Monday, March 28, 2011

Goodness me

It crosses my mind that it is 5 years exactly, to the day, that we first came and looked at The Sidings and then, that afternoon, put an offer in to buy it.  Five years!! How did that happen?  I have to say, hand on heart, that it doesn't seem anything like that amount of time.  You would easily convince me that it was a couple of years, but five?!?!?!?!?!?!

Perhaps we ought to wake up, get organised and kick on with some of the things that we intended to do with the house when we first moved in.

On the other hand - the house pretty much works.  Might wait a bit and get a round tuit later :-)  And let The Builder carry on with the gardens and the allotment for the time being

In the meantime, on Saturday afternoon Tabitha and I took Cally for her first trip to the Sainsbury's in which her mother usually works. It all went well, until we got to the checkout area.  She dozed and gazed and beguiled the other shoppers quite happily.  Obviously remembers the sounds of the supermarket from before birth.  And just as obviously has learned from her mother not to like the checkout area! She was positively furious, until we took her away from the scanners and the tills.

She's two weeks old today.  Had her first visit from the health visitor and seems now to be thriving.  As are Tabitha, Gareth and Ross, apparently.

We had a lovely and quiet Sunday pottering around and not doing anything very much.  And I have now worked the last of my three Saturdays in a row.  Looking forward to NOT working next Saturday!  Actually, I couldn't work even if I wanted to.  We're going to Salisbury next weekend to celebrate The Builder's mother's 85th birthday.  Am looking forward to that too.

Oh - and our clocks went forward yesterday morning.  Australia's clocks don't go back until next Sunday, so the time differences are unsettled this week :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Builder is still making use of the ongoing spring like weather

and has been planting and weeding on the allotment.  He's cleared out the rhubarb area and planted 4 x rows each of the 2kg bag of aquadulce claudia broad bean seed and the 2kg bag of ambassador pea seed that arrived on Tuesday afternoon.  He's also planted the onion sets we found in a canvas bag in one of the drawers in the kitchen dresser.  No idea what they are - time will no doubt reveal all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Undergardener being busy :-)

Lots of things to plant.  Best get on while the weather holds
Making steady progress.
Creating a blackcurrant "hedge".  Still not raining

Black currant "hedge" in the ground and watered in

Likewise gooseberries and jostaberry

Bloke next door is a strong and silent garden worker.  And it's still not raining

 A good afternoon's work :-)

The Undergardener has been busy

He has been occupying himself this last week with weeding the bed the blueberries are in.  Well, when I say weeding - I think probably I really mean digging over again.  He's also expanded it so there is room for the two new bushes we bought last weekend.  They've now been planted with a liberal application of rhododendron feed.  Blueberries and rhodies enjoy their soil on the acidic side and ours, fortunately, is not acidic.  We feed the existing bushes with rhododendron feed in the spring and it seemed only reasonable to drop some into the planting hole of the new shrubs.  He has also now pulled much of the couch grass out from under the gooseberry bushes.  This meant that we have had to sacrifice the strawberries that were also under the gooseberries.  But I have decided to buy a couple of ceramic strawberry planters to go on the patio and to restock, so that wasn't a major problem.

I have ordered ten purple and ten green asparagus crowns.  They should arrive sometime between now and the end of May.  While I was at it, I also ordered 2 kilos each of pea and broad bean seeds.  They could arrive at any time!

Up on the allotment, The Undergardener planted out the new blackcurrant bushes and the red and green gooseberry bushes and the jostaberry.  The red gooseberry doesn't have a particularly good root system, - we'll have to watch it and nurture it carefully.

We also went to the Dunstan Hall nursery and bought a new Morello cherry tree, thus using up the last of our Wedding garden money.  It has, I think, been well spent :-)  While we were out, we went to the Chatsworth garden centre.  Didn't buy any plants, but did get some seeds (somehow we seem not to have any beetroot or melon seeds, though we do have an enormous quantity of sprouting broccoli seeds!!!) and some gardening gloves.

The weather has been glorious for the last week or so.  Sunny and mild days.  A couple of mild frosts at night but nothing too worrying.  Must stay restrained though.  It's only just spring and way too early to be planting out for most things.  I have, though, planted tomato seeds in modular trays and put them with the lettuce seeds in the front door "porch" where they seem to be coming on OK.  At least, they are starting to germinate.

