Wednesday, May 25, 2016


 How he loves being an indoor dog when we are home. Doesn't he look refined with his paws crossed?

He is at that point of woolliness where he can still see, but we can't see his eyeballs. He has bottomless black holes for eyes.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Saying goodbye. Part One.

Sandy and Karen, our church minister and his wife, are leaving Wagga. They have been at our church for 24 years! We are very sad to see them go, but thankful for their ministry and glad they are moving closer to their grown children.

There are all sorts of farewell activities planned at church over the next few weeks, but we invited them over for lunch last weekend as a farewell of our own, and invited Mim and Bill down from Molong.

I suppose I should be glad I thought to take any photos at all, but you really would think I'd have managed one of Karen and Sandy at least, wouldn't you?

Nope. Just Mim's sweet boys.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Finding your thing

What was my thing when I was a child and teenager? Reading? Sleeping in? Sulking? It definitely wasn't sport related; I gave up netball when it meant I couldn't have long fingernails.

Joss is very studious now that she is in Year 11. Her half-yearly exams were last week, so she hasn't cycled much of late, but it is still her thing. Toby was into cycling for a long time but has dropped it now in favour of tennis, though he also benefits from having music. Piano is his first love there, but drums are coming up fast - he plays in church and gets his frustrations out (study breaks - his exams start next week) on the electric drum kit we have at home.

Drawing has always been something that Bethany does, but she doesn't have lessons or do it formally. She has played soccer, done dancing at school and drama, but her newest passion (not a word I like to overuse, but Bethany is nothing if not passionate) is gymnastics.

It started at school with her friends and at home on the trampoline. We bought her a mat to save her head and the carpet and now she has started going to gymnastics on Tuesday afternoon for two hours.

It's pretty chaotic; there are seemingly hundreds of kids in the gym. They form groups and go around to coaches at different apparatus. Bethany has a friend from school who started on the same day; when they finished she said it was the best day of her life. It's very hard to photograph, but she is loving it.

That swirl in the middle? That's Bethany!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


I wasn't sure they meant it, but Joss and Bethany both answered the call to watch the final, live at 5am. I had gone to bed late after card making with friends, and had a pretty average sleep, but it was all too exciting to miss. Our first time having battled through the semi-finals!

Bethany cocooned in a doona
Joss and I shared a doona. She shared the experience via her phone.
After an hour and a half, I was up for a cup of tea. 12 points if you can tell who was singing while I took this photo!

At one stage, Bethany looked out the window to see another treat.

By the time the voting came around, Andrew was up too and we were all on the edge of our seats. Such tension with the new way of getting the results! Such an extraordinary result for Australia! So much fun, and now to download the album and learn it all off by heart. Lots of car singing coming up.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

It's here

Summer went on and on. I can appreciate it now, there are advantages to warm weather, but it did seem as though autumn and winter might never come. On the weekend the rain started, and yesterday was cold enough for us to turn on the heater! It's May and the heater has only just gone on! We weren't being stoic; weren't toughing it out. I have friends in Albury who are competing to be the last to turn their heater on this year. Why?! I love winter, I really do. I love cold weather but I don't actually wish to feel cold.
Come on leaves, turn red!
As excited as I am about the weather, what we have really been waiting for is Eurovision. We aren't being tragic about it; none of us got up at 5am yesterday. Largely, that is because, early as it is, it isn't really early enough. I start my day at 5.45, so I don't really have time to be watching a couple of hours of exciting television before work. We did record it, though, and have already watched the first semi final. 

We'll record tomorrow's second semi (go Dami!) and watch it tomorrow night. Sunday morning will see the three girls up, wrapped in doonas, drinking tea and trying not to wake up the boys. Don't worry, the boys will watch it later on in the day, they do care. I may be a little bit smug at church with those who will be waiting until Sunday night.

I love this time of year!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day

What a week of concentrated loveliness! Spoiled for my birthday and now Mother's Day. Well done to my husband and children!

I know it's a phone photo of a 1990s photo, and that Mum is talking, but look! It's Mum, me and Granny!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Back in business

It was my birthday last week, a lovely day with family of the regular and church variety. One big surprise was a new MacBook Air, which after several years without a computer of my own at home, is very nice indeed. Now, to polish of my old blogging habit.....

A few weeks ago we piled into the car and drove for seven and a half hours to Coonamble for the weekend. I spent a week or so of every school holidays of my life there, visiting my Dad and everyone on that side of my family. When Dad and Anny moved to Queensland, once I was almost an adult, I went a few times, taking friends, and then I didn't.

I think a combination of irresponsible early adulthood, those years of having babies and small children when you wish neither to travel nor to impose your chaos on others, and simply the stealthy passing of time meant that I only returned to Coonamble for my grandparents' funerals, the last thirteen years ago.

I had the most wonderful time going back for my cousin Edward's wedding. We stayed at Mayfield, an old house on one of my uncle and aunt's properties. Tim and his family were there, too, and it was noisy, sweet fun. All of the seven kids slept on, or just off, the verandah, and being virtually outside meant that they slept beautifully! Tim's twins slept way longer than usual, and all the kids got on so well.

Charlie and Marty went above and beyond, not just making so many beds, but also having us all for dinner on the Friday night, and filling the fridge and pantry with delicious things. What thrilled me most, though, was how wonderful it was to see them all again, to remember why I loved them and to feel part of the family. It was also great to see my cousins all grown up; married and with small children, and to meet their spouses. I always felt a bit on the outside with all of my cousins, because I am the oldest by a long shot, but we're all just adults now.

Just the boys

16 year old girls are not into climbing hay bales.

The wedding was held in my aunt and uncle's garden, which was magical once the sun went down. I do so love fairy lights and lanterns! The bride was beautiful, the groomsmen arrived in noisy utes and wore Akubras, and Tim did a brilliant job taking the wedding.

Dad came down from Cairns (it is a three day drive), and we loved seeing him. It was a great event,  delicious food, plentiful drink, gorgeous surrounds, but for me it was all about seeing my relatives, including Joyce, who was my Mum's best friend at school and the (indirect) reason why I exist and have family in Coonamble!

Dad, Maurny, Tim and me
There was a photo there I had never seen before of my Nanna and Joe Joe on their wedding day; I shed a little tear over that, and all the memories of my childhood in Coonamble. I won't let another thirteen years go by before I return.