Results tagged “Sydney” from Kazza the Blank One

Friday morning got to go with Chrissie to her diagnostic ultrasound.  Quite long - about forty minutes.  Very very cool :)  

In the evening we were both just getting ourselves organised for the weekend.

Saturday I did a day trip to Sydney to see the flat which is nearly finished being renovated.  On the way up I passed this accident, which apparently had happened some six hours earlier.  Sadly someone in a car in the oncoming traffic died.  I'd like to know what happened - did the truck driver have a heart attack or just fall asleep?  Got some lunch and had it at Luc and Lizzi's, then came home, diverting via Mittagong and Berrima, although I probably could have followed the diversion that had going off at Medway Road and probably wouldn't have been too held up.

Well actually I went via the club in both directions to drop off and pick up Stu.  Listened to six hours of "Criminal" podcast.  We watched Monsters University in the evening.

Sunday was just housework in the morning, then back out to the club again as we needed to show some newcomers around.  Had a swim before coming home.  Chicken dinner and Moulin Rouge! in the evening.

Today I found out before I left for work that I had a small package coming, so I worked from home so I could take delivery.  Just a small package - only contains 40320 pieces..

Road Trip

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So last week the real estate agent for my Sydney flat called up:  The current tenants were leaving.  But the flat is pretty much a disaster.  

I knew the vanity needed replacing but I hadn't been up in a couple of years, and the estate agent said I pretty much need to renovate the entire place.

Sigh.

So yesterday Chrissie accompanied me on a road trip to Sydney to have a look.

We left before eight, had a pitstop at Goulburn maccas for loo and snackages.  

Drove on through to Sydney, and had lunch at Rockdale Plaza.  I was thinking I could get something *other* than maccas, but ended up having it anyway.  Oops.

Then to the flat.

The tenants had mostly moved out, but still had some stuff left, and the place hadn't been cleaned at all yet.  But it was pretty sad.  The walls were covered in grime.  There were holes in doors (which tenants will have to pay for).  The blinds had been destroyed, with dodgy curtains in their place.  Several light fittings were broken.  Several windows were broken (one with broken glass, another couple just wouldn't even close properly - how did they even manage that????).  As I already knew, the vanity is pretty much completely destroyed.  The shower, which was perfect when I rented it, was covered in mould.  The cistern was leaking quite a lot and the plastic had yellowed and scarred.  But the worst was the kitchen.  Pretty much all the cupboard doors and draws had water damage and all the chipboard had swelled up.  So the whole kitchen (minus the stove and oven which are fairly new) is going to need to be replaced).  And I've still not decided about the carpet which is somewhat worn, but not completely destroyed.

Destroyed vanity

Shower mould

Kitchen cupboard doors

Fricken hurrah.

The estate agent is happy to organise it all, but it's going to cost a fortune.  The good news is I could probably get $100 more a week with fresh everything, so would probably get my money back after about four years or so.  

After seeing the flat, we popped down the road and Chrissie did her tax with her accountant.

Then we dropped in to visit Aunty Di (her aunt, not mine ;) ) and Uncle Graham.

Then we dropped in to Ansto to visit Chrissie's dad, who I hadn't seen except very briefly at Dad's funeral, for over twenty years.

Then we came home.  Via a pitstop at Maccas at Sutton Forest for loo and snackages.  Three visits to maccas in one day.  Whoops.

Got home around 7 and collapsed with some wine.

The Sydney Trip

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On Friday night I left work a bit early and drove up to Sydney.  I drove past a fire at the airfield at Marulan, which turned out to be not from natural causes, but because of a plane crash!  (the dude walked away - must have been a good landing!).  We went and fed the Macaulay's cat, visited Aunty Di and Graham, then had an early night.

On Saturday we spent the morning looking at photos (we played Dad's funeral slide show which was a bit emotional) and food preparation.  We did a big roast pork and my epic potato bake as well as some other veggies and lots of nibblies.  We also whipped some cream and decorated a pavlova.  Graham and Pam and Ken and Jeanine came over and we had a lovely afternoon.

Mum and the table

Nibblies

Epic pork roast

Epic potato bake

Christmas cake

Pavlova

Family photo

In the evening we went and fed Macaulay's cat again, and watched The Princess Diaries (which Chris and I had been talking about only just the other day).

On Sunday I caught a train into the city to go see a couple of Lego exhibitions (which I'll save for separate posts).

