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17. April 2011 11:27
by Rene Pallesen
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Tall Ships cruise onboard 'Svanen'

17. April 2011 11:27 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

tall ships svanen


This weekend we went with the Heng's onboard one of the last Tall Ships of Sydney harbour called 'Svanen. The day before it had been pouring with rain but we were lucky that the day we had booked was dry and sunny most of the day.

'Svanen' was built in 1922 in Denmark in Fredrikssund of danish oak frames, where she traded as a grain carrier between Denmark and Greenland for the tuborg beer company until 1969. She and James Craig are now the last tall ships in Sydney (The Bounty was sold to china some years ago).


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She ain't a big ship, but large enough to carry about 90 passengers.

The interior of the ship is almost in its original state. It is still possible to see all the hand chiseled timer in the cabins.

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The ship itself is pretty much still operated as it was back then (although she now has a motor...not sure if she would have had that originally).

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And all the rope work is still the way it should be as well.

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The cruise lasted a couple of hours and during the trip we were served lunch, beer and wine. This was one of the special deals that Kim had found us so it ended up being a great day.

15. April 2011 11:04
by Rene Pallesen
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Fox Studio Easter show 2011

15. April 2011 11:04 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

fox studio easter show 2011


Every year there is an Ester show at Fox Studios...it is not as big as the show out at Homebush, but it is a lot closer to where we live and entry is free.

Last year and again this year we brough Dylan there as it is difficult for his mum to go there. We normally allow him to get 1 ride or one game at the show, but because we this year brough Aiden along he got three rides as we though we'd check how Aiden would reach to the rides.

The first ride that Dylan chose was a Camel ride (Although they are not actually camels, but Dromedary's).




Afterwards he was complaining about how smelly they are.


In the mean time Aiden was watching the action (It was a pretty cool day and he had been sick the week before so he was dressed in his bunny outfit).



We tried to get Dylan to look scary with some of the local performers, but I think this is the best he could do.



After this I took Aiden and Dylan on the Ferris wheel and the Merry go round.






These are Waaaaayyyy to scary for Kim, so she was waiting down on the ground taking photos.


11. April 2011 04:32
by Rene Pallesen
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Aiden 10 Months

11. April 2011 04:32 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

aiden 10 months


This Sunday we went to Ethans 10yo Birthday at Maroubra. It also happens that Aiden was 10 Months a couple of days ago and it was a nice and overcast day, so good to take some monthly photos of him.




He is pretty happy to show off his new chompers (teeth)...he's got four now. He's been a bit sick for the last week with a cold. Probably something he picked up in daycare, but he is a lot happier now.



He now knows how to sit up straight, but he is still not able to crawl or get to/from sitting position, so the way he gets around is by rolling. He has learned to repeat one word from up and that is 'Dada'...but he still doesn't know the context or meaning of the word.

He is also a lot more reserved when it comes to other people...the general rule is that he likes me and grandad, but everyone else depends on the day...even mummy is sometimes given the cold shoulder (which Kim gets slightly upset about when it happens).





7. April 2011 10:26
by Rene Pallesen
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New garden doors

7. April 2011 10:26 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

new garden doors


Last month we received our new bi-folding doors to the garden. The old doors were old aluminium sliding doors that didn't allow us to open up the dining room towards the garden properly, they only allowed us a metre of opening to walk through.



We really wanted to open up the outside and inside areas. The old door really wasn't ideal.


Before christmas we ordered new bi-folding doors that would allow us to open up the whole area (about three metres and would allow us easier and better access to the garden).

It took the two tradespeople the better part of a full day to remove the old door and install the new one.



The new door looks really good, it was delivered in raw cedar wood and yesterday I spent most of the following weekend sanding and varnishing it.



The new door comes with a sliding moscito net that allows us to open the whole area and still keep the little critters out. It is almost invisible to when we have the family over we will need to keep it open to prevent the kids from running through the net.

The trades people couldn't take the old door with them so I had to find a way to dispose of it. Eventually I put it on Gumtree (a free site similar to eBay) and said that whoever wanted the door could come and pick it up for free. Within a couple of hours I had a dozen interested people and a couple of days later hey came to pick it up.



28. March 2011 10:06
by Rene Pallesen
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Doctor Zhivago take Two

28. March 2011 10:06 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

doctor zhivago take two


Saturday Kim and I went with a couple of friends to the Lyrics Theatre to see the Doctor Zhivago the Musical. It is a large production that they hope eventually will make it to broadway.

If you would like to know the story then rent the movie of the same title...worth watching.


For those of you not familiar with the story behind the story: It is about the cultural revolution and civil war in russia during the years 1917-1921 (mainly). The book was written by a russian Boris Pasternak during and after the cultural revolution. It was smuggled out of Russia in the 1950's and the author was awarded the Nobels literature price much to the dismay of the russian government (the book is very critical of the revolution).




We did have tickets booked a couple of months ago, but when we turned up then they said that the lead actor (playing Zhivago) had an injury in the afternoon. They said that they would still show us the first 20-40 minutes of the performance as this was all that the understudy (replacement) was familiar with and then let us either rebook or get a refund. Very dissapointing, but not much we could do about it.


It was actually worth seeing the whole performance (and not just the beginning). The acting and singing was great (Kim was so-so about the actual songs, but I thought they were ok).The stage setup was very clever and added a lot of depth to the stage, it allowed them to show what was happening in several locations at the same time using the same stage.




We had left Aiden with his grandad for the evening and this time we decided to let him sleep there all night rather than wake him up really late to take him home.


