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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Barossa weekend

Hey all,

Cheryl and I are just back from a weekend(ish - Friday Saturday) at the Barossa. We weren't going there to drink wine (although we did drink some wine).. instead we just wanted to relax in nice surroundings with good food and drink. For that the Barossa is superb. On Friday we drove to Tanunda, and then from there around the western area. We stopped at Richmond Grove to get some tiny bottles of wine (I'm a fan of Richmond Grove) and also visited Maggie Beer's where we picked up the nicest non-alcoholic wine i've ever tasted or smelled. It's called "Desert Pearls" and if you see a bottle grab it, chill it, and enjoy :) Then we headed back to Tanunda to our cottage (goatsquarecottages.com.au).

Saturday we started by picking some plums from the tree outside our cottage. They're Satsuma plums, just like we used to have in Talbot. I picked about half a kilo, and we went to a farmer's market where I bought another half kilo, as well as some jam and honey and strawberries. From there we headed out to a lookout where they also have marble sculptures, then back to Tanunda for lunch (bratwurst!) and to Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park to go on a 45 minute bushwalk. We had briefly considered the 3 and a half hour walk, but then we discovered a sign saying bridges were out and that walk was closed.. but it wasn't closed at the start of it, only at the end (where we saw it).. so we probably would have walked 3 hours and then had to turn around and go back.

From there we took a long way home via a few more small towns to see what they were like. They're small.

The trip was great. It's only about 40 minutes from our house to the Barossa, and once you're there the three main towns are only about 10 or 15 minutes away from each other.. with plenty of wineries in between. The only problem we had was bad signage - we kept missing turn offs, and then had to drive for quite a while to find a place to turn around. But i do strongly recommend it to anyone whether they want wine or just a short break. I'm uploading photos on flickr as we speak, so make sure you go check them out :) And I also recommend goat square cottages.. they're very small, but not annoyingly so.. and you get breakfast provisions. I don't know if i can go back to normal bread now i've cut my own thick little slabs for toast ;)

Anyway, that's quite the post. I'm sure Cheryl can add anything I forgot.. I'm off to eat some plums ;)
A story in parts

[daynoir: this is an experiment - mostly to see how Google docs work, but partly to see how we go with stories too.
write a sentence or a paragraph - whatever feels right.. try not to make a "dead end" and keep the story flowing. enjoy]

[glennji: I like the idea of putting comments up the top here, too. Plot ideas, or even just thoughts about decisions taken by the various writers (I hope everyone participates). For example, I felt the first paragraph with kind of creepy and dark, so I'm continuing it that way! This is so much fun (I've done a similar thing before on some public websites, before getting kicked off for strong language like, "Oh my God!")]

[daynoir: yup - great idea glenn.. i'm not going to write more to the story until someone else has a go. :) ]

[Well it looks like you might be waiting a while. Is it because not everyone has editing permissions? Since you sign into Google to use Blogger, could you send it to everybody's Google accounts?]

i don't know what everyone's google accounts are... do you?

Our story begins in a city. A city much like any other - bustling and busy and slightly grotty on the edges. Tonight the traffic banked back for kilometres, a red line of rear lights slowly moving past the high-rises and the industrial zones, impatient car horns squeeking and squawking in the dark. "I'm glad I don't have a car," he thought as he watched the crawl from his office window. The wind seemed to have died down from the gale it was at lunchtime, so the half-hour walk home would be more refreshing than tiring after the day in front of the computer.

Or so he thought. He packed away his meagre possessions - a translucent-blue lunch box of crumbs, remnants of his latest attempt to stop buying lunch out; his prized "space pen" (it writes upside down! Underwater! In space!); and an MP3 player filled with 80s music and animated Disney movies (a guilty pleasure he indulged in more often now the weather had turned) - slung the soft brown satchel over his shoulder and headed for the door.

