here is the invitation... I have given three alternative dates and will confirm which it will be in the next post, based on responses. If you are interested, please indicate in comments and include an email address that I can use to directly mail further details and confirmations. Please also advertise the event on your own blogs, if you would be so kind, and encourage any interested parties to drop in here to RSVP (so I can keep a handle on numbers).

All Melbourne-based bloggers who write about babies and children (your own or a relative's) are invited to:

The Inaugural Melbourne Baby Blogger Picnic

When: 1pm to 5pm
Sunday 4 December OR Saturday 10 December OR Sunday 11 December
Where: A central city location, TBC by email to respondents (We will have a fine-weather and wet-weather alternative)
Bring: Yourselves, your offspring, food, cameras, toys etc (balaclavas optional :-)
It might be nice to bring a toy or game that others can share and enjoy; we will be bringing our bubble gun, for instance, which is usually enjoyed by kids from a few months up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Another new member of the Walker family

You may have seen recently that we brought Barkley into our home. Well, a few weeks later and he is well and truly a member of the family.

Today marked another big day in our household - a sister for Barkley!

Hayley and Barkley

Hayley is a 6 month old tri-colour Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Being twice as old as Barkley she is quite a bit bigger and Barkley is rapt to have a big sister around the house. They hit it off from the moment they got together. He's a bit boisterous and Hayley is forced to tap him into place occasionally.

Hayley and Barkley

Hayley was going to be kept by her breeder, but she had a change of heart and would like to take some time out from the breeding and show circuit. As one last hurrah, she entered Hayley in the Royal Melbourne Show. Hayley took away first prize on Monday and was in our house on Tuesday. It was a sad goodbye, but Hayley is loving her new abode and playmate. The kids (and the adults) are also rapt to have a little girl in the house.

Hayley and Barkley

Sunday, September 18, 2005

School holidays have begun

The first weekend of the school holidays was quite eventful. Leisa, Kevin, Hamish and Siobhan visited from their dairy - Leisa and Kev had the weekend off while Leisa's Dad tended to the herd (and he was glad when they got home).


While they were here, we went to the Melbourne Show. The day started out wet and miserable but had cleared up by lunchtime as predicted (the bureau get it right most of the time down here!). We saw some interbreed dairy cattle judging followed by a visit to the beef cattle and animal nursery pavilions.

Shortly after this we paid a visit to a few other pavilions before making our way to the woodchop arena. Just before going to the woodchop arena, nature called. While some of us visited the conveniences, Patrick wandered off (mistakenly) and got lost. 25 minutes of frantic searching later, Michael headed to the lost childrens office to find a very relieved Patrick. He wasn't the only one relieved!

From here we went and saw sideshow alley and all of the kids had a ride or slide and thoroughly enjoyed themselves before heading to the showbag pavilion and catching the train home. It was a long day indeed.

Angus at the Show

Sunday saw us heading up the mountain and visiting Silvan.


The Tesselaar Tulip Festival recently started and we visited on the Turkish weekend.

Kids and the windmill

As well as loads of tulips, we were treated to a traditional Turkish marching band performance and singing.

Turkish Parade

This festival is a month long and certainly is popular.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A new member of the Walker family

Today we took a trip to Geelong to pick up the newest member of the Walker family. We decided to get a puppy, one that when fully grown will be small enough to travel with us when we come to Sydney. We decided on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and we named in Barkley. Eventually we will get another, but seeing as I am home a lot and will be spending a lot of time with him, we will wait another couple of months before getting him a mate.

Michael and I didn't tell Patrick and Angus we were getting a dog, they thought we were just going for a day out in Geelong. We arrived at the house and they both got to have a nurse of the puppies. While Patrick was holding the one we were buying, we told hime that he was ours and that we were taking him home with us. They were both so excited.

Both the boys have wanted a puppy for so long but we had always said no because of us travelling to and from Sydney. It's lovely to watch them with Barkley they are both so loving towards him and so gentle. We have all really missed having a dog as part of the family, and this breed loves being part of a family and is so gentle. He has his little basket in the laundry where he sleeps and a large soft cushion in the lounge room when he is with us. He really is going to be part of the family, he will even be coming with us to playgroup (in his carrier) for the next couple of months so he won't have to be left.


