As per my previous post, we just travelled 29 hours for a bit of down time. Some R and R shall we say, on our very own piece of paradise, Bondi Beach.
As I hauled my lily white frame out of the water Iwitness this...can she just go to some other beach puleeze?
Kim and I and the boys spent Christmas with Kim's family in Toronto. We then decided that a start up in a foreign land wasn't hard enough so felt that flying 29 hours door to door to visit my family in Sydney was the perfect way to see out 2006, welcome in 2007 and really test the efficacy of Gravol and Dimetapp.
To all in rows 23 to 28 on the Toronto to LA leg - apologies. And to those in rows 53 to 56 on the LA - Sydney leg - again, if we could compensate you, we would. In all seriousness, the kids did great.
If anyone is ever choosing a long haul carrier, Qantas is it. I don't want to bag United et al, but Qantas actually offers service. From Cattle class to First class, there are those little extras like menus and on demand TV for all. If Qantas and Jet Blue can do TV - why can't everyone? Oh that's right, everybody else's fleet was built in the age of the Hindenburg. They should at least have built in steam radios...And the service...other than the fact that they speak my English...they actually care! Very full flight - we bought 3 seats - Harper is not yet 2 so travels free...they found a spare seat for us. Kids slept through dinner so they had Business Class dinners set aside for them. For brekky they ran out of our choice (they give choice...and you don't have to pay for it - oh me gawd) so they dished up fresh fruit and berries from the staff menu.
I wasn't always a fan of the flying Kangaroo but I am now. Marcos who looked after us deserves a huge medal. And we weren't the only one with kids - he looked after all of us.
We plunged into the ocean to shake of the jet lag yesterday. The beach was packed, despite it being a work day...just like North American summer where things tend to slow down, only we really know how to slow down. It's the surf, the sand, the cold beer, the BBQ and the sound of the cricket (the game not the insect) on the radio in the background. Pass the sunscreen...
The family and I have travelled east to Toronto to have a white Christmas with Kim's family. The brochure said "white christmas guaranteed" - it's Canada after all -the Great White North. Being from Australia, actually spending Christmas in the snow makes all those carols finally make sense. 36 years of retailers banging out tunes with lines like "dashing through the snow..." running up to Christmas was hard to reconcile in 90 degree heat with a big left break at the south end of Bondi, the beer on ice and the BBQ fired up. So at last I thought - a "real" Christmas. The kids have been boning up on what to expect by watching Polar Express with that weird animated version of Tom Hanks...
Oh the disappointment when we landed yesterday to discover not a drop of the white stuff. Worse still, it is so warm here there is scant need for hats, gloves or a coat. So Big Al wasn't joking with all those slides...We are heading to Australia after this Canadian excursion and expect big snowdrifts and good powder down to 500 feet...
OK, so it is not as big as the rings you locals get for winning the Superbowl, but the old urn full of the ashes of the bails used in first test match played over 100 years ago still means a LOT.
The old dart only had it for 15 months - the shortest reign in 124 years of the competition - before losing it this week to Australia. Prior to that, Australia had it for 16 years.
This was my first real season of running. In a 15 month period, I ran:
Newport proved that you can't cheat at training. Mile 15 came along and all of a sudden I wanted my Mummy...So Portland was to prove I could actually finish and Tucson will hopefully see a little faster pace while getting a tan. Am Australia- bound and gawd I don't want to look translucent white.
And I did most of these in my shoe of choice - Crocs - the gardening shoe of choice for runners.
Crocs very kindly keep supplying me with said shoes in return for some promo work. Check
England has been bowled out for 129 in its second innings on the final day on the second Test in Adelaide, dramatically swinging the pendulum Australia's way.
Australia, which holds a 1-0 series lead as it strives to retains the Ashes, has a victory target of 168 from 36 overs to complete the match.
In a remarkable day's play, Shane Warne was the chief destroyer as the tourists lost nine wickets - including four in the crucial first session - and the prospect of a result loomed large.
Warne captured 4-49 from 32 overs.
A controversial umpiring decision triggered England's collapse, bringing sharply into focus the previously faint possibility of an Australian victory.
Andrew Strauss (34) was the casualty of a dubious decision from umpire Steve Bucknor, when Shane Warne had him caught, close to the wicket, by Mike Hussey, before replays suggested the ball had come off his pad.
Two overs later Ian Bell hesitated in his search for a single and was brilliantly run out by Michael Clarke, who kept his balance at backward point and threw to the bowler's end, where Warne underarmed into the stumps.
Danger man Kevin Pietersen was subsequently bowled behind his legs by Warne, then Brett Lee came into the attack and captured the crucial wicket of Andrew Flintoff.
Coming in at 4-73, the England captain needed to stand firm but instead wafted outside off stump and was caught behind.
At lunch the tourists had staggered to 5-89.
However, in the second session they lost another five wickets and were bowled out for a much smaller total than their 6-551 (dec) in the first innings.