Where have we been on our latest trip ?? Feels like everywhere, man. It isn't. We hardly scratched the surface of this amazing continent.

However, we did travel 5778 kilometres, down to Adelaide and back, PHEW !! But, as Malkie says, we could have done those kms and more, and stayed in Qld. Puts the country in perspective, doesn't it?  (Western Qld next year, please Malkie)

                        red to go green to come back

GREEN line is the trip down. Goondiwindi, Moree, Parkes, Dubbo, Hay, Mildura, Strathalbyn, across to Adelaide. Took 4 days.

 Malkie just drives - sets the car to go, and just drives. Such stamina - he doesn't seem to even get tired. Bright and bushy tailed and fresh with each new day, raring to go - and drives all day. Loves it. Gets a tad anxious if I take over (can't imagine why!!) so I leave him to it. 

Me - I sit beside him. I groan. I wriggle. I squirm. I crochet (granny squares- easy in the car). I whinge. I buy chocolate when I can't cope any longer.I photograph everything and anything. Some of it I enjoy. Eventually I get addicted (approx day 2), and can't wait for the new day, new towns, new sights, and all to come.

Got to Adelaide, had conference (S.A.railways of course), came back.

RED is the trek home.Via Port Broughton, Burra, Swan Hill, Bendigo, Melbourne, then back thru Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury, up through Snowies, back down to Canberra, Sydney, and up the New England to home. Took a lot longer than 4 days, and we had the BEST time, visiting friends along the way.

Back home, and we have crashed this week. But our memories are still with us. And some part of me still wakes up in the morning and thinks - wonder where we go today ???? Addiction to travel - pick me everytime.

That will do for this post, but I plan to write a bit more about the small towns, and some bigger ones, that we spent time in. That will be in the next post.

 

 

 

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                    " Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
                            Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
                            Brown paper packages tied up with strings
                            These are a few of my favorite things"

My favourites are the treasures I live with.  Each one has a story.  Each one is a special memory. And it is a privilege to have such treasures,  they evoke the richness of this life I am loving - the people, the places, the delights, even sometimes the "not so pleasant" memories are of value as lessons hopefully learned.

SO, these are only some of my treasures.

                               flowers

Flowers. When I have flowers in the house, I have brought sunshine inside. Popped in a white jug, they give me an instant smile. 

These cost 4.95 at my favourite green grocers, bargain. Most weeks I look at the flowers for sale, and go tsk tsk - too expensive, cause even a small bunch costs approx. 22.00. That makes these a special bargain. Maybe no one else likes pink snapdragons - their loss, my gain.

                     harold 2

Harold, my giant hippo. I carried him through customs on the way home from South Africa - he didn't seem to mind. Quite enjoyed being carried, even if I did groan about how heavy he was. He now lords it over our dining room like the magnificent beast he is. We had stopped at a roadside market somewhere in the wilds of S.A., and Harold signalled to "pick me, pick me" so I did.

                         chair 3 best

My favourite chair. From India. No, I didn't carry it through customs - it came on a big boat. Love the solidity of it, love the look and the feel of such a piece of wood. Which reminds me - is ready for a refresher coat of marine varnish - Malkie has suggested, and he is right. My favourite chameleon cushion as well - on sale at Pottery Barn in Atlanta.

                       grandma              grandma 2 

My Navajo Indian Grandmother - like me she has 2 grandies, so she is also twice blessed. Found her in Silverton, a town way up in the Rockies. She was sold to us by an Indian woman, who had the most gentle demeanour. She was so sweetly calm and beautiful, I could have brought her home as well.      

                     lights                

              Small lights, popped in a bowl. Nothing special, just cheerful and bright.

                    julie bowl this one

Lovely lovely craggy wooden bowl, thank you, Julie. (was a wedding pressie).You have such good taste. I can only imagine the lovely big old craggy tree it comes from. Nothing else looks and feels as good as wood i.e., unless it's pottery. 

                       norway

And the pottery comes from Norway. We were staying with the potter who made these, at Homlagarden.The pottery stands on top of a hill, and looks out over Hardanger Fjord.  Somehow,for me, Bjorn seems to have captured the magnificence of the landscape right into this pottery. Quite tall candlesticks, they are, but I had to get them home somehow.

