Sunday, July 28

Crop circles in the carpet

The repairs to our balcony are finally drawing to close.  After six weeks of construction, interrupted by more than a week of unrelenting rain, the finishing touches are underway.  As you can see from the photo above new tiles have been laid and the walls have received a fresh coat of paint.  It's all come up rather well.  The final result is terrific.

While the neighbour's water penetration problems are now resolved unfortunately we've discovered a new water pentration problem indoors.  Earlier in the week I discovered our large indoor pot plants had been leaking onto living room carpet. The internal drip trays overflowed and the water has soaked through the pot's pressed concrete wall.

We now have two thread-bare "crop circles" in our carpet where damp pots have rotted the wool and left rather unpleasant mildew stains.  I've spent the last few days waterproofing each pots with a special membrane coating.  It's thick rubbery compound that you paint onto in progressively thicker layers.  Hopefully this will prevent any futher damage.

We're trying to look on the bright side.  The ruined carpet is another perfect excuse to begin planning those renovations we keep deferring.

Friday, July 26

The Final State

We're off to Tasmania for Christmas.  This will be the first visit to Australia's island state for both Garry and I.  In fact, it's the last of the nation's states and territories we've yet to visit.  We've booked a two-week driving tour that will see us leisurely circumnavigate the entire island.

We'll be taking our beloved Saab with us to Melbourne, then crossing Bass Strait by ferry on December 22.  We'll take two days to reach Melbourne and another two while returning return home.  The drive south will include an overnight stop in the Snowy Mountains, while the return stopover has been booked in Eden on the New South Wales South Coast.  I've never driven the entire South Coast so I'm looking forward to the experience.

As a special tenth anniversary gift, I've booked us into the stunning Saffire Freycinet located int Coles Bay.  We arrive on Christmas Eve for two days of unadulerated luxury (that's it in the glorious photo above).  After a challening year of highs and lows we decided it was time to kick back and celebrate.  Even more so as our respective career transitions slowly settle into a more promising direction.  Garry's business has started to grow again and I'm about to start another full-time role after a year of freelance and interim consulting gigs.

We'll then head south to Hobart arriving in time to see the first boats complete the classic Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race.  Other highlights include two nights at Cradle Mountain, a night at Port Arthur and two days relaxing in the picturesque north coast village of Stanley.

Thursday, July 25

Six weeks and counting

I'm starting to get a little excited.  In six weeks time my mother and I will begin our 12-day tour of Japan.  Overnight, Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan, a traditional Japanese style hotel in Kawaguchiko, confirmed our reservation and complimentary "western-style breakfast".  I've booked this special boutique hotel as a 70th birthday gift for Mum.  Each room in the hotel has stunning view of Mount Fuji which can be enjoyed from the comfort a hot tub on your own private balcony.  I hope it really does look like the photo above!