Monday, December 27, 2004

Boxing Day in Sydney

Linda's away on a last minute business trip to Beijing so it was just me and the boys for Christmas here in Strathfield.

Boxing Day: Woke up with hangover, [not surprisingly], but managed to get my act together enough to drag the kids into the car before they switched the Playstation on. Threw in a few of their water-related Christmas pressies and was half way down the road to Barranjoey beach before I realised I was possibly over the limit from last night. Ah well never mind. No cops about I hope?!

Drove through the more affluent of Sydney's suburbs on the way to Palm Beach - the place where the likes of Cate Blanchett, Kylie and Billy Connolly rent holiday homes for their Christmas visits. Well it's not a private beach so why can't plebs like us enjoy it?

Had some major aggro with Andrew on the way because of how he was picking on Paul the whole time. Ended up bawling him out and we arrived at the beach in a really sour mood all round.

This soon changed when we walked down the sand to Palm Beach central. Someone forgot to tell me that Palm beach doesn't have any shops - millionaires presumably just order stuff in on room service.

Luckily someone had set up a mobile coffee shop which also sold ice cream (lifesaver). The surf was up and it was surprisingly strong. It was all very scenic and the turquoise surf looked inviting but a bit scary too.

I'd brought along Paul's junior fishing rod just to shut him up and he kept nagging me that he wanted to use it. A bloke sat next to me while I sipped my coffee mentioned that the rocks at the south end of the beach were a good fishing spot and so I took them down there. What do you know, within 30 seconds of throwing in the line with a bit of my chicken sandwich on the hook we caught some stripey fish about six inches long. The boys just thought this was a dad thing and that I was a natural fisherman. Hahahahaha!!! I spent the next two hours unsuccesfully trying to catch another using scrounged prawn bait, badly sunburning myself on the ankles and knees in the process.

As we fished the spoilt rich sons and daughters came and dived off our fishing rock into the 3m deep blue depths. It all looked very nice, but they used too many F words, as Andrew remarked to me.

Then I plied the kids with more ice cream while I sprinted back to feed more money into the extortionate parking fee meter.

Finished off on the windy north end of the beach, by the surf lifesaver boats, with great views of the Barrenjoey lighthouse and the sweep of the beach, while the boys built sand castles and threw sand in each others faces. I just got fed up with telling them not to and let them cause mayhem.

Then we headed back at fiveish, via Newport beach where we stopped for very scenic fish and chips in the car park, overlooking the surf.

I don't know if they were worn out by all this but I bloody well was.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


monopoly, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

Andrew loves Monopoly. Except when Paul beats him.

Martin's housewarming

martin, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

Martin the chief sub had his housewarming party down in Panania last Sunday arvo. Nice chicken and suasages. Nice house too - I'm jealous.

Ween's birthday cake

ween, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

It was Ween's birthday this week at work.

Birthday cake in the office

office, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

It was Edwina's birthday yesterday so we had cake at 11.30. Yum.

Happy birthday Ween.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hi Ronda!

rhonda, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

Ronda is our good friend from Guilin who is now back in China somewhere. She is Linda's school friend and was living just around the corner from us here in Strathfield, but will be spending a reluctant and cold Christmas in Daqing, northern China.

Come back soon Ronda!

Parsley Bay

parsleybay4, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

This is where we were last weekend in the warm weather. A nice secluded beach in the eastern [ie rich] suburbs, but still only 40 minutes away by car.

Look closely and you can see Andrew and Paul in the water.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The MO Christmas Party

Originally uploaded by mutikonka.

Had our Christmas do yesterday at the Woolwich Pier Hotel. Free beer! And a good time was had by all despite the cloudy weather and rain that the Melbourne/Brisbane people seem to have brought with them.
Here's Karen [political reporter], Fiona [political news editor], Linda [medical editor], Martin [chief sub] and Rob [art director] as we give out trhe Kris Kringle presents.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

You hum it ...

Name that tune
Originally uploaded by mutikonka.

...and I'll go play Playstation. Don't we all love Saturday arvo when the piano teacher comes? Well actually Andrew can knock out a few decent tunes quite well now. But I think it's his mum who's the really keen one.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Parsley Bay

PB, originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.

Here's another pic of Parsley Bay - as mentioned below. This is looking northwards from the suspension bridge.

Dish Day

Dish Day
Originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.
Yesterday was Dish Day. We all went round to [the other] Linda's house, taking a dish we'd made - in my case Chinese guotie (fried dumplings). OK, I didn't make them, Linda [my Linda} did at 6am. But they tasted nice and I got all the compliments!

We sat out by the pool under a canopy, sipping some very nice white that we nicked from Kel's office. There was some rice salad [Martin]; chicken {Linda?]; potato sald [Edwina]; some exotic tomato dish [Rob - see pic above]; lots of other salads; some excuisite kind of soft spring rolls [Sarah] and many other dishes. And a very good time was had by all. Especially Ruby the dog.

Parsley Bay

Parsley Bay
Originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.
Did I mention that we went to Parsley Bay in poncey Vaucluse this weekend? It was an OK beach, good for paddling, as you can see. Nice clean water, but I'm not sure I'd want to drink it!

Linda's mum is here

Linda and mum
Originally uploaded by sydneyphoto.
Linda's going away to China for a couple of weeks soon, so her mum is staying with us to look after the boys. Don't ask how crowded it is in here! Actually, we're managing very well - probably cos the boys spend all their time playing outside or on the computer - so they don't get under her feet.

Computer addicts

Can I have a go?
Originally uploaded by mutikonka.

If I let them they'd play Age of Empires all day. So today I bought an atlas and The Children's Book of Knowledge (1960) by J.E. Pryde-Hughs, which has interesting chapters in it like "South Africa: Land of Contrasts" and "Alfred and the Danish Peril".

I've already learnt a lot myself. I never knew that we lost the battle of Hasting because the Normans had cavalry and we didn't! Or that old King Edward was a great mate of William the Conqueror and used to spend all his time in Normandy anyway!

I must admit that Andrew has also learnt a few things from his computer game - like about the Consquidiators (Conquistadors) and El Sid.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Family first

Is anyone listening?
Originally uploaded by mutikonka.

Hello, am I talking to the wall? Your dinner is ready/it's time to do your homework/has anyone seen my car keys?

Hellooooo? Will somebody talk to me?

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Originally uploaded by mutikonka.

Friday night was the carol concert at St Martha's. JIngle Bells, Little Drummer Boy and Go Santa Go ... were about all we got through before the rain came down. There was a band too. And a star turn by Andrew's teacher Miss Longson as Mary complete with authentic baby.

The big lad is just under the star - wearing red. It's like Where's Wally! Paul is off to the right somewhere waiting for his Go Santa Go dance.

Friday, December 03, 2004

No photo today

Sorry. I've used up 40% of my December webspace quota already. So here's a blank space instead. Pretend it's Sydney at night.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Our street

Our street
Originally uploaded by mutikonka.

Phew - another scorcher today. 42 degrees at the airport, apparently. It felt like a furnace in St Leonards anyway. Went for a Chinese meal to see of Andy the sub who is moving to edit the sports website at Fox. Had a beer and that combined with the heat put me out of action for the rest of the afternoon.

So here's a nice pic of our street instead.