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The phoenix rises

Forgive me blog-readers, for I have sinned. It’s been 6 months since my last blog entry.

There are some (partially) valid reasons for this and none of them are related to us disappearing off the face of the earth.

I can’t go into detail about what they were but it was related to work and whether we should move back to the UK or not. Developments this month mean that we’re staying for the foreseeable future.

So…what’s been happening outside of work in these six months ?

Well, January saw my birthday come around again. The arrival of another year is always welcome. When that stops happening, I’ll get worried. This year’s festivities was an entertainment-packed weekend. Thursday (birthday proper), Rachel and Joanna paid for me to go to the cinema and see Happy Feet. They bought popcorn and drinks with their savings. This year, unlike last, I stayed awake throughout the whole film. Friday took us bowling in Pacifica and Saturday had the Kelly family ice skating.

The ice skating was more a bonus than anything else. A couple of weeks previously, we were invited to a birthday party at a local rink for one of Rachel’s school friends. The rink had booked the party room from 2:30 to 4:30 and the price included skating for everyone. What the rink had failed to tell the mother was that there was an ice hockey game on the same rink between 2:30 and 4:30. Quite what they expected the children to do in a party room the size of a small cupboard is an explanation I’m waiting to hear. Still, after some heated negotiation, we all got free skating passes and I got to use them for my birthday.

I was quite impressed that I was able to stay on my feet all the way around. It might have had something to do with Rachel and Joanna clinging on to us like limpets and slowing us to a crawl. The only dilemma is what to do in the occurrence of a sudden ice-to-butt event. Do I fall first and catch child next or do I throw child to the ice so that my landing is cushioned ? We’ll leave that question to a game of Scruples.

February is a short month interrupted only by Valentine’s Day. This is another Hallmark holiday overrun by political correctness at school. No child is allowed to send just one card. They have to write out a card for each of their classmates so that nobody is left out. When are they ever going to learn that life is just a series of rejections and you move from one disappointment to the next ? Maybe the reason why you don’t get a card is because you’re ugly and nobody fancies you. (cue blurry dissolve into flashback of school life at Alderman Callow School and Community College)

March was Rachel’s birthday. Because she enjoyed bowling on my birthday, she decided that she wanted a bowling party at the same alley. Enough of her friends turned up to make sure it was fun but there were 553 reasons why we’re not going to be doing that again ! We weren’t allowed to bring our own food and a couple of fruit trays that we ordered ( through the alley ) came to at least 90 of those reasons. I’m not sure where all the other reasons went. Rachel came away with a genuine bowling pin signed by all her friends.

April and May have been a bit of a blur. Work got incredibly busy and World of Warcraft even more so. I’m going to blog separately on my current WoW status so that the uninterested amongst you don’t switch off.

I was trying to work on a couple of audio-visual experiments. The first was to finally complete editing on my father’s birthday experience video. When they visited the UK back in 2004, he made use of the glider voucher we got him for his birthday the previous year. We videotaped the whole thing and the intention was to make a DVD for him to watch. 3 years later and I got the camera working to the extent that I have the files on disk now and I’m playing with a video-editing suite to turn it into something respectable. It’s time-consuming and I’m sick of hearing the Thunderbirds theme tune that I thought was really clever at the time but now it’s driving me crazy.

The second experiment was to turn this blog into a podcast and have my dulcet tones ( along with the rest of the Kelly clan ) coming out of your speakers. I’ve got as far as recording an introduction 🙂

It’s obvious I have a lot to learn and I need to spend more time on these things. Maybe spending less time on WoW ?

Other significant events this year…

Rachel was one of 5 students in the school to achieve GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) status which means she’s currently going to summer school to keep her mind oiled and working. This status, apparently, sets her up for bigger and better things in the future. I’m hoping that means full scholarship at university 🙂

Both Rachel and Joanna achieved more swimming distinctions at La Petite Baleen swim school. They both got their next level ribbons and continue on to aquatic glory. They’ve achieved so much since joining the school that they’re confident in the water, although Joanna looks like she’s doing controlled drowning at times. They can also both dive in from a standing position which we would never have seen them do back in the UK.

We’re into the second or third week of the summer holidays here and Sam was going crazy not having a car. So, last week I bought a 1997 Saab 900s convertible with the assistance of those nice people at Addison Avenue. Sam and I both love it but the girls are not sure because they don’t like the roof down. We drove down the freeway at the weekend and they had their heads down and hair flying into their faces.
I guess they’re going to be walking everywhere from now on.

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