Posts Tagged ‘Family’

18-Apr-2014 Kinda Perfect Day

Friday 18 April 2014 Leave a comment

Today was Good Friday, hence a public holiday, hence a day off work. Therefore if you want a perfect day, it was already starting off on the right foot.

Dawn was working last night and I knew she’d be home about 9am to 9.30am. The plan was to stay in bed until then. She came in, was quite cold and jumped straight into bed and warmed up on me. I fell asleep and dozed and eventually got up at 11.30am.

Did some chores but it was a beautiful warm & sunny day so was not really a problem. After that I went into our garage gym for a warm up – pushups, squats, sit ups and medicine ball lifts then went for a run. After my recent I injury just going out for a run with no pain is just heaven, to be in the sun and in my beautiful bush backyard is just great. I finished up with a swim at the beach.

Me and Dawn then drove to Caringbah for a Bikram Yoga class at 6pm, rounding out a great day of exercise. As we did the 6pm instead of our usual 7.45pm, we were home earlier than normal, so I had the energy to cook the older girls dinner, an improved lentil soup on yesterday, then did stuff on the computer and went to bed late.

Just perfect!


13-Apr-2014 Still Rainy Sunday

Sunday 13 April 2014 Leave a comment

Was up at 6.45 to take Jaz & Chel to soccer.  Actually Jaz could have driven but I like to watch, Ko came too. It was was over at Woronora Heights at 8.20. It was quite cold and drizzly. The girls played very well and are probably the best two on the team … no bias! I took a flask of dandelion chai, my new favourite, whilst Ko bought a hot chocolate.

Back at home I had breakfast and cleared up and waited for Dawn to get up at 12.30pm (she had worked overnight and only went to bed at 9am) then we drove to Brookvale where we had seen a new car as the old one had done more than 250,000 km ! Dawn and Jaz were losing confidence in it when it’s wet on some of the steep hills here in the park even with new tyres, brakes checked etc. Anyway we got one – pick it up next weekend.

Back at home Dawn went for a run but I had a lay down then did some gym warmup (pushups, squats, situps & medicine-ball lifts) and then went for a run myself. I was still taking it easy on my calf so just went on the roads around home. It was a dark & wet night but surprisingly warm.

Jaz had made some lentils and Dawn did sushi for the girls, so I made some lentils with ginger with sushi rice. We watched Bondi Rescue and the Russell Brand movie “Get him to the Greek” whilst Dawn did some work. Went to bed just before midnight.


12-Apr-2014 Rainy Saturday

Saturday 12 April 2014 Leave a comment

I got up about 9am which counted as a lie-in – work during the weeks gets me up at 6.30am and the past few weekends has been 7am approx. I had breakfast and ead the (virtual) paper and did some chores so that by 11am I could watch Jaz referee her first soccer game. Under-8 at Bundeena. However she didn’t really want me watching so just saw some of it then went back home. The soccer is oval is a 1min walk from our house. Kody was playing at 1pm so went over with Dawn to watch her – in our rain coats as it was raining heavily. Ko played ok, the 2nd half in goal and is probably better in midfield than in defence where she was for the first half. At 2pm Jaz has the. Referee for the Under-16 girls match. I just saw a bit then went home – apparently she did ok.

I went running and MY CALF FELT OK so I was very happy. By now it was pouring and very cold but it was geat just to be out running. I finished off with a swim at Hordern’s beach in treacherous waters ie a lesser swimmer could have drowned. Luckily I made a good entrance and exit ffrom the water so as not to scare the onlookers !!! A nice hot bath was the order of the day and as Dawn went to work early (5pm) I had an early dinner, did some stuff on the computer and watched The Blind Side movie on the TV with Ko. My mum had called on the phone approx 8.30pm for our usual Saturday chat. I went to bed approx 10pm.


10-Apr-2014 Early to rise

Thursday 10 April 2014 Leave a comment

I was up early about 6am, went for a swim, did some chores (mainly washing up from last night), sorting the kids out as Dawn had gone to work early and I wanted to leave the place ship-shape before I left.