At Central I was all set to walk around to Harris Street when I noticed the end of the Devonshire Street tunnel didn't *end* anymore - it kept on going - with a sign to the Powerhouse Museum.  So I walked down through it.  They've converted that whole little area between Central and the museum from the old goods lines into a park called The Goods Line.  Totally spun me out because that area of the city has always been a dead zone and it was a real pain trying to get around because you couldn't just walk across town because of all the railway lines in the way.

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Powerhouse Museum (bottom entrance).

Powerhouse Museum

After seeing Art of the Brick, I headed back to Central to catch the train to Circular Quay (it was super hot and I didn't want to get hot and sweaty walking all the way, and as it turned out, Sunday is currently $2.50 all day on the trains so it didn't cost anything).

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

Then there was the second Lego exhibition of the day - the Sydney Harbour Icons at the Museum of Sydney.

Museum of Sydney

Then up to Martin Place to train it back to mum's.  I walked straight onto a train which was pretty cool.

Picked up all my stuff, then a flying visit to Luc and Lizzi's to do a donut photo of Ryan, then drove home.

I was expecting when I got home to have a quiet night of getting myself organised, but instead I came home to a pool full of people, in varying states of intoxication.  Which was rather unexpected (and made me feel somewhat left out! heh).  So didn't get anything done at home that night.  Oh well.  

Earlier this year I scanned this photo taken from Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower August 1983

Here's the same view as at December 2011

Sydney Tower December 2011

So since the start of the weekend I've been to Sydney and back.

On Friday night I headed up to Sydney, listening to podcasts for the drive.  Got to Mum's place and saw her photos of her recent trip to New Zealand.  Stayed the night - first person to sleep on her new sofa bed, which was actually fairly comfortable.  

Mum's

Mum's

Mum's

In the morning we headed to my old flat to have a look at it - turns out the estate agents haven't fixed *anything* that was broken from last time.  Grunt.  Then had a body corporate meeting.  Same problems that have been plaguing the place for the last fourteen years as it turns out.  

Came back to mum's place and had a barrumundi lunch, then I headed back home.

Saturday night Stu had slow cooked some lamb shanks that were pretty tasty.

Today was just a bit of stuff around the house, food shopping, cooking dinner (coq au vin!) and Sherlock.

More Sydney.  More sorting.  More stuff.

Mum purges tupperware
Mum sorts tupperware

This pigeon was on the first floor of the George St KFC.  It made quite a mess.
KFC Pigeon

Vicki
Queen Victoria statue

Caught up with Jo and Marc again at Jet at the QVB for drinks and pizza on the Tuesday which was great, but a bit of a disaster getting home as the trains were all stuffed up.  Took me an hour and a half to get home :(  

Jet pizza

Jet calamari

Also had a lovely lunch with @StuartCRyan.  

Peking duck with Stu

Came home Wednesday night with a car filled up with stuff to give away or sort through (including all Dad's slides and physical photos).  

Packed to the gunnels

Thursday after dinner and washing we went over to Kit's for a few drinks which was fun.  Friday I watched Air Crash Investigations and much of Gladiator while tidying up the dungeon for the car load of stuff.

Saturday I'd originally been going to help out with the big Christmas party, but I decided a few days out that I really needed a day at home for my sanity's sake. I have just had so little time at home in the past two months that I think I might have died if I hadn't stayed home.  So I was up early and spent the morning tidying up the dungeon, then emptying my car.  In the afternoon I did more sorting, cleaning and put up the Christmas tree.  I got nearly 10000 steps without even leaving the house.

In the evening we went to Mishi's for lots of eating and chatting and a bit of Pirate Fluxx, which I won two games of, and Mishi won a game.

Today I'm back in Sydney.  We went to Ikea to pick up a china cabinet, and she bought a mirror as well.  Then back to Taren Point to pick up her tv unit.  Squeezed the whole lot into my car.  Hatchbacks are pretty awesome really.

Tonight was Carols Under the Stars at Como church, but it was all thunderbolts and lightning, so it was inside under fairy lights which was pretty cool.  

Listed more stuff on Freecycle.

Sydney - August

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10-13.8.14

Sunday I headed up to Sydney in time for a reunion of the people we went to Turkey with.  Chatted with some peoples and got to see Heather's photo books of our Israel/Jordan and Egypt trips.  They were spectacular, would love to get around to making some photos books ... one day ...

