2004-01 (JANUARY, 2004)

Boys Alone - Sydney, Australia

Not long after getting back from NZ, Andy was off again, this time to Korea and Singapore for work. This left myself and Bobby home alone for 10 whole days.

A typical working day ended with me arriving home from work and having a beer thrust into my hand before I'd even put my bag down. Each evening then proceeded to melt away pleasantly over a fine meal, several more beers and the odd crossword or two - most civilised.

Our weekend was spent testing the Balmain portion of my city secret treasure hunt website [now deceased]. This involved much walking around and stopping for coffees and food. Nice.

Bobby buggered-off down the coast the day before Andy returned and left me with the job of cleaning up after 10 days of Boys Alone. Not much fun, that part. ;-)

Australia Day Weekend - NSW, Australia

We spent the first long weekend of 2004 up at 'Dogwood'. We hired a car and had a remarkably easy drive up on the Friday night. We were greeted by Dave & Jenny and Rose & Graham, Dave's Mum & Dad, and proceeded to have a beer or two to close the week-that-was and open the weekend-to-be.

On Saturday Dave & Jenny headed down to Sydney for a wedding. Andy & I stayed on and got stuck into our respective half-finished book collection. I finished Monturiol's Dream: The Extraordinary Story of the Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the World by Matthew Stewart, a very interesting biography about "the inventor of the first true submarine" and "Barcelona in the mid-1800s" in equal measure. The typical Australia Day Weekend weather prevailed (thunder, lightning and torrential rain), but this disrupted our day's pursuits not one jot.

On Sunday Dave & Jenny returned from the Big Smoke and we continued our day of blobbing out reading and watching the rain lash down. That evening we (OK, mainly Rose and Jenny) cooked a mighty feast of roast pork with crackling, roast and mashed potatoes, homemade gravy and vegetables. Utterly divine. At least four bottles of red wine went 'missing in action' as well.

On the holiday Monday, Jenny had arranged to get a few family members around for a BBQ. This metamorphosed into a 50+ people affair and Andy & I only stayed long enough to meet the first arrivals. Instead we got on the road back to Sydney with a detour via the seaside town of Forster Tuncurry (actually two townships cleaved by Lake Wallis). We were back home by dinner time.