Posts Tagged ‘Tour Down Under’

TDU Stage 3

January 20, 2012

Possum is 5 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 6 months

Little Princess is 1 year


This morning we all went to the start of the Stage, again.  The kids were horrified when they discovered that we were heading to the bike race, but we assured them that it wouldn’t take so long this time.

And indeed, it did run much more smoothly.  We had worked out from previous days that although the main roads were closed off, it is quite easy to get parking in the side streets (and certainly much easier than the forced march of Stage 1).  So today we drove.

The cyclist-fans were also much more sensible today, doing really smart things like walking their bikes through the crowd instead of trying to ride them through.

AND we managed to get there much earlier, although not early enough for the goodies that are handed out by the caravan.  We thought we would manage that by going up the road a little so we could collect loot when the caravan took off.  Unfortunately, they were unable to hand anything out in that zone, so that was very disappointing.  Tomorrow….

I did however get to see Brad McGee (*hero*).  In fact, not only did I get to see him, but he came over to the barrier and posed for a photo with me and Bandicoot.  Want to see it?

Here it is:

I’m the one on the left.

Oh, what, you can’t see it?  Yes, well, sadly, either Mr Kind General Public Man who took the photo for me didn’t quite get it, or the camera was mucking up again.  Either way, we don’t have it.

So I took a couple of other shots of him, by which stage I was starting to feel like a stalker (he had just posed for a photo with me and there I was taking more…)


Well, Brad McGee (*hero*) might have added some serious eye-candy to the field in years gone by, and he might have been a talented athlete, and now a talented Sports Directif, but I found another bloke there who was delighted to have some photos with me, too, and really, I think this one is even more wonderful:

IMG_3499                                         IMG_3504

 IMG_3505 IMG_3507   

IMG_3511 IMG_3512 IMG_3513 IMG_3514 IMG_3515   IMG_3518    IMG_3522     

IMG_3501    IMG_3497


Then in a strange twist of celebrity fortune:

Yesterday, Bandicoot lost his hat in the crowd (the one he is wearing in the photos above is the Saxo Bank Team hat that Brad McGee (*hero*) gave him.)  I had previously seen Bandicoot’s (old) hat for sale at a stall in the TDU cycling village in town, so today I decided to go up and get him one.

As I was walking past the hotel wear the teams stay (it is just around the corner from us, and across the road from the Village) who should walk out but Eddie Mercx!  I have been trying all week to get a decent photo of him, but have not been able to manage it.  I thought that I could just snap one, but that that was not very nice, so I asked him if I could quickly snap one (poor bloke was running late for an engagement from what I could gather).  And what do you know, Mr Joe Blow General Public jumped up and offered to take one for me, so here that one is:


Much better when the camera works, isn’t it?  Pity I was dishevelled and dirty-haired at this stage (I had been working to do the washing and pack up the house and had really just ducked out for bread.  Oh well!)



I am linking this post to Emily over at The Anderson Crew for

Now you pop on over and check it out.


TDU Stage 1 – FAIL

January 18, 2012

Possum is 5 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 6 months

Little Princess is 1 year


Oh dear.  This morning did not go well at all.

Today the Tour DownUnder started for real (not the Classic Criterian, but the real stage race).  We had planned to just go to the start of the race – the kids are definitely not to up to chasing the riders all day, and I am not sure that I am either (shh!  Don’t tell!)  But things did not go quite as planned.

I wanted to get there about an hour before so as to catch the caravan (they DO have a caravan for the TDU, don’t they?) or at least, hopefully, the promoters and sponsors stalls (surely they do that…)  Unfortunately, DH had booked the car in for a service and after he left to drop it off I, oops, fell asleep again.

We still would have made it in decent time except for one thing we forgot about and another thing that we could do nothing about.

It was hot.  Really hot.  It was mid 30s before 10am.  Blerr.

The other thing was, we had looked up how to catch the bus to the start line, but had forgot to check the route diversions for the road closures.  This meant that we had to walk about 1.5km in scorching heat with some boys with very little legs.

