Thursday, December 04, 2008

Well I managed to find a lovely new dress for the Christmas party last week, well I actually bought it for Andy and Nicola's wedding in January, but you have to get your moneys worth! Had a great time at the Christmas party, we had a pretty late night, I was staying at my friend Liz's and bless her, she wanted to go home about 1am, but I managed to persuade her to stay out for a couple more hours...I tell you, once I start partying, it's very hard to make me go home if I'm having a good time! Needless to say, the next day I wasn't feeling too hot and when I got home Jason was a bit worse for wear too!!
We got through to the netball grand final, which we played today, unfortunately we lost 15-12. It was a really good game though, very close the whole way through, I was knackered after, it was the hardest I'd played a game.
I'm still not feeling very festive I must say, we've just put up the decorations at work, and it's helped a little bit. I'm sure that when we get back to the UK it'll be so much more Christmassy as they do tend to go over the top over there (which I love!) bring it on!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shock, horror!
I had quite a shock today whilst checking the exchange rates from the Aussie dollar to the Euro and pound...and I must say, it wasn't a good shock. And yes, I know I work for a Financial Services company, and I'm hearing every minute of the day here and on the news about the fall in the stock market and the dollar going down and the global crisis, but to be honest, I didn't really have time to put 2 and 2 together and think how this would affect our trip to Europe. Luckily we'd paid a bit of a deposit for the hotel in Ireland where the wedding is, otherwise it would have cost us $800 for 2 nights!!! I felt quite nauseous for a while! Looking back, I should have bought lots of travellers cheques or exchanged some dollars when the dollar was at it's highest....but hindsight is such a wonderful thing!!
Apart from that, I'm really looking forward to getting back home, it's 4 weeks on Friday, so not long at all now. I've been busy reading my new Fearless Flyers book, which on the whole was good, if a bit dated, but the trouble is it mentioned a few things that I hadn't even known about before...wind shear and micro bursts which can be dangerous when you take off and land, I'd rather they hadn't have told me about those, it gives me even more things to worry about! At least our flight is halved on the way there as we have a stop over in Korea, I'd rather have a bit of a break and then get back on the plane, I think it's a 5 star hotel which will be nice, although I'm sure we won't see too much of it. Have to remember to get some Korean money before so we can at least have a meal.
I can't believe it's only 5 weeks til Christmas, it'll be so nice to spend my first Christmas in 4 years in the cold where it should be spent, I'm looking forward to feeling really Christmassy which I haven't done since I've been over here. We've got our Christmas party next Saturday night, it's at the same location where Jason and I got engaged. It's supposed to be cocktail dress and everything..god knows what I'm going to wear!. It should be good fun as we always have a laugh with work, although it's the first year as BUPA we are allowed to bring partners, so it might be an interesting mix. I'm not taking Jason though as he has his works Christmas party on the same day, so our table is the singles table, so no doubt it will be the rowdiest there!! I was quite relieved to have the last weekend at home, it was the first time in a month that I hadn't gone out in the city. I've had Linn's birthday, Nicola's hen party (brilliant...went pole dancing...what fun!) and Ryan's birthday with about 10 gay men (and me) in a gay bar (that was an eye opener!) This weekend I have leaving drinks for someone at work, and then another leaving party for a couple we met when we did the outdoors training.
Well, that's about it for now, will try not to leave is so long until the next update.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's been a while since I've sent an be honest, I keep forgetting!
Things as always have been busy, so hardly get any time to do anything. I've now joined the gym so I've been going there a fair bit...getting into the pilates...which is very hard!

Getting very excited about going back to the's only 7 weeks now, I can't believe it's coming around that quickly. I remember in February thinking that it'll be ages before I see everyone again...but now it's nearly here!!
I'm in the netball team at work which is going well, we are currently joint 2nd in the league, and I got voted player of the match for the last 2 good is that!! Although I did get quite angry in the last game as the goal keeper was a big woman, and she was in my face the whole game, I didn't stand much of a chance getting past her...but I did try my best!
I'm going to stay over at Sue's tonight, we're just going to have a catch up at home..I'm getting old, I'd much rather stay in than go to the pub! We're also booked to see Kylie in December, although I'm a bit annoyed now, I've found out that Pink concert tickets will be on sale this week and I think I would have preferred to see her this time...oh well!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I've been meaning to update my blog to let you know that I got my job yaay!! I signed my contract last week (with a bit more of a pay rise too) so I've now got my first permanent job since I left England about 9 years ago, wohooo!! Very happy, things feel a lot more secure now and I can relax a bit more, well not really relax as work as always is a bit full on...but you know what I mean ;o)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

here are some pics of our new place.

