About the site

I created this web site to share photos with my family. It's grown to include a family forum, a record of my scuba dives and flying lessons, and some other family-related stuff. Since it's been added to over twenty years now, it's a bit of a mongrel. Sorry about that.
Paddy Hinkley's Quarry, January 1987 Now going up instead of down, November 2005

News

Europe
European slide show (more to come).
Alexander's team reaches the finals
Well, Alexander's team made it into the finals. In fact they went all to the way to the preliminary final against Hakoah, who finished top of the table. Here's the match report:

Grade 15

During the competition premiers Hakoah had managed to take all the points from their clashes with fifth placed Springwood United, winning the first round match 3-2 and then following up with a 2-1 result in the second round.

The closeness of those results set the stage for yet another battle-royale as the teams threw themselves into this vital match with an appropriate level of skill and determination.

Hakoah gained an early advantage when Josh Shubitz found the back of the net in the eleventh minute and then the same player made it 2-0 just two minutes later. Only six more minutes had passed before Shubitz completed his hat-trick to give his team a good deal of confidence.

Carrying that sort of deficit into the second half would have crippled many teams but Springwood had simply rolled up their sleeves and they went looking for ways that would get them back into the game.

Despite their brave and admirable efforts, the goals would not come for them and so Springwood have bowed out of the finals series while Hakoah have filled the vacancy in the Grand Final.
Two wins in a row for Alexander's team
Latest results for Alexander's team (Springwood U/15s Division 1 Youth League):

Round 13: drew 2-2 against Gladesville Ryde Magic (ranked 4) at Magdala Park. 7th.
Round 14: Bye. 7th.
Round 15: beat Southern Branch (ranked 8) 2-1 at Ison Park, Nowra. Back up to 6th.
Round 16: beat Mt Druitt Town Rangers (ranked 11) 3-1 at Summerhayes. 6th (by 1 point).

Springwood now has six wins, four draws and four losses from 14 games. Goal difference is still 3 (29 for, 26 against). We haven't lost a match in 6 games, and another win could see us into the finals, so good luck!

Results on Football NSW site
Gong Ride 2010
I've just signed up again for the Sydney to Wollongong ride in aid of MS. My fundraising page page is here. All contributions gratefully received as usual.
Football update
Results from the last 5 games:
Round 8: beaten 3-2 by Hakoah (ranked 5) at Summerhayes. Dropped to 7th.
Round 9: beaten 7-0 by Stanmore Hawks (ranked 5) at Arlington Oval. Ouch. Still 7th.
Round 10: drew 2-2 against Fraser Park (ranked 6) at Summerhayes. 7th.
Round 11: beat Hurstville City Minotaurs (ranked 10) 5-0 at Summerhayes. 7th.
Round 12: drew 1-1 against Camden (ranked 6) at Ron Dine Reserve. 7th.
Seabellies - Young Cubs video
Do you recognise anyone in this clip?
Football - Alexander
Alexander is playing in his third season with Springwood (U15s), in the Division One Youth League. Springwood currently has three wins, a draw and two losses from 6 games. Goal difference is 3 (12 for, 9 against).

Results so far:
Round 1: beaten 0-2 by Camden Tigers at Summerhayes. Position 9 on the ladder
Round 2: beat Gladesville Ryde Magic (ranked 7) 1-0 at Summerhayes. Up to position 5.
Round 3: Bye. Down to position 6.
Round 4: drew 1-1 against Southern Branch (ranked 11) at Summerhayes. 6th.
Round 5: beat Mt Druitt (ranked 8) 6-3 at Popondetta Park (a memorable game). 6th.
Round 6: beaten 2-0 by St George (ranked 8) at Summerhayes. 6th.
Round 7: beat Hills Brumbies (ranked 9) 4-1 at Second Ponds Oval. 6th.

Next game is against Hakoah (ranked just above us in the table) at Summerhayes.

