28 December, 2012

Christmas is done and dusted - but NYE is coming!

Well, the last few days have been an almost complete blurr!!! From Last monday, my last few days have been like this...

  • Saturday - the drive northwards to Newcastle didn't eventuate - due to time constraints, but I did get the Christmas shopping started!
  • Sunday - allowed me to complete it all, well, almost all of it... it was a 'chillaxe' sort of day!We also went to the 'Lights of Christmas' display at St Mary's Cathedral!
    St Mary's Cathedral - Lights of Christmas Display
    St Mary's Cathedral - Lights of Christmas
    St Mary's Cathedral - Lights of Christmas Display
    St Mary's Cathedral - Lights of Christmas Display
  • Monday - I had a flexday from work, which allowed me to do some last minute shopping... The day was HOT, and it also had a LOT of humidity! Which could only mean one thing... Afternoon storms! Alas, it was mainly west, and they went from Penrith to Richmond in the afternoon, and we didn't get any until the late evening...
  • Tuesday - Christmas Day, I drove west to mums, collected her and then went to the in-laws on the Nth Shore for lunch. It's always a good feed there, and the original plan was to have lunch outside. But the weather wasn't at all kind, with rain all day, heavy at times and some thunder thrown in for good measure!! I then drove back to Penrith, dropped mum off and headed for home to rest! It was late!
    Christmas Table
    Blue and Silver Themed
    Presents Time
    Presents Time
  • Wednesday - Boxing Day, I had a skype call to MB in the USA. It was a great call as they had their Christmas morning together with J, and the following day to MB's daughters place (M) and to have the first Christmas with their grand-daughter, SR! It was also the first day of the Boxing Day Test Match where Australia are playing Sri Lanka in the Cricket. Its the long game (for those in the USA and other countries not familiar with the game, it is over 5 days! The shorter game, 'One Day Internationals' is over 50 overs each and more recently, the 20/20 big bash is 20 overs each)! I also, in the evening, went to my mates place (also a B) where we had gifts exchanged and a Christmas Dinner!! Was great to see the kids there enjoying the toys, and 'The Shed' in its element, B had done SUCH a lot of work on it!!
  • Thursday - was a Public Sector holiday, which meant that I have the day off, and in the morning, I had another skype call to the USA, this time, to MB, who was at M's place, and I got to see and hear SR again!!! She's so cute! We chatted for about an hour, and we spoke of Australian marsupials, namely the Tasmanian Devil and how it 'growls' as SR had been growled at by MB, and she was in a laughing mood over that (not to sure if the Tassie Devil would scare her though!). Didn't really do much at all that day, apart from watching the cricket of course!!
  • Friday - today, I am back at work today, boo hoo, but there is a bit to do about the place, as we prepare for NYE!

So thats about it for me, for now, I will come back and edit the Friday Fill-Ins when they are ready to go!!

Hoo roo for now...


25 December, 2012

21 December, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins - A Christmas Edition

Friday Fill-Ins - A Christmas Edition

  1. Ahhhh - TODAY, is my last day at work for a WEEK!!!! I am lucky enough to have Christmas, Boxing Day and the 27th off work... Although I do have to come back in next Friday, I am also in Monday (NYE) for half a day...
  2. I have SLOWLY been preparing to go shopping for Christmas presents... Sure, I have done a little, but I still have SO MUCH to do still!
  3. Creating a perfect Christmas gift for someone, can be difficult at times... Not knowing if they would like it, need it... I really have no idea at times!
  4. SO looking forward to a few days of relaxation over the Christmas period.
  5. Kick start to Christmas will be a few days of madness shopping, then a relaxing evening catching up with some friends on Christmas eve for a drink or two.
  6. The Mayan end of the world isn't happening, and thank goodness, what would have happened to Christmas!!??.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up with some friends before heading to dinner of fish 'n' chips, tomorrow my plans include a drive north to Newcastle area (instead of going to the Carols in the Domain and Sunday, I want to finish my Christmas shopping!

Hoo roo for now...


18 December, 2012

Thematic Photographic - Industrial Disease

Ok, whilst this isn't 'quite' what this weeks Thematic is all about, go check out Written Inc for more, it IS still Industrial, and given the start up photo has a railyard in play, I thought I would go down that line...

I have always had trains as a hobby from when I was younger, and it has given way to aviation photography in some ways, but it is still there. And in these series of photos of trains, generally from another era, it shows the industrial nature that has/was needed for them to be built, as opposed to the sterile, 'slapped together' fashion they are now. There is also a photo of a 'V Set' that was demolished by a falling tree during a freak weather event. This too, shows the idustrial side to which the damage was caused and its removal...

