Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas on the farm

Since my parents moved to Goulburn three years ago, we have driven down to spend Christmas with them. This year was no different. Seeing as my birthday is the next day, we celebrate that as well while we are down there. This year, I got new clothes, opera tickets (well Raymond paid for my opera subscription - so that was for birthday and Christmas together). My older sister also got me this really beautiful luggage tag from Harrods when she was in London earlier this year. Seeing as I no longer travel for my work, I'm going to use it on my laptop bag instead. My younger sister got me the Knitting pattern-a-day calendar. That was really cute.

I spent an extra few days in Goulburn, hoping to a) get more knitting done, b) read more books, c) work out how to use photoshop and dreamweaver. I did get to knit and finished one sock, started on Eragon so that I can go see the movie soon but darn! forgot to bring the laptop and so didn't get started on learning the two programs.

In the extra days I was there, I went to see a A Night at the Museum. Movies at the Lilac cinema in Goulburn is $7.00 which is pretty cheap. It has always been my intention to see as many films as I can when I go there because I will be absolutely devastated if it were to close due to low patronage.

We also drove 45 minutes to Canberra (interstate!!) to have dinner there one night as well. We normally only go as far as Dixon. This is because there are some half decent Chinese restaurants there. I have tried one Chinese and one Vietnamese restaurant in Goulburn. Never again!!!

Family portrait at the park - the farm doesn't look this lush unfortunately

I walked up to the top of the property and took these photos at sunset. It really is very beautiful during dusk.

The fence which separates us from the neighbours.

Charlie Bear - but we normally just call him Charlie.

I completed one sock while in holiday mode. The is the Lacy Mock cable socks

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

True Blue Aussie

My brother-in-law Mike officially became an Australian citizen today. He had his citizenship ceremony at Parramatta town hall and to mark the occasion, we had good old pavalova. Unfortunately, due to the fact that we have a crappy oven, it came straight out of a packet.

Hailing originally from Boise Idaho in the United States, he's been living here ever since he and my sister got married a few years ago.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Katie taught me how to tat a few months back. I only recently picked it up again seeing as I have a bit more time to play around.

I'm using crotchet cotton as I really do hate unpicking and until I get better at it, I'll stick with the thicker stuff.

Both Katie and I believe that with enough patience, any knot can be unpicked.

Finally went to post my christmas card to Ysolda at lunch. The line at Australia Post was enormous. I felt bad for only having one card to post, so bought an extra international stamp. I'll probably end up sending a Christmas card to my aunt in the States whom I stayed with several years ago when I went for a holiday.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Have we met before?

Wow, two posts in the one day!! I've been meaning to mention this before, but keep forgetting. So before the onset of alzheimers gets the better of me, I thought I'd post before going to bed. Although it's after 12am so technically, it's kind of like a post for the new day.

I have had three people this week, ask me if they had met me before. Now, if it was one person who happens to be male, I might have thought it was a pick up line, but seeing as they were from a various cross section of people, I thought this is getting weird.

Last Thursday, I went to a Christmas function given by the kind folks at IbisWorld at the Four Seasons hotel. When I was introduced to one of the people who work for IbisWorld, he asked me if we had met previously at some Library and Information function. I told him no, seeing as I myself don't recall ever attending such a function to begin with.

Then yesterday, whilst in Gulgong (with a population of about 150) in a boutique, I was asked by the owner if we had met before as I looked quite familiar. I have been to Gulgong before - like two years ago and the last time I came to Mudgee, we didn't even go as far as Gulgong. Also, I don't recall ever meeting her either. Told her that I doubt we have met, but that I had visited Gulgong two years ago.

Now, here is the weirdo bizzaro thing that happened. Today, just as we were about to head back to Sydney, Daniel - Breck's nephew (see photos from last post), told me that he has this deja vu feeling that we have met before. He started asking me where I went to school, which university I attended, etc. I HAVE NEVER MET THIS BLOKE BEFORE YESTERDAY!!

What is happening??? Is there a doppelganger out there with my face on it?? It is truly freaky. But the strange thing is not the fact that this has happened three times in one week. This has happened quite a lot of times before. Earlier this year, I went to a party at Ee Laine's (my ex-colleague) house for a party and this guy I have never met asked me if we had previously met.

I've lost count the number of times people have asked me this exact same question. I may be able to put some blame into the fact that I have a really bad memory (I only remember really useless things), but on many occasions, I really have never met these people and did not work, grow up or hang out anywhere near where they are from.

So if you walk by someone who looks like me, grab them and get in contact with me!! We may be able to use it to our advantage!!

