Monthly Archives: December 2008

28th Birthday

It’s that time of the year again, I’m now a whopping 28 years of age!

I woke up in no particular rush, Claire and Hugo came in to say Happy Birthday which was great. Being a bit of a present fanatic, Claire thought I should open some presents immediately – I obliged and received the following wicked gifts:

  • Bvlgari Aqva Marine
  • Huge box of Ferrero Rocher
  • Gift voucher for some clothes
  • Oakley Antix sunglasses in black tortoise
  • Professional canvas print of Hugo
  • Framed digital print of Hugo

After that we set about our normal morning routine with Hugo and I nipped out to get some McDonalds for breakfast too. We were expecting guests in the afternoon and the house still needed some attention post Christmas, so we cleaned the house to make it a little more respectable.

Andrew, Belinda & Ben arrived at our place just after 11AM for lunch. I received another present from the three of them, a pair of very cool looking cargo style shorts and The Dark Knight DVD which is the latest in the Batman series. Anita & Emily also drove up to the Gold Coast and I received an Armani Code gift set which contains the Armani Black Code perfume, body wash and after shave!

As is the ritual for lunch, we went to Hogs Breath for some fine meat. For those that are familiar with Hogs Breath, they’ll know that the prime rib is only available for dinner. The last two times we’ve been, the prime rib menus have been available for lunch – which is a little strange given that the 18 hours from the previous dinner wouldn’t have lapsed yet to cook it. As it turns out, they don’t serve the prime rib, they serve the same steak but as a rib fillet (so not slow cooked) but you can order it with any of the dinner arrangements.

On the way home, we picked up a cheese cake from the Cheese Cake Shop and everyone met back at our place for some dessert. Lucy & Michael couldn’t make it up for lunch but got to our place just in time for cheese cake. However, as I later found out they don’t like cheese cake, I maintain that it is their loss! Mid afternoon, everyone got on the road and headed back to Ipswich and Brisbane. For dinner, Claire thought she’d cook a chicken & pumpkin risotto that we both love and as usual, it was delicious!

Thank you to everyone who traveled to the Gold Coast, phoned, sent me an SMS, instant message or email today. My 28th birthday has been great and I can whole heartedly say that I’ve been very spoilt! See you all this time next year as I edge ever closer to the magic 30 milestone!

Web Statistics

Matt Cutts, a prominent Google engineer has been posting an overview of the web statistics that his blog receives for the last few years. I certainly can’t compete with the staggering amount of traffic his site takes, however I thought it might interest a few people. In the next day or two, I’ll be writing three short posts highlighting this sites web statistics since 2006 in a yearly format.


Christmas for 2008 is nearly over and it has been magnificent.

The day started a smidgen before 5AM due to the heat and by 5.30AM I had to get up. We were aiming to be over at George & Jude’s by 6:30AM to begin the present opening festivities – however we ended up getting there a little late by the time Hugo awoke and we organised him. As it turns out, when we arrived the house was still basically asleep and Cam, Tina & their kids hadn’t arrived yet either so we didn’t feel so bad. Once the kids arrived and we started opening presents, it was pandemonium – so much excitement and they were buzzing! We packed up some of our stuff and headed home at around 9AM.

Hugo went down for his nap when we arrived and as soon as that was sorted, the second of the ceremonies began. I munched down some cereal and savored a ham & cheese crassoint. It seems to be a bit of a tradition that the present session with the Buchanan clan goes off; every year the intention is to make it a little smaller than the last and a more metered but it never seems to pan out that way!

We worked our way back over the George & Jude’s for lunch with Andrew, Belinda, Ben, George and Jude and it was fantastic. Mum has been making the same style Christmas ham for a long time now and every time I eat it – it is positively delicious. Not wanting to go hungry, Jude had also prepared a collection of superb desserts – fair to say that we probably all ate too much but it is just so hard to say no to great food! Emily, Will, Anita and Oliver came over not long after we’d finished lunch to pass on well wishes for Christmas and we talked and caught up for the next few hours.

At 3PM, we made our way back over the Sterle, Lorraine & Grandma’s place where we chilled out for an hour or two. Conveniently, while the Lattimore family traditionally does a Christmas lunch, the Buchanan clan does a Christmas dinner. So with a couple of hours of recuperation from lunch, we got stuck into another excellent Christmas meal – which was followed by more scrumptious desserts.

We’ve been pleasantly surprised yet again by how tolerant Hugo has been with us today. We dragged him with us over to George & Jude’s early this morning for breakfast and he was presented with a mad house. We came back home to more people and then back over to George and Jude’s for lunch. He had his lunch time nap over there in a strange house, strange room, strange smell and didn’t seem to care one bit – which we’re obviously very happy about.

As an aside, one thing that you can’t take away from a small country town like Chinchilla, is that it doesn’t ever take long to get from anywhere to anywhere. While we were tripping about a little bit today between the two homes, which are on opposite sides of the town – we’re talking about less than 10 minutes of drive time. That is certainly something I miss about living in a city like the Gold Coast.

It has been a great day, lots of family, friends and plenty of decadent food. A bonus from Christmas day is that there is always left over everything, which makes for at least one day of excellent lunches and dinners. Bring on Christmas 2009 I say.

Road Trip A Non-Screaming Success

Last night I mentioned that Claire, Hugo & I were taking a road trip from the Gold Coast to Chinchilla this morning and that it could be quite eventful.

We got away from the Gold Coast at about 9:15AM and topped up on fuel on the way to the motorway. To my surprise, the traffic was flowing smoothly over the M1 and the Logan Motorway – which was further improved by a lack of any crazy driving from other motorists. We pulled into the Parkhouse Cafe on Margret Street in Toowoomba 11:15AM to feed Hugo and have a driver reviver. As an aside, the cafe has been refurbished and had a slight change in name since I proposed to Claire there in 2004. I really like what they’ve done with interior of the cafe – much more comfortable, modern and fresh. Back on the road by lunchtime and we arrived in Chinchilla at about 2:15PM – more than enough time to unpack a few things from the car and prepare a 3:00PM snack for Hugo.

Claire and I really weren’t sure what to expect with the long drive, as it meant that Hugo was going to miss out on his normal play time between 11:00AM and 12:30PM-1:00PM. Instead of going completely bonkers, screaming and crying – he just cruised along with what we were doing. I suppose we shouldn’t have been so surprised, to date he has been fantastically flexible with us carting him around the traps and tolerating us breaking his rhythm from time to time.

Road Trip

Today was my last day at work for 2008 and I can’t wait to relax with Claire & Hugo over Christmas and New Year.

In the morning, we’re driving from the Gold Coast to Chinchilla to spend Christmas with our respective families and friends. The trip out to Chinchilla could be quite eventful, as it’s the first drive we”ll have taken with Hugo much over an hour.

Belinda has suggested that we leave when Hugo is due for his morning nap and stop in Toowoomba for a break. Due to our distance, the timing of that couldn’t have been much better as we’ll arrive at approximately 11:30AM. After the pit stop is complete, we’ll continue on the second half of the drive. Traffic and driving conditions permitting, we should arrive in Chinchilla no later than 2:45PM – which will give us a little breathing room before we need to feed Hugo again at about 3:00PM.

We’re on a schedule here people, lets hope it unfolds according to plan!