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17. August 2009 09:39
by Rene Pallesen
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Denmark 2009

17. August 2009 09:39 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

denmark


When Kim and i got married last year we promised my mum that we would come to Denmark this summer (European) and have a little party with her as she was unable to attend.

Our journey there didn't start well. A five hour delay from Sydney meant that we missed our flight in London. British Airways told us that we wouldn't be able to get on a flight until next day but we insisted that they get get on us a flight the same day. They waitlisted us on a couple of flight and eventually we managed to get to Copenhagen late the same evening. Thanks to modern technology my parents were updated with the flight details so they didn't have to wait around and they arrived to the airport just before we arrived.
It took our luggage another two days to catch up with us, this meant that we had to do some essential clothes shopping.


The first couple of day we spent with my parent, cooking for them, taking my mum to the forest, the beach as well as going sailing. It is summer time in Denmark at the moment, so the weather was a lot more pleasant than the last time we were there and there was more people at the beach etc.

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It was a bit weird visiting this time. My mum and dad are no longer living together and they had sold the house week before we arrived. This meant that we were staying in my dads apartment (Which used to be my brothers) and visiting my mum during the day. My mum has got a really nice little apartment in a facility where there are people around to assist her whenever she needs help.

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My mum has also still got the car, so it is easier to take her to places as it has got a lift and special belts to secure the wheelchair.

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At the end of the week my dad had organised a party for my family and friends. It was in the middle of the holiday season, so a lot of cousins and other family members were unable to join.

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It was especially good to see my grandma (who is 89).

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We were in Denmark a total of 10 days before then heading to Italy.

7. July 2009 09:44
by Rene Pallesen
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Kims Birthday Party

7. July 2009 09:44 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

kims birthday party


Kim likes to have a lot of parties (Pre-Party, Party and Post Party) when it is her birthday. This weekend we had a big group of her friends over for a BBQ.

It is currently winter here, but it was nice and sunny, so the backyard was still warm in the mid twenty degrees so we were able to sit outside.



Kim had baked cupcakes the night before and used the cupcake stand from our wedding to present them and it looked fantastic.

Baking cupcakes

Kims Cupcakes



Kims Cupcakes

28. June 2009 09:20
by Rene Pallesen
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Kims Birthday & Blue Mountains

28. June 2009 09:20 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

kims birthday blue mountains


Last year I took Kim to Hunter Valley for her birthday. This year we decided to head up to the cold Blue Mountains.

We hired a cabin that we stayed in a couple of years ago. It is a nice little self contained cottage in the Blue Mountains...loads of privacy and a nice little woodfire and spa.

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It was cold up there so the wood fire was very convenient.

Saturday morning we had booked a round of golf at Leura golf course. The first thing you notice here is that everyone plays really slowly. We got let through two groups but still managed to complete the round in less than 4 hours. It is a beautiful course and it was one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf I'd played for a long time.

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And as you can tell Kim was very relaxed too.

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And here showing the latest in golf fashion.

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In the afternoon we had a look at Leura (Kim had the munchies for scones) and we had a look at the local shops.


In the evening it was time to celebrate her Birthday so I took her out to dinner at Echos Point Restaurant. Food was ok, but overprices compared to many really good Sydney restaurants. But there was plenty of food so we skipped the desert...and had a really nice and romantic evening, so Kim was very happy.

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Next morning we woke up early to have a look at a few shops and gardens around the place. First we went to a garden called Everglades...nice, but would have been nicer once the flowers are out in late winter (It is winter here in Oz now) . After that we went to Mount Tomah botanical gardens. These are very nice, there was plenty of flowers and the layout of the gardens is really nice.

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I bought a new tripod for photography last week so we decided to have some fun around the place with jump shots.

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14. June 2009 07:40
by Rene Pallesen
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Vivid Sydney

14. June 2009 07:40 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

vivid sydney


This year Sydney has put on a fantastic lightshow in the city centre. Purpose is to draw people into the city here at winter time.

One evening after having dinner with a couple of friends, Kim and I went in there to take some photos of some of the light shows....and here are the results.

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12. June 2009 03:41
by Rene Pallesen
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Adam is here (another nephew)

12. June 2009 03:41 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

adam is here another nephew


Yesterday on the 11th June Adam was born by Kim's sister Dao. He is an impatient little bugger and decided to arrive two weeks early and later at night while all the other boys in the family were out watching the soccer match between Australia and Bahrain.

Suddenly Wednesday evening Dao called saying that she'd started going into labour. Normally Wednesday is my climbing night but luckily I was home this evening. Kim and I quickly picked up KC (Kims other sister) and they took the car (while I stayed with KC's kids) to go and pick up Dao and bring her to the hospital.

