Wow – it's just 2008 and I'm whingeing already!

Wow – already January 3rd 2008! I’ll bet the shops will be putting up their Easter Egg displays soon. Never too early for Easter Eggs though… even if I can’t be eating them myself for a little while.

New Years Eve was a sedate affair here as I described and we did very little the next day as well… except ring my father to with him and my mum a happy new year and have a whinge. We ate a little, swam a little… had a big barbie… and then did nothing. 🙂

Yesterday we had originally considered going off ‘to the beach’ but instead decided it would be nice to go to Canberra for the day since the forecast was less than ideal. Usually we’d spend a night or two there to give us time to look around a little but since we’re all bar skint we figured a day would have to do.

Quite strange really, right now we have less spending money available than either set of guests, yet while they are still hoarding theirs to we are paying for almost everything we do. We’ve pulled back a little because we simply can’t afford to subsidise them any more, but there still seems to be this underlying assumption from some that we *will* pay for entry fees, food, petrol etc… unless we actually *ask* for a contribution.

Anyway… off to Canberra we go… went. We left fairly early but still didn’t arrive until mid-day. First stop as usual was the War Memorial which is *always* an essential part of any visit to Oz. The son-in-law-to-be (SILTB?) was keen to go there so this is where we spent most of the time we had. To be fair there *is* a lot to see. Australia has played part in many conflicts around the world and lost many of its brightest and best. Still, we had a lot of kids with us so at 3:00 p.m. we left to visit ‘Questacon’ which is a hands on demonstration of how technology and physics work. Unfortunately it closes down at 5:00 p.m. so arriving with just an hour or so to spare wasn’t ideal.

Continuing the theme from above re costs… we lent our ‘reciprocal pass’ from our membership of a local museum to the rellies so they could get in for free saving them nearly $50. However, due to a slight oversight by the cashier we could *all* have got in free but as it turned out two of our visitors paid anyway.

This $50 does have some significance in that earlier in the day at the War Museum while we were all queueing for food our two kids asked for calamari and chips (horrible yes but they like it). The wife had come to look for me as I was outside looking at the Lancaster hanging from the ceiling… and when we got back discovered that she’d been told they didn’t have enough money to buy our kids anything… only their own. Both the wife and I thought this was a bit much but bit our lips as we do and bought them ourselves… which we would have done anyway by repaying the money. I suppose it was just a case of varying ‘attitudes’ and perspectives.

After Questacon everyone was clearly in the mood for food. Having had one ‘iffy’ experience with cash already that day (to add to the others over the past few weeks) I suggested we make a start on the 3 hour journey home and stop at a ‘scabby cafe’ a.k.a. motorway service station, to get something light for us and the kids to last us til we got home. However this seemed unacceptable and so I suggested we visit the Canberra Hogsbreath Cafe which in the past has had quite adequate (if basic) steak meals.

The issue of the meal itself will be the topic of the next post but the comment about in this post would be that I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of creating a site called ‘crappycafes.com’ and *if* I’d done it… this place would be the crappy cafe of the month. Whilst my steak was fine… the rest of them were dire.

Total cost of the meal was $295.40. From one set of visitors we received $70… from the other… $60… leaving us with *our* bill of… $165. This might seem a little odd to you and it does to us as well. However we were assured it was correct… and we’ve not checked it yet. Either way… regardless of how exact the amounts are… we figure with the amount of money and time we’d put out, not just over Xmas but since it *might* have been nice if one or both parties had extended themselves just a little to contribute a larger portion of the bill!! We’ve not asked either set of visitors for any contribution to the costs of keeping them *and* are intending to pay for a meal at Centrepoint as as small celebration after the daughters wedding so we’re not trying to money grub in any way. However… well let’s just say it’s a little disappointing.


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