Boys take up photography

Jude decided to take some photos himself last night. They didn't turn out too badly:

Zachary's efforts, on the other hand, were a little more patchy.

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Ribs – delicious and messy!

Join Jude for dot-to-dots

Rachel helped Jude out with his dot to dots…He is still a bit challenged when it gets past 20 or 30 – and given this goes up past 200, some help was a definite bonus.

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The BIG news of the week

BEFORE

AFTER

The rigours of hair care were too much for Sebastian, so he decided to have the big chop. I liked the longer hair – it suited him and he looked less like a clone child and more like a surfer dude. Not to say that the short hair also looks good…. We'll see whether Jude decides to grow his hair next – though I think he will have a more moppy result.

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Boys meet chickens. Chickens flee.

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Clearly, in this, the boys were much more excited than the chickens.

On Sunday we went to Rachel's house for fabulous paella. However, while this was a side benefit, the main aim for the evening was for the boys to finally get to meeting Rachel's chickens.

Zac was very taken with them, however it did require some chicken husbandry from Rachel before they would initially emerge. Once they came out of the bushes, there was a fair bit of sprinting for cover, though when the boys managed to come at them from both sides, they didn't really have anywhere to go.

Both Jude and Zac got a later, close up chicken experience once the girls were heading to bed. Rachel even made one fly by poking it (gently of course, with no permanent chicken harm done).

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Growing up in the playground

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On the weekend we took the boys on a pedal-powered playground crawl. Well, we rose our bikes to two playgrounds, one near Ainslie Football Club and the one in Glebe Park.

We've being going to Glebe since Sebastian was old enough to enjoy a playground, and Ainslie since we lived around the corner when Jude was a baby. Watching the boys play I realised how much time has passed and how much they have grown. Zachary was playing on equipment that Sebastian was reluctant to climb on when we first visited the parks – nowadays Sebastian climbs over everything of course.

Anyway there wqas much fun – Sebastian and Jude were running a restaurant at Ainslie as they have done for as long as they have been able to offer us drinks, and we played chasey, pushed swings and jumped about on the see saw.

Nothing like a park and a bike ride.

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Champagne tasting

Does all champagne taste alike? Are French champagnes better than Australian methode champagnoise? Can you really pick a cheap champage? These questions and more confronted us as we gathered at Rachel's house on Saturday night for the great celebratory champagne tasting.

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Between 7 of us (and briefly 8) we had 10 bottles to taste + a duplicate bottle. There were five French, one New Zealand and four Australian – two of high quality, one low-mid range and one ultra cheap.

James was the master of the blind tasting and we all took notes.

I ended up ranking the Moet Imperial Nectar 1st – I think in part because it was quite different tasting to the rest – a little sweeter, and by the time we reached it, the difference really helped. It scored and 8.3/10 (it was the 9th glass, so the rankings may have been a little creative).

Next it was a near dead heat between the Jansz and the Louis Roederer, with the Jansz just a nose ahead (both on 8/10). I was proud that I managed to pick the Jansz as "not French" in my notes.

Frightening, the Pol Roger and the Carrington were a dead heat on 7.5. From my notes I did identify that the Carrington was "quite different", but clearly after 6 glasses of champagne my judgement was getting impaired….

The Bollinger, Veuve Cliquot and Taltarni were in a similar range, although the Taltarni had "a bit of an after taste" (always the sign of a cheap champagne) and the Veuve was "a bit flavourless.' Other than the Imperial Nectar, that was true of all the French champagnes – they are dry to the point of tastlessness…though not unpleasant tastelessness.

I think the Croser suffered by being the last champage tasted – and one thing I did discover was that you can only drink so much champagne…coming after the sweeter "but very drinkable" Imperial Nectar probably didn't help either, and it only received a 5-6/10.

The one thing we did all agree on was that the Pelorus was crap. It was the Pelorus 2004 vintage champagne, and, despite being number 3, none of us liked it – I don't think it got a rating about 3. Won't be buying that again.

On the other hand, it looks like Jansz will be the favoured champagne for the moment – cheaper than the French and generally nicer too!

Of course, after 5 hours or so of champagne tasting, Zachary did feel the need to wake me at 6.45am Sunday morning. Thanks Zac. Fortunately, drinking champagne only does seem to keep the hangover at bay!

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