The office was all but empty, with more and more people "teleworking" these days, logging in over the Internet and connecting to the company's secure network with passwords, smart cards and random-number generators. Those remaining were invariably grouped in little clusters around a single monitor, basked in a greenish-blue glow in the dim office downlights, their faces temporarily cast to a dull hue the palor of the undead, B-grade movie zombies. Eyes bright and spectacles glowing completed the ghoulish look; he couldn't help the chill that ran down his neck as they turned, as one, to watch his passing.

"'Nighty night!" he said with a joviality and familiarity he didn't feel, before walking quickly past and turning the corner to the elevators.

Was it his imagination or was this corridor darker than usual? He tried to whistle a light-hearted tune but it seemed to disappear into the white noise that surrounded him. A buzzing that seemed to get louder as he walked away from the technology filled office he had just left. Maybe it was coming from the single fluorescent that lit his way to the elevator. He quickened his step, wanting nothing more than to get out into the fresh air.

Just before the ceilidh


Thursday, 25 January 2007

Dayna's new address

Hi all,

Just a quick one to pass on my address.. if i can find the post where everyone put their details, i'll put mine there too..

Dayna Mason
Flat 10 Wakefield House
New Wakefield Street
Manchester M1 5NP

UK Mobile: +44 7942 096657

The internet is being sorted this week, so that should mean by end of next week or week after it should be all good to go - I have skype and MSN and am not afraid to use them. *grin*

Hope everyone is well..

Monday, 22 January 2007

it snowed last night!

i'll put some pics up once i get internet sorted at home.. but last night at about 6pm it was snowing. it didn't last very long and it was all gone from the footpaths and roads this morning.. but there's still some on the grass near Uni.

it's been a while since i've sent an update, so here's a brief overview..
got to manchester, walked round for 5 hours looking at share houses, found one and moved in. It didn't turn out to be as good as I had hoped (lots of extra people at the house when my housemate was at work!, heating set WAY too high, leaky toilet (ewww), and broken tv that could only be LOUD! - not good for sleeping in the next room.) Anyway, after a week of that, I decided to find somewhere else and saturday i moved into a place that's only 15 mins walk from Uni (the other was 35 mins - which was better for fitness, but not for sleeping in..). I'll be living with a girl who is also a vege (that eats fish every now and then).. i'll let you know in a week or so how it's going.. she's been away for the weekend, which has meant i could settle in without being in anyone's way. :)

i've also got a cold. :( I think the heating in the last place didn't help (30 degrees inside, 10 degrees outside!).. and the boyfriend of my last house mate has got the flu too (not sure who gave it to whom). anyway, i had a lazy day yesterday and feel better for the super early night. might try to do it again tonight. :)

that'll do for now.. i must do some work. hopefully i'll have internet at home soon and will be able to MSN or Skype to everyone.


stuck on halloween

Hi all, can someone who knows how change the halloween header. I liked to be able to switch headers but on the new blog I can't.
Thank you Glenn for the email address. All please send me an email so I can get my contact list going again.
Hoping to get to Lisa's today to continue the clean up. Jared's room just needs a tweek or two and he'll be ready for the bunks. We no longer have bunks in the study.
Hope all is good for everyone.
Dayna I'm looking for the blog on the house hunting, but I undertand you're very busy just finding somewhere good to live.
Love to all

stuck on halloween

Hi all, can someone who knows how change the halloween header. I liked to be able to switch headers but on the new blog I can't.
Thank you Glenn for the email address. All please send me an email so I can get my contact list going again.
Hoping to get to Lisa's today to continue the clean up. Jared's room just needs a tweek or two and he'll be ready for the bunks. We no longer have bunks in the study.
Hope all is good for everyone.
Dayna I'm looking for the blog on the house hunting, but I undertand you're very busy just finding somewhere good to live.
Love to all

Sunday, 14 January 2007

where have all the headers gone?

