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Saturday, January 31st 2004

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Bob

Mother appeared at the door at about 1pm to tell me that Bob (her brother) had a fall yesterday and is in hospital. I'm not sure why she didn't use the phone to tell me this.

Movie

We saw "The Last Samurai" at Cremorne. It's the story of an American who agrees to kill anybody as long as he gets paid $500/month. Then he beats up on a little kid and then gets Japanese lessons from him. Then they inserted a scene from "Braveheart" with Tom Cruise digitally inserted where Mel Gibson used to be.

First Year

And thus, ends another month, and the first year of the Noswonky blog. I began it in February 2003. Unfortunately much of it (before September 2003) was taken off-line due to legal issues and I haven't got around to putting it back yet. I just have to edit it a bit and then I'll put it back...

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Friday, January 30th 2004

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Badminton

I played badminton for the first time in two weeks. There were five today; XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX X XXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX

X XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXX X XXXXXX XX X XXX XXXX XXX XX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXX

XXXXX

XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX X XXX XXXXX X XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXXX X XXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXX XX X XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX X XXXX XXXX X XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX X XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX X XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX X XX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX

Epitome

We decided to go to Epitome for dinner because we hadn't been to dinner there for quite a while. It was fortunate that we chose to sit inside because it got quite windy out on the balcony and the people out there didn't look comfortable. We got nicely off our faces with Strawberry wine.

Dell

I finally got responses to my two complaint emails to Dell. Both emails looked like canned responses, although one of them had something tacked on the end that suggested a human presence. However the two responses came from different people, suggesting that neither knows about the other.

In the mean time, Yuko had already called Dell again and got them to say that they'll do something, although it's a bit unclear what they'll do.

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Thursday, January 29th 2004

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TEJ

The second information evening...

A few people turned up this time. Only one was there specifically for TEJ. We took him to a room and three of us (Mika, Yuko and I) interogated him. The result was that XX XXXXXXX XXXX X XXXXXX XX XX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX

Then, two others came in. However they were both non-Native. We gave them the blurb (or the spiel) anyway.

We were there until about 6.40pm. We then had dinner at Asuka.

Fifi

I sent another email to Dell. They still have not returned my call from Tuesday or my email from Wednesday. Yuko is appalled,

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Wednesday, January 28th 2004

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Fifi

Yuko made several abusive phone calls in the morning. She's very good at hurling abuse over the phone. By midday the courier bastards had almost admitted that they'd lost Fifi. They did agree that if they didn't find Fifi within two hours they would admit that they'd lost her. As we didn't hear any more from them they must have reached that conclusion. I also sent a strongly worded email to the main bastards (Dell). We haven't heard from them yet.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

X XXXXXXX XX XXXXX XX X XXX XXXXXXX XX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXX X XXXXXXXX XXXX XX X XXXXX X XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXX X XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX X XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XX XX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX

TEJ

I found a couple of competitor's ads today. This one in the herald and one for the well known Nova in Sydney Weekly. The Nova web site is very slick with lots of information. Of course Nova doesn't offer courses, just jobs for unqualified slobs. So it's really a competitor for E.C.C. rather than us. But nevertheless it's another option for our potential students.

TEJ now has its own page on the T.L.C.C. site which, incidentally should not be confused with the T.L.C.C. web site.

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Tuesday, January 27th 2004

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Fifi

It's Tuesday night and Fifi is still lost! Numerous calls to the bastards have produced no results. Maybe tomorrow...

Poor Fifi!

TEJ

One prospective TEJ student has dropped out, two new ones have made contact and I emailed the details to the original two. The advertisement is generating responses so I guess it's going well.

Korean

We took Mother to the Korean BBQ at Eastwood. We ordered our usual ribs and chicken, ate it and then came home for coffee at our place.

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Monday, January 26th 2004

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Australia Day

We went to Darling Harbour in the evening and had dinner at a cafe on one of those balconies overlooking Cockle Bay. It was a very nice atmosphere, nice food, a bottle of red (which seemed rather strong) and we stayed long enough to see the fireworks and light show at 9pm.

Today is also the second anniversary of another happy event in our lives which I won't mention. However, XXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX X XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXX XX XX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX X XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XX XXX XXX XXXX XX XXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXX

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Sunday, January 25th 2004

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Fifi

Fifi seems to be lost! The bastards don't know where she is! We won't know anything until Tuesday.

Mars

The second Mars rover "Opportunity" landed on Mars this afternoon...

I've just been watching as the first pictures came in. CNN showed it live while the FTA channels skipped it. At last they seem to have found a place on Mars that looks different from all the other placed they've landed. No LGMs though!

YET!

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Saturday, January 24th 2004

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Fifi

We waited at home all day for Fifi, but she didn't arrive. Must have been kidnapped by a bastard!