We got to where all the riders were (is it a starting grid?) not long before the race and in time for this photo:


Stuey O’Grady *hero*

which was about the highlight of the experience.

We then continued to do battle to get to the starting line, hampered greatly by all the spectators on bicycles riding up and down the footpath, and many of them none-to-carefully.  Look, I totally get that this is a bike race, and that they are cyclists, and that they should be able to ride their bikes there and that is really a very important part of it for them, but I think for safety’s sake there should be a bicycle parking area outside the really crowded bit.  I found it difficult for me, and I was scared the kids would get hurt.  That is my 2c worth.

Anyway, we got to the start line as they were about 8 seconds to the start (they were counting down the last 10 seconds) and whizz they were gone.  I didn’t even get to see Eddie Mercx, even though he started the race!

It makes me wonder if next time we go to the start of the race we should go to the end of the neutral zone instead.  Hmmm. 


In the end, we were left with a desperately disappointed Mumma, and exhausted and tight-jawed Pappa, and three very heat-exhausted and physically exhausted kids.  After finding some air conditioning and lots of cool drinks and some ice-cream, the kids started to look a bit more normal again.  We went outside for a bit of a stretch and dear little Bandicoot ran up to one of the barriers on the side of the road.  “I’m going to watch the race!” he called out excitedly.  “I’m going to see those men ride their bikes!”  I nearly cried.  It was bad enough that I was hot and cranky and disappointed, but having to explain that after all the effort we had missed it – well that broke my heart.

Hopefully things will work out a lot better tomorrow.

Gado Gado

January 16, 2012

Possum is 5 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 6 months

Little Princess is 1 year


Now I have mentioned before that I am a breastfeeder.  Possum fed to the age of 20 months (4 months shy of my goal – I stopped because of morning sickness and it was a pretty traumatic thing for both of us).  Bandicoot I am hoping will wean before he gets married.  Little Possum is still going of course, too.

Now, in the olden days, when Possum was a baby, they told us not to eat peanuts while we were pregnant or breastfeeding a less than 1yo.  They don’t say that now, but it worked for him so I still do it.

Recently, Little Princess hit that magic 1 year mark.

And last night we went out for Malaysian.

Malaysian is not my favourite cuisine, which is a bit of a strange thing, as I really enjoy most South East Asian food (I live in Australia, if I didn’t, then I would starve!).  In fact, I strongly believe that you should only go to Singapore for a stop-over and not a holiday or you will eat so much the plane will never take off.  But Malaysian slightly misses the mark for me.

Not so for DH.

And I do have some favourite dishes, but mostly they have been off the menu for most of the last 6+ years.

But not any more!

The food was really nice.  It was fresh and plentiful and full of flavour (even if I find it a little too earthy).  Even Little Princess was happily hoeing into the Beef Rendang.

But for me, the highlight was Gado Gado.  A salad of sprouts, cucumber, eggs, lettuce, shallots, anchovy in a mildly spiced peanut sauce.  What’s not to like?  Except I didn’t like it.  I LOVED it!  Really, it was amazing.  I would have loved to have climbed up on that table and rolled around in it, it was that good.

And did I mention peanut sauce?  Oh YUMMO.

I’m back!


And for those of you that are cycling fans, on way home, I took the boys to the gelato shop to grab a take-away.  I have to admit that they looked like street urchins by this stage – dirty from head to toe, dishevelled and, in the case of Bandicoot, barefoot.  They got their ice-creams and wandered towards the door of the crowded shop without looking (as kids do) and straight into the Lotto-Belisol team.  I mean, literally, straight into them.  Marcel Sieberg patted Bandicoot on the head with an affectionate grin as Bandicoot tottered past, totally fixed on his gelato.  Wow.  (Vicente Reynes and Adam Hansen were there, too, amongst others.  Real people that like gelato on a hot day.  Freaky stuff!)