Today, he has transplanted some extra raspberry canes which were trying to colonise some of the vegetable beds in the kitchen garden to the new raspberry bed on the allotment (thus giving us two raspberry beds, separated by quarter of a kilometre or so) and repaired the glass in the greenhouses which were damaged over the winter.  We really are ready to roll for spring now :-)

Speaking of spring, the chickens, who have kept laying fairly well over the winter, are moving back towards a regular 4 eggs a day now that the days are getting longer.  The weather has also noticeably warmed up.  They are enjoying the warmer weather and the sunshine too, not to mention the more regular appearances of people to play with in the garden

Monday, March 21, 2011

Working Saturdays - but not Sundays

Looking up towards Tupton from the farm

I am inclined to agree with Freyja that working five days a week and having two off doesn't really lend itself to getting lots and lots of non-work things accomplished during the course of the week.  The weekends seem to go so fast.  And it is, of course, nice to have a bit of time just to blob about a bit. This is even more the case when you factor in hospital and home visiting on weekday evenings.  And it becomes even more the case if you are working on Saturdays, even if only in the afternoons.

It does make you value Sundays even more, though!

So on this Sunday we decided to make the most of the sunshine and the fact that I wasn't working and try to get lots of useful things done.

I was up fairly early - but I usually am on winter Sundays.  I talk to Stella and Tony on Skype at 6:30 on Sunday evenings, Melbourne time.  This is 7:30 on Sunday morning in Tupton, from November to the end of March.  So yesterday I was online at 7:30 and rang as usual.  Tony came on, accompanied by quite a lot of saxophone music.  In fact, all I could hear was saxophone music.  I could see his mouth opening and closing.  He was obviously talking. But I couldn't hear him.  So I hung up and tried again.  Exactly the same thing happened.  I hung up.  And turned off everything on my computer, apart from Skype.  Tony did the same at the other end.  He rang me.  Nope.  All I could hear was music.  We hug up again, and I Skyped their home phone.  No saxophone music.  So it probably wasn't at my end!

After I had spoken to him on the phone, and while I was talking to Stella, he Skyped Simon's computer.  nope.  Still saxophone music.  He investigated further.  And found that somehow his microphone had turned itself from broadcasting his voice to broadcasting Surf FM.  Hence the music.  But I'd love to know how it did that.  I can't see how to make my microphone do anything other than broadcast me!!

And then we launched ourselves in to a busy and quite productive day.

We had a seriously delicious home made fruit bread for breakfast.

We hopped out to the Chatsworth and Dunstan Hall garden centres and acquired a few useful things and a nicely established morello cherry tree.

We went for a lovely walk around the nature reserve, along the baby Rother, round past the wetlands and home through the farm (It's a public right of way; we weren't randomly stomping over Farmer David and Farmer Jayne's field).

We went up to the allotment and The Undergardener planted the shrubs we bought last weekend.

We had roast (18 month old) lamb for dinner, followed by stewed rhubarb.

And we have now reached slightly more days on the wagon for 2011 than we managed for the whole of 2010.  Which is slightly embarrassing given that we had intended 2010 to be largely alcohol free, and had no such ambition for 2011.  But (i) it is Lent and we would normally be alcohol free in Lent anyway and (ii) we are saving up to go to Japan in August and need the wine money for air fares, so there is purpose to our alcoholic frugality this year!!

Look what we found on our way around the wetlands walk

This one was close enough to stroke!  

 These are new cattle from last year.  These don't have any horns and last year's had HUGE, BIG horns

Looking across the wetlands towards the railway line.

More of the wetlands

Saturday, March 19, 2011

(Sings) Oh where, oh where have Taff'n'Cally gone?

So.  Freyja and I had been at our Japanese class on Thursday evening and decided on our way home to call in to visit Taff, Gaz and Cally.  Wandered in through the back door to the most delicious smell of dinner.  Ambled through in to the lounge room, and found Gaz playing a computer game.  No sign of Tabitha or Cally - but I assumed they were upstairs in bed, or in the bath, or that Tabitha was in the loo or something.

Engaged in some general conversation with Gaz. Then Freyja mentioned that the kitchen smelled wonderful.  Gaz agreed, and then said that it had been intended for Taffa's dinner.  At which point I asked where she was.  And come to that - where's the baby?

"In the hospital," said Gaz - in a tone which suggested that really, we ought to know that.