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Friday, January 23rd 2004

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TEJ

XXXX XXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXX X XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXX X XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXX

XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXXXXX XX XXX XX XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XX X XXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

XXXX XXXX XXX X XXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX X XXX XX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX Therefore, I had to drop out of badminton at the last minute. I hope I won't be blacklisted.

LWW

The Lion The Witch The Wardrobe

We drove over and had dinner starting at 6pm at the Lotus Pond at Star City. Unfortunately we didn't get to sit near the pond as we did last time, but the food made up for it. The show was due to start at 7.30pm so our timing was perfect.

The show itself was wonderful. The puppets were the stars. They were operated by puppeteers in full view but wearing black although in some cases the operators were fully concealed inside the puppets. We couldn't figure out exactly how The Giant was operated. It really seemed far too big to be a guy in suit. And he (the Giant) was strong enough to pick up the little girl with one hand!

Having just read the book, I could tell that the show followed the book very closely. Even some details which I thought would have to be omitted for technical reasons were included (mice eating the ropes for example).

I do think that it would have been better as a play rather than a musical. The musical performances were excellent, but sometimes the songs seemed out of place and held up the story a bit.

One odd thing was the inclusion of some circus type performances. In particular during a solo song performance, a girl appeared on a dangling ring and did some acrobatic moves danging above the stage. This seemed totally out of context and had no connection with the story.

But overall it was excellent and we had very good seats (row K). Yuko said it was much better than Oliver which we saw at the same place.

Fifi

I think we've decided on the name "Fifi" (Rather than Fat Fifi). She's due tomorrow so we have to stay home.

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Thursday, January 22nd 2004

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Paula sighting

I took Mitsy to the doctor for a checkup at about 8am and walked back. Later in the day I walked there again to pick her up. On the way, as I was walking through the wilds of the Riverview residential streets, I spotted Paula again. She's sporting a "P" plate and is being escorted by a young guy (probably about her age).

Name needed

There should be a new addition to the Noswonky family any day now and we need a name. Current shortlist:

Blue Dan
Big Dixie
Fat Fifi

I invite suggestions. Themes to consider when choosing a name: The colour blue, the letter "D" and bigness.

Infomation Evening

Nobody turned up.

Actually this was as expected because it was only adversised the day before. But we had to be there just in case. So as we were already in the city...

Akaneya.

I took a picture of a mackerel skeleton, but I'm too lazy to upload it now.

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Wednesday, January 21st 2004

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TEJ

I called two potential TEJ students who had made enquiries. They both seemed enthusiastic. I also found the TEJ advertisement in the Herald on p28 of the "Radar" liftout. It's quite a good size (3 columns wide and 10cm tall) with big fonts and the company logo etc. Some responses have been received already.

Then...

XX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX X XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX X XX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX

This resulted in me having to do a lot of homework in the evening. It's needed by tomorrow because the ad mentions an information evening which is scheduled for tomorrow. We'll have to go in case any potential students turn up. I might even have to give a spiel, or perhaps a blurb.

From Message
Laughing Mole
22/01/2004
5876 Days Ago
Hello WebMaster,

Last night (Wednesday) I went to a restaurant called Chopsticks that served Chinese cuisine. Strangely, though, most of the waiters and patrons seemed to be Indian. So I don't know how to classify this restaurant.

Perhaps it is Indo-Chinese.

The food was OK and there was a guy on an electric piano playing classic tunes.

From Message
Webmaster
22/01/2004
5876 Days Ago
Hello Mr. Mole,

Interesting. However, I generally prefer a classic piano and electric tunes.

There's a place at St. Leonards called "Indian Tucker". I haven't tried it but my guess is that it serves Indian tucker. While you're in the area looking for spice you might also consider "Phat Boys". They serve Thai food and damn the consequences! Fortunately the RNS hospital is close.

From Message
Laughing Mole
23/01/2004
5876 Days Ago
I will go looking for Indian Tucker when I get a chance.

From Message
Webmaster
23/01/2004
5876 Days Ago
I should have mentioned that it's only takeaway.

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Tuesday, January 20th 2004

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XXX

XX XXX X XXXXXXX XX XX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXXX

XXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX X XXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXXX X XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX

As we finished by 4.30pm we decided to come home rather than go directly to...

O.A.C.

Tonight it didn't rain. That brings our wet/dry record at the OAC to 50% from four visits. We discovered that it's actually better when it rains because at least then there's space in the carpark. It also means that you don't have to sit next to strange people and you can put your dinner on the seat next to you. But tonight, it didn't rain so none of those things applied.

Our usual carpark was full and the Domain carpark closes at 9pm making it inadequate. So we ended up parking right in front of the art gallery on a metre. I had to beg a passing woman for change and then feed $14 into the metre.

