30 May, 2010

Baby Jack...

Today, was supposed to be a day of horrid, cyclonic weather with at least 50mm of rain and winds up to 90klm/hr. And I was thinking, OH NO as it was baby Jack's Christening day today... But, thankfully, the East Coast Low pressure cell was slowing and also moving inland and we had a great day.

So, this morning after waking up from a 14.5hr sleep, I had a thought, I will reorganise the kitchen! Just the thing you do when you have to get ready for a christening hey! So I took out the range hood grills, and soaked them in some HOT water and detergent. Then it was onto the benches and I then moved the microwave, the coffee machine (Green Francis Francis) and the soda machine... An hour later, it was all sparkling clean, tidy and I was happy. It was then time for a shower and to get ready!

It took no time at all to get there, in fact I was early, so I simply sat in the car for a little while before I saw other people arriving! We quickly got him changed and into the church. There was three babies being christened today, so the priest was going to be busy! Jack was a little star and didn't cry at all through out the very brief service! The priest was also MUCH better than when big sister Rosie had her christening with the priest stating upfront, NO PHOTOS! This guy was more than pleased for photos to be taken and for the smaller kids to run around! I wonder what he would have said if some of the 'Bigger Kids' started to run around??
Afterwards, we went off to the local clud for Yumm Cha... In a word, YUMM!

Me and J, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

J, L, I R, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

J, I & L, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Family Photo, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Yumm Cha, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

S & M Yumm Cha, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

So now I am preparing for a flight out on Thursday for Europe, again! This time though, there are so many reasons for this trip... Research trip, viewing of a garden over there, and I am hoping to have a day/evening with a very dear friend of mine, but I do not want to spoil her trip, so I will be playing it as it comes... This trip will also be with a new carrier for me (2 actually) so we will see how we go!

Hoo roo for now...

29 May, 2010

New bed is now complete and a parcel...

Thursday afternoon, I got a phone call to say that my new mattress had arrived, but due to my illness, I was unable to collect on that afternoon, so Friday was collection day! I could not wait and thanks to a mate, it was collected on Friday morning!
It was no sooner home and on the bed, and I knew I had made a fantastic choice, or at least, the girl at the shop made a great choice for me!! Seriously, I was so looking forward to the evening to come just to try it out! When I got the new frame earlier in the week, I put a new quilt cover on but didn't change the sheets. Today though, it is all new bedding, sheets (not yet flannelet, but an in between as it isn't that cold yet), pillow covers and a blanket and quilt cover... Doesn't it look heavenly?

New Bed Mattress, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
I also got a surprise parcel in the mail on Thursday... It was from my friend M in the USA, and it had me very perplexed as to what it was... It said on the cover, "Seasoning Mix" but I was reading it Seasonal ? and was wondering HOW it got through Quarantine, until I had a CLOSER look! So, as they do it in 'Border Security' I deconstructed the parcel ever so carefully so as not to do any damage, and what did I find? I packet of Cincinnati Chili mix! But I dare NOT try and cook it just now, not with my condition... I already have the runs!!!

Mystery Parcel Unraveled, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Hoo roo for now...

27 May, 2010

French Doudou...

Whilst we were away, we stumbled across a little market area on the way down to Notre Dame, Paris. It was quite a nice little market, and one that L would have been at for some time! Now it's no surprise at all to the regular readers (and to those of the old blog we shared), that she liked to collect handmade toys. See what I mean:

L's Crafty Toys, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Anyway, in keeping with this 'tradition' I thought it best that as we found these "Doudou's" from "Sweet Millie" that perhaps I will get a pair for the angle babies...

French Doudou (Crafty Toys), originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Also, after a few weeks prior to leaving for the trip, of technical difficulties with Skype and the modem (long story), my new modem arrived the other day, so now I am just waiting to make a call on Skype to test it out! But so far, it seems to be going OK (shhhh....)

New Modem, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
And whilst I have been laid up for a couple of days now, in the rain (boring), I have been trying to update a lot of stuff on the blog, files at home etc... I am hoping to hear of news any day now for another research trip, this time to Germany and Denmark. This trip should only be for a week to ten day total, famous last words, right!
Hoo roo for now...

26 May, 2010

Random Dozen #1

OK, so I thought I might try this meme that a friend of mine is doing... Here goes!

1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party? Any day, I like to host the party... That way, I can have a drink (or two)!

