Monday, August 16, 2010

Here's Banjo!

Here's the newest member of the family - Banjo the Ragdoll cat. You can click on the photos to get full size ones :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

The dreaded lurgy

The Walker household is awash with chest infections (at the adult end of the spectrum) and coughs and sniffles for the kids. This has by far been the coldest winter we have experienced since living in Victoria, and probably equally as cold as the coldest winter we would have experienced in Sydney.

Global warming and the moderating of the climate has seen us sail through the past 6 winters - but this one got under our guard.

One good thing though - Owen hasn't been hospitalised with asthma since May 2009 (touch wood)! So that's a massive bonus :)

While the sun is shining through my office window at the moment (lovely), the 7-day forecast doesn't look quite so promising :(

I'd better bask in it while it lasts.

Friday, July 30, 2010

July 2010

July has been flat out. After coming back from Sydney earlier this month, the boys returned to school and Angus had school camp in week 2 of the term. This was a 3 day/2 night camp at Phillip Island, and I went along as a parent helper with 2 other Dads and 2 Mums. It was a bit on the cool side which was to be expected, but we had a great time. Flying foxes, giant swings and sleeping in cabins witness their mates, the kids had a ball.

The following week the kids all went downhill with sniffles, coughs and headaches, culminating in all 3 boys having a day off.

This is turning into the coldest winter since we moved to Victoria, but we need the rain that's coming with it.

Our veggie patch is ticking over, and without the earth in the air, the veggies are using what sunlight they can soak up and the eater from the clouds and growing. We should get some veggies before Spring and the be able to sow some more - and maybe even set up a second raised garden bed at the same time.

Kids sports on Saturday mornings are keeping us well and truly busy and logistically challenged. The boys are still enjoying their sports, so I suppose it's all worth it :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Markets and Museums

On a cold and wintery day, what do hardy Victorians do? We head outside to a market - then inside to the sanctuary of a nice warm museum :)

We headed to the Melbourne Showground Farmers Market but turned one driveway too early and ended up at the Flemington Craft Market (which included some produce!). After braving that for a couple of hours and purchasing Lily a lovely new hat (and some yummy treats), we headed off.

On a cold and miserable day many families decide to flock together - at Scienceworks. This is Melbourne's science museum and it's awesome. The boys were playing with some connecting/building/creative stuff and here's the results of their toil. The images aren't the best, but you get the idea :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Queen's Birthday weekend

The Queen's Birthday long weekend meant NO KID'S SPORTS! However, Patrick and Angus had their musical theatre performance on the Saturday night, so there was no chance we could go away for the weekend. This year's performance was a tribute to musical theatre writers and lyricists over the past 100 years - from Fiddler on the Roof to Rent, Willy Wonka to Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and many more. Angus was dressed as a yellow Oompa Loompah at one stage!

Anyhow, the boys and the rest of the cast did a wonderful job as usual.

On Saturday we took a drive to Castlemaine with our good friend Kathryn. Kathryn was our tour guide aswe had not previously been to Castlemaine. It's a beautiful country town and somewhere we'll be visiting again - and it's not that far away :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Knocked down by friendly fire

My own little bio-terrorists (read: children) have finally infected me with their cold germs. I'm blowing my nose more often than I can count and my head feels stuffy and clogged. The kids are pretty much over the worst of it, so they felt it was time to share with Dad!

I know they can't control their germs and how they spread them, but it makes me feel a little bit better to whinge about it :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Work we've been up to

After the hailstorm earlier this year we suffered a little damage. Most of it has now been repaired, and here's a photo of the new fascia on the deck. It's the decking timber on the face of the deck. It used to be fibre cement sheeting but was replaced with nicer looking and harder wearing treated pine. Yay!

Oh, and that arbor on the right hand side of the picture was built by Brian (Karen's Dad) and myself last year. Impressive, isn't it ;)

Also, we've reclaimed the old vegie patch as we are going to build a hen house here. So rather than do without a vegie patch we've installed a colourbond raised bed next to the old patch. We'll add 2 more over the coming months. We've already planted snow peas, celery, red onion and carrots. The strawberries and rhubarb from the old patch have been transplanted too!

