Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday 31st December, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Welcome 2012

Our plans are to go into the city tonight to watch the fireworks in Elder Park.  We will see though, the temperature here is around 38C and so it will still be pretty hot around midnight, especially in the city.  We could go down to the beach at Glenelg but that will be packed.

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that 2012 will be a great year for you all with all your hopes and dreams being realised.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob!

Tuesday 27th December, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob!

For Bob's birthday we are going out to lunch.  When we left them on Sunday night they didn't know where to go for lunch.  Robyn said she would ring so that we would know whether to go up there or for them to come here.

Robyn rang this morning and we decided to go to the Watermark Hotel in Glenelg.  They have a very nice smorgasbord and Bob loves them.  We have been there plenty of times before but today was their first time.

They came to our place around 11.30am with a HUUUUGE pavlova that their next door neighbour had made for Bob.  Yum!!! that would be nice to have when we come back home with a coffee.

Robyn and Bob were very impressed with the food at the Watermark, even that much, we have booked to go there for Christmas lunch next year.

After lunch we went for a wander over to Colley Reserve, where they were holding the Bay Sheffield foot race.  As we passed they held a heat to one of the races.  We made our way over to the Beachhouse.  Robyn and Bob had never been inside there either.    We had a wander around and went upstairs to the bumper cars.  Robyn, Bob and Tony all had a turn.  Kids at heart!!

It was soon time to go back to the car.  We didn't want any parking ticket!  When we got home we had a coffee but no-one was interested in eating anything.  Everyone was still full from lunch.  Robyn cut some of the pavlova for us to have for later.  Tony and I had a small piece around 8.30pm and it was delicious.   I'm not a fan of pavlova but this one was lovely.

From the Lens........yummy pavlova

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After

Monday 26th December, 2011

Well, Christmas is over for another year.  We had a great day, well, as good a day as I could have as I ended up with gastro.  We don't think it was caused by eating food as no-one else ended up with it.  I think I may have got a bug from somewhere.  Most of the day was spent on the toilet and in the morning with a bowl.  Hehehehe at least I didn't have to complain about eating too much and the extra weight I gained!

Katie slept over on the Saturday night and so Kahra and Darrin came by early to watch her open her presents.  She was very happy with what she IPod touch, Pet Shop toys and walkables, Pet Shop Tree House, Geleeze, Zsu Zsu Pets Castle, Sock Monkey plus some Gomu erasers.

Tony cooked breakfast on the barbque, bacon, sausages, tomato and we had scrambled eggs.  I didn't eat anything.

We had arranged to go to the park with Robyn and Bob for lunch but I got Tony to ring them to cancel the park.  I couldn't stray too far from a loo. 

We went to Robyn's place around midday.  By the time we were ready to sit down for lunch I was feeling a bit better and so I thought I would try and have something to eat.  I had some prawns and yabbies and a bread roll.  As we were having lunch the heavens opened and down came the rain, not much, but enough to ruin our lunch if we were at the park.

I still had to go to the toilet but the visits were getting further apart.  We sat around talking, a nice way to spend the day and left there around 8.00pm.  I went straight to bed when I got home but was awake around 4.00 am needing the toilet again.  Around 1.00pm it all stopped.  I was able to eat something and not have to go to the toilet.

Bob grows several fruit trees at their place, apricots, peaches, nectarines, oranges and mandarines.  They decided to dry a few of their takes me back to when I was a child and we used to go out apricot cutting at my Uncles' block to earn some pocket money.  On reflection......I hated those days as it used to be so hot in the "cutting shed".

Uncle would have been proud

Today was spent just lazing around and doing nothing.  This evening we took all the boxes, paper and rubbish into work.

On Saturday afternoon we called into Rick and Dianne's place to have a Christmas drink.  We didn't stay long as they were going to his mother's place for the evening.  Jodi, Troy and the girls came on Saturday night.  They brought chicken and salads for dinner.

Squinkies game from Rick and Dianne

The girls loved their presents from us as did Katie from them.  Jodi gave her a Santa bag with $50.  She was over the moon. 

All Taylor wants for Christmas is her front teeth

On Friday after having my nails done I went and met Tony and then we went and picked up Katie.  On the way home we did some last minute grocery shopping.  Dropped the shopping off home and decided to go to the Christmas Spectacular at the Paradise Community church.  Katie wasn't amused by it.  There was nothing for her to do, she's not into listening to preachers.  

She was expecting something like last year where there were show rides, amusements and other activities to do.  They didn't have that this year.  Instead we went into town, caught the tram to the Brewery and had a look at the Christmas Lights display on the Riverbank.  By the time we got back home it was well after midnight.

