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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Paniyri and my little greek girl

Beautiful day in Brisbane today.   It is also Paniyri time.  My little girl (Sparkle girl), was performing some Greek dances with her school mates this morning.  They all did a fantastic job.  Watched by many thousands of people and shown on the big screen, I thought she would be nervous.  Not at all. 

It was such a hot day and they had to perform twice.  They were worn out at the end.
Her school is very multicultural and there are many non Greeks that enjoy performing the Greek dances.   My little girl has been doing them for 4 years now. 
Perhaps she was Greek in a past life....

 Then it was time for the rides.

 Up and down, up and down - not for my stomach

 There were rides to suit all ages.
I must say the price tag for a ride has risen quite considerably over the years.
It is very easy to spend a small fortune in a short amount of time.

Lots of fun and a great day. 


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Miss 10's first blog

Hi all,

My daughter has decided she wants to start her own blog.  Only being 10 I told her she was too young.  So I suggested that she do a post on this blog.  So this is her story....

Hi I'm Sparkle Girl, aged 10.  I love animals so much I have decided to do this post.  So here we go.

This is my grandad's dog.  His name is Wally, he is in training to be a cattle dog. 

This will be in my tummy soon.  Nice yummy meat.

Horse riding is really fun.  I do it all the time.  The horse I like riding the best is Blossom.  One of the oldest horses my grandad has.  She had a baby a while ago.  His name is Spider.  He is still learning to let someone ride on him.

Christmas eve we will have some yummy pork from my grandads pig called little pig or grunter.

Such a cute dog I want it to be mine.  I always wanted to have a dog. 

Wild tigers.  I really do not want one for a pet or come across one.

Such a cute duck I wish it was mine.  Everytime I come across a baby duck or chick I just want to pat it and want it to be mine.

I don't want to come across a garaffe in  the wild because it could step on me or eat me. 

A cute Panda in the water.  I have never seen one panda in the water in my life.

There is a cute kitten under a blanket sleeping.  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh don't wake the cat up.

A wierd looking animal I don't have a clue what it is is.  It lools a bit like a skunk without a tail cross bred with a panda and a squirrel.

Nice to share my love of animals with you. Talk to you soon. I will send more pictures of animals soon.

Sparkle girl, aged 10.

Friday, 11 May 2012

This blogging stuff.

So as I sit here on a Friday night with a nice glass of red, I'm looking back at my month of being in the blogging sphere. It has been an interesting exercise.

Why did I start?  I'm still not 100% sure.  I know I wanted to understand blogs more, what are they really?  Why is everyone talking about them?  How do they work?  What is their power?  How do they connect with other social media?   Can anyone start one?  Would anyone actually read my posts?   Did I want people to read my posts?   Maybe I would learn something that would help me in my work life - we have blogs at work and are thinking of creating more.  What will make them better? Even tv shows are writing story lines where their characters blog. 

But blogging is not as easy as you think! And there are a gazillion blogs out there with tips on how to blog, what to and not to do...eek  too much info and it all contradicts.  Then once you have a basic site set up - you have to work out some technical stuff to make it a bit fancy. Build it and they will come perhaps :) 
  • As a blogger it feels like you are in a special 'club'
  • As a newbie you go through 'initiation' and have to climb and prove your worth 
  • Everyone is connected but you have to work at staying connected
  • It's easy to set up a basic blog but you have to actually spend time on it 
  • It's time consuming
  • You need consistent and interesting content
  • To gather followers you must connect to other social networking sites, other bloggers, be visible
  • Be yourself but don't give to much away.  It's a tricky thing.    
  • It's competitive
  • It's fun - a way to record what is going on around you
  • Social networking can be addictive
I read and follow many blogs.   I love the honest opinions of people, the normal people who post normal everyday stuff.  You can choose your blogs like a book - pick a trashy one you don't have to think about or one you can learn something from.  Perhaps you want to spend a few minutes dreaming you are in another life, or go with something more serious.  Keep up to date with things to do with your career or a hobby.   With 163 million blogs to choose from the choice is endless.  The trick is to find the ones you are really interested in.  This is time consuming in itself. 

