And then there was fire

I’ve never slept in a camper trailer before and apart from having to negotiate a smallish ladder it was a good experience even with the occasional rain during the night.

We were awoken the next morning by one of the kids banging on a drum – it was Anzac Day after all – but we lay in bed for a while even though we were awake. We could hear the kids running around and knew that they’d be having a great time.

Sunday was spent relaxing, and getting the ingredients together for a huge bonfire. The big boys went surfing and the rest of us went to the beach. It wasn’t really a swimming beach so even though I was wearing bathers I didn’t go in. Later on we also had another sand dunes session. It’s very good exercise and works wonders wearing the kids out.

I love the swirling smoke in the picture below not long after the bonfire was lit. Unfortunately all the marshmallows had been used up the night before.

Watching the bonfire

I could just sit there and watch a bonfire for ages. It didn’t take long before we all moved in a bit closer after it died down a bit.

Bonfire

Before we knew it Monday morning rolled around and we had to pack up and drive home. Our lovely host took the kids off to the sand dunes again while we packed up – bless him.

Kids in the trailer

Fortunately the drive home was much more pleasant and quiet as the kids were pretty exhausted. They even slept for a while which was just blissful for us.

Well we survived our first trip away and he’s joining myself and JJ for our trip to Bali in June which is very exciting.

Any Bali travel tips are gratefully accepted.

Nothing like a bit of sand

So the drive over was a bit stressful I think mainly due to my son not listening to us when we asked him to be quiet or stop doing something. After our stop about halfway we made another two stops, one toilet and one food before we reached our destination, got out the car and breathed a big sigh of relief before opening a well-deserved bottle of beer.

Also the kids took off to explore and there was certainly plenty of room for them to play in.

The house in the photo below that has the white roof in the distance is where we were based.

We setup camp and organised where everyone would be sleeping. We had a camper trailer and presumed all the kids would be sleeping there with us but it turned out the boys got a caravan and the girls got the house (there were other kids there) and we got the camper trailer to ourselves. It just meant we got some more privacy and a few more minutes sleep in.

Before it got dark we set off to the sand dunes nearby with boogie boards in hand to slide down the hills.

The first hill to climb was the steepest and therefore the hardest requiring hands and feet to climb up.

Climbing the first hill

But it was more smooth sailing after that.

And even though it was a bit cold, windy and even a bit of rain, it was just beautiful up there.

Rainbow

This is about the only photo of me that my camera took below. When I wasn’t taking photos I had it stuffed down my top because of the wind/sand factor. My camera probably needs a good clean now.

Shadow

After the sand dunes we organised dinner and then it was time to sit around the fire and relax. The boys took themselves off to bed probably because they were really tired and because they had the caravan to themselves.

That left the adults sitting around the fire having a few drinks and a really good laugh. I love a campfire.

We had an even bigger fire the next night.

First trip away

So when you’re in a new relationship I think a big test is the first trip away together. Ours was on the weekend and to compound it we had his two kids and my one. I was a bit nervous – not because of him and me, but because of the childrens’ dynamics. They have met before but haven’t been locked up in close proximity for four or more hours before.

The kids were niggly with each other. Things like don’t touch me, leave me alone, don’t do that – don’t do that – DON”T DO THAT!. The last bit was mainly directed at my son who has a habit of not getting it the first time.

Ardrossan quarry

We stopped about halfway the first time at a lookout to stretch our legs and to have a look at the view. I’ve driven past here many many times and never gone up to this lookout so it was good to finally do it.

The long blue strips you can see in the foreground are lots of covered grain that doesn’t fit into the silos. They’re waiting for ships to come and load them up and take them away to whereever they go.

Looking towards Ardrossan

The driver is grinning and bearing it – I think!

Ardrossan quarry lookout

The lookout is a meeting spot and a graffiti spot. As we were there, a couple of cars arrived to join the couple already there and a little party was starting.

Ardrossan quarry lookout graffiti

We stopped for about 15 minutes before loading back into the car and heading on our way.

Ardrossan quarry lookout

More to come.

One night away, three babysitters

Melbourne skyline from Richmond

On Monday morning I caught the red-eye flight to Melbourne. This meant waking up at 4.20am to be at the airport for 5.30am. I had to be there for two days of work so it wasn’t a trip I could take JJ on.

I feel a bit resentful that I had to organise childcare for work when I could be using it for my social life – I feel I’ve only so many babysitting brownie points.

Because I had to leave so early on Monday morning JJ stayed at my sister’s on Sunday night. For some reason I can’t fathom she didn’t want to stay at my place and be woken up so early.

Unfortunately I felt quite seedy on Sunday morning due to some over-indulgence on Saturday evening, but came good by Sunday afternoon. Fortunately this allowed me to be super organised for Monday morning. I had myself packed for my one night and two days away and I had JJ organised for one night away and his Monday lunch packed and a list written and some things packed for his Tuesday lunch.

