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Archive for the ‘Home and Hearth’ Category


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So how did the schedule go?

Well we arrived at the Maritime Museum in plenty of time. Joined as members, which was only $20 more than the entry fee so we now have a years access available if we want it.

The intention was to go to the Wet World exhibit but we ended up spending the entire morning looking around ships! We looked through the Vampire (submarine) and the reconstruction of Captain Cook’s ship, Endeavour and that was the morning gone!

After a visit to the Members Lounge, we went off to meet the wife for lunch – which was *very* pleasant! – then drifted over to the Powerhouse Musem for a gander at the new Star Wars exhibition (hard to believe the first movie was released over 30 years ago!!) and then collapsed in *their* Members Lounge until the wife called to say she was on her way to meet us.

So. No chaos for a change, but it was really hot which slowed us up dramatically, and for the first time I was glad of a Family Pass on the Monorail! I’d never have lasted if we’d tried to walk across the harbour foreshore four or five times! 🙂

Going back again next week!!

Written by welshdog

January 8, 2009 at 7:47 am

Posted in Home and Hearth

Tomorrow's Schedule

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Tomorrow is set to be ‘interesting’. The youngest is going to an ice-skating lesson at 5:45 a.m. so I’m going to drag both kids over and then ‘make a day of it’ afterwards.

There is an ‘event’ called Wet World which is aimed at 3 – 9 year old kids… but mine want to go see it and will pile in just the same I expect (if they can). And also there’s a Dugong exhibition at Sydney Aquarium which I’d like to see.

If we can combine this with a lunch-time meeting with the wife, the day will be pretty good for me as well. If we collect her to bring her haome as well, I’ll be happy enough.

So – that’s the plan. The reality will, no doubt, be hit by the jinx and chaos that surrounds us but I’ll report back… assuming we survive! 🙂

Written by welshdog

January 6, 2009 at 8:08 am

And so this is Christmas…

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And so this is Christmas, and what have we done?

Well today we spent the entire day outside Woolworth’s running a BBQ with other parents raising money for our Senior Guides to go to the International Jamboree in Melbourne 2010. It might seem a bit early to start fundraising for a specific event, but with out any direct sponsorship each girl will have to raise around $1,500 each to get there (and back!).

Some of the girls attempted to start a ‘sing-in’  as we’d taken along our electronic keyboard and the eldest had taken her flute, but there wasn’t a lot of support in terms of their willingness to be embarrassed singing Christmas Carols in public, so it pretty much died out quickly. Nevertheless, the ‘Appeal Tub’ which I took along and placed next to the girls managed to raise $150 so they did very well all in all.

In total though, I wouldn’t say we had a ‘stormer’ of a day despite it being so close to Xmas but we estimated making around $500 profit from teh BBQ itself which is a fair start towards our total. I’ve been trying to organise a ‘regular date’ for us to go there on alternate Saturdays. If we manage to pull this off we’d almost be laughing. We could expect to make *at least* $250 each time, which would give us in the region of $6,000 ‘Appeal Cash’ over the year! This would mean those girls and parents that participated could expect a huge subsidy for their expenses which of course is the carrot we are using to get them to participate!

Of course we *do* understand this takes a *lot* of work and of course a high cost in time for the parents. Obviously not all parents and not all girls can make it to each event and we’d somehow have to make the decision about which girls would be subsidised, and in what proportions! Still, these are questions for the future. Right now we have to get the regular berth… and I might get started on that before Xmas by ringing next week and just asking how!

Either way, today we did good. All the parents who turned up seemed pleased they’d participated. Everyone was tired, but we all agreed we’d had a laugh and we’d do it again. It could have been worse. 😀

Written by welshdog

December 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm

A nice side of Christmas!

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Yesterday the eldest daughter and some friends decided they would try to raise some money for ther trip to Melbourne in 2010 to attend an International Girl Guides Jamboree. The method the chose was *busking* at the local town centre!