"Why?" I asked.

At which point, Gaz looked at Freyja, silently.  She looked at me.  No point looking at me - I don't know.  I thought they were at home.

It seems that the midwife had called in earlier in the day and had weighed Cally.  She had weighed in at about 0.4 of a gram over the 10 grams (or whatever) the allowable weight loss from birth was.  So they had to go to the hospital to have some tests done and for Cally to be assessed by the neonatal paediatrician.  Ross went too, to keep them company.

We called in to the house at about quarter to ten in the evening.  At about quarter past ten, Tabitha was told that she and Cally were being kept in overnight, that that had been decided some hours ago and that someone should have told her.  She wasn't entirely delighted.  She had missed out on dinner, both at home and at the hospital.  She didn't have her toothbrush.  She was, in fact, entirely unprepared for night in hospital.

She did get a single room though.  With an en suite bathroom and everything.

And the one night became two.  Freyja, The Builder and I called to see them last evening.  And found that Cally - who has been quite fractious since birth - has been put on a three hourly feeding regimen and has been given a couple of pipettes of supplementary formula, and is now calm and peaceful and sleepy.  A much happier little splodge.  It seems she has been hungry!  And Tabitha also has had food.  And we took magazines and chocolate.  Plus she has television and internet access in her room.  So she's quite happy too.

And now she is back at home, as too is Cally.  And I, now at work for the afternoon, have prepared the makings of a beef and tomato pie for this evening.  The Builder is meeting me at five and we're heading round to Nettleham Road armed with pie ingredients, potatoes and vegetables and will join Tabitha, Gareth and Cally for dinner.  Freyja is out scrimmaging with her roller derby team.  And Ross is about somewhere, but can't join us for dinner.

So let's hope now that Cally will thrive properly and there will be no need for random returns to the hospital.

And we have sacked Gareth as the Town crier and message bearer.  He hasn't been keeping Freyja, The Builder or me In The Loop at all!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chocolate kangaroo biscuits

Flushed with the success of baking 80 cupcakes for Tony's 80th birthday, and armed with a kangaroo shaped biscuit cutter, I decided that rather than bringing sweet and goodies home from Australia, I would make chocolate kangaroo biscuits for the office instead.

Biscuit dough:

250g unsalted butter
140g vanilla infused caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
250g plain flour
50g cocoa

Mix the butter and sugar together until creamed, then add the beaten egg.  Whisk until incorporated.  Add the flour and cocoa, sifted together and bring together into a soft dough.  Cover with cling film and chill for at least half an hour. Dust the kitchen bench with a little plain flour and cocoa, then gently roll the dough.  Leave it moderately thick (I left mine about 50mm). Cut into kangaroo shapes (or whatever shape takes your fancy), and keep gently kneading and rolling the left over bits until all the dough is used. Then bake in a preheated oven at 175d for about ten minutes.  Leave to cool on wire racks.

I decorated my kangaroos with chocolate writing icing, using white stars for the eyes.  And very tasty they are too

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Very Early Spring

Not that it felt like it, as we drove through the drizzle and the wind and the clouds to the garden centre at Coal Aston.  It was perishing cold as we were wandering around as well.  But we had been given some garden centre vouchers when we got married and were getting a bit worried that the time on them might expire (wouldn't - apparently they last for 6 years) or that I might lose them (unlikely, but you never know).  And it would be a pity to waste £120 worth of garden vouchers, especially since we want some fruit trees and bushes for the allotment.  So we persevered through the weather and came home with: two more blueberry plants for the garden; three blackcurrant plants; one red and one green gooseberry plant; one jostaberry plant (just because we had never heard of them) and one bramley apple tree.  There is room for perhaps two more trees in the middle of the fruit plot, and two more bushes to form a gateway.  We are pondering what to get.  Plus only have £20 of vouchers left so will also need to save up a bit of fruit money.

So here is the plan for the allotment for this coming season:

We also have plans for the garden, but they haven't been finalised yet - except that we have more or less (but not entirely) decided to do the flower garden from scratch, obviously leaving in the bulbs and shrubs, and some of the established plants like the hellebores.  I'll update a garden plan when we have finalised it.

