Results tagged “Christmas” from Kazza the Blank One

Gosh what a busy week.

So Sunday a week ago was the Lego show at Ngunnawal.  Earlier in the day, which I didn't note last time, we went to Aldi and saw that they've changed their coin locks so my tool will no longer work with them.  Bastards.  I wouldn't mind using a coin if shopping centres could get off their asses and have a decent trolley return system, but they don't, which is why I'll continue to use my tool until it no longer works.

Pretty tree

Monday morning I woke up at 4:15.  Hurrah.  And couldn't get back to sleep.  At least the day at work was relatively peaceful.  I cleaned out my locker and did a bit of inbox tidying.  After work we did some food shopping for Christmas.  But I was acting as a go-between for a couple of guys at work for a crisis that was going on, and so trying to rapidly type messages to both of them.  But OMFG iPhone autocorrect is infuriating sometimes.  It kept changing words that I'd typed correctly into different, incorrect, words, and so I'd have to keep retyping everything and sending correction message after correction message.  I swear I nearly smashed the damned phone onto the ground.  And I managed to screw up the steaks I cooked for dinner.  Yay.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 5:10.  Hurrah.  None of us were wanting to touch anything at work, because who wants to risk breaking anything so close to the break.  But as it turned out, the crisis the day before (still continuing Tuesday) was caused by someone changing something on Monday, and not telling their own damned team what they'd done.  So the others in the team had no idea that the problem was caused by one of their own.  Our team was dumbfounded.  I did however delete a bunch of Dev firewall rules for servers that no longer existed.  I figured if I broke anything in an environment that was being shut down anyway noone would care :)  Had a couple of sneaky drinks that we had leftover from the party before going home.  Had a super relaxing afternoon.  I even managed to finish scanning Mum's 1960s negatives and finish labelling our Hong Kong/Singapore photos, both of which I'd wanted to get done before Christmas, and I did!  In the evening we watched the Carols by Candlelight, which is so much better than the Sydney one.  It's more traditional and more mature and just not as *tacky* as Sydney.  

Look how low the lake is at the moment!  A good six inches down on its normal height.
Low lake

I may have iced and sprinkled some of the gingerbread cookies.

Decorated gingerbread

Decorated gingerbread

This is the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I got a better view of them on TV than I did in the theatre.

Harry Potter cast

Harry Potter cast

Wednesday.  Christmas Day.  Had a fairly relaxed morning.  Well other than having to take three quarters of an hour out of it to go feed Chrissie's animals, and clean up the cat poop one of the cats had done in the bath tub.  Hurrah.  The last hour before lunch was pretty busy, but the sweetie helped me with stuff so that was nice.  Annie and the family came over and we started snacking.  Then Mum arrived and we had Christmas lunch of prawns, ham, salad, bread, dips.  Then Stu put on stoopid YouTube videos so I went and did my own thing.  

Christmas presents

We got the house some new towels for Christmas.
Christmas towels

Christmas snackages

Christmas table

Epic prawn platter

Christmas feast

My Christmas lunch

Christmas dessert

Mum brought this down from the cleanout at Diana and Grahams.  I can't believe noone else in their family snaffled this up.  And the wedding favours on top were from *our* wedding!
Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Christmas tree

Me and Mum

After everyone had left, Mum went off to go catch a tram, because they were free.  I went to put on a Christmas movie I had saved in my Netflix list, only to find that Netflix had deleted them all.  Bastards.  Moral of the story:  if you see something you want to watch on Netflix, watch it as soon as you can, because it won't be around for long.  Not the first time we've been caught.  I ended up watching The Movies that Made Us: Home Alone.  We watched Love Actually in the evening.  Well Mum and I did.  Stu ran away.

Thursday woke up early.  Hurrah.  Went to Bunnings in the morning with Mum.  Tried to have a sleep when we got back.  Failed.  Spent ages going through Mum's photos with her and updating labels with extra infos.  At one point we came across photos of the new Youth Hostel in Canberra that she was at the opening for in 1968.  So we went for a drive to try and find it.  We found it but the view is covered by trees, and even the building has had a lot of work done around it.  Had pizza for dinner and watched some BBT and into season 5 of Fuller House.  Played a couple of rounds of the basic game of Itchy Feet, a game I got for Christmas.  It was a little boring as the basic game, but may be better with the expansions, but I was too tired and cranky to feel like trying them.

Mum ate all the leftover prawns for us ;)
Mum and prawns

Friday woke up at 2am, didn't get back to sleep til after 3:30.  Then woke up around 6:30 with an aching spine.  Hurrah.  Mum went off to Chrissie's for the morning, which gave me peace and quiet to tidy the house and prepare lunch.  David arrived just before lunch, and we had roast pork with a lot of crackling and it was all very yummy.  Although not convinced by the stuffing (most of which oozed out and then burnt).  After lunch Mum left to go visit friends on her way home, David went to work and Stu went to the club, leaving me home alone.  I had a bit of a look at my todo list for the rest of the break but didn't actually do much.  Had some crackers and dip for dinner and a piece of crackling.  Healthy dinner, yay.  Watched 28 Days in the evening which I enjoyed.

Pork roast

Veggies before

Pork roast after

Pork roast carved

Potato bake

Veggies after

My lunch

Epic leftovers

Kaz and Stu at Christmas

Bon bon toys

This is what we call Five O'Clock Charlie - the smoke blowing in from the east.  It's usually more like 7pm though.  These photos were taken just four minutes apart.

