Sunday, December 23, 2007

One final Perth Trip (T)

Anita and the boys made a final trip from the east coast to Perth. The return flight to Sydney was pretty rocky, lots of turblence, and when the plane landed Eddie happily announced "We did it Mum. We made it". He then looked out the window and when he got off the plane he reported to me "We came on a big plane and here there are so many medium sized planes".

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Farm - Altogether Now (T)

The six jones (plus seren for a day) have just enjoyed a couple of weeks at 'The Farm'. It was hot and dry most of the time, though the last couple of days we had some rain - the first significant rainfall in the Barham area since June. The best thing about the farm? Probably the lack of TV, internet & mobile phone coverage. The worst thing? The flies. Everybody said that there was an unusually large number of flies this year, but we didn't believe it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Barham not Balham (T)

I'm under a tree in Balham, updating my blog like a facebook status. Aargh I wrote Balham. I'm actually in Barham - one letter but 10 000 miles. The boys are playing, Sebastian by eating the woodchips, Eddie with his new friend Tyler (whose mother just left him here). Anita has just been at the shops. Tyler is apparently 7, in fact he has probably told me everything about his age, names, school etc. Eddie is loving it. He just came up and said "we've had a wonderful time. But we're still here, playing together".

Eddie has just hit the age of saying the cutest things; he didn't want to go into a dark room in the old Koondrook train station, because (in his soft low serious voice) "there are lions in there, lions and tigers".

Friday, November 30, 2007

Aunt's Are (T)

The boys have had their aunts Seren and Megan for the last week, both have returned home (to Melbourne and Seattle). Eddie took a particular shine to Megan, referring to her ususally as "her", as in "her is still here" when she appeared from the bedroom the morning after arrival, and "her didn't want to get on the plane", when she cried on departure.

On Seren's recommendation we went to Bago winery on Monday, a local winery that makes about 100,000 bottles a year. We all agreed that they had a couple of excellent whites, particularly their Verdhelo, a grape I'd never heard of.

Sebastian remains an enthusiastic fan of the sand, and although it's hard to believe he actually enjoys the process of eating it, he never misses an opportunity.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New York and Port Macquarie (T)

Struggling to keep up to date; partly because in the last week I have again been to two of the cities listed in this picture.

While I was away, Anita, Jody and the boys went
"whale watching". You don't get your money back if there are no whales, and there weren't.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pools & Rain (T)

The boys have just finished a 8 week swimming course; Sebastian was gung-ho from the start, but Eddie took a few weeks to warm up. The water sports haven't been limited to the pool; this week has rained almost solidly and the sand pit has been more or less completely abandoned to its watery fate.

More adventures in the dash-8 commute. On Thursday, I booked myself on the earlier flight (for some reason that now escapes me). Of course, I didn't remember, so I turned up at the airport and needed to buy the final available ticket on the 6:45pm flight to get a seat. I've always been slightly bothered and quite impressed in novels when characters just saunter up to an airport and buy a ticket and get on a plane. I'm always stuck envious of their nonchanlance, but thinking "if they'd booked online the week before, they would have got a much better deal".

Anyway, another, smaller, plane landed at PMQ before mine did. Eddie was waiting with Grandma, and when people started to get off he said "Oh, they're big". I suppose he expected small people on small planes.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Red back

Last weekend I found (and killed) a red back spider in the lounge room; as far as I can remember its the first time I've ever seen one alive. Mum & Dad fumigated the house on Tuesday...

Monday, October 29, 2007

2 and a half (T)

Last Friday Eddie turned 2 and a half. Apparently, at that age you are exactly half of your adult height. We measured Eddie twice against Daddy, and he's taller than you might think, though he's not yet the half of his father, which means he's looking at a height of just under 6 foot.

Monday, October 22, 2007

While the cat was away (T)

Eddie is now talking effusively; if you go into detail it tends to get a bit surreal, largely because his projects are so fundamentally whimsical; but no question he's really got language.

The big debate in science seems to be how much of the structure of language children are born with - I reckon quite some.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

NY-Lon (T)

I'm back from a trip around the world; purely for work I managed to be in four countries in a one week period, including Oz, each country by chance shared with just one sibling.

That's me sitting on a brownstone stoop and Sam and Becca in leafy south London.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Old Cars (T)

Eddie has previously been a little unhappy when he wakes up, with a cry, to let us know he's awake and I suppose to express some discomfort. But he is now at a stage where that is changing, and he wakes up and first thing calls out to us. This morning, he called out "mum, eddie's been sleeping".

The nicest thing he's doing at the moment is to keep a close eye on me, constantly keeping me appraised of whatever is happening, repeating other peoples sentences to me, asking me if I'd like some more coffee, beer etc.

