Musical Zachary

Our Zac loves a bit of music. He definitely loves to sing, and is quite keen on an opportunity to dance. And he really likes muscial instruments.

So staying at Nana and Poppa's house was a big bonus for Zac.

First he discovered Poppa's "drums" from the Cook Islands and likewise. These got banged a lot.

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Then, even better, was the piano which he liked to play, allowing to sing his own accompaniment. Bliss was Nana playing Twinkle Twinkle, so he could sing at the same time!


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Christmas Day in Adelaide

While Sebastian and Zachary were up at their usual time on Christmas day and straight into the presents from Father Christmas, Jude actually slept in until after 8.30am…. not at all like my youth when I remember being up at 5.30am. I'm hoping this sleeping in thing sticks.

Anyway, the boys were very excited by their presents and it led to the first of several costume changes for Zachary during the day – he insisted on putting on his new Nemo bathers and eating breakfast in them….


Later he insisted on changing into the new Country Road polo he received from his cousins, then finally into the Bob the Builder outfit  he got from his Nana.

Meanwhile there were lots of presents, then lots of food and drink as mother and father had their usual Christmas morning drinks.

For lunch it was the family plus cousins and aunt – 17 in total, which is bigger than usual. The seafood entrees were fabulous, the turkey cooked to perfection and everything accompanying it was delicious. Especially the Rockford Black Shiraz…


We finished with the traditional plum pudding and the McEwen-traditional summer pudding. More was drunk, more laughs were had and then those with other commitments slowly drifted off.

The boys were very excited and active during the day, so it was no surprise when the afternoon Bob DVD viewing took its toll…

Happy Christmas! I guess we get to do it all again next year!!

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Visiting the Magic Cave



An Adelaide tradition, from before even I was born, is to go and see Father Christmas in the Magic Cave in the lead up to Christmas. As Nanas love nothing more than taking their grandchildren to see the guy in red, it was that my mother, Sebastian, Jude, Zachary and I headed off to town on Christmas Eve to meet Carolyn, Josh and Vanessa so we had a double-Nana and lots of cousins event.

We went early as the last time we were in Adelaide at Christmas, the line to see Father  Christmas was ridiculously long, so we had avoided him altogether. The line at 9.15am was not too bad. While we waited, Zac stared longingly at the giant wooden horses, hoping for a ride eventually, while the older boys were fascinated by conversation with the Talking Tree…

We weren't allowed to take photos of the boys with Father Christmas as this is how the store gouges parents on the otherwise free Santa visits. Zac took one look at the funny man in red and ran away. Jude, Sebastian and Josh all sat on his lap and reported on what they wanted. Father Christmas asked them wanted to do when they grew up. While Josh and Sebastian didn't know, Santa almost fell off his chair when Jude asserted that he wanted to be "an archaeologist."  Jude had recently told me that he really wanted to be an archaeologist and was never going to change his mind because it is the best job anyone could have.

Once the formalities were over, the boys got to ride Nipper and Nimble and the mini merry-go-round and look at themselves in the crazy mirrors and check out the tableaux of elves. Zachary was very confident getting on and off the merry-go-round. All the big boys had a ride on Nimble…then the grown-ups decided it was time to retire for refreshments. So it was milkshakes and spotty biscuits before the big boys went off to their second cousin's house to play and Nana and Zac and I had a long slow walk back to the car so Zac could go home and sleep.

Another Christmas tradition fulfilled!

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The long drive…

So yesterday we drove from Canberra to Adelaide. It took us just under 13 and a half hours. We started very early, dragging the boys out of bed at 6.10am, getting them dressed and into the car so that we pulled out of the driveway just on 6.30am. We then drove for a couple of hours until we reached the McDonalds at Gundagai where we stopped for breakfast. Despite some initial fears that the second DVD player wasn't going to work, it came through and the boys got to watch some Maisy to Zachary's great delight. After the Gundagai stop, it was on to films, and while Ice Age held all their attention for the most part, they were less focussed during The Incredibles.

Once past Wagga, this part of the drive gets a little dull. Wagga to Narranderra isn't too bad, but the hour and a half stretch between Narranderra and Hay is very flat and fairly empty.

At the very end of the stretch, Zac finally dozed off for a bit.

After three hours in the car we stopped for a picnic lunch and a bit of a play in Hay….


…before pressing on to Tooleybuc, where we had a toilet stop and another quick playground visit.




Zac was not happy about getting back into the car…

but he got over it relatively quickly and we pressed on for the last stretch. In the end, we just kept going for the four hours or so til we got to Adelaide. Both Jude and Sebastian ended up having a bit of a sleep, but Zac steadfastly held out…

And we arrived in Adelaide in time for a (slightly late) dinner.

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Christmas Part 1

On Sunday we ventured out to Jackie's house for Christmas with the Canberra side of the family.

Soon after arrival, Jackie was called upon to undertake emergency surgery on Cow, whose head was starting to become detached from his body….

Once the emergency was over, the Christmas fun could begin….

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All the key requirements for Christmas celebrations were met….

There were presents – Zachary insisted on changing into his new Bob t-shirt as soon as he saw it and Sebastian spent a lot of time playing with his new Coliseum…

There was turkey, sparkling red and way way too much food….

There were Christmas crackers with hats and really, really bad jokes – including versions in French…

….we did however miss out on the Christmas pudding as I tried out a new cake which involved lots of cream and strawberries….

There was playing, as Zachary showed Ryan the ropes and the bigger boys annexed Auntie Katie….

…and finally, there were 4 very tired boys after all the fun and excitement!

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Ministerial designations

I hope that Penny Wong understands that being the Minister for Climate Change doesn't mean that she is supposed to actually promote it…. Given the government's decision on greenhouse gas reduction targets, one has to wonder….

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How cool are we?