Five o'clock Charlie before

Five o'clock Charlie after

Saturday woke up at 5:30 with an aching spine.  Hurrah.  With no car and no sweetie we couldn't do any shopping.  So grabbed the little brother to go storage tub shopping.  Basically there's a bunch of stuff in the dungeon and the spare room that's just all over the ground because there's no cupboard space, and I don't want to put any of it in the garage because of all the bugs.  But you can't even walk in those rooms because they're so choked up, so we can't even start with the decluttering of them.  So the idea is to use tubs as temporary storage to clear the rooms enough to be able to work in them again.  Once things are clearer, those tubs will be for more permanent storage of things that are in cardboard boxes right now - not good because, silverfish.  Spent the afternoon rearranging and filling tubs and getting rid of stuff.  Tidied the linen cupboard, the garage, the dungeon room, the hobby room.  So that was pretty good.  In the evening I watched Phar Lap, which I *might* have seen once more since seeing it at the movies in about 1983, but may not have.  Lots of been-there's heh.  Started watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but then David pointed out that The Sound of Music was on, so may have accidentally watched the rest of that.  Even though I have it on DVD with no ads.  Whoops.

As I was cleaning out the linen cupboard, I found that my roller blades had completely disintegrated!! :(

Roller blades disintegrated

Roller blades disintegrated

When I was in the garage working, I heard a scratching on the door outside.  When I went to look, there was an itty bitty little blue tongue lizard.  He was pretty energetic too because he was so warm but I still managed to catch him for a photo.

Teeny blue tongue

Teeny blue tongue

Sunday was lots more tidying and organising.  Also a bunch of computer work.  Finished watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which was silly but a bit of fun.  I totally want a food machine ;)

Lego heads

Monday not a lot of physical stuff, mostly computer stuff, including catching up on blogging.  Went out for lunch and did a bit of shopping.  Picked up a heap of lemons off the ground, and made a lemon meringue pie with five of them.  Managed to piss everyone off after dinner, and so instead of watching Die Hard 4 we all got grumpy with each other and did our own thing.  I watched Sliding Doors which I first saw a few years ago.  

Blue sky!  Haven't seen blue sky in weeks!  It's gone again now though.
Blue sky has been so rare the past three weeks

Lemons

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Today I've pretty much been doing computer stuff all day - downloading and processing photos and blogging.  The weather is making me extremelly tense.  Canberra new year festivities have been cancelled.  We were thinking about going to the club but don't think we're going to now.  I certainly couldn't concentrate on writing up my year in review post so that will have to wait.  Have a happy new year and stay safe everyone!

Sunday afternoon watched the finale of The Amazing Race.  I quite enjoyed the season, although with a limited Australian budget they only went to two other continents (Africa and Asia).  After "the influencers" went, there wasn't really anyone I *didn't* want to win, except maybe the nurses, they came across as a bit dumb.  Good on the guys that won!

Monday was too busy to actually achieve anything much at work.  hrmm.  I did manage to get dinner/washing/kitchen done by 19:25 which was nice.

Tuesday wasn't much better at work - so busy I don't know where to start, and when I do start it's just interruption after interruption.  So much smoke around too!  And I totally ruined David's day by preempting Christmas shopping on him.  

Tuesday evening went to Chrissie's for dinner - some yummy fried chicken, skewers and fried rice.

Kid in a box!

Big brothers are great

Fried chicken at Chrissie's

Chicken feast

We started calling the smoke Five O'Clock Charlie because it keeps coming around in the evening.

Smoky evening

Tuesday night I couldn't get to sleep - stoopid restless legs.  Then work up really early.  Hurrah.  Got cranky at Italian Bite putting the price of their small place up from $7.90 to $9.50.  So went to Ali Baba, only to get cranky at them because they've downsized their kebabs - meaning if you ask for a small you get a small, but it's the price of their "original".  So $9.90 for a small.  Not. Happy. Jan.  They'll go out of business at that rate, with Yarralumla kebabs offering about four times the food for only $5 more.  

Blood sunrise

Why did the ducks cross the road?

Wednesday night I went to bed early, but another night of restless legs keeping me awake late.  Zombie day Thursday.  Finished BBT up to the end of season 4.  Had a wildly unhealthy lunch with the sweetie at Kimchi.

Kimchi fried chicken

Mount Ainslie is gone

Friday I woke up at 4:15 stressing about the party.  Then. Smoke.  So. Much. Smoke.  One guy thought we should cancel, but I already had all the meat.  We thought about doing it on prem, but the poo-pooers probably would have had a hissy fit, so we went ahead with the lake anyway.  Noone did any running around, we just chilled and ate and drank and had quite a lovely time, and there was even a slight breeze to make it all less unpleasant.  At one point there was just me and twenty-eight other boys ;)  Unfortunately there was a *lot* of extra food as there were less people and it was so damned hot.  I caught my duck again, although I didn't catch her wings so she was a bit more stressed and uncomfortable.  Then she pooped on my hand haha.

So much smoke

So much smoke

Trolley loads

Ute loads

Lake bbq

Gracie the duck

Came home and we watched Die Hard 2.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5:00 stressing about the leftovers.  Because that's what I do.  Le sigh. 

Blood sunrise

Blood sunrise through the plum tree

Spent much of the day scanning mum's negatives and labelling Singapore photos.  David and I had some of the leftover sausages in the morning, and we didn't die of food poisoning, w00t. I might have made gingerbread cookies.

