Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Koala in a poplar

look what we found in our poplar...
scroll down for a clearer view.

he was up in our neighbour's gum tree before he decided he'd like to try something new!

Doesn't he look cute!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ANZAC day: Ship after ship

Ship after ship, crammed with soldiers, moved slowly out of harbour, in the lovely day, and felt again the heave of the sea. No such gathering of fine ships has ever been seen upon this earth, and the beauty and the exaltation of the youth upon them made them like sacred things as they moved away.

As they passed from moorings to the man-of-war anchorage on their way to the sea, their feeling that they had done with life and were going out to something new, welled up in those battalions; they cheered and cheered till the harbour rang with cheering.

As each ship crammed with soldiers drew near the battleships, the men swung their caps and cheered again, and the sailors answered, and the noise of cheering swelled, and the men in the ships not yet moving joined in, and the men ashore, till all the life in the harbour was giving thanks that it could go to death rejoicing.

By the night of the second day, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps had won and fortified their position. Men writing or reporting on service about them referred to them as the A.N.Z.A.C.(From "Gallipoli" by John Masefield)

For Billy


"There is one best place to bury a dog.
"If you bury him in this spot, he will
come to you when you call - come to you
over the grim, dim frontier of death,
and down the well-remembered path,
and to your side again.

"And though you call a dozen living
dogs to heel, they shall not growl at
him, nor resent his coming,
for he belongs there.

"People may scoff at you, who see
no lightest blade of grass bent by his
footfall, who hear no whimper, people
who may never really have had a dog.
Smile at them, for you shall know
something that is hidden from them,
and which is well worth the knowing.

"The one best place to bury a good
dog is in the heart of his master."

--- Ben Hur Lampman --

Yesterday our dog Billy died.
Billy came to us when friends were moving overseas.
He was not a puppy.We think he was at least 15. A good age for any dog but exceptional for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Billy was not the smartest dog.( Our friends paid an incredible ammount in vets fees because he insisted on swallowing socks.)
He would never have won a beauty competition in doggy land.(our other Cavalier has the chocolate box looks)
No what Billy gave us was something that is never visible to a casual observer; his complete loyalty.For our 8yo the world has always had Billy. Billy used to "guard" him while he slept outside in his pram.And he was always there waiting to receive secrets when small arms surrounded his scruffy neck.
Loyalty is a rare component,in the modern world, even in human friendship we are told.Billy gave it consistently. He was loyal. He was a true friend. And he will be missed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lest we forget

The Soul of Australia

In the light of dawn, the break of day,
Through the waters chill they fought their way;
Like their sires of old, to the Motherland
They came o’er the sea, and they sprang to the strand;
And the blood of the Angles, the Scot, and the Celt
Grew hot in their veins as the war fire they felt.

In the light of noon, in the bright sunlight,
They fought up the cliffs from height to height;
And the sun shone down on that scene of strife
Where the ‘Soul of Australia’ came to life,
As the blood of Australians was shed on the sod,
For Australia, for Britain, Humanity, God.

Shall Australia mourn for the sons she has lost-
Should Australians weep? Nay! Great though the cost,
Joy mingles with grief, and pride mingles with pain,
For our boys died like heroes, and died not in vain.
And the ‘Soul of Australia’, new-born on that day
When her sons died at ANZAC, shall never decay.

The Brisbane Courier, 25 April 1916

Friday, April 23, 2010


We read two picture books as part of our study this year for ANZAC Day. The first would more properly be read on Remembrance Day here in Australia as it talks about the symbolism of wearing individual poppies but in New Zealand this is (or was when I was a child) an Anzac Day tradition and
so we read the first book and I explained the New Zealand connection.
Also a "significant" memory for me surrounding Anzac Day was my Std 4 teacher reading
an extract
from the book "Gallipoli" by John Masefield. Of course I didn't know at 10 that he was Poet Laureate for England at that time or that he wrote the book as a counter foil
to German propaganda that was spreading in the States around the time of the Gallipoli offensive
But the lyrical and emotive style(better than any enlistment poster as far as my 10 year old personality was concerned) have always remained as a vague shadow imprinted in my mind as so much of childhood is.And so I bequeathed to the boys this ANZAC day rememberance tradition .

