"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: "Cup o' tea?".
Otto: serious boy (partly because of the sunlight, partly because of a few days feeling poorly).

Both shots were taken on the front verandah this week (Otto's with the iPhone). We have been trying to take advantage of the last of the sunny days while battling fevers all round.

Last week I loved the candlelight shot from Fields of Sage.

Linking with the 52 Project at Che & Fidel.


Simple pleasures #7 - picking apples 2013

By popular demand, Sofia has agreed to recreate one of her favourite videos from last year.

Much more business-like this year: just walk up, pick it, eat it and walk off. Sofia still loves all of the fresh fruit at her disposal in her playground.



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: swinging - one of her favourite things.
Otto: trying the stroller for size.

We went blackberry picking yesterday. Our friends knew a place in Fern Tree with berries and a playground - what more could we want? Unfortunately it was a little wet and chilly and the berries weren't that plentiful, but it was a fun outing none-the-less (made all the better with hot cups of tea from the thermos and some of Helen's delicious jam slice). The weather did not deter Sofia who fearlessly scaled the ladder to the (rather tall) slide and took turns with Chiara on the swing. Otto got to model some woollies and also take a turn in the stroller - he has outgrown the bassinet on the pram!

Last week I loved Bo's beautiful happy face from Inked In Colour and Atticus on the phone from boy eats kasha.

Linking with the 52 Project at Che & Fidel.



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: a pensive moment on the verandah after examining a leaf in great detail.
Otto: rolling up a storm.

Sofia is spending more time on the front verandah these days. Previously she could be relied upon to bolt down the stairs and off down the path, but now she is mostly content to run back and forth with her toy stroller or Otto's buzzy bee occasionally stopping to pluck leaves from the wisteria and geraniums.

Otto is enjoying the new view gained from rolling although there is great effort and frustration involved (especially when his sister regularly thwarts his attempts).

As Otto is a bit bigger and more robust now, I am getting more relaxed about Sofia inadvertently (or not) squishing him. So a bit of friendly wrestling is now on the cards:

Last week I loved the light in Bluebirds of Happiness' portraits.

Linking with the 52 Project at Che & Fidel.



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: looking at her Grandad.
Otto: oh!

My mum and dad have been visiting from Perth (WA not Perth, TAS or Perth, Scotland) and while we talk to them most days on Skype, it has been great having them here in the flesh. It is so lovely to see them with Sofia and Otto - the little indulgences and endless patience for "again". The photo of Sofia was taken as Grandad was gently teasing her, I am glad I had the camera ready.

Otto is on the move! He started rolling back-to-tummy this week. Part of me is pleased (the MCHN thought he might be slow to reach his movement milestones due to his extra padding, go Otto!), but the other part of me is groaning as it is no longer a given that he will be where I left him plus he hasn't mastered tummy-to-back so needs regular flipping.

I will admit that I don't click on all the links to the 52 Project photos on Jodi's posts (there are so many!), but I found one that resonated this week from megpie. I keep trying to capture (mostly unsuccessfully) how Sofia is with Otto (and increasingly how Otto is with Sofia), so Megan's shot of a new brother and sister touched my heart.

With that in mind, this week I am including a photo of them together:

Sofia loves, loves, LOVES books and recently she has taken to "reading" to Otto.

Linking with the 52 Project at Che & Fidel.


There have been more bushfires in Hobart this week as we had a 35 degree day which thankfully wasn't too windy. There was quite a large fire that started at Risdon Vale that burnt on top of a hill we can see from our house. It is about 6km from away in these photos which were taken just before sunrise the next morning when it was pretty well under control but you can still see the flames on the hill.

Later the same day this hill to the north of us was obscured by bushfire smoke at the same time that the hill to the south of us was obscured by low cloud and drizzle. Only in Hobart...

This photo is the Forcett fire from our place in early January - much further away but also a lot bigger. The following day it got bigger still and caused a lot of damage all the way down to the Tasman Peninsula, especially in Dunalley.

We're hoping bushfire season is almost over now. There are some warm days forecast again this week but after that it will start cooling down.



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Sofia: breakfast on her chin.
Otto: hanging with Daddy. Big hand, little hand - the contrast always makes me smile.

A busy week (Ian was at a Melbourne conference for a few days and we also had a visit from my big sister) coupled with some really bad nights meant that I didn't take many photos this week. So once again we had a Sunday morning shoot. I quite like the immediacy of it - take photos, choose a couple, post on blog, all within an hour or so.

I have just read this week's post from Jodi where she suggested linking to our favourite for the week. A good idea - I don't get to check out all the 52 links and it will be interesting to see what others like. I can't remember which was my favourite from the ones I looked at last week, but I always like checking in on what Mister G and his mum have been up to.

Linking with the 52 Project at Che & Fidel.


The fruit rolls on

We've been busy chasing after Sofia and Otto this summer so the garden hasn't received the attention it deserves. But it's still there and producing lots of lovely fruit.

One fruit that didn't really deliver last year was the grapes. After a good pruning over the winter and a warmer, drier summer, the grape vines next to the garage have been prolific this year. They are beautiful and sweet at the moment and there are certainly more that we can reasonably eat.

There were lots of pears last year and they are delivering again this year. We will probably pick them soon as the birds and possums are starting to munch on them. There will be lots to eat and we will also dry quite a few as they were a huge hit last year. Miranda is keen to try her pear bread recipe again too.

Despite being on its last legs, the peach tree is delivering a good size crop of beautiful looking fruit which should be ready in the next few weeks.

The apples are not too far away and are looking great. The really hot weather cost us some of the fruit through sunburn but there is still a bumper crop, especially on the bottom tree that Sofia loved so much last year.

We are also seeing a good crop of quinces after a pretty hard pruning over the winter and these should be ready later in April.

 And there are lots of walnuts on the tree so it's time to get Xenia out again.

...provided the cockies don't eat them all first

There are lots of cockies hanging around Sandy Bay and they frequently visit us. They have eaten all of our almonds and are now starting work on the walnuts. Some of them are so brazen that they just sit there and look at me when I try to shoo them away. Not sure what to do about them but hopefully they'll leave us some walnuts.