In the car I was listening to the 5am miracle podcast (I listen to a lot of different podcasts on a very wide range of subjects –  always wanting to learn and not my waste time). I actually have had a couple of days of going to bed before midnight and getting up at 6am and feel really good for it – and have been very productive. Maybe I should make a conscious effort to try at this “early to bed, early to rise” thing.

Interesting there was an article in the news paper on the same thing this week – Why getting up at 5am will make you happy !

It said:

If an early start has you rolling back under the duvet, forget about sleep deprivation and get out of bed – morning people are happier and more successful than night owls.
Laura Vanderkam, the US author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, says getting up early can hold the key to improving your health, career and personal life.
“Mornings are a great time for getting things done, particularly the personal priorities that life has a way of crowding out,” she says. “There’s some research finding that our supply of willpower is strongest in the morning (diets are broken at night, not at breakfast). Choosing to devote early morning hours to things that are important to us – exercise, strategic thinking, creative work, nurturing relationships – means you devote your most focused hours to these things, before other people’s priorities invade.”
It’s no coincidence that early risers have a reputation for being successful. “It is a common trait found in many CEOs, government officials, and other influential people,” says Jennifer Cohen in Forbes. “Margaret Thatcher was up every day at 5am; Frank Lloyd Wright at 4am and Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, wakes at 4.30am just to name a few.”
But what if your natural state is to stay horizontal and hit the snooze button till the last possible moment?
Anyone can become a morning person says Zoë B, a Sydney-based life coach and author of the Simple Life Strategies blog. It’s just a case of redefining yourself. “If we keep telling ourselves that we’re not a morning person then guess what happens? We don’t get up early. This is a habit that we just need to snap out of. Anyone can become a morning person, it’s simply a matter of taking action.”
“People who get up early often report feelings of positivity and achievement that continue throughout the day” she says. “If we begin on a positive note, then this positive mood state is much more likely to continue as the day progresses.”
The evidence is not just anecdotal. Research at the University of Roehampton in Britain highlighted the benefits of getting up early. Dr Jürg Huber told the British Daily Telegraph: “There are morning people and evening people, and morning people tend to be healthier and happier as well as having lower body mass indices”.

Anyway I got to work well before 9am.

I left work really late as Jazmin took Dawn’s car from Sutherland and Dawn needed a lift home approx 9pm, and its a bit dumb me getting home for 20mins then driving out again so I just worked late. I walked to Town Hall inti e for my train and met Dawn on the platform so we could sit next to each other. It mean I didn’t get home until late, about 9.30pm which makes it hard to turn around again for the next day. Lucky the kids are older too and don’t need such close supervision !


Tags: ,

7-Apr-2014 Bung washing machine

Tuesday 8 April 2014 Leave a comment

I had to leave work early, just before 3pm, as I had to be at Cronulla High School for 4.20pm for parent-teacher interviews for Chelsea & Kody. They had a good online booking system this year so it was very simple to use and book. I had about 10 interviews running until about 6pm. Luckily most of the feedback was pretty good.

When I got home Dawn was at the gym so I made some dinner – cannellini beans in fresh tomato with olives and spinach with my favourite plum vinegar. See photo below.

Our washing machine finally died earlier today, although it wasn’t a surprise as it’s been getting worse ie noisier & noisier so it was only a matter of time. Dawnwent out with Jaz and bought a new one so after I briefed Dawn and the girls about what the teachers said, we set about installing it. The old one fit EXACTLY into the hole in the kitchen so the new one also had to be exact, luckily they are all near enough a standard size. We finished about 9.30pm.

I am writing most of these blog posts on my tablet on the train. It seems like a constructive & positive use of my time.



6-Apr-2014 A Rainy Sunday

Sunday 6 April 2014 Leave a comment

The clocks went back an hour last night so although not officially winter, it’s starting to feel that way. Today was wet and miserable and cold (19C) which made it feel like winter even more. The upside was an extra hour sleep, not that I really noticed (as I was asleep!). Dawn was working overnight so worked an extra hour which was unpaid, a point she made to me a few times so obviously she is not that happy about it.

I took the Jaz and Chel to soccer at Wooloware leaving 7.15am so was up approx 6.45 and I just had a coffee before we left. The weather was drizzling at the game. 1-1 draw but the girls played really well, certainly within the top few in the team.