Early on Thursday morning, about 7.30 am, Andrew and Simone came by to pick up the Pulsar.  They had caught the bus from Geelong overnight.  They didn't stay long as they still had to drive back.  I dreaded each time the phone rang as I was expecting it to be them saying that the car had broken down.  When I did speak to them about 7.30pm they said that the car hadn't missed a beat, it was going great.  They were still an hour away from home.

Over the next couple of days it's time to pack away the Christmas tree and get the house cleaned all ready for the New Year.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Sunday 25th December, 2011

Just a short post to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas.  I hope you have/had a wonderful day full of peace and love with your families.

            Tree and paper.... Kim B Designs
   Glitter overlay....unknown

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seven Days 'Til Christmas

Sunday 18th December, 2011

What a weekend!  Where has summer gone?  We didn't see much sun during the weekend, on Saturday it was wet and today has been overcast with showers most of the day.  To think, Christmas Day is one week away, geez I hope the weather makes a dramatic improvement before then.

On Friday we had to go and pick Katie up.  I hadn't told her that we had a new car, and so Tony and I got there a little early.  It was funny to see them driving around looking for our 'old' car.  We ended up getting out of our car and as they drove past Katie's face said it all.....the look of surprise and her mouth wide open.

She gave it the tick of approval and said it was much better than the old car.  She was excited to ride in it and kept saying she felt like she was in a limousine.  After getting her we headed back into the city to do some last minute shopping, had some dinner and decided to go up to Lobethal to look at the Christmas lights.

The town of Lobethal is in the hills and nestled in a valley.  At least 90% of the residents have Christmas lights strung up around their house and so when you first drive in to the town it's like coming into a fairyland village.  We drove around a few of the streets looking at the decorations and lights and then stopped in the main street and went for a wander.  There were hundreds of people everywhere.  We would have liked to have seen the Nativity but by the time we made our way there it was finished.

On the way home, as we were coming up McIntyre Road, the traffic was at a standhill.  We waited for more than half an hour before the traffic started moving.  Closer to the top of the hill there had been a major crash blocking off both lanes.  It looked serious but we didn't hear anything on the radio about it.

Saturday we had to go and stock up the pantry.  I just had enough food for breakfast and that was it.  When we finished Katie wanted to go driving in the car.  We decided to go down to Victor Harbor.  The weather wasn't any better down there.  They were having their Christmas Pageant at 6.30pm but we decided not to stop to have a look.  The skies were getting very dark and so we started to head back.  Just outside the town the heavens opened and down came the rain.

It was so heavy we couldn't see past the bonnet of the car.  Tony slowed right down but you always have idiots on the road.   These idiot drivers were overtaking us with minimal visibility and were soon out of sight.  No wonder there are crashes, they just ignore all the warnings that are given out by the police and road traffic authorities.  

On the way home we took Katie to see some more Christmas lights at a couple of  houses that we usually go to. With all the rain we had I didn't think they would have been turned on, but they were. 

Today has been a lazy day.  This morning Tony got out the Christmas tree and Katie and him have been decorating it.  In past years I have always got out the optic fibre tree, but this year we got a large tree.  It was one of three that had been left behind when the coffee shop owners walked out of their premises earlier in the year.  It came with decorations too, I took the green ones.

The tree looks great!  Now Katie can't wait for Sunday.  She said at least Santa will know where to put the presents this year.

I cooked some lunch and about 4.00pm we will head out and drop Katie off.  She will be back again on Friday.

From the Lens...........

Monday, December 12, 2011

We Picked Up Our New Car

Monday 12th December, 2011

Last Friday was pick up the new car day.  I was so excited!  I caught the bus into town, met up with Tony and we went and had some lunch.  James, the salesman, had offered to come and pick us up at 3.00pm and take us to the car yard.  He was right on time.

The car looked great!!  I was a bit worried about the colour as I couldn't remember what it was.  I thought it may have been a light silver but the colour was perfect........'aluminium sky'.  It is a darker silver colour.  Love it!!!

James went through all the buttons and dials on the dashboard and steering wheel.  Oh my god, there was so much to remember.  Gone are the days when the instrument panel just showed the speedo, odometer, fuel and temperature gauges.  This car even talks to you and will make a phone call for you! 

After we paid for it, signed the papers, made an appointment for the first service, we were on our way.  We headed for Semaphore and the beach so that we could find a quiet place to park and get used to some of the controls.  Tony said that it was great to drive.  He said we would have to watch our speed as it was so responsive.  It does have a speed alarm but as we found out over the weekend it's going off all the time....hahahahaha.

By the time we headed for home it was getting on dusk and so we decided to go home via the northern expressway.  Here, we could check out the lights, mainly the high beam.  With the lights on, the dashboard and steering wheel light up like a plane's cockpit.  Love it!!!

On Saturday morning we were out early.  While making the coffee our brand new coffee machine was making weird noises and so we thought we would take it back to where we got it from.  They were surprised when we told them the problem but offered to change it over. 