Gingerbread cookies

Went to the Green Shed in the afternoon and did a bit of shopping in Gungahlin.  Finished off last week's lamb for dinner, watched some BBT, then Carols in the Domain.  We haven't watched commercial television in literally months, and when we turned on the tv guess what, a commercial.  Le sigh.  I reckon there's more adverts and promotions and just *fluff* than actual singing.  Next year I might time it.  The Sydney one is always a bit lame.  No Ode to Joy or Hallelujah chorus, and only one or two hymns.  And I was surprised that they allowed candles during the total fire ban, but apparently they're allowed for "religious ceremonies" so long as there's suitable containment.

Carols by candlelight

Today was pretty much all just housework and getting the place tidied up for Christmas and having peoples over.  I did play through the "Rime" escape game which was pretty good.  Got stuck in a couple of places where I didn't even realise you could click on certain things.  The "ending" was a little odd, and got a bit complicated, probably wouldn't have been able to solve it without walkthroughs.

And there's a big white bird outside our window eating Kit's plums.

Cockatoo eating the plums

Cockatoo eating the plums

The lee of the stone

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Bookending this entry with roast dinners.  The little brother came up Sunday night (a bit late because of the Kat) and we had roast pork for dinner.  The oven was chock-a-block full.

Pork roast

But before that I spent the afternoon doing photo stuff and blogging.  

The creepers are getting a bit out of hand..

Creepers

We also changed Stumpy's bark.  He had fun burrowing around, even under his water/food plate.

Silly Stumpy

And we got the spare room ready for David to live in (part time).

Before..
Spare room before

After..
Spare room after

Spare room cupboards

Monday got home early, did some washing, photo labelling and cooked and ate dinner and suddenly it was like 8pm?? What the??  Cleaned the kitchen and continued photo labelling.

Tuesday saw this honeyeater in Target.  Aquila said it was nesting season - it was looking for new bedding ;)

Honeyeater in Target

And I saw this spectacular rainbow on the bus.

Bus rainbow

Evening was dinner, not so late this time, backed up my computer, photo labelling and oops there was a jigsaw.  Mum called so it ended up being mostly jigsaw and not photo labelling.  Also.  We have no idea what is happening at Christmas yet!  Just saying ;)

Tuesday night I had restless legs so couldn't get to sleep, so Wednesday was a zombie day.  But I did get caught up on Tuesday night's photo labelling.

Thursday we finshed BBT season 3 and started into season 4.  The boys talked me into making a Yum! Delicious! cake.. so much for low carb.  It was a nice idea, but I wasn't getting to keto - I was eating too much vegetation for that.  I know, weird right - I'm a self-confessed carnivore, but I was actually getting sick of eating meat!  I couldn't *not* eat vegetation - it just felt wrong.  Such a weird thing.  Anyways.  It wasn't doing anything at all for the weight, so went back to a more sensible diet.  Mostly so I can have cereal in the mornings and not stress about lunches (dinners are always easy for low carb - meat/salad or meat/vegetables, but breakfast and lunches are a killer).

Had a crazy insane busy week at work.  And it's been crazy insane busy at home too.  Le sigh.

I got a toasted sandwich maker on Tuesday and David used it for the rest of the week.  I had a go on Saturday morning.

Toasted sandwich maker

Toasted cheese sandwich

He also heard me complaining about our Jamie Oliver Tefal frying pan that promised it was dishwasher-safe BUT WAS NOT and so had lost a lot of its non-stickiness and was destroying anything I tried to cook.. and bought me a new frying pan!

New frying pan

Saturday was a super busy day of doing stuff around the house.  The todo list went on and on and on. I did quite a bit of tidying in the lounge room and dungeon and garage.  Collapsed in the afternoon in front of The Amazing Race (yayy the "influencers" are gone!!  I had taken an instant disliking to them (not only because the term "influencer" actually means "narcissist" (have you seen her pics - they're all of her in a bikini), but also because they played dirty right from the get-go).  Moving on.  Ash actually seemed like a nice enough person and tv shows never show the full story, but was still glad they're gone).  In the evening watched The Secret of NIMH.  I read the book in 1985.  When I was in year 7 in 1986 it came up in conversation in my English class, and I told my teacher (Mrs Fox?) it was the second best book I read last year.  She asked what was the best?  And I said Star Wars.  :)  All I remembered about it were the rats learned to read after being experimented on, and they had to move "to the lee of the stone".  

I might have also started putting up Christmas decorations.  On account of I'm going to be way too busy next weekend.

Christmas tree

This week the ribbon grass has been flowering.  Such sweet little flowers that only last a day.

Ribbon grass flower

Ribbon grass flower

Today I (mostly) finished putting up decorations, helped Stu clean off his desk, did food shopping, and suddenly it's time to start prepping dinner.  The little brother came back and lamb roast and BBT were had, then blogging and *blink* it's bed time.  Life is going way way way too fast!

Lamb roast

The Silly Season

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Wednesday was first work Christmas party.  It was ok but nothing special.  Didn't get too silly.  Although some of the guys did, getting in a little late the next morning :)

Friday was "my" Christmas party.  Almost 60 people this year!  Getting out of control haha!  But everyone had a great time.  Well maybe except DC who got hit with *something*, no idea what.  And I did forget the Coke Zero.  And cooking oil.  I didn't stay til the end on account of the sweetie wanted to get home (and we needed to help Kit pack the truck).  I did catch the very same duck again :)  (she even came back a few minutes later and ate out of my hand so couldn't have been too traumatised!)

