Hello, it has been a while…

Hello, my 2 readers!

I trust you are well in your part of the world!

Apologies for my absence, though I have been writing in other forums / areas to still express myself.

Warning, some dark material ahead, but needed to get this out of my head…

Warning 2, my jokey norm is not in this post…

So, the last 18 months have been a bit shit with my family’s health, not my immediate family (wife and the kids, the only 2 biologically known people to me – story for another day if you didn’t know that)

I will expand further in coming posts, but the headlines are:


My mum has suffered depression all of her life, and it was quite difficult with her growing up and beyond. She really broke down with vascular dementia in the last 18 months and is now in a care facility that suits her needs.

It was a very difficult path, one I am still processing. “You are not my son” still cuts me to my core, as this was an angle she used on me in the past being an adopted kid.

That being said I haven’t seen her as positive since my kids were born. It is wonderful.  She looks genuinely happy to see me. Thank you to Sue, for stepping in, when I could not.


My brother believed he had MND, which he did not.

He dropped 100 tablets at his work but was found in time.

He tried again in the hospital, cutting himself

He was moved to a secure area and monitored.

Got out, tried again.

He heads into a new facility tomorrow.

This guy doesn’t take my calls 98% of the time. I always take his, as it is rare that he reaches out. He has reached out recently.

I want him to stick around.

Thanks for letting me vent.




We’re Off!

November 30, 2017

Tegan has finished year 12, and with great results. Sue and I are so proud of her, and her amazing growth in the past 3 years since changing schools.

As we did with Ryan, we planned an overseas holiday for her over the last 12 months, and her decision was France and Italy, not a bad choice at all!

We left Ryan a craft beer advent calendar

Ryan is holding the fort at home with Charlie, and after he dropped us off around 7:45 PM, we steadied ourselves for the long journey ahead.  Tegan has been ill the last week with a cold and cough, let’s hope she can relax on the plane.

Guard dog Charlie instructed on the security requirements in our absence

The first leg to Abu Dhabi wasn’t pleasant for Tegan, with only around an hour of sleep due to the constant coughing, same for yours truly keeping an ear out for her.

We are a long way from most places in oz

We had a couple of hours stop in transit, then another 8 and a bit hour flight to Paris.  Tegan got really ill on this leg, and we had to use ice to bring down her temperature.  Sue then went out in sympathy with a migraine, as she doesn’t agree with the cabin pressure on the plane at the best of times.

Ready for the first leg

We grabbed our luggage and a taxi to our airbnb in the 2nd arrondissement area of Paris and we finally made it, in just under 30 hours door to door.

Unusual for our experiences with airbnb’s but there wasn’t many supplies, including no toilet paper in the flat which means that I bolt out for supplies with limited French and knowledge of the area, but I managed to muddle my way through.

Sue wasn’t well enough to head out for a brief explore, so she rested while Tegan and I took a late afternoon stroll to the Seine to have a quick look around, as well as spotting the Eiffel tower around the next reach of the river.

Close to where we are staying

Early night all around, ready for a day of exploration tomorrow.

Today’s song of the day is Air – La Femme D’Argent, which is a band that I really like, and this album, Moon Safari, is right up there among my favourites.

Off to Japan to see a mate

Thursday 27th April, 2017

I get to go to Japan, squeeee!!! I got a leave pass from the bride, taking advantage of some cheaper flights available through Jetstar. This would allow me to visit a mate, who is recovering from a horrific accident. The rest of the family got to meet Raul at the end of 2015 in Tokyo – post about visit

Raul was driving back late in the evening when he must have dozed off, and moved into the path of an oncoming truck!

I received a message from Raul’s facebook account, but it was his wife Miho, letting me know what had happened.

We chatted for a while, and Raul wasn’t able to talk as he was intubated, he made signs and passed on messages.


Pretty serious hardware

Raul later still didn’t have much use of his limbs, but was philosophical by saying “After being dead for seven minutes being how I am now is already great”.  Since then he has continued to improve!


The Car

Miho helping the healing process immensely!

The accident didn’t break his sense of humour bone 🙂

We sent a care package containing Aussie treats

I said on one of our calls, that I would see if I can grab some cheap flights when he is able to lift a beer, and toast the unbreakable guy.  So glad I can do that tomorrow!

The flight was Brisbane to Cairns, then on to Osaka, staying at the airport for internal transfer tomorrow.  Looking forward to one or 2 beers with Raul, and seeing a side of Japan that I haven’t seen before, that of a smaller town, set on a surf beach.

Today’s song of the day is New Order – Crystal, which was featured in the film Unbreakable with Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson.

Oh hi there, both of my 2 readers!

April 24, 2017

Thought I better check in, all is well here, so you can stop your emails,  txt’s and letters of concern.  That you were possibly going to write in the coming months.