2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to. I have been to a couple of 'Fancy Dress' parties, but these are really NOT my scene. So it is easier for me to say what was NOT memorable! But when I was on stage, there was some fantastic 'After Show Parties' that's for sure!

3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life? After-life? Well that is TOO easy... To see 'L' again and all of the babies that became 'Angle Babies'...

4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine? Oh the warmth! After working outside for close to 20 years before moving into the office, I so miss it... BUT, I am also grateful I am not out there all the time now with Skin Cancers needing checking every so often...

5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift? I like to give gifts that are a little bit quirky, but still useful, and when it comes to the kids birthdays etc (nephews/nieces), I love to think of educational toys that just HAPPEN to be noisy!!!

6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family? Hmmm... Can I have a half a week of both and help out with both as well? I love cooking, and I quite like cleaning, so this is a hard one indeed!

7. What song describes your mood today? Gloria Gaynor's, "I Will Survive" (but from the Australian Hit, Priscilla; Queen of the Desert) Sing the opening line with me now, come on, you KNOW the words... "First I was afraid, I was petrified. I kept thinking I could never live without you by my side..."

8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.) We got a Pasta Maker, and we only started using it in the year prior to L dieing. She loved it, and it was a lot of work, but my GOD, did it taste good! I think I might have a 'Pasta Party'! Then all of the people can help me clean after the party!

9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is? Chocolate, Rum 'n' Raisin... YUMM!!

10. When was the last time you felt "tested?" Almost every day since April last year...

11. "A Roast Dinner" is a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop."

12. "L" was and ALWAYS will be, the best motivation.

In other news, I am not having much fun today, stuck at home sick and it is raining something fierce... But I am enjoying the new bed, when I am in it that is...

Syd Radar 26052010, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The BED, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Hoo roo for now...

24 May, 2010

Whilst I was away... And now that I am back!

As was widely reported, there was a little volcano that was causing all sorts of grief around the world for travellers, and thankfully, that was NOT us.

However, the other day, I was emailed some amazing pictures from this event, and rather than email them around, I thought I would share them here. Now, I have absolutely NO IDEA who took these, but suffice to say, it was NOT me!

Iceland Volcano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
1. IV11, 2. IV10, 3. IV09, 4. IV08

Iceland Volcano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
1. IV19, 2. IV18, 3. IV17, 4. IV16

Iceland Volcano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
1. IV07, 2. IV06, 3. IV04, 4. IV03

Iceland Volcano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
1. IV15, 2. IV14, 3. IV13, 4. IV12

Since coming back, I have been having a few little technical gremlins with my Internet, nothing serious, just really REALLY annoying! As a bit of a 'back story' I have Skype, on both my PC and my laptop. Now originally, this was great, but then I started to get a gremlin in the system. When EVER I used the laptop and Skype it would cause the modem to freeze. Freeze, is not really the right word here, as it becomes VERY hot to touch! And then on Friday night, it froze again, but this time, there was a slight smell of smoke coming from it... So it is now turned OFF (I only turn it on to use Internet for a VERY short period of time...). I am talking with my ISP today, and hopefully, I will be getting a new one as this one is barely 12 months old, under warranty!

Hoo roo for now...

20 May, 2010

Counting down already... For the working week to finish!

How sad is that, I am ALREADY counting down the working week! But it has been a long, not to mention tiring, week!

Things are going along well with regards to the sale, I should hopefully engage an agent next week! The Solicitor has started the contract preparations and we are talking to the bank! I had NO idea that there is SO much work that has to be completed in doing this, zip, zilch NONE!

Last night, I also had dinner with BKBS. I missed S's birthday when we were in Egypt, but I did call on the day! I think, from memory, we were heading towards Cairo at the time! S has also grown So much, and looks as though he will be walking real soon...

God-daughter B on the other hand, was her normal 'happy to see you' self, which I simply love about her! We sat, talked, played silly games before a dinner of taco's, which were so YUMM and I had not had them for ages either; thanks B!

Towel Bat, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Work is really getting busy, REAL busy, and will be that way for more than a few months I suspect. There will be some early morning starts, and even some late afternoon finishes as well!

I am also in the lookout for a hobby, I do not know what, but something to keep me occupied. I may even go back to Uni, change my course, maybe to the MBA, I am not sure. But I feel as though I need to do something new, and to keep my mind active!