Just me and a duck

So yeah last night was helping load the truck.  Kit doesn't have a lot of *stuff* but Pete does and it's mostly awkward big stuff that doesn't fit in boxes.  I collapsed about 10:30 but there was still a lot in the garage to try and get in. 

Thursday was whisky night, and opened the new bar.

Whisky night 2018

Friday we took the day off to go do shopping for the club Christmas in July, which we've now cooked for the past four years.  Headed out Friday arvo and fired up the pizza oven and had some yummy pizzas.

Saturday was FIRE all morning which was pretty awesome.  Not so awesome: having holes burnt in my jumper - that I wasn't even wearing!!  It was a ways off, but not protected from the raining leaves of fire from the other gentlemen being a little too enthusiastic piling stuff onto the fire.  At least my fire was civilised.  Pork into the oven early afternoon but it just would not get hot.  Even though it was in for five hours, the crackling didn't get properly crackling.  It was ok, but not great.  Anyways, everyone else had a good time and enjoyed the food.  Came home with a 1L decor container of leftover pork and mashed potato.

Came home Sunday morning and then tried to have an actual weekend.

This afternoon I had the spaced-out feeling and cough that could indicate only one thing - that I'm getting sick :(  Not happy.  

Didn't get much done tonight on account of not really feeling like it.

But I did scan twelve more USA 2004 photos of mum's, including this one, which is quite fun.

Bald Eagle Attack

Taken in Montana, near Glacier National Park.  Apparently it's not there anymore which is pretty sad.

The End of the Year

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Saturday 23.12.17

Dropped into Chrissie's to pick up keys and instructions for animal feeding, then did our food shopping for the week.  

Sunday 24.12.17 - Christmas Eve

Spent pretty much the entire afternoon cooking.  I cooked up a Christmas caramel slice (flavoured with a little ginger and spice), a cherry/raspberry white chocolate cheesecake that looked like crap, whoops, and then a 2.8kg piece of roast pork, as well as potato bake and roast veggies.  In the evening we had our Christmas Eve feast and watched new episodes of Fuller House, and started watching season four of Rake.

Pork and potato feast

Pork and potato feast

The fridge is choc-a-block full!

Full fridge

Monday 25.12.17 - Christmas Day

Had a relaxing and quiet morning because I didn't need to do any cooking.  I did clean up the kitchen, the bathroom, and the vomit some animal had left on our front patio - gross!!!  The sweetie and I went out and did a little pokegressing, then dropped into Chrissie's to feed the animals.  Came home and did a final bit of house tidying (and found out both families were coming for dessert, not just one).  After lunch (I had leftover pork and potato - yum!) Annie and the kids came over for dessert, and a little while later Scott and the family came over as well.  There was so. much. dessert.  And I'm not even a big dessert person.  My teeth hurt just looking at all the sugar!

Christmas caramel slice

Christmas desserts

By the time everyone left the sweetie and I were completely exhausted from *people*.  I cooked up the section of crackling that had been under the roast and so not crackled, and had that for dinner.  In the evening just Fuller House and Rake.

Tuesday 26.12.17 - Boxing Day

Did a bit of decluttering in the spare room - pulled out a pile of clothes to give/throw away, and started separating some of the stuff in the entrance way of what to Green Shed/Freecycle/eBay.  Cleaned the kitchen and family room window sills and trimmed the thyme which had been going a little crazy and tidied up all the herbs.  Did a bit of jigsawing, and worked on my new Nanoblocks building.  In the evening we went to Kit's as she and Pete were having a barbeque and a bunch of their friends came.  Stayed up probably a little too late, but it was a nice night.

Kit boxing day party

Wednesday 27.12.17

Had a bit of a slow start.  Did a water change in the angel tank.  We'd been planning to meet up with Potty etc to see a movie, but in between deciding which movie/session to see and actually booking it, they sold out.  We met up with them at the mall anyway for lunch (I also needed a few things at the shops so did that first).  Then everyone came back to our place for dessert take 2 (and the kids had a swim as well).  So I had to put away all the stuff that I'd spread out on the lounge room floor back into the spare room, where it's now out of sight out of mind :(  We put on the animated live action The Jungle Book to watch in the afternoon.  I say animated because just about the only thing that was real in the entire movie was the kid.  Still, it wasn't too bad.  I did the edge for the World's Most Difficult Jigsaw while watching.  By the time everyone left the sweetie and I were completely exhausted from *people*.  That and an entire day gone with pretty much nothing to show for it.

Thursday 28.12.17

Alternated between fifteen minutes at a time doing some deep cleaning in the bathroom, and doing the big jigsaw.  In the evening (it was Thursday after all), the sweetie ordered an epic pizza from Dominos.  It was nice enough, but it was sorely lacking in pepperoni, which was pretty disappointing.

Epic pizza

We watched The Space Between Us, which was nice enough, but some of the problems with it annoyed me (spoilers!!) - like being able to have online chats in real time - don't you know there's a three to twenty-four minute delay each way on comms (depending on position in orbits)??  Or what are they going to feed the kid?  I'm sure they didn't send any baby formula on the mission!  And I did call out the father very early on.

