Results tagged “Family” from Kazza the Blank One

Relatively quiet week this week.  Had a fair bit of insomnia - not being able to get to sleep and/or waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.  So frustrating.

My phone upgraded itself to 13.3 this week because I forgot to disconnect it from power overnight.  So far a couple of retarded bugs.  The first is that if you have two phone numbers associated with a contact, Apple will now merge them together in sms messages, and I can't see any way (within the sms app) to choose which number to send it to, short of making a whole new contact to separate the numbers.  And my scheduled reminders stopped working, although it was happy to pop up old reminders that had long gone.  Apple is so retarded.

Edit: you can start a new message in the SMS app to whichever contact you like, but you can't just hit reply to an existing SMS because you literally have no idea which number it will use.

David brought his super fancy vacuum cleaner up, and on Thursday and Saturday he moved out the lounges and vacuumed seven years of accumulated dust.

Vacuuming under the lounge

On Thursday night we watched The Last Jedi.

Friday night we all met up in the city and had a lovely dinner at Kinn Thai, then saw The Rise of Skywalker.

Kinn Thai Wagyu steak

David at Star Wars

Saturday was just house stuff during the day.  Was quite productive in the morning, not so much in the afternoon.  In the evening was a bbq at Brett and Sharon's.

Blood sunset

BBQ at Brett and Sharon's

Today I finished culling photos to show for our Hong Kong/Singapore trip.  And finished a yukky jigsaw.  And made another pavlova.  And we did some food shopping at the markets.  

But disaster!  Saigon Streetfood and Groceries is shut!!

Saigon Street Food shut down

And my computer bluescreened this arvo when I plugged in my camera's SD card.  Not Happy Jan!

Blue screen of death

And I still have no idea where these little terrorists are coming from :(

Mosquito

Let's see how well an early night will work...

The last week of our break was overshadowed, quite literally, by the catastrophe of the bushfires.  I watched them get closer and closer to Kit and Pete's place, then it skirted round their town, but they're not out of danger yet.  It's still very close to David's place at River Island.  It got very close to DC's place at Malua Bay, and Fiona's place in Newcastle.  @CLBradley's place at Kangaroo Valley is still under threat.  Lisa's family lost a farm house and a camper.   Connor's inlaws' land was burnt out, but the shed was ok.  Chloe's land got burnt out and their shed and tractor are gone, but the house they are building was untouched.  And that's just people I know.  People have died.  Many homes, farms and historic buildings have been lost.  The toll on the bush and the wildlife is incalculable.  The smoke we've been breathing for the past few weeks is the remains of millions upon *millions* of plants and animals.  It's utterly devastating and heartbreaking.  I really fear that this weather is the new "normal" and wonder if it will ever properly rain again...

So New Year's Eve was very hot and very windy, and I was *super* nervous about fires starting.  We were going to go out to the club but decided not to.  EffanC also decided not to go, so we went over to their place instead as conditions eased. 

New Year's Eve smoke

So it was fairly quiet evening of just chatting and watching the Sydney fireworks.  Even David joined us after his shift finished which was nice.

The smoke got thick again as the wind changed in the evening.  My first photos of the new year are of the smoke on the way home..

New Year's smoke

It was a pretty late night so Wednesday, New Year's Day, was a slow, quiet day.  Did a bit of photo processing, blogging, some jigsaw, and we watched Die Another Day in the evening.

New Year's Day smoke

Thursday ended up being another quiet day.  Didn't get a whole lot done.  Stu signed up for Disney+ and we watched The Force Awakens in the evening.  Of course our introduction to Disney+, literally the first thing on the screen, was Error 43.  Fricken useless.

Second January smoke

Blood sunrise

How cute are these!?  Stu got them in the mail (before Australia Post stopped deliveries because of the smoke).

Living stones

Living stones

Friday with the cooler weather I took the opportunity to check on the gutters.  They weren't too bad.  David also couldn't help himself and pulled apart our cooler and gave it all a good scrub.  Bestest brother ever!

After lunch Kit called.  They were in Canberra - they'd come up Thursday night with all the animals (two dogs, a cat, two birds, three frogs and a snake) leaving behind the chickens and the fish.  They came over in the afternoon and just chilled out for a couple of hours which was nice.  Pete had a lot of fun watching the wedding videos, while Kit monitored the fires and social media.  We dropped their car back at her mum's and had a drink.

Kit and Arthur

Then Stu picked us up and we all went to Bella Vista for dinner.  

We had Garlic and cheese foccacia to share $9 which was delicious (Kit said it was the best cheese and garlic bread she'd ever eaten heh).

Bella Vista garlic cheese foccacia

For dinner I had Vitello Saltimbocca: Veal escallops with sage, Prosciutto and mozzarella cheese in a white wine reduction sauce served with creamy mash and green beans. ($35)

Bella Vista veal

Then back to our place to chat for a while.  It was nice that they felt they could just come and hang out and relax with us.  We think they made a sensible decision getting to safety ahead of the predicted craziness on Saturday.  

So Saturday.  The hot north-westerly winds picked up again, fanning the flames of all the fires going on at the coast.  I was tense again.  I spent the morning putting away all the Christmas decorations.  Didn't get much done in the afternoon, although I did finish blogging our Melbourne trip, where we went and saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  Link is here - http://kazza.id.au/oz_holidays/ - if you wanted to have a look (last entry is first on that page so scroll down to see it in order).  We watched Casino Royale in the evening.  

