Harry snow trip day 1 – Journey to Queanbeyan

Saturday August 23, 2014

Well I decided to dust of the blog again, to record some of the going ons of the annual Harry trip. Harry comes from a youtube video of Harry the hamster that did the rounds on one of the early trips.

This year, I was a very late starter, like a few weeks before the trip, and once the to and fro of whether there was a spot, should we get an additional unit, what is the cost impact of the existing crew was determined to be acceptable to some of the elders on the tour, I had a green light.  Nigel also had a late start at the same time.

Most years when I am at the snow, I arrange flowers to be delivered to Sue’s work, but rather than be too overly predictable, I grabbed them beforehand this year.  It is the absolute least I can do to get away, and leave the family run arounds that is left behind…

Before heading off to the airport, there was still kids sport to attend.  Tegan’s netball was cancelled early because of the rain, but Rugby is never cancelled … Sloshing around in the wet looked a lot of fun, and as strange as it may seem, I totally love being under an umbrella watching either of the kids play.



not too dirty…

Gilly kindly provided the pickup at 12:30 and we headed to the airport to catchup with the 10 of us who were heading from Brisbane.  I met 3 of the 4 uninitiated Harry tour members, as we had a beer or 2 (at airport / snow prices) and discussed tales of tours past.


 IMG_1857Gilly and I, toasting the trip

 It was a nice uneventful flight, well except for when Nigel spotted that someone had moved seat so he would pilfer there snack box as they didn’t need it anymore.  Then she came back, and must have wondered where her half eaten snackbox had gone…


Kim arranged new digs, for the overnight in Queanbeyan.  Traditionally we have always travelled on the Sunday morning from Brisbane, and not getting to the snow until quite late, sometimes without even getting on the snow, and then on the last day (Friday) travelling to Queanbeyan to stay Friday night, and the then travel out Saturday.  This year has a new, improved plan.  Stay in Q Friday night (no spirits policy enforced though), for early get away to the snow in the morning.  Friday travel from the snow to CBR airport and home, is also great.  Get home for Saturday kids sport!





We had quite a lot of beer left over last year, that Bruce dropped a carton to his cousin’s house last year (in Canberra), who then dropped said carton to the motel waiting for us as well…

We headed to the local leagues club to watch the Bledisloe cup game.  We led in the first couple of minutes 3-0, and that is the last I will report on the game…


to the leagues club, follow the rainbow


Stupid rugby game…

Nine of us decided to go to an indian restaurant we passed on the way to the club for dinner.  When the time came, there were only 4 takers, which may be why the restaurant pad us back by taking an insane amount of time for our meals to come out…

An early’ish night to bank some sleep, though the crew upstairs sounded like they may have settled in for a session.

Song of the day:  Queanbeyan isn’t quite in the middle of no where, but our motel is close to it  Hot Hot Heat – Middle Of Nowhere 

Been away from the blogosphere

Hello there sole reader 🙂

I have started many a post, but they are always so long and epic, that I decided that I can just post short posts if I like.  I remembered that the reason for this thing, was for R&T to read off in the future to see what was going on at the time.

So, boy am I glad it is 2014.  2013 was hard. Very Hard work all round, but things are looking on the up, which has taken longer to build momentum.  In the main, I am talking about the setup of the new business, but it has bled into other areas, one of which being fitness.

My fitness has slid since the half marathon last year, and in a moment of delirium around Christmas, I decided that I am training for the full marathon in July.  20km’s this morning in humid windy conditions was trying!

A pic I grabbed of the Daily Runner group on our volunteer day at park run below.

DR volunteers at park run
DR volunteers at park run

Anyhow, be ready to see more of my posts here, so much to catch up on.

Song of the day comes off my current long run playlist Arcade Fire – Reflektor which is 7.5 minutes of goodness, and a great tempo for running awkwardly.

B- for goal tracking

Wednesday 22 August, 2012

At the start of the year, I wrote a post about my goals for the year.  Every other week I review them, and ensure I am on track.

In most areas I am tracking well or at least have activities underway to get on track.  I have marked myself a B- overall, with A’s in some areas, and a D in one…

The area that has lapsed is my fitness and health goals.  I won’t be hitting anywhere near my goal k’s for my bike riding this year, and I had been grazing a little too long in the back paddock, and have undone some of my good work last year.

