July 27th, 2006

Had an excellent birthday weekend. Amy got me a 30 minute introductory flying lesson at Bankstown airport, it will probably get me hooked, there goes the pension! (only joking parents) we are also going to see Cirque du Soleil in a few times as well!

Some bad news to start with, the anniversary weekend as you saw last entry involved a lot of walking through bushy areas and stroking kangaroos. I woke up last week and found what looked like a blood blister on my side. I picked it off and thought, hmm what is that, then I saw it had little bits moving in it! Arggh!!! Snakes, Spiders, Sharks and blood sucking Bush Ticks!

Bush Tick!!

I wanted to go out surfing this weekend and the waves were looking really good on Saturday, so I thought cool, I’ll go out on Sunday (as I was busy Saturday). Then Sunday came and the waves were too big, so no surfing, bring on the spring!

Saturday night we hit the Bavarian Cafe with Simone, Andrea, Matt and Stu for dinner, it was very nice indeed –

Bavarian Cafe Dinner

Later that night was Scott’s 30th over at the Trinity bar in Surry Hills. It was an ‘S’ party, where everyone had to go as something starting with S. Amy decided to go as a Swedish person and I went as a Saudi Soccer Supporter, I thought we’d done quite well but when we got there we saw Sherlock Homes, Sheiks, Serial Killers and a man dressed as a cow (steak).

Mike with Hari the Serial Killer

The next day Amy took me to Cafe Sydney for my Birthday which looks over Sydney Harbour, it was really nice and we had great food –


Tara Moss was having lunch just behind us and she’s a celebrity.

It was a beautiful day and was fittingly ended with a trip to Ikea, Homebush.

July 16th, 2006

Amy and me celebrated our one year anniversary this weekend, having our first “secret” date on Greenwich Park.To make the event special we booked a little beachside cottage on Hyams Beach on the NSW South Coast, which was very nice.

First of all however, we had to finish a day of high stress at work –

High Stress Work Based Newspaper Reading

On the drive down after work we stopped at The Postman’s Ghost for a lovely spot of dinner, where Amy had Veal and I had the Barramundi Puff Pastry – beautiful.

Dinner at The Postman’s Ghost in Berry

The next morning it was absoutely tipping it down with rain but we didn’t allow that to stop us. So we hopped in the motor and drove to the Jervis Bay National Park, where we had a walk around the Botanical Gardens. We got lost a few times and I was worried we were going to do a Mike and Rach. and have to get air support to find us. However, it was not needed, we found the ‘blue route’ path and got back to the car no problems.

J-Bay Botanical Gardens

We then headed down to Cave Beach, which I have visited before with the gang last year. The surf was totally up, although I wasn’t going to go out in it on my own, check it –

Cave Beach Perfect Lines

And on the way back to the car park this little guy was standing behind the car just as we were about to back out –

Soaking Wet Wallaby Baby

After a close encounter with the wallaby we considered ourselves very lucky! We went down to Murrays Beach, a white sanded beach which was absolutely deserted, we then got attacked by some parrakeets that wouldn’t leave us alone. They sat on the car but looked very colourful –

Parakeet Bird on the Car

We then drove to a surf spot known as ‘Black Rock’ or ‘Aussie Pipe’ which is an excellent (but fairly deadly) wave that breaks over rocks which were about waist high deep from what I saw. It was quite a walk to the break and this is one of the friendly Australian surf markings on the way there –

Friendly Surf Atmosphere at the Black Rock

It is an amazing sight to see, especially when there’s some swell pumping in, I made a video of the biggest set that I saw, which is not very good quality, I’m going to make a full on video in the near future but for the time being here it is at YouTube. The place in fairly intense, I felt a real sense of “who are you” from the people in the water, just looking at them.

Here is some body boarder about to get slammed –

Black Rock Boys in action

We got back to the little cottage and fell asleep on the sofa, when we woke up it was dark and we were far too tired to do anything like eat out, so we got some pizza and watched “Pink Panther” and “Aeon Flux” on DVD.

