January 29th, 2010

Last weekend, Amy, Marcy, Chris and I went down to Melbourne for the Australian open. We also did some touring of Melbourne and the surrounding area, which includes Daylesford and The Great Ocean Road. Our first stop was Melbourne, where we watched Baghdatis play against Hewitt, however the match didn’t last very long, Baghdatis gave up due to an injury. We also watched a womens game staight afterwards which was fun!

Baghdatis vs. Hewitt

There’s lots of things to do at the tennis, one of them is to get your photo taken with a giant tennis ball –

Amy with a giant tennis ball

The next stop on our trip to Melbourne was a place called Daylesford which is a small town North West of Melbourne, it was really nice and had Spa’s for the girls (and Chris). We stayed in an awesome house for the night and watched some more tennis –

Chris and Marcy in Daylesford watching Tennis

That evening we went to a restaurant called Mercato which was really good, it felt like we were in someones front living room but the food was awesome!

The next day we set off on our Great Ocean Road adventure, which would cover a lot of miles of driving through the country side, where we even saw a twister style wind tunnel caused by dust. Chris drove us to the Apostles which were a bit out of the way but it was fantastic to finally see them, here’s Amy and I with some of them –

Amy and me at the 12 Apostles

Initially I was a bit disappointed with the Great Ocean Road, at least from Apollo Bay to the Apostles because there’s not very much in the way of Ocean. However the drive from Apollo Bay back towards Melbourne is much more of a Great Ocean Road, we even saw some Koalas in the trees (the first time I’ve seen one in the wild I think).

Great Ocean Road Drive

That brings us to the end of our Melbourne adventure, it was great fun!

January 16th, 2010

Have you ever seen those adverts that claim to do miracles? Like help you loose weight by just drinking a drink. With so totally convincing pictures of a torso like these ones –

Totally the same person – they have almost the same bra after all!!

In the picture the girl is wearing a different bra and has different colour hair, so a total transformation! I clicked through to see how this website was trying to rip people off. The girl on the website has ginger hair so has been very busy at the hair salon! The website is basically a sales pitch which links through to another website for a South American berry juice and  “life cleanse” tablets. If you clicked these links and bought the product this original website would earn referral money.

I’m fairly sure their tactics of showing pictures of unrelated girls of different body proportions to advertise a product is against the law but I guess there’s no way of proving they are unrelated, it may be the same girl who loves getting her hair dyed.

The website had a comment section at the bottom which has comments like this –

“I just happend to click on your page one day. Your story has definitely inspired me, Michelle. I already signed up for my shipment.”

Again these could by true comments, it’s pretty difficult to prove otherwise but then this comment grabbed my attention –

That seems to good to be true, someone in the suburb I live next to ordered some from this site and it took less than a week to get delivered. Using the magic of remote desktop and running a server in the UK I visited the same website –

Same “comment” but with a different geo-location. So the comments are fake and definitely against the FTC Endorsement Guidelines (the site is hosted in the USA).

So I guess the morale of the story is, never click on an advert to buy something or ever think someone who lives down the road just bought the same product!

January 11th, 2010

A few months ago we went to Byron Bay for Simone and Stuart’s wedding. I was chief camera man and this is the video I made for them, enjoy!

January 10th, 2010

This Christmas we went up to Brisvegas to see Amy’s family and nephews and nieces. Ali, Zara and Cooper have all grown up quickly.

Ali, Zara and Cooper

We stayed at Sam and Elliot’s house for the first night to be woken up by Cooper early in the morning telling us there was loads of presents under the tree!

On Sam and Elliot’s street there’s a house not too similar from the house in the Griswolds (Chevy Chase movie) which we all walked up the street to see. It looks really fantastic –

mazing Christmas lights on Sam and El’s street

Christmas day was spent at Taryn and Wade’s house where we had some delicious sea food for dinner and opened presents. We even had a swim in the pool and managed to get sunburn after only being out there for about ten minutes!

Wink was also happy to see us all there but was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day –

Winky absolutely exhausted on Christmas Day

The next day we all drove down to the Gold Coast and spent a night there at Burleigh Heads which was very nice. We had lunch at an RSL and spent the evening watching movies –

After lunch at the RSL

The next morning we woke and went to the airport to fly back to Sydney. We arrived in Sydney, went home, un-packed our bags, re-packed them again and then hit the road to drive up to Copocabana. Not the one in Rio but the one an hour North of Sydney, near Gosford. The place was developed by a real estate agency in the 50ies who named the place after Copocabana in Rio so all the street names are named like Del Monte Place, which is where we stayed – although it was no where near as bad as that sounds! We had some excellent views from the balcony of the ocean, mostly of which are filled with massive ships waiting to dock at Newcastle.

The weather wasn’t that great but it didn’t really matter for us as it was fun just being able to stay around the house, read books, play poker and get the occasional break to go for a surf down at the beach.

Amy, Nancy and Marcus on Copocabana Beach

One of the main reasons for the trip was to celebrate Lorraine’s 40th Birthday party which we did in style by Yuji cooking us some delicious Japanese style food, it was very good!

Yuji in the Kitchen

The views from the balcony were amazing, especially at sunset –

Sunset at Copacabana

We also celebrated Nancy’s birthday with a trip off to Chat Noir in Terigal which was a French restaurant and I think possible the first place where I tasted snails!

Nancy Happy Happy Birthday Song! Vive la France!

For New Years Marcy cooked brisket the same as she did at Easter and it was delicious! We then watched the fireworks from Sydney on the television and went to bed. Hugo was exhausted –

Emails checked, time for a relax.

An excellent Christmas and New Year period, although I managed to get shingles hence the delay in writing the post, however back on the mend now hurray!!!!!!