Christmas Day

Down (up?) to London for Christmas Day.  Iz has settled into lounging around and likes Milly the dog.  All in all having a great time playing with all the cuzzybros.

And the photo moment where everyone in three generations, and Milly the dog, is in the same frame.  Isabel has her best pirate smile on for the occasion too.

And Happy Birthday to Anna, not a day over 39…

Northern Christmas

In the UK and the jetlag appears to not be affecting someone so much.

Isabel is turning Granny and Grandad’s into a tip – and they are loving it.


And some snow….

… er no…

the froth machine in the top right does gice it away.  Not quite cold enough for the real stuff.


Next stop Christmas.

Scooter Girl

Iz has wheels. Three of them to be precise – on her new scooter.

And we love our new-found independence. Today we went on our daily ritual of a few laps of the garden and had a ball. The odd trip and fall but generally we are on our way to proficiency.



I was telling folk at work we were going to see Australia’s biggest band of the last 25 years.  They were thinking ACDC or the Bee Gees but no.  We were off to the Wiggles.

Front row seats, no less, following a manic internet purchase one millisecond after it opened a few months ago.

So a weekend in Canberra it was – in a hotel with a pool so our little tadpole could get some practice in.

Iz is getting quite confident with her swimming and is happy to jump in and dive under the water to pick up her seal toys.  The hotel technically had a no jumping rule but, hey, rules are there to be broken.

So, on Sunday morning we start with a 7am swim and then get ready for the big event with a buffet breakfast.

This was Isabel’s first “event” so she was really quite daunted at the beginning and was a cute mix of excited / daunted as the big red car did a lap of the stage.

But really soon we were in the swing of things dancing around and mucking in with the other kids [pics 3 and 4] who had ditched their folks to dance in the aisles.

And the Wiggles were really nice too and posed for photos with the kids who made a special dressing-up effort and looked to be really enjoying it even after 25 years in the game.

And just as the 2 1/2 year concentration span waned it was all over and we were back in the car on the way back to Sydney (with a coffee stop in Bowral).

And the big news of the weekend.  Wags the dog appears to be a girl.



A night away from Sydney for a change with our little girl.  Orange is about 3 hours west of Sydney over the Blue Mountains and past Bathhurst.  Presumably Oranges were once the main crop but they must have got the pip and now the core crop are apples.  And wine.

Isabel was very excited and thought she was going in a plane for the the first hour but slowly settled and had a good night.

The next morning we hit the Farmers’ Market to buy veggies, jams and chutneys and other local delights and get to feed the animals at the little farm.  We saw rabbits, lambs, cows, goats, chickens and an asleep pig and we fed the lambs.

Then onto some quaint local villages where we acted strangely as Isabel’s toilet training resulted in several dashes back to the car – all in vain.

Lunch in the Blue Mountains which was lovely but ended with another toilet training mishap.

Back over the Blue Mountains and past the Hydro Majestic – where I watched England beat France in the 1991 World Cup – a good omen?  No.

And in case you didn’t see the classic youtube clip of Isabel and Harvey click here.

Rugby World Cup

New Zealand against Tonga, the opening game at the World Cup at Eden Park and we were there.

We started at the waterfront which has been done up recently and now stretches from the city, through the viaduct, and right to the other side of Victoria Park and includes trams and bars and restaurants…

After joining in with 200k people at the bottom of Queen Street we headed off to the stadium for the opening ceremony and fireworks which were spectacular and would not of been out of place at the Olympics.

60k people watched NZ sneak part Tonga and Anna even caught the first points of the World Cup on film (see right).  Then it was back to the city to see the aftermath of a 200k people party – some sore heads in the morning.

The next day I watched the other team in black beat Argentina (in the pub) and Anna went to see Japan scare France at North Harbour.

Thanks to all our friends in NZ for a great weekend.

Oh, yes, Isabel had a grand time too…

Wizzy World

Wizzy world is every child’s dream – a play area to die for.

The four kids and four adults went wild for a couple of hours, albeit with a few pitstops for nappies, water and food.

We had a great time on the:


bouncy castle

climbing area (over 4s only but as if that’s going to stop us …)

– and all the other attractions.

There was the odd panic as one got carpet burn on her head (Isabel diving out of the playhouse) and we lost one for a few minutes (but he was found about 20 feet up the 4s and up scaffolding)

Two and a half hours later we were exhausted and so were the kids and we all went home for a well-earned nap.

Nearly 2

In a month Isabel will be two and she seems to have grown up quite a bit in the last few weeks.

Her latest escapades include:

Escaping from her cot – not sure quite how she did it – but it didn’t appear to hurt her.

Singing to herself in the car – a hummed variation on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

Reading books to herself – missing the story entirely and replacing it with gobbledygook whilst pointing out the animals in the pictures – quite cute.

Playing at Balmoral beach building sandcastles and then kicking them over (top picture).

Being chased by boys (middle picture).

Drinking sparkling water out of a cup and then spilling it and burping.

She also got some new gum/wellington (delete as appropriate) boots and had a test drive down at Tunks Park (bottom picture).  Needless to say the inevitable happened and we got back home drenched and dirty…

Her favourite foods are now raw cauliflower from the fridge and frozen peas.

And her favourite person is still Mummy – 23 consecutive months now – must put some work in there…

Look out for a birthday update around the 3rd June…

Granny & GangGang

Granny and Grandad from the UK have been over here for a holiday (and to chek out the grandkid) before we all go to Canada for a fortnight.  In reality we have already done Canada but the blog is a little behind – the Canada photos will be up in a week or so…

They went to Isabel’s swimming class (with luck the video clip will work).

They took Isabel to her favourite place (the park) at every opportunity.

We had a big catchup lunch with some more rellies from Canada.

Isabel had fun with the automatic toilet door at Taronga Zoo

There were other adventures too like the “incident” at Circular Quay, and the Queens Mary and Elizabeth turning up in tandem in the harbour.

All in all a good time was had by all…

Watch for the Canada clips in a week or so…


After the holiday in Australia we all flew to Canada and had a whale (see the video clip at the bottom) of a time.

Three of us skied the mountain whilst the other two played in the village at the park, in the snow, in a sledge and, of course, in the buggy.

We covered most of the mountain in loads of snow and variable visibility with only a single small injury!

Back at the hotel Pingu was on continuous play whilst Isabel bonded with the olds.

After 10 days at Whistler we went back to Vancouver where we caught a Canucks (ice hockey) game and had a good old wander of Stanley Park. The Canucks have a good chance of winning the Stanley Cup this year – yep – it’s the same Stanley.

Isabel also caught up with a fiend from Australia and then we departed in different directions and Isabel said “Bye Bye Gang Gang” for the last time for a short while.