Monday, February 27, 2012

The last Fortnight

So next week we'll be onto grade 7, grade 5 and kindy-at-home for Arden. I've spent this evening arranging Gabriel's first block, and helping Willow plan hers. So looks as if we're all arranged. I'm looking forward to having extra time with Arden, and I'm hoping that Willow will find her way, with directing her learning.

We headed out to the Steiner shop at Bibra lake again last week, this time going via Fremantle. It was certainly a much more pleasant journey. Since our last visit, the shop has also renamed itself, and is now called 'the Honeyclock',after a giant honey filled egg timer they sell. I do like the shop there, and we had a pleasant time looking around at all the different items. I picked up a blackboard, duster and chalk, as well as some main lesson books, pencils, modelling wax and a book by Padraic Colum, 'The boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter.' The blackboard has gone down well with everyone, and it was quite amusing watching everyone wondering about how to use the duster!

I also picked up a glockenspiel last week, it's probably the nicest quality instrument in the house. It has a beautiful resonance. I'm hoping to make quite a bit of use of it with Arden. Damien also bought us a keyboard, to help Gabriel and Willow out with their musicianship classes. Everyone is quite taken by it. Damien and I have been practising daily, Arden likes to changes it to drumming and use it as a drum machine, and Willow and Gabriel have just been generally trying out tunes on it.

Gabriel has turned ten, and our birthday season is over til next Summer. It was pleasant to just make it a family affair this year. It's the first time we've done that, so it felt a lot less busy, which was very nice. Willow and Gabriel went busking at the Perth Cultural Centre, and we also came across the Red ball Project, on Gabriel's birthday. Everyone found the giant ball quite fun.

We also headed to our first homeschool outing for the year, off to the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre. Willow and Gabriel enjoyed the class, and whilst they were busy doing that Arden and I got to pat some sea creatures in a rock pool, at the centre, amongst them was a cat shark, sea urchins, star fish, and sea cucumbers. We had a swim at the beach at Hillarys after, it is quite an interesting set up, enclosed in from the ocean, by the marina.

Hillarys Beach

On the beach theme, we headed to Cottesloe last week, and were chased out of the water, by the life guards, setting a siren off, for a shark warning. A helicopter had been following it up the coast, til it was too near to the swimmers. Apparently it was a hammerhead. I suggested that it was nicer just spotting dolphins in Adelaide, but the kids were just as impressed by the shark idea.

Finally Willow went out last weekend with Damien on a catamaran. They both headed out onto the Swan River, for an hours worth of sailing. Willow loved it and Gabriel will be going this weekend, with Damien.

Looking North across the Swan

And I've finished carving my egg! I polished it with beeswax today, and I'm quite happy with it.

Everyone else's are also progress nicely, and now I seem to be also making one for Arden!
L-R: Egg for Arden, Willow's, Gabriel's and mine.

We do seem to have been very busy recently! And actually there has been more happening- circus class have started again, and both the kids have new bikes, and Damien and I have been discussing Codex amongst our food oriented community. We have had a very lovely Summer here, getting out and doing lots of things, but I am glad that it's starting to feel cooler. Even if that means the temperature is in the high 20's during the day, and high teens overnight.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chalk Drawings

Some chalk drawings from Saturday afternoon-

Jelly fish


An Angel


Pirates, Angels and Busking

We have had an amazing few days. Friday night we headed to Scarborough beach to watch Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. Was lovely sitting by the Sea and watching a performance. Plus it was interesting to see another beach here, the all seem a bit different. The sand was very powdering, and I was reminded of shots of beaches in Sydney, the water was churning a lot, and the coast was very bright and plain.

Saturday, we headed into Perth to see 'Place des Anges'. It was a very magical experience, with aerial performers as Angels, throwing feathers from up high onto the city. The feeling and experience reminded me of being in the snow in Glasgow, when we lived in Scotland. It was so much fun, and after the feathers finished falling, they put on some music and everyone got in and played with and threw feathers. Everyone was smiling and it was just a joyous experience.

Finally today we went out busking, with Gabriel all dressed up in a bow tie and red hat. He had so many photos taken of him, it was very funny. He asked, at one point, if he was being mistaken for someone famous! I explained to him, it was just he looked quite stylish, and people don't expect boys to be dressed like that. We also chatted to a man about repairing guitars- he was repairing his in Central Park, on Hay St, and he recommended a book on learning guitar to Gabriel, so we will have to look that up later.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Organised classes have resumed for the year, and in the process we've discovered that these are very popular in Perth's homeschool network. It seems every corner of Perth has someone organising a day to a week of activities for homeschoolers- it comes of as very schooly to me- particularly as one friend pointed out, some people do send their kids every day. However this at least isn't usual, surely some of the fun of homeschooling should be having one's kids at home!

Willow and Gabriel both started musicianship at Cottage Children's choir this week. We've decided to leave off the choir this time, and Willow is focusing on musicianship and flute and improving her violin skills. Gabriel has just recently started guitar.

We spent a fortnight at Cottesloe for swimming lessons, and also headed to South Beach, near Fremantle and found another organic shop. It had the best ice-cream we've eaten since Scotland (other than home made) though sadly of course it wasn't Australian- it had come from New Zealand! We've also had Willow's, Damien's and my birthdays, and just have Gabriel's to go next week.

Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Reef

We've all been doing some woodwork the last couple of weeks- gradually getting through carving an egg.

Our work in progress.

I also finished carving a fish I started over a year ago! Arden is enjoying playing with him.

Golden fish.

Willow was busy doing some sewing this week for Damien's birthday, she made him a pocket square. It took a bit of planning- finding some fabric Damien would like, lots of ironing, and pinning but it looked lovely at the end.

Finally some birthday images.

Willow's birthday cake, by Willow.

Aesop's Marrakech perfume for me. Got to love the Aesop details- it comes safety-pinned with a button.

Damien's cake with loads of candles (we still had these from my 35th birthday, so Gabriel and I decided lots of candles were in order).