As we were walking past the Botanic Gardens, we heard the sound of laughter and unbridled merriment. We could not restrain ourselves from investigating the source. So we made our way into the BG and saw this...

It was a performance of "Wind in the Willows" and we were just in time to catch the end of it. That white thing is a rabbit on a stick being held by a rabbit (which is also white). The structure is of course "Toad Hall",

Then, we continued down to the OAC. We arrived before dark...

...and ate our packed lunch.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, I saw I guy that I thought I recognised; An ex-CISRA person whom I worked with several years ago by the name of XXXXXX XXXXXXXX . However, I wasn't sure it was him and it would have been logistically difficult to go over and speak to him. So I didn't.

Then it got dark and they shone a red light on the screen so we'd know where to look...

The movie was a little known war time movie called "Casablanca". It's a story about a black piano player called Sam who keeps playing a particular tune and gets in trouble for it...

"I thought I told you never to play it!"

So then he doesn't play it and he gets in trouble for that too...

"Play it Sam!"

From Message
Laughing Mole
20/01/2004
5878 Days Ago
XXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX At least, that's the information I received. (There was more, but I think that should give you the gist of it.)

BTW, I've been to some Indian restaurants, but I've been too busy to tell you about them. Some I'd been to before, although one called Copper Chimney was new for me. The food there was nice and spicy, but as usual I think I ate too much.

From Message
Laughing Mole
20/01/2004
5878 Days Ago
When you park on a metre can you stay there furlong?

From Message
Webmaster
20/01/2004
5878 Days Ago
Mr. Mole,

I will generously leave my spelling error intact lest your joke be rendered laughable.


PS: Thank you for the information in your first posting. I am studying it carefully.

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Monday, January 19th 2004

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XXXXXXXX

XXXX XXXXXX X XXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XX X XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XX XXXX X XXXXXXX XXXX XXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX X XXX XX XXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXX X XXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX

XXXXX XXXX XXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX

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Sunday, January 18th 2004

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Ball and Ring

We went to the college field to throw the baseball (the one that hit Yuko in the face last time). This time there were no injuries. We also tried throwing our "Aussie Hawk Flying Ring". It's basically a frisbee shaped like a donut. I found it on the ground one day a few years ago and it's been sitting in our cupboard ever since. It flies very well and we are becoming quite good at throwing it accurately. Still, for frisbee throwing you really need a dog!

Mother

We had dinner at Mother's house. She cooked something from the Jamie Oliver recipe book we gave her for her birthday. She called it beef somthing or other and it was very nice indeed.

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Saturday, January 17th 2004

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TEJ

The TEJ advertisement should have been in the Herald today. I looked through the training section where the similar ads are, but to no avail. It's not there. I then trawled other sections where it might be, but it's a bit like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Chess

In the evening I installed Palview again so that I can post the consultation games to the Chess Club web site in a nice format. I say "again" because I installed it some time ago and went to considerable trouble to get it all set up nicely, and then of course my computer was stolen. And since then I haven't bothered to do it all again, until now.

The program is not as user-friendly as it pupports to be, so it took quite a bit of fiddling about, but eventually I ended up with a nice looking page. Of course there's just one game at the moment, but Norm should be sending me the rest any day now.

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Friday, January 16th 2004

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Badminton

I played badminton today for the first time in a long time. The players were XXXXXXX XXXX and XXXXX Due to the intensive training program I have been on, I had no probelms with my leg (or anything else).

Lights

Yuko has been on a light buying spree. Christmas lights! Well, they're cheap at the moment (180 lights for $20), so she's bought four sets of various types. One of them plays tunes too!

Chess Club

I got an email from Norm! He sent me a consultation game that was played at the club in 1989 and asks that I post it on the web site. He's going to sent me all the consultation games since 1989.

O.A.C.

We sat in the back row so we could use the big umbrella without blocking anyone's view. The rain was light and not enough to be a problem. I ate chicken rolls with coke; Yuko ate a rice ball with beer. The tops of the skyscrapers were hid in mist*. Brilliant shafts of colour streamed up into space from the Harbour Bridge.

The screen rose out of the shimmering waters of the harbour. The music played. The people sang along, applauded, danced. A possum came and said hello and asked to share our umbrella. I had to turn him away...

...and John and Olivia sang:

You're the one that I want
(You are the one I want)
oo, oo, oo...

You're the one that I want
(You are the one I want)
oo, oo, oo...

Grease is the word... is the word... is the word... is the word...

* I stole this from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Part the second. If Samuel Taylor Colerige can use "hid" as a past participle, so can I!

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Thursday, January 15th 2004

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Belinda Returns

I walked up to Artarmon to pick up Belinda, thus killing two birds (exercise and pick up) with one stone. Belinda's problem turned out to be nothing more than a faulty brake light switch. I think a design in which a faulty brake light switch can render the vehicle undrivable is slightly flawed. We got the scheduled two-year sevice done at the same time, again killing two proverbial birds.

