Saturday, September 28, 2013

Last Saturday In September

Saturday 28th September, 2013

Today, being the last Saturday in September, is one of Australia's biggest sporting days.  It is the Austalian Football League (AFL) Grand Final.  This year Hawthorn and Fremantle are the two teams that are going to play for the title of Premiers.

The Fremantle Dockers are a team from West Australia that has made it to the Grand Final for the first time since they have been in the competition.  They are the underdogs and the sentimental favourite to win.  Hawthorn, the team from Victoria, are the team everyone will love to hate today. 

Even though the AFL have teams in every mainland state, that is Sydney Swans and GWS Giants from NSW, Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns from Queensland, Adelaide Crows and Port Power from South Australia, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers from West Australia, the other ten teams are from Victoria.

The AFL was borne out of the Victorian Football League and even now the Victorians still believe it's their competition.  They may have the largest representation of teams but it is supposed to be a wholly Australian competition.  That is why the rest of the country 'love to hate' the Vics, especially us South Aussies.  For years they have come and taken our best footballers to play for their clubs.

Tony and I are not die hard football supporters.  We don't mind occasionally watching the Adelaide teams on TV when they play.  We have even attended a game or two but we won't be watching the grand final on telly.

Instead we decided to go to Ikea.  Thinking the stores would be relatively quiet this afternoon while the game was on, we thought then would be a good opportunity to go.  How wrong were we!  Hundreds of other people had the same idea.  Ikea was busy.  We went on to Harbourtown after Ikea and that was busy too. 

Just goes to show, the footy finals doesn't grab everyones attention.

For the record Hawthorn beat Fremantle by 15 points and so they are the 2013 Premiers.   Next year we are hoping for an Adelaide team to be in the grand final.......this year Port Power came close, they played in two of the lead up finals to the grand final.  

                                                                      Photos taken from Adelaide Now website

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chasing Dust Bunnies

Tuesday 24th September, 2013

The last couple of days I have been catching up on some housework that I've neglected these past few weeks.  I am having so much fun chasing the dust bunnies.....NOT!!!!

Why can't someone invent furniture polish that once you spray it on it will keep the dust away for 6 months.  Hahahaha I reckon that may be wishful thinking.

They can do it for the critters........Mortein has a surface spray that will keep the spiders, ants and other creepy crawlies away for about  3-4 months.  

On Saturday we went down to Noarlunga and met up with Katie.  She'd had a great birthday and had Maddi and another one of her friends, Millie sleep over. 

We met them at the bowling alley and after having a bite to eat they were more interested in playing the game machines than wanting to bowl. If they won on the machines the machine would spit out tickets which they could redeem for prizes.  In the end Kahra got them to have at least one game of 10 pin bowling.

We left them at around 3.30pm and drove out to Gawler.  We were going out for dinner with Robyn and Bob. Robyn had to work so Bob said it might be better if we picked them up.  

We got to their place after 5.00pm and Robyn still wasn't home.  Around 6.30pm she rang to say she was still at work, one of the operations had taken longer than expected.   She suggested for us to pick her up from the hospital and said that by the time we got there she would be ready. 

We picked her up and went off to the Boathouse Tavern.  It was an enjoyable evening.  After dropping Robyn and Bob back at the hospital so Robyn could get their car Tony and I went home.  We were totally pooped and went straight to bed.  I remember nothing until I woke up around 11.00 am Sunday morning.

After getting up so late, Sunday was a waste of a day.  We ended up having a very lazy day. 

Tony is in his last week of jury duty.  Yesterday he had to report to the courts twice.  In the morning he missed out on being selected for an assault case and so had to go back in the afternoon.  

The afternoon's jury selection was for a murder case that would take 10 -15 days of hearings.  Thankfully he wasn't selected for this case either.  Tony said that several of the would be jurors withdrew themselves from sitting on this case.  

We are having some great weather but tomorrow a change is coming in and they say the wind and thunderstorms could create some havoc.  The weather bureau has been wrong before so let's hope they are wrong this time.  I'm off to enjoy the last of the warm temperatures before this change comes in.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Katie's Special Day

Friday 20th September, 2013

Happy 12th Birthday Katie!  I hope you have a truly wonderful day celebrating your birthday.

I rang her this morning before school and she has already received some lovely presents by the sounds of it. Tonight she is going to the Movie/Disco and will be celebrating with some friends there and then tomorrow we will be joining her and some of her friends down at the Noarlunga Ten Pin Bowling Centre.

