Wednesday, September 29, 2010



One of the great things at Floriade this year is an artist called Rudolph. He specializes in things called carry-car-chewers (I think that's the name). These are drawings of people that are very different from normal portraits. Carry-car-chewers are drawings that exaggerate the features of a person to make a funny but very recognizable image. Evidently Mum is best recognized by her blue eyes, big grin and teeth, while Dad is all chins, glasses and wing-mirror ears. You can check out how good a recognition aid these carry-car-chewers are by comparing them with any of the pictures of the Oldies in previous posts. If you would like Rudolph to do one for you, you may find him at a festival somewhere near you, or you can email him a photo to work from. His website is

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Hiding In the Hyacinths

Here's another photo of me playing hidies from the Oldies at Floriade. This time I am in one of the beds of hyacinths. I thought that the colours might be better for camouflage than the reds and yellows of the tulips, but the Oldies found me just as quickly and took this picture to prove that they had spotted me. Funny thing is that no matter where I hide all sorts of people start taking pictures of me and that makes it easy for the Oldies to find me, they just go to where all the tourists are clustered with cameras snapping.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Boat With a Bite

The most fascinating thing at this Floriade, at least for the Oldies and me, is an exhibition of machines designed centuries ago by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo was a real genius. Most people know about his art works, the Mona Lisa probably being the best known, but he was much more than just one of the best painters ever. He was way ahead of his time in engineering, optics and science in general. The exhibition at Floriade is about his machines, and they are absolutely mind-boggling. Way back in the 15th and early 16th century he designed a tank, a helicopter, siege engines, a calculator, a robot, several flying machines, lots of boats, extension ladders, automatic blacksmith tools, well diggers, automatic wagons, ball bearings, gearboxes, even a jack. If he had a decent engine available he would have really got the world moving. There are models of some of these machines in the exhibition and they are all just the right size for this small bear to try out. Here is one of the ones that I would like to really test on another boat. It is called the Scorpion and the idea is to sink other boats by dropping that big sharp scythe blade into them. You raise the blade with the ropes and windlass, row up to the enemy boat, turn the platform to get the blade over their boat, let the blade go and Wham!! there goes bits of the other boat. Messy, but I would like to try it. Lots of other pictures from this exhibition soon.

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Vivid Imagination

This year's Floriade has the theme "Imagination" and asks "where will yours take you?" Well, the first place mine took me was up the post to the top of the sign so that I could read the map; it's hard for a small bear to do that from ground level. There's always lots of things to do at Floriade. Besides the flowers to look at and hide in, there is a big market area, non-stop bands and other performances, magic shows, animals, lots of things for kids to make and do, and talks by real gardeners showing you how Dad does it all wrong when he plants things. You can spend days there. I love it.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The Zebbies are at Floriade!!

Guess what? The Lake George zebras are in town for Floriade. They have had a bit of a rough trot since I showed you them back in July. First the rain started to fill bits of the dry lake and the zebbies got soggy feet. Then some nasty people went across the fence and bashed and bent them. The sculptor who made the zebbies took them back to his shed and repaired them in time for them to be on display at Floriade, and he made an extra one. There is now a little zebra foal in the group. Here he is with his Mum. He is a bit uncertain what to do about the small bear that is riding him and is asking her for advice. The zebras are just one of the many extra non-flower things at Floriade. Next post I will show you part of the thing that had us all fascinated for hours.

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Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

It's Floriade time again. Floriade is the big annual flower show in Canberra and this year it is off to a fine start. We have had lots of rain at just the right time for lots of flowers to be blooming on the opening weekend. Mum usually drags Dad and I down to see the flowers. I don't mind, because the flowers are actually bigger than me and that means there are lots of interesting places for a small bear to play and hide. Here I am playing "tiptoe through the tulips". The aim is to get right across the flower bed without breaking any stems or stepping on yucky worms or fertilizer pellets, all in the time it takes an Oldie to notice I that am missing and find me. Do drop into Floriade if you are down this way; it is very pretty.

