Edited highlights: skating, sledding and good craft gone bad

The school holidays are over and life is back to its routine, although I’m still working on Spider Boy getting to sleep earlier after a few late nights during the holidays. We didn’t do any “Mathletics” on the computer like we really should have, but did play Monopoly (the junior version) and there’s maths in that, right? Spider Boy is always reluctant to part with the cash to purchase property but gleefully receives the rent I pay him when I land on something he does own.

I always have such high hopes for craft projects during the holidays, but I am realising Spider Boy’s hopes for it don’t match my own. He worked with me on a foam pirate ship for about five minutes before getting frustrated with it. And it was frustrating – it was a kit from a craft store and it just didn’t work. I continued on without him trying to make it work while he did something else. Eventually I just left it – a floppy, PVA glue-smeared mess (it’s supposed to dry clear, but not really).

Made nothing from this book. Dare to dream.
Made nothing from this book. Dare to dream.

I finally put four brown bananas to good use before they liquefied in the fruit bowl by making a banana cake. I have to say this cake was not only edible, but a great success – Thank you Women’s Weekly Classic Cakes cookbook. I froze the cake and took it to Canberra for Spider Boy’s paternal family (“I baked you a cake, sorry about the missing piece”), thus cleverly saving myself (and my mother) from the rest of it. Spider Boy claims he doesn’t like banana cake, although will inhale banana bread at cafes.


We ventured into Kathmandu for the first time ever – they were having a 60% off sale – as we had to outfit ourselves for some serious outdoor activity in our nation’s capital. Canberra welcomed us in all its wintry beauty. Brrrr. I always forget just how cold it gets there in winter. Even though I lived there for six years. This visit it was – 3 and -4 degrees celsius overnight. That’s MINUS, in case you didn’t notice the tiny minus signs there.

Wintry beauty: there’s nothing like the clear blue skies of a Canberra winter.

I was determined to get on to an ice-rink this winter (didn’t actually skate at Sydney’s Winter Festival a couple of weeks ago) so we got straight off the bus from Sydney onto the temporary outdoor rink in Canberra. Note to self – must try not to project my 1980s ice-dancing obsession onto Spider Boy. I can just hear American figure skater and 1988 Olympic champion Brian Boitano talking about “the costumes, the glamour…”.

Spider Boy got by with a little help from his hired helper, Pingu.

After a few goes around the edge of the rink with the penguin helper, Spider Boy declared, “I don’t need the penguin anymore.”

…before braving the ice alone.

That’s my boy! Blades of Glory, here we come!

Fake it till you make it.

This giant inflatable snow-globe had an attendant (unlike the one at Darling Quarter in Sydney), so for $2 we could step inside to frolic in the “snow”. We stayed in there for minutes on end and posed for many happy selfies. Goodness knows what that fake snow was made of, but the snow-globe attendant helpfully told me, “If he gets it in his mouth, tell him to spit it out.”

A couple of days later we drove to Corin Forest, about 30 minutes south of Canberra for some snow-filled fun. This was the first time Spider Boy had seen (real) snow.

Why merely throw a snow ball when you can kick-box one?

For $5 we hired a toboggan and Spider Boy was able to sled down the mountain gentle slope. “I love snow!” he said as he crashed into a bale of hay at the bottom of the run.

“Nice CAR, mate!”

Spider Boy’s favourite TV ad is the AAMI one where the young P-driver from the 80s pulls up beside his future self (as a father with a learner driver son beside him) and wants to drag race. “Nice car, Mate!”, Spider Boy now says at every opportunity with accompanying drag-race face.




  1. Sounds like a great holiday! My boys are exactly the same when it comes to crafts (and baking) – eager to do it at first but then get bored after a few minutes. Love the ice skating penguins, what a fab idea. And your boy looks so cute in the photos. Xx

    • Yes, I was going to write in the post that lately my son seems to have lost interest in baking with mummy. He’s growing up I guess! The ice-skating penguins were very helpful for the younger skaters.xx

  2. Love this post – for us here it is the middle of summer so it is a bit weird to read about your winter. Pictures are lovely as well, you guys seem to be having a good time. And congrats on the banana cake!! Looks delicious 🙂 -Lyne

    • Thanks Lyne, yes, it must be weird for you guys to see images of our winter. Us Aussies are used to seeing things “upside down” because so much of the culture we consume here comes from the northern hemisphere! I would love to experience a white Christmas once in my life though. The Christmas in July events that are on here just don’t cut it! And the banana cake was good, if I do say so myself. There’s a lot to be said for measuring out the ingredients properly and doing everything the recipe says! I’m learning Lyne 🙂 I will get to those blueberry and white chocolate slices!

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