Finally we read this picture book which had such a positive take on community and building memories(deliberate but poor play on story)

Of course no post in our family on ANZAC day would be complete without mentioning in passing the interesting discussions/debates/conversations on the remembering with older children and just how we should observe this remembering.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hidden secrets!

No I'm not coming out today thank you...you might want to take this absolutely delicious piece of fruit from me that i've been keeping hidden at the back of my sleeping box!...and anyway its Sunday...a day of rest!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

P is for possum

We have been enjoying our week possum minding while our friends are in Thailand. Here are some pictures of a plucky little chap!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Food glorious food!

so anyway, I was just playing with one of my friends when....

oh boy ............................ i see


yes this is more like it!

Happy Birthday Papa

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reading and running!

Its not that I don't like a good book occasionally,.... but no one will ever accuse me of being a couch potato!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My own idea!

just so you understand

I put myself here

of my own volition

so I could end up doing this!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

P is for personality!

Guess who?!A certain someone who is visiting this week. As you can see he is a "personality plus" sort of chap!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Divine Mercy

Every week I get an e-mail from this site. As well as giving ideas for meals it can also provide a little 'food for thought'!
Fr. Leo Patalinghug describes a conversation initiated by a stranger at a busy train station:
"Without breaking the seal of the confession, I can say this pastoral moment was a unique outpouring of God’s infinite goodness. This man, who seemed to have it all, internally was “begging” to be welcomed back to the Father’s House. He was baptized Catholic, but stepped away from the Church at a very young age. He claims it was because he was disappointed in the hypocrisy he saw from leaders and the people in the pew. While that may seem like a legitimate reason, I don’t buy it, and neither did he. He eventually admitted that his departure from church and religion in general (like the majority of people who leave the Church) was simply because he wanted to live his life precisely the way he wanted to live it – without anyone else having any say how. By leaving the Church, he could make up his own rules, his own morals, and his own destiny – without any moral consequences.
It’s true, hypocrisy in the Church is frustrating and discouraging. But there is no perfect church because it is full of people who are sinners. People who go to church, including priests and nuns, aren’t there because they are perfect. People should go to church because they recognize that despite their sins, God forgives and helps us to be better. When people start accepting the humanity of the Church, they will begin to see the divinity of our calling and go to church more faithfully
This happened on Divine Mercy Sunday.
early in the morning...

I'm still a little sleepy but...

this is so good!

Now I'm ready for play!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pandas and personalities

We are very fortunate to have two giant pandas at our zoo for an extended visit.(even if we did wonder at first if they were going to turn around and look at us!!)

Wang Wang is a very laid back placid sort of bloke who is happy to spend a large portion of his day snoozing,but might be woken at the thought of a juicy bamboo stalk to munch on.

Funi is very active and playful and often makes excited mewing vocalisations at feeding time. She is also very intelligent, curious and loves to explore.

ds12 + ds8 had visited the two pandas briefly early in the year. So brief was that first visit that they were barely able to observe the pandas let alone record an image!

This time we were much more fortunate! The wait in line lasted barely 10 minutes before we entered the exhibit.

To begin with both the male and female were in their inside enclosures and Funi did seem to be more active, climbing high on rocks and clambering over branches.

Wang Wang seemed content to just sit. So the boys escorted me outside to show me the large stone that is kept cool for Wang Wang. Just as we bent to feel the stone(it projects into the observation area) a certain bear lumbered over.

He walked to a piece of bamboo,which was right where we were standing! had a quick munch and lumbered back indoors!

The boys verdict: a definite improvement on their last visit!!

And here are a few more pictures of our zoo visit.(yes the turtle had "gone walkabout" from its enclosure and yes the siamangs are one of our favourite apes)