our new table

Jase in the kitchen







Monday, September 15, 2008

It's been a busy few weeks that's for sure, I don't feel like I've had that much down time lately. We've been busy going to the shops, spending lots of money, catching up with friends, getting the place ship shape, plus I've had to prepare for my interview at work...yes, that's right, I had to have an interview in the end! It turns out that last thing on the closing day for applications, some bloomin woman in Brisbane decided to apply for my job, not happy I tell you. So anyway, after looking at her CV, my boss and HR decide that she had no experience, and that she wouldn't be a good candidate...which you'd think would be a good thing...but it meant I still had to have an interview, so that it wasn't seen as favouritism, so I had that last Tuesday. I must say I was a bit panicky as there was an external company there as well as my boss, but he prepared me pretty well, so the interview went as well as can be expected. I'm supposed to find out this week the outcome, there would have to be something extremely wrong for me to miss out on this one!! Watch this space!
The weather is warming up nicely now, it's funny that it goes straight from winter to 28 degrees, no in between. I went shopping on Saturday and bought some new summer clothes for work.
On Thursday night, we had our staff social club dinner at the Bavarian Bier Cafe, was great fun, I think I probably bored everyone with my reminiscing about Munich tho!! It was the type of do where you ask for a white wine and they end up giving you a bottle, so Crystal and I got through a fair few drinks. We wanted to go somewhere after, but all the other guys wanted to go home, and I was staying at one of their places, so I had to go back with Lizzie...I was grateful for that the next day tho, I felt bad enough without going out partying til all hours!
Saturday night Jase and went to a friends 30th birthday party, it had a 1920s theme, so we all dressed up, we looked pretty good, I'll put up some pics soon. We stayed over at Rach and Stu's so Jason didn't have to drive back, so the next day he hung around with them, and I went off to an underwear/clothes party back at Lizzie's. Sue came with me too, so we had a nice catch up...and a giggle about the clothes...they were a bit old fashioned to say the least, not our cup of tea! Got home about 7pm last night, and before we knew it, it was time for bed again.
Tomorrow night we are off to a media party for the Macdonald bros. I've never heard of them, but I've been told they were on the X Factor in the UK and they have supported Westlife. Apparently they are trying to make it big out here. Our friend that runs the Scottish newspaper got us invites, so it'll be interesting to see if there is anyone well known there!
Anyway, I'm just downloading some vids of my little nephew...who's getting bigger by the I'm off now.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jason and I are almost settled in our new place, with the exception of a few boxes still needing to be unpacked...I didn't realise we had so much stuff!
Our move went pretty smoothly. We were up early to pick up the van, poor Jason having to learn to drive it with me in there, not an easy job....we only nearly applied for a divorce a couple of times ...well I do get a bit stressed! When we got back, our lovely friends were there waiting to help us move all our stuff, with their help, we were done loading the van in a couple hours!
We grabbed a quick coffee and a cake and then Jason, Mark and I said goodbye to everyone and set off on our way. It was a bit of a journey as we were in a big van piled up with our stuff, but we eventually got there. It was about 3pm when we finally had unloaded the van, then Mark had to shoot off, so Jase and I were just left with the horrible task of unpacking everything. We got a fair bit done on Saturday evening, then we just had to sit down and chill as we were so tired.
The next day it was a 6.30am start to drop off the van back and clean our old flat. Now, in hindsight, I would have hired someone to do this, I did think about it, but I wanted to save the money, so decided against it. It ended up taking us 6 hours!!! We were exhausted, my poor back and shoulders were killing me. I said to Jason that I didn't think it would have taken that long, but he said he knew it would cos he knows how fussy I am about cleaning...cheeky! He seems to think I enjoy it...well I guess I do, as long as it's my own place and it's just maintenance cleaning...I find it really rewarding to sit back afterwards and see how lovely it looks!
We got back to our new home in time for dinner which consisted of the left-over pizza from the previous night. I must say, I love our new place, it's sooo nice, I don't miss our old flat one bit, this is in a different league, we have so much more space, and of course it's newly renovated which is lovely. I love having a shower there, for a start the bathroom is huge, but the best thing is we have a really big water heater here, so no more 3 minute showers trying to rush washng the conditioner out of your hair before the water turns cold! Plus no more fighting with the shower curtain which had a habit of sticking to your body, we have a proper cubicle...big enough for about 10 people!! probably not so great when it comes to cleaning, but I haven't crossed that bridge just yet.
I had the day off last Monday, so it gave me a chance to get things more sorted. I had a bit of a walk around our new neighbourhood to find some food, and I got such a nice feeling about the place, it's actually a fair bit bigger than I originally thought, and everyone seems so friendly, which is good.
So getting to work takes a fair bit longer, but with a newspaper or book, it does fly by, it just means getting up a bit earlier and getting home a bit later, but it's not so bad. Talking of work, can't remember if I mentioned before that I've got to apply for my own job, because of the Bupa takeover, there is a whole new restructure, so because I'm a contractor, I have to apply which is a pain. I put my application in on Friday, and if I'm the only applicant, then my boss has said I don't need to interview for it, which is great, because they've an external consulting company doing the interviews, so fingers crossed!
So back to our new place, we had a busy day yesterday buying lots of things. We bought a couple of bar stools for our breakfast bar, so we've got somewhere to sit while we eat. We want to get a couple of bedside tables too, but then we thought we may as well wait and buy a bedroom set, inc bed so it all matches. We have also seen a dining table which we just need to measure our room to see if it will fit, it's great, we've got that much room to have a dining room table!
Last night, Jason and I went out for our first meal out in the area, we went to a small Thai restaurant, was funny, there was only 3 other groups of people in there! After that we thought we'd check out our new local pub. There was a live band on, who were actually quite good, all the locals were dancing and having fun, it was very different to your city bars, was very funny to watch! I said to Jason I keep getting paranoid when I walk around here, I think everyone is looking at me and saying, "she's new to the area!" as it is such a small community. I was half expecting for the music to stop when we walked into the pub last night and everyone stop what they were doing and start staring! But of course they didn't.
Anyway, must get on, we've got some more domestic stuff to do today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Well, it turns out I was disqualified from the City to Surf!! I can't believe it! I wondered why my result wasn't in the newspaper with everyone elses, so I phoned up the organisers, just to check that my timing chip hadn't got mislaid (as you get charged $50 for it), anyway, she tells me that I was disqualified because I started in the wrong colour section...oops! For some reason my work had organised me a different colour bib to everyone else (there are 4 different colour start sections) the one I was given was at the back of the pack, so I thought it wouldn't be noticed if I snuck in with everyone else....little did I know that it would mean that I didn't get an official time! Everyone at work thought it was highly amusing, and they were all calling me a cheat, and I'd be relegated to right to the back next year, while Jason would be in the front section! I mean, it's ridiculous, it's supposed to be a fun run!
Really getting into the Olympics at the moment, I'm happy to say that at the time of writing, Great Britain are in 3rd place in the medals table (above Australia..hehe!). I know anything can happen, but we seem to be doing much better than anyone had thought...go GBR!!
Just had a call from Jason, he's just been to pick up the keys to our new flat. I had to ask him lots of questions about the flat as I'd only seen it once and that was a few weeks ago and I've forgotten what it looked like. I had a horrible dream last night that it was really tiny and we'd made a big mistake..but Jason has confirmed it's bigger than where we are now, so that's great!
I'm really over packing now, our flat is a mess, it looks like a bomb has hit it, I didn't realise we had so much stuff! I hope it doesn't take long to settle into our new place!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am getting very slack at my updates now. I just don't seem to get a minute to log on! We've a bit of news, Jason and I are moving house. We've sort of been checking out an area a bit further south and away from the city, thinking that if we do want to buy a place, that would be the only place we could afford to as the prices are ridiculously high where we currently are. Also, we just received notice that the landlords are putting up our rent.
So we drove down a couple of weekends ago just to get an idea, and while we were there, we found a place available to rent. We had a look, and the flat was lovely, all new paint, new carpets, new kitchen, bathroom and doors, a far cry from where we currently live, so we made a spot decision to put in an application. Found out last Tuesday that it was accepted, and it's been all go since! I must say, I'm feeling a little dubious, it's just under an hours train ride from the city, which means that we will be further away from all our friends, and planning a night out will prove a little more difficult, but if we want to buy there, we must live there first to see if we like it, plus I think it will do us good not being in close radius to all the pubs etc....after all we are getting on a bit!!
The area we are moving to is very nice, it's close to the train station, it's a very family orientated community, we are still within 30 mins drive of the sea, plus there is the second oldest national park (1st being Yellowstone in the US) closeby, and it is massive, it's 132sq km, so there will be lots of nice walks there (oh my, I can't believe what I'm saying!) But really, I am looking forward to it, especially to living in a nice clean place where everything (hopefully) works. Just out of interest, I checked the internet to see the advert for our current flat, thinking they'd have put the rent up a bit more...couldn't believe to find out that they've bumped it up $70 a week more!! what a joke, but that's how it is at the moment, any rental properties just get snapped up there is so little around.

