St Andrews Day

Today, 30th November, is St Andrews Day which is Scotland’s official national day of celebration of our patron saint. It is where we get our National Flag from – the Saltire and obviously where the famous golf links are. Although not as well celebrated as say Paddy’s Day in Ireland there is a growing call in Scotland for it to become a bigger celebration of all things Scottish and even make it a public holiday.

Personally I would prefer to see us have a Scotland Day, maybe sometime in May or June when the weather is better and make it a full day national celebration. We know how to enjoy ourselves and I’m sure it would make us all feel great about being Scottish. The Scottish Government should take a look at how the Aussie’s go about Australia Day each year. There are loads of events in every city and town. With parades, concerts, fairs and every form of entertainment for all ages and persuasions, plus they do it in Summer.

I also think that as a grown up multi-cultural nation we need to separate this celebration from a Christian saint. Having a Scottish day in the dark depths of November, when it’s more than likely to be raining, gloomy, cold and dark by about 5pm, only serves to exacerbate the Scottish psyche of the old dreary, soulless, Presbyterian past.

Will they do it? – I doubt it… but maybe that is my Scottish up bringing!

Alan

St Andrews Day

Charlie’s Near Disaster

It seems that Charlie’s exploring is going to keep us on our toes – only yesterday he pulled over a standard lamp in our dining room, thankfully missing himself entirely but shattering the shade into tiny pieces!  He didn’t even appear to bat an eyelid when I ran to his aid.  As I cleared up the debris Ella entertained her little brother but I could hear her telling him “Charlie you need to keep shoes on so you don’t get sore feet”, repeating exactly what I’d said to her only moments before.  She really mothers him sometimes (i.e. when it suits her!!).

Kirstin

Charlie’s Near Disaster

The vagaries of Melbourne’s weather

Last week was such a typical week for Melbourne’s weather. Monday and Tuesday the mercury reached 37° both days. Monday night was particularly hot and didn’t get lower than 25° at night. On Tuesday afternoon we had a ‘change’ – which is a common Aussie weather term – and the temperature dropped 15° in 30 minutes. On Wednesday it was a very cool top of 15° and we then finished the week in the low 20’s. We had 1.5 days of rain which doubled the monthly total. Very weird and very, very different to what we’re used to.

When it does get to the high 30’s it is usually combined with very strong northerly winds which are extremely dry and hot. This makes it very uncomfortable – not quite the same as an Edinburgh November week!

The vagaries of Melbourne’s weather

Trip to the Zoo

Uncle Dave and I took Ella & Charlie on a visit to the zoo on Tuesday. When we arrived our Scottish accents encouraged the fellow Scotsman who was working the ticket booth to let us in for concessionary price – not a bad start to the day! We set off in earnest with Charlie happily in the pram and Ella marching out in front proudly carrying her ‘Fifi’ bag on her arm. We visited the gorillas, lions, elephants, monkeys (a favourite with Ella) and orangutans before stopping for some lunch. While Charlie had his lunch, Dave took Ella to see the elephants having a wash, she had other ideas and decided to put on a little show of her own:

After lunch Ella walked ahead demanding to see “More Animals”. By now the sun had come out and it was around 27 degrees, Charlie had a sleep and poor Uncle Dave was very obliging when Ella insisted on being up on his shoulders for better viewing. We visited the platypus, kangaroos, wombats, koalas, bears, giraffes, zebras….in fact most of the animals in the zoo!!

Ella & Uncle Dave

After a well deserved ice-cream for our efforts Dave & I packed Ella & Charlie into the car and within 10 minutes they were both fast asleep. Five hours in the zoo had obviously taken it out of them!

Mummy, Ella & Charlie

Kirstin

Trip to the Zoo

Come on Melbourne….

This weekend has been great fun with our family and we’ve enjoyed some fantastic Melbourne spring weather. On Friday after work I met Kirstin, Ella and Charlie in Middle Park and we sat outside having a couple of drinks. Jill and Dave (K’s sis and hubby) came down and met us and we enjoyed a nice bottle of Shiraz.

On Saturday, we went to Cowderoy’s Dairy (our local Milk Bar – a Milk Bar in Aus is a type of small general store come cafe) for breakfast and after we had a play in the adjacent park.

Climbing at Cowderoy

Uside down Ella

In the afternoon we went swimming, Ella for some reason has developed a fear of the teaching pool and we’re keen to get her over it. She is great in the water generally but has a real fear of this one pool. Ella and I then headed off to meet with my friend Neil to go and watch the football game in the evening between Melbourne and Sydney. It is the biggest fixture in football here and it was Ella’s 2nd game. She has been looking forward to it all week and she had an absolute ball. Before the game we always go into the bar in the stadium which has the most fantastic outlook over the ground. This is Neil and Ella in the bar when we first arrived – as you can see Ella is proudly wearing her new Melbourne strip!

Neil and Ella at Telstra

After a fairly quiet 1st half she really got into the swing of things in the 2nd half,running up and down the aisle keeping everyone around us amused often shouting out “Come on Melbourne!!”

Come on Melbourne

This is the crowd at the game and the view from where we sit…

Crowd at Telstra

Sunday involved me taking Charlie to his water awareness class and then I took him on a 10k run, although for him it meant being pushed in his pram while sleeping! It was about 10am but already it was very warm which makes the running that bit harder. Around 12 we met up with Mark and his son, Hugh, for a coffee and baby cino, sitting outside at one of the many Middle Park cafes. We then met up with Clint, Marie and their son Frankie in the park and yet another visit to a cafe for some more coffee. It is one of the problems of such a cafe culture is that you can consume far too much caffeine! That brings us to the end of a typical Melbourne weekend for us – lots of parks, coffee, wine, friends, sitting outside and football – I suppose someone has to do it!!

Come on Melbourne….