We've used PVC conduit and some bird netting to give the seedlings a fighting chance against the local wildlife - and it seems to be working :)

(By the way, you can click the photos for a larger view)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Where will it all end?

Lily has just been diagnosed with a viral throat infection and an ear infection.  The throat infection was courtesy of Owen and luckily the ear infection can be treated with anti-biotics.

Patrick and Angus are still lounging around upstairs like sick primary school students do and Owen happily went back to school today after being absent for an entire week!

And me, well I'm downstairs in my office beavering away like normal :)  And I even managed to knock an alleged bug on the head as reported by one of our Beta testers. Yay!  A win for me.

A new week dawns

While today is the Queens Birthday public holiday in NZ, it is just another Monday here in Oz.

Owen has returned to school after being sidelined for a week with viral pneumonia, but now Patrick and Angus are home with the lurgy!  Where will it end?

This week marks the end of performing arts rehearsals and culminates in the performance for both boys on Saturday night.  This will be their last hurrah as they are both discontinuing next term.  Break a leg, boys!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday night musings

4.5 out 6 of the family are crook. Patrick is not feeling 100% and I'm fine. We're sitting here watching St Kilda begin to disassemble Richmond while the rest of the family is in bed :)

Leftover lasagne hit the spot for dinner tonight - Karen makes a mean lasagne ;)

Patrick has soccer tomorrow and Angus has basketball, before we hopefully head to a 40th at Derrimut.

Go Saints!

Winter is here with a BANG!

Well, while Owen didn't have his almost ritual hospital stay in May we thought it was looming large at the beginning of June. However, we were fortunate to get on top of it early and a visit to the GP has seen him on 'home rest' all week and he has been recovering well. He's got cabin fever from not going to school all week, but his condition has improved vastly. If he can hack staying indoors (mainly) for the weekend he should be fine to got to school on Monday.

My bowls weekend away in Moama was a raving success. Both teams from my club (8 people in total) had a ball and are all keen to back up again next year. We may even have the chance of increasing from 2 to 3 teams! While we didn't set the world on fire on the green we did have some success. We also had a great time off the green.

May seemed like Prep Party Month! Every weekend it seemed that there was at least one party for Owen to go to - some times 2 parties in the same weekend! Oh well, we've come out the other side largely unscathed and the kids are looking forward to the end of Term 2 and a trip to Sydney!

I mowed the lawn over the previous two afternoons so hopefully that won't need doing again until some time in Spring :)

The internal and external building work that needed to be done after the hail storm earlier this year was completed this week. Now we are awaiting the repair to our evaporative cooler to complete the job. It's all been handled so far with a minimum of fuss. Excellent.

Apart from that there's not much more to report :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

As we enter the cooler months ...

As the summer season of junior basketball reaches its' climax - the final series - soccer has begin and the winter season of basketball is upon us. Coupled with that winter activity for all aspiring AFL 5-8 years olds - Auskick - our Saturdays are chaotic for the foreseeable future!

Coming up in May (it begins tomorrow, and wasn't that quick!) we have Owen's birthday (6), my own birthday (38 already!) and we round out the month with Patrick's birthday (12 OMG!). Along with that there are more bills to pay, more instalments for school camps to pay and more errands to run - I'm in Brisbane for a day trip on the 13th! It never ends.

Apart from that, the nights are getting longer, the grass is not growing so fast (yippee!) and the temperatures are beginning to plummet. I like winter :)

Anyway, here's a snap from our recent visit to Mirboo North where we caught up with the Beecrofts (after far too long).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's been happening?

Well, the high school reunion was fantastic. It was organised by (pretty much) one bloke - Ian Fulton - and he did a great job.

The turn up was about 35 of a possible 150 or more, but everybody that made the effort had a ball and we hope to catch up again before another 20 years passes. Awesome.

I thought Summer had made a beeline for the door, but this week has seen 30+ on a few occasions and generally warm overall this week. That's good news for the bowls tournament tomorrow!

On Saturday, after the boys' basketball and a high school admission interview for Patrick, we're off to Nagambie Lakes for 4 days/3 nights. Looking forward to it from all the good reports I've had.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

High School Reunion (not Musical!)

Well, we've hit Autumn with a bang. Cold, wet and windy so far. Urrrgh!

