Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Birthday, Planets, Mt Cootha

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Nicole turned 7 on her 2nd birthday in Australia. In the morning we had breakfast with cake and gave her some presents, including the the presents from overseas sent by post. (Thanks for the presents and postcards, it was very much appreciated !) At school she celebrated her birthday with “Freddy Frog” chocolates and Dutch “speculaas” (Dutch spiced cookies).  For her birthday party she wanted to have a dance party what turned into a Bollywood Dance Party.

Nicole's birthday early in the morning. Nicole in Bollywood tenue.

Anita already visited a Bollywood Dance Workshop earlier where she met a real Bollywood Dance teacher from India, so we hired her for teaching the moves and leading the dances which was fun. All girls had a lot of fun Got caught by the girls.with helping each other with their make up and getting  dressed up in Indian dresses. The learned a nice Bollywood dance with different moves than usual Our Australian western dances. Jorick was also invited to join, but unfortunately he already became a bit of an Australian bloke, so he refused to do “girls things”.  When he flew away several girls went looking for him and brought him up, but still he refused to join 🙂

At school Jorick is learning a lot about space and the Milky Way. He comes home telling about the all the 8 planets of the solar system like “Mercury is the closest to the sun”, “ Pluto the coldest” , Jupiter the biggest and from gasses so you cannot stand on it, Comets have tails, the Kuiper belt and so on. But also “Louis Armstrong was the first man on the moon, comets have tails, …  The count down for rocket lift off can also frequently be heard in our house. This week in the car Jorick pointed to the Tom Tom navigator and told us that this device could tell us were to go because “satellites were shining on it”. Compliments for the teacher who’s getting the kids so fascinated and is learning them already so much ! As a result of this mania we went to the Sir Thomas Planetarium in Brisbane and visited the show “ Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” about two kids taking a flight into space with their cardboard rocket.

3D projector with planets above Brisbane. The movie was projected in 3D as usual in many theatres. After the show we got a presentation about the star patterns in the sky above Brisbane. This was fun and completely different from what we were used to in the Netherlands. It is amazing how much stars you can see from here. Especially when we were in Canarvon Gorge, a dark place in the “ middle of nowhere”  it was great without any background light.

Again we visited the Brisbane Botanic Garden Mt Cootha. This is a beautiful place with many typical plants, trees and many wild dragons.

One of the Wedding lawns in the Botanic Garden. Special tree with "apples" everywhere. One of the dragons.

In the garden/park there are several wedding lawns which can be reserved for your wedding. Several times we saw weddings taking place in the garden in the open air.  A strange experience for Dutchies.

In the garden is also a bonsai area with different types of bonsai trees.  Here we read some beautiful texts about Bonsai culture.

A bonsai is never finished – it is a living, constantly changing work of art. Bonsai are not “tortured”, they are cultivated miniature trees. They are well looked after, watered and fed.

A Bonsai tree.

Creating Bonsai satisfies many human needs – responsibility, creativity, silent communication, and the desire to work with nature and with others.

A deep love and reverence for trees, not theory or technique is most important in creating bonsai. Nature is always our greatest teacher – it suggests beautiful forms and balanced shapes of plants” (Master bonsai artist Masahiko Kimura)

A visit to Mt Cootha lookout gave us another view on the city and suburbs. Below a panorama picture from Mount Cootha lookout. At the left you can see the higher cloud scratchers of the Brisbane Central Business District. (click to enlarge)

Mount Cootha lookout.

For winter the weather is very good here and we still never wear a coat.

Earlier we described that Queensland introduced fluoride in the drink water system and that chemist were not allowed to sell fluoride tablets anymore. They probably forgot that many households live from rain/tank water like we do, isolated from the drink water system. Anyhow, Dutch friends brought fluoride tablets with them from the Netherlands, so the kids can now spoil their teeth again. No worries.



Monster Trucks + Birthday + Tamborine National Park

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Already soon after the holiday we visited a monster truck show. It was a fund raiser (one of many) from several schools together. One of the trucks already had visited the school of Nicole and Jorick. After that the kids were really exited to go and we bought some tickets. The whole show contained monster trucks crashing a row of cars (we kept ours at the car park), a jump show by a local motor club and a stuntman driving through fire. It was fun to see it, once.

Monster truck "Bear Foot". He's BIG.  Bear Foot in action.  Final moment of the show. 

On the 25th of April it was Joricks 5th birthday. He already got us out of bed very early so the presents were unpacked soon after sunrise. He also got several presents from overseas. Thanks for that ! Your are still onWaauw, a new adventure game from Freddi Fish. A robot with remote control. How does it work? their mind ! Often they think and talk about you friends and family in the Netherlands and are looking forward to meet you again (like their parents do).

A week later Jorick had his birthday party with some friends from school and his former pre-schools. Already half a year he was telling us that he wanted a treasure hunt on a pirate party, so that’s what we did. In our garden we made a treasure hunt with several games and finally they found … YESS! It was a challenging walk making them tired, not quiet 🙂  We also had some games in the shed as you can see on the picture.  (as always, for privacy reasons not many pictures are shown with others and some cannot be enlarged)

Game: "Pass (and unpack) the parcel." Some after party play and talk.  The Party animal studying his presents after the party.

The next day Jorick had a lot of presents to play with and we took a day to relax in/around our house. The trampoline is sometimes a good way to spend some energy. Also the frog pond is still fascinating. Especially Nicole can spend hours watching and catching.

Who is chasing who? She can fly. Still discovering animals around the frog pond. Two Wallum Sedge frogs. High, warm, cozy and dry.


And a shower coming over is not any problem. You just sit together under the umbrella to keep watching all garden activity.


The next day we went to Tamborine National Park, around 80 km south of Brisbane in the Gold Coast Hinterland. It’s a rainforest close to Lamington Park (where we will go camping next week). There are many walking tracks to choose from. We did the Witches Chase Track and the Witches Falls circuit. The big Red Cedar trees can become 60 meters high and many hundreds of years old. Often they are surrounded by Strangler Figs are very impressive.

Impressive trees and small people. Big tree strangled by Strangler Figs. Two witches. Witches Falls. Look out at Witches Falls. Regards from Witches Fall Lookout. Perhaps you know them. One of the large red cedar trees in the rainforest. Seasonal Lagoon.

On the mountain there’s the village Tamborine Mountain with a lot of (touristic) activity. Shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. Here also you can find many places to picnic with barbecues.  In effect we met several people walking in the Park as well. After our quiet experiences further north two weeks ago it was a bit different. Nevertheless the nature is beautiful.


Below you’ll find a commercial touristic movie about Tamborine Mountain and a movie of the local road, both giving an impression of the area. 



Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick.