Saturday, February 28, 2009

Roosting in the Chookpen

Well here you are, the travel agency you should book all your travel through.We had finally decided to book a trip to Bali for Christmas. Trev really wanted to spend Christmas overseas again for a change, it is a long time since we did that. I would really have preferred Penang, but Vicki and Travis said they were going to Penang, so Bali it was, as we didn't want to intrude in their holiday. We're staying at Sanur because it is much cheaper and also quieter there.They, the hotels, all charge like wounded bulls at Christmas time but OK, all these things are mostly a "last time". We're also flying Jetstar to save some money so will have to bring a thermos and packed lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, we get to Karen and guess what, Vicki & Trav have already booked,where? Bali!!!! Well , can't be helped because we had it all worked out as being affordable and I guess that is why they also decided on Bali.They'll get a surprise or is there such a word as DE-prise when we see them. At least we are in different hotels so we won't be under their feet at all.Karen had brought us lots of brochures of all areas around Aus. but she has worked long hours as has Maureen, since their staff left , so we don't actually see much of her. Jacquie comes in to give them a day of rest and business is still good , despite the economic downturn, which is wonderful for them.
Later today we are minding Caitlyn because Vicki and Travis are going to Cirque de Soleil tonight and like the rest of the kids, they usually overnight in Perth in a hotel.
Have just taken the girls here to dancing because Rick and Trev have gone to Ikea to get a wardrobe we saw there yesterday and would be good for our house. They were coming off their list of products so we could not wait till the house is finished. Thanks to Scott and Jo it is now stored at their house.He already has our floortiles, Trev's teapot collection ,our big TV and antique clocks. Would not know what we would have done without our kids at this time.
There is also a picture of Snugglepot and Possum roosting on top of their cage. They were there with the three of them which hopefully means our little girls are growing up and the eggs won't be very long in coming.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Activities around the Chookpen

Had a busy weekend with a cardmaking day on Saturday, to raise money for orphans & lepers in Thailand and also the bushfires.On Sunday Tash, Karen's friend had a Tupperware party. We also had a lovely dinner at Viv and Mick's along with Maureen and (Mick's sister) and three other friends of our hosts.Was a lovely evening.Was good to relax because the rest of the day had not been so good. It was very hot again. Then cameWednesday!!!!!!!What a day. It was quite cold, I had to put a cardigan on and , believe it or not, it rained and it rained. Yes , we had big puddles and I can't jump puddles any more! Today still cool in the morning but since I was cleaning the oven for our house, I actually got a bit sunburned again in the afternoon,despite my hat and cream. Still no news from the council even though Rick finalised the sewerage question with them,. Since the builders requested if they could have the planning permission, we thought we might be able to physically pick it up. But, oh no , they had an all day meeting and we can't expect it before Tuesday since Monday is a public holiday. It is now over 5 months since we first saw the builders and still no start! Incredible, I just have no nails left at all. Even planning a holiday for Xmas isn't helping that. Today Bella started her first riding lesson for the year but Pixie was not quite ready. She really does her best to help look after her horse,mucking out the stable and letting her in and out and the occasional brushing. Bella brushing and currying her horse ,Pixie.
Pixie is quite happy in the horse float.
Off they go
Tash and Karen making scones at the Tupperware Party.
The sprinklers are on so Pixie is having her evening snack from the Chookpen's gate.
Yes rainclouds!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something Positive from the Chookpen

All little red kangaroos, now white kangaroos, sitting in a row! Yesterday Trev, Rick and I attended the council meeting at the Shire and...yes...our building application was approved so things should be all a go in a week we guess.Andy has already pegged the site, the sign is on the fence and we have the instructions for the earthworks for Matthew.We were required to make an extra payment of $450 to the council. I asked them to qualify why this was required and was just told that that is what they charge if a plan has to go to council! What a useless lot of people these councillors are. Most of them old,which did nothing towards the standing of the elderly.They made the silliest objections to some of the other applications so we were getting a bit edgy but we had decided not to make statements.Ours looked like going through without objections until one doddering old fellow decided to air his views on the fact that it was a transportable and that old and second hand transportables were often of unacceptable standards.ALL our plans were ther for them to see, including the fact that it was to be newly built!!!!That started a flood of great ideas such as did it have proper insulation, should we have more access because of more cars being used (have you seen the access to some GROUP housing????),the trees having been cut down ( wanted to invite them to have a look at the companion tree in the block behind us, which, like most eucalypts, not only dropped a branch in the wind last week but dropped the whole of the huge tree!!!!)They insisted on a landscaping clause ( my God, after Melbourne , have they not learned ANYTHING about trees close to homes???) Thank Goodness for the Government Representative , sent there to keep them on track, which he did eventually and we were passed. What a strange land we live in. We are still coping with the news of more deaths and terrific material losses in Victoria and now the North of the country in WA here and Queensland is under water. If only previous Governments had got stuck into harnessing all that summer deluge for watersupply for the rest of the country. I think those ideas of piping it down are probably not economical any more but then again, no more expensive, in proportion, to the old days I guess. The latest photo of my boy Mac, the look of contentment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back in the Chookpen

