Saturday, 4 August 2007

Saturday breakfast at Cronulla

Last Saturday morning and again today, Diane and I went to Cronulla for breakfast. Last week we went to Café Monz and today it was the Alley Break Café.

These open air cafes are located in the pedestrian mall overlooking North Cronulla beach and in the morning, provide a beautiful sunny spot to eat.

Both Saturdays, Diane has had pancakes and I have had bacon and eggs but both breakfasts have been quite different but very enjoyable.

After breakfast, we have gone for a walk along the sea shore. Last Saturday it was low tide and this morning high tide. There were lots of people enjoying the beautiful weather – but not too many ventured in to swim.

With recent storms, a lot of the sand has been washed from the beach with North Cronulla suffering the most damage. A number of the paths down to the beach have been closed as the beach level has dropped more than a metre.

South Cronulla has also lost a lot of sand, although this has just made the beach steeper and has not affected access.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Port Macquarie

At Port Macquarie, we stayed with our dear friends Ben and Laura and baby Eliana and Murphy.

We spent lots of time walking and visiting the "dog beach" just south of Flynn's Beach.

Murphy has a great time here with her friends and it allowed us to just wander along the beach and take in the sunshine.

Here is Diane with Hon. Granddaughter Eliana

We were also able to spend time with some of Ben and Laura's Tuesday night friends.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

A Family Wedding

Last weekend, Diane and I attended the wedding of Nikki to Chris held at Nautilus Beachfront Villas and Spa just seven kilometres north of Coffs Harbour.

It was a time when close family and friends gathered to witness the marriage of a lovely couple and to enjoy a weekend together celebrating and getting to know each other better.

We gathered on Friday night for drinks and later dinner in family groups. Then on Saturday afternoon, overlooking the beach, witnessed the marriage ceremony which was followed by afternoon drinks and snacks on the grassed recreational area.

At 5 pm we moved to Coco's Function Room for the formal celebration wedding breakfast.

Saturday morning saw many of the guests gather for a huge breakfast of fruit, bacon, eggs and sausages, coffeee and orange juice. This was really brunch as the breakfast feast stretched on to midday, only to be broken by people needing to leave to travel home.

However some family remained and Diane and I were able to catch up with Peg and her brother, his wife and Peg's sister for afternoon tea and later dinner of fish and chips at the Coffs Harbour Pier.

We were also able to see Aunty Nance on Sunday and Monday, although she was sleeping both times and really did not recognise us. Monday morning saw us heading south to Port Macquarie.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Rose's 94th Birthday

Rose turned 94 on 15 July 2007 and to help her celebrate, Fred invited a number of friends and relatives, including her brother Ferdie, nephew Leon and his wife Lilo, who came out from Zurich for the occasion, to dinner at Omeros on the beach, at Ramsgate Beach.

Here are some photos of the happy occasion. The question: "is Rose 94 or just 49?"

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

An evening out

Last Friday evening, Diane and I went to the Rhinedorf German Restaurant at Beverly Hills for dinner. We shared Camembert Cheese, Deep-fried and served with cranberry sauce and salad for the entrée.

For the main course, Diane had Kasseler Rippchen, Smoked pork cutlets, chargrilled served with dumplings, sauerkraut and German mustard.

and I had
Rinder Rouladen, Thinly sliced beef filled with onion, gherkin, bacon, oven baked served with mustard gravy, red cabbage and Spaetzle (noodles).

To wash it down, Diane had a lemon, lime and bitters;

and I had a half pint of Schlosser alt dark beer.

A very enjoyable meal and a great restaurant.

Afterwards, we enjoyed coffee at home and then went to the movies at Hurstville to watch Ocean’s Thirteen, a good story, plenty of action tinged with comedy.

Overall, a very pleasant evening together.

Monday, 18 June 2007

An interesting weekend

The weekend just past was very different - Lynda had left and it was strange and quiet. However, we did have some adventures and it was a great weekend.

Friday night I had a meeting at Burwood and afterwards came back to our friends' place where Diane joined us for coffee and then Diane and I drove to the airport to pick up Barbara who visited for the weekend. A very wet trip and we were glad to use the M5 because it was not raining in the tunnel.

Saturday was wet and Barbara had a wedding to attend and so Diane and I worked around the home. Then mid afternoon, Erika rang to invite us for dinner. Wow! what a surprise and what a lovely time spent enjoying the food and wine and catching up with dear friends Erika and Dave.

