Well that flew by…

31 12 2008

Another year is coming to an end.  For some it happened overnight, for me it happens in a little over 8 hours.

It’s certainly been an interesting year, some highs, some lows, and yet I’ve made some great friends, brilliant friends actually, spent time with other close friends and been part of special occasions in their lives, become an Uncle, travelled, and managed to identify and remove from my life a small group of what I’ll deem “unworthy” people, without walking away cynical (well, anymore than usual! 😉 ), and able to maintain an optimistic view that most people really are great.

There’s so much to say, so much to re-cap, but I’ll leave it at this…

To my true friends, family and faithful readers, may you all have a Happy New Year in 2009, may the year bring you everything you wish for, and more, and may love, good health and good fortune be your constant companions.

Here’s hoping that 2009 is a brilliant year for everyone.

*raises glass*


I’m going to kill him!

30 12 2008


I finally decided to cook a roast tonight, and have a close friend over that I missed seeing over Christmas.  Despite being ill, I’ve been unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, and slicing, dicing and preparing food most of the afternoon.

Then I had to go out for a Physical Therapy session (With the afore referenced friend.  She’s my therapist.)  So I turned the oven down to a low temperature and left.

Only to come home, open the oven and have the house fill with smoke.  Which it’s continued doing all evening, and I’ve been perplexed as to why.

Now sitting here, in the middle of Winter with all the doors and windows open so the smoke will dissipate, it’s finally occurred to me what the problem is.

It’s Mark!

He changed the temperature settings on the oven to be Celsius, not Fahrenheit.  Of course, since everything else is in imperial measurements I forgot, and have had the oven running at Fahrenheit values on Celsius temperatures.

Hopefully I can rescue the meal.  Mark on the other hand is going to be requested to put the oven back on it’s original settings and stop meddling.


Gotta go, there’s charcoal to be scraped.  Not really, but it sounded dramatic! 😉

See ya!

Ummm, I don’t know

29 12 2008

What to write that is.  It’s been a quiet day.  I’ve shoveled the last of the snow off the road at the end of my driveway.  It was difficult getting in and out.  My driveway was clear, but then there was a mountain of snow on the road, which on one occasion I crossed by putting my car in reverse, looking for traffic, making sure there wasn’t any, then slamming my foot on the accelerator, not the safest method, but effective nonetheless.

That’s about it really.  Shoveled some snow, then stayed warm in the hope of shaking off the cold I seem to have picked up from somewhere.


Oh so tired…

28 12 2008

The weekend was certainly a lot of fun, so much fun that I spent most of Sunday taking very small sips of water all day to rehydrate.  I certainly don’t bounce back as fast as I used to.  *laugh*

Our evening at the lovely Lisa’s house for drinks and games with her family and another friend; Justin was awesome, and went into the wee early hours of this morning.  Board games, billiards and Rockband.  I think we’re all going to have the sound of one particular game; Uno Flash, trapped in our minds until the day we die…

Woohoo!  Even Mark enjoyed himself.

However, I need sleep now, desperately.


Snow more…

27 12 2008

Finally we’ve had a day without snow.  That being said, we’ve had a day or rain instead, no complaints though.
The roads are clearing, enough that I took the snow cables off the car today, and it’s a nice change to be able to traverse the roads at normal speeds again, and to not have to avoid other vehicles that are careening out of control.

After a slow start to the day we head off to the stores to check out the post Christmas sales, the main rush was yesterday, today wasn’t so bad.  Some of the sales were pretty good, particularly Macy’s, but, they’re always good sales there.  Mark picked up a leather jacket that was originally $455 for $112.  While I got myself a $290 one for $59.  We do love a bargain.

Now I’m going to go have a short nap before I head off for an evening of frivolity with some friends.


Dad!  Hope you’re feeling better soon.  Hugs for you and Mum.

The Christmas that was

26 12 2008

Yesterday was Christmas, and it started out with plenty of snow, incidentally, it’s all snowing again today as I type this…

While Christmas for me is traditionally spent with family, this year, I spent it with my friends, my surrogate family.  A bunch of “Christmas Orphans”.  All of us unable to spend Christmas with family due to distance and weather conditions. 

I managed to get a restaurant reservation at the last minute for the seven of us, and while as a rule I generally don’t dine out for Christmas either, the day resumed all levels of tradition when it became all about good company, and lots of food and alcohol.

