Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 5: Oíche Shamhna!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 4: San Fhómhar

In the Autumn.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 3: Faoin Bhfearthainn

In the rain.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 2: Seomra a bhfuil radharc uaidh.

Room with a view.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 1: San eitleán

On the Plane

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bon voyage

I am at Sydney Airport and about to board a flight to my family in
Ireland. This is a solo visit and is the first time I will have been
separated from Byron and the kids for so many days and nights.

Just over a week seems such a short amount of time to travel to try to
offer help and support to my parents at a time that they need it
greatly. And yet it is such a long amount of time to be away from my
kids and Byron.

I have left lists everywhere, a full fridge and freezer and
instructions on what to eat, what to wear, where to be and what to do!
Poor Byron has been very tolerant.

And so I wave goodbye to my Australian identity and put on the hat of
daughter and sister and prepare myself for what will probably be a
very emotional reunion. I have plans to do as much as I can in my week
in Ireland to help them.

I seem to always volunteer to clean out and sort the fridge every trip
home. I think it probably started once when I was rummaging around
looking for chocolate and got caught and pretended to be cleaning it

My sister has also suggested I might want to help her scrub out the
oven in her house (?) This has led to googling 101 ways to clean your
oven and many funny emails and suggestions between us.

As I sit here in the airport waiting to board my plane I am thinking
about which box to tick on my green departure form? I can't see "Clean
Carries Oven" anywhere on it? Can you?!

The flight has been called. Everyone is standing and joining the
queue. It's time for me to say goodbye. Hot tears are filling my eyes
and I'm furiously blinking them back.

9 days and I will be home again. Home to hugs and kisses and with a
head full of wonderful memories that are still waiting to be made...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Parking Down Under

I know everything here in Australia is different to where I was born in Ireland. The seasons are back to front and day is night and night is day. I know it is technically "Down Under" but even I can't work out where I'm supposed to put the car at this local cross roads?!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Morning tea is served!

Even on the weekends Mr B is often found with his laptop tapping away on the keyboard, juggling extra work and trying to generate extra income for our family. I know he is a genius and I often tell him how underpaid and amazingly talented he is! If I look over his shoulder it's all just lines of numbers and letters that mean nothing to me. Even though I know he needs to put in these hours I still sometimes want to steal him away from his laptop and have his undivided attention. The best way to do this in my experience is to head into the kitchen and emerge an hour later with something warm and sweet smelling. After all...
"The way to a man's heart is through his stomach!" 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Sian made this bird-house in woodwork class in school. 
I am ashamed to say that it has taken me two whole years to find a home for it outside and not sitting on top of the garage fridge! 
I wonder if we may have missed the boat on finding tenants for this spring but hopefully someone will move in soon...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul (Not)

What do you get when you mix a beautiful (fenced off) veggie garden...
with an escaping chicken...

A very cross Gina who has one less thing on her To-Do list

"Thin out the veggie seedlings"


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Escapism

If you are living in the Newcastle area and looking for something to do on the weekend there are some lovely places to explore around the Hunter Valley. We have a few favourite vineyards and gift shops that we love to visit if we have a quiet weekend day. Byron is always more than happy to find somewhere to sit back and chill out especially if he has a coffee in his hand! 

This photo that I snapped in "The Hunter Barn" over the recent school holidays sums up everything I love about my life right here and now at this point in time. Happy kids, old enough to be past the baby stage etc but young enough to still be content to spend weekend time with us (as long as we are paying for the bags of lollies!). A relaxed Byron, taking a break from the multiple computing jobs he seems to be juggling at the moment. Me with camera in one hand and chocolate in the other momentarily allowing myself to enjoy the moment instead of worrying about health issues of loved ones overseas. I think it is so important for us all to re-charge our batteries with some time-out and laughter no matter what burdens we carry quietly in the background. 

If I could freeze a moment in time I think this would be it. I'm feeling pretty blessed at the moment.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rugby Awards night 2012

There was an end of season Senior Awards night at the Roos rugby club recently. As we are only involved with the junior club we didn't plan to go. We got a phone call only a couple of days before asking if we were attending. Byron explained we weren't planning on going. He was told he should be going and I should be there too, after politely refusing a couple more times the messenger blurted out "You have to come, you are both getting an award!" 

And so we found ourselves dressing up, making last minute child-care arrangements and attending. We came home laden down with whiskey, roses and the biggest box of chocolates I have ever seen in my life! 

I know Byron worked hard this year to get The Roos a strong on-line presence, creating an iphone App for them as well as a Facebook page, Twitter account and overseeing the new website. But I'm at a loss as to what I did to deserve such generosity. Please excuse me as I take a break to think about it while I eat my way through a lifetime supply of chocolates. 

I might be some time...!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rainbow garden

I am enjoying the start of this years veggie garden.
Carrots, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, cucumbers, lettuce, basil, coriander, chives and mint.
Roll on the coming weeks so we can harvest and have some great salads.
In the meantime I am enjoying the peace in the evenings as I take a few minutes out of the busy pre-dinner chaos to water this little corner of the garden that is mine.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Betty the escaping chicken

Betty is our cheeky chicken. She has managed to defy every single attempt at keeping her in a contained area of the garden. We have put a low black fence around the trampoline and chicken coop giving a very generous area for the two chickens to roam free. Wilma seems happy with this arrangement but Betty wants to explore further a field than her mild mannered feathered friend.

We have tied black cable ties to the top of the fence to put her off balancing on the fence as she prepares to hop down to the grass on the other side. Fail. 

We increased the height of the fence by adding some flimsy gutter guard, again hoping to make an unsteady landing place. Fail. 

We have clipped her flight feathers. Fail. 

We have meticulously lifted her and put her back on her side each time she gets out hoping to "teach her" like you would a young child. Fail. 

We had accepted that she is an explorer and eventually gets back over and returns to her nesting box at night and we were ok with that... Until the day she escaped the back yard completely. With dogs in neighbouring yards we thought she had met a messy end but luckily found her busy exploring in some long grass nearby. 

At 7am the following morning a neighbour found her inquisitively watching a big barking guard dog from the safety of the street side of his fence. She was rounded up and returned to us where she promptly hopped from grass to decking to spa-lid to top of fence post and out again! 

We have managed to add some trellis to the fence top to make life tricky for her but something tells me this is the view of Betty we are likely to be seeing over the coming weeks!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Wrap up of School holidays.

It's been a fun school holidays. Each day we seem to have done something but the two weeks passed in a blur and each day has melted into another in my head. I had lots of good intentions to blog my way through the activities but the backlog is too great and so I will just try to go through my phone and let the pictures jog my memory and do some random blog posts over the coming days!

I am also looking forward to catching up on reading and commenting on friends blogs. I am having trouble with my phone allowing me to write comments as I read blog a good post but then frustratingly "lose" them as I press the publish button. I'm hoping now the kids are back in school and I can actually get some time in front of our family computer that things can fall back into some kind of normality.

Watch this space to see if my better intentions actually become reality!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Egg Head!

In school recently Rhiannon was asked to do some interesting science homework. She had to participate in an experiment trying to drop an egg from a height without breaking it. It was supposed to represent a human head wearing a bike helmet being hit in a crash.

She had to try creating a protective casing for her egg at home and then bring it into school to throw off a balcony during science class. There were a few failed ideas until we struck gold with this one...

Here's the home session in progress!

I'm delighted to tell you that Rhiannons egg survived the "accident"