Monday, October 5, 2015

If My Dog Had to Write His New Years Resolution.

There are two things synonymous with New Years Eve, 

1: The countdown to the fireworks marking the end of the year, and
2: The New Years Resolutions we all make and have no intention of keeping.

Aahhh tradition.

But what exactly is a NewYears Resolution anyway?

"It's a To-Do List for the First week of January"

happy new year sydney, from mans best friend

Man Has Failed. Best Friend's Turn.

 As I joked above, a new years resolution really has gotten to a point where it is just a passing phrase, a fad, a running joke that no-one takes seriously and as such has lost a lot of its oomph. It just doesn't have the same impact it used to and I think it's going to take a dog to remedy that.

I love my dog! I dont think there is a dog owner in existence who doesn't - they don't refer to dogs as man's best friend for nothing ;)

A NewYears Resolution to Live By

I found this while researching this article and finding suitable images to accompany it and it really had an impact on me. I am sharing it here because I think as a dog lover it may just have a similar impact on you.

Know someone that applies to? In this fast paced society that we live in one would be hard pressed to NOT find someone to whom this applies! Sad really.

I love the simplicity of it. The fact it gives you nowhere to hide and no excuse on which to hang your failure.Your Dog loves you selflessly and thinks you are the greatest thing ever.
Start being the person that is deserving of that unspoken respect.

Respect is Unspoken, But if Your Dog Could Talk...

Just for a little fun, and because I totally love my Labrador, Lote the 11 month old rascal - I am sharing 11 New Years Resolutions my dog would give himself if he had the chance....

*Keep in mind that these are the 11 resolutions he would give himself. If I was to write his list from my perspective there would be a world of difference. A world!

My Labrador's 2015 New Year's Resolution List

if dogs could write their own new years resolutions
Oh here we go. Daddy thinks he's so funny.

11 New Years Resolutions a Dog Would Make

  1. Eat more stuff from the kitchen bench - the good stuff seems to live there
  2. Poo more - and cover more area. I missed a few spots last year and can recall at least 20 times that my owners came out and DIDN'T step in anything. Need to work on this.
  3. Greet Everything with the enthusiasm of a hyperactive kid in a lolly shop. Friend or foe. There's time to decide between bunny hops and hysterical barking and tail wagging which this is.
  4. Eat more shoes. Make an effort to stick with one of each for maximum effect.Mummy and Daddy seem more upset when they can only find one shoe.

    Author/owner note: I seriously think I should call him Jimmy Chew :p
  5. Remodel more often. Every once in a while it's nice when Daddy notices all the effort I have gone to in preparing the house for his arrival. Do this more.
  6. Tug of war with Mummy and Daddy's work clothes. The clothes they wear after dark are not as shiny and certainly don't taste as good. Make an effort to eat Daddy's sleeve as he's walking out the door in the morning. Tastes like Calvin Klein and Vegemite.
  7. Fart. No need to change anything here; Great room clearing stuff - keep it up.
    Focus on the non-chalant look of someone who has no idea what everyone is carrying on about. It seems to heighten the experience somewhat.
    Also of note is the fact everyone seems to blame me anyway. May as well capitalise on this.
  8. Randomly run outside and bark at nothing more often.
    It's fun and besides - it upsets the neighbours dog and annoys the cats. WINNING!
  9. The Siamese cats will play one day. Persist in convincing them through bunny hopping and barking with my bum in the air. Hasn't worked yet but it will Lote. It will.
    Try and double your efforts over the next 12 months.
  10. When Daddy takes me for a walk smell everything within 5 square metres. The gutter and that tree stump over there and OMG Candy wrapper!!!!!!
    Jesus I'm dry humping this jumper just thinking about it!!
  11. Cuddle more. I love being a pillow for the little versions of mummy and daddy that live in my house. More time spent with these little ones is good. Can't put my paw on what it is, but it feels good and I like it - so long as I've made sure there is no kitchen bench snacks first of course.
  12. Bacon. Daddy forgot to include Bacon. I've had it a couple of times. Next year make an effort to get more. Work on and employ 'Bacon Face' more often. (as demonstrated below)

2015 new years resolutions from my dog
Resonoo...Resolun...?!.... BACON?!

Got Plans this 2015 New Years Eve?

