01 February, 2011

House is 'coming along' slowly...

OK, so I know I've been slack lately with blogging, but I HAVE been a tad busy!

You will remember, that the house has had some major work done, (repoint and re tuckpointed on the facade). Here is a little more of a 'tease' as I want to get ALL of the painting done, and then do a big reveal! This will (knowing my upcoming trips) most likely be either my birthday in March OR the end of March at the latest!

House OLD 'v' NEW colours

I've also been busy with a trip to Nowra on the South Coast on an old CPH Railmotor, Brisbane for a day of spotting with J and met up with M, 20/20 Cricket games (NSW v Tasmania & NSW v QLD) with B & J (and Co...) as well just for good measure!

Nowra on a CPH Railmotor

The day started early, having to be at Central Station 8am. The old Railmotors, built in 1923, were restored beautifully and faithfully, except for the 'long drop' toilets are now no longer dispensing to the tracks below, as opposed to being enviro friendly today! There was a fair amount of 'rocking and rolling' as we had a top speed of 80klm. It was also rather noisy, as there wasn't much in the way of insulation for sound, but it was a great noise! The trip took us out from Central to Waterfall, down the escarpment via Helensburgh to Thirroul and through Wollongong. We briefly stopped at Bombo Beach just before Kiama and then onto Bomaderry (Nowra) where we had lunch at the local RSL Club. Thanks S&L for including me on this day trip, I had a ball!
CPH 1 & 7 Central Berry
Rounding for Bombo

Trip to Brisbane for some spotting

I spent Australia day with a mate, J, and his dad, D up in Brisbane. We also teamed up with N who flew in from Newcastle and some local spotters up there as well, M works with J but at the Brisbane airport! We did some spotting, but alas, these photos are still on laptop, so I will need to process and upload as soon as I can. The day will get a post in its entirety, as I had a great day, as I think we all did! Thanks J for the trip, I owe you one!! :)

20/20 Big Bash Cricket

Now I know that some people just do NOT understand the laws of cricket, and I am not about to tell you how its played. It is easier to watch a game and see it, rather than be confused as to its play. Having said that, this version, 20/20, is a recent incarnation of the game, and these two games are the Domestic version of it! Both games, I went with J & D (and co...), B &R and M. We had dinner up in the Members Gold Dinning Room, and then sat in the Members seating area which has a particularly good vantage point! On the NSW v TAS game, I did not take my camera, but I took it to the NSW v ACT ladies match and following them was the NSW v QLD game. There was a little bit of entertainment between games, and being an old curator myself, I watched the pitch repairs and rolling! It was, both nights, a great outing, and I can't wait to go again! Thanks to all involved!!
ACT v NSW Womens
ACT v NSW Women's
Pitch Maintenance
NSW v QLD Men Usman bowled
Pitch Maintenance
What a way to watch cricket
ANZ Stadium (4 pic panorama)

Hoo roo for now...


25 January, 2011

Repoint/Tuckpoint complete

Today, I had one HELL of a headache, and didn't make it into work it was that bad. Having said that, I spent most of the day either in the house (with air con on in lounge room) or in bed sleeping... It was another hot day in old Sydney town! At one point, I woke up in a sweat that was, simply, horrid! Sorry if this was TMI!

Anyway, this is going to be a quick post due to me being tired, so here are some photos, the reason why it needed to be done, a progress photo (or two) and then some of the completed work (both repoint and tuckpoint)! I will have to wait though to do a full shot, as I need to mow lawn LOW, fertilise and water in to make the garden look a lot better as it has had a bit of a trudging this last week and a bit!

I am SO happy with the work from Guliano from the Brick Pointing Team! I am MORE than happy to recommend!

Reason to repoint
Garage Side
Acidwash Pressure Clean
Taped Up
Tape Removal
Garage Taped Up
Taped Up

Hoo roo for now...


21 January, 2011

Work programs... Starting and finishing!

This week, sees the starting of a major works program at home, whilst it bring the finish of another. It had been a long time coming for me, and finally, a yard upgrade that is finished for a friend!

On Monday, the re-pointing and tuck-pointing of the house started. I first got a quote done for this way back in Feb/March of 2009. It was an on again off again due to other commitments. However, in November, I committed to it and I got the call from the tradesman saying he was going to start! So, on Monday, he took to the mortar lines with an angle grinder and ground out about 10-155mm or so of the old lime mortar. It was going to be a two day job, but it was done in the day (soft mortar) but he did finish at around 7.30pm!

Tuesday, the garage side wall was re-pointed in an off white mortar. This took the day, and Wednesday and Thursday, was the area along the other side of the house along the second bedroom in the same off white, as a decision was to be made if I was to have from the facade to the entrance door, tuck-pointed. You see, most early Californian Bungalows have a 'front door' but in my case, it is a door that is to the side of the house. So the facade (Garage, bay window and veranda around the corner) was of a slightly different brick, a face brick, with matching common bricks elsewhere. This was very typical of the period (1927) of the home. BUT, I am not sure about returning it to a tuck-point, and having a very distinct change where the entrance door is. The areas that are getting tuck-pointed, has a brown mortar instead of the off white, but then gets taped up and a very fine white line is put on. It is very much a dieing art and trade! Anyway, here are the pics I quickly grabbed the other day:

Garage Side
Facade pre tuck-point
Facade pre tuck-point Bay Window

Also, before Christmas, I helped plan and coordinate a friends backyard makeover. He did the bulk of the design, I just helped it come to fruition! It was fun spending HIS money for once !!! lol Anyway, his spa was installed prior to Christmas and yesterday, the shade structure was installed. So his makeover is now finished! He is SO happy with it, me too just quietly, and the yard is now very much a usable space for entertaining (not to mention, having a spa as well)! He's having family down on Wednesday, they don't know its been done, and he is very excited! Here are some pics of his place:

Frank's Spa
Frank's Spa
Frank's Spa & Sundeck

Hoo roo for now...


