Easter in Pictures

It's always jarring when you realise how much you can enjoy life over a four day weekend, and contrast that with all the five day work weeks you live through in your life. Always better to have loved and lost, though. So here's some memories in photo form that my brain will confuse for actual memories a few years from now.

Good Friday began with a sunrise walk around West Lakes and several fish impressions from Nash. And breakfast.

Cowan with his haul, despite wearing an inappropriate shirt for the occasion.

Later on, it was the 18th annual Easter Beer Hunt. I continue my decline and again finished last in terms of found beers. But I still have love for the game.

On Saturday we enriched our usual morning stroll to the Central Markets with some home-made dark chocolate and apricot eggs, to go with excellent coffee and then a spree of cheap fruit and vegetables.

On Saturday evening we had dinner at Mum's where among other things I enjoyed these over the top table decorations.

On Sunday morning the usual bakery was closed, but Nash was kind enough to tolerate a full size sausage roll from one that was open.

In the afternoon, to mark our anniversary, Vanessa and I went to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens for a walk and a few rounds of Articulate.

There weren't a lot of autumn colours yet, but it was still sunny and pretty.

After a lot of walking in the sun, we chilled in the beer garden at the Crafers pub and I drank this triple choc easter stout which was very chocolately, and delicious. Actually contained more chocolate in a cup than the table at Mum's.

After beer it was pizza for dinner with my beautiful wife. I also ate some of that pizza on Monday and Tuesday, to keep the anniversary going.

Monday was a more chill day, but I did have time to make a batch of hot cross buns that I also ate some of today to keep the easter holiday going. I also did some work on a professional blog site, which is not pictured here.

I did not got to any big box hardware, which I am very happy about.

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South Aussie With Bradism

Today was almost a quintessential South Australian day. Here's an itinerary so you can relive it.

Get In - We're Going for a Trip

The morning started with a free ride on Adelaide's tram. Destination: a stroll along the magnificent boulevard of North Terrace (for about 50 metres) and then a visit to the Adelaide Central Market. There I bumped into people I knew, and enjoyed a large, strong coffee before loading up a backpack with fresh, cheap fruit and vegetables.

After another free tram ride and some Foodland yoghurt and locally grown passionfruit for morning tea, it was time to get stuck in South Road traffic. Then there was lunch at one of Adelaide's iconic Vietnamese takeaway restaurants for a Bún Bowl.

After lunch and some more weekend traffic it was time for another Fringe show as part of the fabric of the end of summertime festivities. I've been to a few shows this year, today's was the Sleep's Hill tunnel, an audio visual display of colour and mushrooms in an old, disused railway tunnel south of the city.

Me in a tunnel.

Following the Fringe, and more South Road traffic, it was time to take a road trip down to the south coast. There, after even more South Road traffic I enjoyed a dinner spread by one of Adelaide's spectacular beaches. The day ended with a sunset walk overlooking the cliffs of Aldinga, before dealing with road works on the expressway on the drive home, and then more South Road traffic.

Not pictured - traffic.

It was also good to see two lots of extended family, two lots of old friends and families, and two dogs.


It was a pleasant, sunny morning on February 29th and I told my wife that I love Autumn weather. And then that night at the Haldi, while we were sitting outside, it got pretty chilly and as we got in the car to drive home I told my wife that I hate Autumn weather. This is the kind of quality japing that goes on as you NEAR FORTY as well as twelve years of marriage.

Anyway, March has been around longer than that and it's been a minute since we had a nice go fuck yourself heatwave and what better time to endure one than over the long weekend.

Friday was hot too. I had to interview someone for work and after turning up in shorts and offering a very professional, "How's it going, bud?" I got through that at an outdoor table thanks to an iced latte.

A visit to Gluttony with old work people for beers and a stand up show was good while in the shade.

At least in March there is a looming equinox and due to the quirks of daylight saving the sun doesn't even rise until after 7pm. So it's possible to get out and about while the temperatures are still only in the mid to high 20's.

On Saturday morning that meant making it about halfway to the central markets on our bikes before the heatstroke kicked in.

Fortunately the central markets has a lot of food in it, and is therefore kept at refrigerator temperatures. We loaded up with salads and fruits and rode home in the shade.