Click here for the latest results

Christmas photos
Some photos from Christmas 2009.
Temora - Spitfires, Mustang, Kittyhawk, Avenger
I wasn't there, but Andrew took some great pictures at Temora last weekend.
Explanation of the name 'Iain'
More than you ever wanted to know about Iain, Eoin, Euan and their ilk is at Medieval Scotland problem names.
Gong Ride 2009
Yes, it's that time of year again. I've signed up for the 2009 Sydney to Wollongong Bike Ride, in aid of MS. Please feel free to contribute via my fundraising page.

And an update - I completed the ride in less time than last year, even including three leisurely foood stops and an unscheduled repair stop at Waterfall when Bart broke a spoke. Conditions were perfect - sunny but not too warm, with a nice quartering tailwind coming into Wollongong. Brickbats for the North Wollongong Hotel, though, which put on a poor quality menu just for the day.

P.S. As at Dec 2 you can still contribute.
Flying down to Temora for the Airshow
Back in the air again, albeit not at the controls. My colleague Andrew Miskelly hired a Cessna 182 and we flew down to Temora to see the first public display of the Sabre following restoration.

Andrew's done a great job with the photos - see his site
Maule to Wollongong
Hitched a ride in the back of Brian Harward's Maule from Wedderburn to Wollongong:

YouTube video

photos on Flickr

After the flight we enjoyed a barbecue at the clubhouse and a chat with some veteran pilots.

Alexander's birthday party
Alexander had his 's 14th birthday party last weekend, at my place. Here's the YouTube video (mercifully brief).
How not to film The Oaks fire trail
See the YouTube video.

Another shark attack in Sydney
Article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

This is the third attack in recent weeks around Sydney. It doesn't stop us from entering the water though - I was in for a swim at Dee Why this morning. Lovely.
Diving at Shelley Beach with the boys
Took Cameron and Brendan diving at Shelley Beach in Manly, along with a cheap underwater camera. Pictures on Flickr.
A hot day in Penrith
Over 40 degrees at Penrith (and in Springwood). See the 24 hour graph on Weatherzone (may require you to log in).
Happy New Year
Happy New Year to one and all. Thanks to everyone who sent cards, newsletters and presents. The boys and I had a great Christmas and New Year - tomorrow they go back to Catherine's, and I'm back to work on Monday.

Alexander and Cameron both have their plaster casts off so should be able to resume sport, music, driving and diving soon.
An abrupt end to cricket
Alexander's cricket season came to an abrupt end today when he broke his arm playing softball at school. He was trying for a home run, slipped over at first base (no-one was wearing proper studded shoes) and the fielder stepped on his arm. Poor little beggar.
Cricket 2008-09
Alexander's cricket starts again this coming weekend, 20th Sept.

Links:

Springwood Cricket Club

Springwood at Results Vault

Still trying to find the site for the upcoming fixtures...

Alexander's soccer - update
Alexander's team plays Fraser Park tomorrow in the last game of the draw. We're one point behind them so if we win we can sneak past them into the final five. Fingers crossed.

After round 21:
Pos Team P W D L For Ag Diff Pts
5 Fraser Park FC 21 9 8 4 31 22 9 35
6 Springwood 21 10 4 7 35 29 6 34

Full details are here on the Football NSW site. Choose Under 13s and Table. (Due to its design, the Football NSW site doesn't allow a link direct to the table.)
Sydney-Wollongong 2008
Ocean Bridge 2007Yes, I'm doing it again. 90km from Sydney to Wollongong, on 2 November 2008. The donations page is at http://register.gongride.org.au/?IainHosking, and I've donated $25 to kick things off. I raised $920 last year, so let's see if we can make $1000 this year. It's all in a good cause.
A win for Alexander's team
From the Blue Mountains Gazette:

U13 Youth League. The Round 8 match against Hills Brumbies kicked off under sunny skies with a strong breeze blowing. The first ten minutes of the first half saw both teams testing each other and struggling to take control of the midfield. Once Springwood started to connect with some smart passes from the midfield to the strikers, Chris and Martin, it became evident that both boys' pace was going to make for a torrid time for the Brumbies defence. On at least four occasions scoring shots just skimmed wide. When Hills Brumbies did manage to pass their way upfield the Springwood defence was able to deflect any potential danger The Springwood goalkeeper, Luke Hansen, was called into action to make a couple of saves from long distance shots on goal. The first half scoreline was 0-0.

