Monday, February 08, 2016

Paddle at Taroona High

This is Taroona High School, where both boys are now. As you can see it has a fantastic location on the Derwent River, about 10km downriver from the city. Out of shot to the left is a little beach with about eight boatsheds, which is a great spot to launch the wave ski. I don't know why I haven't set off from here before.

My aim was to paddle upriver to the point on the left, but it was hard going. I was getting pushed by a swell from behind, but the current was going against me. Is that possible? I don't anything about the water. I know even less than I thought I knew before I started occasionally paddling on it.

Anyway I adjusted my aim to just getting far enough out in the stream that I could see past the point to my old pals the Tasman Bridge and Mt Direction. This is the first time I have taken our camera out on the water rather than just use my crappy phone.

The paddle back was with the current but through the swell; again I don't really understand this. It was really nice to not have the sun in my eyes (forgot my hat), and the paddling was easy at first, the waves were very smooth. Then they started to get little parallel ripples, and paddling became a bit harder. Then the steady pattern broke up and it was hard work then until I got to a patch of smooth water closer inshore.

The wave ski wobbles about a lot, its a very inefficient way of going anywhere compared to the sleek sea kayaks we did the Sullivans Cove paddle in. But it certainly is a good workout. I look half-crazed here but its mostly relief at stopping paddling.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The fascinating world of cancelled monarchs

Its a shame our camera is a not a bit better at this scale. First one to nominate the two who were NOT heads of state wins a soft drink.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Sheep audio

It is a lovely thing to hear a sheep. I don't mind seeing a sheep, especially at a reasonable distance. But a bit of baaaa floating on the breeze can really lift my mood.

There used to be some over at the green house above the Tara Street Gulch. Every now and then I think I can hear them, but this office chair makes some very unusual squeaks and I can't rule out that it is behind the apparently ovine sound effects.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Wasp news

My preferred method of dealing with wasps is to give them a smart smack with an open hand, ideally straight out an open door or window. If they are stunned and lying prone, I will often crunch them dead; they are wasps after all. The less of them the better. But mostly if I can paff one to the outside I feel like I am living in harmony with nature, and quite the Dan Daring at the same time.

For the first time today I started to think that the same individual wasps are returning to the kitchen, and learning from their experience with me. One definitely saw me and turned around, making a beeline waspline for the open window. "This bloke is going to paff me and although unharmed I will lose face" it was thinking. "I shall take myself outside and buzz stupidly around the cat bowl later when he's not here".

A wasp, yesterday.

Two high school students

Michael started high school today. Here the boys are explaining to Winston that they will be out for most of the day; he has become very used to them lying around like he does, all day every day throughout summer. Except with added electronic devices.

To be fair to Marcus he has worked quite hard on his Maths Olympiad problems over the holidays and has spent quite some time on his French - he is jumping into a class of kids who have mostly got one year of it up their sleeves already.

They will be home soon and I hope Michael will fill me in on his day; in recent years I struggled to get more out of him than 'good' as a description of a day at South Hobart Primary.

They were both very keen to head off this morning; I think Marcus was excited for Michael. Marcus is revelling in being the Wise Old Hand who can teach Michael the ropes.

This morning Michael was stowing his combination lock and Marcus said 'OK, do you know the combination?' Without missing a beat Michael said '4 0 5 4 6'. Marcus said keenly 'OK, MEMORISE IT'.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Michael birthday

On Sunday we celebrated Michael's 12th birthday with three of his mates; Elanor, Rohan and Amber, as well as cousin Miah. The five of them and Marcus watched a couple of movies at the 7D cinema, where you are strapped into a crazy jerky tilty thing while watching a 3D movie. They also pump bubbles into the air, but the weirdest thing is a scarfy thing that flaps around your ankles at odd moments.

Elf and I kept an eye on them on a monitor outside - I think I can say most of them enjoyed most of it. Then we had booked an hour on the arcade games. They rode motorbikes, shot rifles and threw basketballs until they were all exhausted, which was somewhat less than an hour.

Michael makes Michael Face 117A while Miah simply smiles
Marcus takes down some ninjas or pirates and/or aliens
Then we relocated to Mures famous fish & chip emporium for fried delights and ice cream. One of the attractive aspects of Mures is their free soda water tap. Another is the plastic owls installed around the outside tables to scare away seagulls and any other oclophobes in the area. Fun fact: rap artist Eminem is afraid of owls.

Come back Eminem, its not real! HEY BUT CAN I HAVE YOUR SQUID RINGS?
Michael Face 83 with Shrug
Michael had a lovely time and we think all his friends did. We had an after-party back at our place where they all tried to get into the hammock at once, before Amber's mum Wendy gathered them all up and took them away.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Old drawings of Warwick St

I always loved this view over to Trinity Hill from up on the Glebe. I drew these in 1998 and they were part of an animation I did then, but I have just re-animated them.