Then for dinner Aunty Di and Graham and Chrissie and Zac and Dave and Yvonne and Ben all came over to Mum's for a birthday dinner of takeaway chinese.  

Birthday dinner

We showed Zac Bubble Butt, he kinda freaked out hehe

Zac

There's photos of me and a cake around somewhere, I really should find those :)

Monday was Peking Duck day with @StuartCRyan

Stuart C Ryan

Stuart C Ryan

Peking Duck August

Monday and Tuesday we continued the cleanup downstairs (and upstairs).

Anyone want any back issues of Silicon Chip or Electronics Australia?

Magazines

Wednesday night I came home.

6.4.14 - 15.4.14

Sunday night after the Turkey meeting I got super frustrated because I checked the seat allocations we had against the type of aircraft we were getting and found that we were right over the wings on all flights.  After I'd asked specifically for NOT over the wing, and then asked again was she really sure when I first got the seating allocations back and she said the seats were definitely not over the wing.

!@#$%^&@*!!

This is the same woman who gave me this seat on my Sydney to Hong Kong flight ..

Travel agent fail

And this seat on my Cairo to London flight ..

Travel agent fail

And yes, I'd specifically asked for a window seat NOT over the wing for those flights too.

I was absolutely furious.  So I mailed her *again* and said the seats were in fact over the wing and could they please be changed.  (I tried to do it online myself but couldn't, presumably because of the group booking).  She did adjust the allocation a little further back, but not nearly as far as I would have liked.  Might have to ask at the airport when I checkin if there's any option to move further back.

*sigh*

Monday I met up with Luc at the Baxter Inn, but I'll save that for another post.

Also on Monday I *finally* got a game of 2048 out.

Tuesday was lunch with @StuartCRyan at Super Bowl - Peking Duck!!

Peking Duck April

Wednesday was takoyaki day at Sushi and Grill.  I asked them if they make their own, but she said they didn't.. oh well.  Still, they're not too bad for pre-made.

Takoyaki

I also had some potato croquettes that day, but they weren't as nice

Sushi and Grill

After lunch was reading about Heartbleed and getting scared.  If you haven't changed your passwords yet for things like Yahoo and Flickr DO IT NOW!

Also on Wednesday there was a "signal failure" at Mortdale, so trains were "late and out of timetable order".  The announcement at Martin Place was "the next three trains will be terminating at Hurstville and the next Cronulla train will be at 17:22".  This was at 17:10.  So I did what any sane person would do - hopped on a train to Kings Cross and caught it from there.  Window seat :)  I was on the wrong side of the train to see how crowded it was on the platforms at Martin Place and Town Hall, but I think it was pretty insane.  It wasn't meant to stop at Como, so I was just going to walk from Jannali, but they said after Oatley it would be stopping at Como, so I got off along with quite a lot of other people.

Also got a nice view of the city coming back from Kings Cross.

Sydney from the train

Thursday was sad cause there was no 4:51.

Friday was social club drinks so stayed for a couple of beers.  I came home and wanted to watch To Kill a Mockingbird that mum taped for me last year, but mum wanted to sort through stuff in the study, so we did that, and by the time we were done, it was too late to start watching a movie.

This is a box full of clip art that dad had compiled and printed out.. he had an obsession with clip art..

Clip art

On Saturday, mum and I went and visited dad's little spot in the cemetery, where he had been buried that week.  He's there next to his grandmother and parents.  We also went and found Chrissie's mum.

Graves

Saturday night I went Chrissie's and we went to Rhodes.  We had dinner at the Phoenix Chinese restaurant.  We had some duck noodles which were nice enough

Duck noodles

.. but we also had these slow cooked pork ribs .. oh my they were delicious!  The meat was fall off the bone tender and the sauce was really yummy.  Loved this.

Pork ribs

Then we went and saw The Lego Movie.. because Everything is Awesome .. even a second time :)

On Sunday I went to church with mum.  In the afternoon we tried to figure out dad's photo filing system.  He made so many fricken backups of things, there's up to ten copies of some files, on multiple disks, with copies made for "slide shows", some with labels, others without, some full sized originals, others resized.  Some files don't have full sized originals, he only has "enhanced" or labelled copies.  Which is a bit of a poo.  So I backed everything up onto one little portable disk and brought it all home, and if I ever get time (yeah right) I'll try and sort it so there's a minimal number of copies in one organised location.