Late yesterday afternoon Tony and I decided to go to the annual Harvest Moon Lantern Festival as part of the OzAsia Festival.  As we wandered down to Elder Park we could feel a few spots of rain.  I'm thinking thank goodness we brought the umbrella with us.

Not long after we got there, the wind picked up, the heavens opened and the rain came down in torrents.  People went scurrying for cover.  Everyone made a beeline for the tents including Tony and I.  As everyone else had the same idea there wasn't too much room in the tents.....they were crammed full. 

The wind would gust under the top of the tent , lift the top up and a cascade of water would come over the edge.........guess who was standing under one of these cascades......ME!!!!  I got wet through, from head to toe.  With the wind blowing I was ffffrrrreezing! 

Looking like a drowned rat and feeling very uncomfortable in my wet clothes we decided to leave.  I wasn't happy about having to walk back through the city to the car sopping wet.  So much for the umbrella!  The wind was so strong it just blew it inside out.  We stopped at the Festival Theatre and had a coffee, thinking that might warm me up and I could dry off a bit.  Nope that didn't work.  Instead I left a big puddle (of water) where we sat.  

We walked to the tram and caught that back to near Tony's work and the car.  Luckily for me I had my coat in the car, so I took off my jacket and top and sat with my coat wrapped around me for the journey home.  Tony cranked the heating up to 29C in the car so that we could both dry out and get warm. 

By the time we got home the skies had cleared up.  Oh well we weren't going back.

This morning I heard on the radio that they had to end up cancelling the Festival and the parade of lanterns as some of the larger lanterns had been damaged by the wind and rain.  They said it was not possible to hold it tonight as there were too many people involved from which to get the OK.  I felt sorry for all the school children who had made lanterns and for the businesses who had set up stalls to sell food and souvenirs.  They were expecting well over 20,000 people to attend.

Now we will have to wait for next years Festival.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Show Time!

Monday 16th September, 2013

On Friday evening we met up with Kahra, Katie and Maddi.  It has been weeks since Katie has stayed so I was really looking forward to having her for the weekend.  Maddi was coming for the weekend as well.

After having some dinner at Vili's we came home.  I was hoping for an early night as Saturday was going to be a long, tiring day. While watching some TV I picked up my crocheting and the girls wanted to learn how to do it.  Maddi picked it up very quickly, Katie didn't have the patience.

Saturday morning the girls were up early.  Tony had to go into work for a few hours and we had to catch the bus into town to meet up with him. We were all going to the Show. Saturday was the last day for the Show and the weather turned out to be very nice.....lots of sunshine, no wind and perfect temperatures.

We left the car at work and caught the bus to the Showgrounds. We got there around 11.30am. We wandered around the craft hall and admired some of the plants, cake decorating, photographic exhibition, cooking and scrapbooking pages.

The girls were very interested in the Ambulance display and spent time listening to some real life emergencies.  The paramedic was very impressed with what the girls had picked up.....what to do when a person is having a heart attack.  Let's hope they remember what to do if they ever encounter a person having a heart attack.

From here we went into the showbag hall and the girls selected the showbags that they were going to buy.......Katie went for Girlfriend, Lil Miss Diva, Freddo Frog, Caramello Bear and Hubba Bubba Gum.  Maddi decided on Freddo Frog, Caramello Bear, Willy Wonka and Wizz Fizz.

Katie 'met' up with her idol.......Harry from the boy band 'One Direction'

Then it was time to hit the rides.  Their first ride was Gravitron and then onto the Disco ride.  

We had arranged to mix up the rides with a wander around the Show but soon discovered that wasn't going to happen.  I never got to see any of the animal exhibits except for the dogs and pig racing.

The girls decided that they needed one of those extra large drink sippers. They were filled with soft drink.  Katie looks more like she's playing an instrument rather than having a drink.....LOL

Their next stop was a ride on the Roller Coaster.  

We walked through the dog pavillion. Maddi was hoping to see some German Shepherds as she has one and a Beagle at home. Different days of the Show see different breeds and unfortunately on Saturday there were no German Shepherds or Beagles.  Instead they had breeds I had never heard of.  The breeds that I did know included St Bernards, Shihtzu's, Sharpei's  and Maltese.

One thing I wanted to see this year was the Pig Racing.  We were way too early for the next show and so the girls decided they wanted to have another ride.  

But first they had to have something to eat.

