Run for the Kids

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I just did my first 15km Run for the Kids. The run takes you through the Domain Tunnel,  over the Bolte Bridge,  through Docklands and Southbank, before ending up in the Botanical Gardens.
I am stiff and sore, and I am craving a shower when I get home. But I am glad I’ve done it and I am looking forward to the next run :).
Thanks to my running buddies for the training and the constant nagging to get me to sign up.

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Another Blogger in the House

An exciting new blogger has emerged on the scene. Master BG has decided to start blogging!

He just started yesterday and after a bit of plugging on Facebook and Twitter, he was stoked to have over 30 views on his first post.

Master BG will write about what he knows and what he likes. His first post was all his work, in his own words. It’s definitely his voice that you hear in his words, or as he put it to his dad, ” It’s like I’m in your head, isn’t it?”

His posts are read by myself or Mr BG, just to make sure that there is nothing which could potentially expose him to unwanted attention. His school have been very proactive in promoting cyber-safety and usually the first question we would ask about posting something is “Is it safe?”

His head is burgeoning with ideas, but we are keen to have him post at regular intervals, and to develop them. At the moment he likes to write lists, and Minecraft and Doctor Who will feature prominently.

Master BG will blog as Seaniclez124

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For Auld Lang Syne

While Mr BG does not like bagpipes, hates The Proclaimers and prefers Irish whiskey to Scotch, he proudly declares himself to be of Scottish heritage.

In 1851 Alexander Finlayson emigrated from the Isle of Skye off the West coast of Scotland and settled in Ascot, just outside of Ballarat, near Clunes. He married Isabella McKay another emigre from Skye and went on to have scores of descendants, one of whom was my Mr BG.

Needless to say we will be going to the For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation, which starts at the Art Gallery of Ballarat this Friday 11 April.

 John Isaac Richardson, Ben Cruachan, Highland cattle

John Isaac Richardson, Ben Cruachan, Highland cattle

This is an exhibition which brings together art and objects to tell the story of the Scots and their influence upon the cultural, social and politician life of Australia. Australia’s first Catholic saint, Mother Mary McKillop, is herself of Scottish parentage and learnt to speak Gaelic in her Fitzroy home as a child.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Alison Inglis, Associate Professor, Art History Program, University of Melbourne and Patricia Tryon Macdonald, curator, Exiles and Emigrants, Epic Journeys to Australia in the Victorian Era, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005-2006).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue that will include essays by leading scholars on aspects of the Scottish presence in Australia.

There will also be a schedule of public and education programs. I am hoping for learning how to play the bagpipes, if only to tick off my husband…

For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation runs from Friday 11 April to Sunday 27 July 2014 at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat. The Gallery is open from 10am-5pm daily.

The cost for this exhibition is Adults $15, Concession $10, Children free.

 

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Leaving and Coming Home

The day was gorgeous, perfect blue skies and heat. I felt a pang at leaving and was also mentally counting down the hours before I would be home. I had a final workout at the gym and a final swim, alone in the lap pool.

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Breakfast was coffee and pancakes-it was pancake Sunday after all, and I was amazed at the stack. My brothers were too hungover from last night’s festivities, so I breakfasted alone.

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I started reading a blog post and the last couple of days got to me. I wanted to be at home with my family and just hold them and not let go. As a result I got very teary and was thankful for the napkin. A good cry ensued at the hotel room as I packed up.

Leaving Denarau island was strange. It was the first time I had been off the resort island and the reality of urban Fiji was somewhat different to the well manicured boulevards of Denarau. The original trip had been in darkness and now driving back to the airport was an eyeopener. I felt like a very privileged tourist and not a little bit guilty at the luxury I had been enjoying over the last couple of days.

Checking in and clearing immigration was quick, so I had a few hours to kill before boarding. Duty free shopping and reading an e-book took care of most of my  time. Getting onto the plane I soon discovered that the inflight entertainement harked back to the days of yore, when a screen would show a couple of movies. The new Thor movie wasn’t too bad (Loki is a great bad guy!), and I was thankful for my tablet with Angry Birds. The gentleman sitting beside was intrigued with the game, and started making suggestions regarding strategy. That turned into a long conversation with Innes, who was originally from Hull, and his wife Gail, also returning from a Fiji holiday. Having little inflight entertainment turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I got to know my fellow passengers :).