The second half kicked off with Springwood having the strong breeze and the sun behind them and it only seemed a matter of time before Springwood's domination would bring a goal. The back four and midfield were combining well but at crucial times the boys' first touch let them down and attacking raids broke down. Later in the second half the Brumbies keeper managed to clear the ball upfield and the Brumbies took advantage of this and with some crisp passing finished with a clean strike on goal. Brumbies in front 1-0 with time running out.

This was the turning point of the match as Springwood refused to accept defeat. Wave after wave of attack put Brumbies under extreme pressure. Springwood received a free kick in the dying minutes and Jarrod stepped up and placed a pinpoint ball into the Brumbies box where Lucas rose above the pack and placed a fantastic header into the net. Score 1-1. Springwood weren't finished yet, though, and in the last seconds Daniel struck from the edge of the box with a shot the Brumbies keeper had no chance of stopping. Final score 2-1 to Springwood.

This was a solid performance by all the boys, again highlighting that this team will not give up and competes to the very end.
Soccer, and seaplane dreams...
Took Alexander down to Rockdale yesterday where his team (Springwood Youth League U13) beat Rockdale 4-2 in an exciting game.

We're now having a lazy day. Brunch was bacon, sausages and home-made potato scones. The boys are now playing on the computers, and in a way I am too, poking around finding information on seaplane flying in Scotland. I turned up the following sites:

Caledonian Seaplanes are based at St Fillans, at the east end of Loch Earn. See the gallery for some beautiful pictures of Scotland from the air.

Neil's Seaplanes flies from Lochearnhead, at the other end of the loch from St Fillans.

Loch Lomond Seaplanes flies (amongst other destinations) to the Corryvreckan whirlpool, which some of my friends (not me) have actually dived.
Alexander's cricket team wins grand final
Yes, it's a rags to riches story. Alexander's cricket team (Springwood U13) was only promoted to division 1 this year, and won the Grand Final today against Glenmore Park. It took all of our batsmen to beat their total of 82 set yesterday, and the last few minutes were extremely tense as they set their leading bowlers against our tail-enders. But Sam and Kieran hung on to finish at 86.

Alexander took two wickets with two successive balls yesterday; the first was caught & bowled.

Click here for the full match results

Alexander's statistics are here
Alexander goes flying
Alexander came flying with me today. Unfortunately he felt a little sick, and this led, through a series of little events, to a radio problem. Read the full story here
TSR2 Video
Not exactly latest news, but this video of the TSR2 is very well done, and the accompanying music is appropriate.

There's a family connection to the TSR2, as some will know.

See also this PPRuNe forum thread, where I found the video link.
Two new divers in the family
Cameron and Brendan are now qualified PADI Open Water Divers. After a couple of days of rain and overcast, the weather came good for their ocean dives, and they had two good dives at both Shelley Beach, Manly, and Bare Island, La Perouse. I joined them for the Bare Island dives, over four years since my last dive, and enjoyed it greatly.
First passenger flight
Brendan became my first passenger today, and says he really enjoyed it. We spent much of the time dodging clouds. Click here for the full story.
Cameron's dc motor
Cameron built a dc motor at school out of wood, tin, copper, sticky tape and nails. We powered it up at home using four 6V batteries wired in series, and 10 cheapo craft magnets. Here's a YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsL33XpkqQM.
Sydney-Wollongong bike ride for MS
I've just registered for the Sydney to Wollongong bike ride, in aid of Multiple Sclerosis. I set a goal of $100 which I seem to have donated myself through a slight misunderstanding over the entry fee, but if anyone else would like to donate to this good cause (I'm sure you can all think of someone you know with MS), you can do so here:

http://register.gongride.org.au/?IainHosking

It's on Sunday, 4th November.

