Tuesday, 24 February 2015

White Night Melbourne 2015

I had fun at White Night Melbourne!
Not normally known as 
all night Party Wren,
It was great to be in the city 
watching dawn break over the Yarra River!

Our 18 and 21 year old kids
 looked at me with an incredulous:
"I've got better things to do with my life, 
like sleep" look... 
when I suggested they came with me.

Or maybe it was the 
"You've got to be kidding! It's going to be 36 degrees C on Sunday
and we're playing soccer in the extreme heat, 
I'm having a lie-in" look.

Fortunately our overseas students
thought my crazy suggestion was a good one.

Today photo credits go to these 
three gorgeous Japanese students
who were happy to join me 
and get up at 5am to enjoy White Night Melbourne.
Thank you!

White Night is a music, food, film, art and light festival
which runs from 7pm to 7am
with over 80 free events in nine precincts across the city.
City buildings were transformed by spectacular light shows.
The Forum and many Flinders Street buildings
became Alice In Wonderland.
Off with her head!

Many buildings were open all night.
Here we are in St Pauls Cathedral.

It was a wonderful way to show our overseas visitors 
inside many of our iconic Melbourne buildings.
The beauty of going at 5am 
was to enjoyed the sights without the crowds!

At the Arts Centre we sat in air conditioned comfort
in one of the theatres
to watch the wonderful Ghostly Machines,
a kind of mechanical ballet show set to music.

When we came out it was just getting light
and these luminous skeletons dancers were having a final dance
at the National Gallery of Victoria.

We wandered back along the Yarra River 
amidst many people looking rather rough
(like the morning after the night before!)
we watched large illuminated lotus flowers 
floating on the the river.

The crack of dawn was breaking on another 
wonderful Melbourne Day.
Next year we're so going to do an all nighter!
Linking with Blue Monday, Thank you Sally
Mosaic Monday Thank you Judith
#PoCoLo  Thank you Victoria
Thank you to all the hosts

Please visit and enjoy the other posts!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Crazy Poodle's Fun in the Sun

I love the Crazy Poodle's toothy grin!

He is lending support to my on-line campaign
to get Wren to Canada.
You can read more here:

We also wanted to show some support for all of you 
enduring long cold, icy winters.
This was photo was taken indoors with the air-con on.
We can't imagine being cold at the moment!

It's been a good summer for lying in the sun!

Mutt was washed, scrubbed and trimmed since this photo
because we had three Japanese students moving in: 

The above photo was taken when we were volunteering at the 
Asian Cup football and housing for the Australian Open tennis.
It was in response to 
Venus Williams and the Best Ball Boys (dogs) in the world.
Here is the video...

So I thought if Venus has Teddy in Auckland then
Melbourne can offer the Crazy Poodle!

Cute as we were
we never really mastered the whole ball boy thing.
We can run after the balls,
 but bringing them back needs further work!

Have a great week and keep warm!

Linking with Saturday's Critters 
Thank you Eileen
Thank you Misty

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

GYB Giveaway winner - I've won a trip to Canada!!!

 And the winner is me!

I am so excited 

I've just won a trip to Canada through GYB 2015.

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by 
to say hello from Grow Your Blog 2015.
I had a really good time visiting new blogs
and with over 300 bloggers participating
 I haven't finished yet!

There are some amazing blogs out there
I am happy to have connected with new bloggers
and delighted to see some new followers to mine.

 A huge thank you to Vicki at 2bagsfull
for organising another successful event.

I am pleased to announce the winner of my 
GYB 2015 giveaway is 
drum roll please....

Michele Timms

Which is perfect as Michele says:

We have a "thing" about birds... 
If you saw our house you would know what I mean! 
Many birds: glass, wood, painted, etc!!  

So Michele
there will be a few more little Wren things 
heading your way to add to your collection.

I would love to say I'll come and deliver myself 
as I have never been to Canada
but I think my DH would do his nut at that suggestion...
Although it would be fun trying...

