capn_n_pye: (capn pye 2005)
[personal profile] capn_n_pye
What comes after Christmas? Why, New Year’s, of course! No matter how often it happens, it always takes us by surprise how quickly it comes about. When it comes to celebrating the new year, how much do you wanna bet that heaps of people had ‘THREE, TWO, ONE!’ as their last words of 2016, and ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’ as their first of 2017?
Here we see a group of people who chose to drive to Williamstown to see the city fireworks and later spend their first hours of the new year impatiently waiting in their cars to exit the area…
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While this pack of smug so-and-sos (stuffed on fondue and wine) were able to walk back to Belrog’s lair with nary a traffic jam!
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With the new year now established and smugness verified, we kicked off the official summer holidays in the traditional way: by digging a hole! The Cabin Girl had a plan that involved digging a big hole, putting the sand to one side and then using that sand for a castle back in the middle once the hole was big enough. We were able to convince her that digging a moat might have the same effect, thank goodness. We value-added our hole by digging a channel to the creek, which would have been a lot easier if the tide were higher – but it got there in the end and did a very nice job of filling up our moat, and we got the inestimable satisfaction of each estuarine wave bring something new to the earthworks.
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When we were not imitating bronze-age defensive earthworks, the tides were low enough that we could walk out for ages on an agreeable sandbar and, what’s more, the weather was (sometimes) nice enough that we liked doing it, too! Hurrah!
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The snorkelling was pretty good, but we didn’t catch anything (mostly because we didn’t try).
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And lookit this little sweetheart who has never tried to shank anyone in its life, nawww!
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We chose not to use it as an opportunity to update our social media, but this lady and her instahusband will have had a super range of pictures to upload! They seemed to have an excellent time and didn’t seem to mind our sniggering spectatorship at all.
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They were there for ages and it was fascinating to watch!

Last summer the estuary’s conditions did not allow for the Glorious Summer Bobbing tradition, but this year the tides were aligned, so even more fascinating than mocking strangers was bobbing up the creek on the high tide. We practised our drowning….
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…but the best part was bobbing without being attacked (this didn’t always happen, but Stinky has promised to work on reining in her pouncing).
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Cousin Hannah and her partner John came for what turned out to be The Best Playdate Ever, and the weather was very agreeable. It was fun to be able to throw things around in the water for a while.
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D’admiral pretended to be mature (it was around the time of his birthday after all)…
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But it seems that he needs to rein in his pouncing, too, that scamp.
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We did our own versions of The Office Christmas photo
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…before getting down to some real spinal-injury fun. Here we shall see Pye and the Cabin Girl demonstrating how to slip-and-slide right:
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And here are Hannah and John doing it wrong:
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They got the hang of it in the end, but we didn’t realise that in the meantime we were creating a peculiar cricket pitch, whoops, sorry grass!
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We ditched the slip-and-slide and tried to water the garden in a very mature manner…
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But then things just got a bit strange, oh dear…
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Now, traditionally, December/January ramps up its celebratory events every week – we start with the Powder Monkey’s birthday, then a week later we get Christmas, wait another week for New Year, then a week later D’admiral’s birthday tops it off. A toast to the D’admiral’s anniversary around the sun!