Adam and Family

She was in labour until after midnight and in the early hours Thursday arrived.

We all went there yesterday to have a look and both mother and child is doing fine. And Dylan (on the left in the photo) is excited to have a baby brother.






18. April 2009 05:35
by Rene Pallesen
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Climbing at Cathedral - I have been here before

18. April 2009 05:35 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing at cathedral i have been here before


Today Andy and I went climbing at a place called Cathedral at Bangor in the southern part of Sydney.

None of us has been there before but according to the description we should park at the end of this street and then it would be a 5 minute scramble from there.

We found the start of the track ok, but 15 minutes later we were still bush bashing out way trying to spot markers that would indicate where the cliffs were.



Half way down I dropped my water bottle out of my backpack and it disappeared between some rocks. I went down to retrieve it and then we continued down the gully into dense rain forest full of impenetratable bamboo. After taking a couple of turns with dead-ends we could see glimses of the river. and after about a 25 minute walk we suddenly found ourselves on this really nice little beach.

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Andy mumbled that there was no way that he was going to go back the same way and he'd rather walk a big detour along the river. We could now see the cliffline and walked down to the end of the beach where we went back into the forest along a track that let us to the cliffs.

We could see why it was called The Cathedral.

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The cliffs are massive, intimidating and completely blank of any features that lend themselves to climbing. We had a hard time finding the various routes and started scrambling along the base at the cliffs. We got to the end of the cliffline and I shoulted "I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE!". Andy looked at me confused and asked "You've climbed here before". I replied..."No, I have been here before...This is where I dropped my waterbottle". DOOOHHH...we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble if we had turned left here instead of going straight...and suddenly then way back out didn't look so bad.

Anyway we couldn't figure out the climbs so I decided to jump onto a grade 21 climb called Imogen. I got to the first bolt and started moving up on really bad feet (small pebbles) going for a very long reach. Eventually my foothold broke and I slid down the side of the rock getting a sandpaper cut on my arm and leg. We decided to bail the climb and find something that was more suitable for warming up on.

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We scrambled down to the other end and found a number of grade 16...but eventually I settled for a climb called "Ozone Action (17 ***)" which is what is a mixed climb (part bolted and geared climbing).

This was a really good one. It was sustained at the grade and had everything in it...laybacks, chimney, mantel, overhang, slab, face climbing etc. If anyone does it then follow the advise and bring cams/slings....is it desperately run-out unless protected.


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I set up a belay at the top and Andy followed me up...with a big smile on his face. After this we absailed down to the grade 16's. All good fun...and I toproped something that I'm sure is harder.

After this it was time to pack up and head back.


16. April 2009 02:29
by Rene Pallesen
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Hunter Valley 2009

16. April 2009 02:29 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

hunter valley


This weekend we again drove up to the hunter valley about two hours drive North of Sydney. We left at 7am and met the other guys up there just after 9am.


This time we went a big group of us but only three of us were tasting wine. The others were taking photos.

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Kim and I have spent a fair amount of time in the Hunter Valley and have a lot of favourite wines in the area. This time we decided to try some new and smaller places that we hadn't been to before. The challenge is still to find a sub $20 bottle of wine that is really good. It is pretty hard...but not impossible.


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In total we went to 9 vineyards to taske their wines. Some of the favourites this time was Gartelmann (The Wilhelm Shiraz is a good buy) and Peterson Estate (Kim loooved the sparkling desert wine).

For lunch we went to a restaurant called The Verandah. They have a tapas style menu. The food was ok but a bit on the pricey side (but most of the . My favourite place in Hunter is a place called Mojo...but they are only open for dinner.

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Bimbadgen really let us down this time. They have some really good wines there, but the customer service was appalingly bad! They did not provide any assistance and were very rude (not just limited to one person there). I wanted to buy a couple of their wines but ended up walking away because there was no-one there to help.

6. April 2009 08:17
by Rene Pallesen
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Ethans Birthday 2009

6. April 2009 08:17 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

ethans birthday


This weekend it was Ethans 8th Birthday and his parents had organised a Birthday party for all his friends. As the last couple of years Kim and I was asked if we could facepaint the kids (We are not really good at face painting but the kids really don't care). Most of the kids had some degree of autism so just getting them to stand still while we paint them is a challenge.

The previous two years I was dressed up as a pirat but decided to do something something different this year. I wanted to come dressed as a monster (Ethan likes Monsters) but Kim though that I shouldn't scare the kids and that I should come as a joker instead. We bought a hat and some stripey tights...it looked really funny.



