Monday, December 10, 2007

Bordeaux here I come....

Well it seems that I'm the proud owner of a Marie Curie Fellowship! Yay....they took their time letting me know though, really it was driving me bananas.

So late next year Suz & Marty will be packing our bags for one year to live in Bordeaux. Anyone want to rent a lovely house in the hills?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

wilsons prom adventures

Out and about I really have a job, I certainly feel like this year has been a joke.

Just got back from a four day hiking adventure at Wilsons prom with a large group of 11 people...while its fun having so many people along, its pretty hard to get 11 people moving each day! Fantastic weather the whole time, we even manged to go swimming each day which is quite a feat considering how far south we were.

The only downfall of such nice weather is the hordes of snakes out and about, which if you are into such wild life may be good but in my case I was not so impressed. We saw lots of new birdies, including my favourite so far a pair of gang-gang cockatoo's.

Note: never bring a pommie along with a bb-gun when possums are about (unless you are in NZ)...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Backyard Blitz

wow lots of weeds can grow in two Marty got the 'very concentrated' weed killer out for some extreme, heavy handed murdering of onion weed. Hopefully next weekend they will be ready for digging. Man this is a big back yard, what have we got ourselves into...oh well should be fun :)

Visiting Dr G in Chicago

Well another sucessful trip to Chicago for "work" hosted by Dr G and KWC/PK (thanks guys!)
We had some very sucessful shopping trips due to the fantastic exchange rate and the ridiculous 75% off sales....saw the Blue Man Group perform a very strange but fun show....taste tested lots of American beers "Sam Adams" in particular, I think Im now converted...unfortunately the fun all had to end when beamtime started, but we got lots of good results so YAY!

The Bristol Club...well known for their iced coffees and mexican delights.
New shoes on display at the APS....very yummy margharitas at Mi Hacienda!Some pretty results at the synchrotron...if you dont get it then just soak in the pretty colours.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Jo & Gareth Wedding version 2

Jo & Gareth (ie. Mr and Mrs Chandler) were lucky enough to have two weddings so that the whole world could be with them getting married. They had a lovely Sydney wedding last weekend at Newport with all the Nevilles and McIllwraiths and friends...beautiful day and fantastic photos...thanks Marty

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mikey in London.....

We had 24 hours in London only, where the lovely Mikey let us stay in his Wilsden Green abode. Plenty of time to see all the sites including the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, London Museum, The British Museum...oh and the tube...why does it alway have to break down, ew its so hot and stuffy! London is a great place to visit but it baffles me why so many Aussies are excited about living there???

Thanks Mikey...enjoy your 10 days of peace in the shoebox...S & M

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Tatra Mountains

The Tatras are a mountain range in Slovakia which are divided into the High and Low Tatras for obvious reasons. We spent a few days in the Low Tatras "Nizke Tatry" to start with however it rained most of the time so we didnt get to see much. We went and saw the Bystrianska Caves which were amazing, much better than Jenolan but I cant tell you much about them as the tour was in Slovak.
Most of the time was spent in the High Tatras "Vysoke Tatry" which are just amazing. In 2004 however, a storm where winds were 200 km/hr went through and blew over a large portion of the pine trees so the lower parts of the mountain now look like a tree graveyard...but obviously it doesnt stop the endless stream of tourists hiking in summer, even on the highest peaks with really difficult tracks there were still people around. There are loads of high mountain lakes "pleso" which are so pretty..I cant wait to go back again!

Lower Tatras:High Tatras:

Bratislava...the land of bridges

Bratislava has an old bridge "stary most", a new bridge "novy most", and a really new bridge that looks like a small harbour was really confusing!
We stayed in a great little hotel right next to the castle "hrad" (see look I know some Slovak now!) which has a fantastic view over the town. There was a great thunder storm one night in the distance luckily, where Marty managed to get a great photo from our room.
The old town is really pretty but unfortunately some smart investors have turned it into an expensive swish restaurant area over the last two years where there are hoards of British blokes out for a pissy weekend. What they dont realise it that one or two streets further on the food is literally ten times cheaper and much better, but they all get trapped in the touristy area...oh well we win out again!

