War Memorial outing

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A visit to the Australian War Memorial is always a popular outing with the big boys, and I think this visit was the first time that Zac really enjoyed it as well. As you can see from above, the planes in the aircraft hall quickly got his attention.

We all enjoyed the current display of World War I aircraft in ANZAC Hall. Not sure being a pilot would have been my first choice at that stage in history.

Sebastian was keen to staying for the Striking by Night show, but Jude finds it a little bit much, so he and James went to make a head start on Vietnam. Zac stayed with us, but as the sound and light went on, Piggy got a bit scared and so went and sat away from the action a little. I of course find it unbearably sad – the whole War Memorial in fact – the idea of so many people who died and continue to die in war. It is so hard to conceive how humans can continue to do this to each other, and just such a horrible tragic waste.

Anyway…. We went and saw the helicopters in the Vietnam area and Zachary literally hit the deck early in the helicopter sound-and-light show – as soon as an explosion went off, he knew where it was safest. It was then their chance to pilot a helicopter themselves in the Discovery zone – and in Zac and Sebastian's case to try out sleeping in submarine bunks as well.

It was then time for a nice walk back through the gardens to the car – except for one small problem – Zachary refused to be parted from the helicopter. He was very committed to piloting it – switches and buttons and the joystick and everything.

In the end he was very unceremoniously carried from the building, and you can see below his displeasure at having to leave. I think he'll be happy to go back again.

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Sparkling red tasting

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After our champagne tasting for Rachel's birhday, we finally got around to the next go, the sparkling red tasting.

We assembled a collection of ten different sparkling reds to taste between the 8 of us. My ratings for the evening (in descending order) went as follows:

8/10   Peter Rumball Sparkling Shiraz
7.5/10 E&E Black Pepper 2004
7.5/10 All Saints Estate NV Sparkling Shiraz
7/10   Stanton and Killeen Gracerray
6.5/10 D'arenburg Peppermint Paddock Sparkling Chambourcin
6/10   The Black Chook
4.5/10 Two Wheeler Creek Sparkling Cabernet Shiraz
3/10 Andrew Garrett Sparkling Red

As the Rockford Black Shiraz would have been the last for the evening, we decided it was more prudent to keep it for a time we could appreciate it more. We also tried the Charles Melton Brut Peche – but as it is more of a sparkling rose than red, we left it out of the judging process.

I picked both the Andrew Garrett and the Two Wheeler Creek, and James was pleased he managed to identify our usual drink, the Peppermint Paddock straight off.

The sparkling reds showed a much greater range of flavours than the champanges and a high level of deliciousness. I was surprised the Rumball was the one I liked most, as it has never been a particular favourite of mine…but perhaps that needs to change now.

The E&E was the most expensive and the Andrew Garrett the least, so the tasting levels didn't stray far from the costs…

The blind tastings were accompanied by cheese and fruit and conversation and the development of the elaborate plan to go to Adelaide for the Big Day Out. Which everyone still wanted to to the next day as well, once the bubbles had worn off.

It is also more than likely we'll do it again – there is still a great range of sparkling red wines we haven't tasted…and who doesn't like an opportunity to drink a lot of bubbly red stuff?

And the boys managed to sleep in beautifully the next morning.

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Farms and other distractions

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So, Sebastian has taken to Facebook in order to build a farm on Farmville. The typing is painfully slow, but I am sure it will improve. And lots of opportunities for reading.

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Jude has taken to my little computer to play a Bubble game. I love the protruding tongue of concentration.

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Zachary, meanwhile, is sticking to the more traditional approach to farm building with his Little People.

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Beach trip with Dada and Rachel

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Sebastian and Jude went on a road trip to the coast with Rachel and James last week. They picked a pretty nice day after all. Castles were built, rock pools explored, starfish spotted and fish and chips eaten. Nothing like at a day at the beach for small boy excitement.

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Monster Inc Fear

We start with some concerned anticipation

And there is a fair bit of hand clutching and tension going on.

But then we realise what is coming and have to hide (unsympathetic mother just doesn't understand)


…and stay not looking

until, maybe, just maybe it is safe to look.

although we are not entirely convinced


All right, we can watch now.

And later there was even smiling and laughing. Those first few minutes of Monsters Inc really do bring out the Fear.

Not in the brothers though…

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