I ran this little giveaway on my Blog
(the one he never reads...)
and I met this lovely Lady called Michele
(so what, we've never met!)
and I thought when you go to the States on business in May
I could come with you,
 and fly to Canada
(Michele please tell me it is not that far...
Well, it's nearer than from Australia
so it still seems like a good idea to me...)
and give her the giveaway that she won
What do you think?

You know those sort of conversations that if you time it right,
World Cup Cricket is on in Melbourne at the moment for instance. 
if I got him in the middle of someone bowling,
a Howzat moment...
or maybe even, 
after dinner when the telly is on, and they're all trying to watch
that new series from America
"How to get away with murder ..."
When everyone turns to look at you with a loud 
Even though you've just said 
'the dog's just puked in the study.'

So get my timing right
when no-one is listening to a word that I say anyway...

come to think of it,
I'm guessing I really don't need to plan this so precisely,
 this has got to be most of my life...

I might just get a 
"sounds good"

In which case Dear Michele
if you don't mind waiting a few weeks
I'm coming to yours.
Which makes us both winners!

Now please don't tidy up for me Michele
I'll feel more at home without the floors mopped.

And no need to bake me a special cake
I'm more of a Betty Crocker sort of a girl...

And as you know, no need to iron your clothes that day
because I won't have...

Michele, please don't cry at my generosity
 you haven't got your 10 Designer Wren Tissues yet!
Save those tears of joy till when I'm with you.
You can do the washing up, 
I'll do the drying, 
I'm bringing the Australian Wrens tea towel!
Oh the fun we'll have!

Thank you so much Michele
for making me the winner
Canada here I come!

Now I need everyone out there in the Blogosphere
to please join me and wish me luck with this idea.
And just in case I get a 
"No way"
Michele can you kindly e-mail me your address?!!!!!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Welcome to our Melbourne madhouse!

It was bye, bye America
Hello Japan here last week!

I hardly had time to wash the sheets!

We had three lovely lasses from Japan move in.
Staying with us for nearly a month studying English.
Welcome to the madhouse your new Aussie family!

I love having the Japanese girls to stay!
This is the 7th year we've had students from this particular Tokyo ladies college.
 They are always a DELIGHT.

I do love hosting overseas students on their first visit Down Under.
I see Melbourne anew through their eyes.
They are full of WONDER at everything.
I mean let's face it, even a tub of yoghurt 
from another country can look exotic. 
What do you think?

Yoghurt and fruit with Japanese green tea lollies and KitKat!
A few things are a tad "awks" as the kids would say.
I gave up my Mother Wren, bear hug of a Aussie greeting
many students ago...
Yes, we've had over thirty Japanese students over the years.

They seemed to find the hello hug, being pressed to the welcoming bossom 
of some crazy Aussie Mumma, when they'd only just arrived, 
and didn't know which way was up,was well, 
let's just say
a little too confronting!

So now I offer the formal British handshake.
Think royal limp wrist to limp wrist and you get the picture
We're very regal in our greeting.
In fact come to think of it they might not curtsy
but I'm sure there is a slight bow in there.
RESPECT! Love it!

Or maybe it's the bow of horror??
They are probably thinking "OMG, a month with her,"
looking at my chipped nail polish...
I bow back slowly studying their band new shoes,
trying to program my brain
with the nuances of the correct pronunciation of their names.

I do bring the bear hug in for the goodbyes... 
Old habits die hard!

Sunshine and shadows!
The first thing we did together was enjoy a walk to the park,
appreciating the warmth and sunshine 
of an Aussie summers day.

It's a welcome contrast to a Tokyo winter.
Before long I find myself joining in their laughter 
and we're all making shadow rabbit faces in the sunshine.

Enjoying an Aussie Summer at the Park
On the way home we bump into my neighbour
More 'hellos and welcome to Melbourne!'

My neighbour has her arm in a sling
 having broken her wrist
rollerblading with the kids.
Right wrist of course and she's right handed.
Rather severe break in fact, no driving.
Everything is difficult with only one hand.

Of course we in the street are impressed
"Aren't you a little too old for this?" 
we question, unhelpfully.
Just jealous. 

