March 2019 Archives

Two weeks.  Whoops.  

So two weekends ago was our coast trip.  On the Sunday evening, it being March 17 and all, we watched Labyrinth.  I think I may have missed doing this last year.  Whoops.

Wednesday we went to Indian Pantry with Cath.  Had a few different curries which were all very nice.

Indian Pantry curries

Friday we had a farewell at Malaysian Chapter, but their lunch menu doesn't have any sort of chili rating scale.  I don't mind probably "medium" spiciness, but I don't enjoy burning my mouth off.  So stuck with something a bit boring.  In the evening we watched Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which I don't think I enjoyed as much as the first one.

Malaysian Chapter garlic chicken

Saturday was a good weekend day Getting Things Done.  Did some food shopping.  Went over to R&F's with some of the N-Gang for dinner.  Which was nice until the rest of them all talked about tv shows that I'd never seen .. for like half an hour or more straight.  I got boreder and boreder.  But I did get my own back by inflicting them all with our holiday slideshow (which I got down to 600 photos).

R-F noms

R-F noms

Sunday I spent a good couple of hours processing iPhone photos.  The drama of it randomly screwing with my date stamps is still there.  I ended up writing a full page of instructions for processing all the different sorts of files it outputs, and the full six applications I use to process them all.  Also went to the Green Shed and finally got rid of a whole heap of mum and nana's Tupperware.  Made me kinda sad, but I don't use the stuff and it was just taking up space.  Came home with a card table and some jigsaws.  Did a lamb roast for dinner (yummy) and watched Discovery and Fuller House.

Monday we got home early and in the evening continued Homeland.

Tuesday I read a heap of feeds/emails, had dinner, watched an episode of tv on Netflix, burnt some dvds of photos, backed up my computer, labelled 150 photos, and finished a jigsaw.  All by 8pm.  I don't understand how some days I can get so much done, and others I can barely keep my head above water.

Friday had lunch with the Chrises and Neil.  We shared some food, so I only ended up spending $14 (still $4 more than I wanted to spend).  Watched the first episode of season three of Death in Paradise again.  The one we saw last year where Colin Frizzle turns up, but I was in disbelief it was real.  Think it was pretty far fetched as far as murders go.  

Saturday burnt more dvds of photos and brought all Vic's Lego upstairs so I can work on it on my computer (my old computer doesn't have enough grunt to have five word documents open at once, and my laptop probably doesn't really either (that, and it doesn't have Office, only Open Office which sux donkey balls)).  And it's getting too cold to work downstairs now anyway.  Setup the card table next to my computer so I can pick parts and mark them off as I go.  Popped into the shops to get some supplies then headed out to the club.  Helped a bit with setup etc.  Dinner was quite nice.  Supposedly "Swedish" but just as much Finnish.  Came home so the sweetie could have a full day at home to do uni work.

Wallaroo joey

Club Swedish night

Club Swedish night

Club Swedish night

Club Swedish night

Club Swedish night

Today was quiet.  And COLD.  OMFG.  I relented and turned the heater on a month early.  Just for fifteen minutes first thing in the morning to take the edge off the house.  Did some housework.  Spent entirely too much time rechecking the sets I'd picked parts for at the end of last year, because I wasn't sure where I got up to with them.  Read more of Julie Powell's original blog and watched a couple of videos on her.  Filled the green bin.  Roasted some veggies and had them with leftover lamb for dinner.  Watched Discovery.  Download and processed iPhone photos.  Blogged.

So here we are :)

It started the Wednesday night.  I did all the prep for a beef stroganoff.  So the beef, mushrooms, bacon, onion and garlic, frying it all up so the only work on the weekend would be plugging it in, filling up the slow cooker, and letting it go all afternoon.

Stroganoff prep

Stroganoff prep

And by the end of it, on a weeknight, I still managed a clean kitchen!

Clean kitchen

Friday evening we headed down the coast.  I snapped a picture of one our new trams.

Canberra tram

Drive down was uneventful.  We listened to John Williams the entire way that Stu had downloaded on Spotify.  Couldn't enjoy the scenery though cause it was dark most of the way.

