Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Zoo day

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Life, Random thoughts, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

On Saturday, “Baby Bob” Irwin turned 9 years old. And judging by the crowds of people who were at Australia Zoo on the gorgeous sun-filled day, he had a very happy birthday!
We were there, the three cherubs and I, sunscreened to the max and with full water bottles weighing us down. It was a beautiful day!
I had hoped to follow our family favourite – the 10am otter feeding – with the 10.30 Feed the Elephants session… but I had not realised that they’d moved the Elephant feed to outside their enclosure, all the way on the other side of the zoo. Oops! Oh well. Tea cup rides and time on the Jumping Castle soothed Miss 4’s extreme disappointment, and time in the sandpit near the dinosaur ‘cave’ was in order, prior to feeding the baby farm animals and then the midday Croc show. It being Robert’s birthday, he came and fed a croc, as did Bindi; and Terri tried getting a uncooperative Mossman (the Zoe’s largest Salt-Water Croc) to eat a feral pig. We sat up the back, and got a good view of the birds, with a lizard for company next to Miss 7.
Then it was kangaroo feeding time, pony ride time, and elephant feeding time…

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Extended family visits

Posted: July 27, 2012 in Life
Tags: , ,

(LOL ‘Extended family visits ‘ as in ‘cousins’, ‘uncles’, ‘aunts’ etc, not ‘close family members staying for extended periods of time’!)

So I mentioned on Wednesday that my cousin is coming to stay with me. He arrives later today, and I’m really looking forward to it, seeing as I last laid eyes on him around 32 years ago, when I was 5 and he 7 or 8. He lives in Kent, and is travelling to Oz not to escape the Olympics but because his fiancé has just discovered her father (she’s been looking for him her entire life) and he lives in the Whitsundays. So my cousin, his fiancé, and her two daughters, will be here in just a few hours, and will stay for almost a week with us before heading north for a few more weeks.

Just SOOOO excited!!! (Better go and clean the kitchen, hey!)

One of my Facebook updates yesterday afternoon spoke of how this Easter long weekend has been by far the best I’ve had in years. And I don’t really know why, but then again, I don’t really care why either. I’m just pretty stoked that it was so darn great!
Thursday (yes, I know, Thursday wasn’t part of the weekend, but hey – it’s my story, and I want to start on Thursday, okay?!! LOL) I took the kids to Pioneer Park at Landsborough for the morning. For those of you who don’t know about Pioneer Park, it’s probably the best kids playground (free, outdoor) on the southern half of the Sunshine Coast. It’s fenced (a huge plus for a mum of an escape artist son – apparently quite a few autistic kids are like this!) and its playground equipment is specifically designed as ‘all ability’ ie. those with wheelchairs / specific physical needs can use the equipment too.
But I hadn’t just taken the kids there for something to do; I’d arranged to meet Richard Bruinsma there too. I’d met him a couple of times before, in his role as Media Adviser to Peter Slipper MP, but this was different. This was an appointment with a purpose. And I’m excited to report that Bloxham Marketing has acquired the expertise of a extremely experienced journo (he was several years with Channel Seven prior to working for Mr Slipper) – and I’m ecstatic about that!!!

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday was also awesome. Time with Hubby and the kids at Kings Beach Pool, then Kings Beach itself, playing ‘Where’s my Water’ with all three kids at the same time, church with Miss 4 who wandered up onto the stage while I was playing violin in the worship team, playing in the cubbyhouse with Mr 3, jumping on the trampoline with Miss 7, gardening, more gardening, baking cookies, watching movies, making curtains and yet more gardening, and exploring the worlds of tumblr, paper.li and google plus (again). Oh! And I also created my first ever A4 flyer -in Russian! And organized its printing and collection on Easter weekend (the manager of CCC’s international program was flying out at 3am this morning, and only got the translation of his text back, late Thursday! MASSIVE kudos to John Sherrard-Smith of Middleton’s Printing, Morayfield!) so that was pretty cool too…

All in all, a brilliant weekend. Now it’s back into what will hopefully be an even more brilliant week… Full of appointments that will hopefully get me (and my family) the outcomes that we need…!

