News from Us in Oz

Thursday, April 26, 2007

ANZAC Day was yesterday - April 25.

We were invited to go to the sunrise service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Why dawn you ask? The legend. We were part of the approximately 35,000 people who gathered. (News report of Melbourne service)

Dh and I were trying to figure out what it compared to in the States. We did not come up with a good comparison. While it is like our Memorial Day or Veterans Day. It is taken much more seriously. There are sunrise services all over the country plus gatherings in New Zealand and Turkey.

While it commemorates the start of the battle to at Gallipoli, the day now honors all military veterans. There was talk of the ANZAC spirit(the spirit of the Digger).

As we walked up the Shrine they had accounts of battles that Anzacs participated in. We heard about the experiences at Tobruk. As the service started there was a silence that went over the crowd. We were on the side of the Shrine so we couldn't see what was happening only hear. After the bugle call there was a gun salute that was jarring. They sang both the national anthem that the first ANZACs would have known God Save the Queen (can you guess what words were going through my mind?) and then at the end of the service the national anthem now. Click to hear Dh and I were happy that we got up before dawn and attended. It was something that one had to be there to feel the spirit and be part of the crowd. (Interesting sidenote... is one holiday that Australia will not Mondayify.)

After the service we went to Las Chicas for breakfast. We got one of the last tables. Had a wonderful breakfast and sat and chatted with our friends - All before 9:30a.m.

Coming soon.. Tasmania... yes we left the state in one piece... Yarra Bend.. we discovered what bird was making that loud sound but never saw the flying foxes... yes.. last but certainly not least pictures from the Great Ocean Road.

We are in the process of booking our winter (although I'm thinking of it as summer) vacation. We are going to go to the center of the country (OUTBACK) and then out to Great Barrier Reef. Maybe we'll even see a cane toad.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some more photos and my ongoing oven saga....

Like the picture of our first koala in the wild? As seen by our family on our trip down the Great Ocean Road when our eldest was in for his March Break (see the post below at his flight ups and downs.)

My Oven Saga...

I'm not sure if the oven read the first sentence of my last post and decided that since nothing "earthshattering" was happened, it would give me something to consider.

I decided to make dinner early on Wednesday and made a gorgeous matzah lasagna. I came back to my desk doing some work when I smelled the lasagna and got up to check. I couldn't figure out why there would be any spillage and opened the oven door start to move the pyrex bakeware. Disaster I only get a part of the bakeware and the other half is still in the oven. (okay... laugh)

Yes.. folks.. my pyrex bakeware broke into several pieces. I quickly went and found something to collect the bits of my now ruined dinner as I'm trying to clean up the oven. Not only did a lose a well loved 13x9 pyrex but I had to go out to the store when dh got home and had to purchase more ingredients for another lasagna. The next one was yummy but that's not the point. So I guess the truce is off and the oven has it out for me.

Now why people really want me to blog.. more pictures.

Caulfield Station where dh commutes from every morning. Just a 20 minute walk from the house. Unless he gets lazy and I drop him off across from the station.

End of the street that Caulfield Station is on. Very common feel for the business district.

End of our street at the tram stop that our kidlets pick up the tram every school day. Closer than the train station - around 5 minutes. Note tram coming down the street.

A sneak peek at some Great Ocean Road pictures. One of our favorites often seen on the Great Ocean Road. As seen when one pulls out from pull offs.

Looking down towards Apollo Bay.

Apollo Bay. This is as far as dh and I went the first time when I was in Australia for the "looksee visit."

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nothing earth shattering but I did post some pictures.

Dh and I have been working on You know you are settled in Oz when...

Let's see some new ones

when you don't blink an eye that 5 greeting cards cost a lot more than one baking pan

when you start walking down the correct side of the sidewalk and get annoyed for other who walk toward you on the wrong side

when you don't cringe at watching " hook turns" in Melbourne (play the shockwave animation to get the full effect)

- - - - - - -

Got to love a teenager's memory. A remember this morning that he needed to be in Melbourne for a prep to take part in Extreme Science Experiment 2007 . Good thing trams run frequently. I spent the two hours roaming around - browsed my favorite romance bookstore in Melbourne, looked at the price of cameras then worked my way back to Collins Street.

Okay as promised more pictures of the house.

My workspace. On its way from NJ are my rope horse and "Jack" Lemming both will find a place on the desk. For those with very good eyesight can you tell that is Alyssa's book on the printer? Hanging is one of my favorite pictures taken by our eldest.

Yes.. we still like to go around shoeless in the house. Thus we have a troop - a mob - a bevy of shoes by the front door.

Oh.. the kitchen in all its glory while I was baking up dessert storm for Seder. Missing from the picture is a close up of the evil oven. I think we've worked out a compromise.. I watch the items like a hawk and "it" won't burn them. What you can't tell from the picture is that the wonderful working island it too d*mn far from the other side of the kitchen. I know complain complain.

Our wonderful backyard with a gorgeous fountain that is filled with murky water. We decided it was more useful to have an patio furniture than formal dining room furniture. We've eaten outside a few times. Weather is getting a tad chilly to do that now plus with it gets dark earlier now.

Our quiet street. Can you tell the car is on the "wrong" side of the street from the US? We walk down to the end of the street to pick up the tram that will takes the kidlets to school or beyond. Very convenient.

Okay.. hard to tell but this is the view from my bedroom window. There is over an inch of water in the front fountain. Not enough to run it but as I had posted on the 1st maybe if we keep getting rain we'll actually be able to use it.

