Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tony Is A Wanted Man!

Tuesday 29th November, 2011

This morning Tony had another phone call from Brisbane.  It now appears that they want to fly us up there for a weekend so that we can go and look at apartments.  They are also going to speak to the owners of the building that Tony will be looking after to see if they are prepared to pay our rent.

They told Tony that they WANT him and will do everything possible to get him up there.  If we do go, I am getting quite emotional walking around my home and looking at all the items we may have to get rid off.  Having gone through a cyclone and losing everything, I never thought I would be so attached to material things.

The latest on this saga is that they are still looking for an apartment for us.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Negotiations Are Still Continuing

Monday 28th November, 2011

Last night when we came home after dropping Katie off, Tony wrote a letter to decline the offer for the job in Brisbane, and he emailed it off.  We had a lot of discussion about it over the weekend, and it just wasn't going to be financially viable for us.

This morning Tony rang me early.   Brett, from Queensland had rung him and said that he would still like Tony to take the job and so to entice us up there he increased the salary.  Unfortunately, it still wouldn't be enough to cover any rent we would have to pay.  I went on to the website and rents vary from $350 up to over $1000 a week.  Tony has to ring him back yet to say if he will accept it.

When Tony came home from work we looked at some of the rental apartments available.  Those at the lower price end I would pass on, middle price range .........a couple looked OK, but at the higher end of the price range was where I would start looking.  It's hard to get a feel for a place by just looking at it on the net.....you have to be there.

It also looks as if we would have to sell some of our furniture here as it wouldn't fit into an apartment.  We are in a real dilemma.  They would like Tony up there by the 1st January but that doesn't give us enough time to organise ourselves here, to pack up our house and get it ready to rent out.

Brett told Tony he would like to keep the line of communication open.   The only communication I want to hear is.....we will cover all your costs (rent, relocation, storage)!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crossed Wires!

Sunday 27th November, 2011

Someone had their wires crossed this weekend and it looks as if it was me.  A planned quiet weekend was now going to be one of , "What are we going to do today?"  Still, that's what makes life interesting.

On Friday I headed off into the city to meet up with Tony and while there we planned on doing a bit of Christmas shopping.

We went off and had our usual coffee and then to the Chemist to get his prescription filled.  While there Tony's phone rang.  It was Katie.  "Hello Poppa," she said, "Where are you?"  He handed the phone over to me.  "Nanna," she said, "I thought I was coming to your house so that I could go and see Father Christmas".  "No," I said, "That is next week".  She was adamant that when we last spoke she said she was coming over this weekend.  "OK", I told her, "we will come and pick you up".

We got the prescription and then went over to meet up with Kahra and Katie.  After picking her up we headed back into the city and then went off to the Magic Cave.  We were quite surprised, the lineup to see Father Christmas wasn't that long, maybe we had a wait of half an hour.  She went into see him, and they had a good long talk with each other.  It was hard to hear what they were talking about as there was a lot of whispering going on.  When we came out she said, "Oh no,"I didn't even tell Father Christmas what I wanted."   "Never mind" I said, "I did hear him say something about a surprise".

With that she was happy, and went off to ride the Carousel, and the horses, Nipper and Nimble. 

It must have bothered her not letting Father Christmas know what she wanted, because she asked to go and see Father Christmas at Myer.  So we headed off down there.  She believes that Father Christmas at David Jones' Magic Cave is the real one, and the one at Myer is his helper. There was no lineup at Myer and so we went straight in.  She made sure this one knew what she wanted.

Father Christmas was very impressed with her, and on the way out he commented to us on that fact.  He said that she was a delightful, charming and very polite young girl.  It was a pleasure to have her visit, he said.

She thought she had better write a letter to Father Christmas as well to make sure he really knew what she wanted.

I thought last year may have been her last year of believing in him, but this year she appears to be just as excited as ever, and we have had no mention of kids at school saying that he isn't real, or her asking if he is real or not.  I know that that day will come and I am dreading it.