BBQ

After Yuko's lesson at IH, we went to a BBQ party at Aspect. It was held on the balcony on the fourth level and they had a nice selection of food. However, we didn't eat much because we wanted to have dinner elsewhere.

The new DOS, who starts on Monday, was there and we had a long chat with him.

After that we had a small dinner at Asuka.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

I went online to order an item of computing equipment today (from Dell), and during the ordering process it asked me the following question:

Will the product(s) be used in connection with weapons of mass destruction, Ie. nuclear applications, missile technology, or chemical or biological weapons purposes?

I wonder what happens if you answer "yes" to this.

From Message
Laughing Mole
16/01/2004
5883 Days Ago
I think you should answer Yes to this question. Stand up for your rights! And then tell us what happens.

From Message
Webmaster
16/01/2004
5883 Days Ago
It has been my experience that standing up for one's rights results in one getting screwed, particularly when those one is standing up to are more powerful. As the U.S. government is more powerful than I, (they have WsMD) I choose to answer no.

From Message
Zeitgeist
17/01/2004
5881 Days Ago
http://theregister.co.uk/content/28/34781.html

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Wednesday, January 14th 2004

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XXXXXX

XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXX XX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX XXX X XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX

In the evening I prepared the draft web page for TEJ. It will go on the TLCC site for now because XXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XX XXX XX XXXXXXXX

Long Walk

In the afternoon I went for a long walk. I went all the way to Crows Nest and back in about an hour and 40 minutes. I need to get my legs prepared for badminton on Friday.

Belinda

Belinda's doctor left a message saying that we can pick Belinda up tomorrow morning.

Belated Revelation

I learned from Yuko today that when she first met me (in 1992) she thought I was probably "scum" with a small brain. Fortunately she has changed her opinion since then.

From Message
Anonymous
15/01/2004
5884 Days Ago
does she now think you're scum with a big brain?

From Message
Webmaster
15/01/2004
5884 Days Ago
Err... I'd better check with her...

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Tuesday, January 13th 2004

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Belinda

We took Belinda to the doctor this morning. She might be there for a few days!

TT

Yuko went to the table tennis club tonight. She said it was very enjoyable. She spoke with some nice people including XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX

She also saw XXXX XXXX there and did not speak with her.

TEJ

Everything is going well with TEJ so far. Today, XX XXXXXX called confirming that XXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XX XXX

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Monday, January 12th 2004

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Meeting

Another meeting today with XXXXX about XXXX We met in a coffee shop near XXXXXXX Yuko spoke English most of the time and she spoke very well. We covered most of the important issues regarding XXX and I also raised the matter of the XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXX

After the meeting we went back to XXXXXX where XXXXX obtained the appropriate document.

Yuko and I went and had lunch at the cafe/bookshop which I'm not allowed to name for fear it will be overrun by undesirables. Yuko bet me (with odds of 3/1 in her favour) that the shop would not stock the Harry Potter books. I won this bet.

Yuko then went to her lesson at IH while I looked around the bookshop. I bought a copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so that I can read it before we go to the live show. I actually already have the full set (somewhere) but finding them may take too long, so I decided to just buy it.

After her lesson Yuko had to go to Aspect for a meeting so I went with her and waited. While I was waiting I read more than half the book I'd bought! (It's pretty short)

Then we had sukiyaki at the "Tsunami" Japanese Cafe.

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Sunday, January 11th 2004

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LWW

Today I booked online to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the Lyric Theatre on January 23rd. I read the Narnia books when I was a kid, and again as an adult so it's a show I have to see. I should dig them out and have a read of LWW before we go to the show, but I'm not sure where I've stashed them.

Impact Yuko

In the afternoon we went to Lane Cove River Park. I took our badminton stuff in the hope that we might get some practice but unfortunately it was a bit windy for that. Instead, we played "catch ball". Yuko has a baseball and two catching gloves.

We were throwing and at one point the ball rolled over towards the river. As Yuko ran after it, she disturbed this lizard...

Yuko had a bad experience with a lizard back in 1993 at the place where we used to live at Greenwich... But that's another story... so she's not particularly friendly with lizards and she was a bit shocked to find herself so close to the animal.

Anyway...

We threw a couple of hundred balls before disaster struck. I threw a high ball to Yuko and she put her glove up to catch it and missed. It went straight into her eye and she went down. It was a rather disturbing moment as you might imagine. She asked for ice, and fortunately I had brought bottles of frozen water. So she held one of those against her eye.

We thought it was going to swell up like the proverbial watermelon (or perhaps even like a real watermelon). However, after a few minutes, it looked almost as if nothing had happened. It was just a little red around the eye area, but other than that, nothing.

