Monday, December 29, 2008


So that's Christmas done with then. For us it meant the usual consumption of food and drink, with the added bonus of aches and muscle spasms. Because this year, we got a Wii.

Don't get me wrong, it's great. We got a selection of games that everyone could play and a fun time was had by the entire crowd of family and friends with whom we spent Christmas Day. The problem is that after a few hours of boxing, bowling and lightsaber duelling, my shoulders and arms started to feel like they'd been beaten with a sockful of loose change. The damn thing really ought to come with a health warning (Do Not Operate to Excess. Do Not Operate Under the Influence of Alcohol).

Apart from that, it's been reasonably quiet and enjoyable, as Christmases go. Not everyone was so lucky, however, with a fatal shark attack just 15 minutes up the coast from where we went to the beach on Boxing Day. Puts that post I made a few days back about Australia's dangerous wildlife into perspective.

Apart from that it's back to work today - there's still a bit to do yet before New Year kicks in. More later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas - stay well and I'll be back with (I hope) more regular posts soon.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Ho Ho D'oh!

Yesterday was the last day of the school term, and with the Christmas holiday also being the long summer holiday in this country I'm staring down the barrel of seven weeks of child wrangling. That's nearly two months of getting very little work done ... The last couple of weeks have been a rush to get everything finished before the teachers flung back my offspring and scampered into the sunset, giggling.

The mad activity has, however, been tempered by the fact that when school goes back in February both my kids will be attending full time. Yes ... I'll be getting five whole days each week to work on the projects of my choice. It'll have been a long time since I've been that productive, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Anyway, digressing ... first day of the holidays, first activity: taking the kids to see Santa down the local department store. Because I'm woefully disorganised, I would also be doing a lot of last-minute present hunting, so the plan was my wife would queue with the kids while I ran about buying surprises.

I estimated I had about half an hour, by the time they'd stood in line and done the whole sitting-on-knees part. So I charged around, fighting my way through hordes on a par with the sacking of Rome, and in 30 minutes I'd done, oh less than half of what I needed to do.

Flinging a pile of purchases through a checkout, I rushed to the department store ... where my family still hadn't even reached the front of the queue.

Part and parcel of the Santa experience in this country is getting your photo taken with the fat man himself. Unfortunately it's not a case of someone firing off a Polaroid and hustling you out the door. No, no, these shots are digital. You get a choice.

It seems one precious parent was having difficulty selecting which of the snaps her little darling looked best in ... to the tune of 20 minutes of umm-ing and ahh-ing. Meanwhile, out in the queue, where impatient children were starting to grumble, whinge or just plain scream, crowds of parents scowled darkly. We couldn't tell which picture the child should get, but the mother ... oh, we all knew exactly the kind of shot she wanted.

In the end we did get to see the Rotund One ... and were in and out in five minutes. I then had to spend a further half hour rushing around like a maniac while my wife and children grabbed lunch. Still, by the afternoon I could forget about the needlessly expended energy and the ground teeth and feel happy with a job well done.

The kids are asleep now and I've just sat down to start wrapping presents. I have several rolls of gold wrapping paper and a throbbing vein in my forehead.

Because all of the rolls of paper say 'Congratulations on your Wedding'.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

National Anthem


Yes, I'm still here, just a bit under the cosh (thanks for asking!).

To tide you over, here's a contender for the new Australian National Anthem ... it gets my vote.