Monday, 29 December 2014

My 2014 through my mosaics

2014 was supposed to be a quiet year!
A year in which we were mostly Australia based
whilst our youngest finished off school life...


In the end Little Wandering Wren
didn't do too badly keeping her frequent flyer points up
with trips to England, America, Hong Kong, Bali, Thailand, New Zealand.

Bangkok waterways July 2014
With two of the three kids now at university
their Third Culture Kid upbringing
was never going to keep them in the nest for too long.

We lived vicariously through their adventures in 2014 
in Africa, Europe and the United States of America...

Bristol, UK March 2014
I will remember 2014 for the people I met. 

Whether it was reconnecting with family in the UK or US,
 or catching up with friends in Hong Kong, Thailand and New Zealand,
or the courageous men and women 
from all over the world,
 asylum seekers now in Australia, 
who have enriched my life in so many ways 
who I meet through my volunteer work.

Bangkok July 2014
In 2014 we continued to open our home to visitors from overseas
Numbers were down as we tried to keep the house quiet for study
even so it was not unusual 
to find professional sportsman and women staying 
'Who's in for dinner' the cry goes up?!

Australian Open January 2014
Through Mum's Youth Hostel, as the kids call it 
we also welcomed eleven lovely Japanese students
to stay... 



When overseas travel was limited 
we enjoyed exploring our local area...
Whether it was the local walks

Or at the beach


Of course the Crazy Poodle and friends
have continued to give us endless pleasure



Looking forward to 2015
It is stacking up to be a big year on the travel front.
Especially as my DH bought me for Christmas 
 a one way ticket to Paris ...

Isn't that romantic ?!!!!


Linking with Mosaic Monday and Blue Monday
Thank you to our hosts Judith and Sally!



Mosaic Monday

Sunday, 28 December 2014

My Christmas Sunday photo

Festive Fun...

Hope you had a lovely Christmas.
We had an Aussie beach Christmas at Rye, 
on the Mornington Peninsula.


One red, (yes red!) tablecloth, 
a few seashells from Number Sixteen beach
and a touch of ivy from the garden
a Turduken roast lunch 
which is a three bird special of turkey, duck and chicken,
and a walk along the ocean beach...



Simple, fun and some would say totally exhausting!
Linking with Saturday's Critters






Monday, 22 December 2014

The office Christmas parties...

We have attended office Christmas parties in 
Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland this year.

Auckland shopping
Each location was vying to see who could impress most 
to have the most fun on a limited budget.
It was great to see how different each event was.


Auckland Symphony Orchestra carols at the Town Hall
Sydney got off to an um rather spectacular start 
followed by a Brazilian BBQ at Darling Harbour.
I'm not quite sure that combination of words sounds right either...
But that's where we went and what we ate!!


Roadside sculpture Auckland
Melbourne's party was a band in a garage
all hip and trendy. 
It was fantastic, although rather too much 
like corporate speed dating for me.

I had 60 seconds in between very loud music 
to talk to people I'd never met before
before the next song drowned out all hope of conversation.


Albert Park, Auckland
Everyone in the office had chosen their favourite song.
Great idea, except I didn't have a song.


New Zealand's christmas pohutakawa flower bursts forth
Music, or lack of knowledge of it,
 can really make you feel like an outsider.
Forgive me for being a boring Pom, but 
The Violent Femmes - who?


Christmas cake display Langham hotel, Auckland
I know, I know all you Aussies and Americans are shouting 
What? where were you?
I must have been under a 
Blondie rock at the time...
Give me a "Come on Eileen' or even 'I will Survive'
and I would have been the first on the dance floor...

Just 'beam me up Scottie'!


Auckland's Sky Tower dominates the city
Auckland is a great, if somewhat hilly, place to explore.
From the fabulous Light Show at the Auckland Art Gallery
to Auckland Symphony Orchestra carols at the Town Hall.
We had a blast!


Auckland harbour side 
Oh and the office Christmas party?
Auckland decided to go sophisticated 
with dinner at the harbour
Perfect!




Sunday, 21 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Christmas Aussie style is different...
We don't go in for a lot of festive palaver.

All we need is a blow up Santa with a blue sky, 
and we're pretty much good to go!

Santa at the Melbourne Star
It's not that Australians don't love Christmas
It's just that it comes awkwardly 
at the start of our Summer holidays.

And...
Well, we have buckley's chance of having a white Christmas.
It's just not quite the same 
for those of us used to Frosty the Snowman.

I can't stand anything red in the house...
just in case we have a hot one.
No, not even a poinsettia makes it across our doorstep!

