Archives for posts with tag: Family

Visiting my parents in Summer is always a fun opportunity to get up to mischief in the backyard pool. The Pok (AKA my son) loves the opportunity to go for a swim with his cousins and anybody else that is prepared to jump in.

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But this year Santa delivered a variety of water weaponry; water pistols, water pumpers, and the piece de resistance is the nerf water rifle with its water cassette.

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I grabbed this last one as my weapon of choice, and so the battle began. I thought I was doing pretty well with my 20 feet of hyper accurate water sniping over the other low volume weapons (and the equally inferior family opponents who were carrying them) until my 9 year old niece, C, yelled out…

“Hey Uncle Chris. If you unscrew the orange lid on the cartridge, and keep that part of the gun underwater while you keep shooting, you never have to reload. You will have unlimited shots”.

What ensued for me was total domination of the battlefield (the pool). And I just got schooled in re-engineering my weaponry.

My niece C will either become the next “Tony Stark”, or end up being a globally hunted weapons smuggler. Either way, she has that “criminal cunning”. Respect!

PS – no permanent casualties were suffered in the pool, and whatever applicable parts of the Geneva Convention were adhered to.

Yesterday, on the way back home from our long weekend away, I received some news that I knew would eventually come but not so soon. My uncle Marc (Gaëtan) Nemorin passed away after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He was a happy man to be around and always had a smile on his face and a tale to tell. Marc is and always will be the husband of my godmother Ghyliane Nemorin, and is also survived by his two children – my cousins Shaun and Ariane. He was a good father and took care of his children well. Marc loved football (soccer) and was an accomplished referee who officiated at the top level of the sport in Australia. He kept very fit, and I feel that he has been robbed after living a very healthy life. Marc was definitely a child of the 60s and 70s and the influence in his tastes in the arts stem from this period. I remember vividly to this day this painting – “Wings of Love” by Stephen Pearson, that he had hung up in his lounge room. I did not know the meaning of it as a child, but I just remember how vivid the painting was and the depth to the fantastic scene.

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His other love was always music, and he had some cool taste in music. Marc enjoyed singing and jamming with bands often in the studio crooning out tunes. And if there is one thing that he has imparted on me is some of his musical tastes – it is because of Marc that I love Roxy Music.

Marc has been taken away from us far too early, and I feel a great loss not only for me as one of his nephews but the great loss for my godmother, and my cousins who have been robbed of a grandfather for their children.

Gaëtan, may you rest in peace and live on in your children and their children. Enjoy a bit of Roxy Music up in heaven – I am sure Bryan Ferry would not hesitate to jam with you.

It has been a while since my three brothers and I have been in the same city for Christmas. My youngest bro lives in Toronto, Canada. My second youngest bro lives in Melbourne, Australia, and first brother and I both live in Sydney (I am the eldest, smartest, wisest, etc. of my four brothers – eldest rights… we are not competitive…). This year we will all be in Sydney, with my youngest bro flying in today with his wife. I have been looking for an excuse to post this photo, he is the one of the left.

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Let the brotherly shenanigans begin, here is to some good times in the next few weeks.

I always love going to visit my brother and sister-in-law down in Melbourne whenever I get the chance. It is always good for a laugh and we have a fun time telling stories or picking on each other. Since they got married last year, they have been steadily outfitting their house with decorations that are unique for them. This post is not a “Better Homes and Gardens” house showcase, but a couple of photos showing their unique taste in furnishings.

My sister-in-law is an avid reader with a wide and varied taste in literary genres (her taste in pay TV shows is another matter, and should never be published on the interweb). They have a massive bookcase surrounding the TV, but what is the highlight of this shelving unit is the top right corner where there is an unlikely grouping of books. Bill Clinton, The Holy Bible, Heineken, and the Oxford English Dictionary should never be bedfellows.

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They both found a poster that makes them happy to fill a long vacant void in their kitchen. They are not millionaires but this poster makes them feel happy, and me too, every time they walk past it.

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The other poster in their place is one gained from when my Brother and I went to the Tour Down Under in Adelaide and met the greatest professional cyclist ever – “The Cannibal” Eddy Merkx! We waited for him to sign the poster for us and got a photo with him as well. Having said that, placing this in the corridor on the way to the WC is kind of intimidating.

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Lastly is their most recent addition. Every house needs a Dr. Evil chair. Where else in the house could you hatch plans for global or intergalactic domination. I found myself thinking evil conquering thoughts just sitting in it. It’s cool!

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The Emperor would be jealous, at least the lighting is better.

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Back to Le Tour.

I hate to say it, but Melbourne is the best city in Australia to be a cyclist. They have an awesome network of rider friendly roads and bike paths, with only one point of caution – tram tracks! Having said that, I reckon that this bloke from Ballarat might have come up with the solution. So whenever I get to travel down there, I try and get out for a ride. It is cool too, because I get to ride with my Brother who now lives down there with my Sister In-law. My recent work excursions have given me more opportunities to go for a Melbourne spin, but I have not been able to bring my bike. Solution – take my lid (helmet), shoes, gloves, and gear down with me and borrow my Sister In-law’s bike. She has a Giant Defy aluminium road bike which is a cool little ride. It looks pretty funny when I travel with the rest of the business crowd in our suits on a Monday morning and I have my lid slung around my work bag as I check in on the flight.

Riding Melbourne - #1After spending the day at the office, I rushed over to the Melbourne Yardin’s residence with my gear in hand. But before we could roll I had to rig the bike to fit me. This involved adding the Garmin mount, tensioning off the SPD pedal clips, and most importantly swapping out the women’s seat for a man’s saddle and adjust the seat height. I had to lift up the height of the seat post a further 3 times within the first 2km of our ride because I didn’t get it right before we started rolling. Big tip – if you borrow someone else’s bike, measure the length on your own bike between the centre point of the crank and the base of your saddle to get the seat height right. My Sister In-law is a few inches shorter than me, and her bike is one size smaller (it was a 53.5cm frame and I normally ride a 56cm). It felt different, but not uncomfortable. In fact, while it was heavier than my carbon road steed, I was surprised how responsive the bike felt under steering. I was able to clock up just under 50km/hr going downhill and I felt very sturdy on the bars and pedals.

Riding Melbourne - #2The ride had a few gremlins in it, with my brother copping a flat as we climbed up Alma Road in St Kilda East. Unusually for Melbourne glass was sprinkled everywhere on the route we chose for the evening.

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It took us a while to change the wheel, and we were getting hungry. So we kept spinning with a time limit on the clock, but decided to ham it up a bit. King Edward VII sitting on his horse has got nothing compared to a man in lycra on two wheels.

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In the end, we were gone for only just over an hour, but at least we are now rigged to roll again. I am looking forward to getting out on the wheels again this week and this time put a few more kilometres down. When we got back to Melbourne Yardin’s place, the two bikes had their own romantic interlude under the butterflies – as if to remind me that I was riding my Sister In-law’s bike and her bike was already betrothed to another. Haha, good times!

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