How was your day dear?: July 2013 Archives

Didn't sleep all that well on Saturday night.  The bed was definitely too soft.  And my mind was still going from the excitement of the day.  The curtains were pretty good and kept the light out really well, so we had a bit of a sleep-in.

Hotel view morning

Went to The Scottish Restaurant for breakfast after checking out, but they took forever and I was worried about missing the train we needed to catch.  I was thinking we'd have to catch a City Circle train to Central and change, but the train we caught at Circular Quay went to Hurstville!  How weird is that!?!?  So did that and changed there, as it was less far to walk than Central.  Although more than Sydenham, but I wanted to go as far as we could.  That, and the novelty factor of catching a train directly from Circular Quay to Hurstville!

So yeah arrived at the parents' then went out to Tradies for lunch.  I had a reasonably decent caesar salad for lunch, and then there was cake!  Two of them :)  One for dad and one for me.

Dad's 70th

Kazza's 40th

Lots of people came.  Around seventy!  Lots of people I haven't seen in years.  Lots that knew me but I had no idea who they were.  But quite a pleasant afternoon.  Dad's not doing so well at the moment - very unsteady on his feet because of all the zapping they're doing to his brain :(  But he did well and I think he had nice time.

Some of the family

After everyone left, we went back to my parents'.  Stayed there for a while, before dropping Dad back at the hospital and Mum dropped us off at the airport.

Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 VH-FVQ

Snackages

Had a pretty good flight.  Took off from part way down 34L and banked round to the left, which gave a great view of my local neighbourhood.  In fact because the ATR planes are slower than the jets, got a really good long view.  Couldn't document it because it was too dark, but was able to locate heaps of things, so that was lots of fun.  Also got to see the Antonov that David saw yesterday.  It was just sitting at the international terminal.  I thought it had already left Sydney, but there was definitely a huge plane with wings on top and a blue tail, so what else could it have been?

Got home with a sore throat and exhausted.  Definitely feeling like I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend ..!

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

Drama Day

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More a work drama day today.  Upgrades and things not working and things different between environments (which always drives me balmy).

Tonight I had to raid the five year old bag collection for bin liners.  Stu and I have been using green bags for years, even before the plastic bag ban, but we still had a large supply of plastic bags for bin liners.  Those finally ran out the other day.  But in the garage was a big bag of bags that we've had since our last house.  And somewhere in a box there's a big pile from when I was still living in Sydney.  So we won't have to buy bin liners for a few years yet :)

White Christmas

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Yesterday we went out to the club for a Christmas in July lunch.  As usual there was a feast of food thanks to R&T and A&J.

Club Christmas in July

Lunch included, but was not limited to, lots of potatoes, turkey rolls, corn, salad

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

Dessert included, but was not limited to, rum balls, chocolate mud cake, trifles

Club Christmas in July

Club Christmas in July

And then.. it snowed!!

Club Christmas in July

That was pretty exciting :)

Afterwards we debated staying the night, but the sweetie had some work to do for uni, so we came home, as he thought it'd be easier to do at home.  That, and it was *freezing* out there.*

This morning there was still snow on the mountains out past Queanbeyan.

Snow

There probably would have been snow on the Brindabellas too, but we didn't leave the house all day, so we didn't see.

Bit of house tidying today, and then my tax man came to sort out my tax.

And so endeth the weekend.

* Freezing in the both literal (snow) and figurative (feels like) senses of the word, for people that want to complain.

Well not for Stu anyway ..

Yesterday morning was a pretty slow start.  Got out the door eventually and went to This Cafe in Gungahlin for brunch.  I had eggs benedict, which was reasonable (although the bacon was on the side which was a little odd).  But we were sitting by the door, which didn't close properly, and let a gale in every time someone came through, until the sweetie leaned over and closed it.  Most irritating.

Ferrari

This Cafe

This Cafe

Went out to Wintercon at EPIC and had a look around.

Then did our food shopping and came home.

I did a bit of cleaning of PVC goo with acetone in the afternoon.

