Halloween

yups, you guessed it, tomorrow night is halloween night.. lock up your houses, shut the gates, close those curtains and pray those sugar crazied children walk on by.

If this one knocks on ya door, i can suggest..
1) don't make eye contact
2) empty anything with sugar in it onto the porch, that includes raw sugar.. thats a winner
3) and most importantly of all.. do not .. i repeat.. do not engage in any conversation, the power of this childs ability to talk anything down is second to none :)
4) close the door quickly and pray, if not pleased, this one will knock again…..and again .. and again…. her persistence is resolute.. your resistance futile.

good luck ya'all and spar a thought for those who have to get them to sleep …

No Rain

will stop us going out for a hunt at low tide.
Probably the only thing that will stop us is when we stick our finger into something that bites !
Its always great fun to trawl around at low tide and find all the creatures hiding in the rock pools waiting for the sea to return.
This particular day was filled with starfish, seaslugs, crabs and finger eating sea anemones..

Real men go to vivid

…when its raining and with kids and have a picnic.

I had promised Tickles I would also take her to see the vivid lights after last time leaving her at home and only taking Chaos, so this time we prepped up with homemade hot soup in thermos's, snacks, bread and soft drink (settle people this one has got less sugar than orange juice ;) and I needed some bargaining chips :) ) and headed into battle.

So we busted our way down to Kirribilli and had a giggle at the throngs of photographers losing their lollies over the 'puddle' shot ;) and setup for our picnic. It was pretty nice, hot soup, great view and company that pretty well refused to to let me take any pictures (i did sneak a few in tho ;) ) – on that note, the only opportunity to get a shot of chaos and tickles where they would let me, I could not for the life of me (in the split second I had :( ) remember how to adjust the flash to rear curtain sync, the last time I did that was like 4 years ago :) Its very useful for using the flash to get some light on the subject but allowing the shutter to drag (ie 1 or 2 seconds), long enough to pull in some the light in the background, hence my only shot of the picnic was crap, but its a nice memory.

So about half way thru our soup tickles pipes up with 'can we go on the bridge?' ….. yeah sounded like a great idea at the time, but when the good folk 85 years ago built the harbour bridge they did not really have dudes with prams in mind, i had to carry the blasted thing loaded with stuff up 5 flights of stairs, at least the cycle side (western side of the bridge) has a little ramp in the middle… that would be like really useful on the eastern side too.
Anyways we trundled across the bridge ohh and ahhing at the lights and we even made it to the south pylon where tickles promptly fell asleep, chaos and I were like … c'mon man it was your idea! Then it rained. I guess she timed the sleep well I suppose. So back across the bridge in the pouring rain, some might say a umbrella would have been a good idea at this point.. but real men don't use umbrellas ;) they also carry their pram and child down 5 flights of stairs :) Did I mention a ramp would have been useful?
All credit to chaos tho, not a single whinge at all and even when we could not get a icecream, seriously it would have got washed away :) she stoically battled on :) h/t chaos.

In Album 11/06/2017

Tickles first Bike Ride

I am not sure what enjoyed more, watching Tickles ride around Sydney Park for the first time or watching others get out of her way. Not bad for a first effort, just need to work on the application of the braking system, not so much the ability to actually use both the pedals and both handbrakes but moreso to use them in a more gradual application. We certainly broke in that new bike and the tyres, each application of the brakes resulted in a black rubber streak on the path :) and mostly me or someone else tripping over her :) One complete lap around sydney park definitely deserved an over priced icecream…Well done to Chaos also for being a helpful big Sis with plenty of encouragement and the occasion threat ;)

In Album 08/06/2017

Hands

Being a parent can be a bit of drag somedays, the busted knees from too many legs rides, the crook neck from piggy backs that have gone wrong, the cramps from being squeezed out of bed in the middle of the night – just to digress for a moment.. seriously that bloody song about 10 in the bed and the little one said roll over… thats me, I move an inch and there are two little bodies there immediately to fill that gap and thunk, i end up plastered against the bedside table or on the floor…anyway, thats a few of the negatives…

There are however, moments that will remain with me forever – one of which is when we walk to school, the feeling of that little hand sliding into my mine without either of us barely noticing, a automatic action as we dodge the trees and poles on the walk, that little hand just returns and slips into mine. As cliche as it might sound, that action speaks thousand words,all of which would not even come close to expressing the feeling…

…. then we get to school and its yep.. barely a 'see ya dad' as she disappears off with friends to plot the level of chaos. Thats alright tho :)

hey onto lighter notes, heres how to ruin your knees in 2 easy steps, the first weighs in at about 15 kilos and the other over 20….

