24 March, 2010


Well, after my 'day in the bush' this week, I am now paying for it BIG TIME!

I really didn't give it much thought at the time, but when I ended up on my butt after slipping into the boghole, by the time I got home that night, bathed, clothes soaking etc, I could barely open the bottle of milk. So, yesterday, I took myself off to the doctor, and was promptly sent for an X-RAY. Initial results were all ok, but (in the words of the doctor) "what would I know, I am JUST a doctor after all"... But I think it was a bit of a protest of the system than inadequacies! A follow up today show it to be deep soft tissue damage and to rest and pain killers! So rest I have done, sort of!

This morning, after baking for what seemed like minutes (thanks to Woolworth's Baking Dept) I had morning tea with my neighbours and one of the grandchildren! It was such a lovely morning chatting over coffee and cake/bikkies! They are looking after Macc and Jasmine whilst I am away. So instructions were outlined for them!

It is now just on a week until we leave... It can not come soon enough for me! I am so over being here at the moment. Maybe just with dates that are coming up, I don't know, but to be somewhere as far removed the better. I will, of course, miss being here on that day and to be with L at her grave, but we will be celebrating her life in Paris, and after all, I will be with family on the day! I am also planning my next trip, which could be within a couple of weeks of returning, and then at the end of the year! The 'devil is in the detail' at this stage, but if it all works out, I will be back in Europe in Late May/early June (dates being worked out by another party)! These FF points are being racked up at a rapid rate at the moment!

The car is still a filthy thing, but I am hoping it may rain... Maybe I should gaurantee it by actually washing it!? Maybe Friday...


22 March, 2010

Dust, Mud & 'Red Faced'!

LOTS of photos sorry!

I got up SUPER early this morning, for no apparent reason as well... Maybe something to do with the heat from yesterday and the Southerly that hit last night maybe? So I thought of going for a drive... Had breakfast, cereal, and eggs on toast, and it was still dark and not yet even 6am (told you it was early!). So I thought that both Mount Wilson and the Newnes State Forest (Glow Worm Tunnel & the Lost City) would be good.

So I was on the road by 6am, and headed west for the Bells Line Of Roads to make my way up the Blue Mountains. It was misty, and even the odd light shower, and I thought that it might make for some interesting photography. By the time I got to Mount Wilson (c. 1000m above sea level) it had pretty much lifted, but still overcast with some even higher clouds! Here are some of the better shots from Mount Wilson:

Mt Wilson Sign, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Mt Wilson Gates, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Mt Wislon Main Road, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Mt Wilson Rental House, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Mt Wilson Cyathias, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I then headed further west to the top of the Zig Zag Railway at Clarance, turned into the Newnes State Forest and put my Grand Vitara into High 4WD for the dirt roads. The roads through here have become increasingly better since I was last here (thankfully) and I was well into the forest along the Glow Worm Tunnel Road. I soon got onto the section that was once, an old railway line into the Newnes Valley. Through cuttings, over culverts and finally, through a disused tunnel that takes you all the way through to the carpark about 1-2klm from the Glow Worms!

Newnes Tunnel Entrance, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes Inside Tunnel, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes Road Washout, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes Road, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes Rocks Formation, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes Cliff Face, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes Carpark, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Newnes State Forest, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After a short time here, I then headed back towards Black Fella Hands Road (NOT my wording, but a locals! I later found out that it leads to some Aboriginal drawings on a sandstone rock wall: - I think another trip when I get back from overseas...) towards The Lost City. Trouble is, I never made it thanks to a 'bog hole' that a) was much deeper than thought and b) I slid into (even though I had STOPPED) and got hung up on my diffs! It really was quite deep, up to my knees in it, and the inside of the car although dry from rising water, is wet from me getting in and out with wet and muddy feet! I also, slipped which landed me on my backside (yes, OUCH) and to make that a lot worse, I slid INTO the bog hole! I now have my white shirt soaking in Nappy San, and will hopefully get clean again!

Wet Muddy GV Front, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Wet Muddy GV Side, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Wet Muddy GV, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

All I have to do now, is WASH my clothes that are soaking!

Muddy Shorts Soaking, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

20 March, 2010

Quotes that mean something to me...

Here are a 'sample lot' of quotes, that in one way or another, have a personal meaning to me...

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott, Mamion, Canto vi. Stanza 17. Scottish author and novelist (1771 - 1832).

I first learnt this one when working with my mate 'Chook'... He was, of course, talking about a past friend of his, but he often recited this and it has sort of 'stuck' in my head. There are times today even when this is oh so very much the case, and I just so wish it wasn't the case!

