2018 so far

The year is only 14 days old and it has brought surprises aplenty and excitement too!

A visit to reacquaint my parents with Marion, my second mother in law, after, we guess, 8 1/2 years.

Bouts of “Aussie” flu for me, Kevin and joe!

The decorations came down last week and this past week has certainly been an eventful one.

The space where the tree once was!

Late nights last week culminating in a trip to the Barbican to see RSC Antony and Cleopatra – absolutely brilliant, and Wagamama’s before a real treat!

Today I attended the Christening of Lucas Sydney Robert Pope, and watched as Georgina and Jay accepted the task of being two of his Godparents.

Lovely service, although the Church was freezing❄️❄️

Home and time for some chores, Malaysian curry for dinner and time spent with a recovering Joe and Georgina.

A lovely bottle of red from the Bolney Estate in Sussex and all is well! Plus I made a new friend today if the furry variety. 💕💕

January was supposed to be a quiet month, but with so much going on I don’t think I have a rest until 3rd February, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Happy New Year!

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2017

This last year has been well documented by me, but I will post a few photos here too!

As is the way, there has been highs (many) and lows (few), but that is life. How we cope with the lows is the important thing, with support of family and friends.

Reading through my blogs for this year has brought many a smile to my face and I hope that 2018 has as many wonderful moments!

There are three weddings to attend: Kevin is starting to feel all aquiver with the thought of outfits, shoes etc ( for me 😉). Exciting times!

Parkrun will continue as I try to improve my fitness and health.

Perhaps 2018 should have more spontaneity and less planned things, we shall see….

Andrew and Lis are over in April, and that will provide early celebrations for 30th (Andrew) and 60th (Kevin) birthdays 🎂

I wish everyone a great New Year full of what makes you happy, today, tomorrow, forever xxx

Photo Challenge 2017

Wow what a year! Engagements, big birthdays and anniversaries!

I’ve visited some wonderful places, seen some amazing cricket and rugby. Met some fantastic people and had precious time with my family and friends!

Just awesome, and with 3 weddings in 2018 and one to prepare for in 2019 possibly, I’m just so full of excitement!

Last meal at the Harbour Grill

We opted to eat in the hotel and as it was raining it was a wise decision.

Food was delicious, company great and we toasted the holiday, and Colin’s upcoming big birthday next Sunday.

We again found ourselves talking about our families, the joy the heartache but also immense pride!

It has been awesome and memories aplenty!

Part 4 Kowloon

We were taken back to central and caught the ferry back to Kowloon. This is on the blue route and our final bus ride of the day.

More history more shops, more skyscrapers!

Back to our hotel walking to get my daily quota in!

HK part 2 Aberdeen, Stanley and Repulse Bay

The green route covers the North of the island with a good commentary of the history of HK. It seems less urbanised than the South, more of a holiday location.

Again I was challenged with twists and turns but breathtaking views!

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As part of this route we enjoyed a Sampan ride- part 3

Honkers Shonkers Bus tour part 1

Bus trips today. First one by shuttle bus to the ferry.

We arrived at central and picked up the red route.

There will be 4 parts to this and hopefully the photos, whilst void of noise, hustle and bustle and smells will convey a flavour of Hong Kong!

Back at central we go on the green route. Part 2 to follow!

Ashes to Ashes, Gabba to Hong Kong…..

To see a day of Ashes test cricket, in Australia, was one of the reasons for the timing and destinations of this holiday.

We both love cricket, Kevin a very competent bat back in the day! Colin and him met at school, with Colin a demon fast bowler (well he is Jamaican)

So tickets were purchased and today was the day!

We had to pack, check out of our apartment, leave our bags to pick up later then a short walk to the RBWH bus station to catch the 340 to Woolloongabba.

We arrived in plenty of time and found our seats, which were excellent (Thank you to Andrew for picking these!)

The weather forecast over the last fortnight has ranged from rain, cloudy,partly sunny to thunderstorms! So this could’ve been interesting.

