29 December, 2005

activity advent in review

it was just too frantic to report on the activities as they happened, so instead here they are (even though some marked '*' didn't actually happen), and the double ups will be explained here, although a quick reminder B is the odd numbers and I am the even numbers:-
  1. lets go shopping at Castle Hill
  2. DVD Night choosing from list on L's PDA
  3. Breakfast in bed and Christmas Cards
  4. Breakfast at Summer Hill
  5. Give L a massage tonight
  6. Have a picnic in the Backyard (this was great fun but I think the neighbours and their friends thought we were mad, it looked like they had the bible reading crowd over)
  7. Give each other their favourite flower (I really liked this one, I was suprised with a hand delivered bunch of Oriental Lillies mid morning, as B was passing through on his way to a meeting, he really lucked out on this one though I couldn't find a heliconia anywhere. B ended up with a printout from the computer)
  8. Take Macc for a walk to see Christmas lights and special garden *
  9. Milkshakes at Cronulla *
  10. Fish markets for breakfast, lunch or tea *
  11. Spoil L
  12. Do Christmas cards and tree
  13. Put up the Christmas tree
  14. Go out for Gelato
  15. Walk Macc down and around the Park*
  16. we seem to have lost the envelope for this one
  17. Gelato in Parramatta *
  18. again, we seem to have lost the envelope for this one
  19. Paint our nails (toes) *
  20. Go our for Gelato *
  21. This ones a secret, this is a PG site, and besides it didn't happen *
  22. Paint each others toenails *
  23. Christmas lights * we had already down this a couple of days before with the favourite brother, nephew and mum
  24. Christmas lights * same excuse as 23

In review we didn't seem to get round to quite a few of the activities, however it was a lot of fun doing the ones we did, and opening the envelope each morning. Definitely something to do next Christmas.

04 December, 2005

I'm loving these activities

Day 3 called for breakfast in bed, except the pantry was bare, so we had a cup of tea in bed and got breakfast on the go instead.

Day 4 called for breakfast in Summer Hill. I had French Toast Brioche with raspberries, mascapone and maple syrup (yum), and B went for the usual big brekkie fry-up minus the mushrooms which he gave to me. I don't mind saying myself that this was an especially good advent calendar activity as it gave me the chance to check out Reclaim.

Apart from our advent activities we achieved a fair bit this weekend - the side of the house got painted in murobond banksia and the back doors undercoated.

03 December, 2005

I passed

1 subject to go!

02 December, 2005

lunch with A

today I had lunch with A, she had a free day and chose to share a couple of hours with me. It was great, people should have their friends visit them in their lunch break more often. We went to a new noodle place where you choose the type of noodles you want (in my case Hokkien), style (thai), and protein (combination seafood, chicken and beef). We sat and talked, and talked and watched the pedestrians pass by, then had a quick look at the new shops in Westfield.

This evening B and I will be undertaking Day 2 of the activity advent calendar - a DVD night watching a movie from my list of movies to see.

PS. the movies for our dvd night were Mona Lisa Smile, and The Notebook

01 December, 2005

borrowed ideas

those who know me, know that I am a bit of a bah humbug when it comes to Christmas. Having a birthday exactly two weeks before Christmas day, I have a few simple rules; we don't do anything Christmassy, put up the Christmas tree or send out the Christmas cards before my Birthday, and I will not be grateful for a combined Birthday/Christmas present unless you make it really, really good.

This year however, I have softened, we have adopted the idea of an activity advent calendar. I first saw this in Notebook (my new fave magazine), and was prompted into action after reading Loobylu's list which B had also read, and was extremely keen to do. So with a slight twist, I was allocated the even dates (Dec 2, 4, 6, etc) and B the odd dates (Dec 1, 3, 5, etc) to assign a specific activity, that remains a secret until the envelope for that day is opened.

So unlike those from whom we have borrowed the idea, I cannot list the activities upfront, instead I will reveal them as they happen. I can see that this may cause us some problems, particularly if we get an invitation to do something, as I have already forgotten many of the activities for my days. So we shall see how we go....

Today, being the first day of the activites, I can reveal that a trip to Castle Towers Shopping Centre was undertaken with the highlight of the evening being coffee and cake at Gatoni's, and what a cake... Raspberry Delight, we are off to a good start and I am won with this activity advent calendar. I think this could be something we do all year around.

Rasberry Delight

Rasberry Delight 2

27 November, 2005

a great day for ducks

and tea cake.

The Easiest Lemon Tea Cake

Chef: Alison Alexander
Degree of difficulty: Low
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

You need:125g. unsalted butter, at room temperature2 eggsfinely grated zest of 1 lemon3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon caster sugar1 1/2 cups self-raising flour1/2 cup milkTopping:juice of 1 lemon2 tablespoons caster sugar

Method:1. Pre-heat oven to 180deg.C. Line a 20-22cm cake tin with Glad Bake.2. Place all cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with electric beaters for 4 minutes, scraping the sides to make sure all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for about 35 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested with a wooden skewer.3. Remove cake from the oven and rest in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. Brush the cake evenly with the topping. Serve warm.Topping: Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved.

