One Little Speckled Blog

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Old Planes & Old Cars & Old Music

This morning we packed the car full of food and headed off, not to swimming as the boys have colds, but we started in that direction at Parafield Airport for the Antique and Classic Aircraft Fly-In. We had the pleasure of Keith Martin's voice droning in the background with his "expert" opinion, except when they started up the Allison engine. We were right next to it at the time, waiting for a chance to do this:

EJ was happy to get in "by MYSELF" while Liam asked the supervisor good technical questions about how fast it went and does this bit come off when the pilot ejects. This plane actually crashed at Tullamarine and when it was supposed to be getting retrieved, the lifting equipment broke and the plane was trashed. It has been lovingly restored.

This one was Liam's instant favourite because it has machine guns:

He also had to check how this engine worked:

Then we hopped back in the car with the snacks and lunch and headed for the hills - the Rock 'n' Roll Rendezvous at the Birdwood Motor Museum.

The first thing the boys had to do was drive! EJ didn't meet the height requirements so he had to be a passenger but I could tell by his face that he didn't mind much; Liam barely met the height requirements but was still the best driver on the track. There were four or five cars and two had adults driving. Two cars hit each other and stalled every time they got to the corner and once I saw Liam coming up behind them and waited for the pile up, but he drove around! The girl in the red car decided she was going to catch up to the boys and chased them for two laps, but never caught them, so Liam has speed and accuracy! They jumped off so excited at the end because they won!! (I don't know if it was actually a race or how they knew they'd won, but they most certainly did).

Liam pointed out that The Blue Comets are wearing the wrong colour, and I got an unexpectedly detailed shot of the people dancing:

Slightly artistic ones:

And then we rode home on a worm.**
The end.
Of the story, not the worm.

**Some parts of that sentence may not be entirely true, but it was a neat ending to my story. Like, "And then I woke up and it was aaaaaallllllllllllllll a dream". The end.

PS: On the way home (which may have been either on a worm or in the car):

Liam: Mum, can I go bungee jumping?
Me: Noooooooooo! It can damage your joints and spine and eyeballs and brain...
Liam: How?
Me: It jolts you at the bottom.
EJ: (shocked voice) "It WHATS up your bum?!"

It's hard to drive through the hills (via car or worm) when you're laughing so much you're crying!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Liam decorated these boiled eggs at school and I took a photo because we can't keep boiled eggs forever. They are coloured in with crayon and dipped in dye.

After much debating it was decided Liam and EJ would spend two days of the four-day weekend with me and two with their dad. EJ was sick (URTI) and stayed home from school on Thursday; into ER on Good Friday for dehydration, but it was only mild and they sent us home; Saturday he was still coughing continuously ... so I printed that Easter egg photo so Liam could make their dad a card, because we didn't get a chance to shop.

On Sunday the Easter Bunny and I provided a large lot of loot: eggs, ducks for Liam, cats for EJ, a toy car each and clothes.

Right after that photo was taken, Liam tripped over and got a bonus Easter egg on his head, then EJ decided breathing was not such a fun idea. So back to ER we go. Here is EJ with his oxygen mask and sensor (on his finger):

Several people have commented that I thought to bring my camera to hospital. In fact, it does usually live in my bag, but I didn't have it this time and I took that photo with my phone. The hospital was suitably impressed that I had done two of the three things they were going to do: Ventolin and Prednisolone. The third was oxygen. I can't really do that at home if people refuse to breathe the air provided. They also considered adrenaline.

Liam went with his dad just after 11 and I stayed in hospital with EJ all day, so that was Easter. He was disharged about 5pm bored to tears (literally!) and I still dropped him off at his dad's because he was asking to play X-Box. Sunday night and I hadn't started anything I had to do this weekend yet!

On Monday I made an Easter cake, and baked the cookies I make for the boys most weekends, and that night when the boys came home, Mum and Paul brought pizza over for tea. Dad, Uncle Martin and Rebecca came over and we finally had the family Easter we were going to have two days earlier.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Catch-Up Blog: Australia, China and America ..we get around!