The wind did blow all the smoke away for the day, but it came back again around 10pm.

Smoke on the 4th

And when I say it came back, I mean it *really* came back.  We could smell it as soon as it hit, and it was swift and all consuming.  In the morning it was like waking up in hell...  the phone wouldn't get the white balance right, I had to fiddle with the DSLR to get this.  

Welcome to hell

Played through an escape game on my phone, but otherwise only got little bits and pieces done during the day.

In the evening a bunch of us went over to Rob and Lyn's for dinner which was lovely.  The temperature had cooled down significantly so it was nice outside, just very smoky, so we stayed inside, which was a lot hotter.  But had a very pleasant evening.  Rob cooked some quite delicious steaks and there was heaps of other food.

Dinner at Rob and Lyn's

Dinner at Rob and Lyn's

So back to some sense of reality on Monday.  My "essential" todo list kept me going til 10pm but then I couldn't get to sleep (a mosquito buzzing around certainly didn't help, not to mention where the f@#$ did it come from, given there's no standing water anywhere in Canberra at the moment).  So today was a bit of a zombie day, but was able to do lots of cleaning which was good.  And tonight processed photos, and have spent an hour writing up this entry.  

Stay safe everyone...

Canberra Day Trip

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Thirty years ago today, Mum and I picked up Nana and did a day trip to Canberra.  I was studying for my Ls at the time, and remember using the trip to read the road rules book I had.

First up we went to the New Parliament House, which was not quite two years old at the time.  Apparently we did a tour, but I have no memories of it.

Kaz and Mum at New Parliament House

New Parliament House

New Parliament House

Courtyard in New Parliament House

Flag pole at New Parliament House

Roof of New Parliament House

Looking out the front facade of New Parliament House

Nana at New Parliament House

Then I spent four hours at the National Science and Technology Centre (Questacon), which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It had only been open for a little over a year in its new building.

Questacon

Then we came all the way back to Sydney, dropped Nana off, and I got a photo taken with the letterbox I designed.

Nana and Karen and the new letterbox

I really wish I'd started blogging years earlier than I did.  My early twenties are kind of like my "dark years" because I was old enough to do things on my own, but it was before digital cameras to take lots of photos of things.  So I don't really have much of a record of what I did in those years.  

Anyways, now that I've scanned all Mum's photos I thought I'd start blogging them, as well as my photos, and my early digital photos.  I debated for ages the best way to do it, and in the end what I decided was to blog things twenty/thirty/forty years ago as they come up over the next ten years.  

So January 1.

On this day in 1990 it looks like Dad went over to Nana's to install her new letterbox.  Back in year 10 in 1989 I was doing tech drawing as a school subject.  One of our projects for the year was to design a letterbox and draw out the plans for it.  Then we were meant to build it.  Well Nana needed a new letterbox anyway, so we discussed the design with her (she wanted a big section for newspapers).  So I designed it, drew it up, and then Dad built it.  Hrmmm.  I might have helped a little but I didn't get to do as much on it as I wanted.  Oh well.

Here they are with the newly installed letterbox, thirty years ago today!

Nana and Dad and the new letterbox

That letterbox was there for years, although according to Google Streetview it's no longer there.  Oh well.

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!

Didn't sleep well Sunday night - awake for hours with hurty and coughing.  But went to work as I'd already taken too much time off.  Slogged my way through the backlog of tickets.  Had leftover antipasto for dinner, haven't made a dent in it.  And so. much. smoke!  Got lots done on my own todo list.  Was hoping for an early night but didn't finish the "urgent" stuff til 21:30.

Tuesday continued doing All The Things.  The wind swung around in the evening and blew in all the smoke from Braidwood, so sky went from relatively clear to smothered in the space of a few minutes.  Was pretty scary.  Had more antipasto for dinner.  In the evening I was looking at storage units - I just wanted to see what the things cost these days.  But the couple I looked at sure don't make it easy.  Instead of a simple table saying how much each size is per month, no, you need to fill in all your details before they'll give you any information.  And then they want to call you.  And message you.  Over and over again!!!  Sheeesh.  For what I want it's prohibitively expensive, will just get some tubs and stack things in the garage.  

Thursday was drinks for Noah's birthday.

Birthday boy

Friday the sweetie went to the club for the night, so David and I watched The Hunt for Red October.

Saturday had a great day doing All The Things.  Got heaps done, but also relaxed and generally took my time.  Was a productive yet relaxing day.  I updated a couple of previous entries with photos if anybody could be bothered going back to look.  Watched Kit and Pete's ship leave Sydney on their honeymoon.

Kit and Pete's cruise

Watched Die Hard in the evening.

Today was pretty quiet.  Didn't get a whole done, which is a bit worrying because of how much is on the todo list.  But have been trying not to panic and take things easy this week, as I've been stressing myself out trying to do everything.  We did do some food shopping, lamb roast for dinner, then photos/blogging.

Praying mantis

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

Just look at them.

I have my mother's mother (left) to thank for my stoopid knobbly knees.

And my father's mother (right) for my genaral body shape and ginormous boobies (ok so they're not *that* big.  Yet).

