Friday, December 23, 2005

That was 2005


After a little uncertainty it turns out that today will be the last day with my current client, IAG. This means that I can enjoy the Christmas break without needing to be concerned about getting any calls regarding the final stage of their system upgrade - hoorah!

Tonight, I'm meeting up with Steve and a few others at the newly refurbished Blues Point Hotel for a few drinks; and the 'blog will be taking a hiatus for the Christmas and New Year break. I wish everyone a very happy holiday season, and see you all next year.


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Thursday, December 22, 2005


Observatory Park

Henry (aka CrackerJack) and I were the trusted with the responsibility of setting the run for tonight - we each played to our strengths, I organised the run and Henry did the food. With it being close to Christmas, we decided to go with a picturesque run around The Rocks and a drop of gin-and-tonic at Dawes Point Reserve overlooking the Opera House.

Anna and Caitlin, having made it safely home, were listening to the strains of the kitchen decoration that was underway in Barkers Green.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Repeat Performance


Although Anna and Caitlin had arranged to repeat the trip we did last May to see Joy and Jan, they were also hoping to pop by to have a chat with Rachel. Although they did get there, it was dark by the time they arrived, so they only had chance for a brief chat before dinner.

They will both be heading back to Barkers Green tomorrow so, hopefully, they'll finally have chance to relax for a couple of days before Christmas Day itself.


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Monday, December 19, 2005



Surprisingly, I got a moderately useful gift in the Secret Santa handout at the Full Moon run, where I received a CD holder. It was a pretty warm day, so I felt like I had deserved a drink by the time I got back to the start.

Anna and Caitlin have now travelled up to Chesterfield to visit Ash, Helen and family, as well as catching up with Graham, Rachel and Emily. I can only imagine what the children must be like this close to Christmas - I seem to remember that the last couple of days were a blur of hope and expectation. Although, I'm sure that it has helped that, apparently, both Matthew and Emily are still in school until Wednesday.


posted at 11:43 pm   1 comments

Friday, December 16, 2005

Santa's coming...

Anna and Amy

I'll be attending the Sydney Full Moon run on Sunday, at which Santa has promised to make an early appearance. We each have to bring a $5 present with us, but Santa will be handing them out...

Meanwhile, Anna and Caitlin will be visited by Sarah, Janet & John and Amy in Barkers Green. So, hopefully, Caitlin will be well behaved so that Anna has chance to catch up with her friends.


posted at 11:35 pm   1 comments

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Vice Versa


The run tonight started and finished in Pyrmont, which meant that I (and others) could simply walk from the CBD to the festivities laid on by Pearl and CrackerJack. As it's the time of year for Work Christmas parties, we had to pick our way through the crowds in and around Darling Harbour - but we all made it back eventually.

Meanwhile, Anna and Caitlin, have now finished visiting the Hughes clan, and made it back to Barkers Green for a well-deserved rest - of course, it doesn't work out as simple as that but, for a nice change, the friends are visiting Barkers Green rather than vice versa.


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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The tour continues

In the UK

Anna and Caitlin continue their non-stop trip around the UK, as they plan on visiting my brother, Peter, and his family - so that all Caitlin's cousins can get their first look at her since the baptism. Then, it's back to Barkers Green for a couple of days before the treck north of Wem starts...

Meanwhile, Anna's father was kind enough to send me a few photos of the Staines family from Barkers Green - thanks for that!


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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

No More Sleigh

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour, one of the bays very close to the centre of Sydney, has a reputation for putting on lots of tourism-focussed events; but with Christmas approaching it has changed its focus. However, I didn't realise until I was watching their advert today that Santa has a new mode of transport - apparently he has traded in his sleigh for some jet skis.

Anna and Caitlin, meanwhile, are still trying to get over their jet lag. Apparently, the fact that it gets dark at 3:30pm has confused Caitlin into thinking it's time for her long sleep somewhat prematurely.


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Monday, December 12, 2005

Who's this man?


As I don't have access to a scanner, the picture above is a digital picture of the print that I picked up from David Jones. When I visited today, Santa's grotto was much busier and the excitement of the children there was also turned up a notch - although I suspect there are still a few more notches they're keeping up their sleeves.

