Monday, June 22, 2009

Meander Dam

Yesterday after church, we decided to take a drive to see the Meander Dam that has recently been built at Meander. I had never been before and I was surprised at how beautiful the area is.

I was expecting that because it is away from civilisation (not that Westbury is much of a metropolis) that it would be "a hole" but Simon pointed out things like Quamby Bluff and Jackie's Marsh along the way and the mist around the mountains in the rain was hauntingly serene.

I did not realise that you can have BBQs and swim and fish at the dam so it will be the place to go in summer when we hit 40 degrees again. :) The kids had a ball asking all kinds of questions about the dam and did not even seem to mind that it was teeming with rain.

This little munchkin loved the drive too........

but was tuckered out by the time we got home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cradle Mountain... beauty and the beast

This week Simon did some cliff rescue training at Cradle Mountain. Tasmania is known for its rugged beauty and pristine wilderness. Sadly too it is known to have weather which can change in a second and become very savage and unforgiving.

It is for people who are belied by the beauty of our wilderness, and not aware of its ferocity, that requires the efforts of the search and rescue squad. Last year a Danish tourist succumbed to our elements up at Cradle Mountain.

This next pic is looking over the cliff face.... someone was dangling down there waiting to be rescued. I wouldn't be putting my hand up for that. Ooh is that a speck in the snow... mission...avert eye contact so I'm not picked. Brr!!

Simon left at 9.30am and got home around 12.30am. He hopped straight in the shower to thaw out. I can't imagine the stamina both physical and mental it would take to be out there in the elements, trying to end someone's nightmare and bring them back to safety. If it was me being rescued, I would be saying, 'don't come down that rope to get me unless you have some morphine and chocolate.'

Monday, June 8, 2009

Introducing Kyle and Jessica Andrews

Quick I have to get this post in before Collette!! Actually hers will be alot funnier as we had a crack-up of a time over there with some hilarious things happening including trying to navigate, trains, buses and trams with a baby in a pusher and me leading the entire plane of people to the wrong entry door at the Launy Airport... but enough of that later... here are some pics of the wedding day, Sat June 8 at 12pm.

It was beautiful as you can imagine.....

The lovely bridesmaids, Collette and Rebecca, Jess' best friend.

The bridal party, Rebecca, Collette, Jess, Kyle and his brother's, Dillon and Ryan.

The girls

I love Kyle's face here.... hmm, I think I just got married.......aaahhh!!

President Prebble was a great photographer for us. Just look at this one. It was a marathon effort as Pres P had about ten cameras to take this shot so we all had a copy. I think we are all looking at the camera together. Thanks Scott.

I met Kyle's family for the first time that morning and I'm not just saying this because it's on the blog, but they are truly some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Kyle has 3 brothers and a sister. Dillon who is married to Renae and they live in Sydney, Ryan, Robert and his girlfriend Jess, and little sister Rachael. Mum and Dad are Bobby and Joanne and grandparents are Keith and Pat. Bobby is Scottish and his accent is very thick. He wore his kilt for the occasion.

Okay enough photos....... let's EAT.

This is one of everyone milling around waiting for Jess and Kyle to come out of the temple. Collette are you trying to give Scott a flower?

The two little munchkins that were lucky enough to come with me. Oliver went to Oma's and Hallie to Lilly's. Thanks guys for having them.

After some photos we headed off for lunch. It was 1.10. Hmm why would that be a problemo... well Jess told us, 42 Toorak Rd, Toorak so we all punched the address into our nav mans and hello.... no such address. So we thought, we will just drive to Toorak Rd anyway, it shouldn't be too hard to find.... well if you know Melb which obviously we don't, the road is WAY long. And to make matters worse, Jess had told EVERYONE the wrong address.

So while we are milling around looking for it, we get a text from Collette, um guys its 442 Toorak Rd. Okay back in car, punch it in the sat nav, tummy growling away, and drive along. Text from Collette, um guys its 436 Toorak Rd. 2.15 we make it to Quaffs Restaurant. Food is superb...... lucky!

By now Jonty was really playing up as he had not had any day sleeps since Thur and was CRANKY. So I got Jayme to take some photos for me of the reception.

Instead of a visitors sign-in book, Jess got everyone to take a polaroid of themselves and write on the bottom of it and stick it to this tree. It was a fantastic idea and later she is going to put all the photos in a scrapbook.

The seriousness of what they have done today has finally sunk in to Kyle.

Flash might be good here Jayme......
Here is Kyle's bro, Dillon being MC and introducing speech time.

This is Kyle and Jess doing a speech and exchanging their rings.

Kyle's Mum and Dad, Bobby and Jo doing a speech. As per Scottish tradition, Bobby got out a Scottish goblet looking thing and put some non-alcoholic Scottish stuff in it (sounds like I was really paying attention) and passed it around for us all to sip out of. He made a joke that we could pretend to drink from the goblet, if we were worried about catching swine flu from the Victorians.

Mum was next doing her speech and got all emotional and all.

And as if we could miss this classic shot. Enjoy your honey moon in Phuket guys. We love ya.

Okay so what else did we do in Melb besides, the wedding. Jonty, me and Sarra and Cathy Reeve were picked up by Mum and Collette at the airport on Thur night. Jess and Kyle were also there to pick up Bec who was on the same Tiger Air flight. Be warned........Tiger Air charged me extra for having more than one infant item (I had the car seat and stroller). They said I was only allowed one free infant item and put the lighest one, the stroller on to be weighed. It did not take a genius to work out that I was then going to be over and lo and behold, now I had excess luggage and that would be $25 but wait, there's more, that will be an extra charge of $5 to use the credit card to pay the $25 excess baggage charge. I thought I booked a cheap flight!!

