Friday, July 29, 2005

Out in Coogee

Caitlin with Sparkling

Despite our various sniffles, we headed out to meet up with everyone after the run in Coogee last night, and have a meal in the local pub. Anna decided to share a bottle of sparkling wine (not allowed to call it Champagne) with Francis, and Caitlin decided to get in on the act too.

An old colleague of Anna's, from the Soil Association, is visiting Sydney this weekend and we're hoping to meet up - Anna may also drag her out on the hen-night that she is going to on Saturday. The wedding, which we are all going to, is next weekend.


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Thursday, July 28, 2005

All's quiet

Hash Ball

Anna and Caitlin went to a first-aid lecture yesterday, being held as part of a separate mothers group (the one Alessandra attends). Given that most of the babies in that group are a couple of months older, Anna was intrigued to see how much solid food the babies were having. Caitlin has been having a little solid food for a few weeks now, but typically doesn't have it more than once-a-day, although this will probably change soon.

As a result of being at the lecture Caitlin didn't get much sleep during the day, so she was fast asleep when I got home, and had been for a little while. With Anna finishing her recovery and my cold deteriorating, we had a very quiet night as neither of us fancied doing anything much. What's more, I didn't have the energy to raise any objection to Anna watching Australian Idol!


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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Last, but not least


Despite Caitlin being a little out-of-sorts, Anna has been attending her design course this week, which has focussed on the continuation of some drawing techniques. She had completed eight sketches, as requested, but apparently these aren't going to be used until next week.

Caitlin slept much better last night, another indication that her medication is helping, but still has the occasional cough. Meanwhile, I think that I have finally come down with the same cold that we've been passing between us, and I've been devouring the Strepsils to alleviate my sore throat.

Finally, on a more sombre note, Puffy (the Staines family cat) apparently died a couple of days ago. Sad though this is, I'm sure she must have had a great life, as she had such easy access to lots of greenery and countryside just outside the door.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2005



Although Anna is now close to completing a full recovery from her cold of the last ten days, it seemed yesterday that Caitlin may have caught it, as she developed quite a chesty cough. Erring on the side of caution, Anna made a visit to the local doctor who advised that she had been quite right to come in and prescribed Amoxil Paediatric, a penicillin variant.

In addition, she asked Anna to take Caitlin for an X-ray, as a precaution, to determine the extent of the infection. Although Caitlin was rather out-of-sorts overnight she seemed much better this morning, and the X-ray prognosis was minor inflammatory consolidation in the anterior basal portion of the right lower lobe. This evening Caitlin has seemed much more herself and, although we need to continue with the Amoxil, it seems that Anna caught the problem early. As I'm sure you can imagine, we've both been a little wary over the last day or so, but it appears that things are now back on track again.


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Monday, July 25, 2005

Going dotty


In preparation for the ball on Saturday evening, we all went shopping on Saturday afternoon, where Anna found and bought a polka-dot skirt that she liked very much. So, dressed in our finest, we headed out to drop off Caitlin with our friend Sally for the evening - along with the travel cot, toys, car seat, nappies, wipes etc. As we'd had a relatively busy day, it wasn't long before Caitlin settled down to sleep and didn't wake until we got back at the end of the evening.

We had a very enjoyable time at the ball, aside from Anna getting crashed into on the dance floor - the combination of alcohol and vigorous dancing got the better of another couple there, and Anna was the unfortunate recipient.

Aside from nursing a sore head, Sunday was spent:


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Friday, July 22, 2005


Mosman and Balmoral

As Anna is still recovering from her cold, it was just I who attended last night's run around Mosman and Balmoral. Probably just as well as it turned out to be a pretty long run, compared to normal, as we were out running for close to an hour-and-a-half.

The main activity for the weekend ahead is that we are attending the Hash Ball. I spoke to Sally last night, who looked after Caitlin while Anna was at her workshop, and she volunteered to baby-sit as long as we could drop Caitlin round to her house - sold! If she has recovered sufficiently, Anna might also get out for a training run as she's currently planning on her entering the City to Surf, which is only around three weeks away.

Finally, we'd like to thank everyone who sent Anna a card/gift for her birthday last weekend. A few arrived during the early part of this week, but they are still very welcome!


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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Under the Weather

Worm in action

Anna has been feeling a little under-the-weather (with a bad cold) for the last couple of days, but has been busy with her coursework. Curiously, this has been covering such questions as "what is the internet?". As I said to Anna, when discussing it, much of the confusion comes about because we tend to use lazy language - when I say "I'm connected to the internet", that's not really what I mean...

The development of note, in the last few days, is that Caitlin has started to show much more interest in trying to manoeuvre herself around. She's now got to the point where she:

As yet, she hasn't figured out how to then move the top of her body with her arms, which would complete the worm-like technique, but you can see equal measures of determination and frustration as she tries to put it all together.