On Monday Uncle Colin and Sandra and Uncle Ian and Aunty Janet came over for dinner.  At the beginning of the evening I was freaking out about how similar my uncles are in some ways to dad.. just their attitudes to a lot of things and even some of their mannerisms.  It was a good fun night (it was Ian's birthday).

Ian's birthday

Family gathering

On Tuesday night I came home and cuddled my sweetie for a long time.

Sydney Tripping

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I was aiming to leave at 10am today.  It was more like 11am.  Then had the weirdest experience - driving up Gungahlin Drive and Well Station Drive with the Convoy for Cancer Families!  Drove along with all the trucks and past heaps of spectators.  Was a lot of fun!

Dropped off some of Jake's complete Lego sets then headed to Sydney.

Aunty Rhonda was at Mum's place so talked to her briefly, then we went over to the home.  Dad is going downhill faster now.  Almost impossible to understand him and he's pretty spaced out.

Had some nice leftover pork for dinner and did some more photo sorting.  Found that Dad has a slide scanner! Who knew? Then tried to figure out Dad's photo filing system ...

Three months ago today we went to Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery, then to the fish, bird, flower and Temple Street night markets.

Where did this year go?

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So Sunday morning I woke up early a few times but forced myself back to sleep.

Got up and did some testing, then went up to Sydney.

Orchids

Saw dad, took him out for chips and a milkshake then came home for leftover roast lamb. 

Did some more cleaning of the workshop on Sunday and Monday nights, and put up the Christmas tree on Tuesday night.  

Christmas craft

Christmas craft

I also moved a PVR into the study to digify the tv in there, and after establishing that an ancient set-top box remote didn't work, mum decided to buy a new tv for the kitchen.  So we set that up Wednesday night.

To go on top of the fridge, not live here!
Mum with her new TV

Also Wednesday went to Yum Cha with @StuartCRyan and he brought along some colleagues so we could have more noms.  Lots of noms.  I didn't have dinner that night.

Yum Cha - Marigold

Then I came home.

Southern Highlands sky

Southern Highlands sky

Southern Highlands sky

Southern Highlands sky

Was completely immersed in the world of Harry until I chanced a look at my temperature guage on the Federal Highway around EPIC.  It was very high.  In the next kilometre or so it just kept rising.  Didn't think I'd make it home without it going off the scale, so pulled over and let the car cool down for a while.  Then gave it a drink and continued home without incident.  The radiator was only just recently replaced, so might be related to that, but I really really don't want to go back to Melba Motors.  But also only have a couple of weeks before I need it again for Sydney.  Blah.

Realised today it's almost December.  Where on earth did the year go??

In and Out Again

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Had one night at home which gave me a chance to do two loads of washing.  

Then headed out to the club on Friday after work.  Stayed two nights, which is actually the first time I've ever done that.  On Saturday afternoon I pulled all the utensils, crockery and glassware tubs out, cleaned them, sorted their contents and made labels for it all.  Took pretty much all afternoon.  Yipe.  Sunday morning I finished the job by doing all the cutlery drawers.

Left for Sydney from there a bit before midday.

Jacaranda Snow

Jacaranda Carpet

Feed me!!
Feed me

Went and visited Dad (he's much the same).  Took him some hot chips.  Also read him the $#!+ My Dad Says list that I've been working on - sayings and stuff that are distinctly him.  He laughed at a few of them which was cool.

Mum did a lamb roast for dinner which was yummy, then we continued on with the workshop.  Made pretty good progress on one of the work benches in the workshop.  Pretty much cleared a whole surface.

OMG a work bench!!!
OMG a work bench!!

Tonight (after a dinner of scotch fillet steak) we continued on and around the corner.  Found papers dating back to 1976 - gardening and orchid stuff he was into years ago.  And a lot of disgusting stuff hidden up the back which probably hasn't seen the light of day in twenty five years.  And a piece of HO scale railway track.  And unopened tools.  And lots of duplicates of tools.  We think he would lose things and then go and buy another one because the old one was buried.  Silly really.  Setup some boxes - one for screw drivers, one for pliers and cutters, and another for "small" tools.  And another one for multimeters - at least four of the things.

Orchid cutouts

HO rail track

HO bogie

Dad installed this intercom so that mum could call dad when he was downstairs in the workshop.  Except after a while the voice bit of it died, and only the call buzzer really worked.  So for the latter years of its life mum would press the button three times, which meant dinner's ready.
Intercom

A few trips ago I forgot pyjamas.  This trip I forgot my phone charger and house keys.  Fortunately someone at work has one, so didn't have to go out and buy a new one today.

