Saturday, September 29, 2012

Footy Grand Final

Saturday 29th September, 2012

Today is footballs' day of days.  It is Grand Final day in the AFL.  The two teams to play off this year are Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans. The Adelaide Crows just missed out.  Last week they were beaten by Hawthorn by just 5 points.

We are barracking for Sydney though we are not true footy fans.  I go for any team that's not Victorian.

It's half time....Sydney 46 points, Hawthorn 30 points.  Let's hope Sydney can continue with their dominance in the next half.  Carn the Swannies!!!!

                                               Photos from Adelaide Now website

Now I know why I don't watch footy much......I can't sit still.  When the game gets exciting I pace.  I pace up and down, go listen to it on the radio for a while, come back and watch a bit more on the telly.

This is how this game got me today.  The last few minutes were excruciating to watch.  The Hawks were in front by a goal, the Swans tied the game up and then led by a goal.  Hawthorn came back and kicked a couple of points so the Swans were ahead by 4 points.

With 1 minute 20 seconds on the clock the Swans kicked another goal giving them a 10 point buffer.  Phew! it would be hard for Hawthorn to come back from there.

Finally the siren sounded and the Sydney Swans were AFL premiers for 2012.   Congratulations go to all the players and the coaches of both teams.  It was a fantastic game of footy!  Sorry there had to be a loser.

                                                                      Photo from Adelaide Now website

We went out for dinner with Robyn and Bob again tonight.  This time we went to the Empire Hotel on Prospect Road.  The food wasn't as good as what we had last week, this week we all had steak.  

Bob's steak was overcooked (he likes medium rare), mine was undercooked (I like mine to be well done and it had pink in it).  Bob and I changed steaks but to his liking mine was still overcooked for him. It wouldn't be a place I would go to again in a hurry.

By having these "Split the Bill" vouchers it gives you an opportunity to try out these various hotels and restaurants that you wouldn't normally get to try.  

Robyn and Bob have been to far more than what we have and have found some of the places to be hit and miss.  Tonight was the last night to use the vouchers.

Inside the dining room it takes you on a tour of the world.........United States, England and home

The meal may have not been much but at least we didn't starve.  We got all these choccies out of the chocolate machine!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Sunny Days Are Very Welcome!

Sunday 23rd September, 2012

The weather here has been perfect.  Temperatures have been in the low-mid 20's, even the evenings haven't been too cold.  It's been great not to have the heater on.

On Friday night we went to Murray Bridge for a Chinese meal.  Yesterday I attended another scrapbooking class and then last night we met up with Robyn and Bob at the Exeter Hotel on Semaphore Road for dinner. We all enjoyed our meals there.  I had Spare Ribs, Robyn had Chicken Skewers and Bob and Tony had Steak.

Today has been a rather lazy day.  Even though the sun is shining it's quite cool outside and very windy.  We had a light shower of rain this morning.

From what I hear Katie has still been enjoying her birthday celebrations.  The weekend has been a busy one for her and her friend Maddi.  Apparently they have been ice skating, 10 pin bowling, went to Laserzone and shopping.  I think her mum is glad she only has her birthday once a year.

It is also school holidays here for the next 2 weeks.  Boy this year has flown by, only one more term of school left for this school year.  It appears they no sooner go back to school and it is holidays again.

The school year here is made up of 4 terms.  Each term is around 10 weeks long.  The longest break is December/January where they have 6 weeks off.  Between each term is a 2 week break.  They would have another 2 weeks off during school counting the public holidays, pupil free days, a day off for the show, sports day and other days the schools want to take off.

When I went to school we had 3 term school years.  Our terms went for around 14 weeks with the same amount of holidays.  I don't ever remember having pupil free days or days off for the show.  Instead, we had half days for when it was Arbor Day (that's the only one I can remember) but I think there were a couple more.

No wonder so many kids are struggling with their education.  They have to learn the same amount of knowledge in a shorter period of time.  Actually we learnt more because in my day (now I'm sounding old), we had to learn the 11 and 12 times tables as we were taught the old imperial measures and our currency was still the pound, shillings and pence. 

Maybe that's why I still like to measure things in feet and inches and I convert the oven temperature back to Fahrenheit instead of Celsius.   I still get confused when cooking with the grams and ounces. 