By now it was getting close to shop closing time (9.00pm) and we still hadn't eaten.  Yikes!!! So off we went to Vili's for a much needed coffee and something to eat.  On the way home we called in and filled up the water bottles.  We also noticed that the Christmas Riverbank Display at the Brewery has been turned on, but we promised Katie that next time she came we would go and see that. 

On Saturday we were up early and off to the shops as I didn't get any shopping done last night.  While out we had breakfast and met up with some of the Christmas characters. 

Did some grocery shopping to tie us over for the weekend, dropped it off home and then went to Bunnings.  We needed some new fly wire for the front screen door.

Also called into the Good Guys (again....lol) and bought a new cordless vacuum cleaner.  I love using them in between having to get the big vacuum out.  My old one is needing a new battery and sometimes it works out cheaper to buy a new vacuum instead of replacing the battery.

We then thought we might take a drive into the hills and see if there were any cherries.  We were in luck, we found most of the cherry places were open.  We bought some at Kersbrook and then went to Kenton Valley and got some more.   Even Katie enjoyed them this year.

We went back into Gumeracha and to the Giant Rocking Horse.  Katie wanted to climb it.  It was too late to wander in and feed the animals, but one of the peacocks had wandered outside of the enclosure.  He was just laying in the grass, resting.

We waited to see if he would show us his tail.  After around 20 minutes we decided to leave and as we were getting into the car up goes his tail feathers.  Katie quickly went and got a couple of photos.

We came back to the city and as it was now getting late we decided to go and have dinner at the Hampstead.

Sunday morning was spent lazing around.  Tony replaced the fly wire in the screen door and Katie helped him put the door back.  She said she really felt like she was working when Tony allowed her to use the drill.

I cooked some fish for our lunch and then we went off to the swimming pool.  The Aquatic Centre had just gone through a major upgrade and so we thought we would go and check it  out.

We couldn't see too much of a difference.  A new roof and some plants removed (making it feel more open) and that was it.  Katie wasn't bothered, the pools were still there and she could still swim.

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Job Offer

Thursday 24th November, 2011

I was having a quiet day until the phone rang.  When I answered it, it was Tony.  He asked me whether I was sitting down.  Yes, I told him.  He then proceeded to tell me that he had just had a phone call from his former employer asking him if he would be interested in taking a job in Brisbane.  Whaaaattttt!!! I screamed.

He said that he couldn't talk to him properly as he was with a contractor and so the guy told him to ring him tonight.  OMG what to do!!  It would be a great opportunity.....as Tony said, think of it as a 4-5 year holiday.   Yeah, but........

I can't help thinking, what do we do with all of our gear, there's too much to pack up and move it all to Brisbane.  There's no way we would sell the house.......we would rent it out.  Why didn't these opportunities present themselves 10-15 years ago?  I wouldn't have hesitated, but we are nearing our twilight years and it's a big decision to make.

At the moment there's more cons than pros but there's no point getting too excited until Tony has a lot more information.

Tonight Tony rang the CEO of the company and at the moment he doesn't think he will take the job.  Firstly the wages are about the same as he is getting here.  If we moved up there we would have to rent a place and put a lot of our belongings into storage, and as we own our home that would be an expense that we don't currently have.

There is no point in going if you aren't going to benefit financially.  I don't know if we want to spend the rest of our years living in Queensland.  Like I said, if this opportunity presented itself 10-15 years ago we wouldn't have hesitated.  We could have sold our house, purchased one up there and after 10 years or so come back here and set ourselves up ready for retirement.

It's still nice to think that even though Tony is going on for 66 years of age, he is still highly regarded as being capable of taking on another job.  There are many people, younger than him, that are considered past their use by date.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who Will It Be....Andrew, Reece Or Johnny?

Tuesday 22nd November, 2011

Over the last few months we have been watching the X Factor.  Last night was Grand Final night.  Three contestants are left.....Andrew Wishart (over 25 age group) Johnny Ruffo and Reece Mastin (the favourite to win)  (male under 25 age group).

During the previous week all three of them were taken back to their hometowns, Andrew to Melbourne, Johnny to Perth and Reece to Adelaide.  They were filmed meeting up with their family and friends and also performing at their local shopping centres.