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I am a very, very, very blessed person. I live in a free country, and in a very beautiful part of it. I have a wonderful husband and three gorgeous kids. I have a house to protect me from the elements, a vehicle to transport me and my family, a brilliant and fulfilling (although exhausting) job that helps to pay the mortgage and keep food in the fridge, and best of all I have a Saviour who considered me worth dying for.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me so abundantly. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

(Photo taken this morning, at Kings Beach Pool, Caloundra)

Miss 7 brought home a few Easter chicks last week – Easter presents from teachers and friends, craft activities on the last day of school. Her favourite was a tiny pink fluffy thing, which she didn’t want to put away in her bag, but insisted that ‘she needed to be safe in her uniform pocket’.

Unfortunately… tiny pink fluffy chick, safe inside the uniform pocket, didn’t take particularly well to her rendezvous with the washing machine and dryer.

Whoops!!!

(On the up-side, Easter holidays leave more opportunities to visit gorgeous places with our dogs…!)

I mentioned in last night’s post that hubby and two daughters had birthdays in the past week.  So today is party day. Yay – I think! (The rain’s just started, and it looks like it’s setting in.) Wish I’d had more sleep last night, rather than waking up every few hours, having dreamt about (yet more!) ant invasions.

Still, the point of this post is to reminisce the fifth momentous event in my life to date. And that was another celebration – much quieter though. MUCH. Internal, as a matter of fact. That ‘want to jump out of your skin because you can’t contain how happy you feel’ kind of celebration. And the reason? Gaining full-time employment for the first time ever.

From memory, it was January 27, 1996. I was in the Principal’s office in Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia. I had spent the better part of my mental and emotional energies over the past fortnight being concerned that schools were going back. I had been offered the position of Music Coordinator of Mt Isa State High School since finishing my B.Ed a few months earlier, but, being only a few weeks married to a NAB Lending Officer based in Brisbane, had turned it down. So now I had found myself unemployed, with the schools going back. And with nervous energy to burn, had applied for and been given an interview for the position of Music Coordinator at Chisholm, a Term One replacement for Peter Shaw, who was on Long Service Leave.

So I sat in Mike Ashton’s office, explaining who I was and trying to demonstrate how enthusiastic I was to have the opportunity to finally have my ‘own class’, rather than the classes of supervising teachers. I guess it must have worked, because Mike asked me to wait outside while he called my referees. Then he called me back in and offered me the job. I could hardly contain my excitement! I was engaged to start the very next day, and he took me for a quick tour of the school.

I think I may have impressed him that very first day. The students had returned, and he hadn’t yet organised the relief for the Music classes that would start that afternoon. So I offered to take them. To start that day. He agreed, surprised yet probably relieved. And so my first day’s (well, half day’s) work was that same afternoon. What a ride! And what an excellent school! And when I left at the end of Term Three, (a Maths / Science teacher had taken maternity leave in Terms Two and Three, so Mike had rearranged the timetable so the classes were covered internally, and so I could stay there, teaching English and Music classes,) I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career. I learned so much, grew so much, and gained far more than I thought would have been possible. Even now, I’m smiling.

I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit this week. Again, I find myself in the position of being ‘unemployed’, with the schools going back. And again, I find myself with huge amounts of nervous energy to burn. I need a job. No, really, I NEED a job. Know of one I could have?

I love that slogan. It’s just so picturesque. And it’s certainly got me hooked. I want to see it for myself, which is why the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation area (apparently now all just called ‘the Daintree’, to encourage tourism) is number three on the list of four ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’.

