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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Happy birthday Damien

Happy birthday to you...
Happy birthday toooo yoooooooooouuuuuuuu...
Happy biiiiiiiirthdaaaaaay deeear Damiennnnnnn...
Happy biirthdaay toooo yooooooooooooooooouuu!

Hope you have a fantastic day, a lovely week and a terrific year.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Holiday in SA

We've just returned home after a great week. We travelled to Kingston on the first day via Naracorte. The second day we followed the coast road to Wellington. Dad was disappointed to find you couldn't see the sea and the weather varied from very wet and squally to fine and sunny. It was fun to cross the river in a punt at Wellington and we were lucky in having a very short wait to cross. We visited one winery then had lunch in Strathalbyn. We followed the winding roads and found Bains Rd which led us to Damien and Cheryl's. Oscar was very smiley. What a happy little boy. On Thursday, we walked with Cheryl and Oscar to the local shopping centre, a short? 1.7 kms. We should be feeling fitter. Friday we rested although the weather cleared so we weeded their garden. Went out for an all you can eat for tea at a Chinese restaurant. Pouring rain, hail and windy.
Saturday we all went to the larger shopping centre where Dad bought me a rose gold necklace for my birthday. I've been looking but not found what I wanted before. Also I bought a pair of homyped black boots, ready for next winter.( Nana gave me birthday money so now I've spent it.)
Today we left about 9am SA time, stopped at a local shopping centre where I bought a glass dragon then headed for home. Mostly fine and sunny. We had two stops for lunch and a cuppa and arrived home about 5.30 Vic time. Foxie is glad we've turned the heater back on. I'm sure he missed the heater more than us.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Kerkyra with pictures

More photos, as promised -- press play, then rollover the slide-show for the "full-screen" icon, kick back and enjoy. :-D

Actually, that's exactly what we did in Greece -- a whole lot of relaxing by the pool, a little bit of exploring in an air-conditioned car, and a fair amount of searching for decent Greek food (strangely hard to find).

The trips themselves were somewhere between average and downright horrible: late/early flights, lots of waiting, the stupidest aeroplane seat-configuration I've ever seen (so close together that you couldn't really bring your knees together!), and general chaos on the part of the officials from both Kerkyra and the holiday company, Olympic.

(Our 3am bus, 6am flight happened as predicted. What was not predicted was the hundreds of fellow passengers suffering the same situation -- hundreds of Brits with hangovers, or sunburn, or missing luggage; girls with "flip-flops" and sarongs flirting with boys in cargo-shorts and ridiculous sunglasses; families and individuals with ridiculously large, heavy luggage (what could they possibly be bringing back?!); officials with less idea about what was happening than the human cattle they were responsible for. I remember saying to Dee, "The only way to make this airport more miserable is for some of the fluorescent lights to start flickering." Then a thought struck me: "Or to fill the place up knee-high with stagnant water. That might do it.")

But once we were there -- brilliant! Brilliant despite the crummy accomodation, despite the dodgy bar-tender with his penchant for late nights, loud music and funny cigarettes, despite the narrow, dangerous roads and crazy scooter-riders. Eventually, under the brilliant sunlight, all these things took on a certain romance, a gleam -- they became as much a part of the whole experience as the smell of the ocean, the gentle buzzing of bees and wasps, the sound of our fellow holiday-makers splashing in the pool. Okay, the airport didn't, but the rest ... walking into supermarkets and buying groceries without a word of english is just, just, awesome!

So yes, we explored the entire island by car while we were there -- hiring it from a boy who couldn't have been more than 10 (his uncle came to do the paperwork, but it was the boy's sale, have no doubt). He tried to convince us to get an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) instead: a roll-cage, four chunky tyres and a 250cc engine, no windshield or floor, bucket seats ... Of course we stuck with the little (air-conditioned) Hyundai, thank you very much.

Corfu Town is the main metropolis, and we spent a day walking through markets along tiny streets, dodging scooters and keeping out of the midday sun. It's really crazy how weathered the buildings are -- I kept expecting to hear a crash and turn to find our way back blocked by rubble! We also found beaches, both pebble and sand (hot, hot sand!!), everything from "British" beaches (a whole lot of pale bodies and east-end accents) to secluded ones used by locals and those in the know.

I think the pictures say it all really.

Friday, 4 September 2009

new baby

Tamara and Ray have a new son, Charles Albert Rowland 7lb 7ozs, born 4/9/09. (caesarian again as planned.) Mother and baby both well.