Thursday, December 06, 2007
But life's good!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Yesterday's Federal election delivered a staggering defeat for Howard and his party's policies. What a swing! What relief to see even former blue-ribbon Liberal seats turn their back on the Liberal party and vote instead for a vision of a future where our children receive the best education the government can buy them, where even the poorest Australian has access to excellent healthcare and where the future of our planet is placed above greed and consumerism.
And to all the Liberal hacks saying we should respect John Howard's achievements as being our second-longest serving prime minister, I say quantity does not equal quality. Our wise friend Andy said people use their vote to punish and by god I did that yesterday and it felt GOOD!
Right, enough ranting. Big big congratulations to Rudd, Gillard and the Labour Party for finally giving us something to vote for. Now live up to the expectations.
Monday, November 19, 2007
New Scientist has just published the most comprehensive, detailed and inspiring feature article on how much difference an individual can make to global warming. So many of us wonder, as we unplug our appliances each night, buy energy-efficient light bulbs and recycle our newspapers, how much impact we can actually have when China and India are pumping out ever-increasing volumes of CO2 at unchecked rates.
The answer is that you can make a massive difference, reducing your carbon footprint by as much as 75% without having any significant impact on your lifestyle. New Scientist writer Fred Pearce has done the hard work of number crunching to demonstrate exactly how much CO2 output is reduced when you do such small things as replacing light bulbs, taking public transport, recycling and turning off appliances at the power point.
For example, each year:
- converting 25 light bulbs to energy-efficient saves 0.25 tonnes CO2
- switching all appliances off at the plug can save the average household 0.1 tonnes CO2
- with every 1500kms of public transport commuting instead of driving, you save 0.5 tonnes CO2
- recycle all your aluminium cans (av 120) will save 0.2 tonnes CO2
Implementing such small steps as these could reduce the average European's CO2 output by 8 tonnes (from average annual output of 12 tonnes). Australians have a much bigger carbon footprint, mainly due to our love of gas-buzzling cars - we produce around 19 tonnes per capita per year - but can still reduce our output by as much as 75% if we try hard enough.
Unfortunately this article isn't free online, but it's in news stands now (and no I'm not being paid to plug this story - I just think it's incredibly useful information)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I can't really come up with a creative way to start this blog entry, so I'm just going to launch straight into it.
Our amazing Nepali guide leader, Ang Tsering Sherpa, who so skillfully and wonderfully shepherded us all through Tibet last year, has established a public health mission in his home town of Junbesi in Nepal.
The area is extremely remote - accessible only walking - and until recently had no medical facilities at all for its villagers. Ang worked very hard to set up the Kushudebu Public Health Mission, and has succeeded. As well as helping to restore the medical center, the organisation is also helping to pay for a doctor and nurse for the village.
Anyway, my long-winded point is that Ang has done something extraordinary, and if you're wondering what to give someone for Christmas, deciding what charity to donate to or just feeling flush with cash and contemplating a spending spree, why not donate to the Kushudebu Public Health Mission Nepal.
Details are on the website at www.kushudebu.org.np
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thank you both so much for being you. Love yas.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
I'm safely hiding upstairs (wearing rubber shoes) listening to the occasional whoops of delight - signifying something working - followed by long periods of silence as TechnoBoy grapples with the next challenge sans instruction booklet.
He only emerges for coffee and to babble TechnoSpeak at me, during which I nod, then back away slowly without breaking eye contact.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
A huge thanks to our friend Stephen for his beautiful contribution to the ceremony, to my gorgeous sis Lucy for her calm reading despite considerable nerves, to Nicholas Alias for his atmospheric music and once again, to Maureen for being the perfect celebrant.
Thanks also our photographers Dave, Chris and Pete, and Dean and Lisa.
Monday, October 15, 2007
kevin07 at the taj mahal in agra india (actual photo)
Originally uploaded by bondurbia
And big raspberries to the mean-spirited bloggers who have picked up this photo and decided, in the absence of having any political defence, to descend to the level of personal attacks against Kate. It's a telling sign of desperation when the best these conservative bloggers can come up with in terms of political ripostes is to comment on appearance. Where's the comeback with policy on worker's rights, the environment, healthcare and education?
I thought so.
Friday, October 12, 2007
In the immortal words of She Of The Red Sparkly Shoes, "there's no place like home". We're back in the Love Nest, and loving it. Spring is in full swing, and as we haven't experienced spring at Treetops yet, it's a wonderful discovery. Everything is sprouting, blooming, fragrant, lush and just damn gorgeous. We've got our first waratah, and also the first flowers in the crop of natives we planted. Which also means the weeds are having a big hooray as well, but little do they know, their doom awaits ...
We had a fantastic honeymoon, visiting Dubbo, Broken Hill, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Elliston, Streaky Bay, Clare, Adelaide, Mt Gambier, the Grampians and Canberra. Covered a lot of turf, read a lot of books, drank a lot of wine and did our best to unwind after six months of full-throttle life and planning. I keep thinking it's all going to quieten down now, but who am I kidding. Within half an hour of returning home yesterday, Phil was sanding window frames and I was weeding. Unpacking is for pussies.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Given my fondness for Peugeots, it was appropriate that my chariot taking me to Phil was my brother's Chick Magnet Peugeot 505 (gold) with sunroof.... phwoarrrr! It was a packed car, with my brother Matty driving, me in the passenger seat, and my sister Lucy, her partner Dave, and Matty's fiancee Kate crammed into the back seat.
Arriving was an amazing feeling - seeing all these people that I love all gathered into one place, all for Phil and me. There ain't nothing like it.
