Sunday, 31 December 2006

Last post for 2006 !

Well, who would have thought that we would be at the end of another year and nearly 7 years in Australia - where has the time gone to and how come I feel like it left me behind ??????

Yes, another year nearly gone and we are all still around and fighting fit. We had a lovely quiet Christmas period. It was great having Christmas and Boxing Day on Monday and Tuesday as it meant a little extra time to get things organised. We spent Friday night with some friends from work at their home in Wongawallan (about 10 mins away from school) - it was very strange as we were sitting there in jeans and jumpers and had a fire going - very strange weather for 22nd December !!!! While we were there I got to talking with one of the Mom's from school as well as one of the ladies who works at school with me and the lady from school has agreed to do a tri-athlon with me - she is going to run, there is another lady at school whom we think we can talk into doing the swim leg and I will do the cycling leg - should be great fun. As they both turned 50 this year, I will be the spring chicken in the team - hope I can hold my leg up OK !!!!

Anyway, after doing all my grocery shopping on Friday, I didn't have much to do on the weekend except the preparation of food for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Mom and Dad came over for dinner on Christmas Eve and then we phoned them when we woke up on Christmas Day and they came over and opened presents and had breakfast before going home. Kevin and Tanya popped on during the morning while we were busy cleaning the pool. We had a lovely Christmas lunch / dinner with Danny, Heather, the boys and David's girl-friend Lucy, Judith (H's Mom) and Fiona (H's sister) and her family - it was a great day although quiet. On Boxing Day Kaitlin had to work but then we had my folks over for dinner for Dad's birthday.

Since then we have been pottering around at home - watched some cricket (we thrashed the Poms AGAIN !!!) - went up to DFO (the factory outlet shops near the Brisbane airport) where we shopped until we dropped and then spent some more time pottering around the house. My Dad came over today to help patch a hole in the solar heating pipes on the roof (I'm too much of a wuss to get up on the roof) and I sanded and painted our swing chair - now that we have the bigger patio area, it can be under shelter all the time and it was looking decidedly worse for wear. I now need to get some new foam cut and ask my Mom if she will cover them for us. We recently bought some wood from a teacher who is moving to Townsville and doesn't want to take it with him and so now Al and my Dad are busy planning the pub they are going to build in the new patio - it will be good when it is finished - I just wish we were closer to finishing than what we actually are !!!!! The glare off the concrete when the sun shines is just awful - there were stages today when I was painting when I couldn't see a thing - am hoping that it isn't too bad when I look at it tomorrow before the sun gets too high and is all glarey again !!!!

Kaitlin has been getting quite a few extra shifts these holidays which is good because it keeps her out of mischief and keeps the money rolling in (for her anyway!!!!). I can't believe that she is going into Year Ten in a couple of weeks time - who would have thought that time would go by so quickly and our little baby would have grown into a lovely young lady ????

I am going to see if I can load a few pictures of the renovations (won't load any of Al's leg as I know that some people have weak stomachs and it really isn't all the nice to look at ! Having said that I have definitely got used to it and, while I won't clean it, I have no problem looking at it.) If you haven't seen any photos and would like to see some, drop me a line and I will mail them to you.

Mom and Dad came over for a braai (commonly known as a BBQ over here) tonight and then we went up to Paradise Point to see the fireworks - they have such a good display there and probably the best we have seen outside of Disney World.

Otherwise, I hope you all have a VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS 2007 !! Take care if you are travelling or out on the road and go safely.

PS - have spent ages trying to upload photos - no luck. Our new month for broadband starts tomorrow so hopefully I will be more successful then.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Update before Christmas

Well, thought I would hop on the computer quickly before getting ready to go out to dinner.

Things are going well with all of us - Al was a TV star this week. Last week when we went to see his surgeon on Brisbane, the surgoen asked Al if he would come in this week as he is busy with a research paper on the vibrating plate which Al stands on for 20 mins per day (this is supposed to speed up the bone regrowth process). Al said yes OK. Then he got a call the day before to ask if he was all ready for tomorrow - Al said - yes why ? Oh, because the local TV station and newspapers are going to be there !!!!! Well he wasn't keen on that idea but it was too late for him to pull out - we went up and they took heaps of photos and did an interview both with him and the surgeon and he was on TV later that night. Now I can see how they can cut what people say to suit themselves - he spoke for ages and they probably showed about 5 sentences ! The rest of the time you saw him on his crutches and the dr examining his leg and making (fake) adjustments to the frame. Anyway, it is all over now but we did land up at the dr's this afternoon as it is now looking infected again so he is back on the anti-biotics to make sure that the infection doesn't get into the bone.