So what have I learnt - In a nutshell blogs can be powerful but they require time and effort.  If you want followers or people to actually visit your site you really need a plan of attack and need to have something that makes you different from others.   You need to use other social media , like facebook, instagram, twitter etc to direct traffic around the different mediums.  It's all linked.  You need to think about your audience and interact with them.   What do they want and is that what you want to blog about.   On the other hand if its your personal blog - does it matter if anyone reads it?  But then why blog?  Maybe it's a ego thing.  Maybe you just enjoy it.  Perhaps like me it was a spur of the moment thing.  Wanting to understand it more.    Maybe it's a way of forcing you to document your everyday things so you can reflect or remember them later. 

The blogs I follow I can relate to.  It's like having a friend with the same interests and values who provide honest and useful advice.    It's free and you don't have to talk to them if you don't want to, but they are always there when needed.

Yes I may keep on posting.  I'm not sure how regular the posts may be.  I'm not sure I want to post about nothing in particular, but then it does make me think about 'what happened today' that may be a bit interesting or something I want to remember.  Knowing people drop in to have a look does keep me a little motivated.   I've had views from Russia the US, Norway!

So lets see what happens from here.  Have a great weekend and happy mothers day to all mums out there. 


Monday, 7 May 2012

The Best Farm Stay - EVER

It's always the best shower ever after a camping trip. It doesn't matter if you use a portable shower, baby wipes or soap and water, it's never the same as when you get home.   

It was the annual camping trip to my hubby's parents farm.  We stayed two nights and with over 850 acres of land there is plenty of space.  The camping numbers grew this year - 5 families -9 adults and 13 kids.  I think the word is out that this is the best farm stay in the world.

There is even entertainment with the Broxburn Bash just down the road.  Cover bands to music that we actually know.  If the wind blows the right way, we get a free concert every night. 

The weather was good to us.  Not a drop of rain and beautiful blue skies.  It was short sleeves and sunburn during the day.  Yep silly me forgot to sunscreen myself.  Here I was nagging the kids about the slip slop slap and I just sat out in the sun - actually seeking out the sunny spots.  I'm paying for it now with a nose like Rudolph. 

Then we turned into icypoles at night. It did get pretty cold.  Down to 1 degree.   The trick was not to move away from the camp fire and when you did go to bed, dress like an Eskimo and sleep with five blankets.  Didn't matter though because you always thawed out in the morning. 

The cows were wondering what we were doing. A real farm with real cows.

Sightseeing. Hang on tight!

Dinner in a few months time.

The play equipment.  Kids and adults alike loved these big toys.

Climbing the cattle race.  You can't do this in the big city.

Everyone had horse rides and rides in the 100 year old Sulkie (sorry no pics of the Sulkie).

There was a little farm work to be done.  See the males trying to work out how to fold this up?. And there were another 8 to go.  It was going to take a while.

I know it's here somewhere.  One of three cattle dogs. This little pup is in training.

This was home for a couple of nights. 

The best and biggest camp fires every night. 

We even had a birthday party.  Check out the cake.  Cooked that morning in the Weber. 
OMG the food that was cooked this weekend.  It's hard to believe it was camping.  The best ever pizza, roast lamb, freshly picked corn, the fluffiest scones - yep scones cooked in the camp oven and served with jam and cream.  The stakes have been up'ed for next year.  My woolies hot dogs aren't going to cut it with this crowd.

So the weekend was a success.  Next year we might even stay longer.   I'm already counting the days.


Friday, 4 May 2012


Happy Friday!

It's a long weekend here in Queensland. The May day long weekend always means camping for us. It's a tradition. Cold enough at night for a camp fire and squishy marshmallows followed by beautiful warm days. My favorite thing about camping is no housework, no electronics and easy peasy cooking. I love having time to actually sit and read a book, chat with friends and just relax. I love how the kids go exploring and make their own fun and are completely exhausted by dark. Just like back when I was a kid. Pity its only for a couple of days, but I will take what I can get.