We are very lucky down here, we have lots of parks and reserves where dogs are allowed and a dog training centre just around the corner. He also has a lovely big backyard to play in and explore. He will also be walking with us when we take Patrick to school and pick him up.






Saturday, August 20, 2005

A trip to the Museum

Today I (Karen) went to a Creative Memories Scrapbooking Day so Michael, not wanting to stay at home and do nothing, took the kids to the Melbourne Museum and as always the kids learnt a lot and had a great time.





After the kids had finished exploring the Museum, Michael took them out to Carlton Gardens which is just outside the Museum and they had a play on the equipment.




Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mid Year school holidays

Karen and the boys have returned from Sydney after spending the school holidays in the Harbour City. While there, they went to Annabel's first birthday party. Annabel if Vanessa's niece and Callum and Lachlan's cousin. As well as having a lovely cake...Annabels cake...the boys got to run around Fairfield City Farm with Callum and Lachlan.

Angus and Patrick

Owen seems a little bit over the party at this stage

Owen in pram

And butter wouldn't melt in Angus' mouth


Apart from the party, Karen and the boys also caught up with Rob and Suellen and little Noah - the brand spanking new baby brother for Jaydon and Annie.

We also got to see the Swans beat Collingwood at Telstra Stadium while seeing Lachlan run around at half time in the Auskick little league.

They also spent lovely days at home and about with Nanna, Grandad, Grandma, Aunty Angela and Uncle Simon. We also got to visit Uncle Damien, Aunty Kellie, Kaitlyn, Paige, Isabellah and Jasper who had all recently returned from their overseas holiday.

Well, Nanna and Grandad returned home today after spending a couple of weeks with us after the school holidays. It was great to have such a great time together.

We won't have long to get lonely, because next weekend Aunty Lauren is making her way south for a few days. Can't wait!

Oh, and on another note, Michael and Karen were part of a winning trivia team last weekend. Woo-hoo! And we're going to another trivia night in 3 weeks time.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 19, 2005


It all started a week and a half ago when Angus was diagnosed with croup. He was getting about the house sounding like a seal and not feeling very well. Since then, Karen, Patrick and (most recently) Owen have succumbed to some viral infection that has symptoms of a very runny nose, lethargy, coughs and all-round dog-tiredness. It was so bad last Thursday and Friday that I stayed home from work to nurse the entire family.

Anyway, as I write this it is now Sunday night and the family is on the mend. Patrick should return to school tomorrow and Karen should be able to take Angus and Owen to playgroup on Tuesday and Thursday. And me? I'll be back to work tomorrow for a rest!

We leave this coming Friday (24th June) to spend the school holidays in Sydney. We'll see you all soon.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Healesville Sanctuary

Today we had planned to go to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. After getting off to a late start and not leaving the house until 11am, we decided against driving across the other side of Melbourne only to spend a couple of hours at the zoo and turn around and have 2 or 3 grumpy kids in the car for the ride home.

So we headed to Healesville Sanctuary (which is much closer) and stopped in the Healesville village and monthly markets on the way.

Patrick and Angus atop a reptile enclosure

The sanctuary already has a platypus enclosure, but with the sponsorship of BHP they have built a new platypussary with the express purpose of increasing the ability and (hopefully) success of breeding in captivity.


Patrick and Angus in the Platypussary


There are his and her nests and ponds as well as a special nesting box for her. It's a joint venture between Taronga Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary and promises to be very exciting.

Karen and Patrick in the Platypussary

With the sanctuary only housing Australian native animals, it's great to see these animals in such a lovely environment.




There are numerous aviaries housing a huge array of birds from black cockatoos and helmeted honeyeaters to lyrebirds and even an albino kookaburra. This lyrebird was going through its repertoire when we visited it this afternoon.


These birds are known for their mimicking and no wonder. And of course, the better looking of the species is male. The females are much plainer.

So, in two weeks time we plan to get an early start and get to Werribee before we head to Sydney for the school holidays. It's great being a FOTZ member (Friends Of The Zoo). Karen and the boys might even take a trip to Taronga while Sydney.

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you've been up to.