Friday, January 25, 2008

Shower Hack

There's something about having a nice strong shower. I'm not sure what it is: childhood memories or just being taller than the average person. I hate having to manouvre each individual appendage to get them wet under a water-saving shower that either produces needle-like water spray or is simply limp. We've had the latter type of shower for the last three years in our unit and it has consistently shat me to tears. When we renovated our bathroom last year I was insistent on getting a "strong" shower head, but to no avail. The bathroom guy was insistent that because we lived in a unit block then the water pressure was permanently effected. I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to live with it.

This week I decided to try a little search on the internet to see if there was some I could modify the shower head to improve the flow somehow. There were no pleasing results from within Australia, but many from the States. Their suggestion was to remove a water restricting disc from within the actual shower head. I thought it couldn't be too hard, afterall I'd installed the bloody thing along with new taps, tiles etc - so I gave it a go. Voila! I found the offending disc and removed it, and now having a shower is like standing under a waterfall. Brilliant. Simple things, but I'm happy. Not sure how legal it is in other Oz states with strict water restrictions in place, but in Darwin we get on average 1690mm per annum (compared with 790mm in Perth) so this shouldn't pose a problem...

These are water restrictor discs similar to the one I removed.

Won't be long...

Things are going pretty well in the Peters/Poke household. I went back to work this week to help set things up before the kids come to school next week, and Vince has been settling into his new job too at home. Apparently Vince went to check on Vance this morning and he'd pulled himself up in his cot. We haven't seen this yet, only on furniture around the unit. It probably won't be long before Vance is trying to take his first steps (maybe a month or two?). Here are the snaps.......


It's a long way down.


It's time that we kept the cot side up now!


Vance looking pretty tall in his cot.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Crawling Vid (again)

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Feeding Face

The last few days Vance has started to put on a horrible face whilst being fed solids. His entire face gets screwed up, he gives you the evil stare, and breathes in and out through his nose really heavily.

Tried to take a shot of it today but pretty much as soon as he sees the camera he's distracted and looks normal again!


Damien is alive and well in Darwin...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Van on the move movie.

Van man is moving around a fair bit. Not so fast that we can't manouvre him around - but it's started. Like all babies I imagine he's attracted to all the things that he shouldn't be. The bikes (kept upstairs so they don't get stolen), the bathroom cupboards, the knife drawer, the bin, cords, power points and of course -the electronics. The fun and games have only just begun..


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At the beach - yes, again....

We go to the beach pretty much every week, if not a couple of times. This was the first time that Van was dragging/crawling around in the sand. The bath was full of it when we got home. Here are some happy snaps.


Mum and Van man - the rare pic.


On the move.


Easily turned around at this stage if given a bit of attention - I wonder how long that'll last?


Token birdie pic in the Cas pines. One of the many things for Van to look at down the beach..

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Surviving Helen

We returned to Darwin on the 3rd of January. It was a bit of a bumpy ride coming down. There was a lot of turbulence due to the low hanging off the coast. Vince isn't the best flyer at the best of times, so this roller-coaster ride had his knuckles pretty white! So we were back for a day and a cyclone was forming off the Kimberley coast and heading our way. Tropical Cyclone Helen was Category 1 yesterday, then promptly went Category 2 overnight as it passed through Darwin and surrounds. We were kind of prepared - our balcony was pretty clear as we had cleaned it up before we left for Perth (in case just such a situation arose). The winds were pretty strong, but we'd been through worse for Ingrid and Monica a couple of years back. It didn't seem so bad until the power went out at about 3.30am, and subsequently didn't come back on until about 1.30pm this afternoon. It was hot without fans and air conditioning - not that you really need it with 120kmh winds...


Anyway, Cyclone Helen wasn't too bad (dramatic title, I know), but driving around today the aftermath showed some people were very lucky not to be injured or sustain damage to their cars and houses. Most of the trees you'll see in the following photos are African Mahoganies, which are notorious for uprooting and toppling over. We think they were planted after Cyclone Tracy because they are fast growing and provide a lot of shade. Pity their roots don't go down so deep, unless watered in properly at a young age.