Anyway, I'm off to Wollongong via Sydney tomorrow for my High School Reunion on Saturday night. It's been 20 years since most of them left Year 12 while it's 22 years since I left Year 10. It's also 22 years since I've seen pretty much anyone. Looking forward to it.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Oh Summer, where for art thou?

I know it's only 1st March, yet summer seems to have taken an early holiday this year. March can be quite hot, but in the last 7 years, February has had the title IMHO.

Anyway, our plans for various outings on the weekend were scotched thanks to the weather, so let's hope it's been worth it and we have a wet and (not so) wild winter with lots and rain :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Performing Arts classes recommence for 2010

Patrick and Angus do performing arts out side of school. This culminates in two performances per year - one in June and one in December.

On Monday evenings they go along to rehearsals and undertake tuition in singing, dancing and some drama. Of the three streams, drama is definitely the gift that keeps on giving. At home, any day of the week you can see Patrick or Angus giving a dramatic performance.

It could be because they don't want to go to bed, or they don't want ham on their sandwich or simply because they have no reason why they are acting out.

These classes are really money well spent.

On a serious note, it's great to see them enjoy the rehearsals and they absolutely love being part of the performance. The performances are held at the National Theatre in St Kilda to a full house. The costumes, props, lighting and the performers are all top notch. They are part of the Childrens Performing Company of Australia (CPCA). We recommend them if anybody's interested.

Here's a few photos from the December 2009 performance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

And so ends another season of Pennant

Without boring all of you non-bowling types into a coma, my team was relegated from Division 2 to Division 3 as of yesterday afternoon on the back of some stupid decision making and a bit of luck for another team. There's always next year! Pffft!

Anyway, on with the show.

The coming weeks and months will be interesting and my colleagues and I look for support to be elected to the new Bowls Victoria board. With the current board being only an interim board to steer good ship Bowls Victoria from the time of unification until the first full board can be elected, it will be interesting to see how the cards fall and how many incumbents stick their hands up to go around again.

This is the single biggest opportunity in more than one lifetime for bowlers to effect change in their sport - for the better and towards the future. I'll keep you all posted on how this goes.

So, apart from kid's sport - weekends are now free (mostly) until September!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting back to nature

When I was a kid I'd take off for hours with my brother or some mates and we'd go up into the bush behind the next street of houses and just go on an adventure. Never got into strife, and on occasion saw some wildlife.

This morning I took a walk and rather than cruising around the normal few blocks I took a different route down near the local tennis courts and then behind them where this is a creek.

It's summer, and as and adult isn't it funny how your thinking changes. As a kid I wouldn't have a second thought about walking through there, but as I was walking this morning my mind turned to snakes. Living where we do, it's a real possibility that you could encounter the odd 'Joe Blake' in that sort of an area. But I soldiered on and lived to tell the tale.

I next thought that the kids would love to go exploring down there, get a bit dirty and maybe see a lizard or something.

I should really get my lazy ar$e out of bed early more often and do this :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Olympics

I love the Winter Olympics. Last night I watched some curling - lawn bowls on ice! I also really enjoy the Alpine skiing and the Giant Slalom as well as the Snowboard Cross and the Half-pipe. I still don't get moguls or figure skating, but the speed skating is awesome.

I get similar feelings about the Summer games as well, but you don't often see cycling or athletics advertised or promoted in the media - these are things you need to seek out. So we're off to the Melbourne Madison soon, thanks to Robin letting me know it was on.

So many people enjoy watching many of these events but wouldn't know that there is a domestic/national/international series held locally and so forget about it until the next Olympics. Most of us will never get to an(other) Olympic games so you should support your local versions of the same sports I reckon :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Literacy assessment

Owen had his Prep literacy assessment today. All of first term the Prep's only go to school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday while Wednesday is reserved for Literacy and Numeracy assessments.

While he doesn't really show much interest and reading (despite being asked if he'd like to read to etc) he surprised us and apparently his literacy is about to TAKE OFF!

There's no doubt he's ready for school and all that it entails, and now we know that he is capable of reading and sounding etc, but just not too keen on it when there are so many other cool things to do like play DS or Wii or shoot hoops with his big brothers!

Yay Owen!