Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Charity Ride

The Big Day or Four Tubes and A New Tyre

First of all a big thank you to all my sponsors, I have raised over $450 and the Team has raised over $1500.

The ride didn't go to plan!

The 5am train from Caringbah was full of fellow riders. Meeting up with my team mates at the start point was fun too.

The first half of the ride was going fantastic THEN . . .

Pop, one tube blown followed by a quick (ish) tube change.

Pop, second tube blown followed by another quick change. (Thanks Martyn for your support).

Pop third tube blown . . . mmmmm! thanks Martyn but 3 x in 20 mins you'd better carry on.

A thorough inspection of my wheel showed me that my rear tyre wall had split on the rim :(

The drill was to turn your bike upside down and wait for a marshall.

1hr 50 later and I managed to flag down a motorcycle marshall (about 5000 ridrers have passed me by) then two bicycle marshalls arrived at once (like buses I thought). I was told it's a 10 min walk to the repair station at Waterfall (I couldn't believe I'd been waiting on the roadside almost 2hrs to hear this).

No tyres at the repair station, however, the motorcycle marshall offered to go back along the route a distance and purchase a new tyre for me :)

Eventually, 4 tubes, a tyre, $50, 3 1/2 hrs later and with many thanks to the motorcycle marshall and bike mechanics at Waterfall, I was then able to get back on the saddle.

The second half of the ride had some amazing views and very BIG hills!

As I approached the finish line 7 hrs 10 later, I spotted the 'Hancock Family'. I owe you many thanks for waiting at the finish line while my bike was fixed (plus the fact that you were my lift home).

The day made me realise it wasn't all about the ride time. I was reminded of how something so simple could cause what seemed like havoc. I was gratefull to many strangers for help and I felt an overwhelming urge to finish the ride so I didn't let down my kind sponsors.

Thank you once again for helping me to raise money for a worthy cause.

Best wishes,


Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Arvo 20 June 2010

After a large bacon and egg roll I dropped Kay and Madeleine off at the beach then went upto Cape Solander to see if I could spot some whales.

I saw 6 humpbacks, a large sea bird yet to be indentified, a Quantas A380 and a Blue Virgin Plane. The moon was out, the sun was shining and I was listening to Katie Melua on my ipod.

What a peacful way to spend a Sunday Arvo!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


MYRMECIA GULOSA or Red Bull Ant often called the ‘Giant Bull Ant’

Autumn has arrived and the temperature has fallen enough to peel ourselves away from the surf, for a walk in ‘The Bush’ (Royal National Park).

The walk started at the picnic ground at Audley. Along the walk, we spotted a few new birds: one was a Red-browed Finch. There were also some amazingly coloured dragonflies, a blood gum tree and then, we discovered the Red Bull Ant!

The Red Bull Ant is by far the most aggressive ant I have ever seen. The one in the picture kept Kay busy while some of his friends flanked her and I am glad to say, they only managed to get there mandibles stuck into Kay’s socks. The only way to remove them was by physically pulling them off. One didn’t give up even after I had sadly pulled off half his body; the angry ant was still trying to bite.

The walk ended at Audley with a bacon and beef pie with hot chips. The Cockatoo’s thought it quite OK to help themselves to my hot chips too; cheeky birds!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Summer 09/10

February - where did January go?

The Hughes family had a great Christmas and New Year.

On the lead up to Christmas Katie a friend of Madeleine's from the UK sent over a unique tree bauble. Very Patriotic (UK)!
We hung it with care and took a picture to show all.

On the 23rd of December we all went to the Capitol Theatre and were amazed by the show WICKED. If you haven't seen it yet, book your ticket.

Santa was very kind and we all got lovely gifts, Kay cooked the turkey perfectly and we had a great day.

Boxing Day saw Kay and I catching up with our wider relatives (three brothers who share the same great granddad as Karl).We met them at their parents (Arthur and Vera) house; we were made very welcome and met their wider families and had a great day out.

New Years Eve was spent spectacularly in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge watching the amazing fireworks and celebrating the beginning of 2010.

The 2nd day of the New Year saw the girls and Jarryd (Megan's boyfriend) off to see Mamma Mia. They were very jolly when they returned and Abba was played on our disc player for some time later.


We packed the car ready for a two day road trip to Coolangatta, Queensland. 9 hours on the road and we reached Woolgoolga, a great place to stop where we enjoyed the beach had a tasty curry and visited a Sikh Temple. We watched the largest fruit bat colony I have seen take the sky, it was breath taking. Then we had a dip in the pool until midnight whilst enjoying a bottle of the sparkling wine, aghhhh :)

The next day we stopped in Byron Bay and had memorable picnic on the beach before visiting the Big Prawn on route to Coolangatta.