Friday 29.12.17

Just a few bits and pieces in the morning, including testing the dead LED fish tank light in the fitting downstairs.  I bought the LED light in April, but it died a week or so ago.  I'm pretty pissed off about that because the light was twice the price of a regular fluoro light, but it only lasted half as long.  I'm also pretty pissed that we don't have a receipt, because the sweetie doesn't tend to keep receipts.  Going to have to make a point of always getting him to give me receipts when we go shopping.  I know exactly when we bought it, and it should be in the sweetie's credit card statements, so going to try our luck getting a refund or replacement.  Moral of the story:  AquaOne is evil, and their products are crappy (always have been).  We bought another LED light in October that's still working, but we don't have a receipt for it either, so can guarantee it's going to die shortly too :(

Went into Belco to get our pool water tested.  Good news is our sunscreen levels are now down to the correct levels after last summer's dramas.  Bad news is there's no buffering (total alkalinity), which means it's all a bit unstable.  And even though our test kits say there's plenty of chlorine, the pool shop testing says there's none.  *sigh*

Went into the city for doctor stuff and lunch.  We went to Hero Sushi which is usually crowded and pretty good, but it was half empty and all the hot food was cold which wasn't much fun. Mostly just sorted pairs of pieces in the little jigsaw in the afternoon.  Had a swim then added a bunch of pool chemicals.

Saturday 30.12.17

Finished The World's Most Difficult jigsaw (it's not) fairly quickly in the morning, then finished the Nanoblocks Empire State Building.

Nanoblocks Empire State Building

Worked on the big jigsaw for a while in the afternoon so could finish it by the end of the year.  Serena came over after seeing Kit, and had a quick swim.  We watched Coyote Ugly in the evening which I first saw on the plane to the USA in 2000.  I didn't realise I'd seen it again back in 2003.  

Sunday 31.12.17 - New Years Eve

Was awake from dentist time to about 5:30am, then only managed about another two hours sleep after that.  So pretty tired and a very slow morning.  Watched Cinderella while finishing off that section of the jigsaw.  It's a pretty lame movie actually.  I don't think I've seen it since I was a kid.  There's a whole heap of just slapstick, and the "love" story is pathetic.  How do you fall in love with someone without them even saying a word??  Sure you can get a bit of a crush, but that's not really enough to live "happily ever after". 

Went out for lunch at the markets and to do our food shopping.  We didn't do much shopping as none of the butchers were open, I was super tired so couldn't even think about vegetables (and Tom's was very depleted on stock anyway).  We did pick up a huge pile of fish for $19/kg though, gave some to Kit, froze some, and will have it as a couple of meals in the next few days. 

This afternoon has just been catching up on this blog, and I've still got to finish my year in review post.  I started off well this year, taking notes for most of the year at the beginning of December.  But then everything just went crazy before Christmas and I kept putting it off.  It's probably half done so need to do that if there's nothing else I do before tonight.  We have no plans yet for New Years.  I'll be lucky to stay awake!

Jingle All The Way

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Wednesday was my ex-section Christmas party, which is actually more like a floor party, which I run every year (for the past five years anyway).  This year I put the price up a little because I could barely get enough of everything last year, and last year I also got quite a few bags of free ice.  So this year for $715 I put on a barbeque for nearly forty people.  A good chunk of that money went on beer but I also got a lot more chili sausages from Bonzer Bangers which were very much appreciated.  So pretty much everything I took got eaten except a couple of bags of lettuce leaves, a loaf or so of bread, some beer and softdrink and quite a bit of water (it wasn't a hot day - in fact in rained a fair bit, but it only rained heavily while we were all eating lunch).  Everyone seemed to have a good time which was good :)

Duck

Friday night I made the sweetie watch Love Actually, because, Christmas.

Yesterday was pretty quiet, just doing bit of house work and jigsaw.  In the evening I was going to watch Carols in the Domain, which are always on the last Saturday before Christmas.  Except this year they did them a week ago.  Sad times.  So then tried to find a Christmas movie to watch.  A couple of weeks ago at work we were discussing best Christmas movies.  General consensus was Die Hard, but ChrisT and I both said Love Actually as well.  Connor's contributions were Jingle All the Way, and The Santa Clause (neither of which I'd seen).  So Netflix had Jingle All the Way, so we watched that last night.  OMFG one of the stoopidest movies ever!  Oh dear!

So another week drifts by.  Had awful insomnia last Monday night - couldn't get to sleep forever then woke up really early.  Dunno if I was too hot or too cold or what.  Rest of the week was pretty uneventful.

Thursday night I made a mint-leaf rocky road which was pretty awesome.

Mint rocky road

Mint rocky road

Friday night we had Scott and EffanC over for lots of cheese and finger food, and gave Scott a bit of a whiskey tasting since he'll be missing out in January.

Nibbles

Saturday morning was fairly productive Getting Things Done.  Mostly just jigsaw in the afternoon.  Later in the afternoon Zac came over to stay.  We watched both Die Hards.  As you do.

Sunday wasn't super productive.  After dinner (the sweetie needed pizza) we found the internet pretty much unusable thanks to a cut in the Perth to Singapore fibre which meant it pretty late before we were going to put on a movie.  So decided not to.  I went down to do the jigsaw then the little brother called me to tell me to watch the Lego Brickumentary on SBS.  So ended up staying up just as late anyway.  Whoops.

Yesterday was the first of the work Christmas parties, which was actually pretty chillaxed and we had a pretty good time.  I even came home with a bunch of leftovers! W00t!  Just watched some The Good Place in the evening.  It's all a bit silly but a bit of fun.