I have been writing quite a bit, though mostly journaling, ideas for larger subjects and writing for myself.  I did launch a new project which is mostly photos though of the area that we live in, When in Wynnum.

A couple of topics, that randomly have jumped into my head as I type:

  • Our family has a jetski, and it is a lot of fun!;
  • I head to Japan in 2 days to see a good mate, that shouldn’t be with us anymore after a car accident.  He had made an incredible recovery, and the bride gave the green light to celebrate;
  • Child#1 got through his  first year of uni, and added another degree to his maths one;
  • Child#2 going great in year 12, a joy to watch her find her feet, and start sprinting after changing schools a couple of years back;
  • Marathon training for me going to plan (ish)
  • Bride may be starting to run next week (woohoo)
  • My work going really well, it was a shocker 2 years ago with a particular issue threatening to toss in the towel. So glad that we pushed through!
  • The bride and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in January, in Leas Vegas and a cruise to Mexico.  This deserves a separate post, and I have my notes/photos!
  • We just went on a 10 day cruise as a family, with SIL and BIL, and it was fantastic!  Up north to Port Douglas, Cairns and then down to Sydney and in through the heads, wich is why I signed on.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
  • Oh, the bride and I saw spiderbait play at the Tivoli recently, and I think I created 3 new smile wrinkles with how happy I was with the night. The bride even grabbed me a signed poster from their original album launch! 

Today’s song of the day was on when I was starting this post, and the bride walked in and said, is this the Mutton Birds?  It reminds me of London and when we saw the Go Betweens, with the The Mutton Birds supporting. Exactly!!
The Mutton Birds – The Heater

127 days

So I have signed up for my second marathon, July 2 at the Gold Coast. I was feeling that I needed a larger focus for fitness and well being this year, as I had a ho-hum 2016.

I have had a kind offer from a fellow bayside runner to write me a program and coach me towards the event, which is superb!  Michelle is also under Brad’s wing, and runs a very similar pace and plan, so it will be good to not always be running solo, not that bothers me.  I do find it quite meditative now when I run, which past Sean would have never said!



If you are on strava, link up with me here.


Lovely day on the water

Saturday 11 June, 2016

One of the unexpected benefits of joining in with the local Wynnum parkrun, was meeting people of the community that you wouldn’t normally get a chance to chat with.  The common experience of puffing out a 5k on Saturday morning, allows you to go up to someone you don’t know and say “gday, how did you go this morning?” and barriers drop away, and you are conversing with great people.

Why the preamble, when the title says something about boats you ask. Good question!

Well after I got home from parkrun, I had a hankering to get on the water, and I recalled a kind offer from Kurt, that I could borrow his kayak anytime.  I hit him up, and he said no problem, and then added did I want to come boating with a few others?  I didn’t want to be a third wheel, and said as much, but the offer remained if I could be ready by 9:30.  I asked if there was room for Tegan as well (yes there was) and I promptly woke her and asked if she wanted to head out on a boat.  “Will we fish?” were the first bleary words from her.

There were going to be a couple of boats, and John was taking his jetski for a strap as well.  Great crew, should be good fun!



John and Joey with hot beverages in hand

IMG_4321Tegan keen to get out there

Maiden voyage for Mark & Liz’s boat
Heading towards Peel Island, Dolphins were spotted and we backed off the speed, and cruised about spotting a pod feeding on bait fish.


IMG_4333Joey and Tegan spotting for Dolphins


We then headed into Horseshoe Bay, Peel Island.



John took me for a run, and let me have a drive of his wave ski, so much fun, and the speed gets to 80km/h in no time!


Verne took Tegan for blat on John’s ride.


Tegan and Verne when they we both dry


In the drink

Fancy having the video going…


Winter, huh…

We had a feed, chat and pulled anchor to head off.


Heading back to the boat ramp, ready for that snooze the clean, salt air brings on.

no fish today, but there is talk of a next time

An unexpected highlight of the trip, was the slow cruising over shallow sandbanks.  We got to see turtles, stingrays, starfish and a shovel nose ray. No dugongs this time.IMG_4355

Sounder told us dugongs and turtles in the area, go slow




Starting to cool down a little






Such a fantastic day out spent with Tegan and friends. As I write this I am working on how a boat may be in our future, and how to bring that future forward…





Been in the top paddock a little long

Sunday May 23, 2016

So, tomorrow has me starting a 10 week plan “Gut-Reducto” (TM).  It’s a name I just made up then, and is as lame as my current overall fitness.  I have slowly grazed myself back to a point of not being very happy at all, and scales hit rock bottom recently. So time to make some changes…

I now have a bet on with KMac (don’t know if I can publish his name) for $100 for the fastest of us pair at the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon in August.  This will keep me focused on the goal of dropping almost 10kegs.  He is faster, and in better shape, so it won’t be an easy task.

I will post updates from time to time. I ran a half marathon distance this morning to benchmark my progress. Got through it, the body a little stressed at the end.