Anna and Caitlin have now made it down to Abergavenny, and joined Grandma Hughes, Uncle Paul and cousin Aaron for Sunday lunch; apparently Caitlin was very well behaved at the restaurant. Needless to say, Caitlin has also been fascinated by the vast array of decorations that my Mum always puts up for Christmas - hopefully they'll continue to distract her, as Anna tells me that her third tooth is starting to make an appearance.


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Friday, December 09, 2005

On tour


A quiet weekend in store for me, as I'll be trying to take advantage of the opportunity to catch up on some sleep; and probably some cricket.

Anna and Caitlin will be starting their tour of friends and relatives this weekend, as Uncle Richard is visiting them in Wem, and they are then heading off to see Grandma Hughes. I've already forewarned Anna regarding the number of Christmas decorations that she is likely to encounter in Abergavenny, but no amount of talking can truly prepare someone for their first encounter with The Grotto.


posted at 10:49 pm   0 comments

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Something in the water?


Another Thursday means another run in Alexandria, well it does this week anyway. As it is getting closer to Christmas we had a large pack of people show up for the run, and a few people I haven't seen for a little while. It turns out that, at least for Gunner, this is because his partner is now five months pregnant - there's obviously been something in the water recently, because there are now two couples within our group expecting.

As I didn't have anyone to rush home to, I decided to stay on for a couple of drinks with Henry and Ken, but it wasn't too late when I waved them goodbye as they cycled and I caught the bus home.


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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Safe and Sound

Terminal 3

I'm pleased to report that Anna and Caitlin arrived safely at Heathrow's Terminal 3, and were met by Anna's father (who had been expecting them at Terminal 4). Apparently, Caitlin slept reasonably well on the flight, although I'm not sure exactly how much phenergan was required! Anna, unfortunately, didn't manage to get much sleep herself - I'll have to train her how to do it.

The only fly-in-the-ointment came when armed police started organising to tow the car that Len was driving, as he parked it in the drop-off zone while he went to find the girls. Fortunately, however, they made it back to the car before it disappeared.

Here in Sydney, summer seems to have arrived with a vengeance - after a couple of weeks of somewhat indifferent weather, it was 39 degrees in the city today (and hotter inland). I'm predicting an uncomfortable night's sleep unless it cools down significantly...


posted at 10:56 pm   1 comments

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Up, up and away

Singapore Airlines

We knew, from previous experience, that you can't check-in to a flight more than three hours in advance. So, we timed our departure from Balmain to arrive shortly after check-in opened, and it worked out very nicely as Anna and Caitlin were among the first to register for the flight.

As Anna had pre-arranged it, she had been allocated a seat with a bassinet, in the hope that Caitlin would actually sleep - she hasn't been sleeping too well recently as she has been teething. However, on the advice of a friend, she also bought some phenergan to assist with helping Caitlin to sleep - and had given it a successful trial run.

So, after a drink and bite to eat, the girls headed through the doors to customs and the waiting airplane. It's funny how you get used to things, as I caught myself occasionally checking the (now empty) baby seat to ensure that all was well...


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Monday, December 05, 2005

Another string to the bow


The weekend's events all went ahead successfully - the culmination of which was the Sinfonia performance on Sunday. A couple of our (running) friends were also attending, and were surprised to find that I didn't arrive until half-time - although Caitlin enjoys the music, she is now highly liable to start singing along. Sure enough, about 15 minutes into the second half, we had to make a hasty exit to ensure that we didn't disturb the other patrons; but what we did hear sounded very good.

Anna has been very busy finalising her list of things to pack for the trip tomorrow, as you might expect this is dominated by baby-related items such as food and milk, but Anna has managed to sneak in a change of underwear for herself.

Finally, we received an unexpected call from Jervis Bay, asking if one of their tourism web-sites could use some of our recently-posted photos; which we were happy to agree to. The selection they chose can be seen here.


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Friday, December 02, 2005

Where's my Mummy?

Cottage Point

As this is Anna's last weekend before departing for the UK, I'll be spending lots of time with Caitlin while Mum is:

Hopefully, she'll have time to pack on Monday!


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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Walk on the wild side


It was just I that attended tonight's run in Alexandria, as Anna and Caitlin were doing their last baby-sitting stint for the year - looking after Max, who was a little out of sorts, as he is teething a lot at the moment.

The wildlife videos from Jervis Bay are now available via the videos link at the top, or:


posted at 11:39 pm   0 comments