Mum's mum Dad's mum

Stoopid genetics

Tramspotting

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So Monday was a much appreciated day off.  Caught up on all my blogging.  The internet died for three minutes between 13:22 and 13:25.  Didn't get a whole lot done in the afternoon, although did tidy up the plants on the kitchen window sill and plant some more seeds.  Started season four of The Good Place, and watched Oblivion which was a little confusing, but not too bad a movie.  

Tuesday went and got photos for my new passport and submitted the form, although botched my signature and wished I could redo it - I'll be stuck with that for ten years hrmm.  In the evening we were going to go to Raijin in McKellar with EffanC, but they were full so we ended up at Malaysian Chapter.  Which was somewhat disappointing because I was looking forward to Japanese and I really don't like the menu at Malaysian Chapter (I never remember which curries are which, and which are hot or not (and they don't indicate how hot they are on the menu)).  And it was nearly 7:30pm and I was *hangry*.  Grunt.  But did get some food into me and felt a lot better.  For reference I had the Chef's Special Curry with fish, and Stu had the Mamak Mee Goreng which was very nice.

Malaysian Chapter chefs special curry.jpg

Malaysian Chapter mamak me goreng

Wednesday was a Lighthouse farewell for our director, and churning through Hong Kong photo labelling in the evening.

Oh we also finished season 5 of Brooklyn 99 this week, and I watched a couple of episodes of Murder in the Bayou at a recommendation from someone at work, but listening to that much bad english got very grating and I found it hard to sympathise.  Getting through season 2 of Big Bang Theory.

Friday was a Lighthouse farewell for a contractor, two pub lunches in one week, oops.  But did share a pizza with Connor both times to avoid overeating.

Saturday morning I did all the houseworkey stuff then did the design for the invitation for Kit's Hen's.  My ~23 year old copy of Photoshop wouldn't run on this computer (it loaded but just spinning wheels and stopped responding) so I downloaded Gimp.  All the tools are much the same as Photoshop, but I had to dredge up the memory on how to use them (and Google a few too).  Mid afternoon David came to visit, and we started a jigsaw.  A couple of hours later Scott and Kerry and the kids came over (they'd been planning to stay a lot longer but got stuck doing a longer bushwalk than they intended, so only stayed for a short while).  Then we headed out to dinner.  Labor Club, with Chicken Kiev for me yumm.

David at the Labor Club

Labor Club dinners

Then back home to work on the jigsaw for a little while.

We also finished off a couple of liqueurs that had been in the house *forever*.  That bottle of Midori I bought when I first moved out of home.  In the year 2000.  The Creme de menthe I've had for nearly as long.  Silly really.

Green spirits

This morning David and I headed out to Gungahlin for brunch (and was shocked to discover the parking under BigW is now paid parking (first two hours free) even on Sundays - how rude!)  David had a chicken and camembert grill and I had a rosti eggs benedict with chorizo that was quite nice.

Coffee Club breakfast

Coffee Club breakfast

Then we moved the car up to the Coles carpark and went and hopped on a tram!

I'd still never been on the tram, so thought it would be a fun thing to do with David.  Do you think he's having fun? ;)

David on the tram

I remember when this was just a grassy field.  Now there's apartments and a Woolworths..

Woolworths at Franklin

Passing the Mitchell depot.  I was shocked that there wasn't a tram stop at Mitchell.  Why on earth not?

Mitchell depot

Ticket inspectors got on around Dickson.  In twelve years of catching buses I don't think I've ever had my ticket checked, but today they checked it on my first ever tram ride (and indeed my second ride on the way back!)

In the city we got off and took some photos, couldn't think of anything worthwhile to do in the city, so jumped on again for the ride back.

David photographing the tram

Tram in Civic

It was a little less crowded on the way back.  The ticket inspectors gave a warning to the drughead behind us who didn't have a ticket.  We wondered how many "warnings" he'd been given.

Interior of the tram

All up from start to finish it took an hour to go into the city and back on the same tram.

On the way back on the tram we saw a house bedecked for halloween, so went and had a closer look at it.

Halloween spider hosue

Halloween spider house

Halloween spider house

Halloween spider house

While we were there the owner came home and we were chatting and she said we need to come by again at night to see it all lit up.  

And we saw another tram go by :)

Tram in Gungahlin

Then back home, finished the jigsaw, and David went home.

This afternoon mostly finished up the hen's night invitation, but didn't get a whole lot more else done, which was a bit distressing as I've got a *lot* that I *need* to do (like tax).  We did do food shopping though.  And I cooked a lamb roast.

Lamb roast

And so endeth the weekend.

Fill Her Up Please

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This week wasn't as crazy epic busy as the last two weeks which was kinda nice.  I *almost* had time to go back and do some cleaning!

Monday I got home and turned the heater on and nothing happened - it was already warm enough in the house!  Monday's BBT featured the first rock paper scissors lizard spock which was pretty cool :)  I also worked on the trivia night and finished Neil's jigsaw.

It's happy flower season!!
Happy flower'

Tuesday morning I was scanning Mum's slides and found one of her in a bikini on a beach in South Australia.  I sent it to Mum and said I was finding fodder for her funeral slide show ;)  She had a laugh as well and said she wants to see the slide show before she dies :)   Not that she's dying or anything but after the sudden loss of Diana and Graham I kinda felt like it's best to be prepared, just in case and all.  Chrissie's family couldn't do a proper slide show because they didn't have access to the house to even get the photos, so they ended up using quite a lot of Mum's photos at the funeral.  Wow that got dark pretty quick.