                         soweto girls choir 

Soweto girls choir. Carved beautifully on the top, rough and craggy base,  love them all. Aren't the faces serene and beautiful ??  Yet another roadside market find from somewhere in South Africa. The little guy who was making them was SO proud of his work - and rightfully so. This treasure I could meditate on, every time I look at the girls I see more to ponder at and wonder about.

                                   crow

"Crow in Boots"  He captures our imagination, something about him is just great. Maybe he should be part of a bird detective series, and he is the anti - hero that always gets the bird baddy. Maybe he would be the hero of a  birdie cartoon series. Maybe he could be the baddie in a story about crows. Any suggestions ?? 

                             bowl better 2

The biggest and best salad bowl ever. If I make you a salad in this one, you better eat it !! Tripping around W.A., saw a sign for woodworker - headed off down and around and over an awful old dirt track, thinking all the time, what if his stuff is hopeless - instead we found this wonderful great bowl. And well priced. Bargain. Worth every bump in the road. Another lovely guy, horde of children, and the sort of unusual craggy wood you have to touch - and touch again.

                              art abor

Rather stunning Aboriginal Art. Found this at the Goulburn library where we had gone to see Hairy Macleary exhibition. This one I ponder about and feel an overwhelming, gut wrenching sadness. The prisoners at the correctional centre nearby are encouraged to paint. This piece comes from them. They don't get many to sell, but what they do get are precious. When we first saw it, we thought of a river running through - but now as I look at it and dream over it I am seeing more and more. And I have to hope the guy who painted this has some hopes for the future, hate that he is locked up away from his culture - but if I go further there I will cry for the waste and the hopelessness of his plight. I can only say a prayer for him.

OK OK enough !! I could keep going - love my home, love my memories - but then this story would get tedious. My treasures don't own me. They just expand me, so that my home is now the portal for the adventures and pleasures of  our travels. I have so many more stories in my head, like the leather fish I foumd somewhere in China, or the driftwood cone I made from our 8 week trip in a campervan - but those can be for a later post.

 

PLEASE PLEASE tell me about your treasures and memories - you all have them, tell me about some of them ?? Would love to hear from you all. Jeanette xxxx

Do it now !!  NOW !!

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It was also Pops birthday. Where could we go for a 93rd birthday celebration, and a goodbye, thanks for coming, celebration - Summit Restaurant at Mt Cootha, of course.

         family

That meant we could line up in the wind like a row of dorks and have a piccy taken before eating. From the left, Georgia, (plus scar on her leg from touch footy), Jonathan, Ellen, Pops (93, amazing), Jeanette, Malcolm, Bel and Dave - the mad Welshies.(Noni couldn't make it from Ipswich) Well fed bunch aren't we ?? However, I have to blame the wind - ballooned everything out to the max., including our hair.

The Summit is a restaurant I have used over the years for various celebrations. The setting is always superb - you come up the mountain, and invariably gasp at the top - Brisbane looks vast and green and leafy and SO interesting from there. Spread out over the plain, right to the water - looks like a city worth getting to know (and it is !!)

                    brissie 

                           Can you see the Brisbane wheel - looks amazing.

Now to the serious business of eating. The Summit offers an interesting early bird menu, 39.95 for 3 courses, and the meals are a tad smaller than the a la carte menu. Let me tell you, the size of my portions were just right. Not too big, not too small, just right. And the food was excellent.

              being naughty

The birthday boy, John, with his niece, Beryl. Notice they are laughing, and Bel is gesticulating wildly -modesty forbids that I go further !!

             moon      

Then the moon came up. Was a giant moon. The Jenkinses tell me it was the closest to Earth it has been for years. A giant, glowing, shining,totally gorgeous moon. 

             moon 2

         And it kept rising !! Marvellous entertainment the Summit has organised for us.