January 28th: Mannum

We hopped in the car and headed for the hills! But as we do that quite often, we drove a bit further until we found signs directing us to new places, and ended up in Mannum. Mannum is on the Murray River, which, a bit further up, is the border between Victoria and New South Wales. The Murray is SA's main water supply so it's a worry that we could see how low it had dropped just by looking at the bank on the other side in places. SA is also at the end of the line for water; the upstream states and irrigators get it first and we get what's left.

There are lots of boats and waterskiers; we looked in a museum and there's also a gemstone place which we didn't get to, but Liam would love to see next time. He also wants us to drive to Victoria one day.

A couple of cute snapshots:

Liam ROFLing at the slapstick humour of Bugs Bunny and friends:

EJ sleeping with the duck Sean and Louise gave him four years ago when he broke his arm.
The duck has a sling. EJ also has his ginger cat under his ginger head:

February 8th:Chinese New Year Dinner:

We went out with a few friends and family for Chinese New Year.

The boys were a tad concerned when drums and cymbals and gongs suddenly and very loudly started crashing! In danced Buddah and a dragon (or a lion). The dragon was worrying for a while but they got used to it and Liam even fed it some money in a lucky Chinese envelope (lucky for those who receive money in it!). We had wondered why there was a lettuce hanging from the ceiling; the dragon stood on his hind legs and ate it.

There was also a martial arts (sword fighting!) demo which prompted all the kids in the restaurant to fight each other for the rest of the evening.

More about this on Dad's blog:

February 17th: All American Car Show

This was riiiiiight up the boys' alley! Liam's all-time favourite car is the '67 Mustang. He wants to buy one one day and restore it, which I think is a great thing for a boy to be able to do in this day and age, and also a great thing to think of already at his age. There were lots of Mustangs at the car show, old....
...and new! This one looks like an overgrown Hot Wheels toy!...

EJ's favourite car is the Plymouth Superbird (I don't think he knows or perhaps cares yet that there's an EJ Holden!). There weren't any Superbirds there but he found a nice shiny Plymouth Bellevue:
We also saw a Hudson Commodore, which is not a Holden Commodore, and not quite a Hudson Hornet as in the Disney movie Cars, but close enough!

Some classics deserved to be there just because they had wooden spokes:

..and others only try to be classic and I don't know what they were doing there! Personally, I don't like PT Cruisers but the boys do and they liked the paint job on this one:

There were lots of other cool cars there but I think this blog is long enough, and I've covered the boys' favourites!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday - Port Adelaide

Yesterday we went to Port Adelaide, mainly to see a pirate show at the Maritime Museum. It was surprisingly uncrowded but we still managed to see a few people we know!

All the usual displays were there but they'd also set up a heap of pirate stuff - how much do we want to take this island home?!

This picture of the boys longingly admiring the glowing treasure was the last one I took before my camera batteries went flat without warning. I hate that.. I'm sure it used to warn me before doing that!

We wandered down to the lighthouse where there is a sand sculpture display called Dinostory. The following pics were taken with my phone.

After Dinostory, we did go into the old lighthouse and climbed up to the top and down again and got back to the car, just in time to miss the rain. It poured... must have been all of three or four drops....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Stoopid weather

We've had a stinking hot few days (like yesterday - 42C/107.6F). The dog even got to come in to share the air conditioning for a while. He popped up to say thanks:

... and told Liam a very funny secret ...

After being stuck inside for days, we used today's cool change as an opportunity to go to the beach. Unfortunately it was cooler than expected and very windy. It's a good thing body boards have wrist straps!

Hats don't though:

The weather was fine for kite surfers - which is probably why they were the only other 5 people on the beach. They were a couple of hundred metres away but this one surfed all the way along to us and back. Yes, there is water then sand then water. In fact there's more sand first but you can't see it in the photo.