P.S. You can see the video of the ride at http://www.gongride.org.au/. It's raised more than $1,200,000 so far. Thanks to everyone who helped me raise $920.

P.P.S. My own video is here.
Alexander's playing cricket again
In Alexander's game he bowled 4 overs, gave away only 2 runs and had 2 maidens. Oh yes, and he clean bowled one of the batsmen.

Click for full results

Click here for the full draw
PNU U12 Photographs
Click here for photos of Alexander's 2007 season with Penrith Nepean United.
Most expensive pie ever
A colleague and I took a Cessna 182 from Camden to Cootamundra in perfect flying conditions, and enjoyed a pie from a baker in the main street. Cost of pie: $4. Cost of flight: you don't want to know. You can follow the flight on YouTube.
Site changes
A couple of changes to the site:

1. The forum has been made invitation-only. This has been forced upon us by the hordes of people busily employed round the world in entering spurious forum registrations so they can attempt to flog pharmaceuticals. Contact Seymour or I if you'd like to register.

2. I've finally fixed up some broken links, especially from the forum back to the rest of the site.

More changes are expected soon in the area of photos.
PNU win again
Another win for Alexander's team
NSW Centenary Cup 2007
From the Football NSW web site:

SUTHERLAND ASSOCIATION WIN THE 2007 NSW CENTENARY CUP

The 2007 Centenary Cup tournament is being held this week from 17th to 20th April 2007 at the beautiful home grounds of Woonona Soccer Club overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of Wollongong in the Illawarra region. The hosts for 2007 are the Illawarra Junior Football Association.

DAY 1
The first day of competition has been completed and some intense and exciting matches have been played in all Groups.

Group A sees 2006 Premiers, Eastern Suburbs continuing their good form and leading the group on six points after good wins against Sutherland and Granville. The rest of this group is extermely close with Sutherland, Granville, Southern Tablelands and Gladesville-Hornsby all on three points.

Group B has seen many tight games with Southern Districts undefeated leading the group narrowly on six points from Southern Branch & Bankstown after tight wins against Canterbury & Manly-Warringah.

Group C is very exciting with Illawarra (beating Blacktown & St George) and Nepean (beating Macarthur & Western Branch) both on six points and undefeated leading into Day 2. The much anticipated clash between Illawarra and Nepean on Wednesday afternoon is sure to be a highlight of the day's matches.

Day 2
Today was even more exciting than yesterday with a great tussle in
Group A which saw Gladesville-Hornsby regain the lead in the group after very good win over Eastern Suburb who were relegated on goal difference to third place behind Sutherland in second place. All teams in this group on nine points.

Group B saw Southern Districts continue on their way and remain undefeated at the top of their group in front of Canterbury and Bankstown and their clash for second position and a place in the quarter finals will be a highlight of Day 3.

Group C is also very tight with Illawarra, Macarthur and Nepean all placed very strongly for the top two positions and separated only by one point and goal difference. Day 3 will decide the quarter finalists and some very exciting matches are expected.

Day 3

Wow! What a fantastic day of football we saw today. The very large crowd of parents and supporters saw Gladesville-Hornsby and Eastern Suburbs grab the top two spots and Sutherland also made the quarters as the next best third placed team in Group A.

Group B saw Bankstown narrowly miss the quarters after taking the first points off Southern Districts with a great 1-1 draw. Canterbury strongly grabbed the second spot in this group. Group C was very strong and saw Illawarra and Nepean grinding their way to the quarters and a very deserved Macarthur grabbing a consolation spot in the Quarters as the 2nd best third placed team.

The quarter finals produced some exciting games with Southern Districts defeating Macarthur 1-0 gaining a semi spot against Gladesville-Hornsby who had to go to extra time to defeat Nepean with a golden goal. On the other side of the draw, Sutherland were very impressive in beating Canterbury 4-0 for a semi clash against Eastern Suburbs who beat Illawarra 3-1.

Day 4

The final day of this exciting tournament began with the semi-finals which produced some extraordinary football of the highest standard. Semi Final 1 was won by Southern Districts over Gladesville-Hornsby 4-1 in a very dominant display. Gladesville fought very hard, but Southern Districts seemed to do everything right and were worthy winners.