And finally, I have decided to not go back to having a cleaner, and that I am more than capable of pushing a vacuum around the house now that I am doing a lot more exercises and that my core muscle groups are stable enough to handle it. Sure, I might get them back every once and a while and do a 'top to bottom' clean, but for the most part, I think I will be OK!

Since I came home, footy season is now well under way, both NRL and AFL. This weekend, I will be most likely heading to the SCG to see the Swans play, so I am hoping that it will be a warmish night. Otherwise, I will be wearing my lovely warm leather jacket from Italy. Of which, I have been wearing to work the last two days; it's excellent!!!

Hoo roo for now...

16 May, 2010

It's time to sell, and start to move on... And a birthday thrown in!

After getting home, I have finally come to the conclusion... It is time to sell and (try to) move on! So yesterday, I met with TWO Real Estate agents. It is a very difficult decision to make, and one that is not made easily, but there is SO much involved with it all that I had no idea! Not just the selling of property, but how it intertwines with Estate and Probate etc! But, I think that a price I have in mind is, achievable in the current market and still a very competitive price! SO now, it is just a matter of time until the contracts are prepared and then there will be a 'For Sale' sign on the lawn!

And today, we had a party over at 'C&P' place to celebrate the first birthday of little J! When it came to the cake and presents, he was SO tired and he could barely keep his eyes open! Where as his older brother R, well he was up until 12.30am and wasn't showing ANY signs of wanting a rest!

First Birthday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Birthday Cake, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
R waiting for J's Happy Song, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
R on J's Birthday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

There was the usual, way to much food, lots of sweet things and an abundance of presents! Also, I should add that Mr 5 W also had a celebration for his birthday as well, which made the presents look as thought it was Christmas in May!!! Both M & W were having a BALL, and even Miss R and her younger brother J were having a good go at the cakes icing...

M J Birthday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Birthday boy, Mr 5 W J's Bday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Miss R J's Bday Cake full, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
J serious look with mum, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The day was ALSO birthdays for O, S and there was cupcakes for them, as with both M & W... April/May is a busy time for birthdays I think!!!

MWSO Bday Cakes, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The garden has suffered a bit of a beating whilst I was away, and I lost a couple of plants (Chocolate Sapotae for one), but the Passionfruits are producing like nothing else! This morning, I harvested around 50 of them, and needed quite a large bag so I could take them to the party! Also, they are SO full of flavour, and very YUMMY!

And tomorrow, it is my first day back at work, I dread to think how much work is there, but we will see how we go! I have a GP appointment in the afternoon as well, so it is going to be a full day. I hope that S will be up for the 'usual' 10am coffee!!!


14 May, 2010

Happy Birthday William!!!!

Today I spent doing some catch up housework... A bit of everything really, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the floor. Mow and whipping the lawns and pressure cleaning the back veranda... But for some reason, last night I was unable to sleep until around 3am and my body clock woke me at just after 6am, so I started with some more washing and internal stuff so as not to make to much noise outside!

But at just after 9am, I was half way through cleaning and I so needed a break! So I thought I will do something different, and in hanging out the washing, I noticed something weird... MACC!!!

Maccs Vege Bed, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

On closer inspection, it wasn't TOO bad, but the damage was done. So I grabbed the shovel and filled it back in! I also had to do the vege patch (thankfully fallow at the moment) and behind the Lemonade tree, where he is trying hard to 'talk' to the new dog next door!

So after the lawns were done, I also weeded the front Rose Garden and with what I could not get out Onion Weed mainly) I mixed up some chemical and sprayed the little buggers! Hopefully, it will kill it off!

I ended my afternoon with a nice hot spa, a drink of Gatorade (I am now drinking my 3lt/day of water or clear fluids) and rested! But then it hit me, (thanks to the wonders of technology) that was my Nephews Birthday! He was turning 5 today, and I had done nothing! I feel so bad right about now... Luckily, we are seeing him on Sunday (for Jamie's birthday) but I will TRY to get over to see him tomorrow! And, in the interim, here are a couple of additional pics of young Will!

William Zachery, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
William Zachery , originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
William Zachery , originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
William Zachery , originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Sam & Will, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Happy Birthday Mr 5!!

William, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Day 42: - (+3 as I'm HOME!) Rome and Dubai

Firstly, I am SOOO sorry NOT to have posted whilst in Dubai, but there was a few reasons... Namely, we were flat out busy, and the inability to upload photos because the UAE do not like you uploading photos (or perhaps, don't want UAE locals looking at pictures of the outside world??)! Anyway, NOW that I have uploaded some of the photo's, I will include some in this post and re-cap, the last couple of days of the trip and what I have been doing since I got home!