When was the last time I rollerbladed with the kids?

"If there is anything you need this week
I'm here for you...
books covered, opening a jar of pesto.
Just ask."

She smiles,
 both of us remembering the last help requested... 

I heard my DH on the phone
"Of course, she'll be right round,
No, it's no trouble"

It's Men's Semi Final night at the Australian Open
Andy Murray is playing Berdych.
We've been invited to the Men's tennis Final 
and we're hoping it's Murray vs Djokovic.
That night we had a houseful for a 
'cheering for Andy' dinner!

Cheering for Andy pizza party!
We've an American guest, we've never met
Like we do!

A friend of someone in the UK, 
come to think of it that we've never met either,
You know that 
"Steve's coming to the Tennis' 
You Guys should meet! 
Kind of connection...

Andy Murray serving Australian Open Mens Final
We're still housing for the Australian Open...
The kids are in...
Let's just say there's not a spare seat round the TV.
It's standing room only.

I've just proudly & secretly forced a bakery bought apple pie 
into one of my own baking dishes.
It's a snug, perfect fit, 
looks exactly like it was made in the pie dish.

"Can you go next door and help sticky-back plastic a School book?"

What???? It may be the start of the school year
Now is not the moment to leave Andy,
 nor the Apple Pie.

Andy Murray on Margaret Court, Australian Open
I send a quick SMS
"Any chance you can come here
I can't get away at the mo?"

A knock at the door.
The crazy poodle has had enough.
He goes ballistic 
and is banished to the laundry for barking 
at my neighbours young daughter...

No one watching the tennis seems to notice
"Great serve, Murray!"

Andy Murray vs Nick Kyrgios, Rod Laver Arena
A rather large Geography book appears 
together with a roll of contact adhesive
a printed name sticker and a pair of scissors.

"Fantastic shot Murray!"

The book is covered. 
Rather unsuccessfully with enormous air bubbles!
At least on the front, the back is perfect. Of course...
I wasn't really concentrating
That's my excuse!
Do I let on that air bubbles in school books is 
a normal occurrence in our household, 
and get out a pin, to prick the air out of the bubble?

Whilst deliberating on this, my son shouts
'Mum the Apple pie's burning!
Although secretly thinking PERFECT, 
now it definitely looks like a home baked Apple pie!

Flowers in the park are looking gorgeous at this time of year!
Back to the present moment
My neighbour says

See you've still got a Mad full house then?

Yes! Never a dull moment here!

Linking with Blue Monday, Thank you Sally
Mosaic Monday Thank you Judith
#PoCoLo  Thank you Victoria
Thank you to all the hosts

Please visit and enjoy the other posts!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Endangered Aussie Animals Project

G'day from Melbourne, Australia

to Mrs O's AM Kindergarten Class in Calgary.

I heard about your project on endangered species!

Dear Wren, You will know me from http://aslongasyouhaveagarden.blogspot.com.au
My grandson's kindergarten class is doing a unit on endangered species. The teacher is trying to get postcards sent to the school from all over the world with a short message about endangered species in the specific country. Would you be willing to send one? Here is the address just in case.

So how could I resist?
Here is the card I have sent you.
It is a little joey kangaroo inside his mother's pouch
He looks a little cross don't you think?

I think the card will take a little time to get to you... 
We are 8628 Miles (13885.42Km) apart.
The quickest flight on an airplane will take 21 hours.

Australia is home to some unique critters,
but it also has one of the highest extinction rates in the world.

I found some more information on Australian Geographic

I said I would show you some of my photos of Australian animals.
I wondered how many you know about?

The first I have chosen is a parrot.
He is not like the orange bellied parrot shown on 
Australian Geographic, one of our most endangered species.
He was very friendly and happy to eat seed from our hands
at Healesville Sanctuary.

Whilst we were at Healesville, we had a close encounter
with Benny, the Koala. 
He was very relaxed as you can see
lying amongst the eucalyptus branches!

We love Koala's but they are a bit sleepy!