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Friday, September 10, 2010


Mmmmm!!!! Muffin

There is absolutely nothing quite like sharing a fresh muffin with friends at a great picnic spot. Hamilton Island has all the necessary things for such sharing; the bakery makes superb muffins and there are some very pretty places for picnics. In this picture Scruffy, Milkshake and I were at One Tree Hill and about to hoe into a delicious chocolate and caramel fudge muffin. It was a giant muffin as far as us small critters are concerned, big enough to feed us all and to have some crumbs left over for Dad. So tasty that for a while we even forgot our usual activities at One Tree and for a while the boats and aeroplanes went unspotted and the trees weren't climbed. They say music soothes savage beasts, but muffins work even better on our gang.

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Best Harbour in the World

I think that Sydney Harbour is the best harbour in the world. I love it, and every time we go to Sydney we end up walking around bits of it or taking a boat ride on it. One of the best walks is across the Harbour Bridge. You get great views from the walkway. It is actually better for small bears than for Oldies because the walkway is surrounded by tough, high chain-wire fences to stop idiots throwing things at boats. If you are a small bear you can fit in the gap between the railing and the fence and get unobstructed views. That is, you can if Mum is distracted and doesn't see you doing it. This is the bit with Circular Quay on the right, Farm Cove on the left and the Opera House in between. There are always ferries coming and going in Circular Quay, and sometimes huge ocean liners stop there. I've been on lots of ferries, but so far only on small cruise ships so I hope that maybe one day the Oldies will go on one of the huge ones and take me along.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Waiting For a Dino

There are lots of nice picnic places on Hamilton Island. Most of them have garden areas around them, with all sorts of tropical stuff growing there. This fern tree is in the garden area near the big duckpond (you can read about that in one of my older postings). Now, I know from watching TV that dinosaurs ate this sort of tree, and if the tree has somehow managed to survive it may just be possible that there is a hungry dino out there somewhere as well. Scruffy, Milkshake and I have never seen a real dinosaur so we decided to try and catch one. We climbed up into the tree, near the little seed pods, and waited for one to come for a feed. We weren't scared because we know that plant-eaters don't eat small animals if they can help it. If one came, we were going to grab it by the head and lead it home and keep it for a pet, but although we waited for hours no dino came. Maybe they are really extinct after all.

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Many Ways to Ride a Buggy

Yay!!! My computer is all back, faster than ever..
You have probably noticed from earlier photos that there are lots of ways for small bears to ride on the Hamilton Island golf buggies. Here are three more. First off, if you absolutely must obey the letter of the law regarding seat belts, you can strap yourself and your buddies in. The lap part of a lap-sash seat belt will easily hold two small bears and a small cow. Why seat belts on golf buggies? Well, there have been a few accidents where people have rolled buggies and even a few people killed by falling out on sharp corners so the OH&S commissars have decreed that belts must be worn. In fact, only new arrivals seem to wear them, the old hands and locals don't. Second spot, really useful if it is raining, is up under the dash where the glove-box would be if buggies had glove-boxes. Of course, the drawback to this spot is that you can only see where you have been, not where you are going. The third way is the one I like best, just tuck yourself under part of Mum's seat belt. Make sure that you can reach the steering wheel and off you go, bear steering and Mum working the pedals. Buggies are the best on islands and it puzzles me why more places haven't followed Hammo's transportation lead.

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Friday, September 03, 2010


We Are Having Problems

G'day everybody. Sorry about the break in posting but we are having a never-ending string of troubles at the moment. First our heating died and it has taken months to get it fixed. Then Dad's hip operation, which went so well, developed complications. The poor old coot has developed a huge DVT in the other leg and has had daily visits from nurses who jab him in the tummy with needles. He has to take tablets that he says are modified rat poison to eventually dissolve the DVT. His leg swells up during the day. I think it is interesting to watch, but he is going to have to wear a special stocking for ages to fix it. Mum has to wear one of these too so they will be a matched pair. Mum has been off work on carer's leave helping me look after him, and they have changed her work around while she has been away. And to top it all off, my computer died a week ago and it has taken ages to get it back up. We had to rebuild the operating system and then try to find all of the backup files; some of them seem to have disappeared forever. And before I can prepare more pictures for posting I need to buy a later version of Photoshop because the old one won't run under the new operating system. Like I say, one cussed thing after another. Anyhow, here's a picture of Dad in much a happier mood. It was taken in the little Scottish town of Pitlochrie on a freezing cold day. Mum had just found a warm, thick fluffy cap for him and he was really happy with the world. Let's hope it is not too long before he is back to his happy self, because at the moment his grumpy times are driving Mum and I crazy.

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