Thursday night we went down to Kit's to play Cards Against Humanity which was a bit of fun.

Friday night Neil and I went along to Roz's 60th at the Abbey.  It was quite a nice night, although she asked me to be photographer which I wasn't super happy about - I like taking photos for myself, but doing it officially for someone else is way too stressful!

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Roz's 60th

Saturday morning after waiting for the sweetie to get up and do some stuff for work, it was suddenly a lot later that I wanted it to be.  We went out to do food shopping for the evening - where we cooked a roast dinner for forty people at the club!!  Four kilos of pork, two kilos of turkey, a big potato bake, roast veggies, brussel sprouts with bacon, grilled zucchini, minted peas, and carrots, with my own apple sauce, and gravy using all of the pork drippings :)  It was pretty epic, but for forty people it was *just* enough food.  Still, everyone seemed happy, even though the turkey was a little dry on top because I forgot to put foil over it for the first part. 

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

We didn't get home til lunch time today.  I was a bit tired this afternoon so didn't get a whole lot done.  I did finally finish watching through Monty Python series four, so I've now half watched all of it, although it really is rather silly.

Tonight we just watched Voyager, and the new Ghost in the Shell, which I could actually follow, on account of it being dumbed down for American audiences, and me.

And just like that the weekend is over.  Sad times.

Nano

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Annie gave me another landmark Nanoblock set for Christmas - I've now got three landmarks that I've been to sitting on my desk :)

Nanoblock pyramid and sphynx

Christmas 2016

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Saturday we spent the entire day cleaning the house, and then didn't even get anywhere near through the todo list.  In the evening we got pizza and Kit came up and I inflicted Love Actually on everyone, and then we had on the end of the carols and made fun of them the whole way through heh.

For the third night in a row I had insomnia for several hours.  Hurrah.

So Christmas Day was a very slow start.  Then I spent the entire morning cooking and doing food preparation.  The sweetie spent the entire morning cleaning the yards and house.  Such a good sweetie. 

Christmas nibbles

Punch

Christmas food

Chris and Zac came up and then mum arrived and we had roast pork for lunch (the crackling barely made it to the table), with home-made apple sauce, also epic potato bake, Jamie Oliver's glazed carrots, mushrooms fried in butter, and baked vegetables.

Christmas table

Mum at Christmas

Zac at Christmas

Zac and Chris at Christmas

I ate too much.

And then felt bloated all afternoon.  So I wasn't much fun for the rest of the day.  Whoops.

Me and Stu at Christmas

David, Mum and me at Christmas

Late in the afternoon Annie and the family came over and we had dessert and did the whole present thing which was fun.

Christmas desserts

And people braved the festy green pool and seemed to have a lot of fun.

Decorating

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Friday was the first of our work Christmas parties which was a lovely afternoon.

Saturday we headed out to the club for a committee meeting, then chilled out in the afternoon and had a Christmas feast put on by Fiona in the evening.  She was in the kitchen pretty much solid for nine hours.  Craziness.

Today was a quiet day at home, in which I did a bit of house tidying and put up Christmas decorations.  Still a lot more tidying I want to do though.  Oh and I also filed four months of photos and read four months of blog posts for the annual year in review post.

Christmas tree 2016

Christmas 2015

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Christmas eve we got to come home a little early and pretty much just chillaxed - most of the hard work of cleaning the house having been done the weekend before.  In the evening Kit and later Ben came up and we watched Life of Brian, and Holy Grail, and the very end of the carols after Kit went home cause she's allergic to carols.  We'd missed the Hallelujah chorus, so Ben and I found Christmas carols on YouTube to sing along to hehe.

Christmas day I vacuumed a heap of algae to waste - I felt bad about doing this again this summer, but I suppose Adelaide will thank me (and I needn't have worried - Canberra got something like 16mm of rain yesterday which gave Canberra a thorough soaking).

Then it was a bit of food preparation.

Christmas Day 2015

Chris and Zac came up first, then mum arrived, and we had roast pork and epic potato bake and veggies and junk food and bubbly.  It was all quite lovely.

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day 2015

A little while later Annie and the family turned up and did some presents stuff for the kids and had dessert - lemon meringue pie that Chris made, and pavlova that Annie made.

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day 2015

In the afternoon we had a swim, and in the evening we watched Die Hard 2.

Quite a lovely day!

More Christmas pics

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Just a few more pics for Christmas..

Still loving the Frozen inspired Christmas tree

Blue tree

Christmas tree and lights

The weekend before last I made a big batch of gingerbread cookies using a recipe in this month's Coles magazine.  Straight out of the oven they were pretty hard and dry, but they softened up over the week.

Gingerbread ingredients

Gingerbread dough

Gingerbread cookies

I decorated them using the leftover icing and lollies from the gingerbread kits of two years ago

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies

Partying Continues

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Wednesday night we did a big food shop.  And I got some stuff for Friday's BBQ.

Thursday Kit came up for drinks and pizza, and then Chrissie came up with a bag of fish that she'd been carting around for a couple of days.  So I filled a small tank and dumped the fish in that.  The next morning I moved four of the platies and the catfish in with the krib.

Duckling (really!)

Friday morning it was out to Hawker to pick up 160 sausages - this year a full half of them were the chili ones that everyone loves (except me heh).  Also to the mall to pick up bread and salad stuff.  Thought we had *heaps* of money, so spent it on things like Tim Tams and ended up using up the entire budget.  So that worked out well.