How did I get onto this subject?  Talking of cooking it's time to go and get dinner started.  Tonight I may do a spaghetti bake.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Katie Celebrates

Friday 21st September, 2012

Last night I met up with Katie, Kahra and Darrin.  We had decided to meet at Ikea and to have some dinner to celebrate Katie's birthday.  As Tony was also flying back from Sydney last night it meant that we would be able to walk over to the Terminal to meet him.

I was rather surprised at the meals on offer and it was much better value than going to McDonalds or Hungry Jacks.  For $5.95 I had Chicken Parmigiana chips and salad.  Katie had the Swedish Meatballs as a kids meal for $2.95, Kahra had a Quiche and Darrin also had a Parmigiana.

Katie didn't care where we went for her birthday as long as we were all together she said.  She was a bit sad that Poppa couldn't join us.

After we finished eating we went across to the Terminal.  Tony's flight was due to land at 7.55pm but when we checked the arrivals board his flight had been delayed and wouldn't be landing until 8.45pm.  We went and had coffee while waiting.

The Arrivals/Departure lounge was crowded.  By this flight being delayed, it also meant passengers who were due to fly to Brisbane were also delayed.  Plus, as we found out later, a group of school students were on Tony's flight and so with their parents there to meet them it made the waiting area quite congested.

Katie was the first one to spot Tony as he came up the aerobridge.  To say she was more than excited would be an understatement.  I'll admit it was nice to see him again.

He rang me several times while he was away keeping me informed about what was going on but it's not as good as him being here in person.  He said that he had a great time even if it was full-on.  By the sounds of it they had little time to themselves and so they didn't get out to sight see.

The only photos he took was from the plane and his room and a short walk he took after breakfast on Wednesday.  He said the rest of the time was spent in the conference room, or when they walked to a local restaurant for dinner on the Wednesday night.

He got to meet some great people and can now put a face to the name he speaks to on the phone.  The only downside was that he had to go to work this morning....... hehehehehe.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Special Birthday

Thursday 20th September, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday to our gorgeous Katie.  She has gone from this.....

To this......

Where have the last 11 years gone?  I know it's an old cliche but the years have really flown by.  You have grown into a beautiful young girl showing lots of love for your family.  You are kind, caring, compassionate and love having fun.

You have been a real joy to have around and have given Nanna and Poppa a lot of fun times and adventures that we may never have experienced if you weren't in our lives.   We treasure these memories.

We look forward to the next 11 years and to watching you grow and develop even further.  You have the ability to become whatever you want to be.

Love you Always!!!!   

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Home Alone

Tuesday 18th September, 2012

Around lunchtime I went into the city and met Tony.  He was flying out to Sydney this afternoon at 3.30pm and he asked whether I would come in and get him and one of his co-workers, Richard, and take them to the airport.  They are going there for a 2 day conference.

They were being flown to Sydney by Colonial, (they own the building that he looks after).  They are staying at the Park Royal Hotel in Darling Harbour until Thursday when he flies home.  He will get back around 8.00pm.

His plane had lifted off and was overhead before I could get a decent photo

People from all around the country are being flown to Sydney by Colonial.  They also allow partners to go (at our expense though) but I said I might go next year.  I told him to go and see what it's all about. 

He rang to say that they had arrived safely and rang me later on this evening after they had been out to dinner.  He said that they had met up with some of the other people that were also attending the conference.

He's only been gone a few hours and I'm already missing him.  Looks like I'll have to make my own coffee tonight!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Aaaaaarrrrrgh Kids!!!!!!!

Sunday 16th September, 2012

Friday afternoon we went and picked Katie up.  She filled us in on her trip to Perth and it sounded as if she had a wonderful time.  She got to know a couple of the kids from the school they visited.  They even prepared lunch for them which impressed her.  She said the flight was very bumpy and her ears hurt.

On Saturday morning Tony had to go into work to do some fire testing and so the plan was for Katie and I to catch the bus in to meet him when he finished.  While having breakfast Katie went on and on about wanting Taylor to come over.  "I haven't seen her for a very long time Nanna".

In the end I relented and so Katie rang her.  In no time at all Jodi had Taylor over here.  We caught the bus, met Tony and went off to have some lunch.  As we couldn't get the car out of Tony's work (due to some crane operator parking his crane in front of their access driveway) we decided to have a walk through the Mall and down to Elder Park.