Mum in 1969

Anneke helped us complete our Little Shop!

Coles Little Shop 2

Also on Tuesday we tried out Yarralumla Kebab's new store.  I'd never been to their original store but had heard good things about it.  I went with the guys who knew the procedure which was good, because as a newcomer it was very confusing.  Turns out you have to know that you have to "fill out a form" on the kebab wrapper to tell them what you want.  But it was a complete shemozzle and we watched people coming in and standing in the queue from either end because it was so confusing.  We even saw people leave.  They need to have instructions or they will lose business.  Meanwhile the kebab I had was as big as my head, and I didn't have any dinner that night!

Belconnen Yarralumla Kebabs

Yarralumla Kebabs kebab

Got home and the house was 20C so there was no point turning the heater on.  Finished the first draft of the trivia night and sent it to Doc for vetting.  BBT had the first mention of coitus.

Wednesday I went over to Chrissie's for dinner and we had wine and toasted Aunty Di with some merlot and had a lovely evening.  Got home and Stu hadn't bothered to turn on the heater because it was so warm.

Thursday was tv dinners instead of pizza (man-sized chicken kiev's, but not super exciting).  Again, no heater.  Watched the first half of Twilight, which I last saw on the plane to Japan in 2009.

Friday was hurty overnight so zombie day due to lack of sleep.  Met up with EffanC (who had to put down dear little Celeste due to old age) and R&F for beer and pizza.  A few tears were shed over the sweet little cat, and then a very pleasant evening.  

Pot Belly pizza

Saturday I spent all freakin day on the trivia night - doing a whole lot of reworks and edits after Doc's vetting.  Didn't even set foot out of the house all day.  Finished the second draft by dinner time, had pizza (we were thinking of going out for dinner but it was cold and the sweetie just wanted pizza (let's not even go into how much pizza we've had in our "no pizza week" week - pizza last Thursday, leftovers Friday, club on Saturday, leftovers Sunday, Tuesday with C, Friday at potbelly, then Saturday with leftovers on Sunday.  That's pizza eight days out of the last eleven.  hrmmmmm!) ).  Watched Brooklyn 99 and Octopussy (seriously what insane father calls their daughter "Octopussy" as a nickname??  Thanks Ian Fleming for that weirdness).

This morning I went mountain climbing then spent all day doing the slideshow and table rounds for the trivia night.

Wattle

Wattle

Brindabellas from Mt Rogers

Brindabellas from Mt Rogers

Mt Rogers trig station

Crace from Mt Rogers

Belco from Mt Rogers

Belco from Mt Rogers

And there might have been pizza scrolls for lunch.

Pizza scrolls

After getting the first pass of the slide show done and the filler rounds done, we went to Crace for food shopping, then came home and I spent the next hour or so prepping a lasagna with the last of Kit's frozen tomatoes.  It turned out pretty well though.

Epic lasagna

With Brooklyn 99 and Veronica Mars.

Then blogging.

Is it bed time now?

Monday doctor; Hero Sushi for dinner (it met expectations - it disappointed).

Garema Place in colour

Garema Place in colour

Tuesday continued photo culling.  I managed two days all week.  It's fricken hard work.

Misty lake

Wednesday was KFC for lunch (tradition).  Ate it while listening to an AWS guy deep dive into some stuff, so most of it went over my head, and I was stuck there for two hours which my legs really didn't appreciate.  Then had to deal with people blaming the firewall for blocking stuff.  Sure it's blocking stuff, but only because they upgraded their application, not because we changed the rules.  Went and shared some bubbles with Neil which was nice.

Birthday bubbles

Then to Bella Vista with the sweetie.

Had Assagini for entree - a mixed seafood platter consisting of calamari, scallops, prawns, San Danielle prosciutto and an avaocado and tomato salsa

Bella Vista assagini

Stu had Gnocchi with gorgonzola dolce cheese

Bella Vista gnocchi

I had bistecca: wagyu sirloin, creamy mash, prawns, spinach, green beans, pancetta, garlic butter sauce.

Bella Vista bistecca

All very nice.

Birthday selfie

Saw this on Thursday.  Driven by quality.

Driven by quality

Friday morning I drove myself up to Sydney.  Had lunch with Mum at the village - lamb roast.

Village roast lamb

Then off to the funeral.  Actually the thanksgiving memorial - the private funeral was in the morning.  It actually went for quite a long time - an hour and a half.  They used a whole heap of photos of Mum's that I'd scanned in recent years and sent them all through to Chrissie to pass on (they didn't have access to the house to get any of their own photos).  Saw quite a few people that I knew from years past, even Kristen from school and Joe W and Michael S so that was nice.  

Funeral flowers

Schoolies

Chrissie and I completely geeked out and went and stood in the hall of the church where we met thirty years and a couple of weeks ago.

Where Chrissie and I met

Hung around til almost the end before Joe gave us a lift back to Mum's (we took the train earlier because we figured we'd have to walk about the same distance as if we drove).  Stopped in at South Village to have a look.

South Village

South Village

Back at Mum's I had a quiet toast to Diana and Graham.

Cheers Aunty Di

Then we played Rummy Tiles, which Mum and Diana played every Friday night for years.

Rummy tiles

Saturday morning Mum and I looked at dates and travel options for our trip next year.  Then I headed off.

