Tuesday, May 23, 2017

History of Perth Plus

Arden Irving and I have been continuing to get around the city and visit some historic locations and learn about the history of Perth.  We finished our geography section of this block with a walk to Herrison Island, where we visited that kangaroos again, and sat on the riverbank for a snack and continued reading, "Seven Little Australians."  We did some research into Yagan's story, since we also visited his monument on the island, and looked into the changing landscape of the city given the removal of many of the wetlands that once existed.

Last week we moved onto using some of the City of Perth's tourism walks to learn about settlement here, and we started with covicts and colonials.  This tied in nicely to our visit to Fremantle Prison (which we hadn't done since Arden was very little, so it was interesting to go through again; Irving also largely enjoyed it).  We are thinking of heading back to do another of the tours later in the year.

Looking through the corridor to the cells

A cell...more modern.  :/

The Anglican chapel.

Out front of the prison; some of the residences.

Entrance to the prison. (Was finally closed down in the 1990s after the dreadful conditions were made public!)

Heading back towards the centre of Fremantle.

Stopping off for hotdogs at Wassup Dog after our busy day.

Our view from Wassup dog.

We've all been learning about currency and money and the difference between the two and looking at how money has changed over the eras, and how gold has been used throughout time.  This series, Hidden Secrets of Money was our starting point and has been quite enlightening.  We ran into an Australian mint currency exchange in Forrest Place, where it was possible to get new coins, and Arden was keen for some, so he exchanged old currency for new.

He has been busking regularly for quite some time now, to learn about saving currrency, donating and having a bit to spend, but this week he was quite pleased to receive some macaroons from a market stall holder. This was a bit of a new event for him.  Amusingly sometimes Willow has been better at imagining random odd objects and receiving them. 

Irving has been dismantling things regularly for quite some time....all of the others around here had largely given this up by 2-3, so last night I was contemplating that we might need to get some cheap objects from the op shop to work on pulling apart and putting together again, to turn it towards something constructive...so today we removed some cupboard handles to clean the doors, put them back on again after, and clean the latch on my empty essential oil box and put it on again...all the while getting in the habit of putting the screws and bits in a container so they don't get misplaced.  It certainly engaged him for a while, and I'm hoping that with encouraging the idea of putting the bits together it will make our misplacing useful bits happen less...Next thing we need to develop is tuning instruments, as he keeps retuning the violin and guitars!

Arden and Gabriel both got some lovely new instruments from a local instrument maker who works in jarrah.  Gabriel is working on learning to blow through a reed currently, on his xaphoon, and Arden got a mini-size flute (was meant to be a piccolo but is probably a touch large), all the same Arden is quite pleased with his new instrument.

Willow has had a bit of interesting events happening recently, a film she was an extra in, "Hounds of Love" is finally in the cinema, and we will hopefully get to see it, and see if her scene made the film.  She also volunteered to help out in a WAAPA performance, as she thought that her circus skills might be helpful, so now she has a small part in "Life is a Cabaret".

I have been doing quite a bit of sewing, working on another bag, tidying up some bits that needed repairs in my pile, and then adding some detailing on this skirt I bought of ebay before I started wearing more old-fashioned clothes.  I took the skirt in earlier in the year, to make it more comfortable by giving it a waist, and then inspired by Evelyn Wood's youtube make overs, I added these details onto the bottom of it.

We also headed off to see Don Quixote as a ballet at His Majesty's recently.  I really enjoyed the fight scene, and loved that it was possible to see the influence of fencing on this style of dance.  I was also a bit excited to be wearing my lovely new velvet dress that I had purchased off Evelyn Wood's site in her sale section.  I haven't had quite such a lovely dress since having kids I think!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


This past month has seen a lot of events happening, as well as us having a pleasant but too short Easter break.

Willow was preforming in her Uni Choir, Oratorio, at WAAPA, so  we headed out to see her sing.  Irving was quiet for 3/4 of it, which I was pretty happy with, and although grumbling towards the end, of course complained when it was over.  Afterwards Arden, Irving and I did some exploring around the nearby park whilst Gabriel headed to the city to busk.

The choir also did a full performance at St Mary's Cathedral, and as everyone but Damien had seen Willow sing at WAAPA, he went by himself to see her sing in Oratorio.

Some of Willow's music work from this past week.  One of my favourite parts of home ed, is that eventually some of what they can do, and are working on is just totally beyond you as a parent.  This is her uni work from last week, and whilst I learnt music with her up to a point, once Irving was born it was harder for me to keep apace, and only recently have I been doing extra music again.
Gabriel and Arden also did some workshop classes at Perth Zoo, which resulted in us having a rather full day out.  Arden's class focused on conservation, whilst Gabriel's focused on evolution.  We caught the ferry over the river of course, and as the weather was so lovely, it was a very relaxing ride.

Damien and I headed to the Joondalup festival with the littler ones for the first time, and although the festival is quite small, we really enjoyed it.  We found it a little more creative than the Fringe in some ways, and we particularly liked the community involvement, which we think is very lacking in Fringeworld.

Trying out the cloud at the Joondalup festival.

Over our Easter break we got out to see a few bands in Perth, and eat icecream at our favourite gelataria.  We divided into groups for our Easter shopping this year, with everyone (bar Irving) contributing some money towards chocolate and everyone helping to hide them and hunt for them.  Damien went with the older kids to an entrepreneur workshop for kids, which everyone found generally interesting, and has encouraged some thoughts about running businesses.  Willow, Gabriel and Arden all headed out to the movies by themselves, and it felt interesting to be transitioning Arden into the idea that he can go out with the older two.  He is of course feeling impatient to be getting out by himself!  Other than also catching up with friends I finally got a little sewing done, I would have liked to have done more, but the holidays seemed to fly by this time.

Using up scraps;pocket squares for Damien.

More scraps;bowties!

Planning a vintage Butterick shirt.

The cuffs! complete with vintage ricrac and buttons!

I'm currently preparing a simplicity pattern for Gabriel and I to work on.  We will be sewing him trousers; he will be doing navy cord and I will be working on olive linen.  I'm not sure he'll get to wear them for very long, as he is growing and growing right now, but I'm sure someone else around here will if he outgrows them quickly.

I also picked up Gabriel a copy of the Canterbury Tales to read this term, but we decided to rearrange our plan, and use Beowulf as our text instead.  He is still undecided on his focus for ancient history- but plans to make a decision after working on his timeline this fortnight.  We did a variety of writing styles last term, and he seems to have an aptitude for poetry, though isn't particularly inclined to write generally. 

Arden and I are reading "Seven Little Australians" by Ethel Turner, and I am contemplating reading the later books in the series for Arden.  We've started a block on geography and local history, and had a short start to the term last week, given ANZAC day was on Tuesday.  We headed out later in the week on a walk from the City to King's Park, observing the lay of the land and getting a sense of elevation and direction, so that we can draw our own topographical map of our local area.  We took the walk quite slowly, as Irving was walking the whole way too; we were all quite tired by the time we got to the end of the Kokoda track and headed along Lover's walk back to get a bus to the city.  Especially after in an inspired moment Irving helped us to miss 3 buses, followed by another 4!

Leaving the city, we got a bit distracted at Elizabeth's bookstore, and we had to buy "The House of Arden" by E. Nesbit when we found it there.  It was just a bit exciting to find a book with Arden's name in the title, and by one of my favourite children's authors.  Though my list of preferred children's authors might actually be quite long!

The stairs up to the Kokoda track.

Examining the old lake at the bottom of the track.

Lover's walk.

The view at the bottom of the walk.

We have a few outings planned this block, and the weather is being so beautiful that they should be lovely.