She must be the real Supergirl!

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Saturday, January 10th 2004

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Nothing

Nothing much happened today. We went for a walk, but that's not really worth writing about.

Bob

Yesterday, Mother told me that Bob (her brother) has finally agreed that he'd be better off in a nursing home. He perused a list of places and said he'd like to go to one in Katoomba. This is a tad bizarre. However, the more bizarre thing is that Mother tried to talk him out of it. She hates visiting him as they always fight. I thought she would be happy to have a "buffer zone". Anyway, now he's thinking about it.

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Friday, January 9th 2004

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Meeting

A meeting was held today at XXXXXX to discuss XXXXXX and related stuff. It went very well. XXX XXX XXXXXXX seemed very enthusiastic about it and there appears to be no impediment to proceeding. XXX even suggested increasing the duration from 8 to 12!

X XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XX XXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX X XXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX X XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXXX

Mother

As Epifany has now passed, Mother asked me to take down her Christmas tree. So I did. She also wanted me to put a new bulb in her living room light. When I looked at it I was horrified. The live terminals were exposed and the metal handle for raising and lowering the light was flopping around in such a way that it could easily contact the live terminals. The fitting appeared to be broken, so I advised her to have it fixed by an electrician.

She has written a poem for Marie's birthday which she asked me to type up and print nicely so she can stick it on the birthday card.

From Message
Laughing Mole
10/01/2004
5888 Days Ago
Hello WebMaster,

Have you been to any Indian restaurants lately? I'm thinking of having a scout around to see if I can find any new ones. If I come across a nice one I'll let you know.

From Message
Webmaster
10/01/2004
5888 Days Ago
Not lately. However, we have been discussing Indians a lot. My cousin gave a goat to an Indian family for Christmas against her wishes. This was the main topic of conversation at our Christmas gathering. Perhaps that family owns a restaurant and now that they have a goat, they have probably renovated. I'll let you know...

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Thursday, January 8th 2004

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Opera House

As I wrote on Christmas Eve we took some pictures on the steps of the Opera House in an attempt to emulate an old picture taken at the same location. Unfortunately, I didn't have the old picture at hand to enable me to do a good emulation. I stumbled on it this evening, so here is the comparison:

Christmas Eve 1992 Christmas Eve 2003

Motor

Does this look like a motor?

From Message
Laughing Mole
8/01/2004
5890 Days Ago
Hello WebMaster,
  1. You have the best mo.. er, big plastic thing.
  2. I see you have again changed the way XXXXXX XXXX is represented. What's next - ROT13?
  3. You know how some time back you foisted the rotating masthead on us and wondered if it was too annoying? Are you trying the same thing with the animated smilies? Arrrgh!

From Message
Webmaster
8/01/2004
5890 Days Ago
Mr Mole,

  1. I'm glad you like the big plastic thing. One day all cars will have big plastic things.
  2. ROT13 looks nice, but it's a little too easy to decrypt.
  3. Yes.

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Wednesday, January 7th 2004

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Belinda

We decided to try taking Belinda out. She seemed ok at first. We went to Lane Cove and then I dropped Yuko at the station to go to her lesson. Then I did a bit of shopping at Coles, but when I returned to the car I encountered the same problem as before; I was unable to move the selector from the "park" position! After trying for a long time, I gave up and walked home because I had to go to the city to meet Yuko. I took Mitsy instead and left Belinda in the shopping centre carpark.

Later, we returned and we were able to drive Belinda home with no problem. It's a bit odd. I think Belinda should be sent to her room for the next few days.

IH

I met Yuko at IH after her lesson. She said it was quite a good lesson. Chris (the Korean student) related a homosexual experience which spiced up the class a bit.

Afterwards I spoke to him and set the record straight about my ancestry. Ie: That I am not Aboriginal.

Dumbbell

After her English Town lesson tonight, Yuko asked me what I would like to change about my home town. This was one of the things they discussed in the lesson. I said I'd like to change the hot weather. She said that I can't change the weather and that I'm a "Dumbbell bastard".

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Tuesday, January 6th 2004

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Belinda

Belinda is sick. There's a warning light coming on sometimes which says "EPC". When I looked in the manual, there is no such warning! The effect of it is that the selector lever can not be moved from the "Park" postition when the "EPC" light is on. This makes it rather difficult to drive the car.

So today I went up to the V.W. service centre and asked them about it. The guy said it's the engine computer saying that it doesn't want the car to be driven, but the reason is a mystery. The earliest they can look at it is next Tuesday. In the mean time, I'm a bit scared to take Belinda anywhere in case her computer won't let her come home again!

Poor Belinda!

English

Yuko had two English lessons today; one with Mother and one at I.H.

