21 December 2008

Wrappin' It Up

Hello again!

Boy has time flown! Xmas has crept up on us and we're nearing the end of our first year in Australia. It's been a year filled with extreme highs and extreme lows. The heart-wrenching goodbyes to all our family and friends in South Africa and the elation of landing in Sydney to start a whole new chapter in our lives. Being completely overwhelmed by this enormous first world city to having such fun exploring it's wonders. Having the whole family together for my mom's birthday when my folks visited earlier in the year to my dad being diagnosed with mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos). Surprising Geoff on his 60th birthday on the Gold Coast to being taken for a fool by a dodgy Sefrican businessman. Gosh, I could go on all day here... reminiscing on the past year. So much in such a short space of time!

But the fun's not over yet! Scott mentioned to me that there was a technician position going in Brisbane. It'd be quite a step backwards for him job-wise but he asked me if I'd be keen to make the move if he applied for the post. I said sure, but only if he was certain he wouldn't be bored stiff going back to just being a technician. I thought nothing more of it.

On Wednesday Scott SMS-ed me to tell me he was on his way to the office to put his application in and was I sure I wanted to make the move if he got the job. I said sure. Scott has become such a valuable member of the Sydney team that neither of us thought that they'd want to lose him to the Brisbane office. I didn't think about it any further....

On Thursday I received another SMS from Scott just saying, "It's official". WHAT?????!!!!!! Yip, they didn't want him as a technician though - they're making him Project Manager for Queensland. Apparently when they found out that Scott wanted to go to Brissie, the big bosses were beside themselves. They desperately need someone like Scott up there to get things running well and they were literally tripping over themselves to approve the transfer. So it's official, we're moving to Brisbane towards the end of February 2009. Well, we'll be moving to the Gold Coast and Scott will commute. It's going to be SO awesome to be close to family - Doug, Mons & the kids, Geoff & Pearl. And getting to know extended family better - Caro & Ben. Hooking up with Chris, Bec & Charlie who moved to the Sunshine Coast a couple of months back - Chris works for the same company as Scott. This is all VERY exciting!!!! It also means that when my folks come out to visit again, we'll all be in the same place together. Woopeee!!!!

Friday night was Scott's work function. We didn't take our camera but the following are some pics of the boat we had the function on. It's called The Blue Room. We started off with drinks on the top deck, then moved downstairs for a sit down dinner and then we boogied the night away to a live band. We had an absolute BLAST!!! But the real cherry on top was that Marie, the big boss lady, told me that I need to get 3 quotes for movers to her. YEEEEEHAAAAAA!!!!!! We were so worried about having to spend a bomb (which we just don't have at all!) on the move. So the company's going to pay for the move as well!!! We ended up partying the night away, moving from the boat through to the Rocks and then on to some dodgy spot near Circular Quay & then home by cab. I think we got home around 3-ish......

So, we're going to Brissie!!!!! Wooooohoooooo!!!!!!

I've been going through my photos and found some stuff that we've done over the past few months which didn't make the blog for one reason or another. I thought I'd just wrap it up here and post those little lost snippets here.

McCarrs Creek BBQ - 25 October 2008

We'd noticed that you could make real fire barbies here so we thought we'd grab the opportunity. We bought ourselves some nice thick lamb steaks and boerewors. When we got there, we found that the "braai" places were actually solid metal plates built into the concrete and that you were supposed to build the fire under the plate & then fry your food on this hot plate. Yuck! So Scott zooted back home to fetch the braai that my gramps built. We hadn't had a chance to use it yet so it was great to unpack and re-assemble it.

McCarrs Creek is really beautiful. It's about 15 minutes drive from our apartment. It's very tranquil. Plenty of birds - massive Kookaburras who's weird hyena-type laugh still intrigues me. Really a perfect spot for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Scott assembling grampa's braai

Loved the name of these firelighters!

Making FIRE!

Scott gathering wood

Bird watching across the creek while the fire burns....

Relaxing with a couple of cold ones

And the meat hits the grid!

The tong master rules supreme!

So we sat down to eat our delicious late afternoon lunch. One of the lamb steaks was a little thicker than the others so we left it on the barbie to cook a little longer. All of a sudden this gigantic kookaburra with a beak a foot long swoops down out of nowhere and grabs the steak off the barbie. We managed, with shouts and frantic arm waving, to get him to drop the steak. So we cleaned it off and put it in a tupperware to keep it safe. Then we settled back down to enjoy our lunch. But Mr Mutant Kookaburra was not done with our lamb steaks yet - or Scott's lamb steak to be more precise. We didn't see him, but he happened to have positioned himself in a tree behind us, ready to strike again. He came down over Scott's shoulder & missed his steak by millimetres. Poor Scott was really rattled now. Did I say rattled? I meant to say terrified!!!! LOL!!!! Scott sat cower over his food trying to eat and keep his eyes on the monster scavenger. Said monster tried twice more to make off with Scott's steak. By this stage Scott was ready to go and eat in the car and I was trying desperately to suppress my laughter! It then settled on this pole about 5 meters away within easy striking distance. Scott was totally fed up and had all but lost his appetite so he decided the best course of action was to give the bird the meat. He threw a piece of sausage in his general direction and the monster caught it just as it left Scott's fingers. The mutant then took his piece of sausage to a nearby branch where he was in turn attacked by other birds of varying sizes.

