Tuesday, November 06, 2007

OK, so, the UberPeg&Drew crew had an engagement shindig on the weekend, and I promised to post some pics on the 'ole Blog. Now I know that I am the eldest cousin, and Drew is a full 3 1/2 years younger than my ancient self, but during the occasion it seemed that normally taboo subjects such as when was I going to get married?, and when was I going to have babies? became the topic of the day. Ho hum, I guess that's why they supply you with plenty of booze at these things! ;-P
Nonetheless a good time was had by all, and the Griffiths put on a great bash, proving themselves big enough drinkers to be welcomed into the clan with open arms!

L to R: Camille, David, Christine, Drew (the engagee), Colin, and my good self...about 2 seconds after this pic was taken Drew & Camille got into a bit of sibling biffo, and we all came tumbling down...

Two gorgeous cousins!

Myself & Clinton, all dressed up and ready to catch the Toronto Hire Car to the party

Is it any wonder such a charmer has been snapped up for marriage?!

The lovely yound Pauline gets cozy (or should that be "boozy"?) with her future mother-in-law

The Day After (stupid blogspot has got the images out of order)

Chris with her favourite big brother Colin

Colin and his romantic poem, written especially for Drew & Peg in 15 minutes (more like 3 hours!)

The happy couple

Colin in full poem reading stance....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Springtime in Narooma

It was time for a break - so Isa and Clinton loaded up Moby the Subaru and headed off to Pub Hill Farm in Narooma, the Greatest Holiday Venue Ever for dogs, it turns out. Not wanting Friday to miss out, we chose a dog-friendly B&B, and boy, was it dog-friendly! Friday was able to roam the massive garden at her leisure and in the company of the 4 resident Border Collies. Also present were a German Shepherd, and two Scotty Terriers. There was a creek to swim in, and she was even permitted in our room!
This is the view from the deck, down to Wagonga Inlet.

The little log cabin which was our room was covered in this fragrant blossom, which began to waft over us in the evening.

The first morning we woke up very early, and headed down to the Inlet for an explore before breakfast. It was pretty swampy in parts, though the mangrove-type roots made for a nice pic in the morning light.

On the deck of our temporary home, playing with the camera. I was so excited to finally find a 1GB compact flash card for my second-hand Canon EOS..right until the bloody battery gave out!

Seems like now is the time when everything is in flower, including this gorgeous wisteria.

And this magnolia!

Looking out at Little Dromedary Mountain from Central Tilba

We went and saw the Foxglove Spires garden - 6 1/2 acres of gardens laid out in "romantic abandonment". They'd even built a fake church ruin!

My what a good-looking couple!

The gorgeous little Anglican church perched above Tilba Tilba. Looming above it is the massive Gulaga, or Mt Dromedary.

When I told the pastor (who was making tea inside) that I was from Canberra she responded with, "Oh well, everyone's got to come from somewhere!"

It was around this time that my camera battery died on me (RIP).
It was a lovely weekend, even despite not having the full complement of photos!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Warm Winter Weekend

Last week Clinton and I packed up, leaving the rabbit to hold the Estate in our absence, and headed off to Fingal Bay for a couple of days R&R, as well as hoping to get a little bit warm. How warm can it GET in mid-winter, I hear you ask - well, a good deal warmer than it is in Canberra, anyway!

Fingal Bay is on the southern side of Port Stephens, and past the tourist mecca of Nelson Bay, so slightly quieter than many of the beachside resorts of that area, especially in July. We drove out of Canberra with the sound of bucketing rain on the car roof, however somewhere before Sydney we emerged into sunshine, and so it stayed until Sunday - bliss!

At first I found the whole Doing Nothing a bit difficult - I was agitated and fidgety, but by Day 2 I was well on board. We spent time walking - up Tomaree Head, along the beaches, to Zenith Beach - reading the paper in the sunshine (oh heavenly day!), and watching old episodes of Yes Prime Minister. We ate fresh seafood, and drank nice wine. Now that's what I call a holiday!

Nelson Bay itself is pretty poxy, but they do have a chocolate shop that makes AWESOME (dark)chocolate covered almonds, and we did enjoy having a beer on the marina in the afternoon sunshine. Sadly, though, Clinton was unable to find the donuts he was craving for the entire 4 days we were away.

Friday also really enjoyed herself, loving paddling through the waves and rolling in the sand as she does (hem hem!), and her break featured plenty of the afore-mentioned delights, as well as much ball chasing and chewing of pork treats. Dogs are not allowed to get up to much, according to the regulations of Port Stephens council, however being winter we were able to get away with several beachside walks.

We climbed up Tomaree Head, as I always do when I'm in Fingal, and though we didn't see any whales spouting from up there the views across the port and down the coast were spectacular.

On our last morning the clouds seemed to be gearing up for another wet assault, so we headed out for a quick walk before we had to pack up and head home (via Dad's place outside Singleton). We saw this pebbly beach from the clifftop walk above, and determined that we had, simply HAD to get down there! A muddy steep slide ensued...but we made it down there successfully!

The pebbles had all been rounded smooth from being washed about on the rocks, and there was not a speck of sand in sight. The sound of water sloshing through rocks is quite intriguing...at least it gives you adequate warning to escape incoming waves before your trousers cop a soaking!