Yuko said that today's lesson at IH was quite hard. I went to meet Yuko at IH after her lesson. I wanted to tell Chris that I'm not an Aborigine, but he wasn't there today. However, several students and a couple of the tutors said "hello" to me.

After that we walked over to Darling Harbour and ate at the Chinese place. During dinner XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX but I told her that the conversation served no purpose.

Yuko has learned a new expression:

"I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

She's been looking for opportunities to use it. She did tell a waiter at Epitome that she was "mad as hell" about the recent hot weather.

From Message
Laughing Mole
6/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
It seems you may not have the best motor. :-(

BTW, all the cars I know of that have been given names have developed Personalities. My car is called "the car" and it does not have a Personality. This is good. (It also does not have a selector lever with a "Park" position.)

From Message
Anonymous
6/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
Looks like it is time to watch Network

From Message
Webmaster
6/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
They should do a remake with an updated script. Example:

I want you to go to your computers and email everyone you know and post to every newsgroup and forum: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to use Microsoft products anymore!"

From Message
Webmaster
7/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
Actually I'm not even sure Belinda has a motor. When I open the bonnet, I can't see any motor. There's just a big plastic thing with a couple of "lids". German technology is quite amazing. I'll take a picture of it and post it here.

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Monday, January 5th 2004

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Birthday

Happy birthday to me!

Yuko and Mother took me to the Thai restaurant at Mosman. It was very nice indeed. Some pictures may follow...

IH

Yuko went for an English lesson at I.H. today. The next CELTA course started today and so the new batch of trainees (the poor bastards) had their first session with the students (including Yuko).

She said it was quite good. Last time she was not there for the first day so today's lesson was new to her.

However, at one point a Korean guy came to believe that Yuko's husband is an Aborigine! I actually know him because he was also a student in December so either he thinks I'm an Aborigine or he doesn't know that Yuko and I are a couple.

Yuko also told me that two of the new trainees are cuter that any that were in my class!

From Message
Anonymous
5/01/2004
5894 Days Ago
Happy birthday, dear webmaster! I hope everything is gone fine with you. looks like so though. I broke the promise for it. hope it won't cause any trouble.

From Message
Laughing Mole
5/01/2004
5893 Days Ago
You have the best motor.

Happy birthday.

From Message
Webmaster
5/01/2004
5893 Days Ago
You speak in riddles grasshopper.... I mean Mole. Or are you talking about Belinda?

From Message
Webmaster
5/01/2004
5893 Days Ago
And Anonymous...

Thank you for your kind birthday wishes. I am very happy that you broke your promise.

From Message
Laughing Mole
5/01/2004
5893 Days Ago
No, not Belinda.

Long ago in a galaxy, er, Manly Amusement Pier far away, in an age of pinball machines and other electromechanical wizardry, there lurked a Whack-a-Mole game. At the end of each allotted whacking time, the machine would evaluate the player's performance and light up a bulb behind its panel to display an appropriate message. Although the machine's first language was apparently not English, it did its best to provide helpful feedback. The highest accolade it could bestow was "You have the best motor".

Eventually the time may come to also reveal the machine's most scornful response - but that is a tale for another day.

From Message
Webmaster
5/01/2004
5893 Days Ago
Thank you for that clarification Mr. Mole. I think I remember that machine or one like it from many years ago. Unfortunately, I was never a player and so missed out on learning the language of Mole-whacking.

I hope you will not feel the need to reveal the scornful response.

From Message
Supergirl
7/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
Happy late birthday and Happy new year!! Sorry I didn't know it's your birthday yesterday until now. who am I? Guess!

From Message
Webmaster
7/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
Happy new year Supergirl, aka:
The Disruptor!

Thanks for your late birthday and new year wishes. As I haven't heard from your lawyer, I assume all claims against me have been dropped.

From Message
Supergirl
7/01/2004
5892 Days Ago
No way! All claims will plus interest. if you don't want to pay more interest, pay debt immediately.

From Message
Webmaster
7/01/2004
5891 Days Ago
Speak to my lawyer.

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Sunday, January 4th 2004

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Hot

It's hot again. Yuko and I are sitting outside under our beach umbrella. Yuko is reading a book and I'm typing this and playing chess.

Birthday

I know two people having a birthday today. To one of them I wish a happy birthday.

Beach

We executed our plan to eat fish and chips at Balmoral beach. However, the wind was rather strong and we ended up being sandblasted as we ate our fish and chips. I am still finding grains of sand in my ears! Anyway, we still enjoyed it.

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Saturday, January 3rd 2004

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Balmoral

It was hot today. Not the kind of day for doing much except lazing around. For dinner we went to Ponto Cho at Neutral Bay. Then we went down to Balmoral for a walk. We noted that the fish shop queue was extremely long, while the queue at the other fish shop (at the top of Raglan St.) was short. Therefore, we made a tentative plan to come back tomorrow evening and buy fish and chips at the shop with the short queue.

