2003-07-20 14:02:22

My weekend started on Thursday evening, really. I suggested that we (my housemates and I, as well as my cousing Terry) should have dinner and coffee at The Three Monkeys Tea and Coffee House in West End. It’s one of my favourite little cafe’s. It has a very distinct atmosphere, which I like very much, and the food and beverages are excellent. We whiled away a few hours just sitting and chatting. I decided to stay at home on Friday, because there were a few things that needed doing before heading up to Caloundra for Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary/Dad’s birthday. I mowed the lawn, trimmed the edges on the footpath and the gutter at the front of the house with the old fashioned trimmer, washed the car and did some ironing. But before all this I dropped Nigel off at his office in Kedron, which in rush hour is about 40 minutes each way. Then I went to the local nursery and picked out a plant for Ben and Marice’s new property north of Gympie. I ended up choosing a Grevillea after the nursery lady confirmed this would be a good choice. If only I could be this productive everyday!

I then headed up to Caloundra, remembering to pick Nigel up on the way. My grandmother, uncle and my mother’s cousin from Melbourne were already there, and Mum had prepared a nice Indian dinner. We handed over the CDs and the anniversary/birthday card, which were appreciated, even if the CDs were not a complete surprise. Much of the night was spent talking tech with my uncle. He’s trying to set up his computer with two separate, swappable disk drives, so that his daughter (my cousin) uses one disk, and he uses the other. I politely suggested that this was not the smartest way of doing things and that using file permissions was a better way to achieve the same result. He also wants to learn how to crack into computers for various reasons I won’t divulge here.

On Saturday I headed further north to the bustling town of Gympie. More accurately, I drove through Gympie to the outlying town of Chatsworth in order to help warm Ben and Marice’s new block of land. The landwarming also served as a kind of old boys’ reunion of sorts. Rhys kept us entertained with stories about his five month long backpacking trip through Europe and Thailand. There was also much to chat about with Ben, since we Brisbanites don’t get to see him that often any more. I also scored an Australian soccer jersey from Rhys, which he’d bought in Thailand. It’s genuine, of course ;).

I ended up getting to Chatsworth rather earlier than I had planned. Gympie is not as far from Caloundra as I remembered. It gave me a chance to have a chat with Ben and Marice before the others arrived anyway. I arrived at Marice’s family’s house at twelvish. I was re-acquainted with Marice’s family whom I had met previously at Ben’s and Marice’s wedding. Marice brought along a friend and colleague, whose name I’m not sure how to spell, so won’t attempt to :). Seemed very pleasant, but didn’t get to talk too much. As I said, it felt very much like an old boys’ reunion, so there was heaps of catching up to do with the fellas. I didn’t even get to test out my Spanish (she’s from Nicaragua, so speaks Spanish of course). Actually, I’ve gone many weeks without speaking or writing any Spanish at all, and I know from previous experience that even a short break of this length has a serious detrimental effect on my spanish vocabulary. At this early stage of learning, I’ve really just got to force myself to do some spanish every week. Classes recommence next week, so I should do some study before then. But I digress… Once everyone had arrived, including Ben’s parents whom I hadn’t seen since the wedding, we piled into a few cars and drove over to Ben’s and Marice’s selection. And a fine selection it is. Nice views looking westish over farmland. The bottom of the block falls away steeply, so there were suggestions that Ben should build a flying fox or water slide down the hill. You could also easily launch a hang glider I reckon. After lunch, we planted some trees. I have some photos and a video clip or two which I will put up on this web site when I get the time. The video of Ben digging a hole is a classic… It was a very nice hole ;).

After some afternoon tea back at Avonmont (Marice’s family’s home), it was back to Caloundra. The day was capped with a nice game of Quizzit – a new Trivial Pursuit type of thing – with Mum, Dad and Nigel.

Today, Nigel and I took Mum and Dad on a drive around the countryside. We took in Point Glorious Lookout, Cooloolabin Dam, Wappa Dam and Cooroy Botanical Gardens. A very nice day out, and a lot of driving along unsealed roads. The Barina bottomed out once where the road was just too rough for it, but no damage was done. A very, very nice day out. But I still feel like there’s heaps to explore up there, even after all the little drives we’ve done recently. Now Nigel and I are back home at Fairfield.

I’ve done a great deal of driving this weekend. But I enjoyed all of it! I even obeyed the speed limit on the highway returning home tonight. As evidenced by the size of this diary entry, it’s been a packed few days, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of it.

Ben’s parents have invited us fellas around for a BBQ on Tuesday evening. Now I just have to remember their address. I should have it somewhere.

Completely switching topics, the Aussies wrapped up the first Test against Bangladesh. Bangladesh put up a bit of a fight in their second innings, but Australia won by an innings and a hundred and something runs. So, Darwin have had their first ever Test match, and Steve Waugh becomes the most successful captain ever, overtaking Clive Lloyd in terms of the number of matches won as captain. Steve Waugh also became only the second player to score a century against all nine Test playing nations, and has scored the second highest number of centuries (equal with Tendulkar, but behind Gavaskar). I’m not the biggest fan of Steve Waugh because of his win at all costs mentality and his propensity not to walk even when he knows he’s out, but he deserves congratulations for reaching these milestones.

And in the best news of the day, Frank Lowy is the new Soccer Australia chairman, and John Singleton and Ron Walker join him on the board! Apparently this happened on Saturday, but I haven’t been watching the news much this weekend. This is fantastic! Finally!