Reece was filmed going back to his school which happens to be Golden Grove High, and also at his house, his family live at Greenwith.  He performed at Tea Tree Plaza, there were so many people, around 5000 they estimated.

Soon after they aired this segment the phone rang.  It was Katie, "Nanna I can't believe it."  "What can't you believe?" I asked.  "That Reece goes to Golden Grove High school, and we may have seen him at the shops when we go there. OMG Nanna he may live near you as when they showed his house it was down a hill just like your house is and when we go for walks we pass houses that look like his.  Oh Nanna can we go past his school on a school day just to see if he is there?"  I laughed, she was that excited about it all.

Tomorrow night we will see who wins.  Reece, mentored by Guy Sebastian, is the hot favourite, at only 16 years of age and with the maturity of someone so much older, he has got an amazing voice.  He loves singing rock.

Reece is singing with Kylie Minogue and in my honest opinion he totally outshone her.

Johnny, also mentored by Guy Sebastian, never had such a good voice at the start but as the show went on he has developed so much.  His voice is so much better now and he loves to dance.  He is the overall entertainer.

Andrew, was mentored by Natalie Bassingthwaighte, and being the oldest contestant at 40, had a good voice too.   His voice is somewhere in between John Farnham and Jimmy Barnes.

Good Luck to all three.  They all deserve to win.  I am sure they will all have careers in the entertainment industry.

The three finalists with Kylie Minogue..........

It is now Tuesday night and we have just finished watching the Grand Final Live Decider and the winner of X Factor for 2011 is.........

                                              REECE MASTIN

The votes between first and second were very close (only 1% in it).  Andrew came second and Johnny was eliminated earlier in the evening.

I am off to download Reece's single from ITunes now......"Good Night".  Hope it's a hit for him!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our First Real Taste Of Summer

Friday 18th November, 2011

What a day!!!  Predicted temperature for today is 37 degrees.  Here it is , 7.00am and the temperature already is 27.  They say for hayfever sufferers and asthmatics, make sure to take your medication as the wind will pick up later making it a horrendous day for all sufferers, and I am just getting over a bad case of sinus.

It took me to yesterday to start feeling better after having had sinus all week.  Monday and Tuesday I just lazed around the house, whenever I tried to do anything my nose would drip like a tap.  Wednesday I did improve but had that irritating cough.  Still got the cough but I feel so much better today.  I won't venture outside unless I have to.

As the day has gone on it has warmed up even more, latest temperature is around 35 degrees.  The wind is blowing a gale outside.  Earlier on in the day they were predicitng thunderstorms and some rain but where is it???  I have to go out later to do some shopping for the weekend.  Hope the rain gets here by then.

Well, we didn't get any rain.  It looks as if it missed Adelaide.  We were right in the middle of 2 bands of rain that went either side.  The temperature did drop a few degrees and the wind subsided but it's still warm outside.  I went and did some shopping at the Village, Tony met me when he got off the bus and then we went and had coffee and then thought we might try Cafe Primo for dinner, here in Golden Grove.

They are always busy there, so we thought that must be a good sign.  I ordered a Surf N Turf (it's schnitzel, instead of steak, and it came with prawns and served with a garlic sauce) and it was YUMMO!!!  Tony had a Veal Scallopine and he said his was very nice too.  A bit different to that other Cafe Primo we went to for Tanecia's birthday.  The food was much nicer here.

The only downside.....their airconditioning had broken down and it was so hot eating inside.  All the outside tables were taken.  Still, the food made up for it.

Here it is now Monday, the weekend has come and gone.  On Saturday morning Tony had to replace the light fitting in the study.  On Thursday night I turned on the light in the study and it threw our power out.  At first we thought we must have had a local power failure but the fridge light was on when you opened the door and so was the light for the oven.

Tony went to check the meter box and yep the meter had tripped, so he reset the RCD.  I tried the light again and poof....out goes the power again.  Back to the meter box, reset it and we have power.  We have had trouble with this light for ages.......we had to keep replacing the light bulbs way too often.

Lucky we still had the light fittings from the hallway when I replaced those fittings, so Tony swapped one of them over and we haven't had any more trouble......yet.  While in 'light' mode he then went outside and checked the solar lights.  Most of them need new recharge batteries.  I keep forgetting to check to see which ones work.

