Christmas Day and Boxing day in the Hunter Valley

Hello all, we went to the Hunter Valley just 1 hour 45 minutes North of Sydney to a small town called Bellbird for Christmas this year, you can see where it is on the map below, not too far North of Sydney. Sanna’s cousin Tanya and her boyfriend (now her fiancé) live there in a house with their 2 dogs Zen and Missy. The hunter valley is very famous for being one of Australia’s largest wine areas and the entire area is covered in wineries and cellar doors everywhere, but most were closed during our visit to the area.

Bellbird North of Sydney


Sanna and I both finished work on Christmas eve at 1pm and dashed home for showers and then loaded up the RS4. With both the back seats down we nearly filled it up with camping gear, food and presents, it must have weighed nearly 100kg’s of stuff in the back!

The back of the RS4, loaded ready to go

The back of the RS4, loaded ready to go

As I said we stayed at Tanya and Jeremy’s house all made of wood and had a lot of land out the back not just the small garden you can see in the photo below. Sanna and I, her mum and some other friends camped out on the grass on the land, Susie and Daniel the kids in their caravan they brought with them and Hanna joined them, and Sanna’s cousin Nick stayed in the spare room in the house. There were 11 adults and 5 kids, so it was a big Christmas gathering and we all stayed for 3 days.

Tanya and Jeremy's little wooden house in Bellbird

Tanya and Jeremy’s little wooden house in Bellbird

With so many people staying over for Christmas, there were so many presents under the Christmas tree as you can see in the below photo, and this photo doesn’t show the other half of the presents that where behind the sofa to the left of the bike. There were so many presetns the front door was blocked off and everyone used the back door to get in and out.

Lots of pressies under the tree

Lots of pressies under the tree

In the morning before we opened the presents we were all asking the kids if they had been good that year and if they deserved their presents and I’ve never seen them act so quiet and good. Look at the big kid on the right excited for her presents.

Christmas day morning with all the kids waiting for presents time

Christmas day morning with all the kids waiting for presents time

Presents time!

Presents time and chaos!

After presents time we got out the Slip ‘n Slide water game for the kids, a aussie backyard favourite. I was the only adult to give it a go to show the kids how to do it. I did it 4 times and then, I didn’t find out to much later I did some damage to my left side ribs from jumping and landing on my front as I was in pain for days afterwards. When we got back to Sydney I had to go to the emergency ward at the St Richards Sydney hospital and they did ECG heart scans and chest x-rays but it was just bruising around the ribs so I’m ok.

Slip ‘n Slide, a aussie backyard favourite

Slip ‘n Slide, a aussie backyard favourite

I made up a little camp in the back garden for the kids but they all got upset and didn’t want to share and it lead to arguments.


Backyard camp I made for the kids

For dinner we had all the usual bits and pieces for Christmas lunch like Turkey and Cranberry sauce also there was roast beef, ham and apple sauce, lots and lots of other things.

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

For breakfast on boxing day morning we had crispy bacon and tomatoes on the barbie, omelettes, bread rolls, and mushrooms yum!

Sanna’s cousin Nick cooking bacon and tomato's outside on the barbie

Sanna’s cousin Nick cooking bacon and tomato’s outside on the barbie

Sanna and Basma cooking omelettes in the kitchen for everyone.

Sanna and Basma cooking omelettes in the kitchen for everyone.

Boxing day breakfast

Boxing day breakfast at the table

On boxing day, Sanna Nick and I took the RS4 out to find the highest lookout we could in the area to look the valley and the vineyards. The last bit of the track was pretty steep and really muddy as the weather was wet and the car got up it fine with us 3 inside and still lots of camping gear in the back which I was impressed with. Nick found a small hole that he thought he saw a spider run into so he put a blade of grass down the hole to try and make it come out the crazy man.

At the Hunter Valleys highest lookout in the West part of the valley

At the Hunter Valleys highest lookout looking East across the valleySanna and me enjoying the countryside

Sanna and me enjoying the countryside and fresh air

Nick having some fun

Nick having some fun

Only 2 days to new years eve now and the party at Troy’s place next to the harbour bridge. I hope all my family and friends had a lovely Christmas for 2010! – Love Mark

Happy Christmas 2010 & Happy new year to 2011


Happy Christmas 2010 & a Happy new year to 2011 to all of my freinds and family all over the world including in Europe Mum and Dad, Nicki and Michael, Nanny B, Grandad and Nan Fosberry,all my family in Manchester, Mike and Jill, Damien, Dom, Rich, Ed, Harry, Tim Russel, Rich Write, Claire Withers, Paul, Keith and the rest of the Littlehampton gang, Paul aka Planet Salsa, Mark Akky, Signe, Toby,

and in Australia, Brendon and family, Chris and Christina, Troy and Ally cat, Greggy and Silvia, Ian, Josh, Chris and Pete at Lambo, Rob Bryden and SWIMBO, everyone at AussieElises, Jeff O’Connor, Cam, Jay Ng, Paul Whitman, Michael Tran, Alex Kempson, Tony (Antonio) Santucci, James and Shaun, Monique, Roland, Stuart from Barnham, Vishnu and all of Sannas family.

and to everyone else i’ve had the pleasure of being a friend to in 2010 and hopefully beyond!

Christmas ham yum

Christmas time is just around the corner, only 1 week now! Today we had a group of friends together at Chris’s on his rooftop overlooking the city. Christina cooked a massive leg of ham which had the best honey glaze on it ever, I was in ham heaven yum!  Looking forwards to Christmas day now for a big turkey and all the trimmings Smile

photo 3

Chris’s rooftop has a great view South towards Sydney CBD

photo 2

Christina carving up the lovely ham she made so well

photo 1


photo 4

I have the best sunnies, I look so cool!

December edition of Supercar Spin & some viewers stats

Note, all the official Supercar Spin articles will be on from now on.

The December edition of Supercar Spin is now available, well to tell the truth its been up for 2 weeks now but I’ve been lazy to get to my blog. We filmed it back at the ‘Zonda’ studio again, much better sound, not so echo’y and a great drive through the Royal national park in the RS4 to get there, camera gear sliding around in the back.

You can watch the episode as usual on YouTube above (here’s a link to it in HD) or by watching and subscribing to it in iTunes below:

Supercar Spin Monthly news show on iTunes

I have finally got some realistic viewers stats working with the help of the stats logging service.  This is good as we can see what sort of devices people are watching it on like iPhones, other phones and iPads and what country there from e.t.c. It seems that people arn’t watching Supercar Spin on YouTube but thousands are on iTunes on their mobile devices.

Here you can see all our episodes so far from the Pilot episode to the latest which is Dec10, the latest episode of Dec is more popular than the Nov one which is what we want to see!:

scssummarystats.jpgHere is an interesting one, where everyone is watching the episodes from. It’s the Asians that are gobbling up our episodes the most; I would think the reason for this is that mobile entertainment through media consumption is so popular in Asia with its mobile data the fastest and best in the world. I think everyone has better than 3G connections there so everyone is walking around watching video on demand shows and podcasts like Supercar Spin.