Play started promptly and there were the strains of Jerusalem resounding through the ground. Magical!

To witness one of the greatest contests in sport is spine tingling for me. We soaked up the sun, and let the story unfold. We saw Steve Smith, the Aussie captain, complete a patient 100, Pat Cummins get a credible 40+, wickets fell, albeit slowly and then Australia were all out.

Now for England to start there 2nd innings…

Cook and Stoneman came to the crease with hopes high. The atmosphere became very tense, with not only the field pressure, but the 30,000 Aussie fans, clapping and shouting for an England batsman to be out.

Alistair Cook went cheaply again, I would say that he hadn’t taken on board Steve Smith’s patient stance, but certainly early calls for him to be dropped are hasty.

Vince came to the crease and all too soon he was gone, replaced by Root, the captain, we hoped no more wickets would fall.

We left just before close of play, to ensure we picked up our bags before 7pm.

It was such an occasion, Kevin wearing the Australia vest Andrew and Lis bought him last year, much to Debbie’s mortification!

The crowd was noisy, and the drinking that can change how people behave, excessive. The profanities that we’re heard made me uncomfortable, the comments about ‘pommies’, unnecessary but I understand that this is all part of it.

Beer snakes aplenty with staff battling hard with limited staffing.

These latter mentioned observations take nothing away from a memorable, awesome day. Kevin and I even made it onto the big screen and Bruce managed to get a picture!!

A quick freshen up and we were at Brisbane Airport for our flight to Hong Kong, the last leg of our holiday. Check in and bag drop I found frustrating, farcical and time consuming. But I was tired, hungry and thirsty by that point. It had been a long, fantastic, memorable, awesome and did I say awesome, day!

A trip to lone pine

Today we took the bus 🚌 to travel to fig pocket lane to visit the lone pine koala sanctuary.

They have a variety of koala areas where you can find them sleeping or doing their day jobs of being photographed with humans. They can only work 30 minutes a day and this is broken into 10 minute sections.

We also had the opportunity to see birds, reptiles, bats, Roos and even a glimpse of a platypus.

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There were rangers on hand and interesting talks and facts that were shared, the need to plant eucalyptus trees to help with the koala population. There is also a huge chlamydia problem that leads to blindness and infertility. They are working with universities to find a vaccine to help this problem. Very sad to see the pictures of the impact of this.

We made the return journey home and got ready to head back into town, where we met up with Bruce, an ex business manager that I have known for over 10 years. He is fulfilling a life long dream of seeing every Ashes game this series and is also documenting this with a blog of his own ‘cricket 51 days’. A real raconteur, this will provide an amusing angle to both cricket and his travels!

We enjoyed food and drink at Doo-Bop jazz bar with cricketing, travelling and family anecdotes shared!

Thoroughly enjoyable and tomorrow the cricket commences!

Come on England! 🏏🏏🏏🏏

Brisbane and sport

Next up was our journey to Brisbane. We had breakfast at the apartment, had a drive round the 🌴 one last time, soaked up the views, the memories and said our goodbyes. We had emergency exit seats on the plane, so more leg room!

The flight with Virgin Australia was short and sweet and we picked up our luggage and made our way to the taxi pick up. We said our goodbyes to Nina and Jay, and I can’t lie, wiped away a tear or two. They had an eight hour wait for their flight to HK.

A short taxi ride and we were at the Annexe Apartments our home for the next 5 days. It has all we need, but not a patch on where we came from, but we are here for a different experience.

We noticed that the Rugby League World Cup semis were on Friday and Saturday-we are occupied at the Gabba on Saturday, so we opted to buy tickets for Friday. The Suncorp stadium is only a couple of miles from where we are staying. So that is two sporting clashes to attend 🤗

We wondered around in the twilight to find the supermarket but no joy, so ended up at the BP garage fie a couple of ready meals 😞but came across these

😂 has to send this to Andrew and Jay!

Hopefully we can do better today!