We'd booked to stay at an Airbnb in Sussex Inlet.  Neat little apartment, quite spacious, and a well equipped little kitchen (stovetop but no oven, washing machine/dryer but no dishwasher).  Although previous reviews weren't wrong about rock hard pillows (I brought my own), incorrect wifi password (it was correct in the notification Stu got just before we arrived though), and lack of privacy from a useless curtain on the window above the door, with a view straight from the flat above into our bed (but noone was staying there so not really a big deal).  Pretty much just collapsed into bed (after Stu had a shower that was barely a trickle).

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

Sussex Inlet Airbnb

In the morning I went to have a shower, only to find no water at all.  The taps in the sinks were still running slowly, but even they stopped after a flush or two of the toilet.  My first stay at an Airbnb and THIS is my experience??  I smsed the number we had but got no response.  But Stu used the app a while later and got a response within a few minutes so that was ok.  The cleaner said feral kids think it's funny to turn off the water at the street.  (I had asked Stu to go check that earlier but he hadn't gone out to the street).  So they turned it on again and it was ok.  Although a lot of bubbles all through the pipes made for some interesting noises.

I'd been chatting to Kit about it as well, and they weren't doing much better with their water.  They have solar hot water, but it had been rainy, and with so many people in the house they were getting slightly warm at best.

Had some breakfast then went for a wander around Sussex Inlet.  Just walked down to the inlet, north along the river, then back through the town.  It was only 22C, but with the humidity it felt a lot hotter :(

Sussex Inlet walk

Sussex Inlet walk

Sussex Inlet walk

Pelican at Sussex Inlet

Crocodile in Sussex Inlet

Sussex Inlet walk

Corellas in Sussex Inlet

Sussex Inlet walk

Then we drove to the hall where the party was being held so I could setup the slow cooker.  The hall is quite lovely.  Poured everything into the slow cooker and asked Pete to stir it every hour or so.

Wandandian Progress Hall

Went back to see Kit and Pete's new house which is pretty cool.  Pete has an EPIC shed, and there's heaps of room for all the animals.  Although the dogs didn't like being relegated out the back heh.

Pete's epic shed

Kit's chickens

We didn't actually see Kit - she was out with Mel.

Headed off again.  We went into Huskisson to have some lunch.  So much fried goodness.  Oh and some salad.

Husky Bites lunch

Wandered down to the water to have a look.  

Jervis Bay at Huskisson

Huskisson

Huskisson

Point Perpendicular (centre) and entrance to Jervis Bay

Drove down to Hyams Beach to have a look.  It was full of people.  Yuk.

Hyams Beach

Then we went for a bit of a drive south, and ended up in Booderee National Park, in the Jervis Bay Territory.

Drove around the loop through Jervis Bay Village, and Stu was like - oo look the Federal Police :)

Stopped at Scottish Rocks and wandered down to the beach, then wandered all the way along to Hole in the Wall, then walked back along the road (because it was cooler out of the sun).

Scottish Rocks walk

Beach at Scottish Rocks

Beach at Scottish Rocks

Stu at Scottish Rocks

Beach at Scottish Rocks

Starfish

Rocks at Hole in the Wall

We drove to the end of the road at Murray's Beach, but didn't get out, because it was getting quite late.  We were going to be late for the party, so did the long drive back to Sussex Inlet.  Had a shower, then back to the hall for the party.  The stroganoff was still quite liquid which was a bit disappointing.  Probably shouldn't have used all the stock that I did.  Or at least added a bunch of corn flour.  People did seem to like it though.  Would have done better with something to soak up the juices.

So not only is there quite a large hall, but there's a huge open area all around the hall, including a playground for kids.  People spread out all over the place, meaning the hall was only sparsely populated heh.

And there were some very friendly horsies.

Horsies

Horsies

Party food.

Kit and Pete's engagement

Cheesecakes

And there was some dancing (see what I mean about the hall looking empty!).

Kit and Pete dancing

I may have called it a night once Bohemian Rhapsody was played and sung along to :)

Came back to crash.

In the morning we dropped by the hall to pick up the spoon I'd left behind, although we didn't stay to help clean up because Stu was anxious to get home to do some uni work.  So just drove home, home by lunch time.

Quite a nice weekend, although I did feel a bit grumbly on Sunday afternoon that the weekend was nearly over and I hadn't had any time at home.

One Month On

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It was four weeks ago last night I had my appendix out.  Still doing all right.  Still random stabby pains all over my abdomen though.

