Thursday, December 30, 2010

That was the year that was*

There's been bits I could have done without and there's been times that have not been fun for anyone living with me, but I'm finishing the year feeling not too bad at all and on reflection 2010 had a whole bunch of pretty fabulous bits too. Here's a few of them.

A beautiful day at the beach at Terrigal in January

Daddy and daughter

The cooking wenches

Diamond cooking with an audience

Praxis playing around the bonfire

The kids at Cruickshanks farm stay after the Armidale camp.


A fabulous Mothers Day feast

Mother's Day 2010

The Old Guardhouse

Yulefest in Moss Vale with wonderful friends

Decorating the gingerbread house

A walk with the family - extended family that is!

Walking along Duneba Drive

Caitlin with JOSS WHEDON!!!

More reenacting fun - this time Beorgwic in October

Feast time in the tavern

My kids being lucky enough to know their Great Grandma

Great Grandma and the kids

Our Christmas party / Adam's birthday party - good friends, good times.


Christmas day at our place with my whole family,

Christmas lunch

the second gingerbread house of the year,

Gingerbread house

 and a postprandial Nerf war.

Nerf war

And to finish it all up there was today, a lovely meal at Manly Fish Cafe, then ice creams from Royal Copenhagen and a paddle at the water's edge as the day ended.

Risking wet pants legs, or in Tom's case a wet bum

*happy sigh*

Tomorrow night we will see in the New Year with the usual suspects and probably way too much seafood - what more could one ask for?

*Bonus points for recognising the title!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sundays in My City - Happy birthday Adam!

Unknown Mami
Hosted by Unknown Mami

Today was Adam's 42nd birthday. The day began with the obligatory breakfast and presents in bed and then on to some slight silliness with Christmas tree decorating. Caitlin asked Adam to put an angel on the top of the tree. So he did.

The Angel on top of our tree

The Angel on top of our tree

He doesn't look too pleased!

He doesn't look too pleased

The middle part of the day was less than wonderful, but we'll skip over that, other than to mention that Adam had to go to his mum's place (who was oblivious to it being his birthday) and fix her toilet.

By late afternoon we had regained some equanimity, and Adam and Tom had made 12 bottles of ginger beer and 6 bottles of lemonade for our Christmas party next weekend. Then we headed off to Darling Harbour for dinner at Jordon's - the plan being to indulge in a seafood platter and a bottle of sav blanc. The order was duly placed, along with a few extras, and we began playing with Adam's new toy - a Canon Powershot S95. Most of the following photos were taken from our table in the restaurant.

The Christmas tree at Darling Harbour

Christmas tree at Darling Harbour



Me with my very indulgent cosmopolitan




Darling Harbour, looking towards Pyrmont Bridge - the world's oldest surviving electrically operated swingspan bridge.

Darling Harbour looking towards the Imax theatre.

Darling Harbour

People gathering to watch the street theatre and carols.

People gathering for Carols and street theatre

We were too busy eating to think of photographing the food until after we were fed. At which point fun was had with the crab shells.

Dave with his new hat?

The seafood platters on their tall stands were very tempting to the local seagull population. Several chips and scraps of fish were liberated from people's platters around us. One couple were given a water pistol by a waiter to defend their meal with! Our kids wanted to be armed as well but we were left alone by the birds for some reason, I think they knew we were watching them.

Seagull, keeping a close watch on people's seafood platters

My dessert defeated me in the end, I couldn't finish the last few bites. But I did drink the muscat!

The dessert that defeated me

The birthday boy

The birthday boy

The sun set as we sipped our coffee and the city lights came up

Darling Harbour at night

Time to go home!

Adam and Mim

Darling Harbour at night

Sydney Convention Centre and Jordons Restaurant

(Arachnophobes beware, the last two photos, which come after this shot of the Christmas tree, are of a huntsman spider.)

The tree at night

There was an unwelcome visitor waiting for us when we got home, eviction duties fall to me in these cases.

An eviction notice was served

Only a little specimen this time.

We came home to a visitor

And there you have it, my Sunday in my city.

Head on over to Unknown Mami's place to visit more Sunday in My City bloggers!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

31st Down Under Feminists Carnival

The 31st Down Under Feminists Carnival is hosted this month by tigtog at Hoyden about Town. Yet another fabulous collection of posts for your perusal - enjoy!

Monday, December 06, 2010

We have a winner!

Tom did the honours, reached into my hat full of names

A hat full of names

and pulled out...SIMMY! It seems being first to enter wasn't so bad after all :-) I'll be in touch to arrange delivery!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Mine, all mine!

This is the space just outside Adam's and my bedroom that used to have the gym equipment in it.