The rest of the day was spent as indoors as possible, preferably on the lower level of the house. There was an unexpected, very welcome burst of rain around 5pm. Just like the cold taps in my house, it was warm water coming from the sky.

After dinner we went to the beach where it was much cooler and much prettier. There was a double rainbow for twenty minutes while the sun set. Then it got warmer again on the way home.

I took quite a few photos of the double rainbow.

On Sunday morning we got up even earlier to try and get a walk to the bakery done with Nash before the heat hit.

This went very well, and we were home again by about 8:30 with no ill effects from the heat. Or so I thought, until the milk I poured into my smoothie jug came out with the consistency of unstirred gravy.

I scooped that sludge out with a spoon and then finished off the ingredients, adding four of the hundred passionfruits that have dropped off the vine over the past weeks.

There was nothing to it but waiting until the evening and returning to the beach for more swimming, and then driving back home for more sweating.

By Monday I was exhausted just from the effort of staying cool, and constantly trying to extract heat from the upstairs through the use of the bathroom extractor fans.

It was too hot to even bother going to the beach again. We just walked in the morning and the evening around the neighbourhood, and waited for Tuesday to return to the office and its industrial strength air conditioning.

I did keep myself cool developing a tag adding and tag filtering component to my latest Sveltekit project.

This morning I woke up early and rode my bike to town for work. It was still hot.

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An Auspicious Date - March 3 2024

Nash enjoyed having humans at home on Saturday night, and she enjoyed her Sunday stroll and traditional sausage roll through North Adelaide as well.

This is why I am completely open and non-judgemental of all cultures and customs. Every Sunday I take my dog to a bakery for a pastry.

I am NOT comparing this to a wedding. Although I do think Nash would enjoy sweet pastry balls.

After the walk there was even some time for a new version of Fireworks Tonight with time based Seasonal Theming, which was necessary because the Lunar New Year theme was still in place. I added some dates to themes and now they apply and disappear automatically, and I even set up the Christmas theme for December so I don't have to make any changes between now and then if I don't want to.

After that there was even time for a workout and some deadlifts, to ideally build some hunger for more food in the evening. Following salad for lunch I dressed in my suit, with vest along with the tartan tie and initial cufflinks that Alex had gifted me.

Tartan Fam

The Hills
It was a nice, sunny afternoon for the drive into the hills, past Mount Barker and along the country roads to Lot 100. Alex had given me a role to coordinate the starting of the music with the readiness of the bridesmaids. While everyone waited at the altar under an extremely long sunset.

Eventually the bridesmaids had their path to the aisle defined and I got the music started. Then I had a seat up the front for what was a beautiful ceremony, with heartfelt vows exchanged in front of a warmly lit backdrop of green hills and trees. Alex's vows were particular heartfelt and well spoken. Then there were kisses, a showering of petals from the crowd, applause and drinks.

The gap between the ceremony and the reception was spent by everyone trying to take a good photo in the evening light. It was quite strong still, but many good family shots were captured along with Mismatch beers.

Steve and I had MC duties, but no microphone, so we sorted that out and after everyone was seated and sampling their Antipasti we stood up and got through the housekeeping, the introduction (with more drums and boogieing) and brotherly speeches by both me and the bride's brother.

The audio situation was a little challenging, with a lot of low end and not great audio. Alex said he enjoyed my speech, which was good. Dad said he couldn't hear it. For future reference it is in the Keep note "Alex Wedding Speech".

Dinner followed, with generous servings of lamb, chicken, and barramundi served out across the long tables. This long stretch of night was very pleasant, talking to family and Alex's friends and enjoying the vibe of love, happiness and supper.

Before dessert there were more speeches from the bridal party. After the bridesmaids, all of Alex's five groomsmen delivered a summary of their favourite Alex memory and it was a privilege to be party to these insights into what a nice young man he has become. From always being there for his friend going through a newborn during covid, to holding his friend by the back of his belt so he could take a leak off the rear of a moving golfcart.

This time the loud music and dancing came after the speeches, and a solid dance floor for a Sunday night took place. Punjabi MC and Gasolina got a reprise. I did get low once, and otherwise had a good time. Shirt now untucked, sleeves rolled up, the boogie went on for a while. Then, around 11:05, we all lined up on either side of a path out the door with long sparklers and created a tunnel to send the married couple on their way for a second time.