I must say, though, that the winter wreaked rather more havoc than I had expected.  Even the bay tree, in the greenhouse, has snuffed it :-(

But spring is definitely here.  The soil is warming up, the sun has some warmth in it.  And while it is too early to get over-excited - I have nonetheless planted some tomato seeds in modular seed boxes and put them in the recess by the front door.  I shall do the same with some other seeds over the next few weeks and see how we get on.  And shortly I shall order some new asparagus crowns and the pea and broad bean seeds

Monday, March 14, 2011


... has *finally* landed.  I was beginning to think that she had caught the wrong plane, or headed to the wrong hospital - or, more likely, that she was really a teenage boy sequestered in his room, prefering solitude and sulking, to coming out to party with the rest of us.  And I have to say that her arrival gave good evidence for this conclusion.  She was clearly in no hurry to come and join us.  Reluctant in the extreme to be removed from her nice comfortable boudoir.  In the end she was forcibly removed with the aid of forceps and is now assimilated into The Family.

So welcome to Calliope Cecilia Elsie Gillard, born 14th March 2011 at around 11 am, weighing in at 3.7kg (or 8lbs and 3oz).  May she live long and prosper

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Oh dear. Poor, poor Japan.  An earthquake.  A tsunami. A potential nuclear disaster.  All inside 24 hours.  Anyone would think it was the plot for a not very believable End of the World disaster film. But no.  It's real.  And it's awful.  And there's no sign of it stopping any time soon.

It was told to us on the news before I left home for work on Friday.  I knew that Gifu was about 250 miles south west of Tokyo so wasn't especially worried about Austin and Kaori. But people were starting to ask me if all was well, and I hadn't actually spoken to Austin. And it seemed a bit foolhardy to declare that he was absolutely fine and dandy without confirmation.  It would look remarkably foolish of me to be declaring that he was fine, only to discover later that he had been dead for three days! So I sent him a message asking if there was an Austin in the house.  And discovered that he was, as usual, off to his Friday evening Japanese class.  No worries there!

As it happens, they are both fine.  Kaori's work building shook and swayed in Nagoya.  Austin's school might well have implemented earthquake evacuation procedures - except that school had just finished for the day and the children were all outside.  I believe that things are fairly stable and normal in Nagoya.  There is some concern about the nuclear reactors way, way up the coast.  But no immediate concern for Austin, Kaori or her family.

The video of that tsunami, though, is mind-boggling in its intensity and its ferocity and its implacability.  I think there were very few buildings that were toppled in the actual earthquake.  But that series of waves was absolutely relentless in its destructive power. It's no wonder that the death toll is likely to be so staggeringly high.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I have to say that I didn't really want to go to London on Monday.  I seem to have done quite a remarkable amount of traipsing around lately and a bit of time not leaping on and off various bits of public transport seemed like a nice plan.  But needs must.  It's not a bad way of starting back at work after three weeks off, a meeting in London.  And the train tickets were booked and paid for (and even for the right day this time!!!!). And besides - people were expecting me.

So off I went.  I caught the 9:30 train, which was a pleasantly laid back start to the day.  I trundled happily down through rather nice sunshine. I got to London on time and set off on foot for Liverpool Street Station, near where the meeting was to be held.  It's not a part of London I know, so I was armed with a map.  I still managed to get slightly mislaid, however.  And the sunshine was nice and warm, but the wind was cold.  I was beginning to wish I had brought a pair of gloved by the time I arrived!

I rather enjoyed the meeting. It was the inaugural meeting of a new User Enhancement group.  We had a lovely lunch and an interesting conversation.  They (from a commercial background) definitely seemed to learn things; we from the academic sector also learned things. It was, all in all, a useful afternoon.

Roger was also at the meeting and we had, quite coincidentally, booked ourselves on to the same train returning to Chesterfield.  The meeting finished with quite a bit of time before the train was due to leave and we couldn't catch an earlier one.  So we repaired back to Bloomsbury and had a late afternoon tea in the tea shop at the London Review of Books.  We had a stroll through the British Museum.  And managed to catch our train back to Chesterfield.

The Builder, in the meantime, had spent the evening at a rather fractious Allotment Group meeting.  I think I had the better time of it!

