Monday, January 16, 2017

Birthday week

Rob's birthday week starts with our wedding anniversary - it's always the 8th January, but this year it's a bit special - being 45 years since that hot summer's day in 1972 when we were married, in Brisbane. In some ways it seems like forever ago - but in other ways it doesn't seem like that long at all! 

We celebrated our wedding anniversary in Sydney: drinks at the crowded Opera House Bar at sunset..

 ....then dinner at Sydney Opera House's beautiful Bennelong restaurant..

 ..where we had the best table in the house and a wonderful meal of Tasmanian octopus, Holmbrae duck with pickled new season cherries and a cherry jam lamington for dessert (a "deconstructed" lamington like I have never eaten before!). We also discovered a lovely new wine - and a Sauvignon Blanc to boot: the Terre a Terre from South Australia - very crisp and flavoursome on a hot Sydney summer night.
Rob's birthday is 3 days after on the 11th. Back in Canberra the girls spoilt him with a cooked breakfast (their idea): handmade (from scratch) waffles with chocolate sauce (and blueberries), then a happy family dinner that night and ten pin bowling with the girls the day after. This was a first for us, with the girls; we had fantastic fun and found it an ideal activity for us on a 37oC day.
Saturday night we celebrated with friends over a Kerala Thali at Daana's in Curtin followed by a celebratory breakfast with J & J and the girls at our fave Hyatt Hotel.

And Rob enjoyed yet more birthday best wishes last night with another group of our friends. It might look like we are in Tuscany - but we're actually sitting in a really lovely courtyard garden in inner south Canberra.
I've made him a cake too, and we're cutting that next weekend...this is the birthday that keeps on giving!

Friday, January 6, 2017


We've had a rather wonderful January so far:

1. Our first attempt at kayaking in Lake Burley Griffin (Thank you Judy and Jurgen and Maggie the wonder dog). We're hoping we can do this again; it's absolutely beautiful out in the lake, despite our lack of skills in paddling straight and, in Rob's case, keeping upright (he fell completely overboard at one stage!).

2. A wonderful New Year's Eve meal starting with Aperol spritzers and then fresh Merimbula lobster served with a superb Grosset Reisling - shared with friends outdoors (a perfect, balmy evening it was too), before catching a late movie - the Canberra premiere of "Lion" starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. 

3. A happy week in Sydney with lots of relaxation, coast walks, using the excuse of a rainy day to revisit old haunts ....... well as discovering new ones like the Pool Cafe on Marine Parade Maroubra, Tim Ho Wan's at Chatswood and the rather glorious Roseville Station Bar (where we shared another great night with Sydney friends last night).

4. A perfect Sydney day today after 3 days of intermittent showers. We walked from Randwick Public School (where the advertised Farmer's Market was a no show) through the pretty suburban streets of Bronte and Tamarama all the way to Bondi Beach.

which looked its spectacular best today.....

Love January, love Sydney!

Family pics

Rob's Mum asked me to get a "family picture" of the three generations of the P family for her collection. I dreaded doing this as this particular group of P family members can be a bit uncooperative about "posing for pics" at the best of times.

Surprisingly, Abi allowed me to do a lighting check for the pic, using her as the subject, early on Boxing Day - and I managed to get these beautiful shots of her in the process ........

But when it came time for the group shot no one had time to move to the desired position - nor did they have time for more than a 10 second long sitting (the young ones were keen to head off for their week long break in Coogee!).... and Abi did her usual photobomb trick of finding something to hide behind - but oh well, I did my best, and they are a beautiful bunch anyway aren't they? I hope Bobbie will be pleased with it despite the rush.

Saint - Germain

Someone in the C5 sales office took pictures in our apartment just before Christmas - to show us progress to date.

The pic below is taken from the living room looking back to the kitchen. It looks different to the "artists impressions" in the brochure but at least there are two extra windows on the back wall that we hadn't counted on.

The pic below shows the view from the living room and "winter garden". It looks very light and spacious which is great. it is very hard for us having no control or input into this phase and not even being able to see it until it is finished. I am sure we will be thrilled with some things and not so thrilled about others - it is hard at this stage to fully imagine just what it will be like. 