Festival of Steam - Thirlmere Flyer
Festival of SteamCPH 1 & 7 Central Berry
CPH Tour to NowraTram 249 Loftus
Tramway Museum - LoftusTram Rail and Leaves
Tram TrackV13 DCM8028
V13 DamagedV13 DCM8028_CU
V13 Detail16102010_3237 Lithgow
Old Steamer

Hoo roo for now...


17 December, 2012

12th Wedding Anniversary...

Today, 17th December, 2000 we were married. Today, would be our 12th wedding anniversary...

4. Monte Chapel
Monte Chapel
9. Bridal Party
Bridal Party
12. Lou n Bern
14. Wedding Couple
Us again
17. Wedding Cake
13. Couple

Hoo roo for now...


11 December, 2012

Happy Birthday 'L' (and Thematic Photographic - SHADE)

Today, you would be 43... You are forever missed...


This weeks 'Thematic Photographic' (check out Carmi's post) is all about the shades... My take of this, is looking at the cause of the 'shade' and that is a cloud... Carmi explains much better than I the technical difficulties about shooting a shade, but here we can see the Vietnamese sun, glaring through and piercing the clouds to form brilliant sunrays. The adverse effect of this, is of course, that there will also be shades cast onto the earth underneath...

Clouds of shade and sunrays
Clouds of shade and sunrays
Clouds of shade and sunrays
Clouds of shade and sunrays

So make sure you go and visit, come back through the week, and see if I post another shade, and I promise, there wont be 50 greys either!!

Hoo roo for now...


08 December, 2012


Today, I had the pleasure of delivering SOX, an 8.5 week Great Dane puppy, to a foster carer down south. I had picked up this little cutie mid-morning, and he got on well with Bronty, as she did with him!! Mind you, he slept all the way down!!!

Sleepy Sox
Wake UP!!!

When we got to the transfer spot at McDonalds Albion Park Rail, the foster people were there waiting. They were then going onto Cowra, which is another 4-5 hours drive away!! Needless to say, we were getting a lot of 'looks' as Bronty and Sox were stretching their legs, having a drink and even having a play!! He was just SO DARN CUTE!!!

Bronty & Sox
Bronty and Sox Playing

After saying our 'good-byes' I once again drove up the Illawarra Escarpment towards Sydney, and when I reached Loftus, I stopped for something to eat. It was the BEST chicken, cheese and tomato bread roll I have ever had! This, with a double shot coffee, was certainly needed. Bronty, on the other hand, was absolutely dead to the world asleep (puppy play?) and couldn't have cared less what I was eating!!

Anyways, we got home late afternoon, I had a snooze (as did Brnoty)...

Hoo roo for now...


07 December, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins

Friday Fill-Ins Time, So...here we go!

Hosted by Janet at Friday Fill-Ins
  1. I saw on the news last night, the most HORRIFIC news of a Police Officer having been killed in the line of duty yesterday... Read more HERE.
  2. I had an interesting 'discussion'* through the week, where a pretty big hint was dropped about something... I pleaded for more information, which never was given, but I did ask for a hint...just a hint, please! ALL to no avail though!
  3. Once I had wanted a new car, not a secondhand one, but a new one. I can't see this happening soon though, but I am considering a new, secondhand, one now...
  4. I use to really enjoy swimming, and I want to get back into it for some fitness. Its quite good, minimal impact, high cardio, so it should be good to lose weight, improve fitness and generally, get healthier! I should also get slimmer, like I was in times past.
  5. The road led to Goulburn during the week, an afternoon drive south took me some 5 hours return, nearly 400klm, but I had fun, it was peaceful and I enjoyed listening to Birdie, Christina Perri, Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett.
  6. The evening light, as well as in the morning light, offers the best for photography, especially at the airport when spotting. Its often referred to as "The Golden Hour"!
    YJ-AV1 B738 Air Vanuatu
    YJ-AV1 B738 Air VanuatuYJ-AV1 B738 Air Vanuatu
    YJ-AV1 B738 Air Vanuatu
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner with J, C & M (maybe; I've left my glasses at home, and I have eye strain already, and a headache brewing, so we'll see) at L'etoile in Paddington, tomorrow my plans include an early morning swim with Bronty at the beach, getting washing up-to-date, lawns mowed and Sunday, I want to have a BBQ lunch with L's family, for her birthday (during next week), and I will also be heading to the cemetery with some flowers as well!
Hoo roo for now...

