Well, it’s Christmas again. Almost.

We’ve dug out the advent tree and started hanging decorations on it. We’ve strung some Christmas lights around the walls. The kids are insisting on Christmas songs at bedtime instead of the traditional lullabies…

Makes one almost feel festive. Inga has found two presents with her picture on. (We are using pictures rather than name tags this year, for easy identification.) Joshua has found one (and he thinks another is his, but it’s currently unmarked.)

And we’ve had a couple of trial runs at biscuit baking. Not a bad weekend, really.

Last night was the hottest on record in Melbourne - almost. At midnight it was 30C, and had cooled to only 28C by 7am. However, the cool change came through at about 7.30 and dropped the temperature 8~10 degrees.

As Australia measures things from 9am local time we were saved from a record.

Here’s a link to fun graphs of Melbourne’s temperature.

This afternoon I travel to Brisbane for the Open Source Developers’ Conference. Hopefully it will live up to previous (Melbourne) incarnations.

Melbourne is going thorough its usual ’spring’ weather - 37 degrees one day and 15 the next. We’ve had about 50mm of rain in a fortnight and bushfires that have burned 20 000 hectares. What a place!

If I manage to ride home tonight (.995 certain) then my odometer will go round the clock. 10000 km since I got to Australia… and all on suburban roads. Most of that is commuting as the kids are not yet up to long (20km+) rides yet.

This joy is tempered by finding some interesting pictures of Rolf Vector wheel failures. I’ll check mine tonight as I clean the chain. I put the Rolfs on when I changed the odometer from miles to km, and they have been wonderful for me so far.

Currently in Europe - Iceland at the moment, but previously England. I did not make it to Scotland this time. Hopefully I will make the time to add a page or two of photos. thanks to all of our hosts.

April 25 is ANZAC day. As a recent migrant to Australia it is something that I am still learning to love. It is one of the few occasions that shops close for a half day (or more) and is a public holiday.

The family went for a bike ride along part of the old outer circle railway line - Inga managed 2km each way to our friends’ house for lunch. Joshua and I did the extra bit to our home and ended up with 18km of almost level riding for the day.

Looks like we’ll be buying Inga either a tag along bike or a ‘tail-gattor’ to lift her front wheel off the ground and allow one of us to tow her…

Someone must like my family. Yesterday my wife towed Inga from childcare to the garage (to pick up the car) in our wonderful Papoose Caboose. Then she towed Inga from Joshua’s school home whilst Joshua rode his bike.

When she came to put the trailer away, she found that one of the axle pins (the little thing that holds the wheel on) was missing. But where could it be? Not in the car (garage -> school); nor in our driveway…

A phone call this morning located the offending article at Inga’s childcare, about 8km of riding before its loss was noted.

Oh well, no-one was hurt. We’ll be looking for a secondary security mechanism for these pins before we next take Inga out in it!

You could buy a balancing bike made for the job, or just do what we did and rip the pedals and chain off a cheap hand-me-down. Either way, getting a child to balance on a bicycle is surely the best way to start them off.

Inga spent about two months on her balancing bike, plus time on a ‘real’ bike with training wheels. On Good Friday she announced that she would take her training wheels off so that she could ride over the grass and bumps on the local BMX track more easily.

So off came the training wheels. Inga has not looked back. She will celebrate her third birthday next month, and ride rings round any same-age guests, plus some of the older siblings too!

Big Inga had a birthday on Sunday, and Little Inga decided that we should celebrate. How? With an Easter Egg session and a card. There’s a photo of little Inga licking out the chocolate bowl, but it’s too messy to post here. Disgraceful fun!

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