Merry Christmas 2007

Whether you're a regular subscriber, first time reader or have just stumbled on my blog, I want to wish you Merry Christmas. I'll be having some welcome rest over Christmas and New Year...back better than ever in 2008!

I hope the end of 2007 and the start of 2008 are just fantastic for you.

Merry Christmas!

My Life Flashed Before My Eyes, As I Scrolled Down My Facebook Profile Page

I've been getting into Facebook lately. It's actually quite addictive. I reckon I could spend an extra hour a day *at minimum* just fooling around with it - time that I don't have...and my wife's not about to give me :-)

I have a mostly boring profile on Facebook. Please feel free to check it out: Thomas Williams's Facebook profile

So I laughed when I came across GeekAndPoke cartoons, especially this one on the Last Judgement, and also this one on marriage (made funny by the fact that my missus is on Facebook too).


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Olivia's Swim With The Dolphins

Olivia went swimming with seals and dolphins in Port Phillip Bay on Sunday as part of her birthday present from TJ, Maya, Heath and I (here's the gift we got her).

The weather was overcast but warm, and Olivia was pumped. We left Sorrento at 1 o'clock on the Moonraker, heading for Chinaman's Hat and the seals.

The seal colony at Chinaman's Hat is quite small (about 40 Australian Fur Seals) and most of them were asleep. You can get close but be warned: the seals are really, really smelly:

After about 30 minutes in the water at the seal colony, the boat moved on to a marine reserve called Popes Eye, home to seabirds and close to a wrecked World War 1 submarine. The kids loved the boat ride (except for Heath; there was nothing much for him to do, and he spent most of the trip in his pram) and were most excited when we started spotting dolphins.

The most we saw in a group were about 10. And they were hard buggers to photograph above the water :-)

However Olivia saw plenty more underwater. She also got to see a baby dolphin (apparently quite rare) and a slightly older child, which sounded cool. The dolphins were dark in color with light streaks, and they moved amazingly fast underwater. There was none of the "jumping high out of the water"-stuff!

From the time when we first encountered the dolphin pod at Pope's Eye, the boat spent a bit of time cruising around looking for a good place to let everyone in the water. Olivia certainly got her money's worth and spent a fair bit of time in the water.

The crew on the Moonraker were really informative and friendly. I was a little worried that we wouldn't see dolphins (there's no guarantee, and no refund) so I reckon we were pretty lucky. The equipment was good, if not a little old, and the prices were reasonable considering we were getting a three-hour boat ride. All my dealings with OnEdge were exceptional - they were professional and helpful.

And Olivia enjoyed her present and wants to go again next year (doesn't she look the part)!

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The Broken Tent, A Long Argument, and Our Anniversary Weekend

Wow, what an interesting weekend.

On Friday we drove to Leongatha to drop the kids off at Olivia's parents (thanks Ted and Marijke!)

Olivia and I then headed on to Wilsons Promontory for a weekend camping in our tent, hiking, enjoying the views, and celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary.

We'd been fighting with the strong, gusty winds (see "B" for wind direction) for about an hour to get our tent set up, when one of our tent poles snapped and put a 40cm long rip in the side of our tent ("A") (in this photo, Olivia's sitting in disgust in the car in the background):

Gathering ourselves, we dumped the broken tent into the car, and drove to the office to see if we could upgrade to a cabin (although our tight budget would've meant we only stayed one night instead of two). They very politely told us that they were all booked, and due to a fire, even the staff room was full up.

Oh, and we could not get a refund.

At that stage we drove all the way back home. You can imagine the tension in the car. Olivia and I had at least 5 or 6 mini-arguments, all part of one long 170+km argument. By the time we arrived home we were both pretty deflated.

However, it's still been a great anniversary weekend. We left the kids at Olivia's parents, and decided to do some walking on the beach, some shopping, go see a movie, that sort of thing.

And the broken tent and long argument certainly made for an interesting start to the weekend!

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Spouse 2.0 Day Approaching

What a great idea - Spouse 2.0 day.

It happens to fall pretty close to Olivia and my 8th wedding anniversary anyway (which is probably far more important and special), but I'm still going to do something nice for her tomorrow.

I love my beautiful wife, and it's true that she is behind any successes I have. If you read this Olivia - I love you Wifey!

I think now all we need is a calendar of special days - "Speak like a pirate day", "Boss appreciation day", and now "Spouse 2.0 day".

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Happy Birthday Mum

My Mum reached a milestone the other day with her 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Mum...doing it in style!

Mum definitely didn't want a surprise party. She just wanted to be with her family and grandkids.

So she had a small party for family on Friday night, followed by a day of fun for her kids and grandkids on the Saturday, wrapped up by lunch on Sunday. Her weekend of celebration was enjoyed by all of her grandkids, in the same place together for the first time in at least a year!

Mum's theme for Friday night's party was red. She looked great, and we all had a great time.

Happy Birthday Mum!

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