Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monet Exhibition, Lindt Cafe & Kirribilli

A rare day out in the city with Alec, his dad and his dad's wife, Lisa.

We started out at the Monet exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

I love Monet, particularly his waterlilies that he painted at his house at Giverny. Alec and I are planning to go there when we are on our France trip in 2009, so it was great timing!

The exhibition only had a few waterlily paintings, but had a range of works from Monet's early career as well as some paintings by his contemporaries and artistic influences.



After the Monet exhibition we also dropped in at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition that was on at the Sydney Museum. I love, love this exhibition and look forward to it every year. It's my dream to take photographs of nature like the ones in the exhibition - up close yet in the wild, and so amazingly unusual.

Next stop was the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place. I haven't been to this outlet before, and was happy to see it was more like a real cafe, where you sit down and have your order taken at your table. So civilised! I just love their chocolate shakes and crave them frequently - just the shakes, nothing more!

Chocolate dream come true.

Their gourmet chocolates. I had a few, including a caramel one, and they were divine.

Alec's dad and Lisa.

Happy as can be - chocolate has that effect!

Driving back to dinner in Crows Nest, we took a detour through Kirribilli. We came across this amazing spot - what a view! Sydney is such a beautiful city to live in, particularly on days like today when the sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky, and we're on holidays!

Tourist shot!




Lindt Cafe
53 Martin Place
Sydney
Ph: (o2) 8257 1600

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ferrets!

We agreed to baby-sit Misty and Star over the holidays for Beverly and Chris. They're such crazy little critters, but adorable too.

They look so innocent ... I lie, they look like sneaky ferrets, and that's what they are! They got into EVERYTHING and ate a hole in the fly-screen door when I wasn't watching them closely enough. I also lost one in a cavity in the kitchen cupboards (and lured him back with ferret crack) and one of them bit Alec on one of his nipples.

Add in my two dogs, and it was four crazy critters in the apartment - quite a lot of entertainment!

The ferrets were really no trouble - and it was hugely entertaining to watch them and the dogs interact. Kahlua was, of course, completely terrified, but Buffy wanted to make friends with them and couldn't let them out of her sight.

Things I have learned about ferrets:
  • They poop a lot. All the time it seems. Poop, poop, poop.
  • They dig plants out of their pots.
  • They sleep for most of the day, usually upside down in the cutest positions.
  • They are completely silent! Except for incessant wheezing and sneezing that make me think they were choking on dust bunnies and rush to vacuum the floor.
The ferrets are moving to Shanghai shortly - best of luck with the trip fuzzies!

Star licks her little nose, pausing from sniffing out trouble.

Poised for trouble.

Zonked - too much mayhem makes for sleepy ferrets.

There were actually two ferrets, but the other one didn't hold still long enough for me to photograph!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

For the second year in a row, Alec's mum and uncle joined me and my parents for Christmas day.

Jan lives in Stockton, so we picked her up from Hornsby station and drove us all out to my parents' house on Christmas eve.

Initially I had no idea how this kind of arrangement would work out, but it was the only option that I could think of where everyone would get to spend the day with those most important to them. Luckily, it was a great idea, and for the second year in a row, was a great success. 

My parents love a traditional roast turkey and baked veges on Christmas day, so feeding me is a challenge they are not overly impressed about. I was prepared however and came armed with a faux schnitzel at the ready. Is it as tasty as turkey? Hell no, but does it make me feel better about myself for choosing it instead? It sure does, and holding on to that thought was what got me through watching everyone else eating the sweet, fragrant meat.

I made an ice-cream and berry frozen cake for dessert - which was a great idea when we were planning for a 30-plus degree day, but the temperature didn't pass over 25, which was a huge disappointment. I love a stinking hot Christmas day!

There were far too many pressies, lots of tasty food (I made have eaten an entire block of cheese), and a lot of puppy love as well. A really great Christmas day!

My little family!

With my dear girl, Kahlua.

And with my amazing mum.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Featuring Arthur, The Crazy Cockatoo

I would like to re-introduce Arthur, the sulfur crested cockatoo. He was raised mostly by Alec's family after an unfortunate start in life, and is now, at around age 34, a vocal member of the family. He currently lives with Alec's dad in Newcastle and has been left to us in his will - ruh-oh!

Arthur and Alec are old friends. He likes to scream "Aleeeeec" and have the underside of his wings scratched.

Nice birdy, but don't be fooled. Evil lurks within.





Notice the dexterity with which he eats things out of his foot. This should have been a warning to me.

Oh hai!

Close-up!

Ummm ...

Oh crap!

That blur you see is the birdy eating the front of my camera, which he then spat at me. Nice!

Lesson learned - only photograph cockatoos with a long lens. Don't get close enough for them to EAT it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Google & eBay Day Out

My team took out the eBayers for a day on the harbour for our end of year do. The day was perfect - warm without being boiling hot, and not a cloud in the sky. I've lived in Sydney all my life and have been on harbour countless times, but I just love it.


With Cheryl and Olah.


Skyline from the back of Sydney.

Being such a tourist.



Captain Cheryl!

Afterwards we set off for dinner at the Gazebo Wine Gardens.

Wearing the awesome tee Beverly gave me - it says "Kiss me, I'm a vegetarian".


Funky interior.

Cheese to start with.


A huge sausage roll.

Yum!

Salad  - an effort to be healthy. I don't think I actually ate any of it.

Crab pasta with chilli.

My risotto. Very nice!

Pulling faces with Phuongy.

In the lift going to the rooftop bar in the Kings Cross Hotel, site of many adventures in my teens.

My camera died, so I have hardly any pics from the rest of the night, just this one of Sam in the Piano Bar in the Cross. Sadly I missed taking pics of him krumping to Elton John songs.

Gazebo Wine Gardens
2 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay
(02) 9357 5333

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas BBQ Lunch

Every year I meet up with my high school friends for an Xmas get-together. It's the one time of year we can all usually meet up, so I always look forward to it.

This year we decided to have a BBQ at Bicentennial Park.

Alec talks to little Buffers.

Enjoying the greenery.

Shelley on her last weekend before moving to London.

Jules and Ro.

Kaz.

Rosalie made these amazing reindeer cupcakes - chocolate with berries in them.

Group shot. 11 years after high school finished, who'd have thought we would be where we are today and still friends?

Kahlua and Buff were on their best behaviour.

Kahlua has had an ear infection for most of the year. We finally have it sorted out and after many many months of ear pain for her, she is finally on the mend. Yay!