Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

QVB & Sydney Harbour

After more than a year we finally ventured back into Sydney City-centre. Werner reckoned we should go the the Lindt chocolate shop on Martin Place, and who are we to say no to that? I have never been keen on driving in the city, but he goes there often for work, so knew his way around. Thanks chommo!

First we went for a stroll in the park, from which one gets a nice, clear view of Sydney's frankly stunning harbour. You only need to spend 2 minutes here to know why people all over the world rave about it.

Karin, Bianca and the boys stayed in the car (bub's were sleeping), which is why they are not in the pictures.

From there we drove to Martin Place and found parking for only $2/hour, which is not bad considering we are talking about smack-bang in the centre of Sydney.

Click on this (or any) image for larger view.

Werner busy ordering a Lindt chocolate milkshake. Man, they are nice!

Karin, Karla and the Kasselman's enjoying a desert. While taking this pic Eugene was grabbing at the camera, so it took some doing.

Karla + Chocolate = Happiness

Dad & Eugene at the Lindt shop (and yes, I gave him some choclate when mum wasn't looking...)

From here we drove to the Queen Victoria Building (QVB to the locals), which is just one of those places that oozes character and yesteryear-charm. One needs a full day to do this (relatively small) mall justice. Karin loved it; I think we'll be back soon.

The tip of the 3-storrey high Christmas tree in the QVB.

A wide-angle view looking down into the mall. Click on the image for a better view.

This is the kind of thing for sale here. A set of Montegrappa pens for the bargain price of only $18,300.

....but, true to form, the folllwing three images (and items) were my favorites on the day. They remind me of my dad, as he also makes these kinds of figurines. When they move over here this is what he and I will look like on evenings when the Bokke play (and annihilate) the Wallabies...

This one reminds me of my brother-in-law in PE, Andre. He is always in the bush in some form of 4-wheel drive transport. If they ever move to Aus, I will buy him a hat just like this bloke is wearing. C'mon Andre & Elaine, for a hat like that moving to Aus is a bargain!

Going Down. On our way down to the carpark and then home. The elevators are inside the building and "open", so you can see the mall as you travel up or down.

He may have an Aussie passport, but Dad will make sure he grows up a Bok supporter (although I think he may well change his mind at ~13).


Friday, November 21, 2008

A dry run for when Bok & Pop arrive. . . .

For those who have ever had a braai at our place, these pictures will be very familiar. For Brendon's parents these serve as a "taster" of what's to come...

Min dae; vasbyt!

Some Marlborough (NZ) and Margaret River (Oz) "whites". Mmmmm!

...oh, and the usual Eugene pics....


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bilgola Beach & "The Shredder"

After a relatively quiet Saturday, we decided to head to the beach nice and early. We left home at 7:25AM and arrived at 8:11AM. A long drive, we know, but that is the price one pays for living in a big town. As luck would have it the weather was iffy and there was some huge lifesaving event happening. This meant lots of people, something we are not keen of. So, 50 minutes later we walked up to the small beach cafe, bought some coffee and were on our way.

For the family and friends in SA & NZ, parking costs $3 for the first hour, and $2 for each hour thereafter. This is still cheap compared to Manly...

Anyway, we then stopped at the Upper Crust Pie shop near Collaroy beach. The pies are expensive, but as any Sydney-sider will tell you, worth every cent and even the hour’s travel. Once we had finished brunch Karin and Karla went for a walk to the Collaroy lookout, a headland with a spectacular golf course built on it. Eugene and I stayed in the car as he was busy falling asleep.

Once home he was back in good spirits and promptly started tearing up my (now superfluous) Tower Hobbies catalogue. I was saving it for Nigel at work, but this plan was well and truly foiled by “the shredder”. Anyway, that’s all for now, settling down and getting ready for another week of work.

Following the visit to the beach (including a sand-tasting session) we had to give him a quick bath to remove sand from those strategic places).

Giving big-sister scooter a go before his (failed) afternoon nap.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Cornetto Chronicles

Click on any picture to see a larger version

Yep, as with all young men, Eugene today discovered the joys of ice-cream. I has had some previous minor tastes, but today was the avalanche of discovering a "Streets Tim-Tam Cornetto". The pictures really tell the story; I need not add another word...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A mixed bag - Braai, Brandy and Newcastle

This update is a little overdue, mainly due to busy weekends and the odd hang-over. As is normal this time of year, the weeks are just flying past and Christmas is not far away. Hard to believe, and we are staying the heck away from Westfield this year. The place just goes mad, and I "strip my moer"!

Anyway, on a recent trip to Newcastle I had the opportunity to take our German exchange student employee along. Philipp is working on an interesting project, and this was a good opportunity to show him how our test results are used by the trade. Unfortunately the sale we attended was one of the worst in many years, with the economic crises bitting hard. Despite this I think Philipp enjoyed the trip and seeing a little of Newcastle itself.

Sale Room 1 - Newcastle 5 Nov 08

Philipp at the AWTA Newcastle office/MTS site

This past weekend the weather and planets aligned, allowing us to have a "lekker" braai. Some (read "too much") beer and brandy & coke was consumed, resulting in some of the pictures you'll see below. My mate Werner and I allowed Karla to dress us up a little, something she really enjoyed. Baby Eugene and Collin also had their "angel wings" on, so were no trouble at all (or were they; Werner and I aren't quite sure...)

Anyway, here are some snaps and commentary.

The Van's and the Kasselman's this weekend.

Karin with Eugene. He is now changing from "baby" to "toddler".

KWV 10-year old brandy...and so the trouble began....

Karla with Werner. This must be where she thought "..wonder if dad and uncle Werner would mind playing Art-Deco dress-up..."

..yep, looks mischievous, so that must have been exactly what she was thinking!

Eugene was one of the first "victims".

...followed seconds later by Collin...

...yes, and then me. Werner also got "the treatment", but I was threatened with death should I publish the images here!

Eugene had an afternoon nap for ~1.5 hours, and woke up a happy-chappy.

Here he sits (all by himself; our BIG boy!) in the AFSPRAAK AFRIKAANS camping chair.

At the end of the evening, once all the ice had melted and the brandy had "gone", Karla and her friends provided some entertainment. I bought THE HAKA from iTunes and played it for them at full volume so they could "get into the zone".