Mine, all mine

We moved the somewhat dog-trashed lounge downstairs, and it's now flanked by my beading supplies on one side and, on the other, my Grandmother's old side-table on which sits my laptop and a clock radio. My amp is tucked in in front of the side table and the chesky is doing duty as a coffee table come jewellery making work space. I have a reading lamp and a little shelf for my oil diffuser (to combat the all-pervasive smell of dog :P)

There are two huge bookshelves on the right hands edge of this picture into which I plan to put all my favourite books. The lounge faces our old entertainment unit which houses our old tv and dvd player. It also houses a large amount of clutter at the moment but once it's cleaned up this is going to be a very pleasant space indeed. In fact I may never leave it!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea
Hosted by Mrs4444.

I'm doing a blog giveaway over this weekend, one lucky reader will be getting a parcel with lots of goodies in it: 2 pairs of Christmas earrings, a copy of one of my favourite picture books, a travel version of Connect Four, some yummy chocolate and a scrumptious scented candle. Click through for details and to enter.

Blog divider pic

On Monday Adam did canteen duty at the primary school, it was Dads Do Lunch Day and Christmas was the theme. So he got dressed up. It was a big hit and a whole bunch of kids even asked for his autograph - he signed the inside of their hats "Santa" with a smiley face wearing a Santa hat. When the kids asked where his elves were he pointed at our Canteen supervisor and said "There she is." So then she had to sign their hats too, as "The Elf."

If you look closely you can see that Adam was an expendable Santa.

Adam at the school canteen

Blog divider pic

This morning I went into Caitlin's room to see how she was going getting ready for school. We had to leave early as there was a dress rehearsal for the school dance group on at 7:45am. She'd just finished getting dressed and was shrugging on her denim jacket when movement caught my eye and I looked down to see a large-ish (about 1.5cm) black house spider running up her jeans leg past her knee and heading further north. I was rather surprised to find myself not hesitating at all to reach out and brush it off with my bare hand.

They're poisonous but not deadly, if you want to see what one looks like there's a very good shot here on Flickr. We have them all over the outside of the house, I think this one probably got in through the damaged flyscreen on the sliding door leading from Caitlin's bedroom to the back deck. Fixing of flyscreens is going on the to do list for the weekend.

Blog divider pic

Need something to read while you sit in front of the air-conditioner/fan/fire (depending on your location and climate!)? This looks like it's worth checking out:

December Lights Project
We love short stories.
We love writing them, and we love reading them. But most of all, we love sharing them.
At this time of year - as the sky goes dark by 4.30 pm in Wales, where we live, and the cold wraps around us, chilling to the bone - what we really want more than anything else are stories that make us laugh and feel good about the world.
So we thought we'd gather some, and share them with with you, as our December Lights Project.
You can read the stories here.

Blog divider pic

Don't forget to head on over to Half-Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments!

Blog giveaway: From me to you - a gift.

Update: Entries are now closed, the winner will be announced soon!

Well, one of you anyway!

Here's the rundown on what will be going in the package that I hope to be sending off to one of my lovely readers on Monday:

1 pair of Christmas tree earrings in either green or clear crystal (your choice) - as per my first post about this giveaway.
Christmas tree earringsChristmas tree earrings
Swarovski crystal on sterling silver ear hooks

1 pair of Snowman earrings - this is the first pair of these that I've made, I'll be doing some more tonight and they'll be going into my shop over the weekend.
Snowman earrings
Swarovski crystal and rhinestone with gold plate
on gold plated surgical steel earhooks.

1 copy of the board book edition of Diary of a Wombat - about which I raved yesterday.
Diary of a Wombat board book cover
1 travel friendly Connect Four game - outer packaging slightly battered but game never used, I bought it for a nephew one year and then found out he'd already been given the same game by his parents. Great minds think alike?
Connect Four travel edition

1 bag of Cadbury Magical Elves - milk chocolate with popping candy, just because they're awesome.

1 Cinnamon and Bayberry scented candle in a tin - my freebie for hosting a Partylite demonstration last month, I won't use it 'cause candles in tins aren't my thing but I LOVE the scent, I've got pillar candles to enjoy it by.
Cinnamon & Bayberry candle

Now the important bit, what do you have to do to enter?

It's easy, leave a comment on this post telling me what you'd do with this slightly random collection of goodies! I'll be doing a random draw using the time honoured "names in a hat and enlist a child's help" technique but I figure it's more fun if I make you write something interesting :-)

That's it, one entry per person but feel free to comment more often if the conversation demands it, and make sure I can contact you either by having an email in your blogger profile or a link back to your blog for me to follow. No extra entries for following or linking because that's not what this is about, though you're very welcome to pop a link up on your own blog, Facebook or Twitter and let others know what's on offer.

Entries close on Monday 6th Dec at 12 noon my time (want to know when that is in your part of the world? Go here.)

What are you waiting for? Get commenting!