Victoria on fire! These images are not mine, they were taken from the News Reports but every night , on the news in Melbourne and indeed here, we were told of more devastation and more deaths and injuries.It was almost surreal. Then ,in between, stories of the joy of re unions and the bravery of people there and the firefighters. So far, 190 lives lost, just terrible and Australia cried. We also rallied and donated goods and money, to this day,$100 Million and it will surelybe needed to re -settle and re- build. It seemed obscene to travel outside the city so we stayed within and donated and shopped and had coffee wherever they advertised donations going to the bushfire appeal.
We mostly dined in China Town as that was right near our hotel or at the Casino,where food is cheap and I won nearly $800 .
We re discovered Mao's Restaurant but it was disappointing.
We saw driverless cars on the bridge at the Arts centre, a commercial was being shot. The Yarra river and South bank,federation Square ( Trev hates it, I quite like it and it grows on you)Chappel road and the Jam Factory ( Chappel Road has lost a lot of appeal) and Docklands where we did not quite reach harbour Town.
One of the horse drawn coaches
We visited every market,the Arts market (Oh such beautiful things and...............Poffertjes!!!!!!!)''the South Melbourne, the Prahan and ofcourse the famous Queen Victoria MARKETS WHERE, INCREDIBLY ,WE HAD TO BUY JACKETS TO COPE WITH THE COOL WEATHER.
famous dim sims in Sth Melbourne Markets
We went almost everywhere by tram. Anyone can tell you where to go.
The building which has the Block, a perspex block which moves out from the building to give a 360 degree view. did not go up, more's the pity

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Birthday Party as seen from the Chookpen

With apologies to the Birthday girl. I did not get to you and some of the others nor the beautiful birthday cake because my battery ran out. Sorry Sarah and anyone else looking at this blog, click on a Branch of Peeps until Karen gets her photos on. She will no doubt have some terrific shots. The Tinkerbell Fairy castle
Dance concert too.
The Hostess , Karen & 3 Painted Ladies
How wonderful to be a kid these days. No ordinary parties. They either go out to a special function or stay home with lots of activities. Well Sarah had a Tinkerbell afternoon tea and there were lots of adults and about 20 kids. They had a facepainting lady in who also played pass the parcel (with everyone getting a prize) and she made them all fairy floss. She was a great artist. To top it off a Fairy bouncing castle was hired and a great deal of fun was had by all.
We're off to Melbourne early Monday morning so unless I find internet access at the hotel, I will return with lots of pictures after the 25th.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Someone turns 6 ,tomorrow in the house by the chookpen.

Chickens are doing well.Sometimes a bit hot for them but they would be hot anywhere, with the temperatures we are having. (A little cooler today, around 30 degrees. ) They now have names, Snugglepot,Cuddlepie and Possum so they are real Australian Sussex chicks!!!!! Rachel sent this pick of myself and Trev and Gary and Net ,taken at the engagement party. It's not often we four have a pic. together so thanks Rachel. Happy Birthday Sarah.........

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Riley's Day, from the chookpen.

Lots-o-uncles (Scott, Travis, Gary) creating lots-o-hilarity in the pool,and a very wet Oma Carla on the pool surround. Are they legs in the air?????
Yes,they are Sarah's
Took lots-o-courage ,but Caitlyn bravely captured this crocodile.
The Pool doughnuts from Aunty Net & Uncle Gary created lots-o-fun.
It takes lots-o-strength to blow out 9 candles.