I will miss you chocolate, ice cream and beer,  not completely, just some strong moderation apllied..

Wish me luck!


Final days in Tokyo

Our final days in Tokyo were revisiting some places we enjoyed on our first leg, as well as visiting some new places.  I am posting this several months after we arrived back home, and on reflection Sue enjoyed the trip more, the linger she is back home.  The boys certainly enjoyed it more than the girls, and your truly cannot wait until going back for a photo tour, just so many opportunities for great shots!


Sue pointing out a koi or playing ‘pull my finger’3W9A4013


No luck winning this guy…
3W9A4025 3W9A4036 3W9A4040 3W9A4046 3W9A4047 3W9A4048


We headed up the skytree on new year’s day, and it was star wars themed!  It was insanely busy!  You lined up, to get allocated a time (several hours later) that you could then head up to the viewing level.



Thanks to Raul, I have come away with a love of all things stormtrooper!IMG_3739 IMG_3747

3W9A4063 3W9A4076 3W9A4079 3W9A4086 3W9A4091 3W9A4141 3W9A4158 3W9A4175 3W9A4178-2 IMG_3698


One of the winnings for Tegan IMG_3715 IMG_3730 IMG_3731



IMG_3760 IMG_3761


The kids won me a prize!  It now sits proudly on my monitor to remind me.



Sue and I watched this fake horse racing / gambling centre, and it was just over the top.  Lots of punters reading up on the form of fake horses before they jump.



Absolutely loved the Yamazaki 12 years, and disappointed in myself that I didn’t buy it at this shop, assuming it would be available at the airport, which it wasn’t or anywhere in Australia since coming back…



Last meal before getting on the plane.  We needed to activate the buzzer by placing it on a specific spot on the table, then the meals were brought out.




Travel day to Tokyo, nothing much to report

Wednesday December 30, 2015

Check out from Nozawa Onsen day, sad faces all round.  We packed, said our goodbyes to Mark and Kerri, who were fantastic hosts, and a very helpful brother and sister team.

One thing we learned and made use of, was the ability to send on 2 of our bags straight to Narita airport to put up on our departure via the ‘black cat’ service. We had overheard some people talking about the service, and we got the low down from Kerri, and sorted what we needed in Tokyo, to that we don’t.  Having 2 less large bags will make a world of difference for us with dragging them on the buses, trains and the Tokyo metro, storing them in small accom, plus on our final day, after checkout, storing them and battling the Tokyo crowds to get to the airport later in the day.

The bus from the village to the JR station was filled to the brim.  I thought we were standing, but extra seats fold out.


My legendary direction fails and shortcuts caught us again, with one wrong turn, I took us on a extended journey to our apartment.

We got in, the girls decided to dig in for the night, so I grabbed them some supplies and Ryan and I then found a great place close by, that you ordered your meals via a ticket machine and took them then to the counter.


IMG_3690 IMG_3691

The crew are exuding a feeling of ready to go home.  Whilst we are not heading off until Sunday night, I think we are ready to get back to the comforts of home.  Don’t get me wrong, we will still be enjoying our days here in Tokyo

Today’s song of the day is Whole Wide World – Sister Jane

Three days on the snow

Sunday – Tuesday, Dec 27-29, 2015

I am combining the days for the last post from Nozawa, as it is fairly much the same routine each day, which is still super fun for us, but you my one reader may not like me coming up with yet another way of saying the word ‘white’ when describing the snow!

The village sure looks prettier as the snow falls!

IMG_3635 IMG_3632

looking out our windowIMG_3636 IMG_3598 IMG_3596 IMG_3597

Time to hit the slopes!IMG_3613

Tegan and I heading to the slopes before our 3rd mountain member can make it out the door.

IMG_3638 IMG_3603

Getting suited up at the ski locker

With not all of the mountain open as yet, there were some queues at times for chairlifts and gondolas.


IMG_3605 IMG_3609 IMG_3630


coming out from popeye’s on the slopes

We stopped to make a snowman along a trail were were skiing, and it is a lot harder than we thought to make one from very powdery snow, but the kids did a great job.




Coming back into the base station

IMG_3662This shot was taken roughly in the same spot as Christmas day photos, one attached below.



Some shots of some of the food we inhaled.


nozawana IMG_3625

I wondered why we weren’t getting served until Ryan spotted thisIMG_3621 IMG_3619
We bought a bag of bacon whilst we were here, but we think whilst it may be bacon’ish, it is pork.  I have no idea of the difference, but it smelt and tasted of a roast 🙂

brown bacon and snow, worst video ever!

Some shots from around town.

3W9A3982 3W9A3980 3W9A3979


IMG_3669 IMG_3670 IMG_3671

getting colder

The onsen / hot springs water flowing through town is where you put your build up of snow.

Today’s song of the day is Alex Lloyd – Snow