Yesterday I helped my daughter-in-law, Rosalie, accompany the Mornington Girl Guide group in the Australia Day Parade. It gave an unusual view of this annual event, starting with the assembly of participants in a side street adjacent to Main Street, then following behind bagpipers and girls on stilts, with the Royal Airforce Cadets following behind the Girl Guides in the march.
The crowd was large and appreciative. We marched to Mornington Park, where a young singer sang the National Anthem and the Guides raised the flag, assisted by the cadets.
After a celebratory dinner at my sister and brother-in-laws, complete with china cockatiels and gum blossoms decorating the table, we walked down to the seaside to watch the fireworks, feeling very patriotic.
Another school holiday activity is the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery in Langwarrin, Australia. Three generations found enjoyment putting their own interpretations on the sculptures as they observed from every angle. Our favourite was one that sinuously moved on bearings, with the breeze.
Another little white house with crystals in the windows cast a clear light speckled with rainbow prisms.
So impressed were Grandad and the children that they decided to make their own installation – we women rounded the corner to find them “exhibited” as they froze like stone on a park bench.
Today we went tree-surfing at The Enchanted Maze, Arthurs Seat, Australia.
The older children and my daughter did the adult course, while the younger ones and I did the Nippers version. First we were harnessed up, then started on the aerial obstacle course. It was an adrenalin rush for us all, with careful stepping at heights. Seven-year-old Lily completed the third, most difficult level alone, as it was children only.
As well as tree-surfing, there was a tyre slide, traditional mazes, a 3D maze and an intriguing mirror maze. We had a picnic lunch on the grass before exploring these other features. It was a great day and we were ready for a cooling swim afterwards.
Today we took three granddaughters to the Aquarium. The adventure began with the fish in our own Port Phillip Bay, touch experiences in rock pools then down to coral caves where children could crawl underneath and put their head up in a glass dome in the middle of a fish tank!
The art aquarium was a highlight as children could colour in a fish then have it scanned. Their fish then appeared to swim around in a virtual fish tank on the wall.
A crocodile impressed when seen from above, but the skeleton was also fun to climb on. There were talks in front of a giant shark tank and of course fish and chips for lunch. The Penguins were another highlight and thanks to Iris for some of these photos.