11 January, 2011

Queensland flooding...

UPDATE 12/01/2011: 75% of Queensland is now declared as flood affected, which is TWICE as big as Texas, and over FIVE times larger than the United Kingdom...

This recent flooding up in Queensland, is so devastating that words can simply not say how bad it really is... Here is a collection of footage, and images I have sourced to highlight JUST how bad it is. Some areas are under 20m of flood water! Its been claimed that the area of Queensland under flood conditions, is bigger than France and Germany combined!

Toowoomba, at over 700m ABOVE sea level, had over 300mm rain in a 24 hour period alone. Here is some footage, and some photos...

Queensland floods 2011
Toowoomba flood 2011
Toowoomba Floods
Toowoomba Floods
Toowoomba Floods

Hoo roo for now...


09 January, 2011

Going to a Nursery and NOT spending, yeah right!!

Today, I went up to Flower Power at Glenorie, mainly to look for some pot feet and wind chimes for a mate, and I went with the intention to NOT, I repeat NOT spend a cent... Ok, I didn't, instead, I spent $137!!!

When we were walking through the homewares section, I spotted some cushions, I liked them and thought they would look good on the lounge... Luckily, they were on special, 50% off, so I got them and on top of this, there was an additional 8% trade discount using my trade card!!! So it was a bonus!!!

Lounge Before/After
Lounge Chair Before and After

Needless to say, they didn't have the right pot feet we were after, and by the end of the day, I went to two other Flower Powers (Moorebank x 3 & Bass Hill x 1) to get them.

Hoo roo for now...


07 January, 2011

New Years Eve and two days of spotting


On New Years Eve, I was lucky enough to have some tickets to, basically, have front rows lawns to the biggest fireworks display in the world! For some reason, that's the way it seems! Really, our Eastern neighbours in New Zealand are the first, but the focus seems to be on Sydney with everyone comparing OUR fireworks. I wonder why...


I took a mate with me, I prepared a dip, a salsa dip as well, cheese and a Danish salami and corn chips and crackers as well... I took some drinks for us to share! When we arrived, we caught up with D&A with their son B. He's a great kid, and was very friendly! It was also great to catch up with D&A as well, not to mention D's mum B!

I had a text message from another mate who was down from Newcastle, and after a couple of text's, we arranged that he will come and stay as well, after all, I have plenty of room and there were no more trains heading back north! We all eventually hit the beds at around 3.45am... I woke, later than normal, at 7am, whilst J & N got up and about around 9. We decided that a day of spotting was in order, so we got ourselves ready and was at YSSY in around 45 mins! It was going to be hot, 41c, so after a little while at one place, we headed for lunch of seafood, and then to a new place (for me) and set up camp there. Another mate, K, had decided to beat the heat in western Sydney, so when I dropped N at the station, I collected K and we headed back to the spotting spot! It was a great day, with great company!


The following day, Sunday, was a quick day trip down to Melbourne for another day of spotting... There was four of this day, with J's dad D and my mate from Melbourne, another D! Again, a great day and great company. When we left Melbourne, there was a considerable amount of storm activity in Sydney, and as a result, we were in a holding pattern over Canberra for a little bit. I didn't mind at all, and J got some great sunsetting pics! Thanks for a great couple of days J, (and N, K, D & D) I really had a great time!

Gooney VH-OVM
VOZ with J at the fence

I've also been back to work this week, sad, but I am already planning a few things. There is a 3 day conference I am very interested in in Brussels which I think would be good to go to for a research paper I am co-authoring. There is also a possibility of a 4-5 days away to Hong Kong, to again visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club for a visit to discuss techniques with the Track Manager, and we may fill in with a bit of spotting there as well; who knows!

Hoo roo for now...


01 January, 2011

The 'Naughties': a decade in review...

At the close of 2010, the first decade in the 2000's, A friend of mine posted her review of the decade. I liked this idea, and as such, I will do the same. Thanks Genesis! So in no particular order...

  • Sydney held the 'Best Games Ever' for the Olympics! It was a great time to be in Sydney, and I have fond memories of the time.
  • Celebrated our first wedding anniversary.
  • I had many nephews and a niece born throughout the decade.
  • Bought our first AND second house!
  • I had my first international flight in 2004 to Japan, England, Denmark. I now have the travel bug very much in me now...!!! I also got my British Passport!
  • In 2005, I had major spinal surgery to remove a disc bulge, remove a 'lamina' off one of the vertebra and also a reduction of the central canal where the nerve roots come out of the spinal chord.
  • Commenced IVF treatment, and with it came 6 miscarriages. This was a roller coaster of a time, both for me and more so for L her, in 2009, suffered a Pulmonary Thrombo Embolism and died. This was the lowest of not only the year, or the decade, but for a very long time... Missing you xxooxx
  • Have met some of the most amazing people this decade. Commenced friendships through blogging. Some include Senator Penny Wong in Bali for the UN Climate Change Conference, blogging friend and a true 'mate' Maribeth to name a couple!
  • Commenced new friendships, of which I am confident, these will become long lasting as well...

I am also hoping to travel a little bit, either in 2011 or 2012 to the USA, Guatemala, India and Vietnam to name but a few.

So, with the passing of the 'Naughties' I wish you all a great 2011, and for the upcoming decade and into the future. , Hoo roo for now...