Decided what you are doing this New Years Eve? I mean apart from not keeping the resolutions you make and drinking waaaay too much - that's a given :p

Personally I'm super excited about this 2015 New Years Eve as I have booked myself a ticket on a Sydney New Years Cruise and for the first time ever have a guaranteed front row seat to the greatest new years fireworks show in the world - at least in my opinion anyway. Pretty slack for someone who has lived in Sydney all his life hey!

I bought my Sydney New Years Eve Cruise ticket through Anyboat and I highly recommend them for anyone looking to purchase their own harbour cruise for the final night of the year.

Check out their deals and see what boats are still available by following THIS LINK HERE.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Years Eve - Our Diversity is What Defines Us Best

Standing on the deck of my New Years Eve Cruise ship, surrounded by what could well have been a million strangers got me to thinking.

Now normally I would strongly advise against this, you know - the whole thinking bit, especially on New Years Eve!

All these strangers around me, all from diverse backgrounds and with their own dreams.
Even a child could see the diversity among us. Different skin tones, heights, different ways we carried ourselves... and our loved ones. Little nuances in the way one man held his daughter, while another looked anxiously for his wife.

The common ground here is love. Selfless thoughts towards others, all of which seems to be amplified when it is New Years Eve.

How Did We All Get Here?

The answer is Love. At the risk of sounding all mushy mushy, it's the truth. Looking around I realise I am surrounded by a whole gamut of personalities from a variety of religions and doctrines. But we are all linked by a common love - a love that only New Years brings out. I mean really brings out.

Despite our differences we are all bound by a selfless love for family, for being human. For life.

It is these differences, and the sum of all the unique experiences that define us.

New Years Eve seems to be the only time of the year when this is evident and not hidden behind 'society' and it's why I personally love New Years Eve!!

Have a wonderful 2015 everyone, and may this New Years Eve bring you and your loved ones closer than ever.

Sydney Harbour New Years Eve. What's All the Fuss About Anyway?

Sydney Harbour New Years Eve.

If you were to venture down to the Opera House or anywhere around Sydney Harbour for that matter anytime around New Years Eve you would notice a sea of people almost as deep as the harbour around which they stood.

And you would probably be asking yourself what all the fuss is about. I mean fireworks are fireworks right? And surely once you've seen one fireworks show then you've seen them all.

Apart from the glass in your life being well below half empty I retort by asking you to check out Sydney Harbour at anytime of the year when it is not New Years Eve.

You will notice a sea of people everywhere you go, regardless of the fact it's a long (long long) wait until the fireworks explode signifying the end of the year.

Why is Sydney Always so Busy?

Revellers cram every vantage point the harbour has to offer. McMahons Point is a popular spot that fills up VERY quickly

Because Sydney Rocks! Actually so do the Rocks... In Sydney. That's how much Sydney rocks! 

But Why? It's sedimentary my dear (Watson). It's also igneous and metamorphic, but Sydney is well and truly surrounded by and supported by sandstone. So as bad as my attempt at humour through lame punnage action was, it was also factually on the mark. 

Alex: 1 - Reader: 0

New Years Eve in Sydney is... Crowded!

Sydney Harbour is home to the Opera House and The most famous coat hanger in the world - The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Add to these two world famous landmarks the most luscious parklands and a modern skyline and you have the recipe for one of the best views in the world.

As we established earlier, come down to Sydney at anytime of the year and you will find crowds everywhere, both locals and tourists alike.
In fact Sydney is one of those rare cities where you will find just as many Aussies from around the country visiting our wonderful harbour as you will international tourists.

If that isn't saying something about the natural beauty and attraction of Sydney Harbour then I don't know what is!

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is - be warned. You need to make sure you are in Sydney to watch the fireworks on New Years Eve, but you also need to plan ahead or risk having to watch them through the cracks between two buildings in the backstreets of Surry Hills.... or something.

New Years Eve 2015 - Plan Ahead or Miss the Boat!

Save yourself the headache this New Years Eve and book a ticket on a New Years Eve Cruises Sydney.
Follow the link above for more information and to find out what boats are still available and what your ticket gets you - other than an amazing night I mean.

Sydney Harbour New Years Eve really is the place to be when 2015 draws to an end, and the way I see it - if you are going to watch the greatest fireworks new years show on earth then you may as well get yourself a front row seat to the action.

Hurry though, or you'll miss the boat - literally!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Time I Started the Sydney New Years Eve Countdown

Starting the New Years Eve Countdown

I swear on my Grandmother that what you are about to read is the truth - totally, unequivocally and undeniable on all levels.