And now I am properly back at work.  The M1 was closed this morning between Junctions 29 and 30, which drew the inevitable chaos into Chesterfield.  Took me 25 minutes to get from our place to the first main roundabout (usually takes 6 or 7).  Once there, the roads were clogged up with trucks, which was when I began to suspect something amiss on the motorway.  So I diverted off the main road and went up through town and down around the back roads.  Was quite a nice little diversion in the early spring sunshine.  Still took an inordinately long time to get to work though.  Ordinarily, if I leave in the car at 7:15 I am sat at my desk by about 8:00.  Was 8:30 this morning.  And yes, I know I usually come by train.  But Thursday is my Japanese class evening and I tend to bring the car if I can.  Makes it easier to get home again in the evening.  But had I known about the M1 before I left home, I would have come on the train.  The Builder could have come and got me this evening!!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Home again

Actually, coming home in a hire car worked really quite well.  It was a lot more expensive than a pre-planned cheap rail ticket (although nothing like as expensive as an on-the-day rail ticket).  And it was extremely comfortable.  We took a taxi from the hotel to the car rental place, transfered our bags into the hire car, paid over a wad of dosh, and moseyed on home.  Then we took the car into Sheffield on Friday to drop it off.  It was all good.  I'll look into doing it again.  It's possible that if we booked and paid in advance we could find a deal.  Plus, there are some companies that have depots in Chesterfield, which would be even more useful!!

And so we are home again.  The cat was *extremely* pleased to see us.  The chooks were fairly pleased - but I think they would be pleased to see anyone bearing food!  We've had quite a nice weekend, though I must say that I am very disorientated.  I am having some trouble working out where I am - I keep wanting Melbourne things to be handy (wanna go and meet Simon's new puppy!!!)  :-S.  And my body appears to have moved permanently onto Athens time.  Which would be fine - if we were in Greece.  But we're not. Must move onto Tupton time sometime soon.  Now would be useful.  I'm supposed to be going to London tomorrow for a meeting.

Saving up now for a Tokyo:Melbourne:Manchester jaunt in August.  This will be do-able as long as I eat grass and drink pond water between now and then. Thank goodness for Lent is all I can say :-D

Friday, March 04, 2011


It wasn't a bad flight at all, really.  Made it to Hong Kong in good time and having had quite a good sleep on the way (the advantage of catching at flight that leaves at nearly midnight!!).  Waved vaguely in Simon's direction when we got there - at least in the direction of the city, which is where Simon is.  We saw Ross from time to time - entirely coincidentally he was flying on the same flight.  We made it back to London in equally good time, though I could have done without spending 20 minutes circling around high over London at the end of the flight. And I am extremely confused about where I am.  I kept looking for Melbourne landmarks as we circled.  And of course, they weren't there!

I have to say that Qantas premium economy is a very pleasant way to fly. It's quite pricey, but there was more than enough leg room for The Builder to feel comfortable.  The seats were roomy and comfy.  The food was quite nice.  The wine was plentiful.   It is, of course, not as luxurious as business class but if finances don't stretch to business class then premium economy is a good way to do long haul.

And here we are, back where we started, at the Jury's Inn in Hatton Cross.  The food hasn't improved any in the last three weeks.  You wouldn't think that there would be much you could get wrong with a plate of new potatoes and green vegetables, but the kitchen here managed!

We were very early to bed last  night.  Which meant, of course, that we were very early awake this morning.  This, in hindsight, was rather fortunate.  I was moved to sort out my document wallet and was looking at the train tickets checking that I had the time right for the service we were booked on, and which seat numbers we had.  I had the right time.  I know what the seat numbers were.  It is just slightly unfortunate that the seats were booked for 10:50 on the 3rd of March.  Today is the 4th!!!!!!!

Buying tickets today was going to cost nearly £190 :-S

The coach options were tickets for £40 at either 8:30 or 11:30 from Victoria.  We'll do that then.  And aim for the 8:30.  Doesn't really matter if we miss it.  There's always the later coach and we don't have reservations.  Just lots more sitting around might be necessary.  Right.  Let's plan timings.

Then I thought. How much will it cost to hire a car and return it to to Sheffield?  £85.  Pick up at the airport. No sitting around required.  We can sit here instead.  Let's do that then.  I have booked us a small car for the day, to be picked up in a couple of hours.  All we need to do now is figure out where to pick it up.  I'm sure that can't be beyond us.  People hire cars from airports all the time.  We can have breakfast while we work it out - and see just what horrors they can inflict on toast and eggs and things in the kitchen here.