We left our car parked outside the hotel, which is apparently a 'really safe area' however some lovely person or people decided to steal our hub caps...god knows for what reason other than it was the newest model of the car. We were pleased to find out when we eventually returned the car that they were only worth $50 in total.

Next up Cesky Krumlov....

So from Prague we picked up the little red "Skoda" car, the pride and joy of the Czech Republic however I think its a hunk of rubbish equivalent to a lawn-mower on wheels..anyhow, it was a car. We headed a 100 k's south of Prague to a medieval town called Cesky Krumlov for a few days...absolutely fantastic place we had so much fun there, I would highly recommend it to anyone. The town was built in the curve of a river that comes all the way from Prague...we went about 30 k's upstream one day and lazily floated on a canoe all the way back to town through all sorts of villages. There are many locks in the river which we had lots of fun sliding down and somehow managed not to capsize!
Well I thought Prague food and drink was cheap but this is just amazing..we had the bestest meals ever and struggled to spend $20 between us including

Now the holiday begins...first stop Praha

I hadnt been to Prague before as I was too cheap previously to pay for a visa...but now that they are a civilised country and accept that Aussies are harmless no worries!
My first view of Prague was through a plastic Czech beer cup and zdravie! It was ridiculously cheap something like 2 dollars in total!
My next view of Prague was in an outragous crowd of tourists milling around the old town...grrr I really do hate being in such touristy places. Owing to Marty speaking Slovak which is essentially the same as Czech (say like an Aussie and a NZer talking) we managed to stay out of the touristy areas and find some real Czech culture, ah much better :)

Guernsey Wedding

The main event for this holiday finally arrived...Jo and Gareths Wedding in Guernsey!
It was held at Saumarez Manor (where we also happened to be staying)...apart from the creepy woman looking after the accommodation and the ghost tour they made us go on it was a pretty nice place to was definitely a good place to have a wedding!
The fact that the weather was shocking on the wedding day didnt trouble anyone we all had lots of fun and Jo and Gareth were so happy. As per usual the girls spent all day getting ready and the boys slept in and threw on their suits just in time. There we lots of Aussie friends and fam there to wish them well. The reception was a blast.
Yay for Mr and Mrs Chandler

2 weeks in Bordeaux 'working'

OK the adventures started with Bordeaux again for two weeks of hard work, ie. eating and drinking french delicacies, well we did actually get alot of work done but cant have all work and no play! It was very exciting having Marty along finally, instead of him sitting at home getting sms's from me saying how much fun it is..yay! However I must say its a bit rude of him to get better results than me at work, thats just not fair :)

Pretty good this time to is that the fam came along for a visit, and liked it so much they stayed an extra few they understand why I want to go work there. Mum was very happy when I took her to my favourite duck restaurant (duck being her top menu pick), where they serve nothing but duck dishes most of which you cant tell are actually duck. Dad was very pleased with the French beer and Matt was very relieved to have some normal people to talk to ie. not mum and dad.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

yay for Adam!

Congrat's Adam....its about time!

moving, moving, moving

OMG are you alright Marty? Well all moved out of Forest Hill now and my life if packed up into boxes and stuffed into a 2 x 3 m storage stop Europe....then new house :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

varmen (high temperature)

My boss who is staying in Denmark at the moment forwarded this email to me, it was sent from the head of school there. By the way it was 25 degree's!

"Kære Alle

På grund af varmen beder Institutlederen jer alle huske på at drikke rigeligt med vand o.lign., og når det er muligt at komme udenfor og køle ned."

"Dear everyone

The Head of department wants to remind you to drink plenty of water etc. in this hot weather and when it is possible to go outside to cool down."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Matts Graduation

Congrats Matt....well the last of the Neville's have got there BSc from Usyd now! I know this is pretty pathetic but we counted up 5 BSc's, 3 hons(chem), 1 Masters(chem) and a PhD between us. I think we are keeping the BSc degree afloat.

Apart from the worst weather you could ever want to have on your Graduation, consisting of being constantly pelted with freezing cold wind and rain, it was a fun afternoon. The random weather actually made it more exciting as each outing was an adventure trying not to get blown away.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

we are famous.....

Suz, Marty, Mandy, Danny and Adam made our TV debute on 1 vs 100!
We spent the day at the studio filming....but shhhh cant tell you want happens you will just have to wait for the airing in October.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

world of mushrooms v2....