Nothing like the scales to shock you, and an acquaintance to comment after my recipe discussion with him, “So that’s why you are putting on weight” whilst patting my belly, to get me moving again.

So it’s back to logging everything in MyFitnessPal and at the gym whenever I can.  I am now 3rd week in, and starting to trend back to where I need to be.

Day 316 - iPhone 4

Fitness Apps in high rotation on the iPhone again

I am off to the snow next week, and I am hoping for a net neutral week with lots of food and drink to be offset with high energy skiing.

Today’s song of the day is one from my playlist of “up” songs to get me moving at the gym – Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio


Thursday June 7, 2012

Ok, firstly a tip of the hat to Jane Kennedy, whose cookbooks adorn my collection and I love her recipes.  Along with being good for you, they are also very tasty.  Jane coined the term Piemakins as a pie served up in a ramiken, in her case, with a blitzed cauli top.

Jane’s books are superb!

Tuesdays and Thursday are busy nights with football training and Ryan not getting in until 7:30, so to find a meal that can have split times often falls back to omelette’s, toasted sangers and the like.  Well I had a thought yesterday morning on the bike (as I was trying to build up to a 50 km ride event in a fortnight, and not too successfully when you head off without your water bottle, but I digress…).  What if I slow cooked some braised food through the day, with enough left over for piemakins tomorrow night.  It must have been a great idea, as I got a wobble up on the bike, and a retired gent walking on his zimmer frame, passing me on the right, managed to settle my balance.

So last nights dinner was a success with the crew, and with the ingredients in the bank fridge, I was confident with our usual Thursday dinner dilemma.

First batch ready to go.  I had the pumpkin carrot mash top to try and be good.

A couple of behind the scenes shot, I decided to get a flash out and off the camera to get some shots

Second batch at the ready

Oven getting ready, with our beloved tea towel souvenir  from Disneyland

Tegan’s ready to go

I decided to make some sizzler toast as a side

Song of the day:  I made a new gym playlist this morning and I put some heavier stuff on it to help with heavier weights.  The logic sounded right at the time, when I thought of it.  So enjoy some Spiderbait – Monty.  A great Australian band, and I own a most of their catalogue.  Sarah Blasko coming on after this song in random order somehow worked as well… 🙂

Brisbane Comedy Festival

Saturday March 24, 2012

Well last night the bride and I, completed our 4 Friday nights of comedy.  After our trip to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) last year, we both wanted to see more comedy shows.

Image courtesy of BCF website

The Brisbane Comedy Festival (BCF) plays all of it’s shows at the Powerhouse, which is a superb venue. The BCF doesn’t have the depth of the MICF, but there were still some great acts visiting.  Some of the  acts:

Charlie Pickering, Damien Power, Dave Thornton, David O’Doherty, Die Roten Punkte, Frank Woodley, Greg Sullivan, Hannah Gadsby, Jason Byrne, Josh Earl, Kat Davidson, Lindsay Webb, Mark Watson, Sam Simmons, Sarah Kendall, Stephen K Amos, Tom Ballard, Tom Gleeson, Tom Green, Tommy Dassalo, Tripod, and Wil Anderson.

After some individually shortlisting our acts and negotiation tactics of nice meals being served up to the bride, we decided on 4 acts, each on a Friday night.

– Tripod

– Jason Byrne (we saw at MICF)

– Stephen K Amos

– Sam Simmons (we saw at MICF)

They were all lots of fun, and I would say Sue’s favourite was Jason Byrne and my pick was Sam Simmons.  Note my favourite pick was almost changed due to the fact that in an unallocated theatre, a guy with the exact same short as I was was wearing walked in his party of 4, and promptly popped down beside me.  I have never been conscious about any shirt I have worn before, but I started to feel that way…

I have no doubt that we will be heading along again next year, and can’t wait to take the kids along to join us.  (Note we may have taken the kids to some show at the MICF that we perhaps shouldn’t have)


Today’s song of the day is an old one, Eternally Yours – Laughing Clowns.  Ed Kuepper is awesome!

Shave for a cure

Thursday March 15, 2012

I now have a shaved headed son at home with us, after he joined with his class mates to be brave and shave for a cure.  One of Ryan’s mates S, was diagnosed with leukaemia over the Christmas period. To say that their family’s world has turned upside down would be a gross understatement, I am sure.


and after

As a show of support for their class mate, the boys in S’s form class, under the guidance of their form teacher Mr D, decided to raise money for the cause, and if certain milestones were met, they would individually have their heads shaved, as well as the grand prize of having Mr D’s head shaved.