It's ok, you don't have to believe me - nooone does! In fact the only person who does believe me is Amelia, the girl who makes up the other part of this story and can, for obvious reasons - vouch for me and my seemingly far fetched story.

starting the new years eve countdown in sydney

So This is What Happened...

It was New Years Eve 2002. The Sun was shining.... wait, no it wasn't. It was like 10pm and I remember wading my way through a sea of revellers, following my girlfriend Amelia as she attempted to keep up with her entourage.

I'll never forget the feeling of claustrophobia that rushed over me as I realised that I was standing with 13,000 other people on the Cahill expressway - the roadway that runs above Circular Quay train station and provides ones of the best vantage points in Sydney to view the fireworks, not to mention providing uninterrupted views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Well when I say uninterrupted I mean, EXCEPT FOR THE 10,000 HEADS IN YOUR FACE!

Girl, Uninterrupted.

So there we are standing on the Cahill Expressway on New Years Eve surrounded on all sides by a surging crowd of excited and tipsy revellers, all anticipating the moment when the countdown would start and the fireworks would follow.

The time was 11pm.

I suggested we find somewhere else to stand as we had somehow ended up literally standing in the middle of a roadway, with no ability to lean on anything, sit down or move for that matter. It wasnt that bad though, because I was well aware that most of the fireworks happened  UP - and there were no heads in my way when I looked that way.
I could still see the Harbour Bridge but the Opera House was lost through a sea of jackets and rowdy revellers.

It was now 11:50pm

Even if I had convinced Amelia to move with me, it was pointless now. with 10 minutes left until 2003 reared its ugly head I knew we were stuck well and good and may as well enjoy the show.

My clock read 11:53.

Be Careful What You Wish For.

Gawwwdddd its taking so long! I have no patience, and the thought of waiting another 7 minutes was driving me insane.

I jokingly suggested to Amelia that we start the count down early. I mean seriously - 7 minutes of waiting?!?! She laughed and said why not. I laughed back and said "because I wouldn't actually do it hahahahaha -"

Amelia however doesn't think like me....

My watch said 11:55pm

The New Years Eve Countdown Begins

At precisely 11:55pm by my watch (which hindsight must imply was slow by 4minutes) Amelia screamed out "10"
I laughed along with her and said "9"
Unfortunately for us, so did about 100 people directly around us.

I decided not to say 7.
Amelia did though.
And so did about 1500 people around us.

By the time the countdown reached 4, I swear that at least 50,000 people had joined in the countdown.
The countdown echoed across Circular Quay and down to the sea of people standing at the Opera House. They too joined the countdown.

By the time it reached the 3 - 2 - 1 but the entire city had joined in the chant.

I waited with the guiltiest look on my face, waiting for the inevitable moment that Sydney got to zero and nothing happened.

But Something DID Happen.

To my surprise and complete shock - when the city of Sydney reached 1 and paused, the fireworks on the  bridge, and all the way across the city exploded in a cascading explosion of colour and light.


What?! How did that work? I was dumbfounded!

Looking Back 

I've thought about that 2002 New Years Eve on many occasions and each time I am drawn to the same conclusion. I could be wrong - I most probably am - but I like to think this is how it was:

My clock was a few minutes slow. So although I claimed to start the count down 5 minutes early, I was probably only 2 minutes at best.

When the powers that be heard 50,000+ revellers counting down to a midnight firework show slightly ahead of time they said "Stuff it, noone knows exactly - just hit the switch already - we got 50,000 people bloody counting down damnit!"

I smile at that idea - because wouldn't it be nice to know that one person could make such a difference on New Years Eve in Sydney.

Monday, September 14, 2015

5 Family-Friendly Places To Watch The New Years Eve Fireworks

This is a post about New Years Eve in Sydney 2015, and more importantly - the 9 o'clock family firework shows. Because let's be honest, if you don't have a family then your new years plans involve getting drunk, watching the fireworks and making sure you have someone to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. The rest is a blur anyway ;)

I have been so busy organising my new years eve harbour cruise that I haven't even asked what your plans are for new years eve!?
Of course it goes without saying that your plans for new years are dependent on a number of factors, the first one being - do you have a young family?

Not for me! I'm  young and ready to party thank you very much ;)
If you don't have kids or a family to attend new years celebrations with then really you can do what you want!
The main plans are centered around where you are going to watch the fireworks/hang out with friends/get drunk/whatever.....
The rest is usually a blur anyway and as such I am going to bring my focus back to the family - and more importantly, the 9 o'clock Sydney fireworks spectacular

For The Family

Sydney puts on two fireworks shows every new years eve, the first one being held at 9pm and aimed at families with young children who would never make it to the midnight hour.
The 9pm fireworks are no less impressive either, with the the only noticable difference being that the fireworks do not go off on the bridge, they save that for the midnight show.