As we had to go up to Hahndorf we thought we may as well go and get some more cherries.  I rang Robyn and Bob, but Robyn was working all day.  They couldn't go on Sunday as they were going to a Christmas lunch, so Bob said to get them some cherries as well.

We went back home to drop off the coffee machine and some shopping and then headed off to Hahndorf.   I picked up some cleaning product that I had ordered, and as we didn't want to wander the street, we went off to Kenton Valley and the cherry farm.  Here, we sat and had a coffee and some scones and got our cherries.  It was then back to Gumeracha and Foreston where we called into another cherry farm and got some more.  We then went to Robyn and Bob's to drop off their cherries.  Robyn was still not home from work and so we hung around until she came home. 

As they had to go out, we left.  We didn't make any firm plans for Christmas Day until we find out what the weather is going to be like, Robyn said she heard it was gonna be hot.  As I'm typing this I just heard that the temperature for Christmas Day is going to be somewhere around 27C.  If that is so then that is perfect!

On the way home Tony got a phone call to say that an alarm had come up at work and so we had to go into work so that he could turn off the alarm and reset the chillers.  I didn't mind, I got to drive around in the car some more.

On Sunday we decided to go into the city and finish off our Christmas shopping.   I got to drive the car.  It was so different to driving the Pulsar.  I suppose I'll get used to it.... LOL  As we didn't have Katie for the weekend, we thought it a good time to go and pick up her layby.  It wasn't as busy in the city as I expected.  We got everything done that we wanted.

After dinner and when it started to get dark we went for a drive to have a look at some Christmas lights.  We noticed that more people seem to have put up lights this year.  With the trend for a lot of people putting in solar power perhaps this was the reason why........cheaper electricity.  I keep saying every year that we must put up some lights and never do.....maybe next year we will!!!

From the in the mall

Monday, December 5, 2011

We're Not Going To Brisbane

Monday 5th December, 2011

After our trip yesterday I feel so tired today.  We weren't home late either, around 8.15pm.

Tony rang to say that Brett had rung him this morning to see if Tony was still interested in the job offer and what he thought of the apartments/units that he had emailed to us last Thursday.  They weren't really what we would have looked for if we were up there.  Brett told Tony that we would only have to be in them for a couple of months and then we could go and look for something better for ourselves.

He was also going to fly us up there this Friday for the weekend.  Tony got the impression that if we went and found our own apartment/unit we would have to pay the rent ourselves.  We weren't prepared to do that.

Tony declined the offer.  He said it was like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders as over the last week he hadn't slept much due to worrying about whether to take the job or not.  Brett was disappointed with Tony's decision as he said he really wanted him.  Brett's company had been very impressed with him when he worked for them previously.  Apparently there are other buildings, that once completed, Brett's company have got the management rights to.  I hope they don't offer Tony a job to manage one of these.

An example of one of the units they offered us.........


and they call this a kitchen

When we were looking at apartments we noticed the photos that they showed weren't very good.  They didn't really show you what was in them and the floor plan didn't give any measurements so you couldn't get a feel for the space of the place.  This unit had only that area above for the kitchen.  Where does your pots and pans, crockery etc go and food????  Not for me!!!!

The floorplan

Three States In One Day

Sunday 4th December, 2011

Tony was able to get last Friday off and so we headed out early to go and look at cars.  Our first stop was at Kittle Toyota.  We looked at the Toyota Corolla.  Tony took it for a test drive but wasn't real impressed.  He said that it lacked power, being only a 1.8 litre engine.  Our car is a 2.0 litre and he said he would much prefer that size engine than drop down to the 1.8.

The salespeople were also quite high pressure.  We told them that we wanted to go and look at and compare other makes and models but they kept insisting that they could give us a great deal  if we were prepared to commit to buying the Corolla.  They never told us what the great deal was though.  After two hours we finally left there.

We went down the road to Nissan.  Here we looked at the Tiida, but that also was only a 1.8 litre engine.  No salesperson was interested in coming to talk to us and so we left.  Tony wasn't that interested in having a test drive.

I had my nail appointment at 1.00pm so we called in back home and then went off to have some lunch before my appointment.  After my nails were done we went and had a look at the Hyundai i30.  Tony took it for a test drive and was quite impressed, it had a 2.0 litre engine, plenty of pick up and go but he thought it was a bit noisy, lot of road noise and engine noise.  I must say I didn't notice it and the sales person said that they had their window down slightly so maybe it was because of that.

They also wanted to give us a "great" deal, but as we still wanted to go to Mazda we said we wanted to have a think about it.  We ended up at City Mazda, just down the road.  Geez, this place was busy.  We wandered around having a look at some of the cars on offer.  I sat in one of the cars and felt sick and felt like I was being swallowed up by the dashboard.  I had to get out real quick.

