Monday, January 31, 2005

Hive of Activity

Anna & I had a pretty active weekend, including:
With Lleyton Hewitt in the final, pretty much everyone was glued to the television to watch the climax of the Australian Open. Unfortunately, Hewitt didn't manage to come away with the title, but apparently did have a little more success later in the night. Chris

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Chav-tastic

Anna and I visited our friend, Meg, and her
new baby yesterday evening at the Womens hospital in Randwick. The baby hasn't been named just yet, but both mother and baby appeared to be doing very well. We both cradled the baby for a while and, although he was a little grouchy, it was really nice. On a separate note, I read a little while ago about "chav" becoming word-of-the-year but, not being in the UK, I wasn't sure exactly what it meant etc. However, I recently stumbled across this Chav Test, which gives me a much better idea. Chris

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Another new arrival

While Anna & I were:
a friend of ours, Meg, who was due to give birth just one day before Anna had an early morning shock followed by a three-hour labour to deliver her new son! I think it reinforced for both of us that, even though we still have two weeks before Anna is due, labour may start anytime now. Anna & I are planning on visiting her this evening, before making our way back into town for the Burns-night run with our local hash group. Anna also had her latest check-up with the obstetrician this morning - blood pressure & heartbeat are still good. Although Anna has had some pelvic pain recently, the doctor confirmed that this was nothing to be concerned about and was natural as the baby re-positions itself lower. Although he couldn't give any specific timing, he also re-iterated the signs that we should use to determine when to go to the hospital. Chris

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Oggy Oggy Aussie

It's the last of the quiet weeks at work, as next week: However, before that, we have Australia Day to contend with tomorrow, with a variety of events to pick from: Chris

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Monday, January 24, 2005

Best Laid Plans

It was a weekend of best laid plans not coming to fruition - but with it only being a matter of a couple of weeks until the big event, a good time to rest-up for what's ahead:
Chris

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Friday, January 21, 2005

We're leaving on a jet plane

The flight back last night got delayed
due to storms, so we didn't make it to the run until around 8-30pm; but we still got there before the circle started. Many thanks to our local hashers who clubbed together to organise a David Jones giftcard, which allows us to use the money they collected on whatever we need for the baby. Anna & I also visited the travel agents today to start organising our upcoming visit to the UK in May. Needless to say, it caused a little confusion when it came to entering the date-of-birth for the third passenger but, after a little research, it appears that we can provide this information once it becomes available without impacting the booking. Let's hope that they successfully manage to book us a position which has a bassinette. The plan is for Anna to spend 4 weeks in the UK, whereas I'll only be able to visit for 2 weeks. So, if you'd like to catch up with us when we're there, please save some time in your diary between: Chris

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dream Home

I made it to the Hash run in Banks yesterday evening (after a long bus journey), to find out that it was a Birthday run for a hashing one-year-old, Jack. He seemed quite happy about everything once he'd finished his first drink, and got stuck into the
fairy bread. Banks is quite a new-looking suburb, and will forever live in my memory as the land of the double garage - I mentioned this to a work colleague and he confirmed that, as it is quite a way out from the centre, it tends to be an area where people buy a plot of land to build their dream home. Judging by the houses there everyone had much the same dream, and nobody had a dream that didn't involve at least two cars. Out for lunch today to celebrate the conclusion of my efforts in Canberra, and then flying back to Sydney this evening - hopefully in time to make today's run in Sydney. Apparently, there may be some form of presentation at the end of the run to wish us well with the baby but, if I know the people involved, it's just as likely to be a slab of VB. Chris

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

G'night Canberra

Tonight is my last night in Canberra, at least for a while, as well as being a
WACT Hash night. So, a couple of the people here have offered to join me for dinner, once I return from the run. As we're at the T-3 weeks point today, I'm sure Anna isn't going to be too sorry. I also made my final purchase in Canberra today, when I bought a mug-with-your-name-on-it for the baby, just like the ones Anna & I have from Bristol Zoo. She also has an email address ready-to-go that I'll put a link to here, once she's born. In case you were wondering - no, I'm not that busy right now! Chris PS - If anyone can tell me what this is, I'd love to know!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Soothing?

Anna was out visiting a couple of friends with newborn babies yesterday, and subsequently filling me in on the soothing techniques that she was learning about. From what I could tell, the most effective one was to shout "Shh!" loudly in the baby's ear, but I probably mis-understood! Anna was also visiting the obstetrician this afternoon, and will be every week from now on, who confirmed that the baby has started its descent into the engaged position, but still has a little further to go. He said that the movement that Anna had felt on Sunday would most likely have been the start of this, and that she should expect to feel more movement as the baby gets fully engaged. The remaining discussion centred around the usefulness of having a birth plan - one of Anna's friends was recommending this, but the doctor was also stressing the importance of being flexible dependent on the situation. My excitement, here in Canberra, was limited to watching
the cricket - which eventually went England's way in the wee hours of the morning. Chris

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Monday, January 17, 2005

Happy Jazz-day

As you could have predicted, after a week of non-stop sun, the weekend was the time for the clouds to make their appearance. Although it was still warm and humid in Sydney, there was enough cloud cover to deter us from visiting the beach on Saturday - so we decided, instead, to have a birthday lunch in Balmain before joining the throngs for the Jazz in the Domain concert. Since its inception, there seems to have been less and less jazz played at the event (not something I object to), and this year was no exception. We left shortly before the finale, so that Anna could avoid the rush of the crowd, but my favourite performer would have to be Bob Brosnan who played a mixture of folk and blues, whose guitar spent as much time as a percussion instrument as its traditional role. The
baby shower on Sunday went well - it was mostly intended for our friend Meg - but we received a couple of gifts, and the promise that there might be more at the run this coming Thursday. We're both hoping to make it to this run, for the first time in a little while, as this is my last week working in Canberra. Chris