Met up with Kit in Dapto so she could look at a horse she was interested in buying.  She had a decent long ride and I took a whole heap of video for her to get an idea of whether she wants to buy or not (by today she'd decided not to - the horse was an old pacer so wouldn't canter).  I even had a little ride (my phone went a bit spastic so it was very dark and unsaturated, no idea what that was about, fixed up somewhat but not ideal).

Kit on Walter

Me on Walter

Stu wanted gnocchi bake for dinner, so went to Chris's for supplies and did it.  Then we watched Moonraker.

Today I spent most of the morning trying to catch up housework.  Did some food shopping and finally got to go see takoyaki man!  The guy makes actual takoyaki, although he'd run out of octopus by the time we got there late morning, so we just had pork.  Next time we go earlier!

Takoyaki at Jamison

Takoyaki at Jamison

Takoyaki at Jamison

This afternoon I thought I'd book flights.  Sounds simple.  Four legs, which I put into Qantas' site.  But every time I got to a certain point (confirming passenger details) it gave this friendly error:

Generic error

WHICH IS COMPLETELY F#$^ING USELESS QANTAS!!

So I got onto their chat line (took about thirty five minutes to talk to someone) and they spent a good twenty minutes trying to reproduce the problem ("I'm also having the same error in the website. Let me check this in our system").  Eventually he says "I have checked and the reason why you're unable to proceed online is that there is no combinable fares for a Multi City trip."  Which really doesn't help me much.  After a few repeats of "I don't understand" it seems that the cities don't actually link up in the middle.  Because it's Europe.  Who goes back to where they came from anyway?  So I wasn't going to be able to book it via the website.  Qantas is completely pathetic.  If this sort of itinerary is going to cause an error, why don't they say that before I move off the very first page?  Why lead me through another couple of pages before throwing up a Generic Error that doesn't actually tell me what's wrong?  Sigh.  So anyway, for an extra $200 he put it through manually, although after all was said and done, I got an email saying there was a problem with payment and I have to call them anyway.  Fricken great.  Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway so dinner was an hour later than I wanted because I spent so long dealing with Qantas.  Watched Brooklyn 99 and Veronica Mars (they keep bringing back characters that I've forgotten about so have to go look them up, and other characters that I *do* remember, like Leo and Vinnie and Weevil :) ).

Crazy week.  And two weeks in a row without a proper weekend.  Really must take another random day off..

Road Trippin

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Tuesday I did my quota of photo labelling and thought I'd watch something on Netflix.  I started watching Contagion thinking I'd start it and finish it later, but ended up watching the whole thing.  Netflix was broken though - they forgot to add the day count subtitle - super annoying.  And if you hadn't seen it before you might be a little confused about the whole Day 0 bit at the end.  Stoopid, Netflix, stoopid.

Had pizza on Wednesday because Stu had gotten a migraine at work but didn't have painkillers and his prescription for more was too old (the codeine prescriptions only last six months instead of the usual twelve months, who knew - not that it would have mattered, they were nearly two years old anyway).

Thursday after MacGyver I watched the start of Clueless, which I've also seen before but thought it would be a bit of fun.

Friday morning we had the sewage pipes eeled.  It was October 2016 that we had them done last, so thought it would be about time.  He came across roots in the place we were expecting, so told him I'd see him again in a couple of years time.  I flexed off Friday because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten any weekend to myself which would have been stressful.  So had a nice day mostly doing houseworky bits and watched the end of Clueless.  The mother type person arrived at dinner time so we had some frozen chicken wings and potato gems.

Saturday morning Mum and I went food shopping while Stu monitored the upgrade he was doing at work (that he got stuck staying up til 3am waiting for a backup to finish).  So he slept through lunch.  Chrissie and Goo came over for roast pork, and Chris made lemon meringue pie.  Yum yum yum.

Chris and Goo

Chris's lemon meringue pie

I was exhausted from *people* after lunch so let Mum read a book while I listened to the classic 100 composer and checked off Lego.  Had leftovers for dinner and watched Grace of Monaco which I enjoyed although no idea how true any of it was.  Some odd cinematography and direction choices though - like bright yellow scenes, and very long extreme closeups.  Strange.

Sunday morning Mum and I hit the road and drove to Junee.

Foggy Barton Highway

Hume Highway

Foggy Hume Highway

Lichen covered sign in Gundagai

Pretty trees at Gundagai

Hume Highway over the Murrumbidgee

Hume Highway over the Murrumbidgee

Cows on Nangus Road

Cows on Nangus Road

When we got to Junee David helped Mum transfer her contacts off her old dying phone onto her new one, and set it up with her car's bluetooth.  Then we went to the pub for lunch.  As you do.

Junee Hotel chicken kiev

David epic rose

In the afternoon we listened to the classic 100 composer (missed John Williams while were out though - only 15th - ripped off!) and did puzzles.  We might have cranked the volume on the 1812 overture and Beethoven's 5th. 

Went and got pizza from Pizza on Main for dinner.

Junee Pizza on Main pizza

Half watched Wreck it Ralph while half-heartedly playing some hands of Canasta and 500.

Took ages to get to sleep because I was *cold*, and forgetting my pyjamas certainly didn't help.

In the morning we headed over to Peter Neve's to say hi.  Had a look at the work he's doing on an inspection pit in the back yard.