We made our way to The Hangover and they paid $15 each to have unlimited rides. This ride rocked backwards and forwards until it reached the top, flipped them upside down, came down and went full circle again.  It had me dizzy just watching it.

Katie doesn't look too well but as soon as this ride finished she asked to go again

On the other hand Maddi was having a blast

After 3 consecutive rides on this we made our way over to the 9-D Cinema.  Tony and the girls went in to have a look but when they came out they all said it was a big disappointment. 

It was now time to go back to the Pig Racing.  The crowds had gathered and it was impossible to find a seat.  The girls went and sat on the ground while Tony and I stood.  Just before the pigs came out a guy impersonating Elvis came out and sang a few songs. He picked out the girls from the crowd and had them play "air guitar" with their sippers.

He wanted to give away one of his CD's.  He asked a few people in the crowd and the girls to join him in the middle.  To win the CD they had to dance to some of his songs. The girls didn't win the CD (that went to Spiderman) but he did give them a voucher for some donuts.

The actual pig racing was a disappointment.  The highlight was 2 pigs diving into a tank of water.  Their 'trainer' was a cute little boy aged about 4/5 years old and he had so much charisma he easily won the crowd over.

When the pigs finished we went for a wander into one of the pavilions.  It was filled with tastings of various food produced by the people from this State.  Some of the foods included cakes, chocolates. toffees, fudge, fresh pasta, Indian food, olive oil, fruit straps and oranges.  There was also wine tasting from various boutique wineries.

No prizes for guessing what we did next.  It was back to the rides and this time the girls went on the Space Roller.  This ride had six arms and each arm twisted, spun and rolled.  When Katie got off she declared, "that was the best ride ever!"   From here it was back to the Hangover for more rides.

Sky Roller

As I suffer with a bad back and I had forgotten to bring some pain killers with me, by now I was suffering.  All I wanted to do was sit down and rest and so we convinced the girls to go and have some dinner.  Maybe Tony and I should have got our meals first.  By the time we had been served the girls were finished their meal and were ready to go again.  However they did allow us to eat our dinner and even have a cup of coffee.

Our next activity was the Bungee Trampoline. It cost $15 each for them to have a go.  To me it was a waste of money as both girls have trampolines at home.  The only difference was that they were attached to a harness which allowed them to do front and back flips.

From here it was another ride on the Space Roller and then the Hangover.  The Hangover turned out to be the best value for money.  By paying just $15 each the girls ended up having 10-12 rides on it.  Most of the other rides were either $8 or $10.

Their final rides for the night were the Crazy Coaster........

The Sky Flyer.......

Waiting to be lifted 100 metres in the air

Their very last ride was the Rock N Rolla......

and I was happy that it was all over and both girls walked away unscathed.  These girls must have cast iron stomachs. What with all the rocking, twisting and spinning they never once felt queasy. 

By now it was after 10.00pm and so we made our way back to catch the bus into the city and get the car.  They both declared that they "had the best day EVER!" We arrived home after 11.00pm and the girls checked out their showbags.  Happy with what was in them they went off to bed and asleep shortly afterwards.  Tony and I soon followed.

Sunday morning when I woke up my back was still very sore.  I took things very slowly until the pain killers kicked in.  We ended up going to St. Kilda playground.  Don't these girls know how to sit quietly and relax especially after such a full on day yesterday?. No such words as quiet and relax in their vocabulary apparently.

After St Kilda it was onto Largs where we ended up having a late lunch.  It was a warm day but extremely windy.  We walked down the jetty and when we reached the end it was very windy.  There were a few people fishing but not catching anything. How they could throw out the line I don't know. 

From here we went to meet Kahra, drop the girls off and then back home to just relax.  We too had had a great weekend watching the girls enjoying themselves.  Tony even admitted he would have liked to have joined them on a couple of the rides if he were a few years younger.

Christmas Is In The Stores!

Monday 16th September, 2013

Last Friday I received a phone call to say that the curtains that I ordered were ready for pick up.  On the way to meeting Katie we called in to collect them.  While in the store we noticed that they have Christmas decorations available.  

Christmas is still 15 weeks away..........isn't it too early to be selling Christmas decorations? 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Verdict Is....

Thursday 12th September, 2013

Well the verdict has been handed down .......NOT GUILTY!  This morning the jury heard the summing up by the defense lawyer and the judge and then they went off to decide the verdict.

