Monday, March 19, 2018

Birthdays here and there

We're enjoying a birthday bonanza here (and there) this month .........
Last week there were three reasons to celebrate. There was Sophie's birthday on the 14th ....
With a gorgeous cake made with big sisterly love ......
 It all reminded me of a sisters' picture I'd taken a few years ago (11 to be exact) - they really haven't changed all that much have they (still gorgeous)? 
Judy's birthday was next (on the 15th)...... and then ...... on St Patrick's Day in Melbourne it was time to celebrate James's BIG (ending in a zero!) birthday.

The venue was the Union Club Hotel on Gertrude St in Fitzroy (Offspring territory) - Richmond Tigers territory too!
 The Canberra mob was well represented...
 And all James and Fiona's gorgeous family were there .........
 Bib zero birthdays call for funny speeches from the kids .......................

 James and all the family are the fiercest supporters of the Richmond Tigers!
 Happy birthday dear James!
We had to say goodbye yesterday morning in Fitzroy after a wonderful breakfast together. The pic below is special to me .... probably the last time I will see James and Fiona and their lovely family in Melbourne together for quite a while (they're New Zealand bound!). 
We stayed on in Fitzroy for the weekend, loving being in the centre of this lively, hip and happening part of Melbourne. We headed out to St Kilda Beach yesterday afternoon - drinks at the Stokehouse on the beach and then back to town to enjoy fabulous Japanese food at Ichi Ni Na Na on Brunswick Street. This is a wonderful city!!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Canberra is 105

The annual week long Canberra Balloon Spectacular started Saturday morning, the start of the Canberra Day long weekend (yes it's our city's 105th birthday weekend). We've never been to the launch of the Spectacular before (it's at sunrise!!), but this year we had no excuse as it's only a 20 minute walk from our place.....

We quickly saw how our early start was going to be totally worth it. I've never seen our National Carillon as a gold ingot before.........

 The entry to the Night Noodle Markets looked quite different at sunrise ......
 Great excitement and billowing flames as the balloons are inflated ......
 and lift off .......

 Nothing but blue skies all around (thank you Ella F.)

Unfortunately the prevailing breeze (very slight) took all the balloons away from our view of the lake towards Yarralumla - too quickly - sigh!

It's been a fun Canberra birthday weekend for us with Enlighten, hot air balloons, the French Film Festival Program and last night's Symphony in the Park event (Canberra Symphony Orchestra accompanied by a Queen tribute band doing all the big Freddie Mercury numbers in a free concert  at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park) all walking distance for us (woohoo).

Canberra Enlighten

Canberra Enlighten and the Night Noodle Market were already a week old before we found an opportunity to walk around the lake to the Parliamentary Triangle to join in the fun!

The High Court of Australia looked very pretty from across the lake but still very dignified in amongst the frivolity of Enlighten. 
We liked the entry to the Night Noodle Markets this year with their eye catching temporary overhead walkways. We'd decided to give the food at the market a miss this year - the queues are too long for us!
Our National Library of Australia turns 50 this year but we didn't think the illuminations this year quite did that milestone justice!
Questacon always has a STEM theme happening (of course).
 Old Parliament House's illumination celebrated 75 years of Women in the National Parliament which was a bit ho hum until one of the bright young things from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy started playing the Pauline Hanson rap (I don't like it") on full volume over a very powerful sound system.

The National Portrait Gallery illuminations are always fun......
 And the National Gallery of Australia continues to play it safe - no animation, just pictures from the collection - but I did like this frame!
It's still a thrill for us to be able to walk to all these events around the lake - so close to home. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Abi is 6

Abi had a very extended birthday celebration this year (the best kind). She celebrated with 13 of her very best friends at Inflatable World last weekend and then with a family "do" today.
 She lost her other front tooth yesterday (finally) just in time for a cute, but toothless birthday smile!

 Ella is the family cake maker these days. This beauty was gf and had yummy lemon buttercream icing - cooked in Granny K's Bundt tin - very fancy - and moist and delicious!
 This pic below was of Ella around about her 6th birthday - with front teeth well on their way!
During the week we headed out to Murrumbateman for sunset in the vineyard.
 Jennie and Wayne's vineyard was hit by a devastating hailstorm early this year - at just the wrong time in the growing cycle. The majority of the crop this year is damaged. They are trying to keep the birds scared off what remains before picking next week.
 Like farmers everywhere they take the good with the bad and remain strong!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Another lobster lunch

While our Canberra was deluged with a month's worth of rain in a little over an hour yesterday, we headed south, over Clyde Mountain, to beautiful (and rain soaked) Rosedale for our annual lobster lunch .......

This is what a lot of (North) Canberra looked like yesterday not long after we left .....
 .. but beautiful, fresh, in season, South Coast lobsters (Finer Foods Bateman's Bay) wait for no man (or woman) ..... (Thank you for the pic Judy L)
We were on our own again this year (the 12th year of lobster lunches we think! see here, here, here, here, here, #here, here, here, and here) - our "Slick" caterers Jane and Louise have closed their gourmet business and nothing will persuade them to do it all again for us... sigh!
Fiona and James made the trek from Melbourne for this. They were in charge of first course oysters (Bernie's at Bateman's Bay).
 We had to set up inside the beach house this year, due to the rain. Jennie and Wayne are missing this year (the siren call of the crows in the vineyard) and it's not the same without them!
 Maxie's grilled peach salad was devine (Love Yotam!!), a perfect pairing with the lobster (best ever lobster we think) ....(Thank you for the pic Fiona)

 And another Yotam O. salad: "Tomato Party"
 It was this special lady's birthday today - how lucky we were to share it with her. Judy's spectacular surprise dessert inspired us all - the deconstructed Bombe with mango and passionfruit!!
 Thankfully the parrots were prepared to brave the showers and front up for their feed after our lunch was done (but not the kookaburras today).....

Thank you Judy and Jurgen for hosting these wonderful lobster lunches - you've been doing this at least 12 years for us, inspiring us to appreciate food and friendship and your very special Rosedale location to a whole new level...... always unforgettable!