Friday, March 19, 2010

CFA Urban Seniors Championship 2010 - Mildura: 5-8 March

The CFA had their "Firefighter's Olympics" AKA the CFA Championships in Mildura this year. And as part of the Online Services team, I'm always sent to be there to mend the Online Services booth in the Corporate Tents area. Our booth is there to promote the CFA member's website and the new forums and new sections and also to activate and assist members with their accounts.

Accomodation and meals were of course all provided as it was considered a working trip. We stayed at the Grand Hotel just next to Mildura Brewery. I'd say it was more fun than work and also a chance to visit a new place! Here are pics from over the 4 days.
Day 1: We arrived a day before the championships started and had time to wonder around. Dropped by the Ice-Creamary which of course sold ice-creams, finger food and sausages as well to grab lunch.
Day 1: Lucky to have been able to meet Tanya, one of my colleagues and tagged along with her dad and another colleague, the health and well-being officer and his wife to take a cruise down the murray river. Lovely breeze and relaxing trip.
Day 1: Crusie down murray river - pictures of other house boats all owned by people and some you can even rent them for the day or for a few nights! They are fully furnished.
Day 1: This is called the lock chamber. Because of the raised water levels on the other side, we had to enter this chamber and after it closes its doors, the chamber fills up with water to match the level on the other side before we continue on our journey.
The place which I slept in for the 3 nights. Wished I had brought tubby along haha.. Ample space to fit him as there was a double and single bed.
Day 2: Officially the first day of the championships and the first day we started "work". This is the Online Services and Public Affairs booth.
Day 2: Giving a member some assistance after activating his account. He was more interested in posing for a photo. lol.
Day 2: Inside the Online Services booth where one of our colleagues was so excited to spot Minister for Emergency Services, Bob Cameron standing nearby and so quickly shuffled us to take a photo with him.
One of the events of the championships: hose cart reeling and then fixing the pipes / couplings to the water pipe and the first to spray the target in the fastest time wins.
Every year, they will have the torchlight procession where firefighters march in the streets holding torchlights and their marching is also marked and counted towards their brigade scores.

Day 2 night: Just chilling with colleagues at the Mildura Brewery Bar. With Heather and Andria.
Sacred Heart Parish in Mildura. No matter where I am, and as long as it's a weekend, I have to find a church and go attend mass. :D
Day 3: Another hose and coupling event. This time they have to pull the hoses from the truck, fix them to the water pipes and activate them from the fire truck and which team has the fastest time in assembling all that and spraying the target wins.
Here you go, the target that they spray on. I got water on me a few times cause I was standing too near.. LOL..
And finally after a 3-day "olympics marathon" the brigade who won the most points out of all the events and won was Dandenong Brigade. This is their trophy presentation.

After a tiring but fun 4 days, we caught a (propeller plane yet again!) back to melbourne where I took the next day off just to sleep in and rest! :P Man I love my job sometimes esp. when it involves going away from the usual office mundane-ness!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Chinese New Year 2010 & another visit to Miss Marples.

This year was yet another Chinese New Year celebrated overseas. I think ever since I came to Melbourne to study and stayed on to work, spending chinese new year back home in Malaysia is hard especially since where I'm working now, mid Jan to mid Feb are like the most fire-prone periods where the CFA gets really busy and so taking leave is almost impossible.

But lucky over the years, we've made quite a few good friends here who are also around during the this festive period and so we met up for our own reunion dinner at Ocean King restaurant in Glen Waverley on the first day of chinese new year which also happened to fall on the same day as Valentine's Day this year! 14 Feb 2010!

The view from our side... :D
Everyone digging into the yummy food... Crocodile meat, fish, prok ribs, egg plant etc...
The group of us that day and thoughful Daniel bought each of us a rose for Vday.

After that, some of us decided to head over to Crown and for the first time we actually bothered to go there, I was pretty fascinated and amazed at how CNY is much celebrated what with all the stalls of food lined up outside Crown along the Yarra River.

Check out the walkway outside Crown decorated with chinese lanterns and the crowd!
Didn't know they performed chinese opera there as well! Or cantonese opera to be more precise!
Super duper happy to find my favourite CNY treat Bak Kua there as well. Which is known as Pork / Beef jerky in english.
Animated dragon display inside Crown Promenade. Lucky to be able to catch the performance time.
Lion dance performance by the CYSM (Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne)
Dragon dance by CYSM (Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne)
Finale of the Lion and Dragon dance performance CYSM (Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne)

Darling and I also decided to take CNY day 2 off just for a break and we bundled Jasper and us trio went up to Dandenong's. Even on a week day, there was a line up outside for table. They don't take bookings and people have to line up and wait. Lucky us, we didn't have to wait too long that day.
Inside of Miss Marples, named after famous detective Miss Marples herself in the background.
The yummy scones with cream and jam - their house specialty. Can never have enough!
Cutie darling Jasper was quite happy with his walk that day!