So, what else have we been up to...well I went to see Mamma Mia again with the guys from work, then I managed to persuade Jason to come with me to see the Rocky Horror show at the theatre, which I have to say was brilliant!
On Sunday, we did the City to Surf (14km walk/run) I wasn't going to run it as I hadn't trained and didn't want to further injure my knee, but of course as soon as I was there I got swept away with the crowds (70.000 plus) and my competitive streak came in, so I ran most of it, apart from the big hill half way through! A bit silly of me, but I couldn't help myself. Jason did extremely well, his time was 72 mins, mine was a more modest 1hr 40mins, not bad considering I walked some and also didn't train!

Well, I've gone on enough now! Until next time

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It's been 3 weeks since my last blog....sorry I couldn't resist... It's all the catholic fever getting to me! As you've probably heard, the Pope is in town for World Youth day. Things have been a bit mad in the city, with thousands of pilgrims from all over the world hanging out in the city. The Pope finally came into the city today, so there were lots of barricades on the streets. He came in by boatacade from Rose Bay, did a circuit of Circular Quay (where we all watched him from our window at work...see pic) then off to Darling Harbour where he addressed 150,000 pilgrims. After that there was a motorcade through the city passing half a million spectators, by which point I'd already left work and gone home cos I didn't want to get stuck amongst all the people and traffic. At midnight tonight, the main road from our flat to the city will be closed down for the weekend, so getting to and from work should be interesting tomorrow. On Saturday the Pope is leading the pilgrims through the city and to Randwick Race course (which is 5 minutes up the road from us). They have set up a huge stage and lots of tents which you can see as you drive by. So if you see him on the news on Saturday, just think, I live very close by! It's funny, we've been hearing all these stories on the news that some of the pilgrims have been getting a bit carried away with all the partying and drinking, and even going to massage parlours! But on the whole, I think the most of them are just your normal happy clappers!

Apart from all that excitement, there isn't too much to tell. We caught up with Andy and Nicola again last Friday night, which was nice, and then Saturday, we went to a friends birthday party. It was quite good, cos we only really knew a couple of people there, we ended up meeting some nice people. We went to see Mamma Mia on the Sunday...loved it, such a feel good movie and amazing scenery, definitely recommend it.

Not sure if I mentioned before, we finally got our sofa yaay! And I tell you, it's the most comfortable sofa in the world...well worth the wait, we love it. We've also been buying some other nice things for the flat seeing as there have been some sales on. We bought some lovely bedsheets and a new bedspread and some lovely lights and vases, the flat really is starting to look a lot better, it could really do with a lick of paint and a change of carpet though, but hey, it'll do for now.

I've also been very spoilt lately, Jason's been trying out some new recipes, so I've been trying lots of yummy food. S0, I'm off now, going to try another new recipe...cheesy polenta with mushroom sauce...mmmm.
Here are a couple of pics of the boat the Pope arrived on taken from my window at work (I know, you're really jealous of the view I see every day!)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Been feeling a bit depressed, it's my 34th birthday tomorrow and I'm absolutely dreading it. I can't believe I'm that old, I'm worrying that I'm running out of time to do stuff, there's still so much I want to do and I don't think a lot of it is possible now :-(
Anyway, I finally arranged something for last night, I kept putting it off, but thought I should really do something. It was a fun night, just a small gathering, Andy and Nicola came over, it was great to see them as we hadn't met up for ages. I got lots of nice pressies and cards and even a little birthday cake. Rach and Stu were dressed up, they had a fancy dress party to go to, Rach looked great, really funny! We went to a couple of different bars, so it was quite a late night. I've actually lost my voice today, I was cleaning the mould off our windows yesterday with this special spray, and I think I've inhaled some of it, my throat is quite sore.
So tomorrow night Jason has booked a nice restaurant for us, and then we're going to go to a comedy night. He already took me to see Phantom of the Opera as a surprise treat, I'm very lucky!
On Friday night we went out for a friends birthday, there were about 40 of us at a restaurant, and most of them were Irish, so you can imagine there was lots of drinks being had! Was really good fun. We were up early on Saturday morning, we went to see Kung Fu Panda, it was my work social club thing, so it was all free, we were eating ice cream and pop corn at 10 in the morning!! After that we went down to the garden centre and bought ourselves a little herb garden, Jason planted it all yesterday, it looks lovely. We also got an indoors plant and a couple of cactus, trying to make our flat look more homely. Talking of that, we're finally getting our settee next weekend...yaaay! It only took them 2.5 months! Luckily we didn't lose our deposit as the company was bought out and they have promised to deliver all outstanding orders.
That's about it for now. I'm just going to post a few random pics, I've finally figured out how to get photos from my phone onto my computer!
Our herb garden
Our friends cat (she just had a shave!)
Jason and Willy
and one from after our half marathon

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I just wanted to post a blog about our half marathon and the fundraising we all accomplished. We raised $100,000 in total and it's still going up. Please read the touching story below from Sophie (mum of the triplet baby boys).
First, here are a couple of piccies I stole from the website, not very good, but you get the idea! I'm still waiting to get the team pic.

