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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?

Monday, 28 November 2011

School's Finished...For now anyway

So I have finally finished school, until I find out about Uni or TAFE. I feel confident about my exams but hate the wait to find out about my results. I've been driving heaps, I don't realise how much time mum spends in the car because I'm doing all of her driving when I'm home which is good :) I'm upto 27 hours only another 93 hours to go. I'm helping out with the step up week at Bendigo Senior, I did so much walking aroud on friday helping students find classes and carrying the food and drinks for the BBQ lunch, I felt it on saturday.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

getting organised

Thank you for the info on the international finances. I'd love to borrow a money belt. Hoping my ING card will be good for overseas.Today I booked accommodation for Chris and Emma's wedding. We have a suite and a cottage at Fleurbaix, as close to Fortnums (where the wedding will be) as we could manage. (about a kilometer). Also paid RACV for travel insurance and made a Christmas cake. Smells good. Always made Dad decide to made a boiled fruit cake he could eat immediately.
After all the rain yesterday, today is glorious. Think I need to get out the electric hedge trimmer and tackle the bush although it seems a shame when it's about to flower. leaving the big hedge to Dave. He was at Mum's today and has a big job when he gets here.
Julie and John Gibson are coming for afternoon tea tomorrow and I had a call from Sue Wall (Hay) to see if I wanted to go to a dance there next weekend. Can't because it's the Red Hat Christmas party on Saturday.
Trip to Tocumwal next Wednesday. Leaving at 7.45am so an early start.
I know Christmas is coming but I haven't got on to that yet.
Hope all are doing well. Chat soon on Skype or the hangout.

Friday, 25 November 2011

French-Roberts update

Mum seems to be doing most of the posting so I thought I'd better update on things here. I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner, I'm not really prepared but there's so much happening before then. We've got break-ups happening every week - the Uniting Church invites playgroup to theirs, we have HIPPY (the program Trinity's been in these last 2 years), Connections, and we're having one just for playgroup this year as well. Usually once the church Christmas party has happened there's no playgroup but Julie-Anne and I have decided to go for 2 more weeks and finish the week before school breaks up. The feedback has been good, one mum said it's hard to find things to do in the holidays so she appreciates playgroup going that bit longer. The only thing is that the ladies that help out in the kitchen (cutting up fruit, setting the table, cleaning up afterwards) won't be there but the mums are all happy to help out. Tamara said she'll do it as long as we don't mind watching her boys and I've volunteered Carolynn as well LOL

Carolynn is waiting for her results now, then in January she'll find out if she gets to go to uni. In the meantime she gets to do some driving. I seem to spend quite a bit of time in the car LOL It means that Carolynn's hours are going up gradually. She won't have enough to go for her licence when she turns 18 but hopefully by the time she is 19 she'll be driving the laser around.

Now it's time to go to playgroup, we're making ants on logs (sultanas on celery and cream cheese) and fruit kebabs for snack today. Hopefully we'll have another quiet day today, it's easier when we've got under 10 children :)


I'm looking at accommodation near Sasssafras for Chris and Emma's wedding next March. Glenn and Dee, do you know of any that aren't online? I thought you may be prepared to give Josie, Rob and family a bed at your place if they needed one. Only 60 guests so no cousins I'm afraid. Denise, Pete, Mum and I thought we could share if we can find somewhere with easy access for Nana. Have a couple of possibilities near Olinda but they are disappearing fast.

Good news

Rob Hamilton is in remission. He still needs to finish a the chemo and have the radiation course but from the PET scan, he is in remission. I guess that means they can't see any cancer, but still can't understand why they couldn't check dad a second time like that. We did ask but they said it wouldn't show anything.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Booked the tickets