We gave D’admiral an e-reader cover for Christmas, so we’re pretty sure that the birthday Kobo came as a complete surprise. In solidarity, we all played with our devices…
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…until things got weird.
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Chuckles made us look nice instead and we are fortunate that we were given the opportunity.
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The other present D’admiral got was the dining gift of ‘not having to go anywhere on the peninsula on a warmer-than-average Sunday during the holidays’. Bento boxes came to us instead, what a hardship!
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The day grew pretty windy, so what better chance to try out the Star Wars kites we gave Andru and the Powder Monkey for Christmas? The Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in fewer than twelve parsecs…
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…while the X-wing was more of a sandsucker than a starfighter for a long time.
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They both became airborne (with a lot of patience!) and before long D’admiral brought out a beautiful old peacock kite. It fluttered angrily and insisted on attacking anyone who came near it.
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When the wee people went away for more adventures with their parents, we did a grown-up lunch at Yabby Lake, which was pleasantly quiet and very nice. And mature, of course.
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They’ve got a bunch of nice art hanging around the joint, some of which you can look at and others that you can kinda play with, in a relaxing way.
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The weather wasn’t always warm, but it did give us some cool skies, which is good because we are cool.
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We experimented with automatic panorama functions on cameras and phones and we see nothing wrong with any of the results.
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Nothing to see here, everything is fine.
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Speaking of everything being fine, we had another go at the disgusting joy that is Milky Foot. D’admiral was very patient with us while we were immobilised for an hour, particularly when we ran out of bubbles and sent him text messages with requests (he even fulfilled said requests, which was inordinately kind of him!). He had to keep being patient when his bonsai bougainvillea flowered and we compared it to what was coming off our feet. We’re not sure if Chuckle’s crop looks like petals or a handful of toothpaste.
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We do know that Stinky is a disgusting creature who shouldn’t be allowed to sit in a cacoon and peel her feet. Stinky said that all the skin went through the drainage hole underneath it so she deserves a medal.
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We were forced to heroically not peel our feel when we set up at Torquay’s January Cowrie Market. In the lead up, Pye took the opportunity to infect the crew with her enthusiasm for cutting holes in dinosaurs, spray painting them and shoving caculents in. Overall the crew was very good at it, but the Cabin Girl got herself a bright pink toenail as collatoral damage that we thought was pretty cool.
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Pye also pillaged the sea urchin stash to make some beautiful sculptures that no one wants to buy (thus far, anyway).
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Incidentally, I don’t know what is happening here, but those glasses look rad.
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It wasn’t all inexplicable behaviour - there was an afternoon where Chuckles was very kind and treated us girls to a pamper afternoon. The boys were exiled for the duration to Bushrangers Bay (which looks cool, we should go there one day). It was for the best that we were split up, because at the very beginning stuff already started getting a bit strange. Chuckles didn’t think that giving the Cabin Girl and Powder Monkey undies would turn out like this, but you know what, it was surprisingly comfortable.
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We wouldn’t go so far as to say that the pamper afternoon was an undie-free event, but we did take them off our heads, so that was a good step. While Melanie massaged us (one after the other, she’s talented, but there’s a limit to her dexterity and she would not attempt to tend to all of us at once), the grown ups experimented with some fun cocktails while the Cabin Girl had sparkling apple juice in a champagne glass that looked so realistic we kept doing double-takes…
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Those not currently being massaged played a variety of games, including ‘nail polish spin-the-bottle’ – the bottle decides on the colour of the nail polish and the person next to you picks which finger it goes on. Pye, being the mature one, painted the Cabin Girl’s middle finger first. The Cabin Girl, being the genuinely mature one, refused to give the camera the finger, tsk, she’s a good egg.
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The Cabin Girl was supposed to give Chuckles a bad make-up job, but actually did a good job instead, so that was both surprising and very nice.
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One game was just made for hyperventilation and nit-sharing, involving using a straw to pick up skittles to put in a glass. It was fun, but just eating the damn things was easier.
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Our favourite photo of the afternoon is the one that Melanie posted on her facebook. Before sending it to her we probably would have cropped it to look like this:
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It was posted un-cropped, however, so we get to see a newly-returned Powder Monkey in glorious exile with his Lego.
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Eventually the evening ended with a snuggle in the cacoon. There was some complaining that it was spinning around a bit, so Pye stabilised it. What a good Pye!