He said it was not easy.  To start with there were 8 for and 4 against (Tony being one of those against).  He was questioning whether the woman had given her consent.    After much convincing by the other jurors he said he could understand that when the couple had sex the woman did not object and it was only pressure put on her by her family that she ended up pressing charges anyway.  She was also concerned about falling pregnant and whether she may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease as no protection was worn.

It took them a few hours to come to a decision.  He said one other guy held out right up to the last minute to change his mind.  Apparently the court would accept an 11 to 1 vote.

Many people believe that when a sex abuse/rape case comes before the courts, the perpetrator, usually the male, has to be  guilty.  As in this case it was not.  Many factors come in to play and one has to hear ALL of the evidence. 

Knowing that you have the future of one person in your hands is a HUGE responsibility.  Tony really enjoyed the experience and hopes he gets selected for another case before the month runs out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Festival of Music

Wednesday 11th September, 2013

Last night Tony, Robyn, Bob and I along with Kahra, Darrin, Kerrie, Leah and Tim (Maddi's parents) went along to the "Festival of Music" featuring the combined choir made up from Primary school children from the various schools around the State.

Katie and Maddi were both in the choir again this year.  It was a great night showcasing the amazing talent that our primary school children have.  The choir is made up of children from Year 5 to Year 7.  Children sang, danced and played various instruments.  The orchestra was also made up of school children and what an amazing job they did.

Katie's school choir

Congratulations must go to all those involved for a fantastic night, though there was some mixed feeling that it was not as good as last year.  I loved it!!!

Before we went to the show Tony, Robyn, Bob and I went to the Casino for dinner.  We had a buffet and this time the food was really nice with a good assortment of various dishes.

Tony is still in court hearing the sex abuse case.  He thinks they may be there for another day or two.  I am looking forward to hearing which way they will go......guilty or not guilty.   

Saturday, September 7, 2013

National Sausage Sizzle Day

Saturday 6th September, 2013

Today is national sausage sizzle day, oops I mean election day.  Today we have to go and vote for a new Federal Government.  Do we vote for the Labor Party led by Kevin Rudd or the Liberal/National Party (Coalition) led by Tony Abbott?

Neither party has promised too much to help the semi retired, self funded pensioners.  The coalition said it will scrap the Carbon Tax but the Labor Party pays the pensioners a compensation for the Carbon Tax.  Health is another worry.  I thank God that Tony and I have got pretty good health at the moment but when that time comes where we will need assistance will it be available to us?  We have private health insurance but in the future will we be able to continue paying for it?  

It has always been the right of every Australian to have FREE hospital care in a public hospital. If you want to have your own doctor or go to a private hospital then you have private health insurance to cover you for that.

Well the polls have closed and it looks as if this country has a new Prime Minister........Tony Abbott.  It was not the bloodbath that all the pre polls were expecting.  Labor lost quite a few seats but some experts were saying that the Liberals would end up with over 100 seats.  The last results I saw were that Liberals had 88 and Labor had 54 seats with some seats still in doubt.  

Time will tell to see what kind of Prime Minister he will be but I am not holding my breath.  He has already said that he will not continue to fund the car makers in this country.  That's not good especially for South Australia because we have a relatively large workforce here that is involved with car making, like Holdens, and also car component  manufacturers.

They call it National Sausage Sizzle  Day because practically every polling booth around the country has a sausage sizzle.  Ours did and Tony and I enjoyed a sausage after we cast our vote.

Tony Abbott with his wife and daughters

Friday, September 6, 2013

Show Time In Adelaide

Friday 6th September, 2013

Today is the start of the Adelaide Show.  It goes for 9 days and is when the country comes to the city.  It is unbelievable that many city people have never seen a cow being milked or a close up look at sheep, pigs, chickens, cows and other farm animals.

We love to wander around and look at the animals plus I love looking at the cooking and craft exhibits as well.   Tony loves the wood chopping.  We mix that in with in show rides for Katie and end up having a great day. 

Katie has already chosen what show bags she wants.  "They only cost $52.50 for 3 bags Nanna," she said.  We are not going until next Saturday (the last day) as I have a scrapbooking weekend this weekend.  She has asked if her friend Maddi can also come with us.

Let's hope the weather stays nice for us when we go. Showers have been forecast for all of next week.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

You're Never Too Old To Experience Something New

Thursday 5th September, 2013

So far we have had the warmest start to Spring since the Bureau of Meteorology started keeping records.  The temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday got up to near 30C degrees.  Phew! no slow build up to the heat just Wham!   Lots of people were feeling the heat the last couple of days, me included.  Today it is back down to 18C with a few spots of rain. 