After that it was just a long drive home down the freeway, through some tunnel construction work, to arrive just a minute after midnight. Only one more wedding to come.

An Auspicious Date - March 1 2024

It was warm under the kurta, waiting by the road under a tree for the groom to arrive at the temple. Many people - most looking similarly unaccustomed to their colourful Indian dress - lingered with me.

Then, with a percussive racket and a beautiful voice the dholi began drumming and the throb of the MG roadster's 1960s engine joined the air. Alex, saddled with his nephew beside him, rolled into the temple carpark accompanied by dancing and cheering.

After disembarking, more dancing, cheering and clapping continued in spurts as the westerners struggled to identify the natural stopping point for this ritual known as a baraat. The dholi, his round face dripping with sweat behind his tinted shades, offered little guidance for us. Every time things felt like they were wrapping up, another blast echoed from the double-sided drum and his lilting voice spurred another round of leaping and clapping.

I wore the right shoes this time, and proceeded to immediately remove them so I could enter the temple.

The Pink Canopy
There is no altar in the temple for the couple to stand at. Unlike a western wedding, the ceremony takes place on a small stage featuring two seats as well as the other items required to form the union.

Where western and Indian weddings deviate, based on my one experience, is that a lot more of the ceremony is obscured by a pink curtain. Whether this is because western weddings are more showy, or Hindu ceremonies are intended to be more intimate for the bride and groom, I don't know.

Fortunately, as a scarf-adorned member of the groom's family, I had a prime seat in the front row. So I could see most of it.

An auspicious everything
The celebrant spoke us through some of the stages of the ceremony, between words and chants in Hindi.

The word "auspicious" was used a lot, and I liked the way he said it.

Hands were placed into hands symbolically. Water was used to bless various parties. Oh yes, and early during all of this the bride came in through the front doors.

I knew that red is the traditional bridal colour in a Hindu ceremony, so it was not unexpected to see the bride arrive in red, but it was certainly a visually jarring sight and the dress and red, silk canopy held above her head.

Seven Rings Around The Fire Spirit
As the ceremony progressed, there came a point where they needed to walk around the fire pit seven times, in the ritual of Saptapadi. This was not a symbolic fire, but an actual fire burning in something I would describe somewhere between a "brazier" and an aluminium foil tray.

There were a few glances at the ceiling to check for smoke alarms, which around the seventh circuit of the flame, began to beep with perfect, comedic timing.

The smoke alarm apparently means the fire spirit is happy. They opened a door to let the smoke out and the ceremony continued.

Vanessa gets involved
As the brother of the groom, I did not get to be involved in the ceremony beyond waving a hand and clapping enthusiastically during the baraat. Vanessa, however, as the closest thing Alex has to a sister got to be involved several times, including tying the scarves together to help seal the bond.

More Food
With the formalities complete, the most important part of the weekend was technically complete. And it was now time for more food. There were samosas, onion bhaji, green chili cornbread (it probably has a Hindi name and might have been made with chickpea flour) and several delicious sweets. I didn't take photos because I didn't want to look like I was gawping at a long and historied culture, but they looked like yellow, plastic hot dogs like Nash squeaks around, except with a little bit of heavy, sweet fluid inside them and obviously not made of plastic. I had a few of those.

40 Minute Nap
Due to Alex's good planning, the ceremony and reception were perfectly positioned on either side of my house. Based on my calculations this meant I could have a forty minute nap in bed before re-donning the Kurta and joining in the evening festivities.

It was a good nap.

Arriving at the venue
Okay, so maybe my calculations were a bit generous towards napping as when we arrived at the reception I found most people already arrived, a long line for the bar and a long line for the food. Fortunately, the Bride and Groom and the Dholi hadn't arrived yet. So I was able to load up my plate with chicken and pastries, find my table, and then witness the newlyweds entrance to more drumming.

The arrival of the newly weds was lively, as they walked down the centre of two long rows of tables packed with well wishers. The Dholi commanded various groups of family members onto the dance floor to keep the arrival going. I was up there for a minute, stomach full of chicken and yellow hot dog things rumbling under the kurta.