But it's just as well I was moved to check the train tickets.  What has been a minor irritation and inconvenience would have been an expensive calamity had we not noticed until we got on the train and it had left the station.  Our tickets were extremely cheap and were for the train we were booked on only.  We would have had to have bought standard tickets on the train with a penalty included.  Easily £250 I'd have thought!!  Not sure quite how I managed to book the wrong date.  Ordinarily I am absolutely obsessive about checking and double checking and triple checking these things.  And the cost of making a mistake and not noticing until you are aboard is the main reason why!!

LATER:  They must have a different chef or perhaps even a different kitchen on breakfast duties.  The breakfast we've just had wasn't too bad at all.  Positively palatable :-)  Now we just need to sort out the car, which isn't due to be picked up for another 3 hours.  But maybe they'll let us collect it early

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Last couple of days in Melbourne

So, Christian, Yvette and Sam joined us for a very pleasant steak night on Monday evening.  I must say, I do like the steak night salad that Lindsey makes.  I might make up a big bowl of it for us (assuming I can find all the ingredients at not too extortionate a price) but for weekday lunches rather than for Monday steak nights.

Tuesday saw Lindsey back to work - and me needing a new USB cord for my iPhone.  So The Builder and I ambled into town and dropped into the newly restored and very glorious Myer, which now boasts a Macshop on the top floor.  Alas for us, the Macshop doesn't sell parts, only packaged devices.  And it seemed slightly extravagant to buy a whole new iPhone when all that was wrong with my existing one was that the USB cord had frayed!  So we trotted up Elizabeth Street to a real Macshop that does sell parts and acquired a new cord from the very helpful people in there. Finding ourselves pretty much outside Melbourne Central we went up one of the little undercover alleyways that lead into it.  And entirely by accident found a little place that did us a remarkably nice lunch.  So we didn't go into Melbourne Central after all but had lunch in Era and then strolled slowly back to East Melbourne in the sunshine.

Tuesday evening found us back in the Prince Patrick with Ian, Christian and Cassie, but not, alas with Lindsey, who was at a meeting. My steak was absolutely lovely.  Although not, of course, as lovely as the King Island steak that Lindsey gets for steak night.

Lindsey and I were up in good time for our early morning walk today - although I fear that Lindsey does not properly appreciate the need for a Proper Cup of Tea before engaging in extensive exercise at 07:00!!  This is a walk that Lindsey does regularly when in East Melbourne.  I do it too, when in East Melbourne.  This walk is seldom as exciting as it was this morning.  First, there were five hot air balloons hovering over the Fitzroy Gardens as we went past.  That was quite exciting all on its own.  But then, when we got to Federation Square, we found there were people giving away pot plants for office workers to put on their desks, thus restoring their "Plant-Life Balance".  We acquired a fern and a tiny bamboo plant and made our way onwards.  They were doing it in all the capital cities except, I think, Darwin.  And THEN, as we headed back up towards East Melbourne, we found six fire engines, two police cars and a helicopter surrounding one of the tall buildings near Parliament.  We don't know why, but it certainly added to the excitement levels of the walk.  Not sure the car drivers who were now stuck found it equally exciting, however!!  By the time we got back to the apartment we were in great need of egg and bacon sandwiches to recover!!

The Builder and I occupied ourselves during the day by heading back to Fed Square and grabbing another couple of pot plants for Lindsey's surgeries, and then wandering across to Southbank for a really unexciting lunch in one of the Italian cafes.  My wrap was so unexciting that I abandoned it and brought myself a proper souvlaki to munch on while we ambled along the Yarra and trundled back to the apartment.  I would recommend against lunching at La Camera in Southbank.  Even The Builder's spag bog was pretty ordinary.  On the other hand, the food in Cafe Italia off Lygon Street is definitely not ordinary.  Lindsey, Ian, The Builder and I met Ant and Jess there for a delicious dinner before heading to Ant and Jess's place for a last cup of coffee and a rummage with Krumm.  Then Ian headed back to East Melbourne, Lindsey went to Ballarat, and The Builder and I are at Tullamarine waiting for the plane to take us back to Tupton.  Not that the plane will take us all the way to Tupton (would be fun watching it trying to land!) but it will get us to London, which is close enough for jazz.

Thank you everyone for a really lovely time, we've really enjoyed it.  We'll see some of you in Japan in August.  And if we can manage it, we may drop by on our way home from the wedding.  I'll keep you posted