At home I did a bunch of chores, had breakfast and fiddled around optimising my new tablet – ensuring all photos from my phone, Dawn’s phone and my tablet were saved immediately online and could be essily shared & accessed by us only. Then went for a swim in the rain – the water was surprisingly warm and it was great although unsurprisingly I was literally the only person on the whole beach. I had a doze on the sofa as it was perfectly quiet in the house. Dawn was still in bed, Kody was at a friend’s and the others had taken my car and gone shopping.

Later on we went to yoga and then to the supermarket.  It was Kody’s first proper Bikram yoga class. She did better than expected but found it quite hard. Home at 9.30pm. Very tired.


5-Apr-2014 Soccer Saturday

Saturday 5 April 2014 Leave a comment

Today, thankfully, soccer was not cancelled For kody who was really desperate to play. However it was an early start 9.30am, which means they need to be there at 9am, which meant leaving at 8.30am as it was at Heathcote. Kody spent the night at a friend’s so I picked them up at 8.10am so was up at 7.30am – plenty early enough for a Saturday after a busy week!

They won 7-0 which is a great start to the season. I took some photos of the clouds ! It was also very warm.

At home after breakfast and chores I went for a run and swim at Jibbon and went in the gym. My leg (calf) is almost better but not quite. It wasn’t painful but was sore at the end.

In the gym I did 3 rounds of : 1t pushups, 15 squats, 15 sit-ups, 15 medicine ball lifts.

Made dinner for all the kids in the evening and cleaned up as Dawn was at work.




Tags: ,

2-Apr-2014 A long day driving

Wednesday 2 April 2014 Leave a comment

I got up at 4.45am to drive Dawn to Sutherland to catch the train to work as Jazmin was using hers to go Uni and for soccer practise in the evening. I got back at home at 6am and helped get Kody ready and top up Jazmin’s phone plan. Jaz left at 6.15am.

I left with Kody at 6.35 to pick up Ella & Beni at the Maianbar turnoff then picked up Caitlin at Caringbah then droped them all off at school for dancing practise at 7.30am. Actually we were 5mins early so it was excellent timing given the traffic! I had a coffee in Cronulla overlooking the beach. The water was 22.8c which was awesome but I didn’t really have enough time for a swim. I bought petrol then drove to Sutherland for the train and was at my desk in the city at 9.15am.

Afterwards, I was late leaving work and got to Sutherland approx 7.45pm. I bought some bananas as we were out and they are a key part of our family’s diet. I phoned Dawn who was on a train that got to Sutherland at 8.45pm.

Not really time to go home and back so I thought I might get a coffee in Gymea which is just 5 mins away but I ended up just sitting in the car for 30mins or so just learning and configuring my new tablet. Home at 9.20pm.

A long day ending with a good long soak in a hot bath!


29-Mar-2014 Saturday

Saturday 29 March 2014 Leave a comment

Kody’s first soccer game of the season was cancelled which she was incredibly disappointed about as she had been looking forward to it for a while. That meant I didn’t have to get up early so I took dawn to Martin’s near Ryde as she was getting her leg or back clicked back in –  obviously I wasn’t paying attention to what she said as I can’t remember exactly which body part was being clicked or clacked! I still had to get up early for that though – about 6am or so as it’s quite a long drive.

Afterwards we went to the farmers market at Ramsgate. It’s really good there – a lot of top quality veges and things that you can’t get at the supermarket although it’s not any cheaper. Excellent for a change though and I like the whole made-by-hand ethic. We bought the best homos ever [link]!

Back at home I made a big batch of pesto with just basil (that we had just bought), pine nuts and olive oil – everyone in the family eats that. Then I did some reading.

As my calf is still not good enough to run on, I went for a brisk walk to Jibbon beach and back including a swim there. I decided that my calf is almost better but I could still feel it a bit. Unfortunately not good enough to run on yet.

In the evening we had a fire in our relatively new fire pit (bought last winter) and a BBQ. That is always good when the family gets together.