Eventually things settled down and there were some speeches, including a PowerPoint.
It was during this part of the evening that I learned what I'd just eaten wasn't dinner, but just the entrée.

The Bollywood dance
There was a secret dance planned for the wedding that I was going to be a part of. It was a medley of six or seven pieces mainly performed by the bride and bridesmaids, with a little number done by the Mother and Father of the Bride, before a final group dance featuring many close friends and family. I was up the back, left corner and made it there just in time to start my moves.

The girls had more dances to remember than I had steps.

We'd had two formal practice sessions plus some living room dancing to get ready for this, and - until video disproves it - I believe I hit all the steps. This was particularly impressive due to my lack of coordination and the tight embrace of my kurta. (The Indian tailors did not believe the measurements they were given, and I couldn't lift my arms above my head).

I was relieved to nail my part in the dance and escape from the pyrotechnics that were positioned behind me without catching fire and dying an ironic death from fireworks, tonight.

From this point the DJs took over and the dance floor really revved up. The beats were pounding and the dance floor filled quickly. I used this time to sit and talk to friends and family, try to help with the bar staff, and generally soak it all in.

Dinner was then served, and I realised I probably could fit in a bunch of butter chicken, lentils, naan and a couple more sweet pastry balls for the road.

Surprisingly, after dinner the dancing and music did not continue late into the night. It seemed everyone was feeling that tonight was part three of a much longer weekend. With dinner done, and a few rounds of farewells and photos, it was back home and to bed for a very pleasant sleep.

An Auspicious Date - February 29 2024

Today marked day one of Frantic February's Finale - Wedding Weekend.

But first, coffee in a weight vest.

Wearing the wrong shoes

The festivities got off on the wrong foot when I left for the blessing ceremony with my dog walking shoes on, and my sandals (thongs) still by the front door.

I made an emergency stop at a Salvos on South Road hoping they might be selling something more acceptable, but they had nothing in clown shoe size.

Vanessa assured me that my dirty, stained, white sneakers would not be noticed. This was not true, as the moment after I was welcomed inside, Steve was surreptitiously glancing at my dirty clown shoes.

Given most people were wearing sandals I made an executive decision to just go barefoot.

Many beach visits this summer have fortunately conditioned my soles for the moment.

Rubbing turmeric paste on Alex's face

The Haldi blessing ceremony was my first experience being a part of the cultural festivities. Alex and his bride sat in gold painted kiddie pools and I lined up for my turn to dab the turmeric and water paste onto his feet, knees, shoulders and cheeks. It did bring us closer together for a nice moment. I told him I was happy for him.

Alex had a lot more surface area, so I got to line up a second time for a reapplication. I didn't take any photos of this part as my hands were a little stained.

Dog pats
After the formal part was over, the couple went to shower while everyone else mingled. I met some of the new, extended family including the Golden Doodle, a white furred dog who is super friendly. Amazingly, at this point of the day, his coat was still white, and not blessed.

Indian food and sweet pastry balls
The remainder of the evening was pretty chill, with dancing circles and henna (in which I did not partake) and food (which I definitely did).

Served up with dinner were round, sweet pastry balls that I didn't realise were a dessert, and in fact they went deliciously with the hot curries and sides.

I wore my Indian clothing all night, which was very comfortable.

Was this cultural appropriation? I think so, I feel like their culture did appropriate me. But it wasn't without my blessing.

Help, Police

There's a woman walking down Main Street wearing a weights vest. She's walking a golden retriever with a blue bandanna and I think she's planning to feed it a mini sausage roll for breakfast.


The Fringe has kicked off in Adelaide which means it's time for the occasional evening out for a display of extreme physical strength and endurance.

And no, this is not my annual recycling of "a sitting through a performance with a shit back" entry. We had great seats, partly enhanced by my latest life hack of carrying a lumbar support around with me and inverting its straps so that I can wear it around my waist to buffer my spine.

So the feats that I saw were a part of Mythos: Ragnarok at The Garden. If you enjoy mythology and WWE wrestling then you'd probably enjoy this juxtaposition of those things.

I also got to observe the pushing of physical boundaries by Vanessa, who tried staying awake past 11 PM.

Next year, who knows. Perhaps that will be when gen AI simulates artistic performances for me on demand, and as the technology continues to grow, maybe push me to my physical limits as well.

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