Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Summer 2012/13 - a retrospective (part 4)

Patrick's trip to the orthodontist was full of happy news. On our return from Tidal River, Patrick would have his braces removed and be fitted for a retainer. One happy little 14 year old.

A couple of days later, after the kids had caught up with friends, we headed to Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory for 9 days of camping with our good friends Leisa and Kevin with their kids Hamish and Siobhan. After the hectic nature of the previous month, this camping trip was our time to rest.

Apart from from one very windy night (in which Leisa and Kevin's tent was destroyed) the weather was generally good and we had a great time. It was the second time we'd been camping there and it was just as enjoyable this time. We managed to take in more of the walks and even made use of the outdoor cinema on occasion. It's a lovely place and we'll be going back again. We even bumped in to our neighbours. Small world.

So that was our action packed summer and it's only taken me until late March to get it all on the blog :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Summer 2012/13 - a retrospective part 3

Upon our return from Wollongong Viv, Brian, the kids and I took a trip to Taronga Zoo. That place is always being renovated, like most tourist attractions, and it was amazing to see the changes since we were last there.

Over the next couple of days we just tried to stay out of the heat and one day went to see a movie and just hung out.

Karen and Patrick returned at about 7am one morning after a massive road trip from Maryborough, and they were both glad to be home. We were all keen to hear their stories and they were keen to catch up on some sleep and stay inside in the cool after the heat of tropical Qld. By all accounts they had a great time.

After a couple of days it was time to head home for Patrick's orthodontist appointment and our 9 day family camping trip to Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory.

More to come in part 4.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Bowls - A 2012/13 season wash-up

Running from October to March, the lawn bowls season is not for the faint of heart. This season saw our club with teams in Divisions 3, 4 and 7. This was on the back of one relegation and two promotions the previous year from Divisions 2, 5 and 8.

The grand plan was to get the Division 3 team promoted back to Division 2 and consolidate the other two teams in their new Divisions.

After having played in the top side for several years in various positions I was given the opportunity to skip a rink in the second side this season. I was a bit nervous initially, but over the course of the season I grew into the role and finished up with 11 wins from 14 appearances with an average winning margin of 5 shots. Not a bad start.

The second side finished third on the ladder and played finals - but fell short of promotion (which isn't all bad). It was a great season and exceeded the expectations of many. The third side finished seventh and remain in Division 7 as per the plan. Consolidation achieved.

The top side dropped two games for the entire season and finished at the top of the ladder by quite a margin. They then went on to win their semi-final thus gaining promotion back to Division 2.

Grand plan achieved. What a season!

Summer 2012/13 - a retrospective part 2

After catching up with Oskar, Robyn, Kylie, Jack and others at the Opera Bar it was time for me to catch a train to Wollongong where I'd stay with Dad for a few days while I bowled in the annual South Pacific Bowls Carnival.

An old school mate of mine, Dean, teams up with me in the pairs and I also played in the singles this year. It's a massive tournament and the standard of bowls is awesome. I/we didn't win our sections but we did beat the eventual section winners.

After that it was back to Sydney for a short while before bidding farewell to Karen and Patrick as they headed North to Maryborough and Australian Jamboree 2013 (or AJ2013 as referred to by scouts).

With over 11,500 scouts and about 2,500-3,000 leaders, it's a massive event! With off site activities including a day trip to Australia Zoo, entertainment each night in the arena such as Tim-O-Matic, Cosentino, Justice Crew, Jessica Mauboy and much more the scouts and leaders had a ball. Apart from the high temperatures and humidity I'm led to believe it was a great experience and one they'll be talking about for years to come.

While Karen and Patrick were away, Angus and Owen came with me back to Wollongong to stay with Dad for a few days while Lily had some Nanna and Grandad one-on-one time. The boys and I went for a big bike ride with Dad from his place in Bellambi to Wollongong and back, stopping for lunch along the way. It's a similar ride that I used to do all the time as a kid and the boys loved it - so did Dad. That night Linda joined us for dinner at a lovely local Italian restaurant.

The next day the four of us headed to Jamberoo Action park with what seemed like half of the population. While it was super busy and some lines were ridiculously long, we had a great day and kept cool. It would be a great day out with half as many people there!

The next day was our last in Wollongong and before we headed North back to Sydney the boys and I visited the Wollongong Science Centre - it's like a little Scienceworks. It was fantastic and well worth the visit. Another benefit of being a Melbourne Museum member is that we got free entry :)

So that was our Wollongong trip. To be continued.