Today I booked my flights to (and from) Birmingham. I leave here on Friday 27th April at 6pm and arrive at Birmingham at 12.35pm Saturday 28th April. Flying Emirates so we have a stop at Singapore and Dubai on the way. I have two straight through flights on the way home on Saturday 30th June, with only a Dubai stop. Airport bus transfers are well timed (but not so close there could be a problem, I hope). Still sorting travel insurance. Need advice on how to carry money and how to send some so I have some there. We'll chat Dayna.
I've given Lisa the money for three shares in the bracelet she ordered for Auntie Denise's 60th, so you are all on the card that I'll deliver tomorrow with the bracelet. It arrived yesterday and Lisa wrapped it today.
My advice on Carolynn's present is the universal gift card (known as cash) for any who ask. Lisa mentioned a JB HiFi gift card but with mine she can spend it anywhere and it doesn't run out of time.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Exciting news last night at Denise's 60th birthday. Chris and Emma announced their engagement. Wedding will be 31st March ( not clashing with my Red Hat Goldrush or my trip to Wales) in Sassafras since that is only 20 mins from home for them. She flashed the bling to let us know. Nanna was prepared and we chose a gift and made a card this morning, then went to Denise's.
I spent the night at Nanna's because my car had been showing a red battery (which the RACV man this morning told me meant the battery wasn't charging). Problem is a shredded alternator belt. Solution is to take it to a garage. I'll ring tomorrow to see if that will be to the RACV or to Col's. The RACV will tow it regardless. It's at Nanna's so I might need to uncover the Torana if I need wheels, or I might get plenty of walking happening.
Frustrating since the vaccuum has also thrown a belt (maybe more) I found the directions so might try taking that apart and then I'd just need a new belt.(once I have a car to go get it)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Planning a trip

After a wonderful two weeks visit from Dayna and Bruce, I decided to start sorting my visit to them. Got some prices on an April to June stay. At the moment Malaysia or Qatar are offering the best prices from Flight Centre. Dayna, what dates would suit you. I guesstimated 26th April to 25th June on my request but wanted to check on any dates to suit you. Best to get to London on a weekend? and similar for leaving?

Val and Peter Loomes are coming for a visit this weekend. Probus on Monday, Spinners on Wednesday, Denise Drysdale on Friday. Need to fit in visit to Fairthornes and make some Christmas puddings. Not sure if Denise's birthday dinner is the 19th or 26th. Trinity tells me her school fair is this Friday and I have a Red Hat meeting on Friday afternoon.

Visitors mean I'll clean on Saturday morning and I've already washed sheets and remade the spare bed. Think we might have fish and chips or chinese for tea.(so much for my diet?) Still trying to get some order in my room but at least I've put the suitcase away and most of the now clean clothes. Wondering how your flight went Dayna and Bruce.

Today I weeded the tomato bed. Mostly I weeded out tomatoes and pumpkins so I've tried to plant them in better places. After much rain, I was amazed at how dry the ground was in some places. This is why my house still needs work. Jared will come and mow again over the weekend. Much needed although it's only been a week and a half since he last did it.

Hope Carolynn's exam went well today.

Back on the knitting that is still very confusing. fingers crossed it will work out in the end.

Lots of love and hugs to you all from Mum

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Melbourne Cup Sweep

To give Bruce a proper taste of Australia and the Melbourne Cup, we've organised a Cup Sweep and you all have horses. Winner gets a UK Chomp.

The draw occurred this morning at Mum's and was undertaken and overseen by Mum, Bruce, Lisa, Carolynn, Daria and myself. 

2Jukebox JuryAuntie Denise
4Drunken SailorMum
5Glass HarmoniumCheryl
7Unusual SuspectBruce
8Fox HuntPete
9Lucas CranachNana
12Red CadeauxJared
13Hawk IslandOscar
15Lost in the MomentTrinity
17At First SightDayna
18Moyenne CornicheCarolynn
21The VerminatorLily
24Older Than TimeCarolynn
Good luck everybody!

Happy Halloween!

Happy fright-night everyone.

We went away this weekend, off down the coast to the Cumberland River campsite just past Lorne. Gave Andy (and Jules) a little taste of camping, although we stayed in a cabin -- which turned out to be a good thing, given the weather. Is it weird to get nostalgic when watching peoples' tents getting blown over, just as ours did those many years ago when we were last here? Watching from the comfort of a gas-fired room, of course.

Happy to say that we had a bunch of proper "occa" Aussies in the next cabin, so in one night Andy got more exposure to our authentic culture than is in a whole box-set of Kath & Kim. Unfortunately, the truly golden highlights of their conversation (which we listened to from the relative safety of our own little fire pit, giggling at the inanity) aren't exactly suitable for this bandwagon. (In one, a man was describing something he saw on a footy-trip/buck's night/Thailand trip, loudly and with great enthusiasm. Dee, who was sitting opposite me across the fire-pit, confirmed it: "Yep, he's got his pants down.")

LOL. No, literally.

Last night we celebrated Halloween with a couple of purportedly scary movies, both which were hilarious: Silent Hill (should've stayed a computer game title only) and the classic Poltergeist ("This houyahse is cleayahn!" "No it isn't." "Yah're rahght!").

Spook to ya later, fam!