On Saturday night we had made arrangements to go out for dinner and a movie with Rick and Dianne.  They wanted to go down to Semaphore and the movie theatre there and also for a meal at Wee Willie's Tavern. 

Seeing they hadn't seen Red Dog, they said that they would like to see that movie.  Even though Tony and I had already seen it we said we would go and see it again as it was an enjoyable movie.  I must say, we both enjoyed it more the second time around.  Rick and Dianne also enjoyed the movie.

A scene from the movie, Josh Lucas with Koko (Red Dog)

After the movie finished we went to Wee Willie's.  By now it was around 8.45 pm and they still cooked meals.  We were the only ones there dining by this time, Tony and Rick had a seafood platter each and Dianne and I had schnitzels.  Nice meal for a relatively low price.

When we went to the toilets we had to smile.......they were marked  "Wee Willies" and "No Willies".  Bugga!!  I had forgotten to take the camera too.  I ALWAYS have the camera in my bag, but not tonight.

It was a nice night, sitting and talking and eating.  We got home around 12.30am.

On Sunday we had nothing really planned.  Went and vacuumed out the back, seasoned the bar-b-que as we decided we would christen it by having a barbie for dinner.

Later in the afternoon we decided to go out and get Katie her Christmas present.  We headed out to the Good Guys and got her an IPod touch (which she said she wanted).  While waiting to get served I went and had a wander around, and came across these coffee machines.  Hmmmm, I thought, they look OK.

After Tony paid for the IPod I just happened to slowly move him towards these coffee machines.  While looking at them and trying to work out how they work a salesperson came along.  She explained the function of them and as we already have a Senseo coffee machine (for which the pods are hard to buy) we thought this machine would nicely take the place of it.

They are made by DeLonghi and use Nespresso coffee pods.  They had several models but the one we liked was the one that had the unit and milk frother all in one.  Some models had the frother separate and so it needed two power points.
Also, they had the black one on special for $428.  Of course the one I liked was the cream one and that was $498. 

I jokingly told the salesperson that if we could have the cream one for $428 she would have herself a sale.  She looks at me and said that she would have to go and speak to her manager first.  Funnily enough he was standing just behind us and so off she goes and talks to him and when she came back she said we could have it for $420.  Done....you have a sale!!

In the box they give 16 pods of different coffee to try.  Yes, Robyn they have 3 varieties of decaffienated coffee, so you don't have to bring your own when you come to visit.  So far we have tried 5 varieties and they have all been very nice.  They are at different strengths and flavours, some described as how they describe a wine....fruity and full of flavour, fruity and delicate, floral and refreshing.  And here's me thinking coffee is just.....well coffee.

Now I can have a latte, cappucino or a flat white any time of the day or night.  The frother even froths cold milk for an iced coffee.

On Sunday night Tony cooked a barbie for us for dinner.  Yum!!

Later on today I am going to cook a roast in the bar-b-que.  Will do the vegies as well, so it will be interesting to see how it comes out.

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Excitement Is In The Air

Sunday 13th November, 2011

There was so much excitement and anticipation in the air this weekend.  Firstly, on Friday we went and picked Katie up and after doing some shopping and having dinner we went and picked Taylor up.

Taylor was also sleeping over on Friday night because the next morning we were taking the girls in to the city for the annual Christmas Pageant.  They were very excited about the impending arrival of Father Christmas.

On Saturday morning we were up very early....5.45am.  I let the girls sleep while Tony and I had our showers.  When I went in to wake them, there was no problem getting them up.  They were soon dressed and we left home just after 6.30am.

We parked the car at Tony's work and this year the pageant was coming down Flinders Street and then turning into King William Street due to building work going on at the Harris Scarfes' site in Grenfell Street.  I was so shocked to see the large number of people already lining the street at 7.00am.  Some people must get into town at an ungodly hour just to get a good possie.  They estimated the crowd that lined the streets to be about 335,000.