7. March 2011 09:44
by Rene Pallesen
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Barber of Seville

7. March 2011 09:44 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

barber of seville


Friday night Kim and I went to the Opera to watch "The barber of Seville". We had left Aiden with his grandad for the night hoping that either of them would be able to get some sleep (Aiden is a little chatterbox once he gets started).



The play is not one of the usual tragic Operas but more of a playful one with a more happy ending. During the play there is a lot of different things happening on different parts of the stage. Most of the play is taking place in a house and there are different things happening in different rooms of the house.

It was a good play but I think Kim and I agree that we prefer the more tragic operas although I think I have now seen all the major Operas.

2. March 2011 09:31
by Rene Pallesen
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Aiden 9 Months

2. March 2011 09:31 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

aiden 9 months


Aiden is now nine months young. He is finally able to start sitting by himself without falling over (...too often). Another milestone reached and another opportunity to take some more photos of him.


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He is still a happy and hungry little boy. He is such as daddy's boy and loves being carried around on my shoulder. Sometimes he cries when he sees me after I return from work in the afternoon because he is happy to see me.

We are hoping that he will be able to crawl around soon now that he is sitting...but could take a while.

3. February 2011 12:52
by Rene Pallesen
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Chinese Zodiac Story

3. February 2011 12:52 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

chinese zodiac story


There are several legends about how the animals were chosen for the Chinese zodiac. This is one of them. The Jade Emperor is the name of the Emperor of Heaven.

Long ago, in China, the Jade Emperor decided there should be a way of measuring time. On his birthday he told the animals that there was to be a swimming race. The first twelve animals across the fast flowing river would be the winners and they would each have a year of the zodiac named after them.

All the animals lined up along the river bank. The rat and the cat, who were good friends, were worried because they were poor swimmers. Being clever they asked the strong ox if he would carry them across the river.

'Of course' said the kind ox. 'Just climb on my back and I will take you across.'

The rat and the cat quickly jumped up and were very excited when the ox soon took the lead in the race. They had almost reached the other bank when the rat pushed the cat into the river leaving him to struggle in the water. Then just before the ox was about to win the race the rat leapt on his head and on to the bank to finish first.

'Well done,' said the Jade Emperor to the proud rat. 'The first year of the zodiac will be named after you.'

The poor ox had been tricked into second place and the second year of the zodiac was named after him. Shortly after the exhausted tiger clawed his way to the river bank to claim third place. Swimming across the river had been an enormous struggle for him against the strong currents. The Emperor was so delighted with his efforts that he named the third year after him.

Next to arrive was the rabbit, who hadn't swum across at all. He hopped across on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried him to the shore.

'I shall be very happy to call the fourth year after you,' the surprised Jade Emperor explained.

Just then a kind dragon swooped down to take fifth place.

'Why didn’t you win the race, as you can fly as well as swim?' the Jade Emperor asked.

'I was held up because some people and animals needed water to drink. I needed to make some rain,' the dragon explained. 'Then when I was nearly here I saw a poor little rabbit on a log in the water and I blew a puff of wind so that the log would float to the river bank.'

'Well that was very kind of you and now you are here you will have the fifth year of the zodiac named after you.' The next thing the Jade Emperor heard was the sound of the horse’s hooves. Just as he was thinking the horse would be the next animal to arrive, a sneaky snake wriggled out from around one of the horse’s hooves. The horse was so surprised that he jumped backwards giving the snake a chance to take the sixth place in the race. The poor horse had to be satisfied with seventh place.

Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the goat, the monkey and the rooster. They explained to the Emperor how they had shared the raft that the rooster had found. The goat and monkey had cleared weeds and pushed the raft to the shore. The Emperor was very pleased that the animals had worked together. He said the goat would be the eighth zodiac animal, the monkey the ninth and the rooster the tenth.

The next animal to finish was the dog.

'Why are you so late when you are one of the best swimmers?' asked the Jade Emperor.

'The water in the river was so clean that I had to have a bath on the way,' explained the dog.

His reward was to have the eleventh year named after him. Now there was one place left in the zodiac and the Emperor wondered when the last winner would come. He had nearly given up when he heard a grunt from the boar.

'You took a long time to cross the river,' said the Emperor to the boar.

'I was hungry and stopped to eat,' explained the boar. 'After the meal I felt so tired that I fell asleep.'

'You have still done well,' said the Jade Emperor. 'The last year of the zodiac will be named after you.'

As for the cat who had been pushed into the water by the rat, he finally crawled out of the water but was too late to have a year named after him. He felt very cross with the rat and since then cats have never been friends with rats.

From that day to this the Chinese Zodiac has followed this cycle of years named after these twelve animals.

29. January 2011 04:58
by Rene Pallesen
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Aiden on a swing

29. January 2011 04:58 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

aiden on a swing


The other day Kim and I went for a walk down to the local park with Aiden.

It was a good opportunity for us to give him a ride on one of the swings as they have some bucket seats that makes it impossible for him to fall out (he is still not able to quite sit by himself yet).

He absolutely loved the experience and wasn't scared at all (we will make a real boy out of him in no time).






He is now seven and a half months and is learning how to control his parents and he is starting to know what he wants and don't want...ie doesn't want to sleep if he is in a playful mood.

28. January 2011 01:26
by Rene Pallesen
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Photoshop fun

28. January 2011 01:26 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

photoshop fun


Over the weekend I had a play with creating a more interesting profile photo for my Facebook profile. The idea was to use photoshop to create something a bit out of the ordinary (and a bit spooky).

Anyway here it is...and you can either love it or hate it!




For those interested in the details...it is 3 composite photos (Face, left eye and mouth). I could have done it with two composites, but I wasn't happy with the mouth. It was originally shot on a red background but I desaturated the background and darkened it a bit because I though this looks better. It has also been ultra sharpened to add some effect.
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