The boys set out to raise the ambitious amount of $10,000, and Ryan had set his target to $250.  Ryan undertook jobs around the house and asked relatives for a donation.  We also asked some of our friends and colleagues if they would mind donating after Ryan put together this letter.  We were overwhelmed with the support with Ryan raising $745 online and $260 in cash, so he managed to get into triple figures.  The boys as a collective raised around $22,000 which was a superb effort.

So to the shave day.  Being an amateur  photographer, I asked Mr D if he wanted me to take some shots on the day, which was given the green light.  We  decided that we would get 3 main photos, a before and after headshot, and a during the shave shot.  I met at the school the week prior to the event to scope out the location, sun position in the middle of the day and how I would get between the 2 locations, and it was all thumbs up!  On the day, the location was changed and there was a bit of distance between the shaving stations and the temporary studio.  Still very workable, just will require some running, yes running back and forth to get all the shots.

My makeshift studio

We had 3 hairdressers giving up their time to come and shave the boys and teachers for the event, which was a very generous offer.  They did a superb job, as well as fixing up some of the mistakes of the guest shavers that stepped up.

I was blessed on the day to have a parent helper Debbie, that had a sheet of paper with all of the boys names and the three teachers, in the order in which they were to be shaved.  Now when I thought through the logistics prior to the shoot of a miracle 30 secs to get the subject in front of the camera, and get a shot that didn’t resemble my licence photo times 30 subjects, we had 15 minutes continuous shooting for the before shot and then again after.  I was soooo glad that Debbie was finding, assembling and directing me “quick get back to the other location, we have found boy 15” and “They are doing Mr B’s hair now, quick get back up to the shaving stations” and the the most frightening first direction “They have started shaving, we can’t wait for x’s headshot, quick get up there!”

Lots of funny hair do’s midway through the shaves on all the boys and teachers

Ryan nearing the end of his session in the chair

There was a whisper at the start of the day that S may in fact be well enough to attend, which gave me tingles.  He did in fact make it, and it was so wonderful to see him back at his school, with all his mates and enjoying surrounds that have been foreign to him all this year.  There were lots of smiles and chats with the boys and a lot of moist eyes with the parents and I was glad to be hiding mine behind the camera.

S catching up with mates

I took A LOT OF GEAR which was very heavy, and I raised a small sweat bumping all the gear in and getting setup.  Little did I know that this would be the coolest I would feel for the next 2.5 hours…  I was a ball of sweat running back and forth but it was well worth the work out!

The guest of honour got to shave his big brother

My student volunteer did such a good job as my voice activated light stand

Mr D getting shaved in front of lots of onlookers

With S at the shave, souvlaki’s being cooked on the BBQ, snow cones and drinks at the ready, the event had a real festival feel about it. The boys from other classes were lining up deep to see those getting their head shaved.

The souvlaki’s were popular

as were the snow cones

The class group with their new do’s

At the end of the day, as I reflected on the event, I was immensely proud of my son and his class mates for showing support to their mate S.  I also realised how lucky we are to have Ryan as part of a great group of boys, at a supportive school showing true service and community spirit, and with a form teacher Mr D, who has gone above and beyond his teaching role and to provide an example to the boys of how you support each other.  Much kudus to you sir!

I will post another blog post on the photography logistics of the day, as it was a great lesson in being adaptable and taking a load on contingency items that got me out of a couple of binds, including gear failure.

Today’s song of the day is from a bigger band than I normally pick, but the song feels euphoric for me and seems very apt for the feeling of the day U2 – Beautiful Day. 

Touch Football carnival

Thursday 8th March 2012

Today I had a great day watching Tegan compete in the Andrew’s cup, touch football competition.  We had an early start with a drop off at her school around 5:45, so they could muster for the bus trip to Toowoomba.  I had another parent, Steve, travelling with me, so we headed off around 8:00.

