Saturday, December 27, 2008
Not content with keeping us up all night, he pulls our hair in the daytime!
It's a good thing that he has very kissable cheeks...
Friday, December 26, 2008
Sometimes all seagulls need on Christmas day is a stroll along the beach and a long, wistful gaze out over the ocean.
I would like to think that this seagull is ruminating on the often contradictory impulses of nature, the isolation of modern life or how to build a better mousetrap, but I'd wager it's thinking about sex like the rest of us...
Christmas in Australia means many things - backyard cricket, prawn salads, a quick game of "throw the dart at Grandma" - but most of all, Christmas means parsurfing. As you can see by this picture of two parasurfers on Christmas day here on Bellerive beach here (on Hobart's Eastern Shore, with Mount Wellington in the background), parasurfing is to Christmas what rabbits are to Easter!
Ever since the First Fleet arrived in this great southern land oh so many years ago, the fusion of sail and surf has been a Christmas tradition. Convicts - bored with digging holes and breaking larger stones into smaller stones - utilised their Christmas break by taking to the skies like a seagull in heat.
From 1788 onwards, convicts could be seen every summer parasurfing up and down the coast, fanny packs [snigger snigger] filled to the brim with prawns, morton bay bugs, seal pups and penguins. Taking advantage of the speed and dexterity that is granted by the wind, these wily criminals supplemented their daily dose of gruel and maggot-water with all of the bounty that can be found in the Tasmanian seas.
From the the tradition has continued down through the generations, so that every Christmas day you can see mothers and fathers strapping in their babies and letting them fly off with the breeze. The kids just love it!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This inevitably meant that all of us not called Ezra felt a little Christmas bloat, so we decided that a wide course of action would be to walk off the turkey down at the beach.
The wind did not deter us.
So in all human affairs one notices, if one examines them closely, that it is impossible to remove one inconvenience without another emerging.
So we all had a sleep, and when we woke up we had a little more chocolate mousse, some of us having more than others.
Henry, generous soul that he is, wanted to share his with the world. So, here you go.
So this is Christmas, and what have you done?
Quite a bit, actually! Pressies been handed out and all wrapping, boxes and packaging has been scooped up before they can present a problem for the tidy-inclined (I had a process that worked out beautifully, thank you very much.
Shifting all the food preperations to Christmas Eve emerged as a masterstroke, as the timing for an early feast of turkey (rolled in ham) and a mountain of veggies, followed by a HUGE vat of homemade chocolate mousse was all completed in a timely fashion to accomodate all the sleeping needs of both kidlets (not to mention the proud parents).
The gift choices also seemed to be a winner, even the Frankenstein-ish concoction of Marino, Silk and Possum that I took a punt on. Very pricey, but the meterage has to be seen to be believed. [How they get these beasties to mate with each other really must be a sight. I can find nothing on YouTube...]
Henry elected himself chief present-opener, and showed excellent form. I am pleased this his keeness to tear more wrapping off meant that he had little problem with actually handing the gift over to its intended reciepient.
Ezra's form was a little patchy. I thought that a four A.M. start was a little unecessary, but then again he did have some decent naps and held it together for the most part. Not a bad effort for a bloke with two new teeth in the past couple of days.
And I got a new camera. As soon as that battery charges, I'll take some snaps and test it out!
I hope that all of your Christmas Days out there in the wider world went as smoothly, and if it wasn't quite as laid back, that it was of your choosing.
Merry Christmas people.
A very Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear. War is over, if you want it. War is over now.
I just wanted to quote my favourite Christmas carol in the title there (well, next to Chuck Berry's Run, Rudolph Run) and wish everybody out there a merry Christmas.
And no, I didn't have to staple those reindeer horns to Henry's head, he chose to wear them himself.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Continuing the series that some very aggressive knitting enthusiasts frightened me into offering, a five day old Ez makes an appearance in the what I am told is a Clementine's Shoes Kimono and a little beanie that she appears able to turn out in less than a day.
This one has drawn plenty of positive comments from random strangers (you know, the drooling imbeciles who try and grab your week old baby in the supermarket), as well as some more polite people.
If you wish, the very nice folks at Clementine's Shoes have posted the free pattern for the kimono online, and I am told that it is knitted in Grignasco Bambi. This is a type of material which may or may not be made from wool cultivated from a freakish deer/sheep/alpaca hybrid.
Now, bear in mind that Jen has altered the pattern somewhat, in a way that I do not understand nor appreciate. I think that it involves the border or edging, but I will be honest with you, I tend to fade out of conversations about knitting as quickly as I do as those about cars.
Banks are not on everyone's gift list this year, for quite good reason. That said, I've decided to show a little love and present to you a bank right here in the centre of town.
Like the banks, the Tasmanian weather has finally decided to be kind (if you call raging winds and rampant humidity kind). I don't think that there will be snow on Mount Wellington this year...
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
There are things that must evoke our anger to show we care. It is what we do with that anger. We can use it positively or destructively.
Here is Henry doing his angry young man shtick. C'mon Henry, it ain't '68 no more and it weren't no good in the first place! C’mon man, you look confused brother. Take a chill pill and cool down.
Ain’t no cause for alarm, there ain’t nuthin’ to see here.
Politics is a way of ruling in divided societies without undue violence…politics is not just a necessary evil; it is a realistic good.
Here is Ezra's reaction to the news that eminent political theorist Bernard Crick had died. Although he was a good age, Ez couldn’t help but be saddened by the news.
You see, unlike Henry – naturally attracted to the political firebrands like Robespierre or Trotsky – Ezra is a conciliator, thus naturally Crick was his kind of guy. Essentially a moderniser rather than a radical, Crick’s notion of political reform appeals to Ezra’s astute sense of balance and responsibility.
Like myself, Ezra was attracted to Crick primary through his masterful In Defence of Politics (1962). At a time of ideological tumult, the book reasserted the importance of politics and the nobility of the political vocation to an age that seemed either apolitical or anti-political in character.
For Crick, the ideologically driven leader – think Castro, Mugabe or Chavez – practises a form of anti-politics, in which the goal is the mobilisation of the populace towards a common end – even if it means killing someone to liberate them.
Mao, it is said, believed that “Power grows from the barrel of a gun". Such a view – in Crick's estimation – is thoroughly anti-political, because the speaker assumes an almost divine right to ignore or overcome any burden of ethical responsibility to his constituency with recourse to violence.
The beauty of A Defence of Politics lies in its argument that politics could exist only in societies in which the facts of diversity of opinions and interests were accepted as permanent and legitimate.
This was not a fashionable view in the 1960s, and his acknowledgement that politics – by its nature – is inevitably messy and complex, compels some tolerance of differing truths and recognition that government is best conducted amid the open canvassing of rival interests.
Thus, for Crick, Ezra and Me (Henry is holding out), the political process is not tied to any particular doctrine. Genuine political doctrines, rather, are the attempt to find particular and workable solutions to this perpetual and shifty problem of conciliation.
Conciliation, you see, is the essence of politics.
That’s what Crick understood and that’s why we’ll miss him.
Here is a clearly flushed and embarressed Henry modelling the "Kittyville hat" that Jen made him sometime ago. If you like, I can point you in the direction of the pattern, just ask in the comments and I will find it for you.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I have here a matching set for your viewing please. Taken late yesterday afternoon, above you can see five month old super cool dude Ezra with his mum about to check out the chickie babes on a warm summer’s day. He thinks that the shades give him ample opportunity for a perve without being found out. Little does he know that the girls have long been wise to that sort of carry on...
Below, you can see the restrained menace of a three month old Henry. Here, Hank is going for an enraged (but stoutly resolute) Mel Gibson in the first Mad Max and the cold, dispassionate killing machine portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think that he pulls it off nicely!
Here you can see the tremendous twosome – plus a snippet of Jennifer’s hair – in the bath yesterday afternoon.
Henry has very much stepped up his game with regards to his big brotherly duties; whether it is fetching nappies, giving Ez a kiss and a cuddle or just saying goodnight, he has been vigilant in his approach of late.
I am not sure, but I do feel that the threat of one Satan Claws (as I like to call him), and his notorious wrath of all things naughty appears to have compelled this good run of form.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The view from the bus last Wednesday.
I have lots of Henry and Ezra pics from today. I promise to post an assortment through tomorrow.
[Update: far too sparse. So I thought that I'd link this this story that reveals my home town of Burnie being voted the best port in Australia by passengers on last year's maiden voyage of the Sun Princess!
When your home town is as maligned as mine, you take great pride in these things. To beat out cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle and (best of all) Hobart, well, I can't think of a better case for Burnie to replace dreary old Canberra as the nation's capital.]