Mr Mutant Kookaburra

Scott still looking around nervously.....

Jordan's Seafood Restaurant, Darling Harbour - 30 November 2008

One thing I didn't mention about our weekend away swimming with the dolphins was our fruitless search for good seafood. We knew that area is famous for it's fishing - there are fishing boats absolutely everywhere. But do you think we could find a decent seafood restaurant? There was Nobby's Seafood & Thai restaurant - a grubby place with faded paintwork & greasy looking plastic tableclothes run by some miserable looking asian people. The seafood on display was wrapped in plastic, frozen & semi submerged in crushed ice - probably so you couldn't see that it was bought from the local supermarket's frozen food section (think I&J's plastic looking hake fillets!). Then there was another place which came highly recommended by the locals - we got our hopes up and entered only to find that it was a greasy takeaway shop - deep fried calamari, deep fried tempura prawns, battered deep fried fish fillet, deep fired crab risoles..... and everything served with deep fried fish. Yuck!!! We were thinking about fresh seafood lightly steamed with a dip of lemon & garlic butter, platter of fresh lemons & a crisp salad. Nope, it doesn't exist in that part of the world!

So when we got back, we said we'd go and treat ourselves to a slap up seafood lunch. We found Jordan's at Darling Harbour - the day after they'd turned on the Christmas lights on the Christmas tree. It was also the day that they had the Christmas parade through the city ending in a shindig at the park behind Darling Harbour.

We ordered the Jordan's delux seafood platter for two....... with a glass of bubbly for me and a mojito for Scott.....

A perfect day in the city

The Jordan's Deluxe Seafood Platter for Two!!! 12 Oysters, mussels, giant prawns, a massive lobster cut in half, fish fillet pieces, crabs, Balmain bugs, calamari steaks....... YUMMY!!!! Everything that needed to be cooked was lightly fried or steamed to perfection. No sickening deep frier in sight (except for the chip basket on top which we didn't touch)! And no baked stuff with too much rich sauce. It was perfect!

Scott with a full tummy in front of the Christmas tree

I thought this was great! It was a lovely day and all the kids were splashing around in the fountains. Wonderful! Lots of squeels of laughter.

Me in the park with the city in the background

This Imperial Stormtrooper must've lost his legion & got hitched!

The Mupersan Christmas Tree

Scott couldn't wait until December to put the Christmas tree up - this was taken on 16 November!!!

Scott's is the furry purple one!

Dinner with Greg & Gail Cunningham - 5 December 2008

One of Scott's teachers at Grey (PE of course!) had moved to Sydney some time back and when we arrived Scott made contact. We tried to get together while we were still in Waroongah but it never really got off the ground - although they live within walking distance of our apartment there. Greg was travelling and we were running around Sydney doing all sorts of other stuff.

But we finally managed to get it together and they came over for a barbie. What a FABULOUS evening. And for those that don't know, Scott's nickname at school was Scooter! LOL!

The rainbow that came out while we were sitting on the balcony. (I spliced the two pics together)

Gail, Greg & Scott

Greg, Scott & Gail (just in case you were confused!)

Deep Creek Reserve - 14 December 2008

I'd been looking at Google maps and had come across a spot called Deep Creek Reserve just around the corner from where we are - about 5 minutes by car towards Narrabeen. We decided to go explore a little.....

This is not a beetle. It's an empty beetle husk. We thought this was kinda interesting.

Then we saw a few more....

Then we looked up and the whole side of the tree was covered in them. Very interesting.... I haven't found out what their story is yet.

The dog walking park at Deep Creek - they also have a dog training club here.

Mupersan forgot his adventuring hat! So we can't really call this one an adventure - just exploring a little.

A little butterfly I found on the way

We came across two rocks like this. One had the German eagle with Dortmund 1937 carved below it - there was other writing but I couldn't make it out. The other rock had the swastika and 1938 carved into it. I haven't been able to find anything on the 'net about this - it'd be interesting to know what the Germans were doing hiding out in Deep Creek Reserve....

Me clambering around on the rock trying to get a better look.

Deep Creek - we saw loads of fish jumping out of the water here - not small either!

On the way back along the walk I spotted this bicycle in the bushes. How it got here is a mystery.... I almost wanted to do a "Bones" and go off hunting for human remains....

Look, there are fish here!

Big rock, little Scott

Big Scott!

Monkey Mandy

This waterfall was beautiful and we had great fun clambering around it

Some other pics which didn't make it to the blog....

Scott relaxing in the hammock

My Orange Jessamine - the flowers have the most wonderful smell!

Well, I think that's about it!

We hope you have a magical Christmas & we'll catch up again in early 2009!



mupersan-1 said...

Like everyone else, I wait in anticipation for the blog to come out with the latest update.Thanks Mands, this was a great one, as always.

andy said...

nice. this is really a public service you guys are doing with all these pics!
is the apartment going to be available after you leave? what's the name of the apartment complex? we might land sometime in feb.

The Mupersans said...

We were only on a 6 month lease which expires on 26 Feb. The idea was for the owner to move in.
Andy who? From where? You can drop me a mail at mupersan1@gmail.com if you like and I'll put you onto the estate agent - maybe the owner doesn't want to move in anymore.