These are two Paw Paw trees at our place. They're probably about 20cm diameter and were snapped clean off. Vince was quite happy about it as they attract the fruit bats, rats and possums, and any fruit have been nibbled before you get a chance to pick them. The rotten fruit drop to the ground and produce more trees. He was going to chop them anyway...
The Paw Paw trunks - 3 or 4 metres long.
Next door - a P-plater's brand new Dodge Nitro had a Fishtail palm fall right on to it. Couldn't happen to some nicer try hard bling gangster pimp-my-ride wannabes...
Nearby Essington School. Mahogany tree uprooted.
Camphor Street, Nightcliff. These people were lucky the tree didn't reach their house.
Hickory Street, Nightcliff. The Darwin kiddies were loving the new structure to play on.
Another Mahogany across a street in Nightcliff.
Nightcliff beach. We've been meaning to take pictures for years of the "surfers" that come out of the woodwork here when a cyclone is around. Pretty messy, but you take what you can get I guess. Also note the bodysurfers in the foreground having a dumping good time!
Nightcliff beach from another angle.
A group (grove? apse? bunch?) of pandanus after the strong winds.
Our local spot where we usually sit and have a couple of drinks and watch the sunset. Waves had been right over where we usually lounge about. The Nightcliff jetty is in the background.

Bunno, Nannup & Perth Trip...2

Weekend away in Nannup: Thanks to Jeff and Carolyn for giving Vin, Van and I two nights at Redgum Hill in Nannup for Xmas. It was a timely gift which gave us the opportunity to have some time alone and give Jane and family a break from waking up at the crack of dawn with us! We went down on the 29th and 30th for some rest and relaxation. The cottages were very quaint and quiet. We spent our time resting, reading, sitting outside with the wildlife and got into the hot tub too! We had a bit of a drive around which is always nice in those parts. We visited Barrabup pool where Vik, Fi and I camped a few years back - that was cool to revive some memories. All in all it was a lovely time out in our trip down south. (Also thanks to Jane for letting us drive the Velvet Vulva down - couldn't have done it without you!)


Jodi and Vance on the platform overlooking Barrabup Pool.


Vince and Van checking out Workman's Pool.


Bridge over Barrabup Pool.


Barrabup Pool.

Bunno, Nannup and Perth trip...1.

Staying in Bunbury: after a harrowing drive from Perth we made it with Sam. We stayed with Jane (Vince's Mum), Hutchy (Vince's step-dad) and Jack (Vince's brother) at their place, through Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve. We had a great time - thanks guys for putting us up, and putting up with us! We had the usual champers and roast for Christmas Day. Nice. Actually champers was the usual for nearly every day! It was stinking hot over the Xmas period and afternoon naps were the order of the day. Boxing Day saw the start of the cricket, and of course Sam's birthday. We went out for a civilised lunch and went to the beach afterwards.
Jodi's Mum and Gran were good enough to pay us a visit down in Bunbury too. It was Leslie's first time to meet Vance, and she was suitably chuffed to meet him. Great to see them again, especially driving down to see us (Van really!).
In between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve we went down to Nannup.
Upon our return we kicked up our heels with alcohol and some more nice food to see in 2008. Vince fell off his bike on a midnight ride to the service station for more supplies with Jack. It was all Jack's fault apparently...
Unfortunately we had to return to Perth on the 2nd then fly back to Darwin on the 3rd. We had a great time, though we were both exhausted by the end of it. It's hard work with a baby in tow! Hopefully next time we venture down to the south-west Vance will be a little more independent...


Sam and Vince at Sam's B'day lunch.


Hutchy and Jane - Sam's B'day.


Van and Uncle Jack.


Happy Birthday Auntie Sam - I love you!! - Van man.


Uncle Jack and Van in Bunno.


Van man playing with Jack's old toys and a ball from Auntie Sam.


Auntie Sam, Van and GM Jane.


Van loving all the attention.