After weeks of fannying about, procrastinating, deliberating and a great deal of haggling, we finally bought our first boat today. We live next to the largest inland salt water lake in Australia, and we definitely feel like the odd ones out not being able to scoot around the water on the weekend with a bottle of bubbly and a case full of good grub !
Having borrowed and scrounged turns on friends' boats, we are very much looking forward to returning the favour sometime soon.
Here's some pics of the boat in the showroom, they were taken on my mobile phone camera, so they aren't the best quality.
Yes, it's red...yes it's a speedboat, it sits 7 people, has a cover, trailer, radio, waterproof speakers, anchor, ipod charger and seven drinks holders for the adventurous.
Here's a picture taken directly from Sea Ray's website:
We have finally realized that Australia is not hot all year round and that loads of my woolly jumpers I gave to the charity shops before I left the UK would actually have been worth bringing! The houses are generally built to try to stay cool in the heat but have no ability to keep warm in the cooler weather. The house is about 15-16 degrees most mornings and because of all the tiled floors it feels very chilly. We have all bought slippers, even Mr B (although that is supposed to be a secret!)
What worries me is that it is only Autumn so what is going to happen over the next few months when Winter approaches?! We have already seen kids in buggies wrapped up in scarves and gloves and the supermarkets have got a whole aisle of winter woollies including thermal vests!!!
When we first arrived there were a lot of people who would look at us gasping in the heat of a spring day and would laugh and say "Is it hot enough for you?.....Just you wait, you ain't seen nothing yet....." They would smile with a bit of a evil grin and we would feel like the laugh was on us. We soon learned that if it is stupid hot (40+ degrees) then you just sit inside an air conditioned house, cinema or shopping center and do nothing, no housework, no laundry, no cooking, wait another day till the wind changed and then catch up with life again,
.....and so we survived our first summer.
We were feeling very smug until the same evil grins have been showing up since Autumn arrived and we have been hearing "Is it cool enough for you?.....Just you wait, you ain't seen nothing yet...."
Gareths pre-school asked the Mums to send in a photo to be made into a Mothers Day magnet. It was part of their fundraising, so in he went with a cute photo of himself a good fortnight ahead of the day. I was waiting with baited breath to be given it on Mothers day
......But, no magnet???
Of course I was not supposed to know about it so how can I ask where it is? Maybe Byron was given it to look after? No, he hadn't a clue (what's new!) I searched all the pockets in Gar's pre-school rucksack, still no sign of it. I asked the pre-school this week if they still had it and they searched but no luck. They were very apologetic but said that they had used up all their magnet kit so no chance of a replacement one. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. The only Mum without a magnet of her kid on the fridge. I drowned my sorrows in a bit of well overdue housework and felt more than a little stupid when I found a little gold wrapped shape on the floor of the shoe cupboard.... Yes, the much wanted magnet!
Poor Gareth didn't have a clue what was going on when I gave him this little wrapped up present with its red foil ribbon only to snatch it back immediately! He just looked bemused as I ripped the tissue open and squealed with delight at my overdue gift. Without further delay Gar stuck it on the fridge and sat back down infront of The Wiggles looking puzzled but happy.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to tell the lovely ladies in Pre-school that the magnet turned up....Without admitting my housekeeping skills are not crash-hot!
I think the hinting/nagging paid off....!!!
Mothers day did indeed start early for me this year.
Byron and the girls disapeared mid morning on Sat and came back with lots of lovely flowers for me. Then we had a lovely lunch out in Secret Corner Cafe (this seems to be becoming our local as it is so lovely and just down the road from where we will build our new house)
On Sunday we had an early start off to Sydney. Before we left I managed to get a quick cup of tea in bed and the kids ran in very excited with lumpy parcels wrapped in computer paper and LOTS of sellotape! I got some lovely passionfruit soap, floating candles and a sparkly key ring. Mr B really broke the bank this year with a huge rock........
......Not the diamond variety but a big chunk of rose quartz that has a well for a tea light in it. It looks amazing when the candle is lit.
15 manic minutes later and we were all dressed and in the car heading for Sydney for Bens birthday party. The kids had a ball being entertained by some very enthusiastic childrens sports organisers.
Back to Charles and Sues house for birthday cake and fairy bread (white bread + butter and lots of colourful hundreds and thousands sprinkled on it, the kids love it and it is traditional party food here in Oz.) Had a good discussion with Charles as to its nutritious value, Tried to reason that it might not be too much worse than strawberry jam but then decided we were being ridicuolous- it is obviously awful for them but isn't that what parties are all about!
