Saturday, 11 October 2014

August/September

August was a blur as I rushed though things at work to get to my early holiday in September. By September 18th I was wondering around Old Montreal, eating chocolate croissants for breakfast and feeling the history. Cobblestone streets, beautiful old buildings, museums, art, Faberge exhibition - and so, so French.

Paull joined me the next day for a birthday weekend, and we cycled, enjoyed the World Press Photography Exhibition and enjoyed some memorable meals (and wine and cocktails). Le Bremner was the birthday dinner, in an old building in Old Montreal, and a very special night it was.


Sunday night, another flight, to New York, for a busy week of art, museums, Central Park and more memorable meals. Best restaurant: Flinder's Lane in the East Village. Best home-cooled meal: BBQ on the roof garden of Paull's apartment with views of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and bridges coming alive with lights at nightfall.

Saturday morning, another flight to Portland, Oregon via Salt Lake City, where a brief stop turned into an hour as they 'fixed a part in the engine' (!). It worked, and we arrived in time for yet another memorable meal then 'sloppy drinks' at Tugboat, complete with board games. Worked it all off on Sunday by hiring bikes for the day and cycling across the bridges, around the suburbs of NE Portland, stopping for coffee, then lunch, then beers at hip little places along the way.

After a quick overnight trip to Seattle, we returned to NE Portland to a gorgeous Japanese style AirB'n"B for a couple more days, a short stroll to Mississippi Road for best ever Mexican, coffee and yoga. Then, home, sigh............but thanking Paull for a trip of  lifetime.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

July, or 'Winter'

Sydneysiders carry on about how 'cold' it is in July, and we finally get to wear our winter coats. The nights are pretty cold, however, but you can find a spot in the sun most days. Meals in the slow cooker taste beautiful in July, with a glass (or two) of red; catching up on a series on TV in binge mode seems like a great idea on a Sunday afternoon (Fargo, Extant, Orange is the New Black) and going to the movies mid-afternoon is also a good idea (Calvary, The Lunchbox, Two Faces of January).

The best movie so far this year: Chef

Best book read in the school holidays: Z

Best lunch out: with friends David & Debra, their home, Deb's wonderful cooking

Best dinner in: Lamb shanks slow cooked, lemon baked potatoes, peas (ok, and red wine & garlic bread)

Best place to walk it all off: Wanda to Cronulla and back (with a gelato)!


Sunday, 8 June 2014

April/May/June!!

April- come she will (Apologies to Simon & Garfunkel) and May too. Winter coming v=e=r=y slowly, with sunny days and balmy nights - global warming? It certainly is the hottest May on record in Sydney. Easter holidays in April saw me doing my very own 'Grand Designs' - should have done it years ago - whereby I had a fixed window changed to a sliding door.

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It has totally changed the way we live, now taking any opportunity to sit outside, and forcing me to become a gardener of sorts. I even had a 'sliding doors' party (well, lunch) to celebrate, with antipasto outside followed by gnocchi and lasagne and salad at the table inside.
Simple pleasures!

Balmy June evenings saw many Sydneysiders (including Eliza & me) sipping wine by the harbour and watching the VIVID festival lights. The Opera House was brilliant, but I loved this building too:

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- a constantly changing facade with music pumping, and - how handy- an outdoor bar right there.
Love to travel, but love my city too.

Monday, 14 April 2014

March(ing) On

March saw us all in a 'hampster on a wheel' frame of mind, as we realised the holidays were long gone and Easter was a long way off. After a bit of whingeing I counted my blessings and soldiered on. I've kept to my resolution to keep the weekends free of school work, and feel more efficient at work because of that.

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Sketch club has continued - first Sunday each month, rotating venues - no rules - and it has made me pick up my sketchpad at other times, so I've found my sketching mojo again, love it! Best movie this month: Tracks (I loved the book in 1979, and the movie does it justice). Best place for an after movie analysis/wine: Newtown Hotel, upstairs, with a bowl of fried stuffed olives.

Moving into April and an Easter break, I'm getting some work done around the house, changing a fixed pair of windows into a glass sliding door to the back verandah, swapping the 25year old green & cream awnings to chic (I hope) new black awnings, and starting to reclaim the garden from Butthead, the 16 year old dog, who is still with us but not terribly interested in digging up plants any more.

Watch this space for my 'Grand Designs' moment....

Sunday, 23 February 2014

February, and all you need is love.....



Valentines Day, and love was all around us as my daughter and new son-in-law were married by a lake, near a beach, surrounded by family and friends from near and far. We kept finding 'love' everywhere we went!

Followed by the best party/family reunion ever, it was a magical evening, followed the next day by ten-pin bowling, BBQ, swimming, beach cricket, touch footy - even a pod of dolphins came by to watch the cricket.

....and with a wedding date of 14-02-14, there will be no excuse for forgetting anniversaries.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

January

January in the Southern hemisphere is pretty special: sun, sand, eating outdoors, long sunny days, swimming, reading, lazing. I did all that, being on holiday as well, and even did some school programming and reflecting (the most important part of teaching, in my opinion).

Loving:


Back to school - revived, refreshed, renewed.

Friday, 27 December 2013

December

December---month of hectic school reports, presentations, orientations, fun days, farewells, staff parties; of hectic shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, entertaining, family catch-ups. And all worth it. Celebrations are important and families and friends coming together is important. You just need techniques to manage the load, like on-line shopping and gifts that think 'outside the box'.

My favourite gift? Custom made vouchers from Eliza & Craig for a baked dinner, a BBQ dinner and one of my choice (that will be that salmon steak with asparagus, Craig...)

Our family Xmas was once again handled by the nieces and my daughter, with spreadsheet and jobs handed out between them. The mothers get easy things like dips whilst they arrange glazed ham and a side of salmon- what great kids we've brought up!