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Tag: family (Page 2 of 12)

From far away…

Rescuing himself from the jaws of an impending flight on United Airlines with no personal video screen, a Sydney stopover, no laptop plug and the worst legroom of almost any airline, Small Brother wormed his way on to a Qantas flight that rectified all those complaints and had a spare seat next to him for stretching room. Haven’t seen him since late last June in NYC – though I have had a Skype-tour of his new apartment. As my amazon.com mule, he came bearing bees for Small Z, a few trinkets for M and Pikelet and a car bracket for my iPhone. We installed him in the caravan and he’s already been for a couple of swims…
Flaked out on the slide

Going to the country, regardless.

Once my hip/leg/foot pain improved a little, everything became a bit easier. My mum rivalled M for helping-out points. By Thursday afternoon I figured that if I could sit for an hour at my desk, I could just as easily drive for an hour, so M hitched up the caravan for me and got it all sorted before he went to the boat.

Mum loaded in Small Z for me and waved goodbye, and I drove us, sitting on an ice pack, to Loch. An effort to spend some time up there in the company of Small Brother. Oh, he is here for such a short time, and I am frustrated in fits and starts about my stupid leg and the obvious restrictions that go with having a very attached two-year-old and being an hour or so from the city.

Gahhhhh! I know that this is just a phase of my life that is short compared to the rest of it, and most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but sometimes, being able to put my current existence on pause and say to Small Brother, yeah – I‘ll meet you in the city in an hour, we’ll go there, do that, see a film, play some pool and drink a few expensive stupid drinks…? Well, it would be a thrill. That’s all.

In lieu of that Small Z and I hung out at my dad’s place and spent a bit of time with him that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Toddler wrangling is fairly relentless, but I’m still glad we went along. It was good to be in a different environment and I love Love LOVE getting away on my own in my caravan!! This is not a comment on M, it’s just that I find it a real blast to tool along in the car with the caravan behind me; I feel so Thelma and Louise. I love knowing that if Small Z or I get jack of things, we can pull over and make a cup of tea and kick back. I love my caravan. And truthfully? You don’t see that many females towing caravans, especially ones as cool as mine… [immodest blush]

My home on wheels

I hung with Small Z while she traumatised the goldfish that live in the bath, tried to move a wheelbarrow, ate many cherry tomatos, ran down the back paddock, hunted for late blooming blackberries, poked at tadpoles, ‘drove’ a Humber, and played on a small stepladder in the kitchen under the amused gaze of Small Brother (who took the picture of her and I).

The fish that live in the bath
The fish that live in the bath
Small child. Large wheelbarrow.
The first of many cherry tomatoes

I’ve been pondering on daylight savings for the past few days. Small Z has been out of whack with her going to bed hours for two or three weeks. The end of daylight savings was delayed by around two weeks(?) this year, and I’ve been wondering whether this has impacted on her rhythms. It was interesting that I gave her dinner in the caravan just as the evening light faded (we only had a little torch to see with) and as it got dark, she got sleepy, and was out to it by 7.15pm. This is some kind of record, because recently it’s been 9.15pm and beyond. I was wondering whether, as well as just the clock changes, the exposure to the darkness was also a trigger… [muses]

Oh, and just in case it sounds a little weird to have been whimpering about my soreness two posts ago (and a sensitivity to feeling that I might come across like my Dad, who, despite ridiculous back pain, persists in moving large objects) I have to say that going away with Small Z has been a dream. I’ve told her that I can’t lift her at the moment and that she has to hold my hand instead and she is cool with that. My caravan was wrangled at both ends by men larger than myself, so apart from a bit of extra walking about, going to the country was pretty breezy…


Sunday I stuffed the slow cooker with kangaroo stew, made a cake and stewed some rhubarb. Late in the afternoon She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged, She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged’s partner and Small Brother came over. We drank tea, ate cake and blueberry muffins and then went for a long meandering walk to both show them around and tire out Small Z.

The wind was chilly and Small Z was generally ebullient. We walked along past the marina, the pool, stopped for swinging at the park and then hit the main drag to pick up milk and soda water. Small Z played tigers-in-the-grass and Small Brother stumbled gracefully over an errant shot glass on the pavement. We must have been gone for almost two hours.