Will get some photos into this post later in the week.

Another Sydney Week

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Sunday morning I headed up to Sydney again.

But instead of visiting Dad straight away we ended up getting invited to Andy R's engagement party.  Which was basically just a family thing that mum got invited to as a good friend of "Aunty" Di's (not my aunty, but that's how my friend Crust (Chris) referred to her as).  Anyways, I've seen Graham and Di many times over the years, but I hadn't seen Andy and Dave (and Suzannah and Robert) in probably close to twenty years.  So it was a little odd (I felt like such a ring-in at a family event), but good to see everyone again.  

Suzannah

Milly and Andy

Then we went off to see Dad.  The butthead he shares a room with got grumpy when we made him turn his tv volume down.  Whatever.  Stayed a little while then went to Aldi to buy mum her first ever sim card, to go with her first ever (brand-new-second-hand) mobile phone.

Mum's phone

Evenings were spent clearing crap out of the garage.  I continue to be astounded by dad's box fetish.  It seemed any box that passed his way he'd keep "for storing things".  So we found boxes and boxes and boxes hidden away and in alcoves.  Not only that, but he used to make little boxes to go in bigger boxes for storing little bits and pieces.  So there's was piles and piles of cardboard, some of it already cut up and ready to be folded into little boxes.

Boxes of boxes

We are starting to feel somewhat overwhelmed by it all.  We've been at it for weeks but it seems we've barely made a dent :/

Monday morning I dropped my car off at Bargwanna's and said *please* fix it!  It turns out that the alternator was just wired incorrectly.  They fixed that up and made sure it wasn't drawing any current.  They also fixed a few other things that probably should have been done ages ago but just *weren't*.  I'm still undecided whether I'll ever go back to Melba Motors.

In the city, there's snails everywhere at the moment.  Although when I researched it I found out the display is finishing today, so alas I won't be able to go find any of the others.

Orange snail

Blue snails

Yellow snails

Martin Place has a stack of plants in front of the fountain, making it feel somewhat tropical.

Martin Place tropics

The monorail is almost completely gone too.  This is pretty much all that's left - stumps.

Monorail stump

Wednesday I had lunch with @StuartCRyan again, and we had Peking Duck again.  It was pretty awesome.

Peking Duck again

Came home Wednesday night, with Harry to keep me company again.

Cactus flower

What day is it?

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Tuesday night (and more of Monday night) Mum and I continued working on the garage.  I pulled lots of things down off high shelves to sort out/chuck.  There were several boxes of commercial VHS tapes, and a couple of boxes of tapes Dad had taped off tv.  There were several unopened copies each of DOS 5, Windows 3.1, old Word versions and other stuff.  There was a box of papers dating from 1981-1983 including church office newsletters, magazine/newspaper articles, and even a long letter writing to the rail authority complaining that he had not in fact fare evaded, as he had bought a weekly ticket but had inadvertantly thrown out the new one and had been carrying the old one around.  We piled up several recycling bins worth of paper in the garage, so that'll keep mum's bins full for a couple of weeks.

Came home last night via Yvonne's to drop off some stuff.  Had Harry and the car in front of me doing the same speed to keep me company and awake.  

This morning I wasn't really sure what day it was.  I alternated between a weekend day, Monday, and Friday before realising it was Thursday.  Oh well, at least there's beer to look forward to in 8.5 hours.

Here we go again...

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Friday night Andrew W came over and fixed a couple of plumbing problems we've had, but the toilet problem is much more complicated and he's referring us to a mate who's had more experience with that style of outlet.

Saturday we went to Pulp Kitchen for breakfast.  They've changed their menu slightly and the breakfast raclette is not there anymore.  I had eggs benedict with ham, and a side of streaky bacon, but the dude forgot to write down the side, so I had to get it after they brought out my eggs.  It wasn't as good as last time though, oh well.  But the ham was very nice on the eggs benedict.

Pulp Kitchen Eggs Benedict

Afterwards did some food shopping then came home.  I pottered around the house and Stu worked on his assignment.

Saturday night we actually had a night off.  It was the first Saturday night since May 11 that we've had where we didn't go out or have anyone over.  We watched some Star Trek and then Gladiator.