I am happy to say that my Christmas shopping is all done - just a couple of groceries to get closer to the time and that is that.

Kaitlin has been working some extra shifts at work now that she is on holiday - she has also spent some time with my folks and lots of time putting up the Christmas decorations and the tree (and then changing them around again, and again, and again !!!) Last night she stayed with my folks as we went to Al's Christmas drinks at a night club in Surfers - it was amazing to watch the people out and about - how they were dressed, how they behaved and boy was that music loud !!!! We were very pleased when a respectable amount of time had passed and we could come home - geez we are getting old !!! It was funny because we landed up sitting with another (older ?) couple and we were laughing at exactly the same things and thinking pretty much along the same lines as each other. They are a lovely couple although we only ever catch up with them at the Christmas parties each year - we battle to find time to stay in touch with our close friends and much as I would like to stay in contact during the year, we just never seem to find the time. I guess we would make the time if we really wanted to - maybe we can invite them to our "Entertainment Area Warming" when we eventually get that all finished.

The concreter was here last week - he has done a fantastic job with the concreting. The tiler was really impressed and said he wished that all the jobs he had to do on concrete were as good as this is - that is good as it means we will get a great finish when he is done. He thinks he should be able to do the pavers around about Feb / Mar which will be good as Al should be a lot more mobile by then and we can really get stuck into the garden then. I can't tell you how many times I wished we could go somewhere to get a piccanin to come and help with the manual labour in the yard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The third Ashes test is on now - think we are going to win them (the Ashes) back from the Poms this series (well I would be very disappointed in the boys if we lost it from the position that we are in at the moment !) as we are 2-0 up already.

Other than that - not much else in the way of news. It has been really quite muggy here the last couple of days (well muggy for here - not anything like Durban used to be) - we had a huge electrical storm last night and some rain which was great as it has been so dry here over the past few months.

I hope that you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and wish you everything you wish for yourselves in 2007 !!!

Take care and go safely if you are travelling over the holiday period.

Saturday, 2 December 2006

The reason for this blog

Hi Everyone

In future, this is how I will be updating everyone with the news of what we have been up to. Please feel free to hop on and have a read and leave any comments if you have the time (and the inclination !) I will also try to post more photos through this blog rather than e-mailing them and taking up your download space.

Al's leg is coming along very well now. All adjustments have stopped and it is just a case of him starting to walk on his leg. He is sort of walking with the use of both crutches but the quicker he gets off them, the better. He is back at work so most nights spends the evening with his foot up as it is still very swollen at the end of the day even though he has it up at work - it just isn't up high enough. But, the surgoen is very pleased with the way the operation went - the last time we went to see him, he had to move Al's foot back to 12 o'clock (it had been at about 2 o'clock and he had moved it too far around to 11 o'clock) - he also had to shorten it by 20mm as he had lengthened it just a little too much (actually probably quite a bit too much as we had only been adjusting by 1-2mm every 1-2 days !) but it is all good now. Kaitlin is still doing a great job cleaning it every day - she has been an absolute star with this whole thing. I know that I couldn't have done it although I am starting to get used to it and my stomach doesn't turn like it did at the beginning when he first had the operation.

K has done extremely well at school again this year - we are very proud parents !!! She was awarded academic honours in both semesters this year and has received a host of sporting trophies - she continues to give of her very best and I am happy that she is receiving the recognition for her hard work.

K has a part time job at Bakers Delight. I'm not sure that she actually likes going to work but she does like getting paid !!!! At first she worked the 9-5 shift on Sundays - she now works 4-9pm on Thursdays as well as a morning or afternoon shift on Satudays. The couple who own the franchise are very good to their staff and every 6 weeks or so take them out to Mcdonald's for dinner and to discuss their achievements and new products etc. Tomorrow night they are taking them to Sizzler Restaurant and then to play putt-putt - I'm sure that they will have a great time.

We are going to be spending Christmas with Danny and Heather. We normally have a very casual Christmas and this year is going to be no different - it is too hot here to do anything else. I think more time is spent inside in the air conditioning than outside in the pool as it is just too hot. Father Christmas is very poor this year - after having about half the renovations done (with the balance to be completed in the new year) there isn't too much money left for anything else. We are also saving up for a big holiday next year but will have to see how the rest of the renovations go as well as the rehabilitation of Al's leg - but will keep you posted on that front as the year progresses.

As I said before - please feel free to leave a comment or let me know that you have popped by to have a read. Take care everyone and go safely !!!!