Tony had to report again today for Jury duty.  He rang a short while ago to say that he would be home later than usual and so I am assuming he got called up to sit on the Jury.  I will know more when he gets home.  Not that he's allowed to tell me anything or discuss a case with me, but I'll wrangle something out of him hahhahha.

On Monday he went to the Courts but they sat around all afternoon just waiting.  Apparently there was legal argument going on and as it was explained to them, the Court gives the defendant a chance to plead guilty which results in a lesser sentence.  The lawyers each present their evidence to see if there is enough for a guilty plead.  Finally around 4.00pm the would be jurors were dismissed and could leave.

The case that Tony is sitting on is a sex abuse case.  He didn't say much, just that the case is likely to be heard over 4 days.  Today they heard the woman's evidence.  He is back in court again tomorrow afternoon as the Judge has another case he is hearing in the morning.

12 Jurors are selected from a panel of around 30.  Each lawyer can challenge the choice of a juror up to 3 times.  It has nothing to do with the juror themselves, it is just that the lawyers want a fair representation, that is male to female ratio, or depending on the case they may want more males than females or vice versa and a range of ages.  Tony said that today a female was challenged only because 3 females were chosen in a row.  He said if you do get challenged you just sit back down and don't take your place in the jury box.

I am glad it's him rather than me.  I don't know if I want to hear all the ins and outs (pardon the pun) of what went on between these two.  It will be interesting to hear which way the jury decide to go.......guilty or not guilty Your Honour.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Spring Is Here!!!

Sunday 1st September, 2013

Today is Father's Day in Australia and I want to wish my darling husband a very happy day.  We don't do anything special.  He knows he is loved and appreciated 365 days of the year, not just today.

I can't believe August is gone and here we are in September, the first day of Spring.  Yahoooo!!!  What a gorgeous day weather wise we are having too and it will continue up until Wednesday then on Thursday a change comes in, temperatures will drop 12-14 degrees and we'll be back to winter for a couple of days.

Who would have thought that on the last day of winter (yesterday) we would be walking around in T-shirts and shorts.  The weather was so nice we thought we would take a drive into the hills and go up to Hahndorf.  Many other people also had the same idea.  It was great to be out and about and feel the warmth of the sun on the skin.

After we finished at Hahndorf we came back to Robyn and Bob's and went out to dinner at the Rosewater.  The 'Split the Bill' promotion is finishing this coming Friday.  Whether they decide to continue it we will have to wait and see.

This morning Tony and I were up early and headed on down to Port Adelaide. The Maritime Museum have hosted 3 tall ships from Holland and the Lord Nelson, a tall ship from the U.K.  This morning the 3 Dutch ships were leaving.  We saw them arrive on Wednesday afternoon and thought that we would like to see them leave.

The 3 Dutch ships were the 'Europa', the 'Oosterschelde' and the 'Tecla'.  After leaving the inner harbour at Port Adelaide we went to Outer Harbour where we hoped that they would be in full sail.  They didn't disappoint and looked magnificent.

Many people in their boats had come out to say goodbye to these magnificent tall ships.  There were all sorts of sailboats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, row boats and canoes.

'Europa' in full sail

'Oosterschelde' in full sail

'Tecla' in full sail

The Port River is home to several dolphins.  When the ships sailed in on Wednesday four dolphins were there piloting them in.  Today there were a couple of dolphins at Outer Harbour 'playing' in the water.  Geez they are hard to photograph!

This little fella on the other hand wasn't camera shy.  After a busy morning diving for his dinner he came onto the rocks to dry out his wings.  He put on a great show of diving too, maybe he thought we were all there to look at him.

Every weekend you can take one of many boat tours that take you out on the river to see if you can see the dolphins.  It is hit and miss.  We have been on it where we have seen no dolphins, at other times we've been lucky and have seen several.

After the ships sailed off into the distance we went and had some lunch and then took a trip out to Virginia Nursery.  This kind of weather makes you want to get out in the garden to tidy it up after Winter.

This month Tony has to do Jury duty.  Last Friday he had to go to the Courts and do an Orientation.  They were put into groups and each day they have to ring up to find out if they are required to attend the court.  When he rang Friday afternoon his group were told that they have to report Monday afternoon for Jury selection.

He said he doesn't know how he feels if he has to sit on a Jury and decide someones fate.  I suppose it depends on the case and the evidence put before them.  Most people who have sat as jurors have said that it has been a very rewarding experience.