At Coolangatta we enjoyed five nights enjoying what the Gold Coast has to offer. Dreamworld was thrilling; the rides were made for the adrenalin rush. The next day Megan and Madeleine visited White Water World and Kay and I took a tour up Mount Tamborine. Fun was had by all.

Coolangatta is a great spot, the beaches are beautiful and the resort we stayed in was spacious. The five nights flew by even though lots of the time was spent lounging on beaches and I managed to try out my new body board that my girls gave me for Christmas, THANKS!

The trip back was again broke by a night stop over, this time in Port Macquarie, the picnic we had at lunch time was at the lovely beach/lagoon called Mooney Mooney. After looking at all the restaurants in Port Macquarie we opted for Italian. Wow! We had a feast, the quality of food was high and we enjoyed every course.
Plans were made to picnic on the way back but rain stopped play. Instead we chose a place called the Two Cows Cafe. The weirdest cafe you would ever visit but the tea, coffee and cakes were homemade and delicious.

A weekend was spent at home chilling before work started and that about wraps up the summer holidays (almost).

The girls were still off school and Kay was busy making a dress for her Citizenship Ceremony.

Australia Day 2010

Kay swore the Oath and became an Australian Citizen. There was no doubt about it, Kay stole the show and has since had many requests for her stunning dress.

Well that was the summer holidays 09/10.

To our family and friends back in the UK, we hope you had fun in the snow at what looked a cold freezing winter. The pictures we saw on the news were amazing but I know from chatting to some of you at times it brought the place to a stand still.

ColKay & girls.

The middle spider (Huntsman) jumped out of our aircon vent in the lounge. The Red Back was by the back gate and the Garden Orb is presently outside our front door.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beach Bum

Beach Bum

Time has passed rapidly and work has been busy. I have been performing lots of wind quartet gigs; one for the Governor General herself as well as the trips to Jervis Bay for pass out parades and Canberra, performing to all manner of people. Only a few days now before summer break is up on me.

In-between gigging, Kay and I have been getting familiar with South Cronulla Beach and the Melon Blue coffee shop. I have tried to get a little arty with the beach and Kay’s new bikinis and the camera on my new phone.

The shot of the Christmas tree was taken from level 2 of the 3 level Christmas tree in the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney.

The old looking building behind Kay is Government House (New South Wales) where the Governor lives.

Kay, Madeleine and I managed to try out the all you can eat seafood special at Cronulla. We managed several of the three tier platters in the photo along with some happy hour beers and a glass or two of sparkling. YUM!!!

Just a quick update as I haven’t posted on my blog for a while.

I should blog before Christmas but it’s never too early to wish you a Happy Christmas.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009



Kay and I watched the 1980’s mini series “Bodyline” last week, if you don’t remember it; it was about the 1932 ashes series where England bowled at the batsman’s body and not the stumps. So, 1¾ hours away in the Southern Highlands is the town of Bowral where Sir Donald Bradman lived and the Bradman Museum is situated.

After visiting the museum and the town centre we went for a drive through Kangaroo Valley to Bendeela Picnic Area. Bendeela is where a friend had mentioned there was a good chance of seeing wombats; Kay and I had not seen wombats in the wild. The tip was a good one and we saw half a dozen around the area.

After photographing the cute little marsupials we headed to the coast for a fish and chip supper at Werri Beach Fish Shop.

Remember if you click on the pictures they increase in size.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kayaking at Audley

Kayaking at Audley

Last day of October yesterday and its hotting up, the temperature isn’t dropping below 16 ° at night and the days have all been in the late 20’s and even the early 30’s.

Kay, Madeleine and I booked a kayak and a double canoe from the “Historic Boat Shed” at Audley, packed a scrummy picnic in to the “esky” (cool box) and went paddling up the Hacking River.

We were not far up the river when Madeleine screamed snake, on catching her up we discovered it was a 4/5 foot black eel, a bit similar in shape to a conger eel. There were lots of turtles basking on rocks and low branches as well as all sorts of bird life.

Whilst having a rest on the river bank after our delicious picnic and yes a bottle of sparkling wine, Madeleine spotted an Eastern Water Dragon. Then like buses we spotted another. They deserve the title water in their name as they are great little swimmers.

Two weekends ago we visited the Illawarra Fly Top Walk. This is a new feature to the area and has a large tower and a walk way built at the top of the forest, great view!
After visiting Illawarra we dropped in to Kiama for fish and chip supper and watched the water blow in Kiama’s famous blow hole.

Today has been a taxi dad day so I have just bought some XLARGE prawns and popped a Chardonnay in the fridge for when I finish sitting in the car whilst Megan reduces the 120 hours of learner driving, which is compulsory in New South Wales before attempting the driving test.

Nearly forgot, Kay spotted an Echidna on the way back from Kiama and took a photograph which shows his/her nose, unlike the Echidna on the Eagle Head walk who just stayed in a ball.

Remember if you click on the pictures they increase in size.