After Bens party we got a bus into Sydney and went to the National Maritime Museum and the kids had a great time wandering around the Viking exhibition. It was very hands on and the kids (including Mr B) had fun trying on viking helmets. A great afternoons entertainment and free too.
We had a lovely cappucino and blueberry cheesecake overlooking the harbour then headed back to the Queen Victoria Building to catch our bus. Made it to the correct bus stop with about 2 minutes to spare when Byron realized he only had a $50 note. Didn't think the bus driver would be too impressed so made him dash across a busy road into a book shop to by a newspaper and get some change. Watched him run frantically around the shop as the bus was pulling up and shouted at him to hurry up...He came racing back with a bag under his arm, turns out they didn't sell newspapers so he bought me another Mothers Day present......
Lovely! What Mothers day is complete without a tacky gift - At least I didn't get slippers!
Sian and Rhiannon had their school photos taken weeks ago and finally they have arrived home in the school bags! We are used to having school photos taken in the UK where the proofs are sent home about a week later. You get to see if they are pulling funny faces and then decide how many to buy. Here we had to decide in advance how many we wanted and sent the money in before they were even taken. Luckily the girls didn't rearrange their hairstyles or pull daft expressions! Sian is definitely looking more grown up recently and is getting a tan despite the factor 30 sun screen. Rhiannon is looking quiet and shy. Looks can be SO deceiving!!!
It is my brother Joes birthday this weekend. We had our birthday celebration with him when he came up to the lake recently. We all went out for a birthday breakfast to a local cafe and gave him his gifts as we knew we wouldn't be seeing him on his actual birthday. The kids really enjoyed seeing his excitement and reaction to their gifts.
It is the first time they have been able to give him his gifts face to face as normally they have been posted from the UK. Having gone to all that effort to be organised in advance we have now been invited to a friends child's birthday party in Sydney on Sunday morning - Joes birthday!!!
This is also Australian Mothers day so bang goes my lie-in. I have tried asking Mr B if we can bring it forward to the Saturday but he isn't being very accommodating......I better get a great mothers day present to make up!!!
Sian has chosen to do her First Holy Communion this year with many of her class mates in St Josephs. Tonight she had the first of the sacraments - Reconciliation.
It was a really lovely ceremony, relaxed and positive. The kids wore their normal casual clothes. Sian said a prayer at the alter and then made her first confession in a chair in the open. When she was finished the priest gave her a small candle and I helped her to put it in a dish of sand at the foot of the alter.
She really seemed to enjoy herself and we came home afterwards and had a lovely evening with Anne and Kel. We had a homemade passionfruit cake that Sian had helped make earlier and lots of cups of tea and coffee before she couldn't fight sleep any longer. She fell into bed a short while ago and was asleep before her head hit the pillow!
Sian and Rhiannon have been swept up in the latest Oz craft...Scrapbooking!
They get out all their scissors, sequins, glue sticks, coloured paper, photos etc and decorate a 12"x12" page and then slide them into an album that looks very like the old fashioned photo albums from when I was a kid.
They love it and it forms a kind of colourful diary of fun things they have done....
We recently had an afternoon in our house where a few of their friends came around and sat around the table and did a page each. It was a crazy mess of colour but they had a ball and did some beautiful pages. I think we would love to do it again but poor Mr B was locked in his office with his iPod on full volume so it may be some time before we are allowed to set another date.....!
Sian and Rhiannon had their school Athletics carnival today.
They had sack races, cork and spoon, long jump, shot putt (or in Rhiannons case- chuck a bean bag as far as you can!) It was a scorching hot day and we were back and forth to the shade between the events.
Thank God for the ice-cream shop....!
My folks left us with a stack of home made cakes and puddings...bless 'em, and we're making good headway with them all. Bread Pudding, Bara Brith (fruit bread) and good ol' Welsh cakes to boot.
Not to be outdone, Mrs B. did some of her own home-baking. It smells superb, but it's not edible though ... it's kids play dough!
As luck would have it, it also appears to be the 50th Anniversary of Play-Doh this month (originally invented to be a wallpaper cleaner).
Beat that Nan !
Our local library was running a free kids workshop for over 8's where they made puppets out of household rubbish.
Sian and her friend Gemma booked in but Rhiannon and her friend Sophie were too young. We hung around the door to the craft room at the library and Rhiannon and Sophie managed to look as mournful yet "grown-up-for-their-age" as possible until the lovely lady running the workshop took pity on them and let them join in!
They had a lovely time and all made fantastic characters which have been played with enthusiastically since!