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Friday, January 14, 2005

I'm a bobbing bobcat

I'm obviously getting old because, even in her current state, Anna completely out-exercised me yesterday - she went swimming and for a run/walk with our
local hash. All I managed, was to get rated as a bobbing bobcat. Since it's been really hot all week, we're hoping to make it out to the beach over the weekend, especially as we're due to be visiting Manly for a baby shower on Sunday. There's also some talk of possibly meeting up with some friends for the Jazz in the Domain show, as part of the summer festival in Sydney. Whatever happens, I'm sure I'll have a great birthday tomorrow. Chris

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

The heat is on

Despite the conditions, I did manage to make it out for a run yesterday evening, fortunately it had cooled a little by the start of the run so that the temperature was in the mid-20s. It was my first venture out with the
WACT Hash, and they gave me a warm welcome, so many thanks to them. Anna, however, didn't manage to make it to the pool, but she has promised to try her best to make it today. Plus, I believe she has re-started her violin playing, to get her fingers back in shape before the next series of rehearsals begins. Finally, since I have received carte blanche to do so, it may be ice-creams before 3pm again today if time permits. Chris

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sauna Anyone?

It's my penultimate week in Canberra this week, and the weather has
warmed up a fair bit, along with a few, unfortunately fatal, bushfires around Australia. It was warm enough today that I had no option but to have a small ice-cream for lunch (prior to 3pm) and, as often seems to happen, there is a run scheduled for this evening. If I manage to make it there in time, it's going to be a very sweaty one! According to the forecast, it's supposed to be a bit cooler for Anna in Sydney, but I think she was planning on heading to the swimming pool today anyway. T minus 4 weeks and counting... Chris

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Evening Viewing

We visited the latest addition to the Murphy/Straffi family, both mother and baby are progressing very well. Anna was particularly keen & excited to meet Aran - and get a close look at how big the head was! Alessandra also gave us a few hints about the labour process, which I think could mostly be summed up as:
  • Get as much rest beforehand as possible
  • Once labour contractions start, stay at home as long as you feel comfortable, before going to the hospital
Prior to our hospital visit, I had another interesting viewing on my way home. Although Australia generally has a reputation for quite tough policing of the roads, the one area where they do seem to be a little lax is in the enforcement of
people using mobile phones. I quite often see people talking or texting while driving but, as I was riding the bus home yesterday evening, I happened to notice a driver in the lane next to us who was: I hope for everyone's sake that he didn't also end up in hospital later that evening! Chris

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Monday, January 10, 2005

New arrival

One of Anna's friends in Balmain, Alessandra, gave birth to a baby boy yesterday - so Anna is very keen to visit her and the new baby. Apparently we've been given the thumbs-up to visit this evening, so it'll be nice to catch up with them, and meet Aran (hope I've spelt that right). Anna's visit to the stand-in obstetrician went smoothly this morning, with her blood pressure and the babys' heartbeat being measured, and found to be very healthy. The gradual movement of the baby downwards continues, as the Braxton-Hicks contractions do their (at times uncomfortable) work. This weekend we were out getting a few more bits and pieces for the nursery, including:
and an Indian cotton rug for the dining room. I think we're pretty close to being ready-to-go for our new arrival, but there's still a little while to go yet - unless our visit to the hospital this evening kick-starts anything. Chris

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Who turned the lights out?

Anna had a minor emergency earlier this week when, one evening, all the lights failed. As it was dark outside, she didn't want to be fumbling around, so she was forced to drink a bottle of wine to have somewhere to put a candle (well, I might have added that bit)! Fortunately, it turned out that the circuit had tripped, so a visit to the fuse box in the morning was all that was required. The standard procedure here is to visit the obstetrician every two weeks at this stage of the pregnancy but, as our obstetrician is on holiday currently, Anna has arranged to see his locum (Dr. Iris Wang) on Monday - so hopefully that will go ahead without incident. Chris

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Decorations Down

Although there may be
some confusion over which day to take down your Christmas decorations, I was always told that today is the day. Since I'm currently in Canberra, I only have to do the virtual decorations (which amounts to deleting one line out of my template), while Anna is packing away the real decorations we have for our tree. The good news from yesterday was that everything is confirmed for me to be in Sydney for a period from January 21st - which means that I will be around to help Anna both during and after the birth. I haven't heard any details of the assignment, but not really too fussed as long as I'm local. Chris

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Guess who's back

I've been meaning to post an update about this for a little while but keep forgetting: Like most students, when I was at Warwick I spent a good proportion of my time watching
Neighbours - not just once but, the same episode, twice a day. At that time, one of the central characters was Paul Robinson, who was cast as equal portions of good and evil - I can still hear Graham saying "Oh, he's all right is Paul!" now. Like all good Australian soap actors, he left the show to release a single and enter the Pantomime circuit in the UK. However, the cliff-hanger episode at the end of last year here in Australia had the Lassiters pub bursting into fire and an unidentified, dressed-in-black character portrayed as the arsonist. As the characters escaped/got caught in the inferno, who should show up dressed in a black turtleneck sweater but, Paul Robinson! Fantastic, another excuse to re-live all those University memories when the show starts again, after its Christmas break, next week ;-) Chris

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Starting Up

Those of you who know me won't be too surprised to discover that the New Year was ushered in with plenty of cheer (in other words, alcohol). The evening started soberly, as I had volunteered to pick a friend up from the Sydney CBD, but when she phoned to say that she had managed to organise another lift, I set forth on a mission to make up for any lost time. The fireworks were pretty spectacular, but the disco ball (at least from our view) was something of a dud - apparently, it got lost in the smoke from the fireworks! The days following were a mixture of relaxation including:
Chris

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