One disappointment has been realising that we will see more of the roof of the apartments on level G - 3 than we expected (we are on level 5). This was something we couldn't fully predict at the planning stage but I am sure we will get used to it in the context of the overwhelmingly fabulous north facing views we have towards the Australian War Memorial and Mt Ainslie!

They are still predicting a late March finish date but that would still make it an April - May move in date before all the formalities are completed.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas at last

This is what 6.00am on Christmas morning looked like at our house!! Ella had an idea that a new "Wethepeople" BMX bike might be under the Christmas tree - but seeing is believing! (Check out the expression on Abi's face - so where are my presents?)
 She had high hopes for this one....
 but found only a box with a doona cover and cushion in it!...
But this was the one that lit up her morning!

 There were presents to share.....
...and Jody's beautiful hand made gifts - including this wonderful hamper for Rob.
..and her truly amazing felt fireplace (with toasty marshmellows)! dragon roar.........
 ..and a beautiful morning to test out the new wheels.....
 ..with Josh - also the proud owner of a new BMX bike for Christmas.....

Jody, Josh, Ella and Abi went for a 5 klm ride together (Abi on scooter, Jody jogging)...the first time they have all been able to do that as a family.....but it won't be the last!
 By 12.00 the rest of the Canberra (region) family arrived...and time for more present unwrapping......
 ..including gifts and cards from the London branch...We loved (nearly 6 year old) Eddie's card to us - which he had obviously hand written especially for us.......
We were a little unused to the English letter forms so we took a while to work out his message (maybe the lychee martinis didn't help!)............
We all agree Eddie is a legend! (and we worked out the right hand side of our card says: You are a Star man OMG!)
While the adults sat around recovering from our wonderful lunch: Joshy's roast lamb, Maxie's baked ham and my prawn salad + all the trimmings the kids went crazy on the back lawn. They started on Abi's cute new hopscotch water game.......
 But ended up on the full scale water slide (+lawn sprinklers).
 Such a happy day!

Friday, December 23, 2016

You know it's Christmas

You know it's Christmas when the KP mangoes (preferably from Bowen) are at their peak, the cherries from Young have ripened and there's a premium price being paid for the wild Tiger prawns from the Gulf of Carpentaria. We queued up at 6.45 this morning at Sea Harvest at the Fyshwick markets to snag this bounty. It was a very festive queue experience, luckily, with everyone in good humour (despite the bleary eyes) and free cappuccinos being handed around by shop management to make the wait easier.
You also know Christmas is coming when the usual rituals commence: school break ups with all the accompanying concerts, ceremonies and graduations......

Abi performed in her first Christmas concert this year....
And we helped celebrate Sophie's excellent Year 12 result (ANU here we come!) and Maddie's hugely successful "Gap Year" (ACU here we come!) at the Hyatt last Wednesday afternoon..
.......and then there are all the other celebrations, end of year work parties and Christmas get togethers. It's all rather hectic actually.

We had our annual pre-Christmas get together at Murrumbateman last night, a ritual (and celebration) we all really look forword to. Even the cows were keen to join in too.....
But we kept things pretty traditional with everyone contributing beautiful food: Merimbula oysters for starters and whole baked salmon for mains, and fine wines (of course).......

We were lucky to have Sophie and Thomas join us this year..and they even indulged us in a bit of (mostly off key but very enthusiastic) Christmas carol singing too...

I think we're ready for Christmas now!

Monday, December 12, 2016


December always starts with Maxie's birthday - a wonderful big birthday for her this year (one of those birthdays with a zero on the end!). Celebrations were spread over a few weeks of dinners, lunches and general frivolity!

Then it's Thomas's turn. We celebrated his birthday in Sydney this year at the Chop House on Bligh Street.  Phoebe made him his panda bear cake. They are both regular Sydneysiders now, making their marks in the world of big money and finance.
December is also the month of end of year concerts, gatherings and parties, school reports, end of year deadlines at work, shopping  and madly preparing for Christmas - it's crazy really!

In amongst the madness Claire and Jeremy hosted their end of year party at the gallery last Saturday night. They had the wonderful The Bridge Between band set up on the mezzanine playing fast and loose and very loud...wonderful stuff!
In amongst the December madness it's great to have an opportunity to share some special moments with dear friends and family and be reminded how good life is!