And the food - did I say it was yummy ? It was.

              hangaroo

             Malkie had the kangaroo pie, with sweet potato chips. Yum.

         bel with dessert

Bel had the dessert tasting plate. You get a stack of cakes and patisseries (to die for). She didn't eat the plate as well, even though it looks very likely.

 

As I said, this was a farewell to Bel and Dave. A few days later they climbed up on the BIG bird and flew back to Wales. 

3 mths they were here, and in that time they flew to Cairns for a few days, 2 weeks in Canberra, and 2 weeks in Sydney - so they saw a lot of Oz. NZ as well,for 3 weeks, to watch their Grandie, Ethan, play Rugby in the Under 19 Rugby World Cup. I think our Bel has a plethora of memories and pictures to take home with her to the green, green hills of Wales.  

Goodbye, Bel and Dave, till we see you again. xxxx

 

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Read right through this recipe before cooking. If any of the ingredients are missing, go BACK to your maker and supplier and request it. Then you may begin cooking.

1. Take a good dollop of excellent genetic material from the right parents.

        family 6

        Check out the grandparents too - and the cousins - one can't be too careful with this mixture. (Connette and Nick on the left, with Lachlan and Zach, Melissa and Dick Gayle,(grandparents) Christine and Frank (sister and brother in law), Henry and Frank (cousins).   

2. Season well with a HUGE dose of unconditional love. The bigger the better -

       love mixture

        This ingredient is crucial. If you haven't got it ready - don't bother cooking. (clockwise,Nick with Zach, Connette with Zach,at the dogpark, and Lachlan with Mom and Dad after school concert)

3. Add piquancy to the mix by giving the boys room to sleep calmly and comfortably.

       zacnh mixture

Zachie's room is a lovely soft grey, with extra-white trims, and he sleeps in a Thomas the tank engine bed.

       lachlan mix

 Lights out at no later than 7.00pm - Oh well, alright, 7.30 or maybe even 8.00pm !! 

4. Stir well, then add pets to the mix.

            pets 2 

Learning to be kind with their pets is SO good for the consistency of the mixture, even though Mum and Dad will do most of the work. (suck it up, parents) A pair of cats and a dog should allow the mixture to bubble up nicely.

5. Add in the amazing flavours of sporting activities - works excellently with all mixtures.

            soccer

             Soccer is the game of choice for lachlan.

               mini golf

        Zachie isn't quite up to that yet - but he does love killing a mini-golf ball.

6. Another absolutely vital ingredient is school - choose it wisely, but always choose a school just like DHUMP, where academic learning is balanced out with learning to play with friends, and growing vegetables in their own vegetable plot.

              school 22

              school 23

Top - Lachie learns as he plays in his classroom, and Miss Lane teaches the boys to get their hands grubby, and how to grow their own food. Bottom- Zach in his classroom, and helping bro in the vegie garden.

             school 24

Lachie sings his heart out at the school concert, and discovers he loves singing.(Is rather important that your school offers such programs)

 

 7. If you have available a tame Grandfather to teach the boys how to work with tools, and make things such as a play house, or a dog kennel - add him into the mixture. He will give a firm consistency to the batter.

               

 2cubby     

Zach and Lachie help Malcolm at the building of their playhouse.

       good malkie

 

helping 22 

Helping malkie with the cladding on the doghouse,

and Zachie concentrating on measuring

      helping 1

8. If the dough does not look as if it will rise well enough, add a good measure of reading.

                 room reading

Works every time, provided Mom or Dad reads every night. Rises like a hurricane.

9. And finally, if you want your happy boys to have a bright glossy sheen all over, take them out each Friday night to celebrate and enjoy.

                mobile

                 Zach and Lachlan at the restaurant with Dads mobile - great fun !!

 

There are no guarantees in this world. But Ireckon this combination of ingredients, if stirred very very well, and baked in a warm atmosphere of approval and love, should produce a happy glossy result.

. 

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