Despite not having rehearsed much off the went. You can see how pleased they were with themselves even after playing for nearly four hours on and off. They didn’t raise a lot of money it’s true (around $100 between them), but they had a really good time and were still laughing as they went off home. I thought I’d share a picture of them taken just after they’d finished.

The Curly Bugs

The Curly Bugs

Written by welshdog

December 19, 2008 at 8:40 am

So much could be said…

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There’s so much that could be said but through my brother, my father has requested not. Cryptic or not, so long as some of us know what I’m on about that’ll do.

Just wanted to say thanks… and well done… to my brother.

I’ve been feeling the tears welling up for the past hour or so and there’s no sign of controlling the emotion yet.

Maybe I’ll write an oblique post on the memories, but for now… just thanks.

Written by welshdog

December 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Home and Hearth

Halcyon Days – again?

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Yet again the name of that idiot Garry Houghton, owner of the landscaping company with the laughable name of ‘Halcyon Days’, has popped up because of his shoddy slap-dash approach to his responsibilities.

Despite the incredible problems we had with him, despite having the local Fair Trading people finding against him in our dispute, despite his shoddy work *still* not being fixed… and despite us having to pay him off to scrape him off our shoes… he still manages to annoy.

Five years after he stopped working here (I won’t say ‘finished’ because of the appalling mess he left) we had a letter from the council telling us he had never gone back to collect the Development Application from them! Apparently they now have reason to believe “work may have proceeded on the project”. Seriously – after all this time ‘Halcyon Days’ still performs more like ‘Hades Days’.

We’re been informed that “work should not have proceeded until the Development Application/Construction Certificate and approved plans have been released from Council”.

Can you believe the sheer unprofessionalism of an ex-travelling salesman who claimed to be an expert in his field?? How the hell this guy is still in business beats me. Knowing what I know now I wouldn’t allow him to dig me a hole in the ground… even if he paid me to let him!

So, somehow we have to sort out yet another of the messes he left us with. Garry Houghton…. Halcyon Days… remember those names… what more can I say??

By the way, if anyone would like to come round to investigate the quality of his ‘craftsmanship’… feel free.

Hopefully you’ll do it *before* you sign a contract… !!!!

Written by welshdog

November 27, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Too much reading is bad for you!

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With my cold finally in retreat I’ve been feeling a lot better so was intending to nip up to the Guide Hut today to mow the grass and get ready for the District Camp Fire which is on tomorrow evening.

Instead I spent a lot of the day finishing off re-reading a series of books I’ve already read once… ‘Inheritance’ by Christopher Paolini. The three books released so far are in some ways a mixture of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter at least as far as some of the themes are concerned.

The books aren’t as well written as LoR and perhaps don’t ‘engage’ the reader in alternate possibilities the way that the Potter series do, yet they are quite satisfyingly complete for all that.

The problem is that I have so much work to do that I really didn’t have time to spare. I have a mountain of housework to do as well as the Girl Guide support stuff. And of course Xmas is on the way so the kids want me to give them some assistance in getting the decorations up!

Tomorrow will be a very busy day as I try to get a weeks work done in 8 hours.

Still, it’s nice not to be spending all day sneezing so things could be worse.

Written by welshdog

November 27, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Xmas is coming

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You probably are aware that Xmas will be here in just a few short weeks… if not you must be living under a rock! So are we ready? No we are not.

As usual all is chaos here. Financially we’re trying to assess the damage the recession is having on our outgoings and come to terms with the hugely increased outgoings… whilst still trying recover from the expense of last year, so are trying to ‘budget’ yet find enough to buy the kids something useful as presents… and of course in the middle of it I have yet another cold!

Lovely stuff.

At least this year I have the lights and decorations of the garage and into the house which (I hope) will give us time to get them up and give the house the appearance of Xmas spirit even if right now I don’t have much of it myself! 🙂

The daughters came back from Guide Camp last night and put the tree up in the lounge area and are waiting for me to find the tree lights to let them get into dressing it.