16-Mar-2014 Sydney Sightseeing

Sunday 16 March 2014 Leave a comment

Up at 9am and immediately went for a swim, then did some house chores as Dawn was at work. Went to the Bundeena Art of Living festival as it was local and it’s always good to support your local community.  It was really quite warm and sunny but oppressively humid so knew it was going to rain again. Drove to the city as there were no trains again !! So the traffic eas very bad and made heaps worse by the torrential rain. We parked in china town and caught the bus to the Rocks market & then walked to the Sydney Tower. Saw a cool “4d show”  which was like a shirt 3d film of Sydney but with real surf spray and underwater bubbles coning into the auditorium. Going home was better than going traffic and weatherwise. Very tired!






12-Dec-2013 University thoughts

Thursday 12 December 2013 Leave a comment

Today I worked from home in the morning. Before that I went for a short run to Jibbon beach and had a swim – as usual great weather and the water was great. Unfortunately on they way back home on a slight downhill just past the RSL I had a twinge and felt either a cramp or a pulled muscle on the back of my right calf. I walked back home as it was quite painful and did not want to run and make it worse.

Working at home is ok – although I usually prefer going into the office, but it’s great to have the flexibility to work at home. I don’t even have to bring my laptop home can just remotely connect to my office laptop and have the desktop in front of me as though I was sitting in the office with it in front of me.

I worked pretty much flat out until 3pm as I was going to Wollongong Uni with Jazmin for some event there, more like a social welcoming event than anything else. I quite like Wollongong Uni campus in fact the whole feel of it. They were making a big deal about Facebook going fishing for staff from the Uni. Otherwise my only nervousness was about how they relished the parents of students-to-be. Back when I was a student I would have been horrified or at least surprised to take my parents to a Uni function. But here they actually had a student’s briefing and a parent’s specific briefing.

Otherwise it just made me remember my own Uni days from all those years ago, the course changes and other activities – running, teaching overseas kids, cooking, washing clothes etc. All good in a rosy-coloured glow now!


15-Nov-2013 Friday Quiet Night In

Friday 15 November 2013 Leave a comment

I had to leave work early today, like most Fridays, so I could see Kody’s six a side soccer at Caringbah. We came home just as it started raining, developing into full on thunder & lightening. I had a hot & relaxing bath with a Lush bath ball. It felt very luxurious then I made dinner for about 4 kids, mainly using Jazmin’s home made raw vegan pesto (she is getting pretty good now … good training of course!)

I took a photo of my dinner – asparagus and broccolini with a little potato lightly sautéed with a dry Indian spice/masala with a few “activated” cashews and some banana chili. Lovely. Although the photo is really crap – I could have spent approx 15secs and checked the photo before I ate the food.

Whilst I had my camera out I took a photo of the cork board hanging just over my desk – click it for a larger photo:

Earlier in the week I bookmarked a heap of Hulu videos – mainly documentaries – all free. You can see the list here and access Hulu here. Yes I think that old skool TV is going to become less important as new access methods hit the mainstream. Of course TV won’t go away entirely but will not be the pre-dominant cultural force it has been since the 1960s, that’s for sure.

Our family are also BIG users of spotify – why not ? It’s both free and legal and is like being let loose in a big record store to play any record you like. so cool.

Tags: ,

10-Nov-2013 Sunday

Sunday 10 November 2013 Leave a comment

Today was a family sort of day. Kody was doing Nippers in Bundeena with the Garie beach mob. I think so many water activities are cancelled at Garie due to the huge and dangerous waves that they organised a day at Bundeena which in comparison is always reliably flat. Today of course was no different except it was pouring with rain and was about 15C (about 20C cooler than it was yesterday !)

I stood in the rain, although under shelter and probably that’s what kicked off my cold. However she did a swim, board race and got towed by a jetski so she had some fun.

Later in the afternoon both me and Dawn went out for the Responsible Runners Litter pick up and again got a huge amount of litter or just an hour’s walk along the spit at Bonnie Vale. It was raining for much of the time also so we assumed there would be less rubbish but it wasn’t really the case.