Sunday morning tidied the house a bit, then Damien came over for a war game.  I was planning to leave for Sydney around 11am, but firstly the garage door broke (a bracket came off and it wouldn't roll up - we did manage to roll it manually somewhat), and then my car was completely dead and wouldn't start.  Not even any charge lights at all.  *sigh*.  So got the NRMA battery dude out and he ended up replacing it (it was four years old - older than I thought).  So made it to Sydney a couple of hours later than I expected.

Went to visit Dad.  He's "sad" he described himself.  Mostly about facing the unknown of moving into a nursing home tomorrow.

Mum did an instant roast dinner for lunch with leftover pork, then we attacked the garage for an hour or so.  I climbed up into the shelves and pulled down piles of stuff.  I made an executive decision that VGA cards, other I/O cards, MS DOS 5, Windows 3.1, Microsoft Word etc etc could all be safely tossed.  We filled several large boxes with manuals for software that was out of date twenty years ago, a lot of it unopened. 

Fun fun fun ...

Peking Duck and Pizza

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On Tuesday I met up with @StuartCRyan for lunch at Super Bowl in Chinatown.

We had a whole Peking Duck.

And it was amazing :)

Super Bowl Peking Duck

Super Bowl Peking Duck

We ated the whole thing :)

Tuesday night David and Yvonne came over to mum's bearing pizza (they forgot to take the leftovers, so mum and I had them the next night). 

After the pizza we all trekked downstairs and David made some suggestions about what was likely to have any interest for people and what could safely be thrown out.

We also found more of Dad's not-very-secret chocolate stash.

Dad's chocolate stash

Wednesday night I came home again.

Monorail

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I think I went on the Sydney Monorail maybe twice? three times? in its twenty-five year service.  Once or twice as a tourist ride (because it didn't really go anywhere particularly useful), and once with Dave2 in 2011 when it was pouring with rain and we needed to get back from Darling Harbour to the city.

Even so, I was a little sad that they shut it down.

Last Monday we went out for a walk around a good chunk of the track to document the removal works.

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Sydney Monorail removal works

Back in Sydney

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So I'm going to be back and forth to Sydney for quite a bit in the next little while, Dad's health depending.

Mum wants to start clearing out the garage and workshop but it's quite a daunting task.  There is So. Much. Stuff.  At least Dad is pretty well organised, so at least a lot of the stuff is labelled.  But I'm really going to need the little brother's help as well for a lot of it, but given how little time he has in Sydney, that's going to be tricky.

And we probably can't really do too much in the short term anyway.  Maybe just take a lot of photos of things....

At least Dad has a nice view from his hospital room ..

Dad's view

My Dad turned 70 on Sunday.

So we trundled up to Sydney.

And I figured if I was going to be in Sydney, I'd try and catch up with some of my Sydney friends for part one of my birthday bash.

Stu wanted to fly (to get points so he can get Virgin lounge access).  So we spent obscene amounts of money on flights and a hotel.

But let me backtrack a minute.

I'd decided that we should go to the Löwenbräu Keller, as it was central for everyone, it had pork, and it had beer.  I thought that we could have a lunch, and people could stop in for a drink afterwards if they weren't able to make it to the lunch.  Except when I made the tentative booking they said that they were a restaurant and everyone had to be dining.  This they underlined.  Well actually they said that everyone who made a reservation had to be dining.  And they wanted a $20 deposit for everyone.  And we had to order off one of the very restrictive set menus.  So that was my drama last week.  Anyways.  I got my RSVPs and made the final booking and paid the deposit, and fortunately on the day everyone showed up who said they would, and no surprises.  But more on lunch later.

So Saturday morning we got up and got ready and headed to the airport.  And after complaining a couple of weeks ago about Stu getting to fly in one of Virgin Australia's ATR 72-600s, I got to go in one :)

Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 VH-FVP

Took off to the north, with a view of Canberra and the new Majura Parkway, but a lot of fog around still (delays all over the place because of heavy fog in the morning, and was a bit stressed that our plane would be late or cancelled).

Majura Parkway

Majura Parkway

Actually to say was a bit stressed was putting it very mildly.  I was totally stressed out all morning - about the lunch, who would/wouldn't turn up, the restaurant being bumheads, getting to the airport on time, the plane being on time and on and on.  Was feeling quite queasy until we got to the airport and our plane was going to be on time .. 

But carrying on ..

Because it's such a little plane, they don't have the full food service where they sell food/drinks.  Instead they have complimentary drinks and snackages for everyone!  So that was pretty nice of them.