OK I should explain my rather cryptic last post about mushrooms....sorry to disappoint you all they are not magic mushies, however, it was quite an adventure.

The story begins with a Slovak adventure to an enchanted forest in a place far far this forest there were all types of strange mushrooms, especially there were lots of toadstools with little families of forest creatures living underneath. I was told dont pick these lovely looking toadstools because that would be bad and we dont want to upset the forest creatures. But these other bright orange mushrooms we can pick because no one lives underneath them, they have been specially grown for us humans to eat. So we picked lots of 'good' orange mushrooms and let the toadstools be!
Then, later that day, my second adventure began...I had to eat the mushrooms. This may sound like an easy thing to do, but my brain was saying 'suz what are you thinking orange mushrooms cant be good for you, just get rid of them'...and the slovaks were saying 'suz no worries we been eating them for 30 years and look how we turned out'. Eventually, I cooked them up into some scrammbled eggs, ate them and look Im still here now, and I hope not in a dream, so they must be full of goodness! And we all lived happily ever after.
The End

Monday, April 23, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

SMartys House....

Oh my gosh....suz and marty just bought a house! What? you say, Suz your last blog update was a house warming party in Forest Hill...well all I can say to that is, oops guess I will just have to have another house warming.

So excited...the address is 20 Birdwood Ave Upwey, we wont move in until the end of August tho. Its a 1/4 acre, amazing view of the dandenong mountains, 10ft ceilings, fantastic balcony for bbq's, hot spa bath in the bathroom, kitchen is all jarrah wood...ahhh will have to wipe the smiles off our faces soon I suppose but until then :)

P.S. No we are not going to buy a dog!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Housewarming party!

Well I have been in my new place in fancy ForestHill for 5 months now...and finally got my act together for a housewarming do! Apart from really crappy weather it was lots-a-fun :) much eating and drinking and even some dancing thanks to the crazy netball girls. Marty's world famous taziki dip once again was a big hit, I think we all need a garlic detox now.

I dont know if this is a sign of old age but I noticed that almost everyone was drinking wine all night, I only found evidence of four beer bottles the next morning...hmmm very concerning. I may have to have a second 'beer-only' house-re-warming party to remedy this.

Clockwise: suz and lil's, suz and lauren, adam and nicole, keith and irene, matze and lils, netball girls providing entertainment!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Weekend on the town....

OMG Matze's b'day was fantastic, we went out and about in Fitzroy first to Ilk bar then to much fun but what a random mix of people! BTW do you like my new haircut?

A wander in Sherbrook Forest is a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon (esp after the night before) . Followed by a really nice dinner at Baden & co. place in the Dandenongs, they have such a cool house.

Look I have not one but two new papers!

....and one is a front cover :) (thanks my lovely artist x)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

....stay tuned

Keep watching, I promise there will be a new exciting blog update soon!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tassie - "Hiking in Freycinet"

Went for a fantastic four day hike around the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmanias east coast, better known for Wineglass bay which appears on pretty much every ad for Tassie tourism.

Day 1- Carpark to Hazards beach. After an hour or so of tourists milling around the beginning part of the track we managed to escape to the beautiful Hazards beach. In the far yonder part of the beach is where we set up camp, couldnt ask for a better view...much better than any five star resort.
Day 2- Hazards beach to Bay. After a very nice short stroll to we set up camp in definitely the best spot on the site (you can see Marty perched on our front door step). We thought again we might be virtually alone here but in the late afternoon we were over-run by ten or so tents but I suppose it was a Saturday night. I was going to swim here but we spent all afternoon watching some stingrays swimming around so gave it a pass - even though they are pretty harmless all the recent publicity still sits in the mind. Again a stunning sunset, awe how romantik!
Day 3- 'The killer walk' - Bay to Wineglass bay via Mt Grayham. Well we knew this would be a hard day of 5-6 hours up and down hill and we were correct, but the views of the whole peninsula were stunning at the top. Marty by the way is only a small way up the first hill and looking absolutely stuffed!

Day 4 - Wineglass bay to the carpark. Waking up at wineglass bay is just amazing, go do it if you can! The end............oh and here are all the critters we saw along the way. Featured are 'Wally' the wombat, a confused wallaby, a very hungry Echidna and some very cute Penguins. I wont even bother mentioning all the birds!