5 Best Vantage Points to Watch the Family Fireworks Show

watching the fireworks from Mcmahons point
The View from Blues Point Reserve, McMahons Point. Truly breathtaking!  Photo Courtesy of

There are literally hundreds of places you can go to get a glimpse of the fireworks on new years eve, but then if you want an uninterrupted view then that list is realistically about 20 places long. I have provided what I think are the 5 best spots to take your family for the 9pm fireworks show.

All these spots have been chosen based on the most important element - Getting you and your children back out of there in a moderate time-frame!
Most of Sydney's streets shut down for New years and as such most of these places have to be reached on foot. The closest you can usually get your car is a few train stations away, which we actually recommend!
Do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt to drive your car all the way to where you plan on watching the fireworks! It may seem like a good idea at the time but you'll never get back out again.
With that being said, let's take a look at the best places to watch the 9pm fireworks show with your family.

For a complete list of road closures and public transport services for New years Eve in Sydney follow THIS LINK

Bradfield Park

Located on the Northern side of the harbour, Bradfield park is the grass area directly under and to the east of the harbour bridge. Bradfield park provides uninterrupted views of the harbour, the Sydney Opera House and of course the bridge itself. For families looking to watch the 9pm fireworks, this is the perfect spot as it is only a 15 minute walk from Milsons Point train station and the trains will continue to run until around 11pm. (see above link for exact times)

Blues Point Park - McMahons Point.

Similar to Bradfield Park, Blues Point Park on McMahons Point is on the Northern Side of the harbour and is actually one of the most popular spots to watch the fireworks on this list. Accessed via a 15 minute walk down Blues Point Rd from North Sydney Station, the point - which has multiple grassy areas on which to set up camp provides some of the best views of the fireworks specatacular. Blues Point is popular with families because of the large grass areas and the ease of access from North Sydney train station.

Observatory Hill

For those families that live on the Eastern/Southern side of the harbour Observatory Hill is a great location that is close to all the action and provides uninterrupted views of the bridge, opera house and Sydney skyline. Just 20 minutes walk from Circular Quay, Observatory Hill provides a lot of grassy areas to lay a picnic blanket and enjoy the show with the young ones. Get there early as all the spots fill quickly, and with an almost birds eye view of the city it is little wonder why!

Balmain - Thornton Park

Balmain provides fantastic views of the western side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is a popular spot with families as it is away from the City and the hectic road closures and crowds that go with it. Don't get me wrong, Balmain is a very popular vantage point to view the fireworks and as such fills up just as quickly. Probably the best place to view the fireworks in Balmain is Thornton Park. Again, bring a picnic rug and get there early!

Mary Booth - Kirribilli

Located in Kirribilli, Mary Booth lookout Point offers incredible and uninterrupted views across the harbour to the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location is perfect for watching the entire expanse of fireworks that are setoff across the CBD and down the Harbour, all the way up Parramatta River.

Where Will You Watch The Fireworks?

Regardless of where you decide to take the family to watch the fireworks, planning ahead is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing. Make sure you know what public transport is operating and park your car well away from the action, because the moment the 9pm fireworks show is over, hundreds of thousands of families like yourself are trying to make their way home again.

What are  your plans This upcoming 2015 New Years Eve?

I'll leave you with this awesomely cute video from two very well known Hollywood stars :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

How to Kiss on New Years Eve

How to Kiss Correctly Come when 2015 Comes to an End.

So it's new years eve 2015. No it's 2016?! - oh no, we are NOT getting into that debate again ;)

Kissing your partner, or even better - that random stranger when the clock strikes midnight is as much a part of the celebration as drinking way too much champagne and waking up vowing to NEVER EVER DRINK AGAIN EVER!

kiss someone at midnight on new years eve in Sydney
Well we have to now, A picture told us to and everything.

So What are our Kissing Options?

Surprisingly abundant actually! It seems that the humble kiss has evolved across continents and cultures, and is now available in all 31 Flavours*    Ice cream optional

Let's go through some of the more popular and well known kisses and smoochie-smoos to practice and try when the clock strikes midnight this December 31.

