Sunday, June 22, 2008

A case of it not happening

We didn't get to beautiful Sandy Beach this week to help celebrate R's 50th birthday. My four day reunion long weekend in Sydney with my art teacher pals, Tania and Jane, didn't come off either. Jane became quite sick and voted wisely to stay in Brisbane to recover.

To compensate Rob & I indulged ourselves yesterday with a long visit to the beautiful Great Sandy Desert land claim exhibition at the National Museum and then to the movies: Unfinished Sky. We loved this intriguing and thoughtful film, making us curious about the Dutch made Polish Wife film on which it was based. Evil and good men in an ominous landscape: it made me wonder how they made a Dutch landscape look ominous....neat patchwork fields, lots of tulips and windmills....hmmmm.

We got some quality time in with Miss Ella today. She did a post mortem on my handbag and then helped us set out the markers for the paved path we are planning for J&J & Miss E's backyard. She was 13 months old yesterday and it was our winter solstice today. Great weather for wearing your favourite beanie.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Afternoon Tea

One of our favourite things is to "do afternoon tea". The two birthday girls make great companions as they don't mind dressing up and spending the afternoon being sociable.

Maddie's favourite was scones and cream.

While Sophie was drawn to anything with a strawberry in it. Luckily the Saturday afternoon Hyatt buffet included a range of strawberry based delights. The girls were very strategic in their timing at the buffet and kept notes on how many times certain guests returned to it (and the effect on their waistlines).

We did a lot of talking about our favourite topics: food, school, exams, music, Maggie the dog, our fave films and TV shows, certain house guest's habits, travel and jewellery.

Our favourite girl came over for afternoon tea today. Despite her obvious enjoyment of my fresh batch of date, banana and orange muffins and bio dynamic yoghurt we saw her frown (for the first time) a few times as the afternoon wore on. I think she knew her Mummy & Daddy's week long holiday was coming to an end.

Despite this we still saw plenty of smiles. Miss E seems to be aware of a lot of what we are saying now, vigorously nodding in agreement or shaking her head in disagreement at all the appropriate times and able to point to things (especially body parts) accurately when required.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Three states, three cities in three days

We squeezed a lot into the long weekend for QE2's birthday: to Sydney overnight on Friday; to Brisbane with Bobbie on Saturday morning; time to gape in wonder at the extreme Asian makeover in Sunnybank, including some great eateries with a distinct HK feel in Market Square; more gaping as we drove through the distinctly Africanised Moorooka on Sunday morning to catch up with Joel L. at the now remarkably gentrified Bardon.

We caught up with all J.'s good news and successes over a long breakfast on the verandah of the very mellow Paddington Flowers and Cafe on Latrobe Terrace. Nobody will be surprised at where this very talented young man will end up!

We got back to Sunnybank in time to spruce up for the late afternoon wedding. I took this shot of Rob and his mum in the garden of Bobbie's unit at Sunnybank. It is a big relief for us to see her in this relaxed environment where there are so few hassles for her.

Cate and Philip's wedding was at the very pretty Hornibrook Park at Teneriffe. Briefly catching up with my fried Meg C-R just before the ceremony started was an added bonus for me. Meg C-R was making a brief escape, with husband Steve, from the rigours of marking year 11 essays.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with all our P. family, including our nephew Matt and the beautiful Mel.

Matt was the wedding MC and had to hurry around a lot getting things underway - especially important when the three sisters in the bridal party were half an hour late.

But their entrance made the wait worthwhile. This is the only young woman I know who can successfully navigate her Commerce Law exams and those killer stilettos, all in the same weekend.

The park setting beside the Brisbane River was a beautiful backdrop to Cate and Philip's relaxed and happy ceremony.

Rob and I were struck by how alike Bec and Joanne are getting. They both have sparky personalities and a wicked sense of humour-great party girls and stars of the dance floor (although minus the shoes by the end of the night).

May we present Mr and Mrs A.....

Then followed a very happy reception at the adjacent Aqua Linea Restaurant. The champagne started flowing as the ceremony ended and Cate's careful planning ensured the 3 course French inspired menu was thoughtfully balanced and beautifully prepared. Philip's brother, the chef, prepared handmade truffles for all the guests as a special little gift. The Brisbaneites found the evening cool, but we didn't.

Weddings provide great opportunities for far flung family shots. There aren't many opportunities for these 5 siblings to gather in the one place at the one time any more with Clare in Sydney, Cate in Melbourne and Joanne leaving for London next week. Dad Col is away a lot too, in PNG, helping to build the telecommunications infrastructure for Oilsearch for their huge gas operation in the NW highlands.

Rob managed to take this shot of the other stars of the dance floor when Bec and Joanne had temporarily left the scene.

We were back in Sydney Monday afternoon after sharing a crowded and much delayed flight from Brisbane with the George Negus clan. We had time to catch up with Miss E and J&J at Coogee before collecting our car for the drive back to Canberra. Miss E was looking devine in her new Esprit gear and LOVING the Sydney eats scene having lunched at Cabramatta, Japanese at the Coccola, Randwick and Persian at Darban, Auburn in just the last 3 days!
The best part for her though is having her two most favourite people around 24/7 for the next week.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

More shu shu

We had another excuse to buy more Shu Shu from the Paddo Markets yesterday as we all prepare for the arrival of Sydney Clare's bub in July. We celebrated over a breakfast Tagine with Sydney Clare, friend Liz and baby Flora at Kasbah on Darling this morning, picking up more pastries from Adriano Zumbo to share with Canberra Claire & family this afternoon for Jeremy's birthday.

We took advantage of warm and wonderful weather in Sydney yesterday, enjoying a long, leisurely picnic lunch in the sun at Balmoral Beach after showing Bobbie her Rodd family heritage at various points (and an island) off Five Dock.

I am reading my Brett Whiteley biography again (written by his sister Frannie Hopkirk) and am taking much more notice of all the lower North shore reference points throughout the text. We'll be exploring Lucretia Ave. Longueville next time we're in Sydney. We passed Longueville on our right driving from Five Dock to Mosman.

I had an exciting week last week: Public Education Week which I formally launched on Thursday in Civic, followed by a big dinner at the National Press Club on Thursday night. I was positioned next to the local leader of the Liberal opposition, Zed Zjelsa (spelling?) over dinner, which was interesting.