kiwisue: (MaldonFort 89 Sven)
[personal profile] kiwisue
Old year ended, new one begun. New Year's Eve involved large glasses of 'Cuba Libre', fireworks on TV, then ABC1 led off their NYE edition of "rage" with an INXS song from 1982, and ABC2 with the first episode of 'Red Dwarf'. I think they judged the stay-at-home demographic nicely.

Last year was a real mixture of highs and lows, although thankfully not too many of the latter. Work seems to have sorted itself out for the time being. On the home front we need to invest in some repair work soon - so no overseas trips for a while!

Fair warning - it might be an idea to use the arrows to expand a section at a time - this post is pretty image heavy!

This was New Year's Eve a year ago (2013), on a chilly, rainy balcony in London...

Dark night, a bright burst of fireworks in the distance illuminates buildings


Later in January, much hotter weather and our turn to host an overseas guest. We'd decided on a sea-breezy stay at the old Quarantine Station on North Head, which is now a hotel with rooms in the refurbished accommodation blocks scattered across the site. This is about an hour and a half from our place, on the coast:

Wooden balcony, harbour view across treetops

a sandy beach at dusk

No supernatural visitations, but we did see a gorgeous, ghostly moon one night:

Bright gold moon on pink/blue sky over still sea

And of course, [personal profile] byslantedlight and I had to take the Manly Ferry into Sydney...

Sydney Opera House, from a ferry

...where we stayed at the YH near Central Station, and visited the Maritime Museum, where we saw a replica Endeavour, a submarine and warship, and Viking bling by the boatload. And we did many other things that day.

Gotlandic (Viking) bulky necklace and box brooch



Following all of that we visited the Norman Lindsay Gallery, Katoomba, and Jenolan Caves, all places I've posted about before. Then we went further west than I'd ever been, into real country NSW:

Street corner country town, covered sidewalk, pub, TAB
Telescope dish, huge



Apparently nothing happened in February, March OR April, or at least very little seems to have been recorded for posterity. We watched all of Rome and I developed a crush on Tobias Menzies that our current viewing of Outlander has so far failed to quash. B bought a new-used stationwagon, basically the largest available on account of carrying kayaks, and we got new neighbours when the previous ones downsized after the children left home. Here's Bruno, one of the new next-door folk:
Rottweiler with barbecue

Bruno is a handful because of his size and strength but he is quite lovable and friendly, if not particularly gifted in the brain department. A few months after moving in he sliced his leg open on a sheet of roofing iron in the backyard - probably trying to get over the fence and at the possums on our garage roof. It was a nasty wound, but he was very good and B was able to use the stationwagon as a dog ambulance as neither of the neighbours' cars was large enough. Luckily he's recovered well.



There was a cultural meet-up this month with friends - a couple of hours looking around the Afghanistan: hidden treasures exhibition at the AGNSW, followed by lunch and chat. Utterly gorgeous pieces - do take a look on Google

Later in the month some other friends came down from Queensland so we went into the City to meet them and wander around VIVID Sydney, which is like a city-wide light show:
People, mostly children, jumping across lit up circles with changing colours
White blow-up rabbits (very large)

June - the solstice was time for Winter Magic at Katoomba, unfortunately no decent photos.



2014 was a very slow year for re-enacting, particularly in the first half. We didn't have our normal Winter Camp on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June, instead we put it off until July school holidays which meant that more people could attend. So the camp was a day shorter than normal. I cooked chicken pilau for one evening meal (partly for nostalgia, partly to prove it could be made edible even when cooked without added cheese - about which you do not want to know!) and beef wine stew on the other night, and it all went off reasonably well.

I made one post about Bistocon, which wasn't the totality of my US trip by any means. I might post more about California and Lansing later, but for now I'll move on to September or this will never end...

A pic from St Ives Medieval Fayre, a new event we enjoyed very much:
The Rev and me at St Ives: 17th century dress, photo Stephen Gapps



Late October brought another early season temperature spike, and our first bushfires of the year. Nowhere near as bad as 2013 and mostly confined to bushland although one house was destroyed. On Hallowe'en we were at a party at a friend's place and the next day I went with them to a Brett Whiteley exhibition in Katoomba. We passed some RFS road crews on the way back.

Speaking of Whiteley, I'd never had a lot of regard for him until now, but the exhibition was a retrospective of his work in and of rural NSW, vivid and visceral, and I was impressed.



This year I rather wish November had hidden in a hole and waited for December. Apart from more bushfires, this time about 5 km up the road - although on the other side of the highway - which meant we had 3 helicopters on 15 minute cycles taking water from the lagoon over about 5 days:
Fire Service helicopter hovering over water, kicking up spray

...there was this...

picture of a short leg plaster backslab - mine, just applied

...and this...

multiple coloured pattern short leg poly plaster

Short story - B bought a new kayak which he brought home on the car roof racks on a Thursday night. Next morning he wanted to offload it before it got too hot. I came out to help, but slipped on the slight slope on the very wet grassy nature strip and fractured my fibula. The break was undisplaced so they whacked a plaster cast on it, then a nice patterned one which came off on Christmas Eve. I'm currently getting around with crutches and a moon boot. Or just crutches sometimes, when it's too hot to wear the boot. Biggest current worry is the loss of muscle mass - getting that back is definitely a NY resolution.


So, welcome 2015, come in, have a drink, I'm sure we'll get along (don't mind me, I just have my fingers crossed).

Oh, and icon? Is from a fort battle that I was in at a multi-period re-enactment event - back in '89. A friend scanned a bunch of photos for Facebook. Another old friend has just posted a picture of me, circa mid-80's, wearing a pair of glasses that are almost larger than Susan's (Pros). Turns out there is no escape *g*.
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