Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back to School

Phew! The first day of school is over and was a resounding success. Bethany managed not to talk in class, is sitting next to her BFF and likes her new teacher. Toby was more excited than nervous and really enjoyed his first day of high school. Joss has the friends she was hoping for in her classes and likes her new elective subjects, food technology and journalism. The enthusiasm has lasted through day two. So far, so good.

One year ago this evening, I put on my new shoes and outfit, turned on my music and the Get Running app and went for my first run. I discovered that 20 seconds of running was really long to me, but I ran eight lots of sixty seconds that night and nine weeks later, could run for thirty minutes solid. This year, I'm planning to run a half marathon in July. I have a LOT of training to do, 10.5k is the furthest I have ever run and a half marathon is 21k. The two 10k races I did last year were awful, I couldn't run the whole way, but I am hoping to manage this half marathon at the Hunter Valley Gardens, near Mum. I have to run tonight, even though it will still be 32 degrees at 10pm!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The end

Oh, happy, lazy summer. Tomorrow the kids go back to school and while the heat will go on, our holiday spirit and time will not!

The last holiday weekend was suitably celebratory with eleven people sleeping at our house. Mum and Charlotte were still here, and Phil, Kristin and the twins arrived on Saturday afternoon. We had a great family dinner and played Apples to Apples after the twins went to bed.

Mum left on Sunday morning, as the rest of us had French toast and bacon. We celebrated Australia Day with a backyard water slide, and a concert in the park. Watching Henry and Georgiana groove to Uncle Andrew's band was a highlight.

After saying goodbye to Phil, Kristin and the kids on Monday morning, we spent the day buying school shoes and supplies. Joss loves buying stationery and insisted I wait until after her summer camp catch up before going to Officeworks.

Bethany will be the only one in the family at her school, Toby starts high school and Joss gains a sibling at school. It's going to be a big year!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The rain

After almost a week of temperatures over 40, we had a day of rain yesterday. So refreshing, it was. There was much to report on in that week, and my first back at work, but having only my phone to blog on has not proved conducive to much blogging at all.
Our week at home was not good for garden work, as we'd hoped, but was perfectly suited to a nice mix of relaxation and indoor work. Bethany and Joss are people who enjoy 'playing' in their rooms. They are very good at amusing themselves. This leads to a gathering of much clutter! Toby is very happy on a screen of some sort, or playing with a real person, but apart from reading, he isn't a great one for keeping himself amused. His room took half an hour to sort!
Facebook friends will have seen the image of Joss' lunch, I can only assume it was from the last day of school. As my Dad once found a very large quantity of rotting apples at the bottom of my bag, I can hardly treat this as a special sort of evil. The thing I have never understood, is why children don't use the bins at school? A profound mystery.
Mum has been here with my niece, Charlotte, this week. I have loved having them and the kids have all played so well. I took advantage of the last week with no school, and started work early, so I didn't even see the kids in the morning. Next week it will be all school lunches (how I dislike them!), uniforms and getting ready for the bus. Sigh. Toby is off to high school and Bethany will travel alone....
But that is next week. In a few hours my brother, Phil, and the rest of the family will arrive for the long weekend. Sleeping eleven will be a test for our house. Bring it on!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Post beach sizzle

We had such a lovely time at Bermagui. The weather was great, not hot. In fact, I found it quite difficult to go in for my yearly dip in the ocean, but go in I did, not once but twice! Joss had a good laugh because I spent my whole time in the surf holding my arms up out of the water, or trying to karate chop the waves, squealing that the water had gotten in my ear or wet my hair.

We ate our fill of fish and chips, Andrew and the kids had gelato and I had a few coffees from the patisserie. We watched Miss Marples and Poirots and I read lots of books. It was a blissful holiday and our drive home was pretty good, too. We had lunch in Bungendore at a sweet cafe we found on the trip in the opposite direction. We learned our lesson from the first visit and Andrew and I shared a chicken schnitzel burger. A couple near us were caught out by the massive servings when the slim woman ordered a trio of "mini" burgers, each big enough to be a meal on its own. It's the second place we have been to this holidays where the meals were, quite literally, at least twice as big as they should have been. Even the kids' meals were too big and my children are neither small, nor small eaters! No wonder we are a fat nation!

We got home on Sunday night, just in time for the heatwave. Five days of temperatures above 40. Tomorrow will hit 43! Indoors it is.

Toby turned twelve yesterday and celebrated with a afternoon of Adventure Time (his favourite TV show) Monopoly with a couple of his friends. His requested meal was enchiladas and a chocolate layer cake with cream and strawberries. I used Nigella's chocolate sour cream cake and it was declared a winner. That's the first birthday of the year finished!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Beach

The great Australian summer holiday, a week at the coast. It takes us a lot longer to get to the coast from Wagga, how fondly I remember the mere hour it took us to get to Pearl Beach for my childhood holidays!

We had a good drive over, as good as six plus hours can be with children in the car, and we found our new favourite lunch stop, Bungendore. We have settled into a different house this year, across the street from the ocean and between Blue Pool and Beares Beach. We can walk into town for a coffee or to pick up some milk.

This is our third year here and there are certain things we must do. Obviously, we go down to the beach to swim, boogie board and play in the sand. We have a tent and I lie in it, minding our stuff while reading. Traditionally, I have one swim.

I'm sure I must have loved the beach as a child, there are plenty of photos of me, mousy haired and heavily freckled, frolicking in the sand or the shallows, but, at some point, it lost its appeal. I don't mind the sand, but it is so insistent, clinging to everything. The ocean is pleasant if you are where the waves gently carry you up and down, but I know it really wants to pick me up and turn me so I don't know which way is up and I try to breathe water. The kids can't get enough, even after a dumping, but I am happy in the tent, reading.

Today we are at Magic Mountain, just out of Merimbula. Andrew and the kids toboggan,  water slide, roller coaster and drive racing cars. I read and mind stuff, which is just the way I like it!

Lazy days......

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Australian Women Writers - 2014 challenge

I am going to enter the Australian Women Writers challenge for 2014. I will aim to read six books by Australian women this year. Obviously, I will read an awful lot more books than that, but I imagine that the bulk of my reading would not fit into this category. I have created a book shelf on Goodreads and am very sneakily going to put a book I read at Christmas time in - it was very almost 2014 when I read it!