One of the parent though I was a paid helper when we arrived and started issuing me orders regarding that I really should be watching the kids so that they wouldn't injure themselves in the jumping castle that they had hired...he must have found it really unprofessional when I brushed him off ignoring his orders (I have a strong belief that kids should be allowed to be kids and that we in this modern age is too cautious protecting them)...and he must have felt really silly when he realised that I was a member of the family.



The rest of the day was spent playing games with the kids (They had good fun when I started spraying them with water with a water pistol...until I was told by the same parent that I should stop because the jumping castle was getting slippery).

The 'Donkeys Tail' game was a bit of a non-event...all the kids cheated and placed the tail where you would expect the tail to be. All credit to the kids...at least they know where the tail goes on animals.



After the party Kim wanted some alone time with me and we decided to go and watch a movie. There wasn't any good movies on that I wanted to watch so I let Kim decide...and we ended up watching a chick flick.


29. March 2009 09:26
by Rene Pallesen
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Guys and Dolls

29. March 2009 09:26 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

guys and dolls


Dolls are a Necessity...

Kim and I went with a couple of friends to Capitol Theatre to see Guys and Dolls. This was my christmas present from Kim ('give me experiences instead of objects').


It was really good...I think I prefer the lightheartedness of musicals to Operas. Capitol Theatre is one of the great theatres in Sydney. In inside decor is old and glamourous. The Dancing and the singing in the show was really good.




Poor guys...the Dolls seem to have the upper hand in this story.


In one of the roles was Kenny...from a famous Australian movie 'Kenny'. I have no idea what his real name is.

15. March 2009 10:56
by Rene Pallesen
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Climbing at Blue Bell (The Shire)

15. March 2009 10:56 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing at blue bell the shire


This weekend Andy and I decided to explore a new climbing area in the Sydney Area (We are running out of places to climb within Sydney and sometime Sydney is too long a drive).

This time we decided on a small area called Blue Bell in the Southern part of Sydney in the Heathcote National Park.

Once we arrived we had to find the access to the cliffs. The carpark is almost on the top of the cliffs near houses, but the area doesn't get a lot of traffic so there is no good tracks. Eventually we found our way down with some a lot of bush bashing.

We decided to start on a couple of easier climbs on the Mini Wall where there was some grade 16 climbs (and 10/11's). They were far from being grade 16. The first two climbs (Anika 16 and Nathan 16) were harder than what they were graded at. Both Andy and I were finding it hard and agreed that the climbing felt more like a 18 or 19...and we were both thinking "what the fu.. is wrong there!". We then looked at who had graded the climbs and it turned out to be the same person a Jason Lammers. We decided that this may be one very dangerous Wanker and decided to take other climbs that he'd graded with caution (Next day I found another website describing the climb as being a lot harder...this guy graded it as a 6a = 19).

After this we moved to the main wall and did another climb at the same grade (Sparky 16) and this turned out to be really nice a cruisy and this would potentially be a good lear-to-lead climb for someone who is comfortable in the gym.

Blue Bell Main Wall

After this we moved onto a bit harder climb (Heathcote 18) graded by the same idiot Jason Lammers. Someone who is only just comfortable at this grade would be in real trouble here. The top move is really delicate; in fact so delicate that Andy were totally unable to complete the move and bailed after a a number of attempts (and a lot of falls).
I then tried the climb and eventually after a couple of falls managed to complete the move...and boy that is really balancy. You hand on to this slobing groove and then do a high stepup. you then balance your left hand up the wall until you reach a good hold up very high (as Andy put it: "A typical Rene move"). I would grade it as a 21 move...three grades harder that the wanker graded it.

We had a look at the climb next to it (Screaming Cookatoos 18) and decided to do this on a top rope given that the top move looked dubious and that we hadn't had much luck with grades.
Lucky that because the top move it really reachy and fairly thin. It would have taken a lot of commitment and knowing exactly where the only good hold is (which isn't great) to be able to complete it and then you still have to put a plate on the carrot bolt and clip it from this position before moving to the anchor. They really should have put a ring bolt here and they could have put the bolt a bit lover so it could be clipped from below protecting this move better.

By the way this area is a weird mix of Ring bolts, fixed hangers, ringbolts, gear, chain anchors, ring bolt anchors and topouts....great job guys!!! Anyway we had a really good day but we didn't dare try any of the many 19, 20, 21's (which is my comfortable lead limit) in the area as most of them were graded by the same guy. Without including these climbs the area is too small to return to in the near future.
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