Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Springtime Contradictions

The weather in Melbourne is tempermental at the best of times, but it seems to be even more unpredictable in Spring. For example, last week, a massive storm rolled over Melbourne on Tuesday night, after a few days of sun and temperatures over 18 degrees.

 It was quite exciting.... there was thunder, lightning and an unexpected dump of several inches of hail.  

We lost new leaves and flowers off our Magnolia tree out front, and paint was chipped off our fence as hailstones tore through stuff.

Our front yard mid storm. 

The view of the road from our upstairs window. Hail and Rain!

And then, on Sunday... we had a glorious sunny day of 20 degrees. Grass grew, flowers bloomed and it was a definite blessing to be out and about. Here's a tulip in our garden.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Puppy feet

How cute are these paws?!

She's all legs.

Sunday, August 3, 2014



The last 8 months have been busy with rehearsals for the Senior Musical at Aquinas. This has been the first musical I've directed ever. I've been ultra resistant to participating in the genre. I'm not sure what changed... whether it was an opportunity to solidify my job at the school, a chance to take on a new artistic and logistic challenge, or a secret passion for jazz hands... But I took it on.

Maryanne, me and Ines.

What a great story! Great songs! Great characters! I've loved Hairspray since I saw the John Waters movie in my last year of high school. I missed seeing the musical in Melbourne, but of course I had seen the movie with John Travolta and Christopher Walken.

 A Stage Right view of the Baltimore sides of our Periaktoi Flats

I would be nowhere without the help of my choreographer Maryanne and my musical director, Ines. Our costume manager Sasha made sure everyone looked great, fat suits and all. Our rehearsal pianist, Adrian was with us all the way along, even in the orchestra during production week.

Our stage floor. Wonderful splatter!

Blood, sweat and a few tears and 8 months later, we had a show..... And what a show! Talented kids, amazing voices, gifted dancers and some authentic performers! 
 I'm super proud, very happy and uber tired.

The CCTV shows a full house on Opening night

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cocoa's Achievements

So Cocoa is going to be 10 months old next week, and she has passed two levels of Obedience Training: Beginners and Level One.

She does pretty well: she usually heels well, she sits and stays, she can stand and down on command, but staying in a stand for inspection and staying in a down are challenges!

We have been held back in Level Two, and we anticipate staying here for some time. (No biggie! It's not just Cocoa, some of her mates haven't made the grade yet either.) 

It's an intense hour at 8.45 every Sunday morning, and  we try to take her to the adjacent dog park for at least a half hour before class to  run around and have social time with her classmates. We don't feed her that morning, (our dog club recommends that it will keep her "ingestively keen"), and the session at the dog park wears her out a bit, and usually makes her more compliant in class. 

She's a social little thing, though ---  and she gets distracted and distracts her classmates in the process. 
So, our keys to learning alongside her on these mornings are:

1. Coffee before leaving the house ( and sometimes again at the coffee truck at the dog park!!) 
2. Patience
3. Our sense of humour
4. Gumboots (it's winter here, and the field is a mud bath!)

At home, her list of achievements is a bit different. No ribbons. Just a list. Of destruction.

Countless holes dug. 
3 missing Kongs 
2 missing water bowls
(...probably all  in the holes. We have tried excavating, and no luck!) 
2 plastic garden pots
A rhubarb plant
This summer's basil crop
The strawberry patch
1 dog blanket
6 stuffed chew toys
3 plastic chew toys
2 ornamental grasses
The compost bin
A garden hose

I don't know how she got a hold of this plastic bowl... but it did not last long!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bombolinis for Scott

Scott's Birthday was in the first week of May, and we celebrated on the day with a special trip into the city for a gourmet steak dinner. We are systematically eating our way through all of Melbourne's top ten steak restaurants. Funny thing: we are guaranteed to be served by a North American every time. Last year, a girl originally from Duncan was our waitperson, and this year an American served us.

The following day, we had Bombolini (Italian donuts) from Sugardough Bakery with the kids; a choice of Jam, Custard, Cinnamon Apple or Chocolate.... yum!

Walking with the Dog

We found a secret dog park in Boronia, just a suburb over from us. It's a reservoir, with the most deluxe outdoor furniture I've ever seen in a nature reserve! Great views of the "lake" and the Dandenong Mountains in the distance.

Cocoa is still not too sure about bodies of water. This shot was taken just before she fell in whilst trying to make friends with some ducks.

How can you deny this face anything?!!! She no longer fits on my lap in the front seat.... too big and gangly.

Collingwood Graffiti

One day in our Easter Holiday break, Scott and I drove into the city for the day to poke around in shops around Collingwood, Fitzroy and Brunswick. Here are some choice bits of Collingwood graffiti we saw in our wanderings.

I think it's  a dog with an assault rifle... or a possum with a crowbar?