My Half Marathon team for the ‘Henry, Jasper & Evan Smith Trust Fund’, Royal Hospital for Women

When I set out to look for people to join my second annual team to run the half marathon and ‘help save tiny babies’, in memory of my triplet sons, the response I received was incredible. After months of hard training and fundraising, 130 people lined up at the start line on 18 May in our red team shirts to run the 21.1km Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon for the ‘Henry, Jasper and Evan Smith Trust Fund’ at the Royal Hospital for
Women. The expected heavy rain and strong winds never materialised on race day. As my team gathered bright and early in Hyde Park for some frosty team photos, I couldn’t help but think that the sunshine was my Henry,Jasper and Evan smiling down on us. Our winning runners, Matilda & Kelly, racing each other to the finish line!

The team made their way to the start line and quickly dispersed amongst the 6000 other participants. The gun sounded and they were off up College St, and soon all 6000 runners had disappeared into the city. I took my place with other spectators along Art Gallery Rd, and in a ridiculously short space of time the winning runner was flying past, having completed his first lap of the City! A few minutes later and the front running pack was there, our first team runner not far behind.

From then on my eight-month-baby-bump and I jumped and cheered and waved as each of our runners came past – from the fittest and fastest to those for whom the course was a huge personal challenge. The determination and dedication shown by so many was truly inspiring, and humbling. So many told me afterwards that it was their thoughts of Henry, Jasper & Evan, and their brave struggle to live, that kept them going. Many told me that the tiny handprints on their backs literally pushed them up the hills and over the finish line. A highlight for me was seeing my husband, Ash, sprinting the final stretch to come in seconds under his goal time of 100 minutes. For some, it was not just Henry, Jasper and Evan who helped them, but the memories of their own precious babies lost due to prematurity or stillbirth. Baby Isabella helped her dad to push on despite a badly injured calf muscle, and baby Lucy inspired her uncle to run a fantastic time. And of course a huge inspiration was the generous amounts of money pledged to each runner by hundreds of sponsors– we were afterall ‘running for a humidicrib’ to save the lives of other precious premature and critically ill babies in Intensive Care at the Royal Hospital for Women.

I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of people in helping us raise these much needed funds for lifesaving equipment for the hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Centre, in memory of Henry, Jasper & Evan. A complete stranger in the crowd at the finish line handed me $50. Con and his staff at the Coogee Café donated all their tips from the race weekend. An anonymous donor sponsored one runner $10,000!

That afternoon we had a team after-party at the Beach Palace Hotel in Coogee, for runners and their sponsors. Among the guests was Tracey Spicer who spoke in her role as Ambassador to the hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Centre and presented our team’s prizes. It was wonderful to see so many exhausted, yet exhilarated and proud runners celebrating their great achievement.
The success of this team would not have been possible without the kind support of local businesses in Coogee and Randwick, who helped in so many ways. Many cafes, including the Coogee Café, helped in recruiting runners through distributing flyers and displaying posters. ‘Salt and Lemon’ in Randwick encouraged people to join with the promise of free fish and chips! The Beast magazine kindly publicised the event. Chris Warhurst, of the Beach Palace Hotel, and Patrick Byrne, of the Coogee Dolphins, generously sponsored our team’s running singlets. Alex Porter offered her services as team photographer.

Amazingly, our team this year raised just over $100,000, which will be used to buy four much needed state-of the-art humidicribs for the smallest and sickest babies in Intensive Care. Thank you to all our generous sponsors, supporters and, of course, runners. It has been extremely uplifting to see the local community come together to support the Royal Hospital for Women, and in memory of my three very special little boys.

Henry Tim Smith Jasper Cotton Smith Evan Cotton Smith
Lived 31 July 06 20 August – 16 October 06 20 August – 29 August 06

You can shed tears because they are gone
Or you can smile because they have lived.
You can close your eyes and pray they’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all they’ve left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see them
Or it can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember them and only that they’ve gone
Or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what they’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
(author unknown)
Henry Jasper Evan