It has rained heavily all day today and been really cold, but not to be put off, B and I spent the day travelling the Hills District in search of specific plants for the garden;
- roses for the front yard, in particular Kentucky Derby (B's favourite) and Scentimental.
- 3 Curry plants, and
- Scented Gernaniums (apple, lime, ginger, and lemon)

We also managed a visit to Bali Garden, no success there unfortunately, I was after a Mimpi (carved sandstone lady with frangipani's on her head), and lunch at Windsor for the best fish and chips (about the only good thing going for Windsor these days). Now back home it is still too wet to plant out anything so instead we shall eat teacake and watch 'What Not to Wear' snuggled under the doona.

16 November, 2005

a duck, mobile phone and long hair

This post is brought to you because it is over a week since our last post...

I have hopefully saved a wood duck from certain death. Travelling home along the M4 at breakneck speed this afternoon I spotted a duck in the centre of the M4 (I have noticed a theme here, the previous entry also being about an incident on same road), by centre I mean next to the concrete barriers that separate east going traffic from west. The duck was just sitting there, he didn't look hurt, he was alive. However, being on the M4 he wouldn't survive long, and also being on the M4 next to the fast lane, it was not safe or possible to stop/turn back and rescue him. Instead I rang the helpful RTA helpline and after being put through to their emergencies number and explaining the situation, the 'man in charge' well at least the man on the phone promised to send out a crew to rescue the 'little fella" (his words). I was much relieved and thankful that he took me seriously, I half expected a response like 'well, what would you like me to do about it' or 'this is the emergency number, it should be for real emergencies, and you shouldn't be ringing me on your mobile whilst driving, you can't disguise that mobile by your long hair'.

06 November, 2005

What the?!?!?!?

Picture this....
Travelling along Sydneys M4 (Freeway from Sydney to the Greater West, thats not actually free as there is a toll on it, but thats another story!) at approx 100klm/hr.
I looked over my right shoulder (in order to see that the lane was clear to change into it...) and in the Hyundai Excel two lanes over was a guy with Rosary Beads in his hand! Not just holding them, but actually saying three (maybe more) hail mary's! What for?? Your driving along a bloody freeway you idiot!
If you get caught using your mobile, you get fined. If you drive whilst under the influence of alchol, you get fined or if really bad, imprisioned. But, driving along a freeway at over 100 klm, is just plain stupid in my books...
Not that I have anything against using a set of Rosary beads (in the right place... like a church or at home, or if you are the PASSENGER), but NOT when driving!
Take note, if I see something as stupid as this you will be BLOGGED!!!!

a certain kind of torture

it is back to reality. Tassie seems an eternity away. We are back home and I have been imprisoned in the study preparing for my exam tomorrow. There is a strong element of hopelessness in this endeavour - I am sure that the results are not going to be all that positive. So start praying, ramp those prayers up from 2pm - 5pm. I need all the help I can get.

31 October, 2005

Breakfast with the sparrows

This morning we were up with the sparrows and shared breakfast with them at Salamanca. It was too nice a morning to have breakfast in the hotel, so B and I strolled over to the Salamanca area to peruse the many cafes open for breakfast. We quickly settled on one place at a table outdoors. It was a perfect morning, made even more perfect by the entertainment provided by the little sparrows who were brave enough to pick at the leftovers of the breakfast of the gentleman sitting at the next table.

Speaking of perfect, after seeing B to his conference I met up with Steph whose husband is attending the same conference, and we did the Cadbury Cruise Tour. A chocoholics fantasy come true. As we chugged up the Derwent River in the purple and gold Cadbury Cruise ship, I felt like I was having my own Willy Wonka experience. Once at the factory we were read the rules, basically not to touch anything, keep to the left and keep with group, oh and enjoy as many of the samples provided us – YES. Our tour guide was Catherine, she was great – so many interesting facts. And the factory shop – I came away with over 5kgs of chocolate: Snack, Turkish Delight, Marble, Mint Triple Deck, and Old Gold, not including the small box of Favourites given to us at the end of the tour.

After the tour of the Cadbury factory it was back down the River to where we had departed and a quick dash back to the hotel to dump off the loot, and then back down the conference centre where I met up with B for the trip to Mt Wellington. What a day of experiences, it was amazingly fresh and clear skied on Mt Wellington and we were able to appreciate Tasmania from another perspective.

We capped the day off with Dinner at Sisco’s where we had the most fantastic Paella, so good it will be tempting to have it again tomorrow night, although we have promised ourselves a Seafood Platter.