"If quitters never win and winners never quit, who came up with "Quit while you're ahead?""

Again, I originally heard this one when training, but I have NO idea who came up with it. I just remember as a 14yo gymnast, my coach yelling it out!

"To the world you could be one person, but to one person you could mean the world."

This one is very close to my heart, as I heard it (who's name escapes me...) only very recently since April last year... I just love it!

Of course, Chook and I had a lot of 'other ones' (FUBAR, SNAFU and FIGJAM) and you can use your OWN imagination as to what these may mean, but they were often used when something worked out, something didn't work out and when either one of us need to reinforce one's own goodliness ;)

Now its not long now until I have to pass through Immigration (again) to head overseas... But tomorrow, I might take Macc out for a swim (I just KNOW how much he is going to like that NOT), just like this couple is with their dog infront of the Singapore A380.

9V-SKD, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

And for some reason, I like this shot of the Seagull, pity I didn't have anything to give him to eat, but given that I was close to an active runway, probably the best thing really!

Sea Gull, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

17 March, 2010

A SUPER busy week

Last Sunday, we celebrated my birthday (42) and had a great day with the family over. I knew what I wanted to do for the day, all I had to do was pull it off! The weekend started with a busy Friday night at the footy with the 'other B', and his brothers J & A. They are really more like brothers than friends as I have know them for well over 20 years now! Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post I am a Parramatta EEL's fan and unfortunately, they lost. Anyway, Saturday I got busy shopping and running here and there getting things ready which included making sure that the garden was at its possible best! Sunday morning, and I started early getting the BBQ ready, potato's peeled and the copper (old Australian boiler for washing) full of drinks and ice. Then I started the BBQ at around 10.45 and put the 'Drunken Chicken' in to cook, and potato's into the oven.

Drunken Chicken, originally uploaded by lounbern.

By midday, people had started to arrive and all was ready. I was, naturally, busy making sure people had drinks, socialised and mingled and then got the Lamb Leg, butterflied, and marinated in Rosemary and Mint onto the BBQ.

Anyways, food was ready to be served, and everyone helped themselves to the feast on offer:

Bday Lunch, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After lunch, and for everything to settle, it was then time for pressies and cake. I was asked (numerous times) as to what I wanted for my b'day and I was not sure I really wanted anything. But in the end, after considerable thought, I suggested Bunnings Vouchers as I will be able to use these when I get back from overseas on the house! Needless to say, I had some help with the blowing out of the candles, and thanks to SIL 'S' for making the cake, and for Riley for the finger spots in the side when he saw the 'Happy Cake'!

Bday Cake, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Some more of the day:

Pop KING of the kids, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cam Jamie Alex, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Jack, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Riley, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I also have fallen into a low, after some bad news the week before my b'day. Needless to say that this bad news is now filed after consulting all of the family. So, I have taken so time off work, and I took myself off for a drive to catch up with some girls I know who have been so supportive to me since last year. But I came across this funny sign on an old vacant block, and whilst the spelling was close, it reminded me of a dear friend in the USA whom I hope to meet one day soon!

McEwens, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

And today, whilst I was out running around in between counsellor visits, collecting ALL of the travel documents, I headed down to Berowra Waters, but the car ferry was closed so I was unable to cross and continue my drive, so I turned back and headed home. So it has been a busy week, and a trying time ahead until I head off in just 13 days!

Berowra Waters, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.


12 March, 2010

It's FOOTY season, FINALLY!

It's been no surprise that I have been a bit down lately, hek even I KNOW that! But, I have been seeing the doctor and getting 'better' via changes in medication. Hopefully these will 'kick-in' soon!

Anyways, I digress... I have been asked to the opening round of the 2010 NRL Season of the Mighty Parramatta EELS 'v' St George Dragons. Now, most people don't really know what team I support, but here's the thing, I like the colour green! So when I was at school, my football colours were blue and gold and as such, I supported Parramatta EEL's! Mind you, the last game I went to at the old Cumberland Oval was just before they won the Premiership and the Grandstand burnt down! AND, a guy (Andrew Fitzhenry No. 470) I once went to school with even played for them! So my history with supporting the EEL's goes way back.

EELS, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

BUT, in 1982, I changed alliances to support my favourite colour (Green) the new club, Canberra Raiders! Nothing more than the fact the jersey colour is green!

RAIDERS, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

But I have always had, as my No. 2 team, the EELS so for tonight, GO THE EEL's!


10 March, 2010

Happy Birthday to me, and

Is closed for the day...