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm just finally getting over my cold I've had for over a week. It started off a week last Thursday, so I didn't go out at all last weekend. This weekend I managed to venture out again, plus we had a long weekend as it was the Queen's birthday. On Saturday, Jason and I went to the Doggie rescue place and took a dog (Willy) for a walk, he was an old dog and had a bad back leg, so he couldn't really walk very far, so we sat at a cafe and he sat on our knees. He was very well behaved! I'm not quite sure whether I could have a dog at home though, I hate to say it, but he smelt a bit and I could smell dog for the rest of the day! I am a bit anal when it comes to smells though! But it was nice to do something for the little doggies, it's really sad that 60,000 dogs get euthanised per year in NSW alone, very sad :-(
I went to see the Sex and the City movie with a girl from training on Saturday which was really good. After that I met Jason and we had a nice meal and a couple of drinks, which we haven't done for ages.
Sunday, we just went to the mall and bought a couple of things for the house. But then we bumped into our friend and she asked if we wanted to meet her and her friend for a quick drink, so we met her for an hour, then went home and watched a dvd.
Yesterday had a bit of a lie in and bummed around at home as the weather was pretty bad. We dragged ourselves out though in the evening, we went to see the U2 3D film at the IMAX, it was amazing. I didn't think that it would be that good. You could almost touch Bono, he was right in front of our faces. We felt like we were actually at the concert, but with a much better view, I had goosebumps at some points. You could see the audience clapping and waving their hands in front of you, I kept thinking it was the people in the cinema that were waving it was that real. Anyway, I'll stop raving about it, but if you ever get the chance, go see it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Hugo!
So, it's one year on and my little nephew is celebrating his 1st birthday today. Jase and I just got to say happy birthday over Skype, we sang to him and watched him open the presents we sent. He had a lovely grin when he heard my voice, it means so much to see that, just shows that he's not forgotten me! I just wish I could get my webcam working so he can see me too. Anyway, he liked the birthday card a lot more than his presents as it had a big bear on the front! Chris was telling me that Hugo was pretty sick last night with a high temperature, luckily he's feeling much better today, but still a bit sniffly. He was still on top form though, little monkey!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I did it!!
I ran the half marathon yesterday, absolutely estatic!! As you know I was worried about my ankles, but they actually held out for the whole run, unfortunately in the end it was my knee that went. I got to about 16km and that was it, but I managed to run through the pain and I got to the water stand and gulped down a painkiller, there was nothing going to stop me from completing this run! It must have been adrenaline that got me through the last 5kms, and it was such a buzz, I was very emotional when I ran through the finish line, this was one goal I didn't think I had it in me to ever achieve. My time was 2hr 5mins, which was so much better than I'd ever expected, especially after all my injuries! Jason did really well too, his time was 1hr 47mins. It's funny, I really hate the feeling before any runs as I get really nervous, but while I'm doing it, I'm really loving it, it's such a good feeling running the streets of Sydney with thousands of other people and the weather was perfect, although a bit chilly to begin with. On one of the streets, there was a nightclub blaring out the music at about 8am, a few of the clubbers were standing outside cheering us on. Also, you get the young kids who stand by the sides of the road holding out their hands so you run by and high 5 them...really cool!
It wasn't really until I stopped running that I realised how much pain I was in from my knee. I've been pretty much hobbling ever since, and it's such an effort to stand up or sit down, I sound (and feel) like an old lady, I've never ached so much in my life. I went back to the physio this morning and she taped my knee up and gave me some exercises to do, apparently my knee cap is moving around too's a real sick making feeling, not nice. I think I'm going to work from home tomorrow, it's such hard work to get to work and limp around all day.
Yesterday afternoon we went to the after party for the charity we ran for. I don't think I really said much about our fund raising before....I found the leaflet at my gym, it was the story of a lady and her husband who in 2005, gave birth prematurely to triplet boys. Unfortunately, they died after 1 hour, 10 days and 2 months respectively. Of course Sophie and her husband were devastated. One of the things that helped them with their loss was to start training for half marathons, so this was how their fund raising started.
Last year's half marathon they raised $80,000 for the Royal Womens hospital to help buy new humidicribs for the premature babies, this year with 130 runners raising funds, we're hoping to beat that amount. They really are such an amazing couple, to go through all that and then selflessy go to all this effort to help the hospital and other parents and their tiny babies, and it's so lovely that Sophie is pregnant again, and is due in only 5 weeks and everything is going really well. The after party was quite emotional as there was a few speeches and presentations, I feel so privileged to have helped them in their special cause, Jason and I raised almost $1,200 which is so much more that I'd ever expected, we have lots of generous friends and colleagues. Doing the run was great as Sophie and Ash had running singlets made up with the Henry, Jasper and Evan fund and the hospital name, they even had the tiny lifesize little handprints of Sophie and Ash's triplets on the back, Sophie's motivational message to us was that if we found the run really hard, to just think about her little boys' hands pushing us towards and over the finish line (it makes me teary just thinking about it) well, if that doesn't help you get over the finish line, then nothing will! It was great seeing all the runners throughout the run that were wearing the same t-shirts. Another bonus was, we met a lot of lovely people over the last couple of months, I hope to do it again next year if my body ever recovers!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm getting very, very nervous now about the big run on Sunday. My ankles are still not great, I went for another short run last night and they are still sore, it was such an effort to do 5km, let alone doing 21km!! bit worried really. I went to the physio today and she told me that after the run I should do no more running for 6 weeks...what am I going to do, I've been running now almost every other day for the last year or so, I'm really going to find it hard not to do it, but of course I need to repair my legs, so whatever it takes. I'm going to take some strong painkillers before the run to see if they will help. It's really important to me that I complete this run and I'll do almost anything to make sure I this space!
Things are changing here at work, we're 'merging' with the British company, BUPA. The vote went ahead this week, and it was pretty much a landslide in favour. Unfortunately for me, it means that it's proving to be a real struggle getting my permanent contract, I really hope I'll get it sorted out by the end of June.
Last weekend I got to catch up with my great aunty Betty who was over from New Zealand visiting her son and family (Grant and Sue). We had a nice evening, playing cards and catching up. We don't see that much of each other these days, I guess we all just lead busy lives.
We had our first flat inspection today. She was very impressed with our clean and tidy flat (thanks to me being so anal!). I envisage a rent rise coming up now though, the renting situation is really bad here at the moment, there is just not enough property around, plus the interest rates are so high, it's making landlords put up the rent by miles. I guess we'll hear something soon, bummer!
Can't really think of anything else to update, so I'll sign off now.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I finally had my hair chopped at the weekend! It's been coming for a long time, but obviously I wanted to wait until after our wedding. I felt pretty sick when she started cutting, but it actually looks ok, I had some more highlights too. I'm just getting used to styling it now, when I first washed it, it felt so healthy and it was easy to get a brush through it for a change. I think I had about 4 or 5 inches cut off!
I just paid a visit to the physio today. I've been suffering with pains in my ankles when I'm running and it's got really bad over the last week. There's been lots of coming and going with new shoes etc, long story, but it finally got so bad I needed to do something about it. Basically the way I've been running has been putting pressure on my bones and muscles and one of the bones is out of place, I also have fluid on my lower legs, amongst other things! She taped my feet up, gave me a really painful massage, and told me not to run until I see her again on Friday, so I'm just hoping that all is ok on Friday, otherwise I'll be buggered for the run which is only in 10 days! yikes! Good news is, Jason and I have raised $680 (and still counting) for our charity, I'm very pleased, but I have a lot to recover for now!
Oh and more bad news, last week I phoned up to find out where our sofa was (it's 3 weeks late) turns out the company are going into liquidation and our sofa is still in China! I've tried to phone up the liquidators, but noone is returning my calls, we just want to know what's going on. I hope we don't lose our deposit...I'm gutted!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We had a really great weekend. It started on Thursday after work where I just went for a couple of drinks for Svet's leaving do. Then Friday, we drove over to Andy and Nicola's place. We left for the pub about 3pm, it was absolutely heaving as it was Anzac day. We managed to get a good spot outside and stayed there for a few drinks. When it got a bit later, we wanted to get to the RSL to play a bit of 2 up and to see the band. The 2up was set up on the lawns outside, it was packed. We managed to get there in time for the last of the games, I lost 2 and won 1. Nicola won all 3 (beginners luck!) Then we had a quick feed, then it was time to go and see the ACDC band. It was such good fun, the band were brilliant, you wouldn't have guessed that they weren't the real thing, Jason loved it!
The next day, we just went to the mall on the way home, we both got measured up for a new pair of runners at the Athletes foot. We thought it would be a good idea to get the best for our feet since we're doing so much running. We took them out for a test run this morning, and they were great.
Training is going really well, I ran 17.5km on Tuesday night, I don't think I'll run more than that in training again, otherwise I won't have a goal to complete the half on the actual day. It's only 3 weeks to go now. I had a bit of a panic last week, but after I acheived that distance, it made me feel a bit better. Although it did almost kill me! We've bought a supplement to help prevent muscle fatigue and we've got some sports drinks, so hopefully they'll help. Only trouble is at the moment I've got a black big toenail, I'm thinking it came from last week when we were doing sit ups at training, your partner stands on your feet, but I had a really big girl, and it really hurt. I'll have to be careful in future! I just hope it doesn't fall off or anything, I'd be gutted if I couldn't run for any reason.
So, today, I've got a bit of time to myself, Jason has gone to meet his cousin, so I decided to have a bit of time out. Not that I've done anything constructive, just ironing and stuff.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Not too much to report this week. We had a pretty quiet weekend after all, which was nice. We were supposed to do a couple of things, but they never came to light. We've pretty much spent all weekend watching dvd's....but that's ok as the weather hasn't been very good. We were hoping our new settee would arrive this weekend, but we've been told it's not in the country yet, so could be as much as 2 weeks away.
I bought myself an Ipod shuffle for my running. I did buy the super duper Ipod classic a few months ago, but it's far too big to have on my arm while I run, it bounces up all over the I have at least 1,000 songs on it, and I can never find anything I want to listen to....too much choice! So the shuffle is perfect, I've just put my favourite 200 songs on there which will do fine.
It's going to be a nice short week this week, we've got Anzac day on Friday, which means a day off. I persuaded Andy and Nicola to stay around for it so we can go to an RSL and play 2 up, which is the tradition for this day. It's really good fun. The club we are going to also has a tribute ACDC band on in the evening so that will be a laugh.
Actually, I've remembered, we did do something yesterday, we went to the cinema to see Horton hears a Who...I had free tickets and there wasn't much on...but it was a great film, Dr Seuss, very sweet.
That's about it for now...!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Well, they said that I'd have all in the time in the world after the wedding, how wrong can they be, I tell you I haven't stopped. I really don't know how I coped before with the preparations, and my college when I'm not really coping now! We've taken up the challenge of running the half marathon (21kms) in 5 weeks, so every spare minute seems to be used up bloomin exercising! Before the wedding, Jason and I said we were going to stop being so obsessed with exercise when we got back...but it's gone the other way! My training is going quite well, I managed to run 15km last week, but I tried again on Saturday and only managed 10km. I've also joined a group and we are raising funds for the womens hospital for the humidicribs for the intensive care baby unit, not doing too well on the sponsors though :-(
I'll be suprised if anyone reads my blog anymore, they probably have thought I"ve stopped updating so might not bother checking anymore, I can't blame them!
So what else....I'm still waiting for my permanent contract, there is quite a lot going on at work at the moment, so they've had to push back on that for the moment unfortunately. Work is so busy at the moment, it's been very stressful.
We bought a new settee for our flat which should arrive in a couple of weeks, very excited, it's really comfy and it'll make our flat look much nicer. We also booked our flights to go home for Christmas...wohhoo!! I'm sooo excited, it'll be my first Christmas back home in 4 years. We also have our good friends, Andy and Nicola's wedding in Ireland in Jan, so that's something we're really looking forward to. Chris, Martina and Hugo will be going too, will be really great to spend a few days with them. I"m sure Hugo will be really big by then! I hope he'll still remember my voice, we've been on skype a few times and he seems to recognise my voice as he smiles when I first start talking....I'll have to get my webcam up too soon so he can see me, then he'll definitely recognise me when I see him.
Ok, so I'm going to go now...Desperate Housewives is I wouldn't want to suprise anyone by writing too much in my first post in ages!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3 years in Australia!