This is an old car in the grounds of St Thomas church; there seemed to be an old car rally that day as we saw a lot like this.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wauchope (T)

This is Wauchope station, the closest train station to Port Macquarie, where we picked up Helen (visiting from England) a few weeks ago. Appropriately it has an English like pronunciation, worn down over the years to War-hope.

As we waited for the train to come in, Eddie amused himself by jumping (in 2 year old style) over lines on the station platform. Sebastian writhed with joy at his brother's skills, I've never seen him so happy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sun, Rain, Sons (T)

Some PMQ rain and sun. Anita looking like some eco-ku klux klan, me looking by contrast very non threatening. Earlier this week, Eddie woke in the night and I went in to comfort him. He was crying and thirsty, and asked for 'apple juice'; so I went to the kitchen and poured him some. As I headed back, he was calling out "I've found it Dad, I've found it", and quenching his thirst from his water bottle, which we leave in his bed. He settled again without anything else from me - you'll appreciate this story if you've been there yourself.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Car (T)

Here is Eddie reverse parking the toy car that is part of the children's room up at the Church. He happily spends the entire service driving this around, once or twice he has come into the church and driven up the aisle.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Three Generations (T)

We're quite a little family now, with 6 people living in this house, two from each generation. In the picture we're eating lunch in the garden.

Sebastian is now sitting up unassisted and smiling as ever.

And you haven't been egged on until you've been egged on by a 2 year old. Playing with a ball in the garden: "higher, higher", "in the bushes", "throw it up in the trees", "kick it over the fence". It's exhilarating.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Parenthood (T)

Up until 1am, watching football on TV with my dad.

Eddie wakes at 7, and it's down to me to get up and begin the day. I'm reminded how much parenting is about survival.

Shortly after midday, Grandma offers to take Eddie for an excursion. Off they go.

Less than an hour later, one o'clock, I hear the car in the driveway, they're home. My heart lifts a bit, I'm looking forward to seeing him.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Pen Portraits (T)

When I was a kid I used to avidly read the cricket year books, which would describe each player with a written, 'pen portrait', including statistics. Here's a round up of our troops:

Sebastian: is sitting up unassisted and eating rusks, sometimes at the same time. Age: 7 months. Teeth: 2.5 Weight: 8.4 kilos.

Edmund: turned around the other day, and walked towards me, overwhelmed by his emotions, and said "Dad, Eddie loves you." Pretty nice, huh. He followed up the next night saying to Anita, "Mum, I love TV. I love it".
Age: 28 months. Teeth: lots. Weight: 13 kilos.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Life in Port (T)

A photo of Grandma and Eddie enjoying the puddles that formed at the back of the house after a solid few days of rain - the only rain we've had in the time here. We've also celebrated A Nancy and A Lucy's birthdays, visited the beach, and been visited by Ed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Birth Order (T)

Seb is such as calm, pleasant and contented little baby, he follows with warm and shining eyes any adult in his vicinity, and to give him attention is to recieve a huge smile of afirmation. It is as if any attention he has is a bonus, as he grows up in the shadow of his older brother. It makes you think about 'number two' child and the differences with 'number one'.

Though my father maintains that according to psychology, only being first born has any predictive power in life outcomes. Nevertheless, at the dinner table, birth order is a recurrent theme, and not solely due to positions taken out of vested interests (number twos are so stable and well adjusted), regardless of who is at dinner, the subject never fails to generate enthusiasm. I'm sometimes struck that there seem to be no special words in English for second or third born; perhaps there are.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Grandma (T)

I think for my mother, the perfect world would be to live in a small, pretty English village with frequent unexplained violent murders, to test her detective skills. Caring for her children and now her grandchildren, though, must be a pretty close second.

Here she's helping fire up the steam engine for Eddie's amusement, and stopping work on her Bayeaux Tapestry to read the boys stories.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Homecoming (T)

Thursday is homecoming day; in Eddie's imagination I get off the plane after being airborne for 3 days.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Babies (T)

My cousin Jim and his wife Annie are also living in Port Macquarie with their two little girls.....actually make that three little girls...Poppy was born last Friday in PMQ hospital.

All of a sudden Sebastian seems big.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Visits (T)

We're about 5 hours drive north of Sydney, and about 7 hours from Brisbane, I guess. With the creek or swamp out the back to walk around, it's a very easy location for hosting a visitor; lunch followed by a walk. So far most weekends we've had a visit, last weekend it was Kack & Les, this weekend Jonathan. There's a koala who sometimes makes an appearance, over the back fence. As you can see, I tend to wear the same outfit to keep things really simple.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rachel in Thailand (T)

After 142 days, my sister Rachel has updated her blog, by guessing her way through the Thai language blogspot menus. It's short and sweet, but you take what you can get after 142 days. The thing is, blogspot thinks it's very clever and so it uses the principal language of the country you are in to display the menus, without any obvious way to revert to English.

The elephant hat in the picture is Rachel & Victor's 2nd birthday gift to Eddie.