Today is Con’s birthday, so from everyone here, and back in Clydach I’m sure, a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you dude. I thought I’d published the rest of this post already, but it was just sat there in my draft folder, waiting to go live. Sorry for the delay…
DJ Hydrophonics (our friend Con of Rescued Entertainment in Australia) has released a new mix, his first non-Drum n’ Bass one apparently. Click the big play button below to listen to it.
After taking Anna to the playground in the morning, we went to TGI Friday here in Astana. Although some friends comment on the prices, occasional staff attitude issues and better alternatives, I hadn’t tried the Astana branch at this point (20th April). The burger was tasty, the cocktail (custom ordered as the menu didn’t match what I remembered from a UK edition) well made and just right ratio of ingredients. Irina’s Mum came with us, Anna was very well behaved (I was a little concerned she’d try throwing the big girls ceramic plate on the floor) and by the end of the meal I was very glad we went there, and perhaps a little tipsy 🙂
We have since visited again once or twice, and given that there are other expensive restaurants in Astana, and sometimes you just want a Western style burger, I’d happily recommend you try it at least once – if nothing else you’ll at least be able to criticize from personal experience, if you don’t end up liking it 🙂
Onto some photos taken on the 20th of April this year, my birthday and I think one of the first times we took Anna out to play in the playground just round the corner from us. The environment isn’t exactly the safest, but no worse than many parks I used to play at as a child in the 80s in terms of sand as a floor, and the equipment has holes to bolt it to the ground, but it isn’t.
The weather now is a little colder than it was when we shot the videos, so I suspect if we haven’t already had our last swing and slide trip of 2010, we will do soon. Our neighbours’ hearts can only take so much (they tend to wrap children up a lot warmer here, even during comparatively mild weather), and to be fair the metal poles will soon get too cold for Anna to hold on to for any length of time.
The pictures and videos of Anna have now moved onto the 20th April, meaning I have about a month and a half to catch up with 7 months worth of backlog! Anyway, this was shot on the morning of my birthday this year, in the play area near our flats. Anna can now hold on to the roundabout by herself, and she seems to enjoy giving me a heart attack by trying to get off the ride whilst it is still spinning round. A lot of the time she now just sits on the foot rest and watches the world go by, occasionally pushing the roundabout around with her feet. As the winter gets colder, we spend less time out doors, and as no locals go and play there already (I’ve only had a few people tell me off for letting my daughter play in these sub-arctic (it was around 5-10 Celsius at the time!) conditions) there aren’t any children for her to play with right now. However, there is now one other child in her weektime playgroup sessions, and I’m hoping tomorrow’s goes as well as Tuesday’s did.
Back on the 16th of April (a few days before my birthday) we all popped over to the Agnew’s residence, as we don’t get a lot of opportunities to catch up with each others’ news. I forgot to ask if it was OK to publish photos of our friends, so you will have to make do with just a photo of Anna and me. She is proudly wearing her “I love Wales” t-shirt, and by the looks of it, about to make a grab for something she isn’t supposed to. You may remember that last Christmas we spent Christmas Day at the Agnews, and had a great time; this year however, we will be spending Christmas and New Year back in Britain, and giving our friends a bit of piece and quiet 🙂 Looking back at these pictures, I’m still surprised at just how much Anna’s hair has grown in such a short amount of time!
The first of these two videos (featuring Latin/Mardi Gras style dancers) has a brief appearance from Anna in it, hence this post just making it into the Anna’s Videos category. I just wanted to give a quick explanation in case you are watching these clips whilst visiting Anna Merriman‘s site – there is a reason for the scantily dressed women appearing on her site 🙂
As you’ll remember from the recent “Aunty Gulya’s Grandson’s Birthday” post, the 3rd of April saw all three of us attending the Duman hotel for a small boy’s birthday party. He and his friends had a magician in another room, whilst the adult guests were presented with the following. I’m not certain, but I think if you check the April archives on this site, you may find a clip or two of the magician?
This second clip features a Turkish belly dancer entertaining everyone, and proving that her percussion was strong enough to stand on!
On the 3rd of April, we had been invited to attend a boy’s birthday being at the Duman hotel, just over the road from us. The celebrations were pretty extravagant, as you’ll see when I post the videos from that day, but he seemed happy enough, and it was interesting to see how kids’ parties differ across the world. Whilst we did have exotic dancers, the kids playing in the corridor outside had a magician to keep them occupied.
Another video shot on Irina’s birthday (31st of January), here we have a quick clip of Anna munching on some fruit, and continuing to practice walking around. There were definitely not her first steps, but you can see how the experience is still relatively new to her. Towards the end of the clip you can see Losha, Ira’s Dad, Zakhar, Rossita, Balzhan and Dr Natalya.
Which reminds me, no idea when it will be broadcast, but Karra will probably be filmed tonight for a piece in Astana’s (as in the TV channel, not the city itself) news program. Something to do with black cats not being unlucky! (The reminder being that Balzhan is the reporter involved).
Just noticed that there are two or three YouTube videos that need to be embedded before catching up with those featuring Anna since we got back to Astana.
This one was shot on Irina’s birthday, and it looks a little like they are playing something similar to dodgeball. I was always more of a British Bulldog lover personally, for the same reason I preferred playing rugby to football. Precise aim and co-ordination were never my strengths, body checking someone and or grabbing a ball was more my thing.
Anyway, we have another video to come after this one, then we’ll be around the end of March timeline wise.
Delayed in two senses. When Nick came up to Evesham (btw big congratulations to him for recently passing his driving test!) he bought the Christmas and Birthday presents that we had not been able to open due to being in Kazakhstan at the time. Even though his son Jack was about to be born, we really appreciated him making the effort and making sure we had some more time together (he also had a job interview in Cheltenham, so the timing was perfect). The second part of the delay? The video of this evening was posted a little over a month ago. I have been very slack recently at posting to this blog, other than occasional tweets. Now that PockeTwit (my preferred Windows Mobile twitter client) isn’t working due to OAuth being required for logins, the site has been quite bare recently. I am hoping to put up a few more posts by the end of the week, and if I can just create 36 hours in a day, I might even manage to post more next week 🙂 Oh, 12th of March is the date these photos were taken, which reminds me, I need to check if AnnaMerriman.com is still pulling these posts in automatically, and also start manually embedding those videos that don’t make it across.