Virgin Australia in flight snacks

Flew almost right over the top of River Island (it was on the other side of the plane)

Wollondilly River

Then up over Campbelltown and in from the south-west.

M7-M5 junction
M7-M5

Holsworthy
Holsworthy

Look Mum I can see your house from here.. and mine (under the clouds).  Looking into the sun, so not much more in the way of good shots for the rest of the flight.
Shire

Bate Bay looking very blue
Bate Bay

So off the plane and onto the Airport Train.  I've never actually taken this train before.  Reason being: it's a complete rip off!  $31 for the two of us to get to the city.  Absolutely ridiculous.  And of course, there was trackwork, so we had to change trains at Central.  At least there *was* a train to Circular Quay - when Stu went a couple of weeks ago, there were no trains at all in the CBD.

Carnival Spirit
Carnival Spirit

Walked up to our hotel, and were able to check in.  Fairly basic hotel room, but very nice and a pretty decent view.

Shangri La hotel

Shangri La hotel view

Then we wandered down to the Lowenbrau, and even though we were fifteen minutes early, we were only *just* the first ones there heh.

James and George

Liz and Luc

Chris and Stu

Fiona, Stu and Me

Peter

Sami and Cathy

Fi and Daniel

No good photos of Marc/Ryan and none at all of Emma/Charlotte.. doh!

So everyone arrived and they brought out meat.  So. Much. Meat.  This times four!

Lowenbrau meat

We got the "Schmankerlplatter" which was $39.50 and the cheapest of the options we were forced into having by the Lowenbrau.  I was really annoyed by this, as it meant people couldn't go for a lighter lunch if they wanted to.  One thing's for sure - I'll *never* be booking to go to the Lowenbrau again.  If opportunity arose I'd still go there, but I'd never organise an event there again.

*Fortunately* they were happy to package up all the leftovers, and Stuart R and my brother took them home.  So at least a quarter of all that food didn't end up going to waste.

And the pork was pretty damned good.  And there was other meat too.  For those that wanted it ;)

The band

So after lunch, since the Lowenbrau were being buttheads about not wanting people to drop by casually, we headed up to the Argyle for drinks.  Fiona, Stu, Chris, Daniel&Fi and me and the sweetie went, and were joined by Fran, Jake, Ric, David and Yvonne.  Where we stayed til early evening :)

The Argyle

The Argyle's unisex bathroom.  The funky pods at the far end are the urinals!
The Argyle's unisex bathroom

Fran

Jake

So all in all it was actually a wonderful afternoon.  I hadn't seen Chris in twenty years, and I'd never even met Stuart R (except online, and he had actually thought I was a boy which gave everyone a good laugh ;) ).  And all sorts of lengths of friendships in between.  The only sad part was not having enough time to catch up with everyone for as long as I'd have liked.  Oh well.. will have to make more effort on future trips!  And convince people to come visit ;)

Stumbled back to the hotel.

Argyle Cut

Picked up some snackages on the way back to the hotel, thinking we might get hungry later on.  But we never did.  Too much meat!

However the hotel had put out a little bit of cake and a macaron for my birthday - how sweet of them :) (when they asked at checkin if I was up for a special occasion I said I was :) )

Hotel cake

Enjoyed the view briefly before collapsing into (a very soft) bed.

Hotel view

Thirty years ago today, we went up Sydney Tower.  Here's Mum's scanned photos, along with some of mine from 2011 for comparison.  The view south is probably the most dramatically different!

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Last night I finished Careful, he might hear you, but Sumner Locke Elliott.  

Not a bad book when you get used to the switching of perspectives and the flashbacks that get inserted into the text with no breaks which makes it a little confusing.  

I liked the descriptions of Sydney, being able to picture a lot of the places talked about.  At one point they're going to a cemetery on the "electric train".  I thought it would have been Rookwood, but then there was a description of looking down at the river and seeing the jellyfish, and I'm like "hey that's the George's River, they're going to Woronora cemetery!" .. and of course I was right.  I used to catch the train over that river and see the jellyfish (different bridge though - the old bridge described in the book is now a pedestrian bridge).  And they went past the Como hotel too (although didn't mention it by name).  

Will have to watch the movie again some time (I think I might have seen it when I was much younger).

I thought this might have been a Bookcrossing book (it was in that pile), but no number on it.  Maybe I should register it.  And read all the other bookcrossing books I have ..

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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