passing time
books for sale
  • Merlin's voyage
    Merlin's voyage
    by Emmanuelle A Buecher-Hall

    in English

  • Le voyage de Merlin (French Edition)
    Le voyage de Merlin (French Edition)
    by Emmanuelle A Buecher-Hall

    en français

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Saturday
Aug052017

Queensland Boulder Festival 2017

Clea and Victor were really keen to compete again as their last competition was in May.  The annual Boulder Festival is always a fun way to track your progress. There were plenty challenging climbs and they both really improve compared to last year. Clea finished 1st and Victor 6th.

(Victor didn't want us to encourage him to much so we stayed discret and didn't take too many photos)

Monday
Jul172017

Lego League (Worlds)

As soon as we came back from Bermuda (it was literaly 6 hours later), Felix flew to Sydney to compete to the Lego League Worlds. 

Here is the article he wrote for his school magazine

First Lego League(FLL) 2016/2017. It has been quite a journey. It began roughly a year ago with 5 students who responded to a very brief message in the school notices. This ended up making those 5 students best friends, have a grasp and wide knowledge on robotics, programming, app development and most importantly, how to be a better person. FLL is a annual international competition, which requires teams of 2-10 people to demonstrate three skills. Firstly, teams must design, build and program a Lego EV3 Mindstorms robot to perform a variety of missions on a board in just two and a half minutes. Everything from the motors to the wheels to the robot must be made out of Lego, which at times became a challenge when we built complex contraptions to autonomously complete missions. The second component is creating a solution to a world/national problem which relates to the theme of that season.

For example, this year the theme was Animal Allies, and we created an mobile-app; SwoopAlert!, which is available for download on Google Play and soon on the App Store. The third component is the Core Values. Core values is known as the demonstration of good human values, such as good teamwork, immense enthusiasm and friendly competition. As our team progressed through to the Regionals, then Nationals and then Internationals, it was so amazing to see such amazing robot designs and experience the culture of other countries while still in friendly competition. First Lego League is one of the few competitions in which you learn a lot more than you would imagine to. We encourage as many people to do FLL this season - it will be an awesome experience!

Sunday
Jul092017

Du bleu plein les yeux

Nous voici de retour d’incroyables vacances aux Bermudes.

Allan (l’oncle de Greg) et Gil nous ont invite a voir les regates de la 35eme coupe de l’America et a decouvrir la vie bermudienne. Nous avons donc quitte l’hiver (relatif) de Brisbane pour le pays des bleus, du sable rose, des shorts et des longues chaussettes.  Ile mythique qui fut aussi temporairement le lieu ou les bateaux deviennent des oiseaux et glissent sur l’eau avec des vitesse faramineuses (plus de 40 nds!).

Tout au long de ces 10 jours nous avons eu un traitement de rois, que ce soit au niveau de l’hebergement (maison avec piscine et frigo plein pour les petits dejeuners), des repas (restarants ou cuisine delicieuse a la maison), des visites (tour en voiture et en bateau de l’ile  avec expliquations tres detaillees), de la meteo (les quelques averses tropicales n’etaient que de courte duree) et bien sur de l’experience inouie que nous avons eu sur l’eau.  Meme la varicelle de Clea ne nous aura pas freine dans nos decouvertes.  

Le plus epoustouflant fut sans doute la journee passee sur l’eau pour voir 2 des courses de l’America’s Cup, entre Oracle (USA) et Emirates (team New Zealand). Nous avions notre badge de VIP et avons passe la journee soit dans le lounge de l’equipe anglaise avec skipper, copequipiers et autre personnel technique prets a repondre a toute question soit sur l’eau sur l’un de leur bateau avec l’un des equipiers (ancient champion olympique) qui commentait les courses. Le ravissement de Greg, comme un petit garcon de 5 ans avec un nouveau train electrique, etait aussi fantastique a observer que les courses elles-memes. Ces bateaux sont des machines impressionnantes et les voir en vrai, sur l’eau, zoomer devant nos yeux etait un privilege hors pair.