And then it was organising transport for all the food and drinks.  So yeah organised and ran a BBQ for fifty people.  It all went really smoothly and I think everyone had a good time.  There were some drinks leftover, a bunch of the chili sausages (which I sent down the coast with Lachie), and some salad stuff (which I brought home but will need to be a bit careful about as it was sitting in the sun (in cold water) for a while).

Christmas party

Yesterday in the morning we went to the markets to pick up some deli meats and other goodies, then back home to make up about four salads - a caesar salad, a potato salad, a waldorf salad and a prosciutto and mango salad.  Annie and Stu came over first and the girls had a swim, then Potty and Kerry as well and we all ate lots of food.  Then there was more swimming.  And generally chillaxing.  A relatively stress-free family Christmas (it helped that I'd lowered my expectations *a lot* this year).  In the evening we watched Star Trek VI and the Carols in the Domain.

Christmas salads

Christmas meat platter

Family lunch

Also last night I moved the five danios from the two foot downstairs with the krib.  It's a lot cooler down there, and danios really don't like the heat.  I've left the five danios in the angel tank for now, and have been dumping ice in there as fast as I can make it.  I'd be making more, except our freezer (and fridge) are completely chock-a-block full.  We have enough leftovers from yesterday to last the entire week.  W00t!

Drowning

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I have a document at work titled "drowning" with a chunk of my todo list, cause that's what it feels like. Eep!  So much to do it's not funny.  I did configure all the network interfaces on all the new firewalls today though which was good.

And I've been drowning at home too, trying to get the house respectable for the weekend, as well as the Christmas shopping and planning for a big family lunch.  Felt a lot better after getting the washing up done tonight though.  And pretty much all the family Christmas shopping is done. 

The biggest stress left is probably figuring out what we're going to cook and go shopping for it.  We were originally planning a roast pork lunch, but given that they're predicting temperatures of 36C we're thinking that might be a little silly, and maybe a cold buffet might work better - but would need to decide what to do.  hrmm.

Oh and I'm also organising a party for about fifty people on Friday.

Hrmmm.

Friday was the first of our work Christmas parties.  It was at the Lighthouse, but it was a little pricey - $35 for a two course meal (platter of entrees and a choice of three dishes for mains).  The problem with that being we have lunches at the Lighthouse all the time, and for $35 I could normally get a large meal *and* a few beers.  Also they were super super slow bringing food out - we didn't get entrees til 1pm, the fish mains at 1:30pm, and the steak mains at 2pm.  But it was a lovely day and there was plenty of time to have a bit of bubbly and they compensated us with a free drink voucher each so that was nice of them.  Had a great afternoon.

Lighthouse party - entrees

Lighthouse party - barramundi

Lighthouse party - steak

Lighthouse currawong

Lighthouse honeyeater

In the evening we watched Mockingjay Part 1.

Teeny praying mantis

Saturday we got ready and headed out to the club for the "official" opening of the pool.

Club pool

Then we (I) cooked the roast pork (in a brand new oven!!) for a Christmas dinner.  The oven had never been used before so that was quite fun (although it was a bit sad to ruin its pristine condition!).  It works a lot better than the old one too and is much much much easier to light the oven and the cooktops - no more fiddling with a lighter and hoping you don't take the hairs off when you finally manage to light the oven.  The crackling turned out really well and I think the whole lot got demolished.  I also made up some apple sauce from scratch, and some gravy (which I'd forgotten to bring - so I was glad that we found a packet there). Other people brought other food so it was quite the feast.

Roast pork

Sauces

Club Christmas tree

Just before we were about to serve dinner, we got a call from Kit - she was getting water all through her yard.  I realised I'd left the hose disconnected from when I'd been watering the potplants that morning and it must have dropped down and started siphoning off the pool.  Kit jumped the back fence and saved the situation.  It was a little horrifying to think what could have happened if she hadn't noticed - another fifteen hours before we had planned to be home and it could have drained a *lot* of water.  Honestly, bestest neighbour *ever*!

After dinner was the compulsory fun.  Aka the Kris Kringle where you can open something new or steal something that's already been opened.  I'd completely forgotten about it til that morning, and then we were running late, so we didn't have time to do anything more imaginative that a couple of bottles of wine.  I'd used wine before and it's never popular, so was a bit reluctant to do it again, but didn't have time for anything else.  And guess which two things were the *very last* things to be picked up?  Yup, my two bottles of wine.  And to add insult to injury, the people that got them were all like "oh yay, wine".  I lost it.  I actually went up to both of them and said I'd buy them back off them, but they were all "oh, it's ok, it'll get drunk".  Yay.  I was feeling pretty miserable, and the sweetie had been feeling physically unwell all night, so we just went home.

Today was a cleaning and organising type day.

We also went over to Potty's cause he wanted to get rid of a bit of fridge stuff and some cleaning products that couldn't go in the truck.  I ended up with five full Coles bags of stuff, and a huge box full of cleaning products.  hrmmmm!!  I had to fire up the little fridge in the garage, and Tetris what I could into the freezer.  But got it all in.

For dinner I picked some of the wombok that's been growing like crazy, and cooked up some duck we'd gotten off potty.  