In between conversations where we solved a few of the larger world problems, I reflected on the journey to Toowoomba, and how many times I had done it before.  As a kid, travelling in the non-airconditioned car, with the vinyl seats forcing the sweat factor up, all the while the cassette tape pumping out various dad tunes (popcorn and war of the worlds come to mind).  Being one of three kids, it was always a short straw to get the middle seat, and to always police the boundaries to ensure no encroachment .  My Mother’s family have settled mostly in Toowoomba, so I travelled a lot there, including bus trips solo to my Nanas to stay, and hang out with my cousins.  I also finished up completing a couple of uni courses in the garden city, and some had residential blocks, but I digress as I tend to do…

So back to the touch football…

Tegan taking to the field

The day was a gorgeous day, and whilst the parent spectators weren’t understandably large, there was a great feeling.  Tegan had made the A team this year, and their first game they drew 1-1 against Toowoomba Prep, who were hosting the carnival.

MBC supporters in their distinctive shirts

Some supporters getting a little excited…

Strike weapon Chelsea in action

Tegan’s team went on to win every game in the pool stage, and then onto the semi.  After all of the games played between the 10 schools, it was a final between Tegan’s team MBC and their original game opposition Toowoomba Prep.  This game played out to a 5- win for MBC.

Tegan covering the wing

and hanging with the mascot and mate Courtney

Tegan suffered a hamstring injury in the final game, but that didn’t dampen her spirits in celebrating.

Hanging out with Ali and Dannica

Celebration dance

Sneak a shot in before the official dude with camera arrives

Official dude with camera

The captains receive their pennant and trophy

The winning team

We ended up getting home around 8:00 PM, so it was a long, but lots of fun,  day.

Today’s song of the day is  The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums


Tuesday March 6, 2012

Well I have been bouncing off the walls for the last week, as I managed to secure Radiohead tickets.  I found out rather late (on the day) that there were advanced tickets available directly from Radiohead’s website.  As soon as I saw the link on twitter, I checked it out, and they were all gone.  I then saw another person on twitter say that he had just grabbed some.  A quick back and forth with Heath, and I was able to grab 2 tickets to their Brisbane concert. Thanks Heath!  I actually left a message with a friend JC that there were some advance tickets available, and when he got back to me, I knew they were gone, but I checked again online and they seemed to be releasing batches at a time, and there were some.  JC was heading home fast to get them and I just said, I’ll grab them, and they disappeared while we spoke…

So you I am stoked to have grabbed tickets, but maybe some context of my interest in the band…

This band does get a lot of hype in the indie scene, and to my mind, rightly so.  I was on the “yes that’s pretty cool” when Creep came out, but didn’t get into any other songs at the time.  Their second album, The Bends, was a watershed album for me in 1995, and I still play a song or two off it once a week.  I will put my favourite song off the album as the song of the day below.

the bends disc artwork

Well along comes 1997, and they release OK Computer.  Sue and I were just married and living in London at the time.  I had obtained my copy from Tower Records (which I seemed to visit at least once a week), and it was the sound track of the year, and still evokes many great feelings of the first year of marriage, hanging out in London and our travels to other European countries every time I hear a track.

1997 album OK Computer

I have followed along with Radiohead as we both mature through life, though they may be doing it a lot more gracefully.  All of Radioheads albums can be found here, and I am in position of the all…

I hadn’t got the chance to see them before, and as there is daylight between them and my next favourite grouping of bands, my bride had agreed to a “golden ticket”.  What is a golden ticket, you ask.  Well I could travel anywhere in the world to see them if I could secure a ticket.  The last 2-3 years, nothing…  No concerts, except for hastily organised one-off’s or secret venues.  Every Monday I would log on to their site, and go straight to the tour area.  This year, things got interesting though.  I saw concerts going up for Japan, Taiwan and Mexico, surely that’s close enough for me to head there, or if I wait and hope, they may add Australia to the list.  In the end, I couldn’t pull the trigger on the cost involved to head overseas to see them, it seemed just a tad over indulgent. I was so excited when I heard the announcement on triplej that they were touring, and then equally frightened that maybe others had heard the same announcement and I might not get tickets…

So you know from the intro, that I got tickets, but my quest, or dare I say Odyssey (tip of the hat to the Gill’s) was when the tickets went on sale proper on March 1, I decided to try as I might to grab some tickets for the Melbourne show, and Sue and I can head down to see the concert, catchup with her sister and enjoy a city we love. (and get to Movida!)

Just got in for the Melbourne Tickets

The website went into melt down, and I had multiple computers and phone trying to keep a session open until they went on sale.  The session kept dropping out, but somehow I jagged a couple of tickets, so I went be indulging in “Radiohead November”, and I will have the best year as we roll towards the date.

One week, I am still stoked that I will be seeing these guys, twice, this year.