We walked out on the baths board walk and saw several rats living under the kiosk building. Some were white, blending in with the sand. We said hello to them.

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Friday, January 2nd 2004

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Asagao

Mother took us to a Japanese restaurant at Macquarie Centre for dinner. It was called Asagao and although it was really just a takeaway place with tables, the food was very nice.

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Thursday, January 1st 2004

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Manly

As most cafes are closed today, including Epitome, we travelled a bit further than usual for breakfast; Manly in fact.

However, by the time we got there it was really lunch time anyway, so we had lunch there. We looked at a few places but ended up at the one on the corner opposite the wharf. I forget the name of it. It's nothing special, but it's adequate.

Unexpected payment

I got an unexpected payment of US$0.75 from my email provider (Fastmail) because I have referred someone who has become a paying subscriber. This is odd because I don't remember referring anyone. I then checked my "referrals status" page and found that 17 people have signed up based on my referrals and one of them is a paying user. Could it be that these are blog readers who have joined fastmail based on a casual remark I made once? I'm curious to know, so if you are one of the 18, please let me know.

T.E.J.

I spent most of the afternoon preparing the preliminary syllabus for the TEJ course which will start in February. It will be quite different from last time because I will be the main teacher and we will include a lot of extra stuff. Last time it was basically all teaching practice.

Resolution

My new year's resolution is to XXXXX XXXXXXXX on all who have XXXXXXX XX in 2002 and 2003.

(Actually this is a misuse of present perfect tense, but it just sounds more poetic.)

And thus, another eventful year in the lives of the Noswonkies begins...

From Message
Anonymous
1/01/2004
5897 Days Ago
Good luck Noswonkies for 2004, may you live in interesting times ....

From Message
Webmaster
1/01/2004
5897 Days Ago
Thank you. Times have been quite interesting for the last couple of years. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

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Wednesday, December 31st 2003

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Note: The last few days of 2003 are temporarily duplicated here for continuity.

Kiama

We had breakfast at the Fishbone again...

...and then checked out and headed home.

We got home at about midday.

NYE

As it's New Year's Eve we went to Lane Cove to by some Champagne for tonight along with some boring groceries.

Fireworks

At about 11.30pm we walked over to the college to watch the fireworks as we have done so many times. The problem with the college is that there are just a couple of really good spots where you can see the bridge clearly and every year it gets a litte worse as the trees grow a bit more and obscure a bit more of the view.

Despite this it's still quite a good spot and it was quite crowded. We took folding chairs, pudding and strawberry champagne. We got there at about 11.45pm and ate our pudding and sipped champagne until just before midnight, when we stood up and roamed a bit to find the best vantage point among the crowd.

The fireworks were adequate as usual, starting on the bridge. There were also some nice lighting effects on the bridge at the end of the display. After the fireworks we sat there for a long time sipping champagne as the crowd dispersed. There were some young couples a short distance from us lying on the grass so we eavesdropped on their conversations. I don't think I can repeat anything they said here...

HNY

Happy new year to all my readers. Well... not all.

And thus, another eventful month in the lives of the Noswonkies ends...

Actually, another eventful year in the lives of the Noswonkies ends...

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Tuesday, December 30th 2003

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Kiama

The "Fishbone" cafe where we had breakfast...

Then we went driving looking for a nice beach at which to lie lazily in the shade. During this expedition through the residential streets of Kiama, we stumbled upon this house. It's a bit hard to see in the picture, but it is a very Christmasy house. Perhaps the most elaborately decorated house we've ever seen. We therefore decided to come back at night to see it lit up. Here it is in the daytime...

Yuko then got her feet wet...

And we eventually found a very nice shady spot on a grassy hill overlooking the beach. Here we lay drinking champagne for an extended period...

There were some holiday cottages just behind us and while we were lying there the garbage men came to collect the garbage. So Yuko ran over to talk to them. She chose to talk to the garbage men because she wanted someone with local knowledge (rather than a tourist) and Yuko reasoned that the guys collecting the garbage are not tourists.

She asked if they knew where to find pipis. One of them seemed to be familiar with the pipi and recommended Seven Mile Beach about 15km south of Kiama. So after we had finished being lazy on the grass, we headed for Seven Mile Beach...

Not only were the pips plentiful, but Yuko also caught some fish! As we were walking along the sand, I noticed a big group of birds hovering and diving into the water about 50m off shore. I assumed there was a school of fish there which the birds were eating. A few minutes later they had moved all the way to the edge of the beach and the fish were so close to the shore that they were getting washed up on the sand! So Yuko picked them up. here is her haul for the day...

We had dinner at a different restaurant from yesterday. It was less dandy but adequate. Then as we were walking back to the motel, we came upon a fair. You know... rides, hot dogs, clowns with their mouths open inviting you to put balls into them...