We have two other trees to erect as well. One for the upper back room (what was the computer room) and the ‘dining room’ which was the parents room while they were here.  Once the three trees are up it will brighten the place and might even drag this miserable old git into some sort of action and get me out putting the lights up in the garden!

Written by welshdog

November 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

Posted in Home and Hearth

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They're coming!!

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We’re a scruffy bunch here sometimes. For example, I like a bit of ‘wildness’ in the garden and so apart from throwing handfuls of slug pellets out now and then I tend not to do much in the way of pest control. Likewise I do *very* little pruning in some areas.

Once such area is the far right of the property (as you view from the street). Over the past 9 years the vegetation has grown slowly and now forms what, to my mind at least is quite an attractive little area, as you might agree from the photo.

Naturally it look better in real life, and in a larger photo come to that, but I hope this gives you an idea anyway.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well as you can tell from the photo, the far end of the garden has formed a natural arch which does rather cause difficulties for anyone trying to walk along this side of the road. This state of affairs is soon to be resolved however because the local council has taken it upon them selves to ‘prune’ all the trees on the estate to make it ‘safer for pedestrians and improves vehicular access’.

In other words they are about to hack our beautiful little ‘wild area’ to pieces.

I’ve taken this photo and a few others to remind me what it looked like before the butchers have had their evil way with the vegetation and I’ll publish a few ‘before and after shots’ so you can see if it *is* an improvement… or if it truly *has* ruined what I thought was a very pretty little corner.

Written by welshdog

November 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Artec, Artec, all fall down

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So, the Strimmer (whipper snipper, brush cutter… whatever) is in for repair. At the back of the garage buried under tons of junk is… wait for it… a *spare* Strimmer. This is an electric thing made by Arlec Industries that I’d bought when the last one we had (a Ryobi) gave up the ghost. It was so wonderful to use that within a week I’d persuaded the wife to let me buy a new petrol drive thing before I went insane and tried to make it of some use by hitting the grass with it, cos it sure wasn’t going to cut it the normal way!!!

Well desperate times require desperate measures so yesterday I made a start clearing out the junk and drove a way through to claim my prize. By then I was so shattered I decided to wait until today to try again to make it function as intended… assuming it isn’t *intended* to cause apoplexy I suppose?? Hmmm ???

Anyway, we went to the hoispital this morning for the wife to have a checkup after her operation the other week and the report was all clear – which was good – so this afternoon I began working out how to make the damn thing work.

The first couple of tries weren’t particularly successful. Twice the machine used up 3 metres of plastic line in the space of 40 seconds and perhaps 3 feet of lawn edge. The last try wasn’t a particular ‘success’ either but it did at least manage to hold itself together until I’d tidied up the edges around the tiny lawn at the back of the house. It’s still nowhere near as good as the one in for repair… and *that* is all bar useless compared to the old Ryobi… but short of spending somewhere between $350 and $750 on a new one it will just have to do.

Currently I’m having a 10 minute break before heading off to do battle with the edges of the lawns at the front of the house. Now I *know* these will be harder because the pieces of ‘lawn’ out front are supposed to be ‘neat and tidy’ whereas the lawn  around back look like a moth chewed carpet to begin with so who gives a rats anyway what the edges look like?

Wish me luck… I am *so* going to need it!!

After an hour’s solid work I actually managed to get the front finished, and what’s more, did it before dark!!! The strimmer was a pain… I had to fiddle with the ‘string’ a dozen times before it was done… and decided not to even attempt to cut the clean vertical edges I usually do, but settled for cutting it back at an angle which looks ‘tidy’ but didn’t overstress the limited capabilities of the machine.

So, it’s done and will remain ‘done’ until I get the petrol driven strimmer back. The electric one will again vanish into the epths of the garage until it’s needed next time which I hope won’t be for another ten years!!!!

Written by welshdog

November 3, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Home and Hearth

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