Now that I have finished packing, i'm signing off for a few days - no electronics remember, just friends, family, music, books, a few glasses of wine and the odd kangaroo bouncing by. I will be back with photos in a while.

In the meantime enjoy your weekend.....

image courtesy of the www

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Wintergarden Fizzer

Hi peoples,
I was quite excited this afternoon.  I had a special invite to the opening of the new Wintergarden in the Brisbane City Mall. Apparently I was a VIP.  At some point I must have bought something, provided my details or they just knew by magic that I loooooooove to shop.  Anyway it was nice to get an invite.  

Now the original invite was an email and I had a period of 3 hours since the dispatch of the email to respond and spaces were limited.  Not sure what would have happened if I missed the deadline.    Anyway that was last week.  Then I waited for a response which I expected would provide more details of the event.  Well I'm still waiting for that.  I was surprised as the Wintergarden is quite large and exclusive, so I thought a simple response would have been polite. Not to worry.

Moving on - it started off well - building the excitement.  There was a roped off area in the mall and a stage and you couldn't get in without your pass.  There were opening speeches and a little entertainment ooh so exclusive.  You could see all the other 'plebs' on their way home from work wondering what was going on.  Oh yes I felt a little spesh. I was in the inner circle.

Anyway that's were it ended.  Once inside there was no program readily available and whilst some of the shops had VIP specials - they weren't anything to rave about.  You would save more in the upcoming sales. I would like to say that the staff were lovely though.   Then I discovered there were vip's and then there were VIP's.   The other VIP's (media and corporate beautiful people) has access to other areas and it was clear if you didn't have the right pass you couldn't get access - The bouncer dudes were very big and looked a bit scary.

Not to worry the fashion parade was going to start at 7pm.  Or was that 7.15...... And where was it going to be exactly????? There were a lot of people wandering around trying to work this out.   Once it was determined  the stage was the up and down escalators in the food court - we waited. Was a little tricky to see around those big pillions they always put in the middle of food courts.  Ok the clothes were beautiful - as you would expect.  The designers in the Wintergarden are fantastic.  Pity I can only afford to look though.  

 There were some lovely displays. Not quite sure what the flower heads mean.

 I would be happy with one of these bird cages. 

 These girls were lost in time

Then I went for a walk and found an area that had little canapes - I was getting a little hungry.  However as I approached I was told I couldn't have any yet because I had to wait for some show to begin at 7.30.  Only problem was that it was already 7.40????    Guess they were on a different time planet than me.  Funny though because there were other people with little bundles of food - they must have been the vip vip's.

I did a little window shopping - you can see the window can't you?
Want this dress.

Now to wrap the evening up in one word - boring.  That is a hard thing for me to say when it comes to shopping, but that's my sum up of the evening.   And I wasn't the only person to think this - I heard many other people say it out loud.  Most likely they were only vip's like me. Shame really because the evening had all the bones of a great event.    


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

One photo a day

The first of May.  How did that happen?  

You know what that means - time to start another photo a day challenge.   Now this challenge is not new, it has been around for a while.  The idea is to take a photo a day using the below list as a guide.   You interpret the topic of the day however you wish.

I got this idea from fatmumslim and a few other blogs I follow are also in on it.  Just take your photos and upload to instagram, twitter, flickr etc.  When you post use the hash tag so others can find your pics.  #photoadayMay 

For me I will be using instagram.  Quick and easy and always makes my photos look a bit better than they actually are.  I think I'm addicted to it. 

A new list of topics are made available at the beginning of each month.  So my personal challenge for May is to follow this list and take at least one photo a day. Wouldn't it be great to collate all the photos at the end of the year into a little album? A way of capturing a moment in time each day.  Well perhaps I will start with today and see how I go. 

Gotta go and take a photo before the day is over......