We found the last free spot just opposite the State Bank.  Put the blanket down, set up the chairs and the girls and I went off to McDonalds to get us some breakfast. The weather was perfect, not too hot, with the maximum temperature to hit 30 degrees.  At least we had shade.

To keep the kids occupied, you either bring your own, or if you buy the morning paper, they give out chalk for the kids to draw on the road.  This keeps them amused for a while.  Then, every year some enterprising ladies make up streamers and for $5 you can buy these and the kids have great fun twirling and dancing with them. 

They also had people giving out red noses to the kids.  They wanted to set a new World Record of how many people were wearing them which they succeeded in doing.  Yay go Adelaide!!!

Finally, we could hear the sounds of the band as the pageant wove it's way through the streets and nearer to us.  Everyone is asked to sit behind the blue honour line, which is painted on the road, and for the next hour and 10 minutes the kids and adults alike are kept enthralled with the sights and sounds of the passing parade.

The clowns are always the girl's favourite, they love to hit hands with them as they pass.  This year the floats consisted of some of the old favourites plus some new ones.....Happy Feet, African singers and Fergus the fire engine.  Bringing up the rear was who every one had come to see......Father Christmas.

After we packed up we took our gear back into Tony's work and then headed off to get the girls some lunch and Tony and I a coffee.  This weekend we only had Katie overnight.  Kahra and Darrin came in and picked her up around 12.30pm and then we went and dropped Taylor off.

On the way home we called into the shops to pick up a couple of things that I forgot last night and then went home.  We no sooner got home when we had to have another shower and get ready to go out for Saturday night.

We were going off to see Dolly Parton.  Robyn and Bob were coming as well, we had had our tickets since June.  When it was announced that Dolly was going to perform in Adelaide Robyn rang and asked if we would like to go.  Not being a real fan of hers I said,"yeah, we'll go".  She was last in Australia 24 years ago when she toured with Kenny Rogers.

They came by about 4.00pm and once again we were off into the city leaving the car at Tony's work.  The plan was to catch the tram down to the Entertainment Centre and then find a hotel to go and have dinner.

We decided to have dinner in the city.  We ended up going to the Ambassador's Hotel and had a great meal.   We were pleasantly surprised.  Robyn, Bob and Tony all had steak while I had the Beef roast.  The roast even came with Yorkshire pudding, something you don't see these days.  We all decided to have dessert as well.....petit lemon meringue and Tony had a passionfruit creme.

We went and waited for the tram and when it finally came along it was crowded.  We all managed to squeeze in and headed off to the Entertainment Centre. 

There must have been at least 12,000 people there.   Anyway, Dolly gave a great show, she was thoroughly entertaining, communicated great with the audience telling us about her life when she was growing up in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

The most moving experience for me was when she sang "Little Sparrow".  You could have heard a pin drop.  She sang it acapella with 2 of her backup singers for harmony.  Dolly....I think you have another fan.

When the concert finished we decided to wait awhile to get the tram back into the city.  The only reason being was so many wanted to catch it you just couldn't get on.  We let 2 trams go before we decided to get on the next one......even that was crowded.

When we got back into the city we went for a coffee.   Our usual coffee shop was closed so we went off to the Pancake Kitchen.  Tony and I shared a walnut pancake and Robyn had a short stack.

By the time we got home it was nearing 1.30am.  Robyn and Bob definitely aren't used to such late nights....hhahahaha.

On Sunday morning we woke up around 7.45 am and I felt terrible.  My head was pounding, my eyes were watering, nose running and my jaw ached.  Sinus.....ugh!!!

Around 10.00am I went back to bed and slept until 1.00pm.  Tony wanted to go and pick up our new bar-b-que.  We had our showers and off we went.  While there we went and paid some more money off the tallboy.  We paid for and picked up the barbie and then decided while we were out we may as well go to Ikea.  Last time we were there I had seen a small table that I liked.  Of course, they no longer have it.

We came home and Tony started to assemble the barbie.  It's not quite finished but as it was getting late we loaded all the cardboard into the car and once again we headed off into town to dump the cardboard at Tony's work.

After taking some sinus tablets I went straight to bed when we got back as I was still feeling like crap.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel much better.