And the good bit is – unlike the Kimberley’s, which was number two on the list – it’s (apparently…) accessible by caravan! (Yesterday’s post described how enamoured I am with my caravan, if you missed it.) Although, having travelled that far, up to the Daintree from all the way down here in S.E.Qld, I’d probably want to keep on going and end up right at the northern tip of our country. Just to experience it, and be able to gloat that I’d been. But apparently, taking caravans further north than the Daintree is just foolhardy. Again – a pity. But that’s okay… I’ll get there one day! (Hopefully I have a lot of time left before my death /rapture…)

So I have the caravan, the 4WD, and the road to get all the way to the Daintree. Which means that the only thing holding me back is ‘time’. Cos I have absolutely NO idea on exactly how long it would take to drive that far. And once we got there, how long would we want to spend exploring the area? A week? Two? A month? More? And how about exploring the areas on the way up / the way back? (To date, we’ve ‘seen’ as far as Yeppoon, with the exception of when we flew into Proserpine and bussed to Airlie Beach on the way to the Whitsundays for a pre-kid holiday.)

Which brings me to my dilemma. I’d like to spend at least 3 weeks there, I’d say. Minimum. Plus a week up(-ish?) and about a similar time back. Around 6 weeks or so. Which is tricky to find when hubby only gets 4 weeks off a year. But I’ll manage something, I’m sure. Stay tuned… I’ll blog our adventures one day, I promise! But not tomorrow. No – tomorrow we head overseas again. Destination Number Four, last on my list, promises to be one to fill the senses. Intrigued? Well, have a lovely day and I’ll see you same time, same place, tomorrow!

PS Some more piccies – again, taken by others. Unfortunately.

 

CC Images courtesy:

Daintree rivers
from thiery49

Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the ocean By dirk huijssoon

 

River in the Daintree
from Mozzer

I was one of those kids, growing up in the early eighties, addicted to the Leyland Brothers. What a brilliant show it was! What a sense of adventure it instilled in me, together with the desire to see as much of this wonderful country as I possibly can.

Here I am though, a few decades later, and still barely left Queensland except to do short trips just on the other side of the border. Fartherest south to date? Melbourne. (But that was too cold for me. I’m a sun lover, and probably always will be.)

But all that will change. I’m determined. I am recently the proud owner of a gorgeous, brand-new Montana Hastings caravan, and plan on using it as much as I possibly can to see as much of this extraordinary country as possible! It’s a pretty tiny thing, especially when the three kids are underfoot as was the case just the other week when we were stuck on the ‘island’ of 1770, unable to travel due to the 6+metres of water covering both access roads. (By the way, if you were planning on using the Baffle Creek road any time in the next four months, don’t. It’ll be out for at LEAST that long, they’re saying. The bridge will need complete replacement. Sorry about that, being the bearer of bad news an’ all.) Anyway… back to my caravan…

Yes, I LOVE it. The kids do too. And hubby doesn’t mind it either, which is pretty good seeing as he does all the organising of maintainence, all the driving (to date, anyway! I think he’s a little worried I’ll roll it…) and understands all the ins and outs of the fridge workings and the tuning in of the TV antenna. (Both extremely important, I’ve discovered!) So we’ll be getting away whenever we can, and ‘seeing’ Australia for ourselves.

Well, as much as we can, anyway. Unfortunately, there are a number of places I’d like to take it, but it’s just not going to happen. And today’s post, (which was meant to be the second of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’, but kinda got sidetracked onto ‘my caravan’,) is on one of those places. It’s the Kimberleys, over there in WA. A gorgeous spot, judging by all I’ve heard, but not particularly kind to caravans. Pity. I could spend ages just looking at photos taken from that region of our great land. (Could, but don’t. Too darn busy.) But just looking isn’t going to cut it for me. I want to SEE those places with my own eyes. So once the younger two are out of nappies, I’ll be planning it. Maybe I’ll still be blogging then, and take you all with me in my laptop bag?! LOL!

Til tomorrow, when we meet Destination Three…

Ceridwyn

PS Just thought I’d share some (other people’s) photos that inspire me…

CC Images courtesy:

Kimberley Ranger Forum 2010
from KimberleyLandCouncil

Bell Gorge
from Chip_2904

Hiking through the Bungle Bungles
from David Busch Aus

Palm Spring S32663
from yaruman5

I can’t recall coming across many sarcastic songs. But I think I’ve just realised, at the age of 36, that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which I had always thought of as a beautiful love song, is one such song. Over the past twelve days, I’ve looked at each and every gift, making comment on the meaning behind the gift, and the possible intention of the giver – the so-called ‘True Love’.