as you've probably guessed from the title, I am now celebrating my 3 year anniversary of arriving down under. It's hard to believe how much has happened in this time. Since I've been here I've met so many great people, I've become a permanent resident, and an auntie! And even more amazing, I've married a wonderful man. Sometimes life has a knack of throwing some fantastic things at you when it was the last thing you expected...I never imagined I'd end up living here when just over 3 years ago I packed up my life and went travelling for a just never know! Of course I miss my family and friends, but I really do have such a great life over here, sometimes it's hard to imagine being anywhere else. But nothing is set in stone, and we will just have to see where in the world we will end up settling down!
Here are a couple of extracts from my blog when I arrived here:
I'm finally here in Sydney after a couple of pretty scary flights. The first one from Bangkok to Singapore was awful, it was so bumpy, I was almost in tears (I'm really not a good flyer at the best of times) The second flight was a lot smoother, but still really bumpy in parts, apparently it's like that a lot when you fly in the tropics, at least now I haven't got to fly again for a while!!The landing was quite spectacular, about 30 mins before we touched down just above the dark clouds we could see strips of orange, yellows and blues, and then we saw the sun coming up whilst flying past the Harbour bridge and the Opera house, that was quite an experience, it made the flight all worthwhile. So I was picked up at the airport by Grant, the flight came through a bit early so he wasn't at the gate right away, I did panic a bit cos I wasn't 100% sure what he looked like! Anyway, we found each other in the end. I've met his son and daughter now, it's funny meeting family that I've never seen before! They are all really nice and friendly and have made me feel really welcome. I had a sleep for a couple of hours, then we went to a shopping mall for some groceries, I'm looking forward to going back there and spending a bit more time (and money!) We're going out for dinner tonight, we're eating Italian which I haven't had for over a month so I'm looking forward to that.
The next day Grant took me on the bus into the city center, it only takes half an hour to get there which isn't too bad, he says they hardly ever venture into the city. We saw quite a lot there, I got a really good first impression of Sydney. Lots of cool shops, I saw the Harbour bridge, the Opera House, and lots of other parts of the city, we were walking around for over 3 hours, trouble was it was raining all day, so we both got a bit wet!! We saw lots of people spilling out of the pubs celebrating St Paddys day. It hasn't really sunk in that I'm here yet, obviously seeing the harbour helped a bit, but it all seems a bit surreal somehow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mr and Mrs Mcintyre's Big day!