The girls did some shopping at Diva and then we went off to the park. They went on the paddle boats, while Tony and I enjoyed sitting in the sunshine watching them.  When they finished we went off and had coffee, they wanted something to eat as well.  
Owl necklaces from Diva

While they were eating Taylor was telling Katie about the dramas she was having at school.  A few of her friends made up this club and they called it the Glee club but then she got kicked out.   I asked her what was a Glee club and she said it was just some of her school friends who were going to sing at school assembly.  "Why did you get kicked out?" I asked her.  

"Oh Maddison said that I was too pretty,  but now she let's me be in it because she said that she's prettier than me and all the boys look at her anyway."   I had trouble not to burst out laughing.  Oh dear, what 8 year old girls have to put up with these days.

We made our way slowly back to the car but then decided before we got there to catch the tram down to Glenelg and have some dinner.  It was a nice evening at the beach, not too windy so therefore it wasn't too cold.  As they were laying pavers a lot of the foreshore was closed.  We ended up having Chinese for dinner (not as good as the one at Murray Bridge).

After dinner I rang Jodi to let her know where we were and what we were doing and to find out when to drop Taylor off at home.  She suggested I perhaps let Taylor stay the night.  I wasn't too thrilled as I knew that Katie and her would have some issues with each other.  They are great for a few hours together but then they start bickering, one doesn't want to do what the other one wants to do and on it goes.

We caught the tram back into the city and went and got the car.  And the girls started.  They decided that they would each sing a song.  The other one wasn't allowed to sing   along.  Well, that didn't happen.  Taylor chooses her song, Katie sings along, and then vice versa.  When we got home it continued.  They couldn't agree what to play on the Wii.  In the end I got them to turn it off and sent them to bed.

Thankfully Taylor fell asleep almost instantly. Katie complained of being too hot.  Within half an hour she was asleep as well.  Peace finally!!!!!!

This morning we decided to go to Monarto and see the new baby chimp that had been born there on the 21st August.  We didn't take Taylor with us as Kahra and Darrin were going on a bike ride and it was finishing closer to their place.  We thought that we may have to take Katie nearer to home to be dropped off which would make it rather late by the time we got Taylor back to her place.  

I rang Jodi to let her know that we would take Taylor home on our way out.  Thankfully we did, because this morning started a bit like the way last night ended.  First thing they were OK, but after breakfast and while they were getting themselves dressed it started.  Maybe Taylor was upset because she wasn't coming with us.  I spoke to both of them about how they can make the visits more enjoyable, things did improve and let's hope they both take on board what I said.

"Not happy little Jans", in happier times they would be doing each others hair

We called into Hahndorf on the way and then went off to Monarto.  Katie was excited about going to see the chimps and so we made our way down there.  Zombi, the mum, had the baby resting on her while she was sleeping.

Most of the other chimps were outside in their enclosure but once they realized there was a crowd of people trying to catch a glimpse of the baby they slowly came inside.  A few of them tried to touch the baby but Zombi would lift her head and they would quickly take their hand away.  One chimp thought he would get away with touching the baby if he groomed Zombi...........hehehehe.  OMG they are just so beautiful to watch!

Katie wanted to take some photos with my camera.  Two of the males were sitting on the ledge by where we were standing.   Katie went to the other side of the glass with the camera and this one male quickly turned his head away as if to say, "you're not taking my photo!"  When Katie came back around to the other side he looked at her and gave her what we said looked like a smile and then a laugh, or maybe he was telling her off. She did this a couple more times and he did the exact same thing.

It brought back memories of when we took her to Melbourne and went to the Melbourne Zoo.  We were in the monkey enclosure and as we walked into it Katie made a noise to one of the monkeys that was sitting outside.  We stood at the glass watching the monkeys and then this monkey that Katie "spoke" to came over.  He came right to where Katie was standing.

As the crowd became larger I got Katie to move away and we walked to the other end where no-one was standing.  Suddenly this monkey became agitated, was looking around and saw that we had moved to the other end and he came down there to where Katie was.  Not one of the other monkeys bothered, only this particular one.  

It was as if there was a connection between the monkey and Katie.  He put his feet against the glass and Katie was "tickling" them with her hand.  When she stopped, the monkey tapped his foot against the glass wanting her to keep doing it.  It was a real "spiritual" experience.

We left the chimps and went back to the cafeteria.  Katie wanted something to eat, Tony and I had a coffee. We all shared some wedges and she had a hot dog.  We had called into the bakery on the way and so Tony and I weren't that hungry.