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‘Good Pye’ isn’t something you expect to hear very much, mostly because she encourages and helps Moose to be disgusting baggage. Moose reckoned that if someone leaves a hard drive where he could find it, he gets to fill it with porn. He calls these photos “Hot 18-Year-Old Naked Beside the Beach” What a feral!
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We told him he could go to jail for stuff like this, but Moose said he was 18 now, so we should eff off. Ha, we showed him!
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While Moose was learning the ramifications of having Bad Ideas, the rest of us were having Good Ideas.
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Here we are in the creek (on the high tide), having Very Good Ideas.
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Nonetheless, last year, Chuckles had what is probably the Worst Idea of the past two years – the jigsaw of Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s 2000 pieces of evil that Robyn, Pye and Chuckles have been wrestling with since last summer. The ‘easy’ bits have been done, so now they’re left with almost 600 pieces of trees and shadow and a burning hatred for greenery in real life, on account of how it reminds them of the jigsaw. And yet, they won’t let Stinky burn the bastard because they need ‘closure’ or something.
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Every time they get a piece in they pick up the pen that’s shaped like a finger and pull it so that it makes a fart noise. But they were getting terribly demoralised, so eventually it got to the point that D’admiral and Stinky counted up the remaining pieces and printed out a chart so they can count down (from 630 pieces), so as to better be able to track their progress – much more satisfying! But anyway, who could be mad with a sunset like this…?
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Turns out Stinky could, because she decided she wanted to do a panorama of it. None of the automated options could handle the lines of Phillip Island/Flinders, shoreline and creek so she had to have a crack at it manually. It’s still not right and now Stinky hates sunsets about as much as Chuckles and Pye hate jigsaw greenery and shadows.
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If you weren’t doing the jigsaw and were to sit still for too long, there was a very good chance that Stinky or Chuckles would try to pickle you. Our first effort at pickles was appalling (we got a lot better at it), but Stinky is hella-proud of her blushing pickled eggs. Or she would have been if she’d cracked into them after the two days the recipe recommended, but we foolishly went away for the Cowrie Market and they sat for rather too long. But how can you say that these rosy (meaty?) globes of blushing joy aren’t appetising?
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Speaking of letting things age too long, Tyabb is allegedly Mornington Peninsula's antique capital and since we hadn’t been to The Vintage Shed yet, off we went. Pop quiz – what is more terrifying? This:
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This: (not Stinky)
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Or these:
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If you’re scared for your immortal soul, or if you’re just a somewhat subversive employee of a Catholic school, you might purchase this baby to serve your office morning tea on:
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But hey, do you know what else is scary? Trying to find a paddling pool late in summer on the Peninsula. There used to be a wee (heh) pool under the house, but when we unearthed it, the box was found to be lacking in key structural elements. Not to be deterred, Pye went to every shop in Hastings, to no avail. She tried S(c)omerville. Nope. Demoralised, she came back for reinforcements, and we both braved Franga, where Toy’R’Us had a whole ‘pick up’ section full of paddling pools…and only one left on display. We ended up finding something ridiculous but good enough to amuse the incoming contingent of young children (in the theory that their parents could sit on the deck and drink while the children entertained themselves with supervision). On erecting the serendipitous dip device, we found that it is potentially a chocking hazard, oh nooo! It’s all one piece, with no small parts, so we have to assume that this is a warning not to wad the pool up and shove it behind car tyres to stop it rolling away.
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Having obtained the pool so various goblins could play in it while their parents pretended that they didn’t have children (the Cabin Goblin and Powder Goblin aren’t included in this, but if we had the pool while they were at Somers, it’s likely that the Powder Monkey would have lived in it), we promptly abandoned it for the beach. We helped the temporary goblins to enjoy everything it had to offer, from dead eels (which the six-year-old desperately wanted to bring home, notwithstanding the fact that he agreed it felt like a sock filled with wet sand)…
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…to this water rat that apparently forgot how to swim.
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We didn’t know we were going to find the rat at this point, but here is the last photo of 2017 in which D’admiral had ten toenails.
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While we were discovering the rat with the kids from The Rat, poor D’admiral was ripping one of his middle toenails, thanks to an arsehole of a rock with an appetite for blood. Gotta say, if my ENTIRE TOENAIL had just been ripped off backwards by a wobbly rock (and no, that tiny corner that held it on to his toe until he got home doesn’t count), those kids from Ballarat would have gone home with a repertoire of obscenities and profanities that would make Gordon Ramsey faint. But nope, D’admiral was very brave and even walked in salt water to get home (picture, if you will, the swish of the waves lapping at his foot waving the semi-attached toenail around). It’s the real heroes who never get the true recognition.