The surfer in the next pic would have been 3-4 metres above the water. They would fly up and flip and it seemed to be an easy trick on such a windy day (remember you can click to enlarge it, and click "back" to get back here).

The boys played chasey in and out of the water and dug channels for the puddles to flow back to the sea, and even swam a bit in this shallow water. They avoided the choppy ocean though.

This evening they were very impressed to see this Mickey T Tire truck (it's really a Nissan Patrol). It's spelled the American way as they are American tYres.

We had a very nice dinner with Sean and Louise, Mum, Dad, Paul and Rebecca. Oh, and my new niece "Ladybug", but you can't quite see her yet! We will see Sean and Louise again tomorrow and they return to America on Monday morning. That fuzzy hair behind me is not mine (for a change!); it's attached to the lady behind me!

Here's an edited pic for you, Sean and Louise, if you want to snag it! Thanks for coming and hope to see you again soon!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Weddings, Parties, Anything! (A long one, sorry!)

Liam's 8th birthday: December 30th

Here is the birthday boy with a present from EJ and me.

It included books, a racetrack and an electronic Pokeball - shown below (which is, of course, what people keep their Pokemons in), and a heap of other stuff.

Liam was invited to a wedding on his birthday. He really loves both the bride and the groom and really wanted to go. He changed his mind when we got to the non-airconditioned chapel on a stinking hot day! But it was still a nice wedding, including bagpipers (EJ: "WHY do they have to keep doing THAT?!"), and a horse-drawn cart for the bride.

Then home again for the small family afternoon tea (remembering Liam already had his party at the local swimming centre). We had already purchased an icecream cake but then Liam decided he wanted a number 8 cake because it can be decorated as a racetrack, and I decided I would do it because you really only get one chance at having an 8 cake. Complete with go-kart, motorbike, tree, cones, and ramp:

Here's Liam serving the icecream cake, after he'd blown out his candle. The 8 candle is actually from my 8th birthday! The gold candle in the foreground is for Little Sean who would also have been 8 that day, and it was blown out by his brother Samuel, who is just in the bottom left of the pic. Liam always lights a candle for Sean's birthday, which we then give to his parents, and on three birthdays he has also chosen to raise money for Childhood Cancer. I think it is extremely generous of a child to not only share his birthday, but also to ask for CC donations knowing it might mean he gets smaller presents. EJ is behind Liam, with the 8 cake, which I cut into quarters so everyone could take some home.

Happy birthday to my special and caring Liam! :o)


Today we went to the Brickworks markets. We usually go there because the boys like the mini golf, but being 38C/100.4F today, we rode the bumper boats instead. I didn't have my camera with me so there aren't any pics, which is just as well, because it might not have survived the splashing! EJ had to ride with me but wouldn't do any steering (he told me later he was scared he'd tip the boat over!). Liam got his own boat and I was secretly a bit concerned about the difficulty of steering, but he actually found it easier than I did! We were the only two boats there so we could chase each other and bump and stop under the bridge to scare the other person when they came around the corner.

After a few mouths full of exhaust fumes and quite enough sun, we went into the markets. The Brickworks markets are not posh by any standards, but we were extra disappointed today. The Brickworks website has a scrolling announcement on the front page saying "Open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays" (click here to see it). Can you see where this is heading?

Some of the markets are in the old kiln. It's like a tunnel which runs in a complete circle. The boys like to get Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards here because they can get a pack of 10 which includes a rare card for a few dollars. Entire kiln locked.

Some of the markets are in a building, like a big shed. About a third of the markets in here were closed today.

The rest are outside, made up of temporary stalls which are brought in at closing time, and small stores. There were two in particular that I wanted to go to here. About two thirds of these were closed - all the stalls and some of the stores, including both that I wanted to go to.

We still managed to buy Buster a toy I've been looking for (well a cheap version of it, which I guess is really what I was looking for!) and some ice cream for ourselves, and with the bumper boats, it wasn't a complete waste of time...