Sunday, 29 December 2013

show the grand finale of family festivities in California

... and lo it came to pass that there was one more day of family togetherness.

Boxing day entailed a trip to California; downtown Burbank.
 - complete with the sign on the hill, (it's like the Hollywood sign, in case you didn't get it.)

The mojitos were cold and the mango and avocado salsa saucy.

The girls were  'like so hot'.

Once again attention to manicurial detail was impressive.

Poolside, only one thing was missing.

Ah, there they are: the pool boys/lifeguards.

 ... and some landlubbers who forgot what the theme of the day was.

The food kept coming

and the babes just kept getting hotter. 

 Some drama though when the wildlife swooped in for a bit of the goodlife.

Even the papparazzi were there to snap the chicks.

and by the end of the day things weren't quite what they seemed.

Friday, 27 December 2013

enjoy some Tuscan fare

Xmas day's theme elect was Tuscany.

It began in typical Australian fashion however with the ritual application of Aeroguard. (I'm not receiving any sponsorship from that company by the way)

We started with a traditional icy cold Italian Sparkling to set the mood, and accompany our antipasti.

.....followed by a feast sourced and created from local fare.

Dessert included the Guifre world famous tiramisu, gelati, toasted pannetone with marsala soaked strawberries and mascapone.

... and we observed the Italian tradition called the 'Urn of Fate'. 

A lucky dip for each guest which sets your pathway for the coming year.

....and tomorrow is Boxing day. I guess we'll have to gather the leftovers and take off to a new destination.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

share some Christmas family fun

At a recent gathering of the Marshall clan, we asked the question:
"Where would we like to be for the Xmas festivities?"

The answer for Xmas Eve was Switzerland; at our place.

Baby it was cold outside; inside a balmy 19 degrees.
This family were prepared for all weathers. Unfortunately Manda sustained a broken arm on the ski field in the days before.

Although concerned about misplaced passports, border control let this group in as well. 

Here's dedication to the theme!

Of course Fondue was on the menu. (minor flame control issues, but it tasted good!) 

Warm ears are sooo important.

Turkey roast, rosti and beans with pomegranate seeds for mains.

...... and it had to be a chocolate fondue for dessert.

Thank you to David for bringing the Swiss chocolate with him from Lake Constanz

 This little fella kept the function interesting.

... and when the last hot cocoa and piece of custard drenched pudding was finished the tired and happy visitors headed home to prepare for Santa.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Attempt a catch up.

Here I am finally with 10 minutes available to catch up and post another blog entry.

Today's catch up is about a great exhibition still on at the Qld Art gallery; or QAG as it's being referred to currently.

'California Dreaming'.
What's really interesting to me about this exhibition is how familiar the objects and lifestyle are.
I guess growing up in the 60's in Brisbane was akin to California.

What do you think?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

went over the hill, vicariously.

Paul and Myles are planning on climbing Kilimanjaro next year and have commenced training.  This weekend it was a short trek up Mt Warning, near Murwillumbah - 5 hours, 9kms and an altitude gain of several hundred meters.

There was the day before reconnoitre. Track sign, trees, Suzanne on ipad in waiting in the carpark (teenagers!).


Then it was off to find dinner in Murwillumbah.

An early start is required to see the sunrise - 2 hours of uphill climbing/walking before the 5.48am sunrise so it was off to bed early.

The first part of the climb is in darkness (because the sun hasn't risen yet, for anyone wondering why.) Onward and upward. And upward, And upward......

As you climb, after about an hour and a half, the light starts to increase and you can see some of the scenery unfolding.


And eventually the youngsters reach the summit.  Some time later the more worldly wise also summit. And as you can see the view is worth the effort.

A large group of people also made the early morning effort, about 30 or so this morning. Dec 22nd is shaping as a big morning for the climb, for any druids among you.

On the way down you get a better view of what the way up was like. The last 400 meters is quite steep.

This is not flat, it is almost vertical. You can use the chain to help pull yourself up, but it is not essential.

And then, after a short 4.5 hours and 9km, it is all but a faint memory and the occasional sore muscle.

Especially the calves at this stage.

Where next......

Monday, 4 November 2013

issue a wild life alert

An invitation to Manda and Ben's house needs to come with a wildlife alert.

They're actively encouraging the natives to come and visit. There is an uncertain danger.

One never knows when a kookaburra is going to swoop, or when a wallaby is going to land in your lap.

Sure, they pretend they're friendly.....

There's always the other natives to be in awe of as well.