We followed back a bit later, to find that the deck had a bit of a blood trail on it. When you’re on the home stretch and there’s a bit of first aid in sight, it’s understandable you become heedless of the trail of doom you’ve left behind, so we quietly mopped it up with bleach and hot water, despite not being to help feeling that this was the last stage of cleaning up after killing someone. There is photographic evidence of the wound and the clean up and this might be the biggest part of this epistle that doesn’t include a photo and for that… you’re welcome. Photos exist. You don’t want to see them, Chuckles shouldn’t have taken them, we shouldn’t have looked at them, and having seen them, we can’t un-see them.

In case you were wondering, the reason we followed D’admiral’s shredded foot up to the house a bit later really should have been because of this sunset, but was really because we were trying to get a photo of the rat’s tale on one of the figures in this photo. We are sooo cut we couldn’t get a proper shot of it, because his head hair was so short and his manky-lanky rat’s tail was so disgusting it came halfway down his back
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The next day we welcomed a couple of carloads of fabulous people, on an almost 40-degree day, when poor D’admiral couldn’t take his nail-bed to the beach, poor lamb! After a stretch of very mild weather, it was beautiful to have some hot beach weather, especially when the wind wasn’t very strong. Around 7pm, we were ready for another cool-off and wandered back down for another swim. If only there were signs of a cool change! Some kind of warning, you know?!
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And then, TOTALLY OUT OF THE BLUE, and COMPLETELY WITHOUT WARNING the wind swung around and started messing shit up. Like…the ‘safe’ bundle of hats that hold our sunnies (that are held down by a couple of towels that never budge, no matter how strong the wind) was suddenly and absolutely blown away by the wind change. All the sand that had spent all the 39-degree-day drying in the sun suddenly decided to get in on the act and started fucking up everything else about it, including sandblasting the desperate mortals who were suddenly struggling towards more agreeable environs.

TL;DNR? OK, well, we were warm and happy and then the world started trying to kill us and it was yucky (but also very much a first world problem that was funny).
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Apropos of absolutely nothing – or perhaps in order to announce a series of photos of things that look like other things – here is picture of a teeny-tiny clamp that looks like a Tasmanian devil gnawing on a calico bag.
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And this is a water-stain that looks like a dinosaur that is trying to fight Pac Man (who is tethered by a hair).
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Speaking of things with personality, once upon a time we got Chuckles a Roomba, called iRobot. She imediately christened him Tobori and together they had lots of lovely adventures, Chuckles sending him into battle dust bunnies under beds and such. Lately Tobori has been having some trouble keeping enough puff to do his job, so he was sent to GTown to do some fitness training (and to figure out what’s wrong with his battery). Unfortunately, as naive young robot is vulnerable to bad influences in the big smoke, and his behaviour rapidly degraded,  Here are some things he got up to:

  • He lulled us into a false sense of security, having a lovely feed in Pye’s room – which, surprisingly, was not quite as gross as expected. Tobori is a good boy.

  • We put him on in the sunroom and he headed straight out the back to hump the dunny before choking on the mats. He is not a good boy.

  • He crawled under Stinky’s bed, grabbed her heavy Europe boots, dragged them out (one by one) then crouched behind the door and died. He is an arsehole. Moose is in love.

  • Pye put Tobori on in the kitchen while we made tea – he ran around growling and tickling our feet. It was not fun. Pye maintains that the making-dinner game called Dodge Tobori is heaps of fun. It is not.

  • Tobori found a bookmark, ate it, and has been hiding it under his brushes.

  • Pye killed a cockroach and instead of sucking it up, Tobori pushed it under the fridge. BAD Tobori, that’s not your job! He’s a naughty boy, we’re getting the dust buster to have a talk with him.

  • He encourages Moose far too much.

His behaviour is a work in progress, and thankfully we are patient enough to stick at it until he shows some improvement.

But no matter how much you enjoy verbally beating teenagers up and imparting knowledge to a bunch of bonzer peeps, nothing really compares to being able to get up when you want, do whatever you want, when you want and remember that you’re redeeming almost enough on all that unpaid overtime, as you launch into the next year of fun. But we dived once more into the breach. Hello term one!
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