Mum and Collette parked for 50 min at the airport because as usual, our plane was late...... that was an $18 parking fee.

On Fri we did some temple work with the Wheelers in the morning and went shopping at the Essendon DFO and then went to see Cirque du Soleil in the afternoon with Kristen (her and Jim and Nyah had just moved over the day before) and Cathy Reeve. It was awesome.

They gave me some ear plugs for Jonty as it was extremely loud. It was very squashed in there and so when I laid Jonty down to feed him, his feet were halfway across the person next to me but it was better than having him cry.

I really missed having the SLR and just used our small pocket camera because I was scared something would happen to it over there and I had enough stuff to carry around without lugging the camera bag as well.

We had the use of my Aunty's car and house as she is in Ireland and Spain at the mo but we chose to use public transport to do the shopping and go to the circus as we were worried about parking as near the circus is Etihad Stadium and an AFL game was on.

The atmosphere was awesome, coming out of the circus at 6.30, smelling all the food smells, seeing all the people pouring in to the stadium for the footy. I loved it! Not enough to move there though. We had stowed the pram and shopping in a luggage storage compartment at Spencer St station ($12) so we grabbed that, had some waffles and continued shopping in the Spencer St DFO. Jess and Kyle picked Collette up to go to a YSA dance, cos that's what you do the night before your wedding day :) and Mum and I got back on the train at about 9pm to head out to Blackburn.

Sarra was fantastic all day. She never complained once, and we did so much rushing and stressing about getting Metcards, catching buses, trains and mistakenly walking/running about 30 mins to the circus because we initially thought it was 'just across the footbridge'. We later found out we could have caught a free tram right to the front of it. Jonty was pretty cranky as each day he just got tireder and tireder and I could tell he was missing his cot.

Airport story 1
On the Sun morning, I got up at 5.50am to get ready to go to the airport. Mum took us out and we were going to meet Cathy there as we were on the same flight back. We didn't think we needed the sat nav this time as hey, we were confident Melbournians now but alas we took a wrong turn and ended up 50kms away from the airport. Instead of taking 35mins to get there, it took us 1hr, 5min. I was SO stressed. I raced into Jetstar with 25min to spare, Sarra was pushing Jonty in the pram, we had backpacks on our backs and I was carrying the car seat and pulling the suitcase. Wouldn't you know it, they would not let me check-in!!! I was too late!!! It was so frustrating and Jonty was screaming because he was hungry. Mum was still standing at the drop-off bay to make sure we were okay and she had her slippers on and was wearing her 'just got out of bed' hair. I had only 13 hrs sleep all up in the past 3 days, (1. Jonty was missing his bed, 2. I had to sleep with Collette, 3. staying up too late talking) so I was exhausted. I can laugh now but at the time, I was a little teary. So anyway after another $120, (what happened to the cheap flight?), I got on the 12.50 flight. Mum took us back to my Aunty's and I fed Jonty and gave him a sleep. Needless to say, we used the sat nav to go back to the airport.

Airport story 2
The funniest thing though was when we flew into Launy, you know all the renovations they are doing, well we were first off the plane and so out we strode along the tarmac. In my defence at the corner of the new perspex glass was an air hostess, saying thankyou and goodbye. I went passed her and kept walking but instead of walking along to passenger arrivals, I walked into passenger departures and stood at the self-opening doors where people come out of to hop ON the plane.

Would you believe the ENTIRE plane of passengers (no exaggeration) followed me to these doors, which of course would not open for us. People in the departure lounge on the other side were looking at us quite puzzled. It must have looked so funny seeing about 100 people suddenly materialise at the door. Anyway we were all just waiting for about 2 mins when an airport worker came along and said, 'um are you all off Jetstar flight Q739 (sic) from Melb' and like sheep, we all go 'yes'. 'Oh' he goes, 'passenger arrivals are around this way'. Noone seemed to realise it was me who led them astray and I can't believe the air hostess let us all walk past her and did not redirect us. She must have not realised either. I could not stop laughing. At passenger arrivals was the lady giving out swine flu cards and the quarantine man. They must have been wondering where we all got to.

Baa Baa!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dad's birthday

The only good thing about the first day of winter is that it is Dad's birthday. On Monday we set out for Yorktown for the afternoon. This is Dad's office. He erected it to fit in with the historic landscape.

The day was glum but the car was filled with the aroma of KFC original chicken. This was Dad's birthday lunch as he absolutely loves KFC and has been known to drive all the way into Launy just to grab some and then come all the way home again.

As usual the kids had a wow of a time in Dad's gravel yard, playing on the front loader and in all the different hills of dirt, rocks, sand etc.

This one is just for you Aaron. Hallie was at me and at me for a Hawks football from Chickenfeed. Since she got it, it has gone everywhere with us. She is actually a pretty good kicker and takes it to school to play with the boys in her class during lunch and after school. She gives them a run for their money.

While I fed Jonty, Simon and the kids went for a walk along the Yorktown Historic Site walking track. As I have mentioned before, Dad's land is on the site of the first permanent settlement in northern Tasmania, in 1804.

The expedition was led by Col. William Paterson under the direction of Lord Hobart amid fears of a French invasion on mainland Australia. The British wanted to set up a strategic outpost at Port Dalrymple.

Artefacts have been uncovered in the area which led to a monument being erected and it has since been developed as an historic attraction.

A model of what a soldier's cottage would have looked like.

At its peak, Yorktown had 40 buildings and up to 300 people. The settlement was later moved to Launceston by 1809, because it housed more suitable pasture for livestock.

There we go, a pice of history for you.