Tuesday, December 31, 2013

merry holidays!

Some people wonder if it is possible to have a 'normal' Christmas season in the tropics. Well it is once you accept that this is the new normal.
have a seat under this palm tree
and look for activity in the Bay while you have a coffee...
We have some traditions, like hanging up Matthias' retired bicycle as our decoration. This bike was worn out by a series of trainees from all over Germany and I always think of them when we light it up.

We find it amusing to dress up the dogs for photos, but then the costumes have to be hidden away before they get destroyed! 

doh. Izzy

just you wait... Sheila
We got a bunch of friends together for way too much food and a quiet bike ride around the local streets looking at lights. This is another tradition now, we can't seem to get by without it.
that's me in the green lights

just because it is the tropics doesn't mean we can't have over the top light displays.
 Our newest tradition is a daily walk at day break. Greyhounds wake up ready for action. The rewards are great though, this is Christmas morning.
These holidays I seem to have perfected doing very little. We had a full Christmas dinner after a very quiet day. Love a big turkey spread. And rum balls, Australians have rum balls. I soak my fruit in rum for a couple of weeks so they are super rummy.

everybody on a laptop, dogs sleeping, the usual...
flowers from the Canadians is another tradition! They smell wonderful.
It has gotten really hot, 35 yesterday, looks about the same today, so I am sitting in the air conditioning so my dogs can stay cool, and I am a bit bored but at least I am blogging! I wish I had gone for a ride today but by knees and joints seem a bit inflamed by this heat, so I didn't. And I am up to week 5 in the annual Couch to 5 k attempt to become a runner, and I really don't dare. Bummer.

Thursday I have to cycle though because it is back to work, which will be a bit odd after a few weeks of slouching around. Hoping to get back in the habit of a long ride before going to the office. Glad that I can cycle with a dodgy knee. 

It has been a year that turned out well for all of us at Casa Hound. Work enough for everyone, good health all around, two lovely dogs who needed a home and some special attention have found their place. Hope we do as well in 2014. Hope you all do well too.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

almost Christmas!

I have been getting reminded that I really should blog, and I say I will but I never seem to get aroundtoit. Sorry Mom and Dad! I'll get lots of photos and stuff up over the hols. Everything is very good here, the summer is really lovely so far (Carol, this would have been a good year to come over :p)

a perfect Christmas tree worth stepping onto hazardous ground to photograph.
Me and Izzy in the garden. I neglected to get my hair cut this year. Don't worry, I had a prune a few weeks ago. I have better things to spend my money on, like dogs!

Look how sweet!

Bikes! Yikes! I got a grant which let me hire a part time mechanic, and then I needed to hire another because one wasn't enough! We have done up 50 bikes for the JCU Green Bike program, and a LOT of them were returned for a $20 return on a $50 purchase price, plus many more as well! We should have over 60 to sell on O-week, which is a very big deal. 

Here is a very nice shot of Tess, I had to nip up to Cairns for the launch of a map series I designed and worked on with the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

They are vegetation maps which "match" the topographic maps so they are easy to use in the field (the veg map is the top one)
Me and Mike, the Cartographer for WTMA. It was a huge team effort to create a 54 map series, and it is a shame that Karsten, my German student who did a ton of work on this was unable to be with us. 

Best Christmas decoration on the street!
So it has been a very huge last couple of months, and I confess to being a bit done in by it all. I have had a couple of weeks to recover and am starting to get some energy back (just went for a run!). Have a very Merry Christmas everyone, I'll be thinking of you all.