Song of the day:  Street Spirit (Fade Out)

A blue visitor

Tuesday 21 February, 2012

As I have previously written, I am undertaking a 52 week photography project with a flickr group, to keep me thinking and posting something creative each week.  I haven’t yet got to the standard I am wanting to get to, but I am holding out that when the back shed transforms into the studio, it will all come together. (Note that is getting very close now, though the painting of it scares me)

So, the flickr group I am posting to, has a very proactive lady from South Africa, Clare, who had a terrific idea to have a couple of mascots sent around the world, photographed and sent on to their next port.  Such a fun idea, I had to put the hand up.  In the end, there were 4 mascots that set off from Cape Town to their new hosts.

My Town/Travelling Mascot - 03/01/2012 and 1/52

Smurfs on Scooters

The 4 mascots setting off from Cape Town, photo credit Clare Carrier

 The mascot were sent to

  • Australia/ New Zealand/Other;
  • UK/Europe;
  • USA; and
  • USA/Canada.

Their first port of call in Australia was Brisbane, though he was having 2 visits Rodney and Dennis hosting him, before he joined our family .  I took the little fella to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs on sunrise, after already dropping a very groggy son off at school to jump on a bus to a rowing regatta.

6/52 Light

At Kangaroo Point

Week 6-52 BTS

The behind the scenes of a blue mega star

As we live by Moreton Bay, I thought I should get a shot of him looking out past the channel markers to St Helena Island.  People watching me in the prone position taking photos of a smurf couldn’t hide their snickering, or maybe it was the wind…  I am thankful my bride doesn’t read this, and that Sandy won’t tell her of my antics…


Checking out the Wynnum waterfront

I sent the travelling smurf on his way to Sydney to hang out with Edward.

Here is a selection of photos of the various mascots on their worldwide journeys and this thread is where there travels are chronicled.  Kudos to you Clare for getting this fun journey started!

Snow Scooting

In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada photo by Perry McKenna

Smurf abroad in Brisbane - Week 5: 2012

adventure smurf

In brisbane with Rodney Chester and Dennis Eagles

Travelling Mascot in Sydney

In Sydney with Edward Yuliardhyanto

In Orange County, California photo by  Connie Terry

Project 52 weeks [week 07] 07/52

The Europe Smurf, photo by Hans

Song of the day: Well obviously I was looking for a blue theme, so here is a song from a band that I really like from Manchester, in fact I really got into the whole Madchester scene of music at the time.  Check out the movie 24 hour party people if you are interested.  But I digress, the band is New Order and the song is Blue Monday.  It was the first 12″ single I owned, and it is still in my possession some *cough* 29 years later *cough*

Where did January go?

Monday 6 February, 2012

I have been consciously quiet on the blogosphere, but I will now get back to it more regularly.

A quick overview of some things that have happened since my last post, all of which could be written about on their own (and I may yet revisit).  They are in no particular order and there are some huge ones, not at  the top of the list.

  • The Studio is coming together, though a little behind schedule due to rain.  It will be finished as soon as the new windows and doors arrive, and I paint the walls.  It is looking superb though!
  • Sue and Tegan headed off to Melbourne to visit Candice and have some fun sight seeing and shopping
  • 52 week photo project is cruising along
  • I went to Adelaide for Railscamp 10 and I am helping organise the next one in June to be held at the Sunshine Coast
  • The Kids and Sue are back into the school term routine, though the earlier get up times are taking their toll.  Especially 4:30 AM get up for Ryan on Saturdays for rowing.
  • The annual Triple J Hot 100 party came along. Always fun, and I managed to take out the comp this year, with Ryan second.
  • The next phase in my working life is coming together, and is within weeks of being locked down.
  • Headed along to a Comedy night with Sue and the Thomo’s.  Great night, that felt fantastic to laugh very hard and very loud.
  • Kids sport and extra curricular activities taking ever possible day!
  • A very good friend of Ryan’s was diagnosed with Leukaemia.  Very heavy.
  • Attended a good Friend’s son’s Christening day.
  • Sue and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary
  • My Mum sold her unit (after 8 months on the market) and allows her to move on with the next stage of her life, and takes a lot of pressure off her.
I will post again soon! – for the one person who asked why I wasn’t posting 🙂

Today’s song of the day is a new one released by Children Collide, which has me hooked the moment I heard it.  Children Collide – Sword to a Gunfight