Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Eve

We are not traditionally New Year's Eve revelers; rather we tend to stay up, and when midnight strikes say Happy New year and thankfully go off to bed.
This year with Wendy and Celia (and planned Sue) I decided we would have some structure to get us through the evening. So I planned a meal and activity where each person had to teach us something.
I drew up a rough timetable so Wendy and Celia knew what was happening, this last minute step was quickly jotted down on a piece of newspaper handy!
Pre dinner snacks
As I was cooking, my lesson was 'How to make gyoza' so we had that as well as other snacks (made from my Christmas present from Lynne et al 'Tapas dishes") We had this with Champagne out on the decking with 'idle chatter'
Then the program called for Celia who had chosen to teach us about Art journaling which is a big activity of hers.
 Art journaling combines the written language and the visual language to give a greater breadth of       expression and understanding. In essence art journaling is the combination of art making and journaling with the intention to create greater insight and understanding of the self and others. Art journaling is about expression, both written and visual, of emotions and thoughts; it is a space for questions that may not have answers, a place for thoughts that may otherwise not have a home, a safe container for emotions so that they do not have to be loose in the world. Although the journal can become an extension of the self, it can also be a place to play and experiment with art materials. 

Wendy considering her next step
After several stages
The work space
While we felt we did not have Celia's creativity we were pleased with our effort.
Following this we had dinner. A Mediterranean Chicken with cous cous with pistachios. Again from the Christmas present "Quick fillets"
We then had a video to watch Gettin' Square a great Australian Comedy with the Logie winning role of David Wenham.. the court scene a ripper!
This was followed by dessert of apple & rhubarb crumble.  I made lots of crumble topping but went  a bit over board! Plenty for the next day!
Wendy then taught us to play Cluedo that she had had for years (probably a collectors edition!) but never played. She brought it down to leave for our holiday guests and we also had never played it though it was well known to us all.
After the first game we developed the strategy needed to eliminate the person the weapon and the room and in the final game, interrupted by midnight and a toast, I decided correctly that  it was Mrs White in the Lounge with the iron bar!
Happy New Year

A long Aireys Stay

We headed off to Aireys Inlet on Boxing day and had a qiuck run now that a new section of the M8 is open We were cruising along the Freeway when we saw an exit to Colac and next thing we were on a stretch of road we didn't recognise and started looking around to see where were; no build up to the exit, no lights X 3 and no negotiating cars missing the Anglesea turn off. The trip now take 75 mins Max.
Others who came down were not so lucky as Anglesea roundabout was a hazard.
We spent time clearing our cupboards as we had taken down some new crockery and the wine rack from Footscray. That led to another cupboard etc. and a decision to get some plastic containers at the Salvos in Anglesea. We also found the phone line was down and that took some phoning and dealing but all OK after 48hrs.
Celia's friend Annemarie came down with her daughter Teaghan and husband Pete who is a keen surfer. They had come down from Newcastle for Christmas and he had no luck finding anywhere to stay from Melbourne to Lorne to fit in a few days surfing. He was over the moon when we suggested he could come down when we were there.
So they went off to the beach and Annemarie stayed for a long catch up with Celia. Fran also came down for the day so we had lunch on the back deck where I had installed the outdoor table from the shed. Fran brought her whipper snipper so she and I did the back garden as I had had no responses to my message to the local guy. Decided we will get one for the house for early trims as it gets high.
Wendy came down later in the day, but unfortunately Sue was not able to come as she has hurt her back. Wendy did her sterling job of window cleaning! Inspiring me to do the kitchen ones. The upper level ones are beyond us. Need a 20ft extension pole!
A great place to nap or read
 I also re hung the ropes for the Hammocks  It was hard to find two trees in a good alignment! Considering there are so many trees there!
Celia in her jammies preferred the chair in the shade after a sun burn on 1st day.

The deck is working out well. Becoming a centre of activity
We spent the days reading, walking Spencer on the beach where he is allowed, speed and traditional scrabble, the Age crosswords (been saving them up) and eating and more chat and reading.
A Great week

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas Eve

This year Celia being home for Christmas we offered to have dinner at our place and decided on Xmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
 So we planned a menu, Celia did the table setting and though we didn’t have a Tree we had gifts piled up by the fire in the  living room.
Celia did the table setting while I did the cooking
Andrew Lynne Nick & Kate arrived first, with Bridie and Sean with Dylan arriving a few minutes later.
We started off with drinks and nibbles on the back deck with a timely reminder from Celia of the Pita crisps I had made (but left on the kitchen bench) It was warm enough to sit out there comfortably but we adjourned inside to open presents before dinner.

Sean & Dylan (food all gone!) Bridie & Kate
This was a lengthy process but most enjoyable.
Dylan got the idea of tearing the paper but not too bothered by what was inside. I gave him a dump truck and Santa bought him a circus tent as he loves to go in and out of small spaces.
Celia watching Dylan checking out his Gift.  Nick looking on
We used Mum's dinner service and it looked very festive with Celia’s red and gold table setup.
Kate Lynne & Andrew

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas day dawned not too early and Celia and I had our traditional Santa’s stockings full of essentials of everyday life from Emery boards to great stationery items and soaps etc.

Celia gave me two beautiful bangles from St Croix in the Virgin Islands, traditional designs one with a gold shackle (screw fitting on a boat) and the other infinity symbol. They fit me beautifully as they open (my hands are too wide for normal bangles.)

The speaker at work!
She also gave me a ‘Speaker genius” a small battery operated gadget that you plug into the ipod and then the small speaker about size of 20 cent piece works when sitting on any hollow item Tissue box, jar, couch arm etc Magic!!!
I gave her a book called ONE a sort of philosophical and journal book She loves it!
We had an indulgent breakfast of French Toast and raspberries and a glass of champagne in our new kitchen.

Andrew’s swimming pool is at last finished and we went down for a swim and Spa after tea. The pool is amazing and gets lots of comments from passers by along Patterson River to which it backs. Andrew swims daily and the magnesium in the water has almost cured Nick's excema!

Looks like a resort!

The resort owners and dog! (With toy bunny)
Celia with Nick & Kate
Maddy's Ducks in festive mood
 Nick and Kate entertained us with a Saxophone performance; Nick especially is doing very well on his music. Also topped his Japanese he reminded me, as I promised to take him to Japan in early Year 10. Have it on the agenda for 2013

 However Christmas day afternoon was marred by an ENORMOUS HAIL STORM, It started just as we headed out from Footscray and we managed to take shelter under a bridge and waited out the hail. It was about ‘cool mint ‘ size but small compared to some around the State that was as big as oranges!!
We headed off as the hail eased but the rain was so heavy that along Footscray Road we couldn’t see the side of the road so again took shelter in a factory, The only shelter being under a reception awning!! But no one around to bother us!

Christmas Lights

While Brooklyn Victoria is not on the scale of Brooklyn New York a local street is becoming  the for Christmas lights So we planned a walk ...