Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Potter Puppet Pals

The three children love the Potter Puppet Pals. No doubt this shows the result of bad parenting, although I think we may have managed to put a halt to unauthorised (unsupervised) YouTube surfing. We did this by exploding at Princess Pea for illicitly watching a Lady GaGa clip before it had been vetted.

Anyway, I like this one too.

We've tried to re-enact on long car trips but everyone scrambles to be Snape or Dumbledore, as they're easy, and invariably the Hermione gets the timing wrong.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sons of beaches

OK, not original.
I managed to publish my last post instead of saving it. The story continues: As well as my nailbiting survival of the Attack Of The Thing In The Seagrass, we went crabbing. Ricketts Point is a marine sanctuary so we catch and release, but the crabs are satisfyingly large. Last time we were all entertained (I'm sorry, but it was funny) by Running Boy hopping up and down with a splendid big crab hanging onto his thumb for dear life, yelling "It won't let go! It won't let go!!" Can you blame it? The crab did let go once it was back in the water. We then had a little chat about why we don't poke fingers into crevices after crabs, because there won't be any hopping up and down if it's a blue-ringed octopus we find.

To go crabbing for fun, we use a bit of old meat (week-old sausages are very good); some string; and several buckets. You tie the bait onto the string and find a bit of rock or broken shell to act as sinker.

You pop the lure into the water near a promising rock or bit of popweed and wait.

Once the crab is thoroughly occupied and before it clips off the bait and scarpers away, you hoick it out of the water. To the oohs of admiring, much smaller, kids who have come swarming from nowhere you pop it into a bucket of seawater.

Once you have too many crabs for them to be happy together you let them go and start again. Repeat ad infinitum, or until your parents haul you away for sunblock/food, whichever is the earlier.

Friday, March 26, 2010


We did manage to have a few beach days this summer just past. Usually, we go to Rickets Point where the swimming is almost boringly safe. On the last trip though as Princess Pea and I swam/crawled over low-tide seagrass, something bit my foot. It hurt and swelled up and for a little while everyone was quite excited about whether I had been bitten by something daramtically poisonous, but the swelling and pain had pretty much gone by bedtime so - no.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Own Brand isn't the same

We wanted to make mousse. Melted chocolate was called for.

Chocolate is expensive so we used the Safeways home brand cooking chocolate.

It refused to melt. (It also tasted horrible so there was less sampling by Cook's Helpers than usual. Actually there wasn't, but there was less sampling by Cook.)

In the end we used it anyway, and the mousse still tasted good.

I checked the packet expecting to laugh at a ridiculously low cocoa butter percentage. Do you know what? There wasn't any cocoa butter in this stuff, only 7% reduced fat cocoa powder. Dear Safeways, even cheap cooking chocolate should be capable of being used for cooking. Please consider.

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Which It Is Evident We Are Not Practised Churchgoers

Possibly we need to take the kids to church more often than Easter, Christmas, christenings, school CRE celebrations and the occasional additional visit.

A local church runs Easter and Christmas craft and Christianity workshops for primary school children. It's not our church, but the kids have been happily going. This year, Running Boy flatly refused. None of Princess Pea's friends turned up, and she has decided she is too old for it too. (It didn't help that a dear little churchlady insisted on helping her wrap up one of her creations, squishing the icing.)

At dinnertime, Princess told us that Cheekus Weekus possibly hadn't quite got the point. "Cheekus died" she said. "Pardon?" "Cheekus lay down being dead at the front when we were supposed to be going up to learn a new song. He wouldn't move. A little old lady all hunched over patted him on the head, I think she was asking him to get up, but he just screwed up his eyes and lay there." It got worse.

"I tried to escape" he said. "You know all those long chairs in the church? I crawled under them but then I gave up. The someone spotted me and I got really embarrassed." Yes, rather than learn a new Easter song, in church, Cheekus tried to get away through the pews but was rumbled by another little old lady. At least he was embarrassed!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Growing up

Princess Pea had her ears pierced as a birthday present. She has been nagging for years, and I had always said not until she was sixteen. Then I remembered how two of my younger sisters dealt with a similar edict: behind the garage with a cork and a needle.

This was the week she was able to take out the piercing studs, so we went out to our local hideous big shopping centre and hunted earrings. Princess chose some very lovely luminously bluegreen studs made, we were told, of crushed opal and some cheeky little ones for everyday. (She hasn't quite settled on her style, there were agonies of decision over the artfully mismatched skulls vs the cute little animals.) We had to track down a particular type, because everyone was wearing them, but didn't buy them, because everyone is wearing them and she wants to be individual. Oh to be twelve again!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poor poss

Last night we had a refugee make a nest under the folding chairs on the deck.

A few days ago the kids found a boules set which we've carted from house to house for a fair while without anyone caring too much about it. Now they've decided it's what they'll do on warm afternoons when they are kicked off electronics. While the boys and the CFO were playing, they saw a very small possum scuttle up the stair handrail into the crabapple tree that hangs over the deck. It began to forage in the leaves. There wasn't much to forage for, we had very little blossom and virtually no fruit this year.

The CFO managed to sneak some apple slices onto the deck railing just below the tree and the little possum came down. It was desperate. It ate three pieces straight off even with three small fascinated humans hovering well within its personal space. It was very young, probably last year's baby finally kicked off mum's back. Brushtails are not actually very attractive but this one was so little and clutched its bits of apple while peering at us with round red popeyes that we all fell in love with it. It crept down onto the deck where the CFO had put a small bowl of water, crawled into a nook behind a chair and started to lick its tail. A dog must have been at it, the tip was gone and there were red nicks and notches and knotted fur. Poss curled into a ball and slept.

Sometime in the night it moved on. We hope it finds a proper nest and no more dogs.