So, I'm now officially a married woman ;o) Jason and I were married on the 6th February 2008 in Thailand with most of our closest family and friends. We had the most amazing wedding you could imagine, nothing went wrong, the whole day just ran smoothly, and I can remember every single second! The location was just perfect, we couldn't have picked better. The people who worked at the hotel were also very good, and my wedding coordinator was fantastic, she took a lot of the worry away. The only stressful time for me was leading up to the day, and also getting ready on the day, which I think is pretty normal. But it just was so right, as soon as I walked into the chapel and saw Jason, I knew everything would be great.
Being in Thailand, there were lots of extra special touches, for instance, when I came out of my room with my brother, Chris and my bridesmaid, Sue, we were accompanied to the boat by a Thai long drum procession, which was pretty cool, everyone in the resort was staring, which was a bit weird! We arrived at the chapel jetty shortly after, which was when I started to get a bit tearful. Walking into the chapel with my brother by my side, listening to the song I'd chosen, and seeing Jason, and everyone watching was very emotional, plus I almost ran down the aisle, Chris had to hold me back! The chapel looked beautiful, the blue orchids in the white setting with all the rose petals on the floor looked stunning.
The service went really well, I managed to say my vows and my words to Jason without too many nerves, we had a few laughs as well. After the ceremony, Jason and I went outside to hammer our wedding plaque into the wooden stand, then it was picture time. We also had a baby elephant to have our pictures taken with which was very amusing, she was trying to eat my bouquet, and then she sneaked her trunk around Jason's neck and popped his corsage into her mouth...very funny!
After all the photos were done, it was back onto the boats towards the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel jetty, again, we had a drum procession to accompany us. As all the guests hadn't seen them before, so they were all really excited at the sight of them. They took us all to the gardens, where Jason and I planted our very own love tree..ahhh! More pictures were taken, then we walked slowly back to the beach where everyone was supping on their pina coladas while the sun was setting, what a perfect location. Jason and I were called away for yet more picture taking, it's hard work all this smiling for the camera!!
When we had finished, it was time for us all to go into the Casurina restaurant for our reception dinner. The table settings really looked beautiful, and the food buffet was out of this world, everyone commented on how good the food was, and I must say, Jason and I were really impressed. After the food it was speech time, Jason's brother Eddie did a really clever rhyming speech, very good! Then it was time for my brothers, and I must say, it was an amazing speech, he really put his all into it, and I know it was hard for him giving me away, what with our Dad not being there. It was all very emotional, I don't think there was a dry eye, I will never forget that moment. Jason's speech was also very lovely, I really enjoyed listening to him, I know he was very nervous!! I was very touched by some of the things he said, plus it was funny and lighthearted too.
Time for the cake cutting, which was very amusing, they'd given us, not a knife, but a large sword to cut the cake!! we had a good laugh at that! Then a champagne toast.
We'd organised for our guests to light Northern lanterns from the beach when it got dark, Jason and I went first, followed by our families and friends, it was lovely seeing them all set off one after the other.
Then it was time for our first dance to James Taylor's 'How sweet it is to be loved by you'. We'd actually had a few lessons before we went away, which suprised a few people, but I think we were so nervous, our legs didn't go exactly where we wanted them too, oh well...we looked on the dvd and it's not as bad as I thought it would look, it's a shame, as we had a really good routine, I guess we just didn't practise enough, haha!
So, that was the end of the formalities, now it was time to let our hair down and have a real dance. It was such a good laugh, I think most people enjoyed themselves, even Chris and Andy had a 'dance off' which had us all in hysterics, unfortunately though, it's not on our dvd! Even the Thai waitresses were looking in and laughing, and one of them was so funny, she had Unky P on the dance floor dancing away like maniacs!
At about 1am, it was time for us to pack up and leave, I must say I had mixed emotions, I'd had such a fantastic day, I didn't want it to end, but on the other hand, I was looking forward to being with Jason on our own. Of course, Jason carried me over the threshold to our hotel room, and we had a lovely suprise, the staff had put red rose petals on the bed cover for us, very romantic! And the next day, we had a champagne breakfast in our room. They also brought us the rest of the wedding cake to our room, which was huge, no way we were going to be able to eat all that!
Now for the soppy bit...I had the most amazing day of my life, and I'm so happy to have married Jason and am really looking forward to our future together. He really is the most special man, and I'm lucky I get to be with him for always ;o) It was also so great to see all our families and friends again and for us all to be together for this day, thanks to everyone for travelling such a long way and making it a day that we will remember forever.
So, I won't write anymore, I'll update some more on our honeymoon in a few days. Here's some pictures from our special day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The clock is ticking......