Our place feels like a chicken coop some days :) :)

I gotta say Chaos has a rather uncanny knack of being able to catch animals and chickens are no exception, she can pretty well pick up every chicken and give it a cuddle in the space of 5 minutes, most importantly as well, without traumatising them :) Tickles even gets in and has a go, she caught her first one the other day and I think she was more surprised than the chicken :)

The girls even got to have the eggs for breakfast the next morning, they got a much higher rating than the ones from the shop :)

The garden plot is going well too, you can see Chaos posing nicely in front of it with the selection of corn, capsicum, beans, sunflower and a whole bunch of other unknowns which they threw :)

In Album 16/03/2017

Seven going on Seventeen

To all those punks who said said it gets easier, what a crock of horsepoo! we are fending off marriage proposals and family planning, although I am hoping that the wiping the snot on the sleeves (and everywhere else) might keep them at bay for a bit longer :)

This was a really nice walk along the beach with a storm threatening overhead, nice temperature and really soft light, perfect for photography. For the record, there was no instruction on posing or anything, actually its very rare I get anything but a scowl or funny face when taking a picture :) in this case Chaos said, 'wait a sec' and bent over, flicked her hair over and struck a pose… i blame school ;)

Exif / shot love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 85mm f1.4 @ 85mm
Shutter speed: 1/400s
Aperture: f/2.0
Exp Comp: -0.3EV
ISO 100
out front – chaos

Kannesteinen

So apparently this rock is pretty famous and a favorite for photographers, however they neglected to mention that to get the cool cliche shot you really need to be there at sunrise to capture it with nice light, which in summer, is kinda not realistic with small children :) However, what is amazing is the level of detail that cameras can bring out nowadays, you can pretty well underexpose the shot to capture all the bright bits then draw out the shadows, even in this scene, which is the worst for it, shooting right into the sun i was amazed that you can bring out so much detail and make it a bit edgey to boot :)

So here we have Chaos with her tourist pose on doing a great job of showing off the scale of this rock, which by the way is a lot smaller than it looks in pictures.

Apparently it has formed over thousands of years by loose rock washing up against it in the tides hence 'necking it'

3rd Tickle

I'll let ya'all into a parenting secret (besides the 'dont have kids one' ;) )

When it comes to their birthday party get them to make the party food, it has several distinct advantages, like – keeps them occupied, they are gonna eat the food anyways, irrespective of what it looks like :) they can't blame you for the food and also you have someone to blame if everyone gets crook ;) (which did not happen btw:) ). Now we will brush over all the disadvantages, like, increased cleaning etc and finding child #2 licking chocolate icing off the door frame ;) (I do have a photo but am not allowed to show it :( )

So, happy birthday Tickles and thanks to big sis aka Chaos for all the help particularly the excellent direction in blowing out candles, snaffling extra lollies from the party cups and generally, lovingly living up to your nickname :)

I suppose Sarah Joy did pretty well too, helped the kids make the food :)

Weeping Falls

chaos vs falls

Well done Chaos, it was a great walk and excellent effort to make it all the way to the bottom (and back up).

This is the second time I have been to these falls, the other was back in 2014,
https://plus.google.com/+GerardBlacklock/posts/KfyujBwQcfB
its such a great spot and I would love to go back again, needs a bit more water than what was there on this particular day with the girls.

No bad for handheld either :)

Little Trekker

So, mum wanted to go for a bush walk for mothers day, after presenting the idea to Chaos she promptly choose a the Blue Mountains and more specifically a spot near Blackheath called Mermaid's Glen which we had been to previously. I did say to her, 'thats a long way (in kid terms anyway) to got' to which she responded (quote) ' yeah, but it's worth it'. On that note the trek was decided, with one minor variation, Leura Cascades might be a easier option with Tickles in tow.

Everything did conspire against us, rain, hazard reduction burning and lots of smoke, but we made it and not to be deterred by alittle rain we donned the raincoats and barrelled on down the steps along side the Leura Cascades, its a great spot and such a nice walk even with the kids, both kids made it all the way to the bottom of Bridal Veil falls and even to Weeping falls, where we stopped or some lunch before making the trek back out. Its a fair walk with quite a bit of elevation to be covered, there was some whinging.. 'pick me up' …'pick me up' but all in all, they did very well. Tickles walked about 75% of the way and Chaos about 95%.

Here's a shot from the stairs near the cascades of our little trekker (tickles)

Crazy Chops Saturday

how much fun can two kids have on a hill?

This reminds me so much of my childhood, we did not have bundles of toys or the latest game console (think original.. yes the original and first nintendo console :) ) but we made our fun on our pushbikes in the parks, bush, local creek or anywhere else where we were probably not allowed to be :)

Its great that in Sydney we do have alot of open spaces and parks where we (and the kids) can go and ride pushbikes and get outside. Sydney park is one of the great spots I reckon, only slightly ruined by the large number of free roaming dogs (and the resulting dog shit from inconsiderate owners…). This hill is a particular favorite of mine, we can watch the NYE fireworks from here, have a BBQ (on the new electric BBQ's), roll down the hill, run up the hill, run around the hill, walk around the hill, sit on the hill, watch planes from the hill, watch other people from the hill, ride bikes up the hill and yep you guessed it.. ride them down :)

on this day, we chose to run up and down the hill, in a exercise that ding-dong daddy (thats me apparently) calls energy extraction No 5. It involves them (chaos and tickles) running up the hill then down to be caught by me and thrown up into the air (that part is called damaging ding-dong daddys back, but as you know we do anything for our kids :) ). and for some multitasking talent I even took a few photos during the process :)