After dinner we went over to Annie's for a while to catch up.

This morning I got a bit of housework done in the morning.

Then Stu got a phone call from Annie.  She'd fallen (in Sydney - she'd gone there to take the kids to the zoo) and wanted to come home but couldn't drive.  So the sweetie flew up to Sydney to rescue her.  He even got to go in one of Virgin Australia's itty bitty little planes.  Slightly jealous heh.

In the meantime I tidied up the laundry which has been a disaster lately.

Dinner was pea and ham soup that the sweetie had put in the slow cooker before he left.  It was pretty good.

Crispy Duck

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Had a nice day at work yesterday.  After getting some work done I had some free time in the afternoon to clean my desk, which really needed doing (especially since we'll be moving soon).

The sweetie picked me up and asked if I wanted to go to the Dumpling Inn for dinner, and I'm like, oh all right, you twisted my arm.. heh

So we got the mixed chow mein which was very nice, and instead of me getting shredded beef Peking style, I got the Dumpling Inn Crispy Duck, which was like Peking Duck Lite (the full thing you have to book in advance).  It was pretty awesome :)

Dumpling Inn Mixed Chow Mein

Dumpling Inn Crispy Duck

Whoops so it's been like a week since I last blogged..

Friday night the sweetie and I watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Saturday we went to Pulp Kitchen for breakfast.  I ordered a small breakfast raclette with a side of Pulp Kitchen bacon.  Except the waitress thought I said streaky bacon.  No, I said I wanted the chunky bacon (like I'd seen on the RiotACT).  The sweetie ordered a regular cotechino sausage meal.  Well I got streaky bacon after all (not that I'm complaining - it was really good), but the sweetie only got a small meal.  But the food was awesome and I don't think they charged us the full prices that were on the menu.

Pulp Kitchen Breakfast Raclette

Then we did our food shopping and went home.

Fiona arrived in the afternoon, and we sampled the caramel slice I'd made for the evening to make sure it wasn't poisoned! ;)

In the evening we went to Mishi's for a games night.  Chatted for quite a while before playing Citadels which Stu brought along and wanted to play.  I think I might have played it years ago, but I didn't really like it - it was a bit confusing to start with.  And then I got all my gold robbed three rounds in a row, which was completely demoralising (and, as it turned out, game changing - that loss of gold was the deciding factor in where I ended up placing in the game (fourth out of six)).  So yeah not a game I'm enthused about playing again.

Sunday morning we took Fiona to Pulp Kitchen.  This time I had "eggs anyhow with three sides", and this time I made a point of specifying the chunky Pulp Kitchen bacon. The sweetie had savoury granola and Fiona had the breakfast raclette.  The chunky bacon was pretty good, but possibly not as good as the streaky bacon :)

Pulp Kitchen egg and three sides

Went to The Front afterwards for more coffees (I had a babycino)

Stu and Fiona

Stu and I didn't do much else for the rest of the day while Fiona did her own thing.  We had a beef stew for dinner that had been slow cooking all afternoon.

Monday night we (us and @phonakins) met up with @chrispycon and @NathanaelB at King O'Malley's for drinks.  I'd actually met Nat a couple of weeks ago at Jamo, but I wasn't 100% sure it was him so didn't say anything.  Tweeted him later and it turns out it *was* him heh.  So nice to actually finally "meet" him :) Came home afterwards for leftovers.

Chrispycon and Phonakins

Tuesday was a very weird day.  The fog didn't lift all day.  This was the back view at 5pm:

Foggy Tuesday

And then later in the evening some bogans came along and rolled our neighbour's car onto its side :(:( I heard something odd and looked out and saw it, but nobody around it, they must have cleared off pretty fast.  Neighbour called the police but not much they could do.  Fortunately there was very little damage - even the side mirror had just folded itself flat and not been smashed off!

Rolled car

Tonight we just ordered pizza for dinner.  It was that kind of a night!

And so now I'm caught up :)

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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