I tried sending a reply to Damien's challenge but somehow it got lost. When that happened, I made a short reply. Obviously that also got lost.
Been looking at broadband providers. People telecom seem a good choice since they offer free connection when signing up for two years,but not a modem and have a 2gb limit at 256/64 for $29.95. That's double TPG download for the same price. Alternately, if we go with Telstra, we could keep the dial up in case we use too much.
Dad is making sauce. We did at least 20 minutes walk around the market this morning. I don't know how committed I am at extra walks.
Good luck with the house hunting Dayna. All send me emails so I get your addresses back in the address book.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

2007 New Years Fit-o-lution

Hi all..

I'm not sure how many of you remember in September 2005 I had the 6 week fitness challenge. It involved lots of walking, and some other activities.. it was quite effective in getting fitness up..

I'm going to modify the original to just walking, because it's easier to maintain, and I'm once again asking if anyone is interested in taking part in this Challenge. The idea is that you walk for a set time every day (or three times a day on the weekend if you can't find the time during the week) starting at 20 minutes and working your way up. For this to be really effective, you combine it with other increased exercise - playing sport, swimming, bicycling, that sort of thing.

However to be a cruel taskmaster, I'm not going to take "I went swimming for an hour" as an excuse for not walking - i've already cut back the extra activities in this Challenge, so count anything like that as a bonus to yourself. And also no to walking ten minutes, and then another ten minutes later - it's got to be continuous.

So let me know if you're doing it.. and no "i might see how i go", I want a definite yes from everyone ;) And starting Monday, I'll post the required amount of walking for that week. Then in the comments you can add when you've done each walk.

I find the best way to keep this kind of thing going is to be forced to let everyone know how you're doing :) And on that I'd recommend Dayna, Glenn and Dee all go walking together, and Mum, Dad, Lisa, Adam, Carolynn and Jared could do the same. It might seem like it's hard to make the time, but really, it's for your health, and the long-term benefits are huge.

So who's with me? ;)

Monday, 8 January 2007

computers galore

We now have two computers in the study.Dad set the Celeron as the one connected to the modem. I managed to put TPG on the desktop as I had with Dayna's but now I can't get emails. There's no send receive button. I think it's put Internet Explorer 7 on. I'll try to work it out but in the meantime, the emails aren't getting through.
Still to add back our financial info. I found a 2001 version so that's a start.
Similarly with Family Tree Maker. I'll ask Auntie Denise to give me a copy of what she has and that should help get it up to date.
Once that is done, I'll start the Sims again. Lisa gave me lots of extras.
Today we went to Probus then Nana took us out for lunch. Tomorrow I'll go to watch Jared at his swimming lessons.
Enjoying not having to go to work.
Hope all is well with you all.
Lots of Love

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Christmas Photos and Video

Hey all,

I've posted a few photos from Christmas on my flickr page including my personal favourite of Dad eating a frog. We've also zipped up a couple of videos of Trinity walking for the UK mob - it's a 10MB file (2 avis), and you can grab it here.

Hope you like them!

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

A cold start to 2007

Neon Grasshopper
Just thought we needed a new post.. and it is a good excuse to show you my picture. :)

I went along to the Night Afore International celebrations as part of Edinburgh's Hogmanay on the 30th December. It was GREAT. A theatrical extravaganza. These neon grasshoppers ran/bounced along the street.. and posed for lots of photos.. heheh.. It was a cold night, but not raining.. and my cheapo jacket is actually pretty good (so far) at keeping me warm.

Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) was another story completely! The wind picked up to gale-force, it pelted down with rain, and was a downright miserable day and night! They even cleared the street (they usually have a very popular (and therefore ticketed) street party!). Unheard of! Ahhh, weather.. the overpowering force. :)

Because it was so dismal outside, we stayed in had good company, good drinks, good food (well.. cheese (and ham) toasties) and played games on the Xbox. I enjoyed myself.. dunno about anyone else.

Anyway, I'd best be off now - it's a little late and I need to use tomorrow to get ready to move to Manchester.. aarrgghh! *grin*