Meanwhile.

Wednesday a week and a bit ago we met up with EffanC for dinner at Malaysian Chapter.  They have a new menu but didn't put any effort at all into its presentation, it's just bits of paper in dodgy old sheet protectors.

Malaysian Chapter satay chicken

Thursday was the usual pizza.

Friday the sweetie and I had sushi in town and watched the new Ghostbusters.  It's rated quite poorly on IMDB, but I thought it was a bit of nonsensical fun.  Kit and Pete came up for Kit's brother's wedding, so I gave them the keys during the day but we didn't see them at all Friday night.

Canberra Centre Jellyfish

Saturday Stu went off for a war game with Tom and Damien and I had a quiet morning. Kit and Pete surfaced well after lunch, possibly still over the limit, so I drove Kit to pick up her mum and took them to Kingston so Kit could try on wedding dresses.  In the evening Pete and Leisa were having a combined birthday thing at the Old Canberra Inn, so I drove them to that as well.  Kit still wasn't hungry so I suggested splitting a schnitty, as I don't like huge pub sized servings either.  Worked great, although Kit ate so little of it I ended up having most of it anyway hehe.  Inflicted them with our slide show.  Still too big, at 729 photos.  Still needs more culling.

Sunday Kit and Pete went home.  I just had a quiet day doing stuff.  Finished watching the Stepford Wives which I'd last seen in 2006 and started watching the day before.  Kerry and the kids dropped in around lunch.  They'd come down for a flying visit to see the balloons.  We did some food shopping, and watched Fuller House and Discovery in the evening.

Jake is getting tall

Monday I got up a bit early and went and saw the balloons.  Neil was operating the Square this year and not cooking.  Saw the beagle, mostly its butt.  Then came home.  Had a quiet but productive day.  Even pulled a whole heap of crap out of the spare room.  Including a huge pile to take to the Green Shed.  So can move in there again now, but still need to do a lot of organising.

Tuesday I bought some ten litre plastic boxes to store shoes that don't get used very often.  They stack nicely and are to replace cardboard shoeboxes that silverfish eat.  Trying to get rid of as much cardboard in the house as I can.  Had Turkish for dinner and watched Homeland.

Wednesday I got some more plastic tubs for shoes because I didn't have quite enough.  In the evening I prepped a big batch of steak/bacon/onion/garlic/mushrooms for the weekend.

Thursday was just MacGyver, but no pizza because we'd already had takeaway one night this week.

So there we are, all caught up.  Nothing particularly exciting in there.

Cordeaux Dam

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On the way home from Sydney I made a slight detour to go see Cordeaux Dam, another of Sydney's upper Nepean catchment dams.  This one was opened in 1926.

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

Cordeaux Dam

The trip from Sydney to Parramatta isn't something I ever had the need to do.  And if I was to have done it, I'd have taken the train because it's so much faster.  So I'd never taken the Rivercat to Parramatta.  But on this day, it was such a lovely day and Mum and I had nothing better to do anyway, so we did it!

Explorer of the Seas in Circular Quay
Rivercat to Parramatta

Circular Quay
Rivercat to Parramatta

Circular Quay
Rivercat to Parramatta

Museum of Contemporary Art
Rivercat to Parramatta

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

Explorer of the Seas at Circular Quay
Rivercat to Parramatta

Sydney
Rivercat to Parramatta

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

Dawes Point and Pier One
Rivercat to Parramatta

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

Historic Sydney Observatory
Rivercat to Parramatta

Barangaroo
Rivercat to Parramatta

Barangaroo
Rivercat to Parramatta

Viking Orion (background) and Southern Swan tall ship
Rivercat to Parramatta

Glebe Island aka Anzac Bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

Marlene Matthews Rivercat
Rivercat to Parramatta

Historic Bell's Store, or Fenwick Stone Building, built in the 1880s.  Restored in 2012 (the stepped gable had to be reproduced from an old photo as it had been removed when it was used as Fenwick's tugboat company).
Rivercat to Parramatta