* Discussion was via SMS, and the party (or parties) shall remain nameless for the purpose of this blogpost...

05 December, 2012

Wordless Wednesday No. 68 - Mellow Yellow Caves of Vietnam

Ok, NOT quite wordless, as it is also "Thematic Photographic - Mellow Yellow" as well...

Here, we are deep in the 'Surprise Caves' of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. The theme (mainly due to the types of lights used) has a distinct yellow hue about them. First, we have the "Pointing Finger", even though an English Gentleman (well into his 70's if not 80's suggested his 'magazine' suggested otherwise).

"The Pointing Finger"
"Pointing Finger"

Here is a hsot of the roof of the caves, it was difficult to photograph inside, given the low light, number of people and the speed in which we had to walk...

Caves Roof
Caves RoofDeep into the cave
Deep into the caves...Caves Exit
Caves Exit

Hoo roo for now...


Excellence in the Environment Awards 2012

Excellence in the Environment Awards 2012

Excellence in the Environment Awards

Yesterday, was the annual Excellence in the Environment Awards, and the third annual award presented for Individual Excellence in Sustainability - which is dedicated to Louise after she died in 2009. Both M & J were there as well, as guests of the NSW LGSA.

The morning had con-current sessions of presentations on all things environmental, water, waste, energy, procurement even biodiversity! There is a lot of great work going on in Sustainability at a Local Government level, we should all be encouraged by what our LGA is doing. A full list of the categories can be found HERE, whilst the winners are HERE.

When it came time for the actual presentation of the awards, and I sat on the panel for the Individual category, the was many dignatries, The Minister for the Environment, (and acting Minister for Local Government), The Hon. Robyn Parker, President of the Local Government Association of NSW Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM & the Vice President Shires Association Cr Maria Woods (plus all of the sponsors as well). Both M&J, as was I, was humbeled to hear the Minister, and both the President of the Local Government and the Vice President of the Shires Associations, speak so warmly and fondly of Louise, and the work she had done in the field of Sustainability. Work, that is still being looked upon as groundbreaking, still today.

The winner, a passionate young man from Byron, was also asked to give an acceptance speech, and whilst he thanked all of the people he works with, both within Council but more so the community of Byron Bay, he went on to acknowledge Louise's parents, and myself, and with his brief research into the work Louise had accomplished, he has taken some new initivies onboard to adapt to Byron.

After the Awards were done and dusted, we were then welcomed to have lunch (which was a great offering of foods), before heading out for the afternoon.

By this stage, it was late, I was tired, and I was drained, but as a mate of mine was leaving for work in Saudia Arabia, I wanted to get out to the airport to see his plane off. I had only just made it with around 20 minutes or so to spare!

Hoo roo for now...


01 December, 2012

The Day The Hobbits Arrived (Thematic Photographic)

Ok, to be a part of Carmi's thematic Photographic this week, (Flying), I thought I'd add in the latest logojet, from Air New Zealand; The Hobbits!

The 'Hobbits' are arriving...
Arrival from AucklandThe 'Hobbits' are arriving...
Departure back to Auckland

You can, of course, read more about Thematic Photographic over on Carmi's blog... Written Inc!

The day started with rain, and although the forecast was to top 40c, I initially doubted this very much... How wrong was I! There was a few of us out there, and a few left to try and grab a different view of the beast. I, and a friend from Holland, and another local spotter all hung around on the mound. She did look lovely, and a credit to ANZ for doing it!

However, by the time it was scheduled to leave, it was now after midday and not the best for spotting, but the heat was increasing by the minute! And by the time it actually left, it was nearing 36c!

On my way home though, I had to stop at the Pool Clinic, and purchase a 'Creepy Crawly' for the in-laws pool. Initially, I was going to go home and pick up Bronty, but she was probably better at home in the cool, so I went straight over to their place. Installing it took no real time at all, and before too long, it was circling the pool picking up leaf litter from the bottom! We also added some chemical, chlorine and an acid to stop the chlorine escaping, and I left it to do its thing, happily do its thing at that!

By the time I got home, Miss Bronty was MORE THAN HAPPY to see me, bless her! I had gotten something light to eat for dinner, as the last thing I wanted to do was cook! The heat did NOT get any cooler, and thank goodness I fixed the air-conditioner a couple of months ago! I eventually got too bed, but later in the night, 2.30am Sunday, it was still 27c!

Summer Temp at 2.30am

Hoo roo for now...