On the way home we took a slight (hmm, about 2 1/2 extra hours drive!) detour via Dad and Anne's place in the Hunter Valley.

Though we had passed through a bit of weather on the way there, the sun was shining in Singleton, perfect weather for cooking up a barbie over wood, and using a cast-iron frypan - talk about old school!

It was nice to catch up with Dad, who is looking very fit and well, the best he has looked since before Christmas, and since his prostate cancer was diagnosed.

Friday had a grand old time playing with the dogs Bruce and Spud (getting her gender slightly confused and trying to mate with Spud was a first), and I cannot forget to mention that on the way out of town we stopped at the IGA, where I bought SEVEN packets of Leda choculence chocolate biscuits - dairy, sugar AND additive free! I haven't seen them elsewhere, so thought I'd best stock up!

The car ride home from there was long, but I have to say I surprised myself (and possibly Clinton!) by winning all our car games, and retiring undefeated as the Car Game Champ. Well, for this holiday, anyway!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Turning 29...

The 3rd of July marked my 29th birthday... it's kind of an age where you wake up feeling like perhaps you should have accomplished a bit more, or at least be in the process of realising all your life's goals...

Well, I guess this could turn into some musing about lives half lived, fear of change, all that dark-side stuff that quite frankly I'm not prepared to go into right now because it could all be a little too close to the bone! Instead I'm going to tell you about my day...

Traditionally in my family we put a ribbon on the dog of the day, and declare them a Birthday Dog, in honour of whoevers birthday it may be. So yesterday Friday was adorned with a shiny white ribbon, and decreed the Birthday Dog of my 29th. Isn't she beautiful! And there's me, wearing my not one but TWO icebreaker thermals, which my dad & partner each bought me for my birthday - perfect for the Canberra winter!

Next we went for a walk up the O'Connor Ridge, my old walking grounds of last year when I was living in Lyneham. The thing I love best about walking on the ridge is that you can see out over northern Canberra, and it helps give a sense of perspective to the day ahead. Much as I love Mt Ainslie, there are very few spots (within short walking distance, anyway!) where you get the same feeling.

Walking the Ridge was followed by breakfast at Tilley's (a Canberra institution), sitting outdoors in the sunshine. Because even though we are in the midst of a rather cold and very wet spell, the day of my birthday dawned bright, clear, and warm. Apparently the same thing happened 29 years ago, when I was born...so there you go!

For my birthday I had this idea that I wanted to see snow. Clinton took the day off work, and we drove up into the Brindabellas, looking for snow. Well, I guess we picked either the wrong day, or the wrong location, because there was not a speck of snow to be seen anywhere!

Instead, we wound up in the beautiful Brindabella Valley, by a merry body of water of whose name I have no idea, enjoying a lovely picnic in the sunshine.

We ate well, and then I ran around taking photos (the digital camera was another birthday gift), astounded by the beauty of light reflected off the water.

It really was incredibly lovely. I hope that this augers well for my year ahead - that I may not get what I think I want or expect, but that where I end up will be unexpected and beautiful nonetheless. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New Cameras - First Pictures

It's a birthday present - a secondhand Canon EOS 300D, and it's my first ever digital camera. I don't quite know how this will affect the strong bond I have with my 1981 Canon AE-1... I still love my film camera!
So, what do you do with a new toy? Play with it first thing, of course! On a crisp wintery day in Canberra, these are my fist pics - simple things, right before my eyes. No beautiful compositions or trick photography... quietly, the view from the kitchen window... my dog.... my mum who is down visiting... simple things.
Strange that the technology feels simple too! Point, shoot, download - too easy!
Will I come to love digital technology more than film?
Can you beat the feeling of picking up an anticipated roll of film after developing? Holiday memories relived in images, which you can hold in your hand, pin to your fridge or frame on your wall.
Digital is just not the same - but it still has it's uses. What do things look like on the other side of the world? Snap, email - THAT'S what they look like!
I guess only time will tell...

Monday, February 05, 2007

High School Reunion

Some of the Class of '96

L to R: Ayu, Carol (deliberately ruining my photo!), and Kirsty

This man was my high-school sweetheart, now look at him!

L to R: Amanda, Ellis, and I. Ten years ago, we were partners in crime! Now, we illustrate how the girls have blossomed in beauty over 10 years!

So, the inevitable 10 year reunion, huh.
Those who i spoke to about it beforehand knew that i was less than enthused about the whole thing, but, as my friend carol put it on the night, "With expectations that low you were bound to have a good time!"
It's painted as one of those pivotal life experiences, like one's first day at school, or discovering your ex-boyfriend's profile on RSVP.com, something we don't necessarily look forward to but which has some kind of rite-of-passage status in our society.
It was interesting to see how some people had changed, and how a very few hadn't. Gossip centred on who'd 'come out', and who'd had work done. But overall it was a fun night, proving once again what a useful social lubricant alcohol can be. I was definitely glad i went, though it certainly wasn't a profound experience, more a fun night out, which you know is a one-off and are pleased to be there precisely for that reason.
The women all looked gorgeous, and the boys - well, ten years seems to equal more gut and less hair as a general rule!