Sydney
Rivercat to Parramatta

Cockatoo Island
Rivercat to Parramatta

Cockatoo Island
Rivercat to Parramatta

Historic buildings on Spectacle Island
Rivercat to Parramatta

Pretty old home in Drummoyne
Rivercat to Parramatta

Gladesville Bridge from the east
Rivercat to Parramatta

Gladesville Bridge from the west
Rivercat to Parramatta

Abbotsford House, built in 1878
Rivercat to Parramatta

Huge house in Abbotsford Point, built 2013
Rivercat to Parramatta

Sydney Rowing Club, Abbotsford
Rivercat to Parramatta

Breakfast Point Country Club
Rivercat to Parramatta

Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, now Rivendell School, part of Concorde Hospital
Rivercat to Parramatta

Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, now Rivendell School, part of Concorde Hospital
Rivercat to Parramatta

Ryde Bridge over the Parramatta River
Rivercat to Parramatta

John Whitton Bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

John Whitton Bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

Apartment buildings at Sydney Olympic Park (troubled Opal Tower at the left)
Rivercat to Parramatta

Parramatta River
Rivercat to Parramatta

Seagulls on a wharf on the Parramatta River
Rivercat to Parramatta

Mangroves on the Parramatta River
Rivercat to Parramatta

Water pipeline bridge
Rivercat to Parramatta

Bin chicken! (Australian White Ibis)
Rivercat to Parramatta

Railway bridge at Camellia
Rivercat to Parramatta

Apartment buildings in Parramatta (Pam and Graham live in the one with the yellow top)
Rivercat to Parramatta

Buildings in Parramatta
Rivercat to Parramatta

Parramatta ferry wharf
Rivercat to Parramatta

Parramatta weir (with lots of debris from the storm the previous night)
Rivercat to Parramatta

Dawn Fraser Rivercat at Parramatta
Rivercat to Parramatta

So as an enticement for me to come to Sydney after Christmas, Mum noted there was a Lego exhibition on at Moore Park.  I suppose that's a good enough excuse ;)

Our first problem (after an easy train and bus ride to Anzac Parade) was finding the damned thing.  The tickets simply said "Entertainment Quarter" with no further detail and NOTHING at the Entertainment Quarter indicating where it was on.  We wandered around for ages.  We asked two different people where to go.  Absolutely abysmal event management!!

Anyways.

Eventually found it.

Lego Logo Mosaic

Lego Cities Logo

This one operated much like the Sydney Icons show I saw a few years back.  Just a few displays (five this time), with Lego to play with.  Last time it was primarily just bricks, but this time there was a mix of bricks and other types of pieces.  Not that I played with any of it heh.

There were five cities - Tokyo, Dubai, London and Sydney, in four corners of the room, with New York in the middle.  Been to all of them except Dubai.

Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Lego Tokyo

Dubai

Lego Dubai

Lego Dubai

Lego Dubai

Lego Dubai

Lego Dubai

Lego Dubai

Lego Dubai

London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Lego London

Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

Lego Sydney

New York

Lego New York

Lego New York

Lego New York

Lego New York

Lego New York

So that was all pretty cool.

My version of the Lego logo vs Ryan McNaught's

Lego coloured seats

Did almost nothing on my todo list today.  Other than wash the towels.

I did bake a Yum, delicious! cake this afternoon.  Delightfully simple and can be made with ingredients that we always have in stock.

Yum delicious cake

Also Stu really didn't feel up to going shopping, so dove into the fridge/freezer to see what we could eat all week.  Found one of Kit's little roosters that she'd given us when they moved, so we slow roasted him for dinner.  I felt more.. reverence.. I guess to this little bird, who I would have seen and fed while he was alive.  And now he's feeding us. 

Roast rooster with bacon skin

Roast rooster

Roast rooster

It'll very much be an eat the fridge/freezer/pantry week this week.

Just waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can go crash..

Sydney Weekend

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Back on 8 February I headed up to Sydney to catch up with Mum for Christmas.  Just a few weeks late haha.

Drove up Friday evening (after having a random day off which was nice) and looked at some of Mum's holiday photo slide shows.

On Saturday morning we headed into The Entertainment Quarter for the latest Ryan McNaught Lego exhibition - Lego Cities.  We took the train to Central and a bus down Anzac Parade (where I think it's amusing they're putting light rail back in after it being gone for so long).

Central Station

Central Station

Except the Entertainment Quarter is huge and there was literally no information whatsover on the tickets about where to go.  Lucky we were early because we walked around for ages, and had to ask two separate people where it was.  Pathetic event management.

I'll leave the Lego to a separate post.