I finally arrived back in Melbourne around 11.20, so glad to be back in Victoria on a mild autumn night, and glad to have packed a cardigan and leggings to wear under my dress. My good mate Tim picked me up from the airport, and I finally arrived back in Ballarat around 2am. The little BGs got cuddles and kisses and I snuggled into bed with Mr BG’s arm around me. My bed had never felt so good :)

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Hey little sister. ..

Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ is playing in my head when I wake up on the day of my sister’s wedding. My second thought is “Shit it’s raining!”,  as I hear the rain gush off the roofs and the spouting.  The day is grey and my third thought is “Fizz is not going to like this”.

I stay in bed and check my emails. The day turns even darker when I realize my flight from Fiji to Sydney has been changed and is later. My connection choice to Melbourne has me arriving at midnight, making a late night train trip impossible. You really feel helpless at the mercy of airlines,  and I feel angry and not a little bit weepy.  It’s Fizz’s day though and I’m not going to spend it moping.
I drown my sorrows in French Toast and fruit, catch up with Fiona who has taken her nervous husband to be to the shops for some retail therapy. It reminds me of my wedding day when Mr BG was very nervous- I still remember his clammy hands and dry mouth at the wedding ceremony.
Heading to her hotel room later in the day,  I see she has been transformed,  with glamorous wedding make-up and hair. The last couple of hours are spent quaffing champagne,  getting dressed and then wrangling two little people into their clothes!

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Seeing her walk up the aisle with Dad, glowing with happiness, and then having her little family mill about as the ceremony was conducted was incredibly special.
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Despite the inclement weather, Fiji gave one last present to the happy couple with a spectacular sunset as we headed into the wedding dinner.
2014-04-05 18.14.33I guess you say it was a happy day :)

 

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Traveling solo take two

I travel a bit for work and have had no qualms getting on a plane. It’s my first international flight without someone else, which takes a bit of getting used to. My usual thing involves wrangling people and this time it’s only me to wrangle. I have a book, some crochet and an assortment of things to watch as part of the on board entertainment. I have time to myself!

The time passes slowly, interspersed with drinks, a snack and towelettes from the cabin crew. I am a bit sleepy and nearly doze off but the noise of excited passengers and grizzling toddlers makes it hard to properly sleep. I don’t envy those parents with their children, but having been there I sympathize with their predicament. It’s around a 4 hour trip as opposed to 13 hours that I have had, so it’s not so bad.

Being alone once I arrived was strange. I didn’t realize how much protection being a mum and wife affords me fron unwanted attentions. A bus driver tried to chat me up, brushing his hand against my thigh.

I stood out at the hotel restaurant when I grabbed a late dinner. The waitresses were very friendly, feeling sorry for the lady dining alone. That was when I started missing my little family, not being able to share the surreal experience of being in a resort.

The thing is, my holidays usually involve staying in a apartment or house which is usually in a city. Activities have include museum trips monuments and soaking up local food and drink. And periodic bouts of laundry.

So far, my vista is of the ocean.
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I am eating out for breakfast lunch and dinner, my sights involves a pool and lots of palm trees.
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I have been for a massage, gone out on a cruise to an island for a swim and snorkel, and sat by the pool drinking pina coladas wirh my brothers.
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There is no laundry room, which I didn’t think I would miss, but I do, if only for the flexibility of knowing that I can do it if I need to!

It is way out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing. It is always good to experience something different, and my limited experience of Fiji makes me want to return and see more of it with my family. I love ‘my’ time, but I really want family time.

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Fiji with Fizz

I’m off to Fiji alone.

I never thought I would ever put that in a sentence,  but there you go!

My lovely sister Fiona,  known to the family as Fizz, is getting married.  She and her partner had travelled there a few years ago and loved it,  and decided to share the love with their families and friends.

My two brothers have traveled from London for the occasion,  and I am currently at Sydney airport awaiting my flight to Nadi. 

Owing to another trip next month (!!), we could only afford to send myself. I could look upon this as reconnaissance for a future family holiday- a resort holiday is something that I have never done!

It is also a chance to catch up with my family for a joyous occasion.

I’m missing my family already

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