Sunday, January 27, 2008

Holiday at The Prom

We have been away camping... guess where....our favourite place ....(in Australia she hastily adds)... THE PROM. (See December 26th entry for more scintillating reading about such).
We were only away for a week but it felt like months. Just the kind of thing you dream of when you're in Norfolk looking out the window at the rain and thinking "When was the last time I went outside?" We spent whole days at the beach....Whole days to do the cross word. We got dirtier and dirtier without really caring. We saw a movie at the outdoor cinema where the wombat comes bumping along underneath the seats picking up the uneaten popcorn. We walked and ate and walked and ate. There was much Yarnuff played with new recruits coming up through the ranks... I didn't take a watch and had no idea what the time was most of the time. The sea matched my trousers (or pants as they're called here). We saw Kangaroos and snakes and were bitten by March flies (who don't seem to limit themselves to March only). I realised that my family has been going there for 40 years, even longer if you count my Uncle who used to go there more than 50 years ago when you had to drive in along the beach. It is really a slice of Paradise. Thank God for there being such places on the Earth and for us having a bit of time and money to visit them.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Ozzy birthday

It's Tessies birthday and Brondy's too....fancy that, two amazing girls on the same day.

Happy birthday girls.

(Wanna leave them a little birthday wish in the comments section?)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mardi & Macgregor

Because I live in 2 countries in my heart, I often find myself comparing Australia to England and vice versa.

The first question people ask me in the UK when they learn I'm from Australia, is "What do you think of the weather here?". The second is "Don't you miss Australia?". I always answer that the first year I lived in the 'Old Dart' in 2004 it was sunny for 4 non stop months and my niece Amy got the best tan she'd ever had. The answer to the second question is that I don't miss the place, I miss people.

Staying out at Eltham with my Big Sis and her family has gradually refuelled me with a sense of belonging to my tribe. Yesterday filled up the reservoir of joy to the brink....we went to visit Mardi & Macgregor, two very dear friends of mine. I've known Macgregor since he was 15 and Mard for about 10 years. When they got together about 3 or 4 years ago, I couldn't contain my pleasure that two of my best buddies had found each other. They ring the best out of life with a huge love for each other and their new mixed family. Macgreg is a marvelous combination of Cowboy and Soul searcher that is epitomised by his zebra striped Ford F 100 truck with a small statue of Budha on the dash board.

We visited them at Main Ridge, a sensational spot that is close by two bays of Victoria's coast, Port Phillip Bay and Westernport Bay. A huge tree had come down on a nearby property and Macgreg thought he'd go & pick it up for firewood for next winter. What fun bouncing along on the tailgate swapping rude stories with Mard and laughing fit to burst.They took us walking in the nearby National Park where there is a huge population of Xantheria, the most amazing Grass trees that take hundreds of years to grow. Here's Mard with a fine example...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too darn hot

I said before that I wouldn't complain even if it was really hot here..... but OH MY GOD it's been hotter than I've ever experienced in my life before. 41 degrees feels like you've just opened a fan forced oven to put some biscuits in but you can't just close the door and walk away.
Poor Richard has been working, putting in a new deck, for our darling friend Gwen Ford all through the heat. I don't know how he does it. Lucky he's 12 years older than me....if we were the same age, I'd never ever keep up with his enthusiasm.
I took these photos of Gwen's beautiful garden where he is working. She has a B & B just up the road from where we are staying here in Eltham, Victoria, Australia, and I'm hereby putting in a shameless plug for it.
It's called the Eltham Garden retreat. You can't hear the cicadas buzzing loudly here and you can't smell the intense eucalyptus smell but you can imagine the peace that surrounds this place even on the hottest of days.
This is the lovely path that we had to tread endlessly to carry the wood up to the area where Ricardo is rebuilding the deck. A beautiful place to work you must admit.
Here's a photo of him after his hard days yakka.
Here too for your enjoyment is a not too bad one of me goofing off with my niece Lena at the nearby shopping centre where they have a donut king...... I've never tried blue ones before.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Botticelli bums

I promised Ricardo before we left the UK that I wouldn't complain about the heat no matter how hot it got....boy it's really been tested, and yes I'm afraid I have complained.
We went to the beach on the hottest day of the hottest year on New Years Eve, it ended up getting to 41 degrees (which is 105.8 Fahrenheit). Too hot to even think about walking across the sand to get in the water until about 5.30 pm. Even then you had to run before you got blisters.
We did have the most amazing New years Eve though.
Every year for the last 41 years the Macleans have had a party at a place called Shoreham. I've never managed to go but this year we made it. It exceeded all expectations.........
you had to walk through a painted canvas of a gypsy caravan to enter the party. Once inside there was a bower of fairy lights leading to a cleared area with a chandelier made of black irrrigation pipe, a mirror ball, a pine tree, paper lanterns and a myriad of flashing silver bulbs, it must have been 20 feet across.
Two tables had been set up outside that must have been 10 feet long and 4 inch thick Douglas fir slapped together for the night. People were right into it, so keen to have a good time. Here's a picture of Rebecca's bum wiggling to the beat of the Gypsy band that played for hours.
Speaking of Bums here is a grand pic of my buddy Jase showing us his best asset.
Ricardo got to sing along with his buddy George Washingmachine.
What better way to spend New years Eve than singing in a heatwave. Not a tropical one but I bring you the Shoreham sisters.