Poinsettia's in reception at The Windsor Hotel this week
My red rule cuts out 80% of all my traditional Christmas decorations.
The rest you may remember were impounded anyway 
by Australian customs on our arrival in 2000 
on account of them being a threat to national security
having pine cones amongst them...

Leaving our Christmas decorations as mostly just a few Christmas cards
around the place...
Simple.


Then there is the Christmas tree issue
We've had everything from fake,
which I loved, as it avoids the wilting, needles dropping problem 
in the heat of summer
but disgruntled murmurs of 'it's not a real tree' were heard...

Through to last years fabulous sweet smelling real beauty,
however we're in the middle of the hay fever season...
So when you have to resort to drugs to
to quell the sneezing and streaming eyes
caused by the tree
it was a bit much...

So this year I bought a new beauty
what do you think?
My family think it looks naff!
It's still in the box
Perfect 
no need to pack away then.


I thought, we could enjoy the Christmas lights inside the house
as light shows are big in Melbourne this year.
Although we do have to wait until it gets dark at 9pm.
Just look at what the City of Melbourne 
are doing to the Town Hall!



Melbourne City Council has boldly put on quite a display,
which only slightly eclipses my own modest version at home.
Their Christmas projections illuminate our Melbourne Town Hall 
with a free light show every night.
I loved it!


So we're heading off to the beach for Christmas and New Year
Well probably just toss a few seashells on the table.
We are having turkey you'll be pleased to know.
Otherwise it wouldn't feel like Christmas!

What are you doing for Christmas?
Hope you have a good one,
Whatever you are up to.

Linking with the following: 

Thank you Sally!

E is for Escaping Christmas!
Thanks to Jenny

Thanks to Beverley

Friday, 12 December 2014

Schoolies, Toolies and Red Frogs!


Our Aussie Year 12 kids have finished their High School life 
and celebrate together on a Schoolies holiday.

They can do no more but wait for their results 
and their university place offers in January. 
They have the whole summer ahead of them.
They are determined to party hard... 



Thirteen years at school, and your choice of university
comes down to six subjects.
For my son who studied the 
International Baccalaureate this also included 
one extended essay of 3,000 words
one Theory of Knowledge paper.
200 hours of Community, Action & Service
and fourteen exams over a sixteen day period.

Melbourne University Open day 2014
Our son is currently in Bryon Bay in Queensland
He has rented a house, with a swimming pool with nine of his friends
at a hugely inflated price.

Schoolies, started on the Gold coast in the 1970's 
when the single-sex private schools 
headed off to Queensland for a final party.
When surveyed 93% of parents said they were concerned 
about schoolies, drugs and the mass drinking culture. 



Daughter No One went to Fiji
A massive tropical cyclone hit her island
Hotel management came round and boarded up all their windows
and they were told not to come out for three days
Indeed, they drank the mini bar dry 
but I swear I couldn’t have organised it better if I tried.
Yes, there is a God!

Daughter No Two went to Bryon Bay
but she was only seventeen.
Some of them who were underage tried to gain access to the bars 
but by Monday all the fake ID’s had been confiscated
and the under agers had a reasonably dry week.
I’m a believer in divine support here too
and a massive well done to the Institutions, Red Frogs 
and the police who work so hard to ensure everyone has a fun and 
legal Schoolies experience.



Our son is eighteen 
he heads off with two bottles of vodka in his suitcase.
C’mon Lord, I’m waiting to see how you help me out with this one?

Linking with Alphabe Thursday
D is for Divine intervention required!








Sunday, 7 December 2014

Looking forward to life at a snail's pace...


It's me v's the snails
 in the garden at the moment

The garden is thriving on the warm sunshine 
and recent spring rains.


Everything is growing well
especially these critters!

They are everywhere
clinging on for dear life.
 Happy.

Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la la la


Linking with Saturdays Critters

















Friday, 5 December 2014

Sydney bike ride


We couldn't leave Sydney with the only sightseeing 
Thank you for all the comments, 
glad it gave you a laugh!


So we got up early for a cycle ride.
It was a beautiful ride from our
 Darling Harbour hotel along the waterfront
Admiring all the beautiful places to live...
If you had a spare few million.


I think no matter how often 
you get to visit Sydney
you still get a kick out of the 
harbour bridge and the Opera House!


There certainly are plenty of fences everywhere.
At first they seemed quite annoying in my photos
Then I remembered Good Fences
and perhaps these are 
perfect for my first visit?

Have a lovely weekend everyone!