On Sunday, Barbara suggested we go to the Good Food and Wine show at Darling Harbour. There were more than 300 exhibitors with over 500 products and five venues of presentations running at selected times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Again, a great time to sample food and wine and to mingle with a host of Sydney-siders out to have a great time on a wet Sunday afternoon. We were able to collect a range of free or very cheap samples. However, I think the dogs scored better than the humans from the sample bags. We just enjoyed our freebies at the show instead of bringing them home.

We again went to the airport today to say farewell to Barbara as she travelled back to Melbourne.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Farewell to Lynda

This afternoon, we said farewell to Lynda who is off to Canada to work at Teen Ranch for nine months.

There was a small gathering of friends at the airport, including Kristina, Emma, Lucas, Johnny, Paul, Kevin, Michael, Diane and me.

Check-in took an hour and a half with only four desks open so there was not a long while before Lynda had to board her flight to Auckland and then on to Los Angeles and Calgary where she will spend a few days with Julie. Then she is heading to Toronto to spend time with friends before going to the Ranch next weekend.

Friday, 1 June 2007

John's Graduation

Today John graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of Business with Merit with majors in Business Information Systems and Small Business Management.

Diane and Lynda were able to be present at the ceremony which commenced at 2 PM in the Great Hall.

This was followed by refreshments in the main Quadrangle.

Afterwards, we all went and had afternoon tea at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place in the city.

In the evening, Diane and John went to Summer Salt at Eloura, just north of Cronulla for dinner.

Diane had Potato & asparagus gnocchi with fresh sage & nut butter sauce for an entree and Baked brie with prosciutto, shallot & wrapped in puff pastry with red wine caramel and Leaf salad with palm sugar dressing for a main followed by tea and chocolates.

John had Baked brie with prosciutto, shallot & wrapped in puff pastry with red wine caramel for an entree and Pork belly with scallop & spinach colcannon for a main followed by Latte coffee and chocolates.

A very enjoyable meal and a good finish to a memorable day.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Dee Why

Today Lynda was off to meet friends on the North Shore so Diane and I travelled with her and then went off to see what we could find. Dee Why was a beautiful spot and one where I do not think I had ever been before. Diane had a Great Aunt who used to live at Dee Why when she was a child but all had changed since then. Lots of high rise accommodation and quite a trendy beachside shopping centre with lots of cafes and restaurants.

We decided it was time for lunch and discovered Sea la Vie cafe on The Strand overlooking the beach. Diane had Spinach and cheese in a puff pastry case with a salad garnish and a skim Cappuccino and I had French crêpe filled with chilli con carne topped with melted cheese and served with a side salad and a latte. The service was very good, cheerful staff and very fast and the meals were excellent. A good spot to go again, although it is about 90 minutes from home.

Afterwards, we walked along the beach, up the hill to gain better views and back down onto the rock platform and along by the three rock pools. There were lots of families and friends just enjoying the beautiful day. Dee Why is a spot I would like to explore further. Unfortunately we did not have the camera with us today but will be sure to take it next time.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Diane's Birthday

May is the Birthday month and today is Diane's Birthday.

It was a crafty morning followed by lunch with Lorraine at Dolce's Cafe at Oatley.

Lynda took Diane to dinner at Summer Salt at Cronulla.

Then when Michael and John arrived home from work, it was time to continue the celebration with a birthday cake from Michel's Patisserie and desert from the Lindt Shop in Martin Place.

We hope Diane had a very Happy Birthday and that this will be the beginning of a great year ahead.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Pop's Birthday

Today was Pop's Birthday.

He enjoyed getting telephone calls, particularly from his grandchildren Julie and Andrew and Fiona and great grandaughter Lucy from overseas.

We had celebrated it a few days early so a number of us could have dinner together.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Lynda's Birthday

Today is Lynda's Birthday and it was great to help her celebrate with two of her friends, Lisa and Emma, at Bayblu Seafood Restaurant at Blakehurst.

As usual, the food was very good but despite going to a fish restaurant, the three girls had chicken and steak for their main course, leaving Diane and me to the whitting and lobster mornay

- although Lynda did have her favourite calamari rings and I had smoked salmon for an entree.

Afterwards, we came hone for desert, a lemon curd crepe cake from The Australian Women's Weekly Wicked Sweet Indulgences cookbook. Very nice, very morish - but not all of us could fit in a second serve.

Earlier in the day, Lynda celebrated over lunch with other friends at the Lindt Shop in Martin Place. It was truely an indulgent day for Lynda and we trust that she had a very enjoyable birthday.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Lucy's Birthday

We want to wish Lucy a very happy first bithday.

We are sorry we cannot be with you to help you celebrate but hope to visit later in the year.

Hope you have a great party.

Nanna, Grandpa,
Uncle Michael and
Aunty Lynda.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Andrew's Birthday

Happy Birthday Andrew.