We then went back to the Christmassy house. The photos don't really convey how spectacular this looked, but here are the night pictures...

From Message
Anonymous
1/01/2004
5897 Days Ago
Kiama, we were there Sun to Tue. We may have walked past each other without knowing. How about that for synchronicity.

From Message
Webmaster
1/01/2004
5897 Days Ago
That's quite possible. We walked past quite a few people. Was that you in the military uniform, sun hat, judge's wig and Michael Jackson glove that I saw kicking sand in kids' faces on the beach?

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Monday, December 29th 2003

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Kiama

After breakfast at Epitome as usual, we packed and jumped in the car bound for Kiama.

After arriving, we relaxed a bit on our motel balcony...

Yuko then revealed that the shirt she had given me for Christmas (the striped one in the pictures), was not unique. In fact she had one the same which she wore when we went out walking...

Last time we wer in Kiami (about a year ago) someone recommended a restaurant to us, but we were unable to try it at that time because it was our last day in town. So this time we went there. It was called "Esse" and was right next door to our motel. Everything about it was excellent, especially the chocolate cake which I have to say is the best I've ever eaten!

Afterwards, we were flat out like lizards drinking...

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Sunday, December 28th 2003

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Christmas

We finally had our "Christmas" with Mother. She came over for dinner and we exchanged presents.

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Saturday, December 27th 2003

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Movie

We went to see "Scary Movie 3" at Chatswood. It was probably a bad idea because the post-Christmas sales made parking a nightmare. However, just as we were about to give up trying to park and go home, we got a space.

As for the movie... it mainly spoofed "Signs" and "The Sixth Sense" with a bit from "The Others". It was amusing in parts but there wasn't much of a plot and it's not a movie I'd recommend. The first two were better.

Then we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant at Chatswood. It was adequate.

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Friday, December 26th 2003

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No Epitome

Epitome was closed so we went looking for aonther cafe. We were heading in the direction of Neutral Bay when we noticed that the New Orleans Cafe at Crows Nest was open. We went there and found it adequate but less so than Epitome.

TEJ

Hopefully, TEJ will start in February so I spent most of the afternoon working on a proposed syllabus to present to the director od Aspect. It will include some grammar and some of the stuff I learned in CELTA.

Balmoral

In the late afternoon we went to Balmoral beach for a picnic. We had intended to buy Thai takeaway but the Thai place was closed. We got fish and chips instead and took our own sparkling "pink" wine. The weather was perfect; not hot and not windy.

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Thursday, December 25th 2003

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Mother

Mother was not well enough to celebrate Christmas! So we just dropped in to pick up the presents from her to the rest of the family and then we went to Betty's house without her. Actually though, she didn't seem too sick when we saw her, but she wanted to stay home so I didn't argue.

I put a Christmas hat on Belinda, which proved very popular. A lot of people were staring at us as we drove over to Betty's house...

Party

So we headed off to the Scott family's party. They have some visitors from England staying with them. A friend of Russell's and her family totalling six people. So there were 13 people for lunch...

It went very smoothly. Betty loved the present we gave her; an artificial fish tank! She's been admiring ours for a long time so we knew she'd like it.

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Wednesday, December 24th 2003

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CELTA

My results arrived...

I got a "Pass". Only about 25% of people get a "B" and almost noone gets as "A", so I guess a pass is reasonable.

In the 42 assessed performance categories I got four "very good", seven "good" and the rest "satisfactory".

Mother

I called Mother in the afternoon because I was going to suggest that she come over tonight for our Christmas present exchange. However she has a bad cold and she doesn't think she'll be well enough to go to the gathering at Betty's house tomorrow. That's unfortunate, but we'll see how she is tomorrow...

City

So as we had nothing else to do, Yuko and I decided to go into the city and walk around romantically. We first did that on Christmas eve 1992.

So put on our Christmas hats with flashing lights and caught the train to Wynyard.

We had a look at the Christmas tree in Martin place and than walked down Macquarie Street, stopping to rub the nose of the lucky pig...

...to the Opera house...

At the Opera House we were spotted by Paula (one of my tutors from CELTA). We were separated by distance and thus could only have a "shouting" conversation which was very brief. She inquired whether I had got my results and said that she liked our hats.

After that we ate sticky date pudding at a cafe on the foreshore and then walked around to the international terminal. There, we discovered a Japanese restaurant called "Yuki's" on the top level. So we had dinner there on the balcony. Yuko said it was "real" Japanese. She's often wary of japanese restaurants which don't have Japanese management or chefs. But this one seemed genuine.

As we were already in The Rocks area I suggested that we walk across the Harbour Bridge and catch the train at Milsons Point rather than walk back to Wynyard. So we did.

A pleasant Christmas eve indeed!

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