A good friend picked JJ up from school on Monday afternoon and brought him home, gave him dinner etc and got him ready for school on Tuesday morning.

As neither my sister or my good friend could pick him up from school on Tuesday I organised another friend to pick JJ up from school on Tuesday until I got home later that evening.

I didn’t sleep very well on Monday night because I had to turn the room’s air conditioner on and it was loud and I don’t think it worked very well as the room was quite stuffy. I don’t like sleeping in a stuffy room. I would wake up, roll over and then go back to sleep.

Between meetings over the two days my colleague and I managed to go shopping. She’s into shopping even more than I am and did very well. I did quite well too. We managed a quick visit to the Spencer Street DFO late Monday afternoon and between meetings on Tuesday we were on Clarendon Street in South Melbourne. I bought a ring, a scarf, a top, a worry doll for my son and a little cloth handbag.

I felt like a bit of an idiot after I’d asked the taxi driver what the building below was as it looks so obvious from here. This photo was taken a block away from Bridge Road in Richmond but unfortunately didn’t have time to go shopping there.

Melbourne soccer stadium

I think overall the trip was fruitful and I spent much of today going through my emails from the last couple of days and typing up notes I took from people we visited. I also went into work late.

Six years ago

Six years ago I started blogging. I admit it’s dropped off a bit recently but if you read my last post you might get a glimpse as to why. I know what I’d rather be doing!

If you read my last post and have any questions about what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months then feel free to ask.

We also have mum and dad’s dog, Connie staying with us. She’s very cute.

Jules holding Connie

New adventures

julesasleep

Last weekend JJ went to his first Scouts camp. He wasn’t really keen on going but I was pretty sure that he would absolutely love it. We organised all his belongings and labelled everything and packed it all. It was a gorgeous setting where they went, the scout leader’s wife’s family vineyard in the Barossa Valley.

He’d had a late night the night before so fell asleep in the car on the way there. It was a one and a half hour drive from our house through the northern suburbs where I hardly ever go. I’m used to driving down south all the time and the distance doesn’t bother me but with unfamiliar territory it seems to take so much longer.

I hung around for a while with him, put his stuff in the tent where he would be sleeping with five other boys. I thought about him constantly over the weekend and wondered how he was doing.

I managed to keep busy. I had a two hour drive back to my boyfriend’s house. Have I mentioned that I’ve been seeing someone? No, I don’t think I have. Kept that quiet didn’t I? It’s the same guy that I had a bit of a thing with late last year but didn’t continue with because he wanted to be friends. He’s come to his senses and now we’re ‘seeing each other’ (for two and a half months now), and it’s great.

But this isn’t about him, or me. It’s about JJ and his first scouting adventure.

I drove back to pick him up on Sunday and had to practically drag him away. They had a great time hiking, riding a motorised jeep thing (can’t think of the proper name), doing archery which JJ absolutely loved. They even had to help with the cooking so last night as I started peeling my potatoes for dinner, JJ asked if he could do some. I let him do one and then he cut up most of them under my supervision. He said he really enjoys it. Guess what his new job now is.

He fell asleep again on the way home and the photo above is from on the way home. We unpacked his stuff, I realised that his shoes were missing, the one thing I didn’t label! I made the mistake of giving him a haircut. Don’t give a boy a haircut when he’s tired that’s all I will say. He was in bed at 7pm, and not long asleep after that and I wasn’t too far behind him.

Relaxing dentist?

About four weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and get my first crown (teeth). I’d been putting it off because it’s an expensive exercise and I don’t fancy having anaesthetic in my mouth. I have got some medical cover which covers dental work but I only get a quarter of it back which is the fodder for another post altogether.

I left work early on the Thursday before Easter and walked to the dentist about half an hour away from work. As I was nearly there it was a bit early and I noticed a man walking ahead of me. I thought he looked suspiciously like my dentist and I didn’t want to fell obliged to talk to him so I ducked into the Botanic Gardens to avoid him and to kill the 15 minutes I had before my appointment.

I found an area of the gardens near the Wine Centre that I hadn’t visited before and saw a lot of Sturt Desert Peas.

Sturt desert pea

Now that I carry my little camera with me it was just a simple matter of taking it out my bag and trying the super macro setting. I like it.

Sturt desert pea

I didn’t just focus on these beautiful flowers. There were other interesting things as well.

I just took this one without looking through the viewfinder and I like how it turned out.

After spending about 15 minutes looking around and taking some photos I walked to the dentist nice and relaxed.

In other news, remember how I took some photos at a three year old’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago? Well I’ve been invited to his twin sisters’ one year old birthday party to take photos and I’m being paid for it this time. I didn’t quite know what to charge but I’m happy with what I’ve quoted and they’ve accepted.