Last, but not least, in the race between the Internet Archive and Google to see who'd host first, Internet Archive won! So, you can now view (or download) a short movie of Caitlin from here.


posted at 9:59 pm   2 comments

Wednesday, July 20, 2005



Anna's second night at CATC went well, the main focus of the night being on various drawing techniques, and launching into some pencil-and-paper drawings of items to increase their familiarity with representing light and shade. Anna has really enjoyed getting back into this area as she always had something of a passion for it, but was never sure how to incorporate it into her previous roles.

Caitlin was being a little more fussy than the previous evening but, for the most part, that seemed to be primarily because she was tired. However, after I had put her down to sleep, I popped my head in a little later to find that she was quietly amusing herself but was still awake - either that or I had woken her up!

With us slowly approaching spring in this part of the world (well, in a couple of months), I've been keeping half-an-eye on our daffodils to see how they're progressing, the picture above seems to bode well...


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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Course Underway

Anna's workshop design

Anna attended the first of her Graphic Design evening sessions last night. The current intake, as the course is run on a rotating three-month cycle, contains three (may become four) students including Anna, so there is opportunity for plenty of one-on-one interaction. Last night was, as you might expect, primarily an introductory session, but served as an opportunity to get to know the other students and become familiar with the studio-style layout.

I also got a note from one of Caitlin's godparents, Graham, which reminded me that it is both his and Ashley's birthday this month - I'm pretty hopeless at remembering the dates, so best wishes to you both!

For those of you eagerly awaiting the video content, I'm currently in the process of getting things set-up with Google, so while that gets done here is a recent photo.

Caitlin on the mat


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Monday, July 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Weekend

David Jones store

Knowing that we had an early start on Monday, we decided to spread Anna's birthday over the weekend. So, after lunch on Saturday, we headed into the City to visit David Jones - one of Anna's favourite stores - and get a specially chocolate-y cake from their Foodhall. Being a big store, they have a fully-equipped parents room which means that there is no problem feeding Caitlin there etc.

Back home for a quick change, then out to Doyles restaurant for some great seafood - unfortunately, Caitlin was a little unsettled so we spent some time taking turns placating her, but had an enjoyable meal nonetheless.

Sunday, Anna got to open her presents including a beach bag & mat from Nana & Grandpa Staines, a watch, camera & book from me and an SD memory card from Caitlin. Anna's old digital camera had been on its last legs for a while, and the new one allows us to take some videos for people to see how Caitlin is progressing - so, now's the time to upgrade to broadband!


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Friday, July 15, 2005


Montsalvat Great Hall

After an evening flight to Melbourne, which meant that I got to my hotel room at around 10:30pm, it was an early morning start to meet a colleague for the drive out to our company meeting at Montsalvat. The meeting went well, it was good to meet up with the people that I had only previously exchanged email with, and I made it back to the airport in sufficient time to catch the 7:30pm flight back to Sydney.

Anna and Caitlin had a reasonably quiet day, in preparation for the weekend ahead, aside from getting wet on the way to the Three Weeds to meet up with a couple of other recent mothers.


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Thursday, July 14, 2005


Magic Roundabout

Anna and Caitlin went to their mother-and-baby group yesterday, which went well, at one of the other mothers house. Apparently, as she was getting tired, Caitlin threw a minor fit when one of the other babies took a book from her - I've also noticed that while reading her a Magic Roundabout story, if the book gets too far away she gets upset. Of course, if I move it back close to her, then she quickly tries to stick the corner in her mouth...

Once I got home we were off to the shops for our regular trip, this time including some mashed apple for Caitlin, as well as Maltesers for Anna. I don't think I've mentioned before, but Caitlin has also moved up the nappy ladder to Crawler size now, although thankfully she hasn't actually started crawling just yet!


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Wednesday, July 13, 2005


David Shepherd signs off

A relatively quiet day for us yesterday - Anna successfully sent off the thank-you notes, and Caitlin settled back into the routine of having Mum to herself all day. In preparation for next week, and to help get her creative juices flowing, Anna has begun to do some artwork for the house which is progressing well - I'll post a shot once it's complete (if I'm allowed!).

Anna and Caitlin will be off to their mother-and-baby group today, and I've had it confirmed that I'll be travelling down to Melbourne on Thursday night to attend some meetings the following day; but I'll be back on Friday night for the weekend celebrations.


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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Very diplomatic

Commercial Arts Training College

After some consideration, Anna has enrolled for the Graphic Design diploma at CATC, which means that she's going to be busy on Monday & Tuesday evenings for some time. Anna spoke to the college director yesterday and, after completing a formal application, everything is now set for her to commence the course next week. Fortunately, my current schedule means that I should be able to make it back home to ensure that Caitlin is well looked after.