Inspection pit

Training

Training

Training

Then we did some food shopping for David.  Had some chicken for lunch, then Mum and I headed home.  I saw the coat of arms on the way home - an emu off Nangus Road, and kangaroos off the Barton Highway.  Didn't get photos of them though.  Just a couple of shots around Gundagai.

Sheahan Drive

Sunbeams over Gundagai

At home I de-peopled for a bit then cooked dinner - a herb and apricot chicken (Coles doesn't have the three cheese and bacon ones anymore *gasp* just the apricot one and dumb mac and cheese).  Watched a couple of episodes of Death in Paradise, finishing season three.

This morning Mum went home and we went to work.  Did have lunch with the sweetie today too which was nice.  Did a bunch of photo labelling, then blogging, and here we are.

Tuesday I finished labelling day 19 of our holiday photos, and at five and a half thousand photos, officially half way through.  And I was hoping to be all done by the end of June.. hrmmmm

Wednesday morning was freezing.  Literally.  I mentioned this to the sweetie who was in the study looking out the back window, and he said "The pool didn't freeze over"  *cries*.  

Also on Wednesday I finished scanning all of Mum's analogue photo prints.  Nearly eight thousand of them!  

Thursday morning I started scanning Mum's slides.  She wasn't quite as obsessive in the beginning - they don't have dates on them!!  Best some of them have is a month and year. 

During the day went for a little walk with Neil and a bunch of others.

Lake walk

Might have had Kingsley's for dinner.  Whoops.

Friday was week three of Rashay's $5 lunches.  I went back to calamari this time.

Rashays $5 calamari

In the evening was pretty sad to hear that they finally had to put Pookie to sleep. 

Might have had pizza for dinner.  Whoops.  (and here I was thinking we got out of it by having takeaway the night before.. hrmm).  Watched Solo in the evening, which we'd both seen on the plane on our last trip.

Saturday was pretty much just regular weekend stuff - housework and shopping.  Although we did go get our democracy sausage.

Knead creme brulee

Gold leaves

Democracy Sausage

In the evening EffanC came over for election night event.  The sweetie made pea and ham soup for dinner.

Election night party

Sunday was pretty quiet.  Spent a good chunk of the morning cleaning the house again.  Just did a bit of photo filing in the afternoon.  Also on the weekend finished watching through Lego Masters.  I was pretty happy with the result, I think those guys deserved it.  Cooked roast pork for dinner and watched Death in Paradise.

More vegemite scrolls

Epic roast pork

Today another busy day at work.  Got home and started working and at 20:30 I'm still not done working, and I haven't even *started* doing any photo labelling.  Stop the world I want to get off.

So Monday.  Day four of our break.  But I didn't get anything much done around the house because I spent the morning getting organised to go to the club.  Made some cheese twists for lunch before heading out.  The previous owners of the van left a lot of kitchen stuff and tools behind which is great, but *all* the cupboards were full of stuff, with no free space to put any of our stuff.  Got a bit overwhelmed by it on Monday afternoon.  And it poured with rain.  A lot.  Had some leftovers we'd brought for dinner, and watched the start of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on tv, but went to bed before it finished.

Clouds over Bungendore

Dark clouds

Tuesday I spent pretty much the whole day cleaning out the cupboards and reorgansing everything so it fitted into the cupboards more logically, and left most of the big cupboard free for our stuff.  Did a couple of loads of washing up to wash stuff in the drawers and some of the cookware.  Felt a lot happier with things by the end.  Although still nowhere good to store food.  D&I fired up the fire in the oasis, so we had a beer with them which was nice.  Tried out the bbq.  It doesn't light with the lighter thingie, but runs ok if you light it.  Cooked some sausages for dinner and we had a nice bottle of 2011 shiraz I got in 2014.

Beer by the fire

Fire

First bbq at the new van

Wednesday morning we came home.  Thanks to Tony though for taking our bins out - they'd been collected by the time we got home, and the recycling bin in particular would have been a disaster if we'd missed the pickup.  Cooked some pizza scrolls for lunch.  In the afternoon cleared/cleaned the middle shelf of the pantry and the two drawers under the oven.  Cooked honey mustard chicken for dinner, watched Homeland and From Russia With Love.

Didn't do much Thursday.  Did some photo filing in the morning, then headed over to Chrissie's for a bbq for lunch.  James was in town, first time I'd seen him in twenty five years, with Anita, and Susannah and Rob were there too.  So it was quite the family gathering for them.  And then they got out all the family photos that survived the bushfire (as an aside, Como Presbyterian Church reopened twenty three years ago on this day as I type this, same day as Port Arthur massacre.. moving on..).  David and Kat came over late in the afternoon and we had lamb roast and started a 2000 piece jigsaw.

Balls!

BBQ at Chrissie's

Friday Stu went to work.  David pulled apart our bedroom fan light which had died a couple of months ago.  We'd gotten a new bulb but it hadn't worked either.  Turns out the ballast had gone.  Someone let the smoke out.  This fan light had been installed in November 2008.  A "Brilliant" branded fan light we got from Bunnings.  Don't do that people.  We never could get a replacement light for it.  The last one we got was a much smaller T4 bulb because we couldn't find any the right size.  Pretty sure that was in April 2014.  So instead of trying to replace the ballast and not get a bulb that fitted anyway, we decided to get a similar sized LED oyster light and mount that instead.  It looks slightly odd, but works just fine and cheaper than a whole new fan light.  Most awesomest brother ever!