I mean, what is Christmas after all without excess? 😉

Good fun, and there was more to come spending the afternoon with friends, and then the evening with friends as well.

Thanks Brad, Tom, Cliff, Peter, Joe-Jo, Alex, Jene-Paul and Cisco.

After which, my late evening consisted of drinking plenty of water, and this morning, hitting the gym.

Now I’m feeling a little better about myself.  Although I’m cold, but the heater is kicking in now, so that’ll soon be rectified.


Merry "White” Christmas!

25 12 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!

This is officially the first Christmas that I’ve spent in this country where we’ve actually celebrated the day.  We haven’t decorated, outside of a wreath on the front of the house and displaying the Christmas cards, but we’ve certainly got plenty of “festive” real icicles hanging off all the guttering outside.

Yesterday was fun, after a sleep in we re-fueled the car (fuel is running low here because of the snowy conditions) and stocked up on groceries (we needed them, and it’s nice to have food in case the unexpected happens, whether it be guests, or even worse weather conditions), and then returned home where I dug out the driveway and paths again.
Admittedly it was much easier this time because less snow had fallen, and we’d had some rain which made it a little less also.

A couple of friends dropped by in the afternoon who had become Christmas orphans due to the weather.  Their plans to travel to be with their families have been cancelled as the distance is to far to travel in bad snow in a car, while they were watching television I tried my hand at assembling my very first Gingerbread House.

Urgh!  The icing must have been a little runny, despite following the instructions, the fact that I was rushing it didn’t help any either.  The roof panels kept sliding off as the icing wasn’t setting, and in the end, I had a “Christmas Tantrum” and decided it would be a Gingerbread House post earthquake, and it’s since been partly devoured.  I think only two walls remain standing the rest of it is lying on a plate.

The highlight of the evening though was attending a friends Christmas Eve Drinks party.  We met new people, had a couple of drinks, tried some traditional mulled wine, and generally had a great time.  It really felt like Christmas, for me, that was the first time since I’ve been in this country.

There were children, snowflake balloons, a Christmas tree, gifts, and smiling faces everywhere, and all the children were completely obsesses with a fantastic website called www.noradsanta.com that let’s them track Santa as he travels around the world delivering gifts, along with sneak videos of him in key locations, such as the North Pole, Sydney, Auckland, Seattle etc.   Even as an adult, it was a complete joy to view, more so because of the pure excitement it elicited in the children themselves.  Whoever designed that site is a genius.  It even has some Santa facts, my favourite one, and please don’t quote me, this isn’t verbatim was:

Santa’s snow is the fastest moving thing on the earth.  However the speed that he travels at is classified.

What a brilliant way to give a fact and then negate the need to elaborate on the answer.  Genius I tell you.  Genius!

Thank you Millers, we had a great time!   Happy Birthday to the lovely Alexandra who turned 10 yesterday too!  Two days of presents for this young lady.  Good work! 😉

Once we arrived home, I phoned HOME.  Not like E.T., my finger doesn’t glow.  I actually dialed up my family back in Australia.  Admittedly I did this feeling quite a bit guilty as I’d meant to do it earlier in the day while they were all together having Christmas lunch.
As it turned out, a minor Christmas Miracle, they were all still together as they were having a Christmas Leftovers Dinner.  Brilliant.  I got to talk to everyone, Mum, Dad, Nan, my sister Kate, brother in-law Trevor, and my nephew Jack.  Well Jack and I didn’t really talk, I talked and he made some very amusing noises back down the phone, but that was more than enough to make me laugh.  It was still a little bittersweet though.   But my family did have an early Christmas for me in November while I was visiting, so I had the actual experience a few weeks ago to compensate further.

After all that, it’s relatively redundant to say that I slept well.  But I did.  The only thing waking me this morning was a certain grey kitten called Annie.  She spends every evening asleep on the bed, until morning where she climbs on my chest, stares at me with her big orange eyes, and “Wills me awake!”.  When I do finally awaken, the excited response makes me think that in her mind, I was actually dead overnight, and have just arisen purely for her enjoyment.  My little girl is so excited she starts purring (loudly enough to wake Mark who grumbles.  Who grumbles at a kitten’s purr?  Scrooge!) and excitedly runs up and down the bed grabbing my hand with her paws and putting it on her head, licking and nibbling my fingers until I get up, at which point she runs down the hallway barely 10cm in front of my swinging feet, jumping up periodically trying to grab my hand with her paws.  Every morning it’s a cute display.
Generally it ends around the same time I feed her.  *laugh*  I see right through her scheme.
Oliver on the other hand, lifts his head, looks at you, and then snuggles back into the bed for the long haul.  It’s not unusual for him to be “made into the bed” when I straighten the covers each morning, and to rise sometime in the early afternoon.  Spoilt!