I know some of you are waiting patiently for pictures from the Great Ocean Road trek. Really I haven't forgotten. I just got sidetracked. :)


Monday, April 02, 2007

Footy and other musings

First I have to say.. dh and I were too subtle with our April 1st post. NO the drought has not ended (unfortunately) and NO we are not experiencing flooding. For those interested... try clicking on some of the links (especially the rained out game in Antigua.) Truth first paragraph and last paragraph.. tall tale inbetween.

Friday we were invited to our first Australian Rules Football game . I would say it is a blend of soccer(kicking to score), basketball (yes.. the dribble the ball), football (there are tackles) and something all its own.

We went to the MCG (okay I was in the slow group.. I finally got what it stood for - Melbourne Cricket Ground.) We watched the St. Kilda Saints beat the Melbourne Demons. What was interesting was the teams come on to the field and everyone stands and sings their club song. (Saints and Demons) No national anthem.

We were guests of our friend who had seasons tickets through work. We were wined and dined in one of the box restaurants. As dh said we could get use to this treatment. We even stayed for the cheese and fruit after the game until the traffic died down.

It was lots of fun and I think we'll look into bringing our kidlets to a game or two.

I promised to post more pictures of some of the things around here.

We've been doing a fair share of biking. We can easily bike into Melbourne in under 30 minutes.

We've been doing a fair share of biking. We can easily bike into Melbourne in under 30 minutes. We take the Gardiner's Creek Bike Trail to the Yarra Main Bike Trail. A few Sundays ago dh, N and I biked to dh's service apartment in South Yarra. N was a tad disappointed that is was an apartment and that he couldn't go in to see it. What was impressive was that he pedaled all the way up Caroline Street. UGH. What a hill.

From there we continued into Melbourne along the river. N. has gotten into taking pictures. I think gobbles up any information his elder sibling gives him on how to take pictures. Below are a few pictures.. of the trail and some pics of Melbourne. (top picture was Melbourne from the south bank of the Yarra - red blobs were decorations for lack of a better word placed out on the lawn we think for the FINA World Championship or this link.) I'll post more pics. later on. Sorry that I am not adapt at posting pictures in my blog. I'm working on it. See nice glorious sun. :)

Yarra River away from Melbourne.

Bike trail actually runs under a major highway.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Update from us written by us with link help from dh.

So.. is everyone ready for Pesach or Easter? It seems weird but the weather is turning cooler here instead of warmer. And unlike, in the US, trees here - the Eucalyptus trees lose their bark in the fall. Strange but true. Although, we're told the trees are different in Tasmania and we may very well see Fall colors when we are there next weekend.

We've even had rain.. We're pretending its Spring rain instead of the start of the Winter rainy season. (Well it doesn't snow here, except in the Dandenongs, the Australian Alps (even skiing there - although it won't be deep enough for a while until later in the fall and through spring in October ) and Tasmania). Yes, folks, in the last week, now honest to goodness rain that lasts for more than 15 minutes. The front fountain is slowly filling up and maybe by the end of winter we'll be able to run it. The long term weather forecast is now calling for the drought to end. And you may have heard about the numerous cyclones that have been hitting western Australia - the latest being Cyclone Kara. (Yes, folks, its called a cyclone - not typhoon or hurricane and no, it doesn't mean a tornado. Sadly, dh was right and the rest of the family stands corrected.)

The weather has reports of heavy rain coming our way. There are now reports of it disrupting sporting events ( Rain forces Australia-Windies tie into second day ) events west of here. As new cyclones work their way across Australia, we are expecting the week of Pesach to be very wet. Thank goodness it isn't Sukkot. There goes having our seder outside and having a bbq.

Today's weather is living up to that forecast. Here's the Accuweather view (converted to Fahrenheit for all of you) Quick Look
Currently At 8:49AM
Winds: S
at 5mph
Heavy Rain
Humidity: 100%
Dew Point: 55° F
Pressure: 30.30 in
Visibility: 0 Miles

People here are celebrating. The farmers are ecstatic, a sharp turnaround from the recent report that Victoria's (the state we live in) entire agricultural landmass is drought declared for the first time in the state's history. Not all the news is good though. As you can imagine, the ground is rock hard from 8 years of drought, the ground absorbs little, the runoff is great, and the water is running everywhere. Now, new studies, suggest that we're going to continue the transition from drought to flood ( Solar pulses suggest heavy Australia rain: scientist ) Eastern Australia this year and next is seen following a similar path to the particularly wet years of 1924 and 1925. "The sunspots are starting to increase again and as it increases over the year historically that's been a time of above average rainfall," he said. With those reports, they've begun to reopen flood warning centres (they do spell funny don't they? "centre" not center), re instituted evacuation plans, and even had to start evacuations

Rising flood waters forced the .

Rising flood waters forced the ...
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... in Swifts Creek in Australia

... in Swifts Creek in Australia
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... forced the evacuation of homes, ..

... forced the evacuation of homes, ...
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400 x 336 - 15k - gif

Ah, well, the price we pay for living in one of the most exotic places on earth. We'll be leaving this chaos for a few days next week, over Easter holiday (Yes, Good Friday and Easter Monday are national holidays here - and Labor Day is in March) while we travel to Freycinet Tasmania, by Ferry to Devonport with our car, and then will drive the rest of the way.

Happy Spring, Fall.. whatever.