Wish we were there to help you celebrate. Perhaps we can do that later in the year.

Hope you have a great day and that the celebrations continue over the weekend.

Monday, 23 April 2007


This weekend has been a good time to catch up with friends and to just get a few things done around the home and do some shopping.

On Saturday night, we joined our friends Barbara and Theo at St Martin's Anglican Church for a "Crazy Whist Night" where we played cards, met a whole lot of new people and had a great fun evening together. About 28 people attended and all were friendly and enthusiastic, despite a number expressing the view that they had not played the game before. General rules were:
  • 4 people per table
  • play in pairs; partner sitting opposite
  • separate score sheet for each player
  • cut cards to determine dealer, highest card deals, "Ace highest"
  • deal 13 cards to each player
  • player to the left of the dealer plays first
  • at the end of each game add up the number of tricks taken and add to your total score
  • partners take same score at end of each game
  • winning pair at the end of each hand moves on to next table and separates (do not continue as a pair)
  • loosing pair each hand remains at same table and separates
  • remember to take your own score sheet with you as you move positions
We played 15 games during the evening with a break mid way for supper. There were the usual trumps (Hearts, Spades etc) as well as "winner doubles their score", "play cards face down", "play one card and pass the hand to the next player", "take opponent's score", "winners score 13 loosers score 0" and "player with 7 of clubs receives bonus 20 points". I won the prize of "Keenest Player" - a tin of KEEN's mustard and had a total score of 116. Scores ran from 95 with Theo the overal winner on 130. Barbara scored 125 and Diane scored 113.

On Sunday after church, Ben and Jackie came to collect their ladder which I had brought back from Andrew and Fiona's after Ben and Andrew had done the finishing touches before leasing out the house. Then Diane and I went to Sue and Roy's for lunch. It was a good afternoon of fellowship followed by the "mandatory" afternoon nap before church in the evening.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

The big clean-up

Whether or not it was the experience gained at Andrew and Fiona's, or whether it is because there is a community clean-up campaign starting next Monday, the time has come to clean up the dreaded garage, where everything that did not have its own place was put over many years.

Led by the enthusiasm of Michael and tempered somewhat by me who does not like to throw anything out - in case I might need it some time in the future, we have spent two days burrying down to the floor. Yes! you can now see a lot of the floor and yes! there is a huge pile in the street in front of the house - probably 2 metres by 2 metres and about a metre high. That excludes a large supply of metal objects that needed to be kept separate and for which the scrap metal dealers almost fought each other over to get their hands on it. We even cleared off the large workbench and swept it clean and Michael made good use of the air gun to clean off the dust.

Great care had to be exercised as old things were removed. Red-back spiders abounded and it was a case of use gloves, look behind things before putting your fingers there, have the insect spray handy and wear good shoes to finish them off.

To be honest, we could do the same thing in the next two days and get another large pile, although Michael admits that we have broken the back of it. Then of course there is a large quantity of computer gear under the TV room, courtesy of Andrew and Michael which may have to wait for another ocasion. Michael thinks that we should hire a skip bin and really go to town - maybe that may come eventually!

It has not been so hard to throw things out this time. Perhaps having Andrew's example of being ruthless (or was it Fiona?) has helped and I have come to the realisation that old things from my father which I have not used for 18 years may have now come to the end of their useful life. Nevertheless, progress has been made and I thank Michael for his determination here.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Andrew, Fiona and Lucy leave Sydney

Andrew, Fiona and Lucy left Sydney this morning bound for Los Angeles, and then through Charlotte to Wilmington North Carolina where they will live for a few years.

A number of people met at Mascot airport to farewell them. There was John and Teresa, John and Diane, Michael, Kellie and Dave, Ben, Jackie and Cora and Kevin.

Lynda would have loved to have been there but she was at the Katoomba Easter Convention helping to run the kids' program.

After we saw them off , John, John and Diane went to Andrew and Fiona's Sydney home to nail the edging strip around the pool, plant some shrubs and do a couple of other jobs that needed completing before tenants move in on Wednesday.

Saturday, 31 March 2007

The establishment of connections

At this stage, the Sydney Connection is Diane, John, Michael and Lynda and Andrew, Fiona and Lucy, together with Pop and Rose.

However, in a week's time, Andrew, Fiona and Lucy will be moving to Wilmington NC and then in June, Lynda will be moving to Toronto Canada. Julie moved to the US a number of years ago and is now with her friend Matt in Calgary , Canada.

With the family disbursing, this blog will allow those in Sydney Australia to share their experiences with those overseas.

This picture shows the whole family together at Christmas 2006 when Julie and Matt came to visit.