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...


31 December, 2010

A morning of spotting for a 77F

Just a couple of pics I got when Emirates started the longest flight ever from Sydney to New York (17.5 hours)! Apart from the Skycargo and the Korean, I have actually been on all of these carriers!

EK Skycargo A6-EFD
Korean HL7461

It was a great morning, better than the previous morning when it was supposed to go when it closed in and then rained and rained and rained!

Hoo roo for now...


30 December, 2010

Christmas happenings...

Ok, I thought I would let you know how I spent Christmas...

I had some friends staying for Christmas and their two kids, B,S with Miss H (9) & Mr Z (4). They were great company to have over the festive season, I had a ball and I think they did too! It actually meant I put up the Christmas tree, which I did not do last year as I didn't really feel 'Christmassy'. Anyway, after going out looking at Christmas lights earlier in the week, I was really tired after a very late morning, followed by an early morning, so I only had like 3 hours sleep! So it was now Christmas morning...

I had woken to the sounds of little people TRYING hard to be quiet... I couldn't wait any longer as I just knew that they wanted presents! So I got out of bed and said morning greetings before we exchanged presents.

I then did a somewhat 'traditional' Aussiepomm Christmas breakfast of Fried Ham, Eggs, and diced tomato and Onions on toast; YUMM!

After breakfast, they went to their family (my extended family sort of) and I went out to mum's and then over to my sisters, approx 30-40 minute drive west. We had a drink and exchange of gifts, and afterwards, I dropped mum back at her place and headed on a 2hr drive north to L's parents. I stopped to visit L's grave quickly, as I was already running late! There was already a lot of family here, and after a small delay, we sat for Christmas lunch. Funnily enough, little people Mr & Miss 3 (R&R) didn't want to sit and eat, and they were in the family room awfully quiet, until in the silence, there was suddenly the noise of paper ripping! Miss R (3) had found one of her presents and opened it!!!

Anyway, after a long afternoon here, I then had to head 30 minute drive north west out to the extended family (sort of) to B's place for Christmas dinner, third meal of the day. I was now totally exhausted. Had an excellent time here with my dear friends, but I just so wanted to be home in bed.

So that was Christmas with the families... Tomorrow, I will post about the first decade in the 'naughties'!

Hoo roo for now...


19 December, 2010

What a day...

Today started with what is almost a typical Aussie Christmas breakfast... Fried Ham, Tomato's and Eggs on toast... YUMM!! It was done on the BBQ, and was really good 'work food' for the day! Today was going to be a full day, as Saturday was somewhat wasted in that I went out to mum's, had a midday appointment and my mate 'F' had to go up the coast to have a Christmas lunch with his family! So today was a 'catch-up day with the fence...

First though, we cut off the Merbau boards to size, then with the help of a bench drill (and a jig) drill holes... ALL 288 of them! The cutting did not take long at all, NOR did the drill of most of the holes, but the last 48 did take a little longer than the rest but they did get it sorted!

Most of this was done whilst the steel framing was drying after the second coat of black paint, and by the time it was dry, it was now time to start screwing them to the frame... Time was of the essence here, as the Sydney Radar was showing a small rain front coming. We were on our 9th board, when all of a sudden a few drops of rain, and with using an electric drill, it was (quickly) decided that we should retreat to the dryness of the garage... Then it poured like nothing else! We stopped for a while, ordered Chinese for dinner, and then continued along with the last of the screws for the first panel. Enough done for the day, job done!

Tomorrow is another early one, as the spa is being delivered at an unknown time, and 'F' has a funeral to go to so I will be house sitting if it has not arrived by lunch time! This week will also see me dong my Christmas shopping (I just can't seem to get into it, same as last year as L was the major organiser when it came to the Christmas shopping), but it needs to be done. I am also going out for some more Christmas lights to photograph, and I also have a bike to build... I want to watch someone else do it for a while and have a laugh, but it will only mean having to disassemble it to rebuild it, so we will see how we go!

Hoo roo for now...


18 December, 2010

Bon Jovi & my 10th Anniversary

Last night, I was invited to go to Bon Jovi's first Sydney Concert... I thought it would have been a great concert, but I had NO idea JUST how good it would be! Here is what the stage looked like about 15-20 minutes prior to the concert starting...

Bon Jovi Stage

And just after he started his 2 hour PLUS concert, without a break really!

Bon Jovi Opening set
Richie Sambora did one song whilst the man went off and have a change, but the concert itself went non stop!

My mate's mum (and friends) came in from Parkes in Western NSW for the concert, and as one of the family had to stay at home to attend to whats left of the crop after the recent rains/floods, this is how I got a spare ticket! I am so grateful for the ticket, and the night, thanks again Jayden!

I say this, as yesterday would have been my 10th Anniversary...

Wedding Day
I was feeling a little down for most of the day, and this concert CERTAINLY lifted my mood as did the two bits of good news I got in the afternoon!

  1. I got my Electricity bill, which was a total of $9.31cr!!!! So nothing to pa now until the next billing cycle in around 2.5 - 3 months time!
  2. I got an email from the Tax Department, saying that my tax is processed, I had paid too much money in places, and that my regular monthly bill will be reduced. Again, this was great timing as well!