Wombok leaves

Duck dinner

Saw some pretty cool storm clouds from a big storm out past Captains Flat

Storm clouds

Also cooked up a batch of honey mustard chicken for lunches/dinners during the week.

And have been trying to get on top of my photos.

And I might have put the Christmas tree this afternoon.  Last year I had the idea to do a "Frozen" inspired theme - so I've only put on blue and silver stuff, with blue and white lights.  It's very blue!

Frozen tree

Penultimate

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So I've had a great Christmas break so far.  Mostly.

Christmas day was a fairly lazy start after staying up a little too late with Kit on Christmas Eve (I forced them to watch the carols hehe and then we half watched Frozen, oops).  Didn't get to Potty's til a bit later than I wanted to, which meant the pork didn't get on til a bit late, which meant it was going to be a late lunch.  But we brought heaps of nibbles so ordinarily that would have been fine.  But just as we were sitting down to eat lunch everything happened at once.  While serving ourselves lunch Annie and the family turned up (it was 2pm and they were meant to arrive after lunch, but lunch was late hrmm), and miss V took that as her cue to open her presents.  Next year I'm not putting labels on presents.  That'll learn em.  Anyway, so instead of a nice relaxing Christmas lunch it was all super rushed and stressful.  Grunt.  The rest of the afternoon was a bit better though.

Christmas selfie

Family photo

George really didn't like his Christmas collar and was so depressed he almost got run over because he wouldn't get out of the way when we came home.
Depressed George

Friday morning I got stuck into my holiday break.  Friday and Saturday I had really productive days, getting stuff done around the house, as well as some sorting out of *stuff* and sorting my photos and lots of sorting of Dad's photos.  

Annie got me this for Christmas - super cute, goes with the little Neuschwanstein Castle she got me last year.
Nanoblocks Big Ben

Cherries at Damien's
Cherries

Sunday morning was more of dad's photo sorting, then we went over to Damien's for a Thermomix feast lunch.  Not a demo as such (he wasn't trying to sell us one), just a fun little banquet of dishes from it.

First he made up some pizza dough.

Damien and the Thermomix

Then he made a very nice dip of cream cheese, garlic, green onions and parsely.

Then a leek and potato soup

Thermomix soup

The leftovers of the soup made the base for a sauce that went with this steamed chicken and vegetables

Thermomix chicken and veggies

And here's that pizza

Thermomix pizza

And finally a sorbet to finish

Thermomix sorbet

So quite a feast in the end!

Afterwards we played a round of the Logo Game, which I won, then came home and did more photo sorting.

Monday and today was primarily photo sorting and a bit of house stuff.  And shaking my head over dad's "system" of backups.  So much waste.

Here's the "before" pile.  The offsite backups, the archives, the working copies, backups of mum's photos, unsorted cds, copies of other people's photos, and an entire large spindle of unfiled duplicates.

Dad's backups

And this is everything I'm chucking out.  Over four hundred cds :(  Such a waste.  They would never even have been used either.  He would have just burnt them, filed them, and that was the end of that.  And I swear about fifty of those cds were from their Gulf Savannah trip in 2007.  Sooo many copies of everything.  Sigh.

So much waste, dad

Last night we went to EffanC's for dinner, and after dinner we watched Labyrinth on the big screen (aka their lounge room wall).  It was super awesome.

David Bowie big screen

So I've gotten a lot done this break, although not nearly as much as I wanted to.  There's still so many things on the todo list.  Life is too short.  Holidays are too short.  Sigh.

I really haven't had the time for Christmas up until about yesterday.  Yesterday was awesome, just pottered around the house cleaning and tidying.  Managed 11000 steps without even leaving the house (other than to go across the road for supplies).

Last night EffanC came over for roast pork, and Kit came up as well.  Sooo much pork and the crackling was super awesome.

Us with animals

Party time

Pork - before

Pork - after

After dinner we sat around chatting and I put on the Carols in the background.  A good fun night.

Today I've finally had the time to go through my photos from the past two months and get a lot of them online in older blog posts.  Check em out.

In the meantime, here's some Christmas trees!  And Lego!

Market St Christmas Tree

QVB Christmas Tree

Lego Christmas Tree

Lego surfing santa

Lego koala

Martin Place Christmas Tree

Martin Place Christmas Tree

Westfield Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree

Leaving Home

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I left home today for the last time ever.  The family home.  Mum had lived there for forty two years.  I lived there for twenty six and a half years.

Sadness.

Although was too busy to feel much sadness during the process of removal, but did have a sad walk through at the end.

The end of an era.  The family home that noone else has lived in.  Now sold and to be rented out.

Yah.

But David and I did amuse ourselves by poking fun at mum .. "you've never moved have you?" .. because really she hadn't - not with a whole house of furniture and *stuff*.  Little things like rubbish bags and cleaning equipment she kept wanting to pack and send away and we're like, no you need to save those because you *will* need them.  heh.

Final council cleanup of everything left over
Council cleanup

She got the dining table and chairs restored and reupholstered to match the new lounge.  It actually looks really good.
Refurbished dining suite

This is the sofa bed part of the new lounge
New lounge

The china cabinet we built the other night, now filled up
China cabinet

So got mum moved in at the other end, and stayed til about 3pm unpacking boxes with Aunty Di.  Then I came home.  I never want to leave the house again.

Then I got depressed again at deadbeat ebayers who *still* haven't made any sort of contact with me.  I hate people.

I did finish decorating the Christmas tree though which made me feel a bit better.  It sparkles.

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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