Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Joss turned fourteen on Monday. Her school was most obliging and had a pupil free day before starting the term on Tuesday. Joss' requested dinner was not unlike last week's - rigatoni al forno and baked cheesecake.

Despite the fact that she takes the requisite number of selfies per day, she was reluctant to pose for a birthday photo in the new jacket Mama and Bop gave her.

So, I'll post one that just tuned up on my phone, back when the weather was warm and she could wear her favourite t-shirt.

Happy birthday to a girl we really quite like.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Le Tour de France

I love a good tradition and am very quick to turn something into one. We have only been to Bermagui twice, but already I couldn't conceive of going anywhere else for our January holiday. Watching le Tour, of course, is a longstanding tradition with us, though it is one that changes and grows. I used to happily watch Gabriel's Taste le Tour, admire the scenery for a few minutes and pop off to bed. For the last few years I have really come to appreciate the sport as well. I'm not saying that I have developed a passion for cycling, the food and the scenery still play a large part in my enjoyment of the event, but I know about, and am interested in, the riders, the teams and who is ahead in each of the competitions.

Given that I would rather read than do most things, I like to turn the riders into characters. There are lots of 'goodies' - the friendly Jens Voight, the reserved Chris Froome and all of the Australians, of course. Simon Gerrans overtook Cadel as my top Aussie hero as he has a lovely, dimpled smile and we haven't heard him whinging in a girl's voice.  One can't dislike the former drug cheats too much as there are so many of them, but there are a few characters to dislike. My usual 'baddie' is Andy Schleck, who was very dismissive of Cadel in an interview, and that made Cadel's win so very sweet. This year, I have a new villain - Mark Cavendish. He's great to watch, such extraordinary talent, but such a diva!

For the third year running, we have shared a full stage with the Shephards. Shep and Monique came over last night and we ate cheese and bikkies while we watched. Joss and Tobes stayed up for the whole thing. We were all in our pyjamas. We're going to do it again this weekend and Mum and Dad can join us as they arrive this afternoon. Fun, but tiring, times!

Now we just need Toby to join Orica GreenEdge one year.....

That's him in the front

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Our littlest girl is nine. Never one to hide her emotions, the excitement was uncontained.

Her chosen dinner was lasagne with a sponge cake for dessert. We now have a week to get ready for Joss' birthday....

Friday, July 5, 2013

New do

 As Bethany pointed out, it isn't very exciting when I go to the hairdresser because it is never a big change. There aren't many big change options out there for people with only a few centimeters of hair and who cannot come at paying to colour so little. Bethany, on the other hand, had plenty of scope for something new and she wanted a bob with a fringe.

 Once we got to this stage, we realised how pretty she looked without the fringe. My hairdresser pointed out that fringes are broadening so I really wanted to stop and took this photo in the hopes of convincing Bethany who had her heart set on that fringe.

She pondered for a good five minutes......

...and came around to our way of thinking!

Of course, she is only 8 and I could have simply stated that she wasn't allowed the fringe, but she had been so looking forward to this hairdresser visit, and in the 'pick your battles' arena I usually think hair is a battle I am willing to forfeit, so I was very pleased that Bethany could see how very grown up her new hair is.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Family time

A cacophony of delight, that's what I'm calling our time with Tim, Shona and the kids. Lots of hugs, noise, food, coffee, chocolate, piggy backs, angels, cupcakes and fun. I was the only one who had met the twins before, so everyone was very excited, and Andrew and I were keen to see how the house would go with six visitors.

Poor Pumpkin didn't get a 'fuzzy' drink.

The prettiest hair.
It helps that the two little slept in with Tim and Shona, but there was plenty of room for sleeping, playing and crawling. Starting tomorrow, we have visitors for two whole weeks. Bring it on!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guy Sebastian

I'll catch up to real time soon, but I did want to tell you about Joss' surprise birthday present last Sunday night. The timing wasn't brilliant, I'd not have chosen to go to an 8pm concert on a Sunday after a church weekend away, but the tickets were purchased in February.

Every summer, when we go to Bermagui, we listen to a lot of pop music in the car - stuff we can all enjoy to varying degrees. Britt Nicole has featured pretty heavily as the sound of our summer, but last year Guy Sebastian was played too. When Joss heard he was coming to Wagga, she was very keen to go, but the tickets sold out in fifteen minutes and I failed to get some in the traditional way. Thankfully, I had other means at my disposal, and I kept the tickets a secret. It paid off, she was very excited.

I hadn't given any thought at all of what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised. There was a support act; a fellow with three names, none of which I can remember, but he was very good. We had an interval and Joss got some crispy M&Ms and one of those little cylinders of Pringles and then Guy came on after 9pm! It was the proper deal. Complicated set with video screens and special lighting. His band came from all over the world and he sang until after 11. I knew more songs than I expected to and he had everyone up dancing.

I remember watching that original series of Australian Idol when he was the winner. It was great to see a regular Christian on TV, you know, one that doesn't turn out to be the murderer in the crime show. He gave his Bible to another of the contestants. It was very sad to see that he has given his faith away, but he is a great singer, very personable and it is very nice of him to go to so many regional areas.

It was Joss' first real concert and she loved it. If I remember correctly, mine was Dire Straits at the Sydney Entertainment Centre with Mum and Dad. What was your first proper concert?