So we were done by 11am but it was a case of "now what?".  It was such a lovely day I didn't want to just go back to Mum's and do nothing.  We were in Sydney for heavens' sake!  Even if we just took a Manly Ferry and back it'd be *something*.  But then I thought, you know I've never taken the ferry to Parramatta before.  So we hopped on a bus to Circular Quay, topped my Opal Card, and hopped on a River Cat.  I decided not to sit outside in the sun (I came for a Lego show, so no hat, sunscreen or sunglasses, and did get ripped off by the pharmacy at Circular Quay just to get some sunscreen), so got seats on the left, fortunately the windows open!

I'll leave the ferry trip to a separate post.

On the way Mum called Pam and asked if she'd like to catch up for lunch (it was about 13:30 by this point).  So she met us at the ferry terminal.  Parramatta had been hit hard by the storm the previous night, and there were a lot of downed trees.  Pam's place (which is brand new, and they are the first tenants in the place) got heaps of water from leaky windows.  Note to self: don't buy an apartment in any new building until the building industry can get their act together - shoddy work is the norm on anything built since the building deregulation thirty years ago or whenever it was).  

Tree blown down in storm

We wandered up to Church Street to look for some lunch (it's after 14:00 by this point).  I stipulated it needed to be a *light* lunch as I was going out for dinner.  So we ended up at Volcanos Steakhouse, where we thought we'd get a few starters and call it a day.  Except their starters were HUGE.  And then Pam said she doesn't eat cheese, after the things Mum and I ordered had cheese.  I wish she'd said that before.  #grunt.  If I'd known all that I wouldn't have got any more than two dishes, tops.  They were pretty good though!

Volcanos Parramatta Mozarella Sticks

Volcanos Parramatta Wedges

Volcanos Parramatta Cheesy Garlic Bread

After eating way too much, we headed for the station (the ferry is nice and all but it takes like an hour and a half). 

St John's Parramatta
St John's Parramatta

Parramatta Town Hall
Parramatta Town Hall

Caught an inter-urban back to Central, and another train back to Mum's.

I had twenty minutes, which gave me just enough time to have a shower, then head out again.

Met up with Daniel and Fi at Redfern station and we walked down to the Duck Inn Restaurant and Pub.  I started with a delicious Grifter watermelon pilsner (Serpent's Kiss) that was perfect for a humid Sydney summer evening, and had one other that it seems I didn't check in, so don't remember which.  Could have been the Mismatch Lager, but not sure.

Duck Inn Beers

Because I had such a big late lunch, I was happy with just starters again.  And Daniel and Fi had spent the day down at Wollongong with Daniel's parents so didn't feel like too much either so that worked out.  And they all had duck in them!

Starting with confit duck loaded fries with fig, burgundy, thyme mayo, liquid gruyere cheese and scallions, which was amazing

Duck Inn loaded fries

And also steamed bao buns with shredded five spice duck, pickled carrots and daikon, coriander, chili and hoisin sauce, also amazing, and peking duck spring rolls served with micro herbs and soy infusion dripping sauce.

Duck Inn bao rolls and spring rolls

Was a lovely evening catching up with those guys.  I owe them a beer though!

Sunday morning I went to church with Mum, hoping to see the Cartans, as they're in their nineties now and times to see them may be limited..  But they weren't there.

So then headed off to Luc and Lizzi's to do a penultimate donut photo with Ryan, and ended up staying for lunch which was lovely.

Then headed for home.  I took a slight detour to go see Cordeaux Dam.  Again you can drive right up to it which is nice.

I'll leave the dam to a separate post.

And finally home.

Monday night I started feeling sick.  Just a cold.  But after having so much time off I felt bad about taking any more time off, so carried on.  Fortunately it wasn't a bad cold so that was good.  Only lasted a few days.

Pretty quiet week otherwise, just continuing tv watching of MacGyver, Fuller House, Discovery, and we started watching season 7 of Homeland.  I also started scanning the last two analogue photo albums of Mum's (there were two holiday albums squirrelled away), and started labelling my last holiday photos.

This weekend has also been really quiet.  I haven't left the house!  Just getting stuff done, filing photos, labelling photos, doing jigsaws, basically weekendy type stuff.  Last night we watched Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which was a bit of fun, if a bit far fetched.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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