Tassie - "The IC07 Conference"

Nice two week break in Tassie due to a rather convenient per usual decided to tack on a nice holiday after the work was done. Started by bringing my car along on The Spirit of Tassie where to my joy there was only a lovely 1 meter swell. Passed the day happily with Adam and Soph learning new card games and staring at endless ocean. Camping in Davenport the first night was to our surprise very nice with our own personal beachfront tent accomodation. The only problem was finding dinner where a lovely local told me "sorry love this is Davenport"....hmmm, by the way this was 8pm Saturday night, gotta love taswegians!!

The next day we drove through the middle of Tassie on route to the conference in Hobart, where we took a nice scenic drive through the Highlands, where we saw pencil pines and cushion plants, the only problem was that a great deal of the road was dirt....hmmm by the way this was the A5, only in Tasmania!!

Finally arriving at the conference, many talks were listened to and crosswords mastered, but most of all much beer was drunk in order to fullfill the young chemists role in attempting to drink the town dry and never be invited back again. Outside work time we managed to see the sites from Mt Wellington and go to the Cascade Brewery, where we almost wet ourselves laughing 'at' not 'with' the over exuberant tour guide. I think we suceeded, well at least in part...hmmm, by the way pubs shut at 11pm all week long, where are we again?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Aussie Day weekend at the Mornington

Had a lovely Australia Day weekend at the Mornington Peninsula at The Duriska's very 'European' holiday house. Great way to avoid the crowds we thought, little did we know throngs of Melbournians had the same idea....the drive took twice as long!

Mandy and Dimma came for the day and we gorged ourselves on wine and pizza at T'Gallant winery. Marty then finally had a chance to play with his new camera toys - some filters - at our favourite winery destination 'Tucks Ridge'
We spent the next day getting back to nature with a walk/ bird watch along the coast at Cape Schank. Marty found himself a very dead hawk which he is still yet to identify? Followed by some awful windy/rainy weather which didnt deter us from an amble around a very big Homestead which had some fab birds (even for a not very interested bird watcher like me).

On the way back to Rosebud I was so excited when we saw a koala feasting on some gum leaves, and in true Australia Day weekend manner stood there with all the other Aussies gawking at it while it sat there eating away not in the slightest bit interested in us...but so cute and fluffy, I wonder if they bite?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

....more exciting things in Sydney

A whole week in Sydney and lots of things to do (other than catch up with rellies, poor Marty!). Managed to fit in some rockclimbing with Matt and Freida and with Jrod. A quick drive around the northern beaches which had some really big waves, a lovely but tiring walk around west head and a catch-up with Kirsten and Chami in their new house where Marty took a lots and lots of pickies of their new puppy!

Top: Marty, Matt and Freida rockclimbing
Bottom: Great waves at DeeWhy, Mum and Dad at Westhead, Kirsten and Chami's cute doggie!

How exciting NYE.......

Oh my gosh this was the best new years ever....look at the view we had (and the sexy photos Martiman took!). We had a fantastic picnic in the Botanical gardens (specially people only allowed...) courtesy of mum and sat back, relaxed and enjoyed :)

Xmas bbq at the Nevilles

A quick catch up with the Sydney boys and Girls (Xina all the way from Japan, Dr G and Mikey before their overseas adventures, Jrod in the midst of writing up and Kathy just being Kathy)

Clockwise: All of us eating again, Greg and Jrod, Keep on trying Mikey.....

Neville Xmas in Melbourne

Mum, Dad, Matt and Freida made the long car journey down to Melbourne for Xmas.....we ate and drank our way around the world with lots of yummy delicious creations.

The Xmas activities (clockwise): Suz and Marty, Frieda and Mum modelling the latest xmas fashion whilst opening presents. Suz stuffing herself on rasberry souffle, the souffle and Matt checking out his beer collection from around the world.

The pre and post xmas actitivites (clockwise): Mum and Matt, and Dad at the Mornington Peninsula, Mum and Dad getting lost in a really cool hedge maze. Matt and Freida at a yummy Chinese restaurant, the fam posing in Melbourne, Rudolph at the Museum.