Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here are the boys off to school last week. Michael has inherited the old school jumper now that we have bought Marcus a new big one. Its very dark and stiff as a board. (Marcus is seen here in stage 3 of recovering his good mood after going ballistic when I combed his hair).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bubble and squeak news bitlets

Our wallaby has been in the backyard again more regularly. In fact, he's out there now. After we fence the front yard we won't see him any more I guess.

Imp and Ed moved out 2 weeks ago to this grand old pile, surrounded by a huge garden, in the middle of suburban Kingston. It would once have been the centre of a large landholding. It is very hard to find, with just a narrow driveway off a typical winding Kingston residential street leading in to it. There are 3 or 4 fishponds, many outbuildings, fountains, several wide lawns, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a big attic for romping and an old fashioned kitchen with built-in flour bins.

Marcus is doing amazing things in maths. His teachers have been giving him BOMDAS sums to work out - I had forgotten all about these but Elf reminded me it meant Brackets, Of, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract, the "order of operations". He's going OK with those, so now they have given him some fractions.

I started telling him about averages, what they are and what they mean. [We worked out he averaged 4 goals a game this term at soccer]. I gave him another sum, working out the average of 100, 90, 55 and 65. He worked out the total was 300, and while I was setting him up to long divide 300 by 4 he worked it out in his head that the answer is 75!

Michael and Marcus get into bed with us at 6am quite often, especially now its a bit cold in the morning. They both get in the middle, and usually fail to keep their hands to themselves. Last time, after a few minutes wriggling in the dark, Michael exclaimed "OW! Marcus just squeezed my nose between his thumb and his, um, pointing finger, horizontally!"

Bonfire Night

On Saturday night we went to the annual bonfire in the paddock up the road, run by the South Hobart Progress Association. Formerly the South Hobart Bonfire Night, it has become so popular all over town that it is now the Hobart Bonfire Night, with more than 2000 happy fireworks fans attending this year. I helped out early in the evening on the P & F Association sausage and burger stall. When Elf and the kids arrived she took over from me, and spent the rest of the night shoveling sustenance for meat-mad punters. Even when the fireworks began, queues of people with their backs to the action demanded 3 sausages, one with onion! and 2 beefburgers 2 vegie burgers 2 sausages! Onion on all of them but not a lot just a bit, oh and one more beefburger with lots! Imp and Ed and the girls came too, and Imp did astint on the P&F coffee stall. It was a perfect still night for a bonfire, all the smoke and sparks went straight up. The fireworks were beautiful, and for the first time both boys enjoyed them, although with hands over ears. On the walk home Marcus said it was it had been the best night ever. We were staggered to find no mention of the event at all in the paper the next day.

Marcus of the golden boot

Marcus kicked another four goals on Saturday. He presents a bit of a problem for the coach, who is of course trying to give everyone a chance. A few times as Marcus was charging towards goal, Tony asked to him to pass. Marcus duly looked around but there was no-one to pass to. He hasn't started feeling guilty when he scores yet but it seems like it might be the natural conclusion. He has scored 24 goals in 6 games (the rest of his team scored about 12 between them). He is very competitive, loves to score and hates it when the other team does. He is one of the bigger Under 6s, and for the first time on Saturday had a referee tell him repeatedly not to play so hard. I understand her point of view, and I understand Tony's as well, but I can't help thinking the game will make a lot more sense to Marcus when he is encouraged to tackle vigorously but fairly and kick as many goals as he possibly can.

Being a soccer dad/mum is a fraught business. I am well aware that we are lucky to have too many goals as our main soccer problem. On Saturday I listened to the howls and quiet gibberings of other parents (all dads actually) as their boys daydreamed, sat down in piles of autumn leaves or kicked the ball the wrong way. I know that if Marcus was doing any of those things I would be no better than they.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mother's Day 4km walk

The eight of us all went for a walk on Sunday morning, as part of the Mothers Day Classic fun run, raising money for and awareness of breast cancer. Elf and Imp dedicated their walk to their Auntie Val, a survivor of breast cancer. We walked as part of a South Hobart Primary group, organised by Denise, another survivor. Its a credit to her that SHP won a trophy as the largest school group.

Michael's Mothers Day card

Michael made a very nice card at kindergarten, but on the weekend he decided to make another one. I folded a bit of handmade paper for him and he covered it in his beautiful writing. Part of it says "Just for you. You can take it for yourself every day. Have lots of fun W(atching) Soccer". The red W stands for "watching".

Friday, May 09, 2008

Twain on Hobart

This quote from Mark Twain is probably well-known, but I had never come across it before.
How beautiful is the whole region, for form, and grouping, and opulence, and freshness of foliage, and variety of colour, and grace and shapeliness of the hills, the capes, the promontories; and then, the splendour of the sunlight, the dim, rich distances, the charm of the water-glimpses! And it was in this paradise that the yellow-liveried convicts were landed, and the Corps-bandits quartered, and the wanton slaughter of the kangaroo-chasing black innocents consummated on that autumn day in May, in the brutish old time. It was all out of keeping with the place, a sort of bringing of heaven and hell together.

Mark Twain, Following the Equator, 1897

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Michael self-portrait

"This is a picture of me. I am an astronaut. That big circle is the moon. My face is square".

Monday, May 05, 2008

Toaster Museum

Although you are all busy people, make room in your deskbound lives for the Toaster Museum.

Sample sentence: The Romans, in their conquests, took their love of toasted bread with them and spread the custom farther, even up into Britain.

More bulldogs

Cheer up everyone - here are some more (real) pedigreee bulldog names! The best from C-K. I will save L-Z for a a grim day in winter.

Carsvale Tuffin Muffin of Ottenley
Chunky Chocalate Drop at Lawrencetown
Clarendon Punchdrunk Tobias of Rundlich
Easter Sensation of Wiggin
Esclusham Golden Chimes of Wencar
Eskaidee Baggage
Fearnought Sumo Warlord
Fredlyn's Smooth Operator
Frymad Wellington
Gwenstan King Bruno of Broadcourt
Gwenstan Lord Duke of Outdoors
Hobtop Lucky Charm of Bollgalde
Holeyn Hell of a Fella of Baytor
Iceglint I'm Alfred
Isgraig Wonderful Walter
Jackath Nice Fella of Edgewick
Joymuir Winky Woo of Willsmere [pictured]
Juno's Solo Lady of Thatchway
Kaluki Sugarpuss of Tugga
Kilbarchan's Lord Percy
Kingrock Canis Pugnax
Kippax Doublenought

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Michael draws

Michael has had made a leap with his drawing in the last few weeks.

He is still doing wierd and wibbly writing all over the place,

his impeccable spelling combined with unusual letter placement.

The drawing above was described to me as a 'hairy snail".


Annotated rabbit.

Clownish man - might be me I suppose.

"No Bumping No Pushing" - I think one of Mrs McLeod's rules

immortalised by the class scribe.