Only 16 days to go to the big day!!! The weeks are just flying by, and I'm absolutely rushed off my feet, so much so, I can't even remember what I've done in the last week! My weekend consisted of haircuts, facials, shopping for the trip, and a 40th birthday party slotted in between. I've got another full on week this week, something to do every night, but it's my last full week of work so I'm not too worried.
The weekend coming up will be very nice, Jason and I are staying in a hotel in the city for a couple of nights... a nice Christmas pressie from Mum, bless! It'll give us time to relax before the big day. Plus it's a public holiday on Monday, which so happens to be Jason's birthday too. Saturday should be good as it's Australia day, we are staying on Darling Harbour, so there will be lots going on there, probably fireworks too, that's if the rain holds out!
I'm hoping to go kickboxing tonight, but again that depends on the weather. We couldn't go Saturday either cos it was pouring down! The weight-loss is going good though, I actually had to wear a safety pin to keep my trousers up today! I couldn't wear a skirt cos of the weather, and these were the smallest pair of trousers I have. I daren't buy anymore, cos no doubt all the weight will come piling back on over the holiday! It's all fun and games here!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

So, I had my hens night on Saturday night and what a riot that was! I hadn't really sunk in until Saturday afternoon that this was my hen night and yes, I'm soon to be married. The day was a really busy one, training in the morning, then make up lesson, then to the hairdressers...well a girls gotta treat herself! We started off quite early, the girls came over to mine for a glass of champagne to start, I'd bought everyone tiaras to wear which they all loved. We had a dinner to start in Darling Harbour, the food was yummy. I was really happy, the girls went to so much effort for me, they bought me all these funny gifts, most of them being quite rude, but very funny! And yes, I had to do the veil thing and wear the sash around my shoulders...then I got given some fairy wings, I had all sorts of stuff to carry, but I loved it as I love really cheesy stuff!
After dinner, we went to the Kings St Wharf for the cruise. The boat was gorgeous, and there weren't too many people on it which was good. We took over the dance floor. A lot of people were on the deck outside though as of course it's a beautiful view, but I was only interested in having a boogie! The cruise flew by, after that we went to Retro which is the cheesiest club around. After a few minor hiccups (some of us didn't have ID, well, do we really look under 18??!! I think not!) we go in and had a good time in there. I comandeered Rach's blonde wig, I thought I was the bees knees....not!
Then it was finally time to go home, we all jumped in the taxi and headed off for Rach and Stu's. The lads happened to be back there too, and oh my Jason was very very drunk! Bless him, he was lying on the couch and couldn't move. Apparently all the lads bought him a shot glass which he had to wear around his neck, and they were filling it up all the time! We all had a bit of a giggle there, then it was time go home. I had to leave Jason there, he was in not state to walk anywhere.
The next day Jason came home, still not looking too hot, anyway, he went to the mirror and said sh!t someone's shaved my eyebrows!! I hadn't even noticed... of course I panicked loads, but I took a look, and it's not too bad, just looks like his face is a bit lopsided. I hope it grows back, but in 3 weeks, I don't think there's much chance of that.
So here's some pics

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's been an exciting start to the year, first Monday I got my contract extended at work (it was due to run out at the end of the month) and then yesterday, Jason and I got our Australian permanent residency visas approved ;o) I was pretty stunned to be honest, as we only lodged the application at the beginning of December. It must have only taken 2 weeks to process, because our case officer was on holiday for 2 weeks out of that time. I said to Jason that I must have done a really thorough job of putting the application together!! Anyway, we're both really happy and it's great timing so we can enjoy our wedding and honeymoon without worrying about visas and my work situation.
I'm pretty much on a real high at the moment, it suddenly hit me on Monday night that the wedding was not long away now, I'm a little bit stressed cos I've got so many appointments to keep, but not too bad. I'm sure closer to the time I'll be manically panicking about getting everything ready, but so far so good!!
Well, I'm off to training now, gotta finish the final preparations in style!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year to everyone!
We had a great New years eve on our harbour cruise. We were really lucky and got put on the top deck of the boat which was great. The boat set off about 6.30pm and we just sailed around the harbour taking in the scenery and looking at the million or so people that were already lining the harbour for the fireworks. We met some really nice people on our table, they were around our age, which was good, cos there were a lot of families and older people also. There was only 40 or so people on the top deck, so it wasn't crowded at all. When the sun went down, all the boats switched on their lights for the light parade, which they do every year. This years theme was 'the time of our lives' so all the boats had a different year lit up, depending on which year had meant the most to them...our boat was 2007 as that was when the captain bought the boat. There were about 15 or 20 boats in the parade, and they all cruise around and do a lap of the harbourside so that all the people watching can see them, it really was cool to be part of that, we were waving at all the people on the shore, I bet they were really jealous! After dinner, it was time for the 9pm fireworks for the families, of course they were great, but everyone was waiting for the main event later on. When that packed up, people started to get a bit well oiled, and the tables were moved over for the dancing to start. I loved it as the music they were playing was cheese tastic, and there was a lot of 80s music...poor Jason!
For the 12 o'clock fireworks, Jason and I actually sneaked down to the bottom deck as there was a great space at the front of the boat for unobstructed views. I was chatting to a English woman from Liverpool who had 23 of her family here visiting her, and they were all on the bottom deck of the boat!
The fireworks were absolutely stunning, every year it gets better. They had spent 15 months planning them, so I guess they have to be good! At one point, we couldn't see the bridge as there were that many fireworks going off all around, it looked like it was on fire, and there was a barge just in front of the city skyscrapers which was going off, there was fireworks coming out of the building and all sorts! You really can't explain how good they are, it's really something you have to see for yourself if you are lucky enough!
New Years day Jason and I just took a walk down to the beach as it was a lovely day. Coogee was rammed, I'm glad we didn't go down there to sunbathe. It was back to work yesterday, it's been quite busy, but it's been nice as there aren't many people in, so I've been able to catch up on a lot of work. I've even been working late, which is silly cos my boss isn't even there to see it!
I went to the gym this morning and I thought I'd weigh myself to see how badly I'd done over Christmas, but it turns out I was pleasantly suprised, I'd managed to lose almost another kilo! Very chuffed I tell you, mind you I have been running loads just to make sure I didn't put too much weight on! I must admit I'm looking forward to Thailand and being able to eat loads of food....I'm sure Jason will want a refund after we get married and I get really fat...haha! Mind you, I think he's planning on letting loose there too!
It's now 5 weeks yesterday till the big day, and I must say, most things are organised pretty well now, it's just my beauty stuff I need to concentrate on. We did try and practice for our dance last night, but it was a disaster, I just kept giggling...I'm really dreading dancing in front of everyone now! oh well, I'm sure I won't care on the day!
I wanted to post some pictures from NYE, but it turns out I can't bloomin find the cable to connect to the computer, so watch this space!