6 Different Types of Kisses and Why They'll Work on New Years Eve.

1. The Don't Touch Me! Kiss

Sometimes you have to go through the motions but the thought of letting any of your body even come into contact with the other party sends chills down your spine. In this case the only option is the 'Don't Touch Me Kiss'. To give you an idea of what it looks like, just imagine the 'Talk to the Hand' movement and add a death stare.

Makes you wonder how it even constitutes a Kiss really? anyway, moving on....

2. The Eskimo Kiss.

Everyone knows this one! Who doesnt love a bit of eskimo action? Noone?  I-Nu-It.

3.  The Hand Peck, also known as the Catch and Release or the Gregory.

Probably a good default go-to kiss, the hand peck or catch and release is basically you're classic "Im trying to be chivalrous and I doubt I'll get any lippy action so this will have to do" move.
Granted this is also the same method employed on grandma, and if you're thinking the same thing as above then I suggest you have a long cold shower - like now!
If you're not sure why they also call this kiss the Gregory, ask Atticus Finch ;)

4. The Single Lip Kiss - with Triple M Follow Through.

No this is not a kiss that ends with you tuning into 104.9FM on the radio band.... but if that's what floats your boat then go for it... just be discrete.

No the Single lip kiss is simply that, a kiss on the lip that literally only touches one lip. On its own its kinda sexy and intimate, but when you add the Triple M follow through you are entering a whole new level because what you effectively do is gently suck on that lip for a second. Just long enough to evoke a few M's from your partner.
This is one of the most intimate single lip kisses around. Grandmas need not apply!

5. The Earlobe Peck and optional Face Grope.

One of the more intimate yet non physical kisses on this list, the earlobe peck can be quite a turn on for either couple, and if done with a well placed face grope can help you achieve the BEST NIGHT EVER.... you know, dancing and hanging out with your earlobe pecking, face groping friend ;)


6. The French Kiss - the Tongue Twister, the Face Sucker, or as others call it, The 'Dude Get a Room' Kiss.

The kiss we all know, and probably the most widely adopted form of New Years Eve Kisses is the infamous french kiss. Nothing expresses your love and the fact you've had one too many beers more than sticking your tongue down someone else's throat. Wait, that came out wrong! But then they usually do don't they!?!

Seriously fellas, how hard is it to learn to kiss a girl without trying to become her personal defribulator?!

I'll leave you with these light kisses...

Kissing on mass as couples prepare for NYE. Practice makes perfect right? ;) 

couples kissing in ready for new years eve celebrations
Photo Credit: Couples practice for New Years Eve - Daily News
Some Hilarious looks at Kissing on New Years Eve can also be found on YouTube. Here's one of the more popular ones :)
(Personally, I don't get it - I find her slightly annoying if I'm honest - but almost 5 million subscribers can't be wrong I suppose)

So is This Years New Years Eve Party Considered 2015 or 2016?

When is 2015 Officially Over?

Talking with my mates over drinks the other night and the subject of New Years came up. After the usual conversations around the where when why and who of the night had been sorted we started discussing what defines New Years Eve 2015 versus 2016?

Granted this sounds like a really obvious question, perhaps even pointless and one that may (or may not) have been influenced by the presence of alcohol - but for the sake of a good story bear with me, I'm getting to a point....I think.

The above image is for representation purposes only and any similarities between persons, fictitious or otherwise is strictly coincidental... although he does look a bit like 'Carl' from the Simpsons and she could be Dana Scully from X Files, let's be honest.

New Years Eve in 2015 is Actually 2016 when the Fireworks Start.

This was the arguement put forward and the reason why the discussion didnt end there and then. At first we all laughed and said that the fact it was now 2015 meant any and all celebrations to end this year would also be 2015... but as Charlie pointed out, the actual explosions of Fireworks and the resulting euphoria and celebrations all occurred after the clock had struck midnight and as such any and all the New Years Eve associated partying happened in 2016.

Sometimes a Valid Point is Still Not Adequate

If you think about it, Charlie raises a valid point. 
It's also fair to say that Charlie is an idiot and we should have said no to buying him that fifth schooner.

In Conclusion

That's about all I remember from Debating in High School - you gotta end with a conclusion and summary of both arguements... So with that in mind here is my closing arguement.

The New Years Celebrations that occurr at the end of this year, being 2015 will also be considered 2015. If anyone asks when New Years 2016 is, tell them it's a good year away and then sit them down next to Charlie - they'll get along like a house on fire ;)

happy new year for 2015 - from all of Sydney