Bedroom fan light replaced

So that was done in the morning and we were like.. now what?  D/K went out for a wander round Canberra and I got stuck into cleaning out the "gardening" corner of the garage.  Too many spiders and other disgustingness for my liking.  D/K gave me a lift into town later where I met up with the sweetie for a drink and dinner for our anniversary (and they went off and did their own thing).  We went to Temporada and had quite a delicious, if very expensive, dinner.

Drink with the sweetie

Canberra at night

Stu at Temporada

Canberra tram at night

Actew teeth cones things

Saturday and David couldn't help himself, he wanted to replace our ancient fluoro kitchen/family room light fittings with LED ones.  So a trip to Bunnings (where it was decided against getting the "Brilliant" branded ones, even though they looked nice because a) Bunnings staff couldn't/wouldn't get the panel of test lights turned on to look at them, and b) they're Brilliant branded, which we've already established seems to be non-standard anyway), and then a trip to Project Lighting.  Got some flat round lights that don't quite cover up the old holes, so we'll need to sand/bog/paint that at some point.

Old kitchen lights

Pulling off the old lights

New kitchen lights

We did one of the lights in the morning, then headed out to the club to show D/K the new van (and get out of Stu's way as he was trying to study).  Had a bbq out there (we really need a new gas cylinder), then came home again, and David replaced the other light.  Had pizza for dinner, watched Goldfinger, and finished the big jigsaw.  Pretty good effort for two days. 

Sunday D/K went home and I spent the day coming to terms with the end of my holiday :(  Tidied up a lot of the house, did two loads of linen washing, got some holiday blog entries online, got some kiev balls from the shops and cooked those for dinner, watched Brooklyn 99 and Death in Paradise.

Ten days is not enough time off.  I really need those three month holiday I used to get when I was at uni... *sigh* ....

Time

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I need more of it.  Everything takes longer to do than it should, and there's just not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

Pretty standard week.  Busy in parts, not busy in others.  Fun and games with failed hardware, but did get dual nics working on the mail server in the new environment (well Connor did the hard bit, I fiddled with the server config).

Thursday the return of the vomit pizza!  Well not quite, but it does have a cheesy sauce base.

Vomit pizza redux

Also, as it turns out, I never posted a photo of the original vomit pizza.  This was taken in August 2017.  OMFG it looks disgusting but it was sooo good ;)

Vomit pizza

Saw this Friday morning which made us lol

Poo carters

Friday came home a little early.  Started watching He's Just Not That Into You which was a bit of fluff, kinda reminded me of Love Actually where everyone is connected to everyone else.  When the sweetie got home we had leftovers and started watching The Desolation of Smaug.  Way too long a movie and we ditched it with still a little over an hour to go and went to bed.

Saturday morning catching up on house stuff.  Then headed out to the club.  Where we accidentally bought a new van.  Which is about five times the size of our last van (actually probably even bigger).

New van

New van

New van

New van

New van

Then back home, and straight out again, to EffanC's for drinks and cheese on one of the last warm days of the season.  Had dinner of one of C's amazing salads.  So all very nice.  Except the drama.  Don't like drama.  Dropped in to see Annie and the kids and Daisy for a bit as well.

Saturday night/Sunday morning woke up around midnight and didn't get back to sleep til after 4am :(  So was a bit of a zombie today.  I thought I'd do a little Lego picking (finish picking the six sets I started this week) til maybe lunch time, then tackle the todo list.  Except I was still going strong on the picking by dinner time and I'd done like ZERO things on my todo list :(  Well other than finish watching He's Just Not That Into You.  And I did pull out some periwinkle and load the green bin.  Kit called just before dinner asking if I'd be a bridesmaid, which is very exciting (Audrey was going to find it too difficult, living in another country and all).  Roasted some potatoes and had those with leftover chicken and watched Discovery.

How do you stop windoze 10 just forcing a patching reboot whenever it damned well feels like it???  HATE Microsoft.  More time taken out of my evening trying to get back into everything it shut down.

Now just need to find some time to breathe....

Flamin

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Tuesday Neil and I had dinner at Pho Hub.  I had flaming chicken with hoisin sauce.  And it really was flaming!  Neil had his usual.

Pho Hub

Pho Hub flaming chicken

Then we went and saw The Lego Movie 2.

Wednesday night was a trivia night.  We won.  Again.  The organisers could have done with a little more practise, or at least have someone like Doc vet it all to save arguments with the crowd hehe.  The first three rounds were pretty tough, but the second three rounds were somewhat easier.  We did well with our Joker (double points) round, but annoyingly, not all rounds were worth the same.  Some were out of 10, others up to 12.5.  hrmmmm.

Thursday a bunch of us went to Chompy's for lunch.  I had the Iron Mikee.

Chompy's Iron Mikee

In the evening we saw the episode of Fuller House where the kids go to the prom.  So then I watched the episode from 1993 where DJ and Steve go to their prom.  Silly really.

Friday Annie had her appendix out.  Must be contagious!  In the evening we watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  After enjoying it at the movies because my expectations had been lowered, this time I felt a lot more like the reviewers that said it was way too long.  It's kinda tedious watching movies that are just massive cgi-fests.

