Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Birthday

   For my birthday on Friday, Doortje and I drove down to Sorrento and had lunch on the waterfront at Morgan's.  Very nice food!

   We went across the grass from the restaurant to take this photo, after a bit of practice.  It was a hot day (but cooler in Sorrento than Frankston!) and the water was dead calm.

   On Saturday, we went to Jac and Pat's place for a birthday bash with all the grand kids, Jac and Pat, Helm and Perran, Dan and Monika, Wendy and Jakob, and William.

   Jac made a cake, as she often does.  I was particularly impressed by the feet sticking out of the tent (and the bike and guitar, of course!)

   It was another hot day, and most of us (!) spent a lot of time in the pool.  Here Wendy and Jakob, Sullivan, Millie and Pat are all enjoying themselves.

Grandpa with Perran and Daniel...

 ...and with the ladies, Helmy, Jac and Monika.

   The grandkids presented an original song for the occasion.  This is great because they can spend hours out of sight and mind while they rehearse in secret (just kidding).  From left: Mason, Ronja (behind), Sullivan, Amelia, Theo, Nara and Harvey.

   Here we are about to blow out the candles.  Sully got in first by a mile!

 The onlookers are Pat, Mon, Wendy, Helmy, Jakob and William.

   Ronja also wrote a beaut song for the occasion.  Here she's assisted in the rendition by Mason and Amelia.  I'm thinking that the "tradition" of having original songs for special events has well and truly stuck!

   It was a great day and most of us stayed the night and enjoyed brunch of eggs and bacon on Sunday.  Thanks, Pat!

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   Photos taken by Doortje, except the first one, and she's therefore not featured in those she took.  Also, during the party we had a skype session with Andrew and Sarah in Alice Springs, so they were able to join in to some extent.

Monday, 11 March 2013


   Doortje and I set off for Adelaide on Wednesday, 30th February, to spend time catching up with John and Sue at Hawthorndene and Circosis at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.  We spent a night at Naracoorte and arrived at John's on Thursday afternoon.

   John and Sue arranged for us to go to the Wittunga Under the Stars event in nearby Blackwood on Friday night.

   The stage was set among gum trees and we took folding chairs to listen to the various groups.  I liked the trad jazz ensemble and the youthful quartet, The Bearded Gypsy, who featured violin and nice guitar.

We enjoyed a glass of red as the sun began to set...

...but the absolute highlight of the evening was the fantastic pasties that John had made specially for the occasion.  We ate them cold and the flavour and pastry were superb.

   On Saturday, we continued to enjoy the bird life on the back deck and Jan and Ebony, down from Port Pirie, came for a visit.  In the late afternoon, we all joined up with Jason, Deb and Brooke at the Bakehouse Theatre in the city to see Andrew and Sarah's final performance of A Circus Affair.

   In Thursday's Adelaide Advertiser, a centre spread about the Fringe had as its centrepiece a Circosis photo and a review with three stars.  Andrew and Sarah were tickled pink and the Saturday night was a sell-out!  We all enjoyed the show immensely and were very proud.

   After the show, we went to Alfonso's in Hutt Street, quite near the theatre, for a meal together, the South Australian branch of Cookmob, plus Circosis and the "roadies" Baba and Ilsa. 

   On Sunday, we all met up again at Andrew and Sarah's digs on the beachfront at West Beach, and then went off to lunch at the nearby Ramsgate Hotel.  In this pic are Jason, Deb, Sue, Ebony and Andrew.

   Seated for lunch at the Ramsgate, proud parents talking to Andrew and Sarah, Deb and Jason at the end, then Ebony and Jan, and Sue in the foreground, photo taken by John.

   On Sunday night, Doortje and I were able to stay in the house at West Beach with Andrew and Sarah, since Baba and Ilsa left on the Ghan to Alice at mid-day and their bedroom was spare.  This was the view of the foreshore from the bedroom window.  

   With Andrew and Sarah, we went into the city to see a couple of fringe shows - Leo, rated five stars, and Benny B, a friend of Andrew and Sarah, whose show was Snarp!  Later we had a nice meal, which included goat, at a Henley Beach Indian restaurant.

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   We started the homeward trek on Monday, travelling via Victor Harbour and Goolwa, where we had lunch near the bridge to Hindmarsh Island.  Before it was built, the proposed bridge caused extreme friction between Indigenous groups and became a political football involving sacred sites and pro-development politicians.  Look who won!

   We crossed the Murray on the Wellington punt, drove along the Coorong (now full of water) got past some Limestone Coast wineries, and then went across country to Horsham, where all motels were fully booked for the Horsham Field Days.  We drove on to Stawell.  Same story, but after driving around in circles in the dark, we were told there was a vacancy at the Magdala Motel back on the western outskirts.  They were so obliging they cooked us a meal at 8.45pm!

   And so, on Tuesday we arrived home after a few marvellous days.  Thanks to John and Sue for great hospitality,  Jason, Deb and Brooke, Jan and Ebony, for joining us to make the weekend memorable, and Andrew and Sarah for a wonderful show.

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Alan's Visit

   My brother Alan came down from Darwin to visit for ten days or so, and we had a great time while he was here.  Soon after he arrived we went to the Dutch Festival at Sandown and met up with the Oakleigh and Glen Waverley branches of the family.  Stinken hot but enjoyable!

   Doortje took this photo in a bird hide at the Briars, Mornington, where we were looking at birds and hoping to have lunch (the restaurant was closed!).

 The portrait of the little egret was also taken from the bird hide.

   On the weekend, the whole clan came to Derna Crescent to "hang out" with Alan, and to celebrate his birthday.  Daniel was probably in the kitchen (as he often is) and Andrew and Sarah in Alice of course.  Ronja and Mason were here with the adults, the other grandkids out playing. (Some grannies reckoned they had two grandpas!)

Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves!  Happy birthday, Al!

    We took Alan to Max's restaurant (rated with lots of stars) at the Red Hill Estate winery.  Two grumpy old men had lots to say; eg they wouldn't give us free water (not connected to the mains!), the table was wobbly and the acoustics were bad.

   However, the meals were beautiful, and for that, we were very grateful.  (Note the monogrammed plate!)

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All in all, we had a great time.  Thanks, Kim, for letting your man off the leash!