Now, on to Christmas, as today is Christmas morning, and it’s snowing.  It’s a true white Christmas, there’s snow in abundance and more falling as I type this.

Ok, that’s enough typing from me, I’m going to have a lazy warming enjoying the heater in my pj’s before we meet some friends at a restaurant for Christmas lunch.


Be safe and stay warm, or cool as the case may be! 😉

Mother Nature has spoken…

24 12 2008

And she has decreed that despite my best efforts shovelling snow yesterday, that it WILL be a white Christmas.

Three hours I spent yesterday, unearthing the patio, and all the paths and driveway around the house.  I was so proud of myself.  Slept like a baby because I was so tired, then woke up this morning.

OMG!  Nearly 10cm of snow has fallen, my hard efforts erased, and it’s still falling now.

It is pretty beautiful though, and while I’ve dug myself out twice now, the novelty hasn’t quite worn off.  Yet anyway.

Photos are in Flickr, “I said White Christmas” slideshow.

Merry Christmas and Happy Channukah Australia!

24 12 2008

Holidays 2008To my friends, family and readers in Australia, and all other appropriate time zones. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah , and a Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

A big HO HO HO and an Oy Vey  to all of you!


Snowy Shenanigans

23 12 2008

Well it’s certainly been an interesting and productive day today.  The snow held off which was nice, although there were a few flakes during the day, not enough to matter, but they were visible.

Apparently my accent has either gotten thicker in the last couple of days or people here have been indulging in too much bottled Christmas Spirit as I’ve had to repeat myself incessantly all day, and describe things over and over again.

The highlight (and that’s me being sarcastic) was having to ask for postcards three times, before describing them, as “like a photograph that you write on the back of and post to people”, for the shop assistant to say, “Oh Postcards”, to which I replied, “Yes, exactly what I’ve asked you for three times”.  Argh!

Once I finally got home, I spent the next 3 hours shoveling all the snow off the back patio, de-icing the dogs shade bed, patio seats, and steps, before moving to the front yard to unearth all the paths and driveway again.  It’s only been four days since I did it last time, and the amount of snow and compacted ice was insane!  It was such a workout that I decided against going to the gym.

Snow Shovelling 231208 I took photos throughout the process to record the progress, along with a shoveling video!  *laugh*   Oh, there are also photos of the ice stalactites forming on the guttering outside.  I don’t have Christmas lights like all the neighbours but the stalactites add genuine festiveness. ;)   They’re insane inside given they’re only a couple of days old.  One is almost 32” long.  Work out the conversion yourself, I’ve no idea.  I couldn’t find the metric tape measure. Hehe!

Dolce and Vita in the Snow 231208 Once all that was completed, I took the dogs out the front for a play.  They weren’t going on the snow for anyone, that is until I started throwing treats onto it.  That got them moving, and it was pretty funny watching them sink in the deep snow, and then try and bound across.  The funniest was when Dolce tripped and body surfed down a snow hill before crashing into my feet.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the camera handy when that happened.  Dammit!

I’m inside now, all de-frosted and ready to crash into bed.  I’m going to sleep tonight, of that I can be assured.

Hope you’re all having a Merry Christmas Eve if tonight is the night, or a Merry Night Before Christmas Eve for where I am.

Ho Ho Ho!

Oh, in the background right now Mark is lighting the candle on his Disney Menorah for the third night of Channukah.  Such a good Jew.  Only because I got him organised.  You see, every year Mark claims he doesn’t know where his Channukiah is, and that he doesn’t have any candles.  Of course, he only claims that if I question him on why he’s not recognising Channukah.  This year he tried to use our recent house move as an excuse, telling everyone who asked that he didn’t know where anything was.  Fortunately for him, as has been the case every year, I not only know where the Channukiah is, and the candles, but every year (except this one, as I now have a surplus) I buy him new candles.


So, in the background, mere moments ago, Mark was lighting the third night candle and reciting the appropriate prayer, under his breath, so I requested he project and do it out loud for the benefit of those around him. 😉