Happy 60th Breck!

Whilst I doubt that my friend's partner Breck will be reading this, it was his 60th birthday bash this weekend. He decided to hold it in Gulgong which is about a half hour drive from Mudgee. Although Raymond and I went there not long ago - before I started my new job, I decided to go again, just to spend some time with my uni friends. A friend graciously gave me a lift in her mini and so three of us piled in.

This car is TINY!! But it handles beautifully around bends and seems to really grip the road. Unfortunately, because of my short legs I was put in the back seat. We did, however have the top down on the way there and whilst I thought we looked extremely cool on the road, my face was getting whiplashed by my hair. All because I forgot to bring a hat.

The drive took close to five hours and we went from a nice 25 degrees celcius when we left Sydney to a crisp 15 degrees going through the Blue Mountains and then a hot 35 degrees when we arrived.

I booked some rooms in this hotel which was recommended by my friend (who told us that it is a quaint country pub). I nearly had heart failure when I saw it. The outside looked cute, but the inside was not something I would write home about. There is quaint and there is YUCK! I even took photos to prove that I spent one night there.

I cannot stand icky carpet!! Despite the disappointment with the accomodation, we went and had a swim at the local pool and walked around the historic town, who's claim to fame was that it featured on the old ten dollar bill.

Breck's actual birthday dinner was really nice. I didn't take any photos of the actual event because I thought it would be more fun to enjoy the evening that stressing about taking "that moment" when I'm sure fifty other cameras were getting it down in history. I did get quite drunk though - with the free flowing alcohol and the fact that this dinner was held in wine country.

Today (Sunday), we headed out to Eumby which is Breck's sister's farm. They have several thousand acres of land which they use to run sheep on. When I saw the fleece which was recently shawn, I thought I might give spinning another go. Even though I tried and failed miserably the last time I borrowed a spinning wheel.

Here are some photos from the farm:

Daniel (Breck's nephew) showing us the fleece from some sheep was recently shawn because they managed to get away during shearing time.

Doggie on the left is Lucy and the one on the right is Ravi - two working sheep dogs (no sheep pigs here)

The windmill with the original well (below) used in the times when they had coach stops

Headstone of Michael Lahy. There is a story behind this but to be honest, I've been supporting a hang over all day and really can't remember what it was about - but I think it had something to do with him fighting for the Aborigines in the area at the time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Office Christmas Party

There are numerous articles in the newspapers and magazines lately on office party etiquette. It seems to be a recurring theme in the "Living" and "Social" sections of the SMH around this time of the year. So it was very surprising to be witness to a few drunken escapades on board the ITS Christmas cruise. Admittedly, our IT department is made of a rather young group of Professionals. They appear to be able to keep the computers and programs running smoothly, but are totally unaware of said publications.

Like a bunch of old biddies, I sat with the other Researchers on the deck of the Captain Cook boat and smirked at the girls who were oblivious to the fact that the Orangutans at Taronga Zoo were able to catch a glimpse of their underwear as we sailed past.

It was fantastic entertainment. I love the fact that I'm working for a company where drunken Christmas parties are all the rage!! The last company I worked for, we had a Christmas lunch in January and prior to that, the company was full of married people who were happy to end the night at seven pm.

We have the Firm's main Christmas party in a couple of weeks, where it is not only the IT people, but also all the accountants and lawyers as well. I'm excited to find out whether they party just as hard - I love good gossip!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Environmental tendencies

Recently I went to a workshop on natural cleaning and home detox at the Watershed in Newtown. The focus of the workshop was household cleaning using natural products. I've never really considered myself a "greenie" but recently, and I don't know if it has a lot to do with the drought, I've really started to be aware about what we are doing to the environment.

Whenever I walk past someone using a hose and watering their garden, it really gets on my nerves (but of course, I'm too chicken to say anything). When parts of the State are having issues with supplying their town with potable water, people are wasting water.

I've been quite interested in all sides of the drought debate, whether farmers should be given more assistance or perhaps should be thinking about moving away from farming and getting a job elsewhere.

Whatever the answer is, I can really understand the frustration. Seeing the dark clouds which refuse to drop its load and all you want to do is will it to rain. That is how I feel each time I go visit my parents. Needless to say, they are starting to get quite anxious.

Uni has finished for the year and so I've got more time to dedicate to my creative pursuits. I started this piece a couple of months ago, but I have put it aside as I tried to finish my assignments on time.

Here is another shot. The massive thing of yarn, I picked up from Glebe markets. The woman told me that it is the same yarn used in Ken Done jumpers - hence the hypercolours!!