When we were finished we caught the bus that goes around the park.  Maybe because it was late in the afternoon a lot of the animals were very active.  We actually got up very close to the black rhino, he's normally back closer to his sleeping quarters.  The Zebras walked alongside the bus.  One of the females is due to have her baby any day and the white rhino were running around.  The kids that were on the bus got excited as the young rhino looked as if it was racing his mum and so they were yelling for "Digger" to win.

Pregnant mum at the front

The cheetahs were waiting to be let into their night quarters, the male lions were in their sleeping quarters pacing, while the females were still out in the park lying in the grass.  The ostriches also got up close and personal with the bus.  

We left Monarto just after 4.30pm.  Kahra and Darrin had finished the bike ride earlier than they thought and so we arranged to meet them at the usual place.  After leaving them Tony and I went off and had some dinner and then home.  I'm appreciating the peace and quiet!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Katie Loved Perth

Wednesday 12th September, 2012

I spoke to Katie this afternoon.  Sounds as if she had a great time in Perth.  She wants to go and live there!

She said they went to a school and then to a hill to look at the city of Perth.  She meant Kings Park.  From what I remember of Kings Park when we went to Perth for our honeymoon nearly 40 years ago, it was a beautiful park set in the Botanic Gardens not far from the city centre.

Perth skyline from Kings Park

We will no doubt hear more about her trip over the weekend when she comes to stay.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's Off To Perth She Goes

Sunday 9th September, 2012

Tony and I got to the airport around 1.15pm and we soon found Kahra and Darren.  All the kids that were going to Perth were also there, 5 in total.  Katie could still not believe that she was going.  Can I say she was excited?

Tomorrow and Tuesday there is no school at Katie's school as most of the teachers have also taken the opportunity to go as well.  There were 22 people in all going.

With the principal, Ian Filer

Time for a quick bite

Time to board

Off to the plane

The plane left around 3.00pm.  Scheduled time of departure was for 2.45pm. Apparently there was luggage taken on board but the people who were supposed to be travelling had not shown up.  The baggage handlers had to remove the luggage from the plane.  Just as the plane was taxi-ing on the runway the two people showed up for the flight.  Sorry, too late they were told.

The city as seen from the airport

ready to take off we come!

Katie sent these photos she took from the plane:

What she was eating

They arrive back in Adelaide at 10.15pm tomorrow night.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fields Of Gold

Saturday 8th September, 2012

Last night we decided to go to Hahndorf and to the Pizza House for dinner.  They have just won "Best Pizza Outlet" for 2012.  Here, you won't find the run of the mill Ham and Pineapple, or pizzas like you get at Domino's or Pizza Hut.  

Tony ordered the "Special" with cacciatore sausage, semi-dried tomatoes, roasted capsicum, fetta cheese and I had the Pollo Fungi, roasted chicken breast, mushrooms and gorgonzola.  Yum! Yum! they were delicious!  

They do mainly gourmet pizzas, like duck, crab meat, squid and yes, Robyn they have dessert pizzas too, but only two.  One is a Cherry Ripe and the other one I can't remember but I think it may be apple and cinnamon with cream and icecream.  We will try one next time.

Tony and I decided to take a drive into the country today and see the "Fields of Gold".  What a truly beautiful sight!  Just a few months ago when we were there all the paddocks were either just showing signs of crops peeking through or else had just been sown.  

Today the canola fields were full of yellow flowers and the green of the grain crops really brought out the true colours of and gold.  There were also lots of little lambs frisking about in the paddocks.  Spring truly is the season of new beginnings.

We stopped at the Grasshopper Roadhouse in Tarlee for coffee and scones.  The Roadhouse is a quaint little cottage.

I knew it was a bad decision to go to the country.  This evening my eyes are so itchy, watery and my nose is running.  Yep.....hayfever!

Just before we left Jodi and Taylor called around.  As we were about to go out, they didn't stay for too long. Jodi said that Tori has found a unit, and so I can go through my cupboards in the coming days and see if there is anything that will be suitable for her.

Whenever I have a clean out I donate it all to charity so I don't have too much that I don't use anymore, but there may be some thing that she might be able to use.  I know I have a canteen of cutlery that she can have.

As Jodi was leaving Katie rang to let us know what time she will be leaving for Perth. She sounded very excited and so we will be heading to the airport tomorrow.