Thursday, January 20, 2011

SHOUT…..Safari Saturday




I think this might have been a yawn, so I will call it a silent SHOUT .



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sojourn in Sydney


The way this instalment is going we will be looking at Easter eggs before I post.

2010 was the year we decided to go our separate ways for Christmas.

Katie was planning on Tamworth with Cameron for company.Danielle was deciding between Melbourne and Dungog. Nick has his own young family and in-laws to celebrate with.

David and I had decided months ago on Sydney.

I suddenly remembered that we still had Ms Callie, who was not able to care for herself while we were absent. Rae who always cares for Callie while we are away was planning a trip north as well, so we were just a little panicked.

Two months out…the first speed hump. Katie could not take leave. She decided that she would stay home with Cam & Callie…all was well. Danielle decided on Dungog to visit her Grandmother and Aunt, with a stop in Newcastle on her return trip to visit her other Nan.

One month out…Katie can have her leave, so bus tickets were purchased for Tamworth.

Now we still have a problem with Callie.

Three weeks to departure and Rae (our “other” daughter), decides to stay home, so Ms Callie can now spend Christmas with Mitch the golden Labrador.

Departure day for four of us was Thursday 23rd December. Katie and Cam caught the bus at 12-30pm. David and I caught our plane at 4.50pm.

Mini Christmas cakes in  Qantas Business Lounge.

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A slight hitch with the aerobridge in Sydney had us “trapped” on the plane for 10-15 minutes longer than necessary. Taxi ride to city was uneventful as most of the traffic was leaving the city.


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Check in and  a drink in the Executive Lounge, and our Christmas break had started.

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This dingo greets us with his back end every visit…still waiting to catch him front on. You can find him on level 20.

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Shopping in the city was in full swing with the major stores remaining open until midnight.We took a leisurely walk to the Pitt St Mall around 8pm. Checked out the Christmas window displays at David Jones and feel they were nowhere near as impressive as they were in 2008. The crowd was 5-6 deep around all of the windows and this combined with those shopping, made footpath negotiation a tricky business.

We checked out the new 5th floor food court at Westfield. An extensive range of food goodies to choose…..but really humid inside. We were lucky enough to find a spot where the air conditioning was deflecting off a support column and in our direction.

Back to the hotel…bags unpacked and time to relax.

Christmas eve arrives and we decide on a walk to the QVB after breakfast. The streets are busy with everyone looking for last minute gifts. We had made the decision several years ago that Christmas was going to be a non event rather than a lavish celebration. No presents and no over the top spending and preparations for Christmas food.


 IMG_8594  Close up of decoration.IMG_8622IMG_8621

There really wasn’t a “perfect” spot to capture the entire tree


QVB clock….I will not make any comments about the clock. Couldn’t force myself to photograph the “white invasion”.





In the lead up to Christmas I prepared 2 festive recipes Ice Cream Pudding and Raspberry Ice-cream Cake. They were my only attempt at Christmas fare.

We spent an hour or so browsing in the Queen Victoria Building and by the time we sat for a cold drink and some lunch the crowds were pulsing through. So many people laden with so many bags. So many stressed unsmiling faces. Too many unhappy children tagging along with parents and grandparents. I was feeling exhausted watching.

It was a relief to walk or rather negotiate our way through the crowds and back to our Hotel.

Enough with words….I will let the photos tell the remainder of the story.

Christmas Lunch.

Ice Sculpture for the Prawns.









Turkey, Pork and Ham.




This enormous gingerbread house took pride of place on the desert table.

Each table also had their own house as a gift.

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The three days following were spent recovering from Christmas lunch.

We had a quick look at the post Christmas sales and purchased several bargains from Canterbury in Pitt St.

Oh, and we did manage to eat more food and chill in the Executive Lounge every evening.

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Apologies for the quality of the photos that were taken with my phone.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Bum Shots….Safari Saturday


Every trip to Kruger National Park is filled with anticipation.

What will we see?

Will we finally see a Caracal or Porcupine?

Not sure if I want to see a kill.

Are we going to need another eight trips to see African Wild Dog? $$$$$$$

A 14 hour plane trip and 4 hours in a car makes a day trip rather expensive, so the pressure is on.

Rare sightings and  “perfect” photos are on the wish list.

Cameras ready and waiting with empty SD cards.

Run a book on the first sighting.

If you choose Impala you are more than likely going to win this competition.

Our 2009 entry at Malelane defied the odds and our first sighting was a Hippo followed by a small herd of Buffalo a young Lion and an older Lion.

Cameras were at the ready……..

10.30pm is not the appropriate time to be flashing in a wild animals eyes.

Who knows what our sightings would have been had we entered the park before the gates closed at 6pm.

Maybe I should have listened more carefully to our road directions through Swaziland…perhaps even jotted them on paper……..Lost in the Kingdom of Swaziland is a story for another day.

Oh well we can start on the perfect shots tomorrow.

Good Morning visitors


Another day in paradise


Pesky flies




Follow that Bum….sorry leader…




Bottoms up


That is not my best angle


Does my Bum look big or not….


Nothing is private


A feathery wisp of cover


It’s all washed


Thank goodness for a long lens


Bum above eye level


King Bum


Elegant Bum


I am still waiting for the “perfect” shot and only have to wait until June/July 2011.

Cannot wait to aim my lens into the soulful eyes of the misunderstood Hyaena or the burning calculating eyes of the Lion.