After a steady introduction, initially with a spoon or two of rice cereal, Caitlin seems to be getting increasingly keen on the prospect of solid food. Last night, when I was feeding her, she really gulped down the small portion we had prepared for her - we've been very gradually increasing the amount we give her, and she seems to have taken to it well. However, after a very encouraging start where she slept through the night for a few days, she seems to be lapsing back into waking up (once) during the night.


PS: In case any of you had forgotten it's Anna's birthday this Sunday, so still time to send an email.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Blustery weekend

Lions Loss

The blustery weather kept us from venturing too far this weekend, as we decided it was best not to be too far from shelter - Anna was recouping from her week at the workshop, and I was nursing my head after one too many Guinness-es on Saturday night. Anna really enjoyed the week at CATC, and it has definitely sparked an interest in pursuing graphic design further - she is currently looking into the possibility of studying part-time for a diploma.

I met up with an old friend, Steve, who I haven't seen much of recently to share the pain of another lacklustre Lions performance against New Zealand in the rugby. On the subject of the upcoming Ashes cricket series Steve was surprisingly reticent, in what I can only assume is his way of trying not to Murray Walker Englands' chances.

Finally, I think we are closing in on the end of the list of thank-you notes that we have been writing for the generous gifts that people gave us at Caitlin's baptism. Please accept our apologies for not getting these off sooner, but hopefully they will make it into the post this week.


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Friday, July 08, 2005

Post-run shock

St Leonards

Anna completed her design brief before she got home yesterday, so she was free to join me for the trip up to St Leonards to join the other hashers for the evenings' exercise & entertainment - celebrating Canada Day and US Independence Day, which both occurred within the last week. The design came out well, much along the lines of the joint ideas that we had worked through the night before.

With the time difference, it wasn't until after we had completed our run that anyone heard anything about the tragic events taking place in London. Needless to say Anna, and many of the other hashers, were keen to make sure that their friends and relatives had not been caught up in the proceedings - and I'm very pleased to say that Anna's brother, Richard, and his wife are both fine.

As we hadn't taken Caitlin along in a few weeks, everyone was keen to have a look at how she has grown - and Caitlin obliged by staying awake, without much crying, so that she could get a look at everyone.


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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Design Brief

Adobe InDesign

As part of her design workshop, Anna has been given the design brief for a magazine article for which she has to design the layout. So, the first part of the course yesterday was spent on the theory and practice of brainstorming, followed by some introductory techniques for using Adobe InDesign.

When I got home last night, after a trip to the airport to meet my boss, Anna was in the midst of producing some thumbnail sketches of possible designs; and I was quickly roped-in to see if I had any additional suggestions. I suspect that there will be some back-and-for on the final design chosen, but Anna is definitely enjoying the process (especially now that she has something to sink her teeth into).


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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Colour Photo

Colour Wheel

Day Two of the workshop, as yesterday, was split into two sections. The first was focussed on the usage of colours and their combinations (using a classic colour wheel) - something that spans all forms of design from interior to websites. The second was using Adobe Photoshop, which has become the defacto standard for digital imaging work nowadays.

Caitlin managed to get a little more sleep yesterday, probably as a result of Anna expressing throughout the day on Monday, and building up quite a surplus of milk for her to get through (which she did, of course).


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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

By way of Illustration


By all accounts, Caitlin was pretty well behaved for Sally yesterday after Anna had departed for her course. They went out for a couple of walks, and she slept (for around 45 minutes) after each feed.

Meanwhile, Anna spent the morning learning the four basic principles of design: C.R.A.P., which you can read more about here. The afternoon was spent gaining a feel for Adobe Illustrator which, as with most Adobe products, treads a fine line between functionality and complexity - but after a little perseverance, Anna got the hang of it.


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Monday, July 04, 2005

Baby-sitting != Sport-watching

Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath wonder how they failed to win the final

With an almost unlimited selection of sport to keep me entertained, it was the perfect weekend for Anna to get out-and-about while I was baby-sitting:

However, things other than sport did apparently take place, including:

Anna is on the first day of her graphic design course today, and our friend Sally is nannying, so we'll see how Caitlin takes to having someone else in charge.


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Friday, July 01, 2005

Sydney or Wellington?

Wellington, NZ

Last nights' exercise took us from the Cahill walk, around the Opera House, past Circular Quay and through The Rocks - which all sounds very picturesque until you realise that it was bucketing down with rain at the time! As we were doing our circuit around the Opera House, the wind was blowing so hard that it reminded me of when I lived in Wellington, as my efforts to run were almost completely negated by the oncoming rush. That said, as long as it doesn't happen every week, nights like that are actually quite good fun!

Meanwhile, Anna's sore head has been recovering with the help of the anti-biotics she was prescribed, and hopefully will have lessened for her dinner with the mothers group on Saturday and the graphic design workshop next week.


PS - I now have a working speedometer in the car again, so all is well!

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