We got home about 6.30 and got ready quickly and went out for dinner,mainly to celebrate Jazmin finishing her HSC exams. A weight off her shoulders. I had pick a place on Broadway – Hari’s Vegetarian. It was quite a cheap place and empty when we arrived which a bit disconcerting, but filled up quickly and became quite busy (I felt sorry for the one guy serving and one guy cooking!)

Tags: ,

24-Oct-2013 One Direction concert

Thursday 24 October 2013 Leave a comment

I took Kody and her friend Aimee to see One Direction at Homebush. We only just managed to get the tickets almost 18months ago as all the concerts sold out so quickly (I think 6 in total) and even then our tickets were supposed to be obscured view but were actually quite fine. I must confess I don’t like 1D at all and the plan was to get one of her older sisters to go in with her, but it turns out that even a free concert ticket was not bribe enough so I went myself.

I would say that 95% of the people were Under-18 year old girls with the rest beign a few parents. I met the kids in Sutherland after work and then we drove to Lidcombe and took the shuttle train.

The concert was actually much better than I imagined and although I don’t really care for the band, there did give a good show and worth the $80 a ticket. I did like it when they played a few covers that I knew ie One Way or another/Teenage Kicks (One Direction version), Originally by The Undertones and Blondie. I had both those records as a kid! They also did a good version of Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus. These covers had a much angrier guitar sound and I suspect that if they moved away from the very twee pop they would get a bit more critical acclaim.

Anyway the girls were over the moon and it was all a dream come true. We didn’t get home until gone midnight and I was glad to finally get to bed although my ears were still ringing from the music AND the screaming !

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by kevin tiller (@kevintiller) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by kevin tiller (@kevintiller) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by kevin tiller (@kevintiller) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by kevin tiller (@kevintiller) on

Tags: ,

1-Oct-2013 University

Tuesday 1 October 2013 Leave a comment

Jazmin had an early interview today at Wollongong University – for kids in the local area with good school reports and some are offered a place that is not dependent on HSC results. I have no idea how many spots are available or what her chances are, but even if she doesn’t get a spot,  it’s all good experience. She is looking at doing Digital Media or Graphical Design.

She had been on a tour of the campus before but I have never been there. I was actually really impressed with the campus and do you know what my over-riding thought was ? God I wish it was me about to head off to Uni. Yes, I would love to go round the whole loop again. It’s not that I regret anything after the first time round,  its just I don’t want this ride to end!

My other thought was – should I really take her ? Can’t she go by herself ?  I mean if she gets a place she will go by herself every day so why not go solo to the interview ? Am I contributing to kids nor being able to do things for themselves ? The term these days is “helicopter parenting“. I suppose I needn’t have over-thought it as it looked like every other kid had come with a parent also.

When I was that age we could apply to 5 uni courses – I was looking to do a combined Mathematics and Geography BSc degree. I was living in West London and applied to Exeter, Newcastle,  Southampton,  St Andrews (Scotland) and Queen Mary College (London). I went to interviews at them all BY MYSELF which was quite a big deal without a car. The London one was a bit of waste as I knew I didn’t want to stay in London. If I was re-choosing today I would go to Exeter or Scotland as I like the idea of pushing the boat out and they’d both be really cool places. Ultimately I went to Southampton which was a safe option. The good news is that it made it a lot easier getting together with my girlfriend of the time (Dawn) who was doing nursing in nearby Dorset.

Because I took the day off work I was able to run to Jibbon Beach and swim there first thing in the morning. It was just really beautiful – a very sunny and warm day. Then I did all the chores, cleaning up, washing etc as Dawn was working and out of the house from 5am to 9pm (a very long day in anyone’s book).  After we got back from Wollongong I ticked off a few items from my to do list then went to yoga. So it was a successful day all round. I even made dinner for Dawn and Chelsea – cannelloni stuffed with spinach, tofu and pine nuts. Mmmm.


28-Sept-2013 Saturday – Chelsea Back

Saturday 28 September 2013 Leave a comment

We got up approx 5.30am to go to the airport to pick up Chelsea from her trip to Japan. She was fine, other than being one of the last to come through. It was great to see her again. We went home and listened to her stories whilst she unpacked.