Semi Final 2 saw Sutherland defeat Eastern Suburbs, the tournament favorites, 2-1 in a very exciting match with both sides displaying an ability far beyond their years for players so young. An outstanding match.

The Final pitted Southern Districts against Sutherland and although Southern Districts threw everything at Sutherland, the team who turned up to this tournament minus four regular players and fielded three Grade 11 players, stood up and were counted. Sutherland were brilliant and were very worthy winners 1-0 in a match fit for any final in any competition anywhere.

Congratulations to their Coach Ivan and his very talented Sutherland team for being worthy Champions of the 2007 Football NSW Centenary Cup.

Presentations of medals were made to both teams by Mr Rale Rasic, 1974 Socceroo World Cup Coach together with Mr Frank Wilson, Director, Football NSW and we are extemely grateful to both men for their time and professionalism they gave to our tournament.

Further, we must add that a very big thank you must go to the Illawarra Association and in particular the very hard working team of volunteers at the
Woonona Soccer Club. Thank You Barry and all your team!

Larry & Kim

Updated photos of the Centenary Cup at Woonona can be viewed in the photo gallery on the Football NSW site.

Summary of Nepean's results:
Tue 17 April
Round 1, 11:30am Nepean Association beat Macarthur 2-0.
Round 2, 3:15pm Nepean Association beat Western Branch 2-1

Wed 18 April
Round 3, 10:15am Nepean Association beat Blacktown Association 2-1
Round 4, 2:00pm Nepean Association drew 0-0 with Illawarra Association

Thu 19 April
Round 5, 9:00am Nepean Association beat St George Association 6-2
Quarter finals, 2:00pm Gladesville Hornsby beat Nepean Association 2-1 (Golden goal)

and so the boys were out. But we should have won, because our team scored the first golden goal. However the referee, unbelievably, didn't notice the ball had crossed the line before the Gladesville keeper picked it up. Boo.
Gillies Hill under threat
When I flew over Gillies Hill in December, and cycled past Loch Carron and back down the Earlsburn, I assumed that the quarry was permanently closed. I'm appalled to learn that within months it could be chiselling away at Polmaise again. Eddy Bryant has created the Save Gillies Hill web site and I encourage you to visit and find out what you can do to help.
Alexander's soccer team 2007
Alexander's team details are here: Penrith Nepean United U12s. Click on each player for their profile.
Maximum Points From Ku-Ring-Gai
From the Penrith Nepean United web site. Thanks to Erris, the boys' coach, for consistently interesting match reports.

Under 12

Ku-Ring-Gai 0 - PNU 4

On Sunday, the team travelled to Mills Park for the round five clash with Ku-Ring-Gai Association. Complacency was going to be the major issue in this game, as far as our boys were concerned, because Ku-Ring-Gai had so far been struggling to take points in the competition. The boys trained hard through the week and were focused on producing a similar performance to our previous outings.

From the kick off, the boys showed immediate intensity on and off the ball and sustained some good attacks from Ku-Ring-Gai. Our first goal came from a scramble inside the opposition 18 yard box, where a loose ball was presented to Blake who slotted the ball into the back of the net. From that moment, the boys continued to force errors from Ku-Ring-Gai across the park. Again a loose ball in the opposition box was on offer and Jayden, with his back towards goal, produced an upright kick over his head and into the Ku-Ring-Gai goal.

Towards the end of the first half, Alexander made a timely run up the right side of the park and was played a visionary ball from Ben in the centre of the park. Alexander took the ball towards goal and from outside the 18 yard box crossed the ball, only to find it go over the opposition keeper and into the Ku-Ring-Gai net, giving the boys a 3-0 half time lead.

The second half saw us maintain our structure and dominate possession. Later in the match, Hagi, from the top of the 18 yard box, saw an opening, and with a timely strike, put the ball over the Ku-Ring-Gai keeper's head for a final score of 4-0.