After the final day of the cruise, we got into the city of Rome. However, I had realised on the way there, I had left my silver chain ON the ship! I managed to get in contact (after MANY phone calls and distressing hours) with the ships handling company, and she said to call back in around 45 mins as she would go to the ship and make enquiries. An hour later, I was in an excellent mood as when I called, they had it (and some other incidental items I could care less about...). It would cost me 100 Euro for a cab to deliver it OR I was on the next available train out to collect for around 20 Euro! Needless to say what I did!

By the time I got back into Rome, it was now well after 6pm and the 'Grey Brigade' had done a lot of walking and site seeing. They had been in the cafe/restaurant opposite the hotel (for coffee) for some time, and mum was very happy to see me. That night, whilst they went to bed (exhausted) I went out for a walk around Rome at night, only to find myself out in the rain without a brolly! Oh well...

The following day, after checking out but leaving bags in the hotels luggage room, we hit Rome for the last time. We caught the Metro out to the Colosseum where, when we arrived, were greeted again by a tour guide spookier! This again, was well worth the money, however, the group was quite a bit larger than the one we did in the Vatican City! So it took us a good 2 hours (maybe 3) to walk around both outside AND then into the Colosseum itself! The tour then, with another guide, took in the Roman Forum next door. This was also another good 2 hours worth of tour!

We then headed back to the hotel to meet our transfer to the airport. This was a very interesting ride as a) it was in the evening peak hour rush, and b) we took a most senic route! At one point, we thought we were being taken into a car wrecking yard, as the laneway we were on, looked like that was the destination! But instead, at the very last second, it took a left turn, and that took us back onto the motorway! Phew!!! As I had already 'checked us in' we cleared immigration in no time at all, and we then just had to wait for the plane. Dinner was Pizza and a drink...

The flight time was to take 5.30 hours, but just after we took off, there was some quite sever turbulence for our ride, an Airbus A330-200. The flight deck told us that initially we would climb to 35,000ft and then to a final altitude of 41,000, but he got up there pretty quickly and being in that airspace, we had a much quicker flight time of just 4.10 hours! NICE!

We ended up getting the hotels limousine service to the hotel, which was money well spent... Upon check in, I quickly discovered that this hotel was something special! It was SOOO Divine! Here is a pic from our room!

Dubai Atlantis Room View, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We had a 'special' afternoon adventure, that the Grey Brigade knew nothing about. It was a 4wd Dunes Adventure that was just fantastic! Mum, well she doesn't like drives along cliff edges and has an aversion to heights (so SHE took a window seat, good one mum) and as soo as we hit the dunes, she turned green and the language was, well, 'colourful' shall we say! BUT, at the end of it all, she had a great time. The night continued with a traditional 'Bedouin Feast' and a Belly Dancer! A great night was had by all!

Dubai Dunes Safari 11, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Dubai Dunes Safari 12, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

By the time we got back to the hotel, the 'Greys' were tired and packed for the early morning departure and hit the sack quickly. ME on the other hand, didn't want any jetlag when I got home, so I stayed up until around 2am and organised the airport transfer and stuff. 5am was our wake-up call, 5.25 was the baggage collection time and 5.30am was our departure time. All went according to plan! We arrived at the airport in almost no time at all and dropped our bags, cleared immigration and headed into the shopping mall. Hang on, its NOT a shopping mall, but an airport, with shops! It has been reported to do around $1,000,000USD a day in sales! We quickly found a coffee shop (with seats for us all) and had breakfast. Boarding commenced and dang it, we had a bus trip to a VERY remote stand! The flights home were pretty cool, with the second leg only about 1/2 full, which allowed us to spread out and get some sleep (for me, as I was tired as per the plan) and I got a row of 4 seats to sleep.

Since getting home, I have one ALL of the washing from the trip, got my tyre fixed as it was going flat before I left, and done some shopping. Answered some emails and made some URGENT calls (mainly to my energy supplier as the day after I left a bill arrived and whilst I was away, a reminder and a disconnection notice. But it was all sorted, and I still have power! I also emptied, cleaned and refilled the spa. So I have been somewhat BUSY!!!

I will TOMORROW, do a couple of 'photo posts' that will be of the places we went to, where I was unable to upload the photos... I promise!!