Saturday morning was just house stuff.  At lunch we went out and got a new light for the bedroom fan light.  Had lunch at Yat Bun Tong, but couldn't face shopping at Coles in the mall so went off to Jamo to do food shopping.  When we finally got home it was pretty much time to make dinner.  The other week I'd made up a tomato sauce with a big batch of Kit's tomatoes.  So made a bechamel sauce and made up a big lasagna (from Lana's recipe).  It turned out quite well (looks a little overdone, prolly should have covered with foil for some of the cooking).

Kit lasagna

Kit lasagna

A little while later Kit and Pete came over.  They'd come up to see her brother and family before they went back to Germany, and came back to our place to stay the night.  They had some of the lasagna which seemed kind of appropriate, and we chatted and watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail and went to bed a whole lot later than I wanted to.  But I did manage to sleep in til 8am old time, 7am new time, so that was fine.

Spent way way way too long picking parts for five Lego sets today.  This whole process is going to take *forever* :(

Kit and Pete eventually went home.  Was feeling a little lost this arvo.  Cooked a nice roast dinner though, and we watched Fuller House (bringing us to the end of season 4) and Discovery.  

Also, that light we bought:  didn't work.  So don't know if it's the light or the fitting or a seemingly non-existent starter.  Very upsetting.

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.

Processing

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Got a bit more done on Saturday but not as much as I'd have liked.  Cooked a "butter chicken" from a recipe I got off Neil, but while it was nice enough it really didn't taste like butter chicken.  Watched some Good Place in the evening.

Slept somewhat better on Saturday night, other than hurty.

Sunday was just more of all the things, primarily processing holiday photos and sorting email.

Stu needed to get a new shaver as his old one finally died. So we paired that with some dry cleaning, a hair cut for him, and some Coles shopping.

Cooked some roast pork for dinner that turned out quite nicely, and had the other Stu over for dinner.

And now back to reality .. hrmmmm..

Friday David and Kat came to stay which was nice.  We couldn't decide what to have for dinner, so went to the shop for inspiration.  While staring at the fridge some random came in so David asked "what's for dinner?", to which she said, pasta with chicken, cream, sundried tomatoes, and D&K were like "can we come to your place?" haha.  Did pick up some stuff and made creamy bacony porky pasta.  After dinner we finished the jigsaw I'd been working on for the week (all that was left was sky that took a third of the jigsaw).  And we put on Flying High because Kat needed to see it.  Except she wouldn't watch it.  Oh well.

Saturday morning we started a new jigsaw before they wandered off.  Didn't have a particularly efficient day.  Did some food shopping but that was about all.  Thought we'd have a nice quiet evening.  Watched Wall-E (because we don't have Ratatouille).  After the movie I tried to use David's G7X in stars mode, but I couldn't get it to focus.  I completely lost it.  My brother can get the most amazing photos out of that camera, but I can't even operate it in point and shoot mode.  Such a failure at life.  Which was sad because the sweetie had come out to sit with my while I was doing stuff, which was really nice, but I couldn't deal and went to bed.  And then woke up at about 1:45am and stayed awake for the next three or four hours.  Hurrah.

Sunday I was pretty much a zombie, so again, nothing got done.  Such a waste of a weekend.  I shoulda gone petanquing.  

David and Kat came back in the afternoon, complete with broken ankle.  Kat had rolled it on uneven ground on Saturday night.  They got it treated at Goulburn Base Hospital on Sunday on the way back here.  We finished the jigsaw we started on Saturday and watched some Good Place and had roast pork for dinner, and I slept a whole lot better.

Monday evening I think I managed to achieve more in an hour than I did all weekend.  Silly really.

Tuesday evening was hurty, which was remedied with wine and pizza, and a drink with Kit and Pete, one of our last ever at their place.  Sad times.

Turned on the cooler tonight for the first time this season.  I think it's going to be a hot one....

Long Weekend

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So I flexed off Friday.  With no power and no internet there were no distractions, so had a super productive morning tidying the house, and I got behind the tv cabinet and tidied up and pulled out a bunch of stuff no longer in use and finally FINALLY put the PS3, Wii and new dvd player into the cabinet, so that's all much more betterer.

Then I picked up Neil and we went to Ryan McNaught's Brick Man exhibition.  As you do.

Then I came home (via work and a bit of supply shopping) and tidied up the rack which had degenerated into a massive mess, and pulled out my computer desk and tidied and cleaned behind that.

David and Kat came to stay and we did a jigsaw and got pizza for dinner (two nights in a row hrmmm).

So a super productive Friday.

Saturday wasn't as productive but did get a bit of stuff done.  Went out to the club in the afternoon and helped Fiona prep and serve dinner for sixty people.  These dinners are getting bit out of control...

Club Middle East night

Club Middle East night

Club Middle East night

Club Middle East night

Club Middle East night

Club Middle East night

Sunday morning was mostly food prep and a bit of tidying.  Had Nat and Andrew come over for our annual hanami lunch which was nice.  And then played Mario Kart all afternoon. 

Hanami

Hanami

Hanami

Hanami

Went down to Kit's in the evening, took a bit of cheese that turned out to be dinner (big lunch, not hungry), but got talked into staying later and later.  Whoops.

Monday was still trying to keep up with All The Things.  Got some of it done but not all.  Later in the arvo we went over to EffanC's for drinks and dinner, and R&F came too which was nice.  Collapsed into bed for an early night.

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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