The next day the sun was out and we were ready for action! We walked down to the beach infront of us and then scaled some rocks to get to our very own little private beach paradise –

Our own little beach

On the way home we took a few back streets and ended up running into a few more Wallabies –

More Wallabies!!

And that was the end of our little trip down the coast for our anniversary. It was very nice and can’t wait to go down the coast a few more times in the summer when we can camp! Bring on the summer!

July 13th, 2006

Saturday morning and I was up with the early birds to go for a surf session with Marcus whilst Amy slept in. We drove all the way up to Palm Beach to find no waves and then waves that were too big to surf (for my injured arm) all the way back down to Manly, except for one spot (which I will keep secret) that was a perfect longboarders wave (you could work it out if I told you it was a southerly swell and you have a ‘referdex’ (map of sydney)).

So after that non-start I came home surf-less and it only got bigger over the weekend so there was nothing to be happening. On a happy note, Amy and me found a nice little cafe practically opposite our flat where we had a nice lunch together.

That evening we went around to Nancy and Marcus’ house and were joined by Stu, where we had a nice dinner and played ‘Cranium’ again, we ended up sticking the play dough to our heads (you know how it goes after a few drinks! No? oh well )

Amy, Stu, Marcus and Me being stupid

That photo was taken with our new camera! Which is exactly the same as the old one but a new model. As for the game of Cranium, Marcus, Stu and I beat the girls easy.

The next day Amy, Lorraine and myself went to Taronga Zoo to meet some of the animals. I took my big camera and got some shots in which are below –

Chim-pan-zee Close-Up

Whilst at the zoo we had lunch in one of the little cafes there. It was nice and I got a little meat sandwich and vegetable sandwich. We were all eating our lunches quite happily, having light hearted conversation about boats when I felt this soft feathered thing slap me around the face. My natural manly action was to attempt to floor whatever it was that was attacking me but I missed. The next thing I know is the meat has gone from my sandwich and sitting on a near by roof is a Kookaburra, happily chewing on my sandwich! I loved Kookaburra’s up until that point.

There is a popular Kookaburra song which has a verse that goes –

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Eating all the gumdrops he can see,
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra
Leave some there for me.

which I have changed to –

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Eating all the meat sandwiches he can see,
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra
Oh too late you’ve got it now.

Lizard Type Thing Show Off

And my favourite –

Bollo or man in a suit

That was pretty much the weekend, a nice one, again. This weekend Amy and me are going to J-Bay, no, not Jeffereys Bay (where the next ASP event is) but Jervis Bay, South Coast for our one year anniversary!

In other news, Mike has an amazing story on his blog about how Rach and himself got lost out walking in the jungle recently where the were so totally in the danger zone a rescue chopper was put on standby.

July 2nd, 2006

15 weeks after dislocating my shoulder I stood up on a wave! A personal breakthrough! Amy, Nancy, Marcus and I went down to Long Reef beach on a very flat day. It was high tide and there was only one peek on the entire beach, and it was very very crowded. Every now and then they’d be a closeout set on the rest of the beach, it was breaking deep enough so I decided to just hang there and focus on catching one of these waves. I took my short board which is the most comfortable board for me in the water. After a lot of sitting around and paddling too early into a few waves I suddenly found myself getting closer and closer to catching one. After one or two pulls outs at the last minute I finally got the courage to get on a wave and stand up for the 3 seconds it gave me before closing. I was probably more stoked than anyone else surfing that day!

Sydney “winter” at Long Reef, Northern Beaches

I now need to get out in the water more and get my fitness back to a stage where I can really get on some decent waves! After a nice day at the beach and a few more failed attempts at flying the remote control plane we all headed to the North Head, the entrace to Sydney, to see if we could see any Whales, we didn’t see any but there was some marvellous views –

Sydney from the North Head

That night we went to see a gig at the Gaelic Club in Sydney, it was also Henry’s 30th birthday at Vegas Hotel, Kings Cross, so I was between venues that night. It ended up that I didn’t see any of the gig which was ashame, just the warm up bands!!

The good news also is that Amy and I bought a digital camera today, it is the same one as I used to have but a newer model! The Canon IXUS Zoom which was in the Myer end of year sale! So lots of photos to be coming this way soon!!