The entire squad played extremely well against a side who are currently struggling to find form, but at any stage could produce an upset. It was another lesson learnt by the lads that they should never become complacent and always respect their opponents.

The goals were spectacular, with other strong performances from Jake, Michael, Cody, Tate, Mitchell, Radheya, Dylan, Ben, Daniel aka Brownie and Alec aka Goody. Special thanks to Dean who is still on the injured list for his ongoing assistance with the squad.

Alexander's first win of the season
Penrith Nepean 1 Granville 0

In a hard-fought game, Nepean seemed to have more possession, more shots on goal and better passing, yet the only goal was a free kick taken by Dylan just before half time which soared over the defenders and dipped just under the crossbar to beat the Granville keeper. Granville pressed hard in the last few minutes but Jake pulled off some great saves to keep them goal-free.

Alexander looked comfortable on the right wing, though he did tire himself out somewhat by repeatedly running the full length of the field. He had a couple of chances for a goal but selflessly chose to cross to a teammate - unfortunately the Granville defenders were too good for these to result in a goal.

Afterwards we mosied along to The Kingsway to watch the end of his team's cricket final only to find no-one there. It turned out we'd bowled the U14 girls out for 28 and the game was over by 10.30am.

So it was straight to James Smith's house for a celebratory barbecue and another game of backyard cricket. Cameron and Brendan had a birthday party at Lawson Pool, so driving twice up to Lawson and back kept me from drinking too much and probably contributed to the exhaustion I felt at the end of the day. Even so, I cooked the evening meal and cleaned up afterwards, hitting the sack some time after 12.
2007 Football Season Kicks Off
The football season kicked off last weekend for Alexander and Angus. Unfortunately neither of them played. Angus' game (and Springwood's Gala Day) was cancelled due to rain last week, and Alexander wasn't permitted to play because a form distributed in our absence hadn't been signed by us.

This coming Saturday Alexander will play the first day of his cricket final, then Angus has his first game. On Sunday Alexander's cricket team will need to play without him because he'll be playing Granville at Cook Park.
Flying in Kansas
Hired a Cessna 172 from Hetrick Air Services and took some pictures of Lawrence in the snow. More here.
London
Now in London at the Kings Cross Travel Inn and have wireless internet access again. Landed at 2.30pm and took the tube to Kings Cross (Picadilly Line, 1 hour from Heathrow, ). Found the Travel Inn easily enough, though Angus found it hard going with the backpack.

We took a trip on the London Eye - spectacular even at night, and then walked down the embankment over Waterloo Bridge to Covent Garden. Last time we were there was 2 September 1987 when we had a farewell meal at the Crusting Pipe. This time we found an amazing place called Papageno, where we had a beautiful meal in surroundings inspired by Covent Garden Opera House. Took a pair of taxis back to the hotel, which cost almost exactly the same as the Underground and was a much more pleasant experience.
Flying over Stirling
Hired a Piper Tomahawk from Leading Edge in Cumbernauld and flew over Stirling in late afternoon. More, including aerial photos of the Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle and Cambusbarron, here.
Snow in Nesselwang
Woke this morning at 6.30 and looked outside to see a thin layer of snow on the cars outside, and sleety rain falling. I took a couple of photos in case this was the last snow we saw, but I needn't have worried - it's snowed steadily all day. It's now 1.30om and there's probably a couple of inches. Neill says it will be heavier tomorrow. Had some practice this morning driving in the snow, which will be handy on the drive to Neuschwanstein this afternoon.
Jim Thompson's house
After yesterday's early start it was nice to have a lazy morning. I woke up early and wandered round the almost deserted streets (it's a public holiday today for the king's birthday) till I found a 7-11, and bought some snacks there, then on the way back I found a fresh fruit stall, a satay stall and a French delicatessen with lovely fresh-baked croissants. At around 12 noon we emerged from the hotel and took a tourist boat to Banglamphu, then a taxi (yes, 7 passengers in a normal saloon car) to Jim Thompson's house which is a little island of tranquility in the middle of (what is normally) the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

After a lovely lunch there it was back into a couple of tuk-tuks for a lightning trip back to the hotel where the tailors were to deliver our clothes at 4pm. The rest of the afternoon was spent by the pool, and Elizabeth and I joined in a little song for the king on his birthday.