A lovely night. The rain was occasionally tumultuous and we had to educate She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged about a possible caravan window leak. Small Brother and I failed at trying to network our computers (Mac/PC). She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged made crumble to top my rhubarb and Small Brother made custard to finish it off. It was a cookery metaphor for our gathering.

Nattered until around 10pm when everyone began to fade, and in the morning we took turns having showers before heading off to reprise our breakfast of a few weeks ago at Merricks General Store. The rain hammered on and off. Small Brother paid for breakfast before anyone could stop him, for which we were all thankful but mildly frustrated.

Head of the table

A wander through Flinders, where we sheltered in the op-shop and kitted out Pikelet for the first three months of its life in a timely half price sale. We visited a gallery in between showers and saw some wild and wondrous teapots as part of the 6th Annual Melbourne Teapot Exhibition. They were lovely. A drive around bits of coast and to show She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged and partner our favourite camping spot…and then it was time to begin driving back to keep an appointment with the parentals in Pearcedale…

Mum had suggested a ‘family meal’ to get us all together in one spot, so we convened for lunch at a cafe near to the boat, so Small Brother could go and monitor its progress. It was good to kick back and not think too hard about when it might happen again. Next time, there will be an extra little tiny person present…

The gathering

I took Small Z home after lunch as she was fading due to nap-lack; M took Small Brother and mum to see the Very Large Catamaran. They were gone a long time, and I assumed they were just whiffling around and waiting for Small Z to wake up. I had put my phone on silent while I had tried unsuccessfully to get her down…and looked at it an hour later to find six missed calls from an unknown number.

Mum’s car had broken down and Small Z and I drove to the rescue with our dazzling personalities and a length of blue rope. The blue rope was sufficient for Small Brother in my 300D to tow mum’s Datsun ZX with M at the wheel back to our house. This had prolonged the day a bit, but in the end mum and Small Brother headed back to her place in my car. I had to endure saying goodbye to Small Brother, which in my pregtastic state was even worse than normal. I continue to feel wrung out…

Meanwhile, the RACV came and diagnosed the Datsun, and then towed it away last night. Small Brother is in town for another day or so, but not near here. New York has never felt more far away.

Two nights of familiarity

We got back today from spending two nights down at my Dad’s place in South Gippsland. Friday and most of Saturday, myself and both siblings were present – that hasn’t happened for a considerable time, and I think Dad was surprised that we got it together to synchronise ourselves, if only for 24 hours.

The Smalls both developed colds while we were there. In fact, Small Z even lost her voice for a few minutes – a startling wash of unexpected silence. It did not go unappreciated. Her appetite was not deterred, and she ate her body weight in raspberries and cream, hazelnuts (fresh roasted off the trees), porridge, chicken, rice… and more raspberries.

Small Z and sunbeams

Dad has a glut of heirloom apples, which kept Small D quite happy. I use my apple corer to make cylinders of apple – the perfect size for her to hold and gum on. They have to be hard apples, or she just chomps them into chunks in about two minutes. Mgs was off kitchen duty, although she still managed to provide dim sims and a puddingy sort of cake that included apple, plum and (I’m guessing) pear – all fruits from the back paddock.

Small Brother, SWWNBB, myself and Small Z hit the Korumburra Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning and then we dragged Small Brother to an op-shop. He lasted about five minutes, which is possibly some kind of record. At the market I bought some beautiful grapes, some leatherwood honey (produced by the family of an old primary school friend – the Wolswinkels) and smoked barramundi and cream cheese dip. It made for a good lunch.

The verandah

Mum had requested photographs of the three siblings together, and…we actually complied. Heaps of photos were taken, which means that there are probably one or two that we might all agree don’t suck too much. I have the freakiest teeth in the family, if she ever was blogged SWWNBB might say that she got the family eyebags, while for some reason, Small Brother suffered neither braces or bags…but did get his ankles chomped in the back wheel of a bike that one of us was dinking him on when he was about three or four. So maybe that’s natural justice…

Dad & Small Brother

Have I mentioned how sublime the weather was last week, all the way through to late Saturday afternoon? Perfect sunny days, about 26 degrees. Each time this happens I feel like it’s the last gasp of a very mild Summer and try to soak it all in, just in case it doesn’t happen again until October or so.

Here’s Small DB and her uncle – who is only here for a few more days, when he heads back to the US and straight to Coachella. I miss him already.

Small Brother and Small DB

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