And having my wonderful parents escort me to Phil felt so incredibly right ... especially when they both started skipping along.
And thanks to Dean and Lisa for this photo, and for many others like it.
Bianca and I thought that “Powernaps save lives” would make a great office poster. I suggest that you have a powernap today...you never know who you might save but please don’t powernap while you are driving.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
First, there's the wineries - in this case, the gorgeous, eucalypt-dotted Clare Valley. As I was the designated driver, Phil had to do the dirty job of testing wines from such illustrious vineyards as Tim Adams and Grosset, so was pleasantly inebriated by the time we decided to have lunch. Despite the fact we've got about 5 cases of wine leftover from the wedding, I still managed to convince Phil we needed to buy more. After all, can't come to SA and not buy wine!
Then, there's the food. We picked up some incredible fresh ciabatta from a Barra Bakery, fresh fetta from the Neagles Glen winery, jam from somehwere on the road, fresh ripe tomatoes, a jar of olives, and settled down to the job of eating ourselves silly.
Phil was literally groaning with pleasure after each mouthful and in the warm spring sun, it was very hard to stay awake after a feast like that.
It just keeps getting better too. We're spending a couple of nights in Adelaide, and thanks to a recommendation from Bex Jenkins, had the most incredible meal at Chianti Classico on Hutt St last night, followed by obscenely naughty breakfast at Citrus, also on Hutt St.
Tonight, we're planning organic pizzas with local, seasonal produce.
I always seem to blog about food ... hmm.
Luckily Bianca didn't have to get out of the van as I could show her the picture when I got back inside.
Oh you can see our trusty steed here too.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
We didn't have a formal photographer at the wedding and would love to see any and all photos and video taken, so please email or post your shots to us!
It was such a beautiful, wonderful, loving day and we're both still on a high from it, thanks to yous all.
Currently, we're in hot, dry Broken Hill after a long day driving from Dubbo through some amazing desert. Had an lovely day pootling around the zoo, but mostly we're just enjoying relaxing, reading, snuggling and being a nauseating newly-married pair. Now that I don't have to fit into a wedding dress anymore, I'm also really enjoying the leftover cupcakes, wine and chocolate.
Our vague travel plan is to aim for Ceduna as a turn-around point, which will take us around the Eyre Peninsula and along the Bight, then back through Adelaide and as many wine-growing regions as the liver will permit, before meandering back through Victoria and NSW. We will start taking photos soon, but we're still coming back to Terra Firma.
Big thanks to everyone who came to the wedding for making it special, to our families for being our families, to Niche Nosh for such fabulous food and staff, to our celebrant Maureen Williams for her beautiful ceremony, to Collit's Inn for providing such a stunning venue, to Wentworth Falls CupCakery for their cup cakes, to Madjestic Mini Bus Tours for getting guests safely home ... I'm sure there are others but that's it from us for now ... it's beer o'clock.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I thought this photo from the hotel tv at 01:40am was apt. It summed up the last 30 hours.
Oh and the entertainment system was broke again. Well now I am at the gate. Fingers crossed everyone.
Hope to cya soon.
Oh just had an announcement the plane is delayed for ANOTHER 3 hours =(
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Ok don’t look at the picture to the right…
Imagine that you have traveled half way around the world from Blackheath in the Blue Mountains to Charing Cross in the heart of London. You have been sat doing nothing or sleeping and been feed airplane food for 24 hours with very small cups of tea or coffee. Now look deep inside yourself, while imagining these things, and reach for your heart’s desire… Now look at the photo on the right. Scary isn’t it!! A full fry up breakfast in a greasy spoon café in the backstreets of Camden Town! I had to have a large café latte instead of the mug of tea which you can normally stand your tea spoon up in though.
For those lovely people who are concerned about my legs on long haul flights I give you this picture of my legs on the flight to Bangkok. Other than the straight legs First Class is really not worth it. Also just so you know…First class is NOT filled with rock stars and interesting people. First class is boring. Even though it was a free upgrade I think I would rather hang out with the plebs in Business Class ;)
Got some good sleep but the entertainment system did not work so no new films. It was funny because they mentioned they had a new touch screen, on demand system on the tanoy and then in the magazine for it then to not work. When they switched it on the little Microsoft Vista logo came up (Im sure Bianca is ranting by now about Vista) and it just didn’t work. They soft rebooted, hard rebooted, kicked it etc all the time giving the whole plane a running commentary about ‘one more trick up my sleeve’. Well it didnt work!! And this system also controlled my overhead lights so they didn’t work either!
A steward said to me in the end that they had put in 3 servers instead of 5 and used existing cabling rather than fiber optics and he wanted me to complain as it happens all the time and he writes it up in his reports and nothing is done. Well I hope it is sorted for my return flight…
Saturday, September 01, 2007
3 weeks before the big day and I’m off to the UK for a business meeting… Hmmm priorities? Well at least I have been upgraded to First Class!! Yeah, yeah I know environmental nightmare…oh well what could I do?!? Thought I would share some pictures as I wait in the lounge. Funny that no matter what class you fly it is still boring. At least the coffee is ok but I am being a good boy… 1 coffee and no alcohol so hopefully I can keep leg issues at bay.
We have been rushing around trying to get the house ready for guests. Still sooo much to do but the place is very livable…not just livable but gorgeous. Someday I will be working from home and not jetting off around the world…
Talking of which I have been setting up my home office space downstairs. Bianca has had her space upstairs for ages now so it is so good to get my own space for creativity/work. I have treated myself to an adjustable desk (electric) which goes a treat with my old trusty steed the Bambach Saddle Seat. The Bambach has been great over the last 5 years (at least).
1 more hour to go…ho hum