Sadly I don't often get to see Koalas in the wild.
Whilst they are not listed as endangered,
Australia Zoo says koalas are critically threatened.
 We have lost 80% of our koala habitat since European settlement.

Here is a common womat in the wild.
We will regularly see wombats snuffling through the undergrowth 
when out walking.
They are my favourite Aussie animals!
They are big lumbering critters.

The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is in danger of extinction. 

The Echidna is not considered an endangered species.
But I rather like his style
and long claws!

Thank you for visiting me Down Under!
I hope you have fun learning about other 
endangered species around the world.

To my regular readers 
thank you for visiting and I will be back with you soon!
Linking with Saturday Critters
Thanks Eileen!

Add caption

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Australian Open V's Asian Cup!

Sorry my blogging has been a little sparse,
it's because we've had two world sporting events 
collide in this household!


Andy Murray at Margaret Court, Asian Cup at Rectangular Stadium
By day we've been enjoying the Grand Slam tennis at Melbourne Park, 
cheering on our very own WTA Pro Tennis Player,
and by night, we've been volunteering at the Asian Cup, 
Australia's biggest ever football tournament
 'Go Soccerroos - Champions of Asia'!

Hisense Arena tennis from Asian Cup's Rectangular Stadium. 
Your Little Wren has a very important role
in securing Aussie Open on court tennis success.
I'm in charge of toast and Tim Tams!

Gluten free and organic toast of course
we're talking elite athletes here... 
and Tim Tams (Aussie chocolate biscuits) 
for the team celebration (ie the rest of us!).

You know right, that behind every successful athlete 
is a great family, a fantastic coach
 and the lady with the Tim Tams! 

It's been seven years since we started housing at the Open.
Originally this was an official program offered by Tennis Australia.
We were interviewed, our house inspected and before we knew it
we were hosting two Eastern European players.

In recent years the housing program has been disbanded.
However we're lucky our contacts with players continue informally

For the past five years we've welcomed team Falconi to stay.
Irina Falconi, former world No 73 is the American tennis player 
who makes our Aussie Open experience so special.

I guess housing is not for those who like certainty.
Our days are unpredictable, exciting
and totally revolve around tennis matches.
There is the exhilaration and excitement after a win
and the opposite after a loss.

Irina's fabulous Falconi Files blogs,
will give you an insight into her life.

Here she talks about having very little notice of playing 
in the Doubles tournament.
I had an appointment in town that day.
 By the time I came out, 
the match had been scheduled, played and finished!

It is the only Aussie Open Grand Slam match in five years 
that I have not been there cheering 
at every forehand winner!

Or take the second round singles match.
The tournament schedule is released early evening the night before.
We can see Irina is playing fourth match on Court 8
after a men's singles and two men's doubles matches.

It's tight timing because I'm volunteering at the Asian Cup
It's our last Melbourne match and the Quarter final.
 The football starts at 6.30pm and I'm on duty from 3.30pm.
I agree with my Manager I can run across the road to watch 
as soon as the Asian Cup kicks off...

Yes only in Melbourne can we have two world events on 
opposite sides of the road...

The only problem is that the tennis matches on Court 8 go really quickly.
I get a text from my son
"She's warming up"
It's 4.55pm...

There I am in my Orange sunshine shorts 
greeting Korea Republic and Uzbekistan 
fans arriving for the match...

Yes I have 30,000 soccer fans heading my way 
and I need to go!

I have committed to my volunteering role and 
there is no way I am going to desert my position
BUT ... this is a monumental clash of priorities.
Only in Melbourne could two world sporting events collide...

"Go and Good Luck!"
Luckily I had a very understanding Asian Cup boss... 

I made it and cheered "lovely shot Irina" through out
but unfortunately Madison Brengle 
had more lovely shots on that day...
This is the world of tennis.

I leg it back to the soccer.

Tim Tam anyone?!

Linking with Blue Monday, Thank you Sally
Mosaic Monday Thank you Judith
Our World Tuesday Thank you to all the hosts

Please visit and enjoy the other posts!