Les Bermudes offre des paysages superbes. Les cotes sont decoupees,

l’eau est superbement claire et accueillante,

les maisons colorees avec leur toits blancs (qui tous servent a recuperer de l’eau de pluie) sont charmantes, la vegetation est verdoyante et les petites villes (Hamilton et St George) sont sympahiques.

De nombreuses photos (voir la gallerie a droite ou suivre le lien) illustrent ces 10 jours de vie hors du commun qui resteront un souvenir marquant. Nous ne pouvons que remercier tres chaleureusement nos hotes pour leur incroyable accueil.

 

A notre retour, nous avons passe 24h a New York, histoire de decouvrir un type de paysage totalement oppose! 24h pour une si grande vile c’est bien peu, mais cela nous a donne un petit gout de l’immensite de la ville, de son brouhaha, de son agitation constant et de  l’importance de la verticale. Nous avons marche, marche et marche (plus de 14 000 pas!) au gre des rues et nous avons profite du metro pour reposer nos pieds fatigues. Nous avons pris le ferry pour aller saluer la statue de la liberte.

Nous avons ete ebahis par Time Square qui ne dort jamais – et son magasin M&Ms qui s'etend sur 3 etages.

Nous avons parle d'Histoire aux enfants devant le memorial du 11 septembre.

Nous avons apprecie le vert surprennant de Central Park. Saviez vous qu’il y a des rochers qui invitent a l’escalade? Victor a alors enfin pu re-enfiler ses chaussons d’escalade qu’il avait trimballer pendant 10 jours a l’autre bout du monde et avec d’autres grimpeurs s’est amuse dans un paysage singulier.

Plus de photos de NY dans la gallerie a droite

Apres 2 semaines de vacances, nous sommes de retour, prets a affronter avec une nouvelle vitalite ce second semestre de 2017 qui nous tend les bras.

Sunday
May282017

News from May

Weekends pass so quickly, and so do the weeks and here we are, nearly end of May.

So much happened since the last post on the music side, the climbing side and the school side.

We had a roll of concerts. Felix playing in different bands, he had three concert in the last 10 days. All were very impressive and showed a wide range of musical abilities.

Clea had two this weekend. She also had her first national music exam and passed it with a B+. Well done!

Last weekend, Greg joined Victor and Clea in Melbourne for the climbing Nationals. Using the formula that will be used in the Olympics in 2020, the three climbing categories were represented: bouldering, lead and speed. They went around all the amazing climbing gyms Melbourne has to offer and they tried their best. They had lots of fun competing and cheering their club friends as well as their QLD team members. They both improved compared to last year. Clea surprise everybody in speed. Every run she was qualifying for the next one and ended up 2nd! Her first big medal and lots of pride and joy to share.

Felix finished his sunflower project. Every year there is a big State sunflower competition, which starts early March where many schools participate as it gives the students a great opportunity to think about experimental designs and how to use scientific data. Felix had three seeds to start with. While some students choose to have the biggest, nicest flower, Felix’s aim was to have the tallest sunflower stem. He did some research to try to have the best protocol. 54 days later we had 2 great sunflowers welcoming us at the end of our dock (the third seed never worked).

Felix’s report was selected to represent his school against the other schools. The project ended just when the weather turned. The sunflowers are already showing us that they don’t enjoy autumn too much. Nights are much colder, duvets are out and the sun is only picking out after 6:15am.

The rugby field seems to just wake up just when I arrive at school (Am I arriving too early?)

To Clea’s joy, we are also having regular visits of Lilly, our neighbour’s cat. She wanders around and spends more time on Merlin than her own boat. I must confess that we all like being surprised by this soft visitor.

She is even trying to be helpfull when I am doing some marking!

Monday
May012017

District walk

Clea had a big walk (15km)  this weekend, walking throug the bush and the forest, carrying her own pack.

She was a little apprehensive as she was the only girl from her scout group, meaning she will sleep all by herself (in her own tent). However, her fears didn't bother her too much or too long.

She did great, came back dirty and with a big smile.