07 March, 2010

Festival of Steam at Thirlmere

It goes without saying that this last week has been hard, DAMN hard. But today, I was supposed to go for a drive up to Newcastle and meet up with a friend for coffee. BUT, unfortunately, Mr 2yo was not well and we postponed... So instead, I headed down to Thirlmere for the Festival of Steam (FoS).

1. FOS1, 2. FOS2, 3. FOS3, 4. FOS4, 5. FOS5, 6. FOS6, 7. FOS7, 8. FOS8, 9. FOS9, 10. FOS10, 11. FOS11, 12. FOS12, 13. FOS13, 14. FOS14, 15. FOS15, 16. FOS16, 17. FOS17, 18. FOS18, 19. FOS19, 20. FOS20, 21. FOS21, 22. FOS22, 23. FOS22, 24. FOS23, 25. FOS24, 26. FOS25, 27. FOS26, 28. FOS27, 29. FOS28, 30. FOS29, 31. FOS30, 32. FOS31, 33. FOS32, 34. FOS33, 35. FOS34, 36. FOS35

I had a lovely morning catching up with friends from work and their families! AND, it had been YEARS since I was last down here, I think it was before I could drive! Now I have simply called them all FOS, but they are all in order...

When I was leaving, the train from Sydney was coming up from Picton, but it needed some help from an additional steam engine on the front AND a newer locomotive at the rear! By the time I got home, it was getting somewhat windy and muggy, I hope it is leading to a storm later tonight.

In other news, the house next door to me was up for auction on Saturday afternoon. There was about 50 people there and opening bid was strong, VERY strong! But the bidding was heading north quickly in $10,000 lots before slowing (quickly) to $1,000's. It finally finished with a young chap buying the property for $497,000. AND, in even better news, he wants to move in ASAP instead of the typical 42 day settlement period, so its not a developer! I quickly went and introduced myself to him, thus how I know he wants to move in ASAP, to say HI and to mention that I will not be here when he does move in as I will be overseas. Welcome to the street mate!


02 March, 2010

12 months ago today... WW No. 2

This needs some explanation... 12 months ago today, after a second egg collection cycle (14 on this cycle), we had a double embryo transfer. To think, that 12 months on, I should have my wife and babies. Instead, I have buried her.

I feel a bit depressed at the moment, but I am ok...


01 March, 2010

Hunter Region Botanic Gardens and a weekend catchup

Last week, I went up to the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens... this is quite a quaint little gardens that really are doing a wonderful job on, basically, running on the smell of an oily rag!

And a very dear friend, A, sent me a message saying to take some mosquito repellent, and I thought I would be OK, well I was wrong! There were HEAPS of them, and they were persistent little sods too! but, whilst they were landing on me, they didn't seem to be biting me, so all was good! There is, at the entrance to the visitors center, a stand that has a few insect sprays, so I think I will use them next time!

HRBG Fountain, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
HRBG Rotunda, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
HRBG Garden Chapel, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

They have also done a 'sculpture/carving from an old tree that had passed.

ABORIGINAL SCULPTURE IN THE GARDENS An ancient Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsa) in front of the Visitors Centre carved by Aboriginal sculptor Worimi Dates. The carving depicts the people and totems of the Garuahgal tribe of the Raymond Terrace area. Native animals and people emerge in harmony with the tree telling the story of Worimi's family. The rich colour of the carving is achieved by using Preschem's Aussie Clear timber treatment, Preschem have sponsored the tree by providing a year's supply of oil.

HRBG Tree Sculpture, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
HRBG Tree Sculpture Closeup, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
HRBG Tree Sculpture Pelican, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
HRBG Tree Sculpture Roots, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The weekend was an extremely busy one. I got home from the HRBG at around 6pm and I went straight to bed. I had a mate that was on the first flight out of YSSY to Dubai and then Tehran and needed to be at the airport at 2.30am. I woke at 12.30, had a coffee and headed across to pick him up and we were on our way (to McDonald's for another coffee)! After dropping him off and saying goodbyes, I headed home for another sleep and correct my body clock! The rest of the day included a trip over to the in-laws and then dinner at the DoG with some other friends. It was a great dinner, and to finally put faces to these guys I have had many conversations with over the years on discussion forums! Needless to say, there were a few 'tall stories' and the like, and the old saying of 'what happens on tour, stays on tour' applies to these as well!

Sunday, I there was no rest for the wicked, and I was off early to purchase and install a new modem/router for my aunt in law. She is also now SKYPE enabled for when we head overseas. Did I say that it is now 30 days away!?