After the concert, we got away from the stadium pretty quickly for where I was parked. We headed down to Harry's Cafe de Wheels for a pie. I had my normal Chicken and Mushroom pie with cheese and tomato sauce, whilst Jayden had the same pie, but with mashed potato and mushy peas with gravy! Its called a "Chicken Tiger"! It was his first time at Harry's and I suspect, it will not be his last!

Hoo roo for now...


17 December, 2010

Tis the season to be jolly...

But NOT for one Christmas Lights participant!

Last night, a mate and I (and his dad) went out to get some pics of Christmas lights around Merrylands/Greystanes. Along one road, Cumberland Road in Greystanes, there was a small series of houses with lights, music and FOUR Mr Whippy Vans!

Cumberland Christmas
As I was taking a photo of the Nativity scene in his lounge room window, he came up to me and asked "don't you think you should ask..." My initial thought was to say, "well, if you don't want your place photographed, then WHY do you decorate it and put up the lights"... But instead, I went the diplomatic path and said, "well ok then, is it ok then?"

"It's to late now isn't it" was his reply, to which I said to him "actually its not as I havn't taken a photo yet", folded up my tripod and walked away instead! Where's your Christmas cheer mate?

Cumberland Rd Christmas
Cumberland Rd Christmas

Anyway, after here, we went down to Camellia Rd (number 44 Camellia Rd Greystanes actually) and they were great. I took the criticism from the previous location (and asked) to which the family & friends sitting at a table enjoying the passing traffic, asked "where would you like me to pose"?!! Now THAT'S the Christmas cheer!! These guys are great, friendly and I urge you to go and have a look see what they have. Lots of Christmas scenes in the windows, and boat load of Santa's (not to mention a great looking lawn and garden!)...

Camellia Rd Christmas
Camellia Rd Christmas (see Santa's Sleigh?)
Camellia Rd Christmas
Camellia Rd Christmas

Hoping to go to some more on Saturday/Sunday nights...

Hoo roo for now...


11 December, 2010

Happy Birthday Louise...

Today, you would've been 41 and enjoying life... Missing you dearly...

Today, I commemorate you in B&W...


Hoo roo for now...


06 December, 2010

Farewell to the flying pigs (F-111)

I was lucky enough, to last week take a quick trip up to Brisbane for the final flyover of the F-111 as they enter retirement... It was an early start to get to the airport for the 6.30am flight, and for the quick 1hr flight north. The forecast wasn't great, but I held onto hope that at LEAST, it would not rain.

Luckily for us, when we arrived it wasn't raining, there was a lot of high cloud, so we jumped on the train to the International terminal first up. After a quick look around, no external observation deck :( we got back onto the train and headed for Brisbane city. We got off the train at South Brisbane, and walked through the University to the ferry wharf. The River Cats here pick up a fair bit of speed, and before long we were heading towards the city, Storey Bridge and all the way up to Bulimba and the International Wharf that my BIL built a couple of years back.

Brisbane River
Bougainvillea South Bank
Storey Bridge
City Cat
Bulimba Ferry Wharf
International Terminal Alex Built

As time was nearing for the flyover, we headed back into Brisbane, and when we got off the River Cat, and waiting for the small ferry to cross the river to Kangaroo Cliffs, it absolutely POURED down... Not looking good. But, we took refuge under a covered pathway near the wharf, and after about 15-20 minutes, it stopped just as our ferry arrived!

Once on the other side, we quickly walked towards the stairs that would take us up the cliff... It was hard work, humid after the rain, but I was thankful I was in shorts! There was more than a few people up there already, and the crowd grew until the actual flyover! After a girl next to us had noticed the formation approaching prior to us, I would have to say, it was all over in about 10 seconds, but I was glad to have been there to see/hear them!

City Ferry

After the flyover, we again headed down the stairs to the ferry (it was a lot easier to go down than up) and headed back over to the City side and to the 'Pig & Whistle' pub for lunch, an organic beef burger and chips!


After lunch, we headed back to the airport for a bit of spotting, as I noticed a grassy knoll just before the International station. We got off the train, and in the time to walk out of the terminal, guess what, AGAIN it was pouring! We got back to the Domestic terminal (via the train) and did some spotting (through glass :( ) from the safety of rain...

Alliance Fokker VH-FIW
Virgin 738 to Sydney

Getting home was late due to the lateness of the inbound aircraft due to weather in Sydney. Another quick 1 hour flight and home at around 10.30pm... A great day, and thanks again Jayden for the trip!

Hoo roo for now...


02 December, 2010

Getting my 'mojo' back...

It's no secret, but lately, I've lost my 'mojo'... But over the last week, I seem to be getting it back little by little...

It's been a busy time also lately, with a quick trip to Melbourne, I started painting the house, but since then, its either been SO hot or raining, so I've not been able to continue! Also, the house will be repointed on the sides and the facade will be tuckpointed, and waiting for this to be finished means I can't really continue anyway...

But today, I baked some cup cakes, as a 'trial run', and they are now cooling waiting to be frosted...

CC Bater
CC Ready to bake
CC Cooling

Hoo roo for now...