Tony said there was no point looking any further if that was how I felt but I insisted that he should at least go for a test drive.  I said I would stay here while he went.  As all the salespeople were involved with customers we had to wait our turn.  We went inside and waited.  While waiting they had a Mazda3 in the showroom.  I sat in it and it didn't appear to affect me like the one in the yard.  When I mentioned it to Tony he said perhaps it was because the one in the yard was in the sun, it was hot inside the car and also the smell of a new car was perhaps a bit overpowering, whereas the car in the showroom was much cooler.  Maybe he was right.

Anyway it was finally our turn to be seen to.  By this time I decided that I would also go with him when he went for the test drive.  I still wasn't sure about the dash board.  It is so big and protrudes out into the cabin.

Anyway with the air conditioning on it helped.  Tony loved the car.  He said it was by far the best out of the three he had driven.  The drive was smooth, had the response and sat nicely on the road.  It also had a 2.0 litre engine.

When we got back to the car yard it was decision time.  Tony thought there was no comparison......the Mazda 3 won hands down.  What do we it?

It didn't take us long to say YES.   Hehehehe so we have a new car.  We don't actually have it yet, we pick it up on Friday as we are having the windows tinted, reverse sensors put in (for my, and having the paint work and interior treated.

Now what to do with our "old" car.  We didn't trade it in as we knew we wouldn't get anything for it.  Tony said to advertise it, there might be some young person who may buy it for a nominal amount.

Saturday was spent catching up on some laundry and housework.  Yay, I had Tony to help me!

Today we had arranged to go to Mildura (in Victoria) to meet up with Andrew and Simone.  They were driving up from Geelong.  We left home just before 7.00am. as Mildura is some 400 kilometres from Adelaide.  At least the weather was perfect, not too hot.  We had some items that we wanted to get rid off, like a coffee table, the old tall boy, a slow cooker, food processor and some other things.  They said that they would be interested in having them.

When we got into Renmark, Andrew rang to say that they were already in Mildura.  He said that they would head towards Renmark and meet us on the way.  We caught up with them just outside Lake Culluleraine and so we decided to go onto Mildura and have some lunch.

These plants are growing along the roadside and stretch for several kilometres between Merbein and Lake Culluleraine.  They don't appear to be growing on the farmers' land but are growing among the scrub.  In places it looked like snow.  We wondered why they had been allowed to continue growing.

It was great to catch up with Andrew and Simone again. They are doing well having just bought their first home.  We had a nice lunch chatting and laughing and it was soon time for them to be on their way.  They had further to go than we did.  We loaded up their car, luckily they have a Nissan Tiida hatch and so everything we bought up fitted in their car.

After they left we went and had a look around Mildura, it's nothing like I remember when we used to come up here when I was a child.  All I can remember is the main street and the icecream we used to get.  Andrew reminded us that when we went to Renmark once to visit with my parents, we came to Mildura to go to Barnacle Bills.  I don't remember it, all I remember is we went up there with Mum and Dad for a coffee.  Anyway he was so hanging out for Barnacle Bills (they don't have one in Geelong) but they have closed down.  He was so disappointed.

We thought we may as well cross the river and go into New South Wales, hence the three states in one day........South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. 

Buronga is the small town across the river.  We left Mildura and headed back into Renmark.  That place is still the same, nothing much has changed.  I have not been back in about 5 years and another 5 years would be too soon for me, but we have promised to take Katie up there.

The fountain in Renmark

River Murray flowing through Renmark

Main Street of Renmark

As you come back into South Australia from Victoria they have a road block where all fruit, vegetables and plants must be dumped.  The area you enter into is known as the Riverland and it is a fruit growing area, producing stone fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, grapes, wine, oranges, mandarines, and so on.  It is also fruit fly free and to keep it that way no fruit from other parts of the country are allowed to be brought in.

The Riverland comprises towns such as Paringa, Renmark, Berri, Barmera, Loxton, Waikerie, Monash, Lyrup and lots of small places in between.

My Dad's family settled in Paringa over 100 years ago and my grandfather built the house that my Dad grew up in and it is still standing.  It is being lived in but I don't think by any immediate family members.

The car didn't miss a beat.  I said to Tony perhaps we acted hastily in buying another car, but he assured me we did the right thing.  He reminded me that if we hadn't bought another car, this one still had to go in and get checked out as to why the fly wheel was affecting the starter motor.  Depending on what position the motor stops the car won't start.  Plus, over time, we would have more expense with this car so I had to agree with him. 

Andrew said that he would like to have our car and so he said that they would either fly over to pick it up or drive over in the next week or two.  We explained to him what the problem could be but he assured us that they have a very good mechanic.