Initially, I was impressed at his pragmatism. He gave gifts that showed his understanding of the real world. That relationships need practicality too. The partridge and pear tree, both edible, came before the two turtle doves – symbols of devoted love. Hens and more edible birds followed.

As the days went past, the ‘True Love’s organisational skills impressed me. Not only was he able to source some pretty interesting gifts (geese that always laid, swans known for their singing ability) but he also managed to get a LOT of them. Six geese per day, since Day 6, means (let’s see my maths skills in action again, shall we…) that today we now stand at 42 geese. Seven swans per day since day 7 means 42 of them too. That’s a lot, in my opinion. Finding them, purchasing them and organising them all to arrive on the exact day that they were needed, would have been a task-and-a-half as well, I’d say.

But then the sheer enormity of her household started making more and more of an impression. By Day 8 we were adding people. Milkmaids (with cows, I’m assuming), then ladies dancing, then leaping lords (which again would have been a difficult find!). And finally yesterday, we added musicians. Eleven bagpipers would certainly add to the cacophony.

All of which led to my change in opinion. From incredulity, to suspicion. (Okay, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, I’ll admit it. Took me til Day 11.) With that much noise, I’m now of the opinion that his intentions may actually have been the opposite of what I had originally thought. I’m starting to think that he may not have been particularly fond of the singer – rather, he wanted to give her a mental breakdown. My proof? Circumstantial, I admit it, but still. Today’s gift is drummers. Twelve of them. All drumming. What’s the bet that they don’t just perform one song?! So by now, we have… 12 drummers, 22 bagpipers, 30 lords flirting with 27 dancing ladies and 40 milkmaids (and I’m guessing, at LEAST 40 cows), 42 swans, 42 geese, 40 pheasants, 36 blackbirds, 30 hens, 22 turtle doves, 12 partridges and 12 pear trees (well… at least they’re quiet!)

Now I don’t know about you, but that to me sounds as though he has had a bit of an agenda, and disguised it with supposed kindness. Sneaky. Underhanded. Not the nicest person you’d want to be your ‘True Love’. So all in all, I’m left feeling rather disappointed. I hadn’t expected that this process would end up as a bit of a downer. Sorry, folks.

On a happier note though, I must admit that I’m very glad I joined in this #blog12daysxmas challenge. I had expected it to be a more difficult task, blogging each day, than it was. Maybe it was easier due to holidays, or something, but now that I’ve started, I’ve decided to continue blogging. And I like the idea of using a ‘list’ on which to structure my writing. @haikugirlOz gave me the idea, actually, tweeting about Wilsons Promenade – a place I’d love to go to, but haven’t. (Yet!) So that’s my plan. Starting tomorrow, I’ll work through the Top 4 places I’d like to visit one day, and why. Stand tuned for Ancient Rome, this time tomorrow! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers!!!

By now, there would be a lot of birds at the singer’s house. Just a quick tally tells us that there would be: 9 partridges, 16 turtle doves, 21 hens, 24 colly birds, 25 pheasants, 25 geese and 21 swans. There would also be at least one cow (although it’s more likely that there would be AT LEAST eight of them!) and eight milkmaids. So – to today’s gift. Let’s just add nine ladies, shall we? And yes, they’ll probably have to dance just to get around all the others! (Although that’s not entirely true. The 21 swans should be in the lake, you’d think. The requirement was that they be excellent swimmers…) And perhaps that’s why the lords coming tomorrow need to be skilled in leaping?! Hehe! Still, it’s an interesting household to ponder.

Speaking of pondering, I’m going to continue this thought with my head on my pillow. It’s been a long one today, and I’m exhausted. Sunburnt too, which makes it more pronounced, I think. Sorry it’s a short one today, dear readers.

See you tomorrow!