2006-05 (MAY, 2006)

Timmy's Graduation - Sydney, Australia

Chisfa & TimmyOn the evening of Thursday, the 4th of May, my brother, Timmy, finally got presented with his PhD from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. It was the culmination of three years of hard work and one year of hassling his supervisor to get the bloody thing marked. I bet he is very glad to see the back of that! I now have to call my brother Dr Molloy - oh, the shame... ;-)

I arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning and joined the rest of my family at their accommodation in Bondi Junction. And so began two days of 'family push-me-pull-you' - as in "what would you like to do?", "oh, I don't mind", "I'll do what everyone else wants to do", etc. I'm glad I didn't have any plans to do anything during my visit! We did get ourselves together enough to go for a swim at Bondi Beach in the afternoon. Tim's ceremony was on Thursday evening and afterwards we joined with Matt's group to form an even dozen for dinner. We ended up at the Restaurant Balzac - utterly fabulous. I slept on Ma & Pa's couch.

On Saturday, Bex, Pete and myself followed Mum around some of the shops she wanted to visit. The theme was French and we began in Paddington. We blended a walk from our Dorling Kindersley guidebook with the shopping destinations - a most pleasant stroll. The French shops were not so pleasant - lots of 'made in China' reproductions being sold as the real deal. We then met Tim for lunch before tracking down one last French shop - the only one selling 'real' stuff, as it turned out (Ici et Là). The plans for the evening were 'push-me-pull-you'ed around until we settled on gourmet burgers and a DVD ('Night Watch') - not very exciting, but at least we got to hang out all together.

I flew home to my two ladies first thing on Saturday morning. A pleasant few days away.

Holly's Birthday - Christchurch, New Zealand

Birthday cake at Nana & Poppy'sHolly celebrated her first birthday during the week, so we all headed south to celebrate with Nana & Poppy (my Mum & Dad).

The Thursday evening flight down went without a hitch and the journey to Cashmere was packed with catch-up-burble.

On Friday we had a 'pamper Holly' day. We went for a walk along the river and fed the ducks. We visited the local library and got some books for her to read. We went to the local playground and sat on Dad's knee on the long, steep slide therein (more fun for Dad than Holly). That evening Holly was baby-sat whilst we all went out to the flicks ('The Da Vinci Code' - not too bad).

Saturday was a day of relaxation. Milly & Mike came around in the evening and we did Cake and Present for Holly. Andy, Milly, Mike and myself then went out to the Belgian Beer Café for the evening (mmmm... Belgian Beer).

On Sunday we did a family mission to the hot pools at Hanmer Springs. Holly enjoyed her swim for about ten minutes before she shat her (one and only) swim nappy. Andy volunteered to baby-sit for the next hour whilst the rest of us stayed in to soak. We didn't get home until after dark. That night we watched the interesting 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism'.

Monday was a shopping day. Andy found some good craft supply shops and stocked up. That evening we went and saw Alain de Botton talk about his latest book 'The Architecture of Happiness'. He was an extremely interesting speaker and we bought a signed copy of his book to find out more. We dissected his talk over dessert at Strawberry Fare.

On Tuesday morning we flew home. A most pleasant looong weekend away.