Later in the day I felt zonked out and dozed on the back deck and the sofa, probably due to getting up early the last couple of days, with late nights and possibly some hayfever coming on.

I went for a swim but not a run, walked the dog and went to bed early  – 10.20pm as Dawn was at work, Kody was having a sleepover and Jaz was at work then went out and Chelsea was out !


22-Sept-2013 Sunday Night Out

Sunday 22 September 2013 Leave a comment

Sunday during the day was typically a late start, read the paper, run and swim etc. Later in the day we usually have Sunday Night Dinner together but we were probably all missing Chelsea who was still in Japan.


Luckily we got invited to Nathan’s birthday dinner and film at Govinda’s in Darlinghurst. Most of the other people were teachers at yoga so it’s a sign we spend too much time there! We took Jaz and Ko who are getting good at eating out now.

We saw a film there – “The Way Way Back” which we all enjoyed. I think we all like lounging on the bean bag things. (Photo is not of us). Although we met at the Restaurant at 6.15pm (so we had to leave home at just gone 5pm) we didn’t get home until gone 10pm, so quite late & tired.

Tags: , ,

18-Aug-2013 Sunday

Sunday 18 August 2013 Leave a comment

Up late 10am. Missed swimming at Cronulla so was a little annoyed – my alarm went off but decided to lie in so it was bitter sweet. I twinged my hamstring when I was hanging out the washing as I bent down in a squatting position. Went running on Eric St track and sandy track – glorious warm & sunny like summer – approx 21C (although the house is still bitterly cold inside approx 12C without heater on, 18C with). Went for a post-run swim at Hordern’s. Cold water but very clear – I am getting used to the coldness so not a big issue now. Had breakfast and read the Sunday paper then went to Gymea organic shop & Miranda with Dawn as she wanted to buy some running shoes – first since 2004 when we first started using Loco shoes. The end of an era and the end of shoe supply! In evening we made dinner with the family – I think we all appreciate sitting around the table together just chatting. Then putting stuff in loft after Chelsea & Kody swapped bedrooms.


20-Jul-2013 Saturday, ahh the weekend

Saturday 20 July 2013 Leave a comment

On Friday I got home late from work and Dawn was at yoga, so I think I just made dinner and had a bath and was zonked out in general.

Saturday had Kody playing soccer at Miranda (won!) then Chelsea at Sutherland (lost!) then went to Miranda for Kdy to buy a birthday present, then went home and went for a run then a very brief swim at the beach (icy cold!) and a quick spin in the gym – 10 pushups, 20 kettlebells (16kg) and 15 medicine ball lifts (9kg). Felt stuffed. In the evening Dawn was a at work, Chelsea was having a sleepover and Jaz was at a party in Caringbah till gone midnight so I was at home with Kody. I was doing work work until gone midnight so it was a sad evening. Bill Oddie hosting Rage was about the best thing !


14-Jul-2013 Sunday Sport

Sunday 14 July 2013 Leave a comment

I wasn’t really able to go to Jaz’s soccer in the morning as we couldn’t really all go out and leave all the dogs whilst Dawn was home in bed (after working night shift). Also Chelsea was working for Multisport Australia and I dropped her off at Sutherland station for the 6.40am train as she was working at the Sydney Harbour 10km. So it was perfect timing to go to Cronulla for the 0730 swim group.

The water was 17.2C – very cold – but quite clear. There were about 20 swimmers, and only about 3 of us not in wetsuits. I really enjoyed it. really really. Then I had a hot shower and a doppio at Grind, made on the special machine whilst chatting with the owner.

I then got home and had to go back out to pick up Chelsea as she was coming home from work. By the time we got home the dogs had been picked up. It didn’t really work out as Charley felt the other dogs were ganging up on him.

I THEN had about 15mins to get ready as I was going to see the footy (Rugby League) at the Olympic Stadium to see the Dogs versus the Storm. It was good to see work people in a different setting, although I did feel a bit embarrassed (again!) to be the only vegetarian there and have them make a fuss over the food.

I drove to Lidcombe and caught the shuttle train to Homebush, and reverse on the way home, arriving approx 7pm just in time for Sunday’s family dinner.

Tags: ,