Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What I did on my holidays (3)

This is about 3 months in the past now, and still I haven’t got around to blogging all of it. I think I will just do these last chapters as photos with captions. Better for all of us really. We borrowed Phillip and Andrea’s car for the day to go to AQWA, and had a freeway adventure just getting there and back. The coastal highway is a little bit CHiPs if anyone else remembers that show.

This is my favourite letterbox I have ever seen anywhere.
This was at AQWA, the fabulous aquarium at Hillary's Boat Harbour, north of Perth. 
I was trying to get the classic ‘just cracked a joke’ expression moray eels have, and didn’t quite nail it.
Baby crocodile. Cute but fangy.
Toadfish, y’all.
Contractually obliged to call this a ‘denizen of the deep’. Sigh.
Sun setting into the sea -that’s worth travelling 3000km to witness. This was our local beach.


I asked Michael today what this meant, and where he got it from. He said it was joke, but nobody got it. And he had just made it up. It’s got a translated-from-ancient-Greek-ness about it. I’ve said it before and I’ll doubtless say it again - he’s unique, that one. But having said that, as his cousin Arthur grows up some very interesting parallels are apparent.

Boys in the paper, again

Our platypus. They look quite a lot like a rock when they are sitting still, but fortunately he was pretty busy.

Marcus and Michael watch the platypus in the rivulet, with Lily and Katherine McShane. Photos by Sharyn Jones.
The other day Nick and Anna and their girls Lily & Katherine came up for lunch. Lately there have been a lot of sightings of a platypus in the Hobart Rivulet – Elf has seen it herself so many times on her way to work that its practically a big yawn to her now. Nevertheless, she thought we should take the visitors and Winston for a walk down there to see if we could locate the little monotreme.

We did - this was made easier by the presence of a photographer squatting on the bank, giving him the once over with the long lens. She was delighted to get some human interest involved, and so the kids stayed on the bank for about 15 minutes watching him very close up, while they were snapped from all angles.

The story in the newspaper is here, and West Hobart mother of two, Anna Berger, even got in with a nice quote. 

We did think though – doesn't that picture of the kids look a bit Photoshopped? The edge of Michael’s shadow is flat and perfectly vertical. Odd.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bad dog

One very stormy night, with the power of panic, Winston worked out he could get in through the cat door. Since then he has done it regularly whenever he is left at home and the door is not blocked. I set up the iPad to catch him, so we could see how he does it. This clip shows his eventual success after about 12 attempts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Time for a catch-up blog. I will go through the family one by one.

Elf is working virtually full-time until at least the end of June. She is coping OK with that. She really enjoys her current boss. She feels much more appreciated for the amazing range of skills she has and her no-fuss way of just getting things done. Elf is the family gardener and the continuing lack of rain is an irritant, but I secretly think she enjoys spending an hour out there in the evening just hosing.

I have had three months of very little work in the freelance design world. Several mooted projects were put on ice, and combined with the usual summer downturn it has been a pretty thin time. Elf took on extra hours as a consequence. Work is now starting to cascade from everywhere, which is a relief. You do wish it would even out a bit though.

I had one karma moment which signified the turnaround. A client I worked with last year rang, and I was pretty disappointed when instead of a design job, she wanted me to meet and mentor a young designer, for free of course. I said yes, but actually had to borrow cash from Elf to cover the cost of two coffees. So I didn’t go into it feeling like Mr. Successful Designer With A Lot To Offer. During our one-hour meeting I had contact from two new clients. [One located across the road from the cafe I was in at the time]. This after 3 months of tumbleweeds blowing through my office. Since then almost everything on-hold has come off-hold and various new projects have been sprung on me. 

I am starting a new design/blogging project collaborating with Dugald Jellie, who last year blogged Richmond’s footy season under the name Tiger Tiger Burning Bright. Stand by for details when we launch in time for Round 2. Yeah, well we are playing Gold Coast away in Round 1 so it hardly counts, alright?

Michael is doing a maths extension program at the Uni each Friday. He has finally got his way and we are canning his guitar lessons after the one today. He’s more of a piano guy. He is making beautiful music on it, and his guitar teacher suggested we just expose him to as much piano music as possible. Michael had a fantastic day at the school athletics carnival - he has finally accepted that it is important to participate as much as possible. He went in just about everything, and won his 200m and the sack race, as usual. He has a 100% record in sack races, usually winning by half the length of the track.

Marcus is now settled in at a new soccer club, Hobart Olympia. It’s a bit remote by local standards; but then again on Sunday I broke my previous best and got us there from home in 13 minutes. So – not really that far. He played his first game of the year on Sunday, wearing the blue of Olympia after about 110 games for South Hobart and Central Region, all in red, going back to 2008. So that was weird.

He is recovering well from the cactus incident. High school has been undemanding yet interesting enough for him so far. He just got an A+ on his first Chinese test. He will be learning the flute, and has been given one of Imp’s two(!) Jacki was also a junior flautist so there is some pedigree behind the lad. Time to start playing some Jethro Tull.

Footy predictions 2014

For once I have got to this before the season is already half over. I am seeing Hawthorn as minor premiers, going into the Grand Final as favourites and getting rolled by Geelong. Richmond will be top 4 for much of the season then fade. But this year they will win a final.

  1. Geelong
  2. Hawthorn
  3. Freo
  4. Sydney
  5. North
  6. Richmond
  7. Essendon
  8. Collingwood
  9. West Coast
  10. Adelaide
  11. Gold Coast
  12. Carlton
  13. Western Bulldogs
  14. Port Adelaide
  15. St Kilda
  16. Melbourne
  17. Greater Western Sydney
  18. Brisbane
Brownlow Medal: Nate Fyfe

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron, GWS, 66

Grand Final: Geelong d Hawthorn