We're now packing - at 9.15pm we get picked up for the trip to the airport. Better go and pack.
Floating Market
Spent the morning at the Damnoen Saduak Floating market, then the afternoon in the pool again. In the evening, off to the tailor's and then the night market. Had a pleasant meal in Derby King's - some of the other clientele were a little, um, questionable, but the food was lovely.
Bangkok - Grand Palace
First full day in Bangkok this trip. Cathy and Elizabeth have made the most of it. They were in the gym early, and then went to 10am mass at a Catholic church about a couple of minutes walk from the hotel. They're now out at a tailors getting measured up.

In the middle of the day we did a quick scrounge around the street stalls for some quick eats, then tool a long-tail boat (500B) from Tha Si Praya (just behind the hotel) to Tha Chang (just north of the Grand Palace). We hit the fruit and satay stalls in a big way (10B per satay stick; 400B for a bag of mangusteens) then visited the Grand Palace (brushing aside the protestations of a very familiar-looking tuk-tuk driver that it was closed and we should go with him - the same stunt he pulled, successfully, in 2003). We hired a guide this time - 500B and of rather dubious value - and were out by 3.30pm because the boys wanted to go back to the hotel for a swim.

We were fleeced by sellers of postcards and parasols, and probably also by the drivers of the tuk-tuks we took back to the hotel. I'm sure 200B for each of three tuk-tooks was a little rich but it was a lot of fun. They tried to take us for the proverbial "ride" to their "sponsor's" shops, but we were adamant that the boys were hot and we just wanted to go back to the hotel for a swim.

We'd discovered the "Garden Pool" this morning, which is actually in the grounds of the Portugese Embasssy. Unlike the lap pool it's set in gardens with shady trees, peacocks, squirrels and butterflies. It also has a bar and a restaurant attached, so that (for me) was a nice way to finish off the day.
In Bangkok
It's 2.30am here in Bangkok, and after a very slick airport transfer we're installed in the hotel overlooking the Chao Praya River. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (aka King Rama IX) is going to be 81 on Tuesday so we'll join in wishing him a happy birthday.

More later; I'm so tired..zzzzzz...
Nearly out of here
1:25pm

Packed and ready. We leave in half an hour. Lynette has kindly volunteered to drive the Tarago back so we can drive down rather than take the train. Cathy is going spare trying to get the boys to help so I'd better go.

Next stop: Bangkok.
Alexander's first goal for PNU
Alexander's team, Penrith Nepean United, had a 6-0 win against St George during which Alexander scored his first goal of the season. Flying: Spin recovery.
Solo landing
Here's a video taken by a passenger in a hot air balloon of my third session of solo circuits. The lesson details are here.
A Busy Day
A very busy day. Alexander had a rep soccer game at 9am, and I slept in, waking at 7.04am instead of 6am. A quick shave and made Alexander some toast and peanut butter, and made sure he had all his kit before picking up Frances and Daniel then driving down to Nepean Hospital to pick up Cathy from a night shift.

We made it to Benson's Lane Reserve (outside Richmond) by 8.10am. Alexander's team (Penrith Nepean United) won 2-1, then it was back to Faulconbridge, drop off Frances, Daniel and Cathy, pick up Cameron, Brendan and Angus and take them down to Richmond to watch Nanny McPhee.

From there it was off to Windsor for fish & chips and ice-cream, and then it was my turn - straight down Northern Road to Camden and my eighteenth flying lesson.

We got home at 7pm and I made lasagne for tea. We watched a couple of programs on TV - on London Blitz (ABC) and the Big Bang (SBS), then I listened to the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony while cleaning up the kitchen and making the boys' lunches. Collapsed exhausted into bed at 11.30pm. No wonder I'm tired all the time.
Landing a Citabria
Kerry shows me how to land a Citabria:

YouTube video

Lesson details