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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?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Gordon St Gossip

It's been a while since we've posted, so here's a quick summary of our weeks now.

Monday Lily goes to Chinese playgroup.. it's a 2 hour immersion session, so they learn Chinese words while playing games and the like. It took her one session to decide she doesn't need Chez there, and to tell her "You can go now Mummy". She's made a few new best friends, not that she knows their names ;)

Then after school Ossie does his soccer class - an hour of games with between 8 and 15 kids aged 4 - 6. He's improving, especially his dribbling. His favourite game is called "Big Bear Little Bear", where the kids compete with the teachers to see who ends up with the most number of balls in their goal (the kids remain undefeated)

Tuesdays I have Iaido. We've been having some cold nights, so I'm happy if I can get 3 or 4 students in. Having got through the Seminar, and being a few months away from grading prep, it's a good chance to cover the more advanced stuff with them.

Some Wednesdays (or Fridays) Cheryl will take Lil to Tumble Tots, which is kind of a gym for little kids. Lil certainly applies her jumping and climbing skills from there back at home on the couch, her bed, the cupboard etc.

Thursdays Chez has Pilates in the morning, and Edith and Landon look after Lil. I remember Chez saying when she started how strong and graceful someone else there looked - now she's the one with new students telling her she's so strong and graceful.  

Friday isn't too busy.

Saturday morning I have Iaido again, with a 30 minute kids class followed by an hour seniors class. The kids are doing really well - I've got Trin, Isabelle and Ossie doing it. I try to focus on useful skills like balance and muscle endurance while teaching them the basics of the Hokushin katas and cutting. Then Ossie gets an hour on the iPad while I teach the seniors.

Then Sunday nights we have dinner with Edith and Landon.

Add to this the rigmarole of the school runs, grocery shopping, and work, and you can see it makes for a pretty busy week. It's good for the kids to have structured activities though.

Tonight I'm off to school with Os for a special night with kids and the men in their life. Last year after 90 minutes of games Ossie cried when he realised the promised pizza didn't include one he liked. He tells me this year he'll be more prepared for disappointment.

Tomorrow Lisa and the kids are coming over for dinner since they're missing Lil's birthday. I've worked out how to get Minecraft to run over the LAN on two computers with one account. I suspect that'll be Daria and Os taken care of.

Then Sunday is Lil's birthday party. We've got our friends coming over, plus a bunch of little kids. It's a Teddy Bear's Picnic (Lily's choice) Should be fun.

And that's us. Nowhere near as exciting as holidays or trips overseas but it keeps us out of trouble ;)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Home to Spring

Can't believe it's been a week since I came home. We danced Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday so my steps are coming up again. Friday we went to the pictures. Clive's daughter gave him a voucher for Village cinemas and we planned to use it. Unfortunately Bendigo doesn't accept them. We still went and saw Last Cab to Darwin. A bit sad but full of Australian scenery. Gwen and John might enjoy it. I'd been out for lunch with Mum and was so full I wasn't looking for food but we shared a Jojoe's pizza after the movie and enjoyed that.
My nails look good still although the thumb with the crack only lasted until Thursday. Lost the next one on Sunday and the two others today. I tried a layer of clear to save one but then I got out in the garden. Might try a layer of gel colour over it on Thursday for the weekend in Cobram.
I should be sweeping and vaccumming today and I need to walk up the street but the weather is so good I started weeding the vege garden and two hours disappeared. Rain is forecast so I'l get on to the housework and the photos then.
Dayna and Bruce,thank you for my very busy holiday and all of the new experiences I had with you. Look forward to you coming to me next time.
I hope Bruce's workshops were a great success and he has recovered by now.
Lisa got down the old lights I think she has chosen one and I'll put one aside for Dayna. Damien and Glenn do you want one? I'll post photos so you can choose if so.
Love and hugs from Mum

Forgot to say, Glenn and Dee Clive and I have booked to come and visit on 7th October and stay until 14th. We plan to use the $2.50 tickets to do some exploring like to the Blue Mountains and Newcastle. We can get ourselves in to the City since we get in at 2.30 pm and then get the bus to your place for when you'll be home or meet you in town.
Also I've packed up the XBox that was taking up space. Do you want to keep it? Too heavy to come in the luggage this trip. Damien helped me swap set top boxes over so the TV's are working again. I can postpone replacement for a few more years I hope. The old microwave continues to do the job so I'm not rushing in thee either. Advantages of being a hoarder?

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Mum's Five Week Pub Crawl

Sitting outside at the Rogers' place, enjoying the evening sun. Mum's inside getting changed into her travel clothes (including layers for the arrival in Melbourne). It's crazy to think that she's been here for five weeks! Send like yesterday that we were at Birmingham Airport to collect her. Although, as you will know from Mum's posts and watching fb, we've been able to fit in quite a bit since then. :-)

This week Mum's been hanging out with Gwen, B's mum. I had a two day meeting London and Cambridge and B has had long days getting ready for a festival, so we weren't going to be good company. I'll let Mum tell you what she and Gwen got up to - they certainly weren't idle! I arrived late Wednesday night and we had a girlie day on Thursday; Op-shopping (called charity shops over here) and then we all got our nails done. Would you believe that neither Mum nor Gwen had ever had their nails done in a salon before?! We got gel polish (also called shellac), so they should look lovely for at least two weeks. Hopefully. (What a good excuse to not do the dishes!)

Last week we explored north east England: Nottingham, York, Scarborough, Whitby and Derbyshire.

In Nottingham we went to the UK's oldest pub, The Old Trip to Jerusalem, as well as a pub in a church, the Pitcher and Piano. We had a wander around the city and found a beach - a temporary one with sand, deck chairs and a shark! We beat the crowds to Sherwood Forest the next morning, saw the Major Oak (it's about 1000 years old), bought ginger biscuits from Robin Hood's mate (well, he looked the part) and high-tailed it out before all of the kiddies descended (ah, school holidays). :-)

York is one of the few remaining walled cities. Lots of history! The Minster is amazing - it's like a cathedral but was a meeting place for the ministers.. (I forget the detail.. Mum or Bruce, do you remember?). We spent an hour being guided around the transept and then another exploring the undercroft - there was so much to see! Whilst in York we also walked on the city walks, wandered around the Shambles and took a ghost tour.

Our seaside day took us to Scarborough, where we walked along the prom, saw a fair (are you going?), had a go on the penny arcade machines and paddled in the (very cold) sea. From there we headed up to Whitby and spent the afternoon there. Whitby was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula and also where James Cook did his sailing apprenticeship. We explored the Abbey ruins (with an audio tour), walked down 199 steps into town, wandered across the bridge and up a steep hill to the Whale Bones and Cook memorial, and finally took a short cruise on a mini version of the ship Endeavour. At the end of the day we had to walk back up all of those steps to get back to the car! Phew!

We stopped a few times on the way back to the West Midlands. First stop, Chesterfield - market town with a cool church spire. Second stop, The Heights of Abraham - a cable-car ride up a mountain, tours of old lead mines, a spot of history and some beautiful views. Final stop, Goathland - tiny little town in Derbyshire, also known as Aidensfield (from tv's Heartbeat) and the pub makes really tasty alcoholic floats (ie spiders). We made it back to Brum just in time for dinner. ;-)

Saturday took us back into Wales - but just for the day. We headed towards Llangollen for a boat ride across the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct -amazing engineering by Thomas Telford!  A picnic feast by Horseshoe Falls, and a quick stop in town filled the rest of the day (we even got to say hi to Thomas the Tank).

That's enough for now.. I'll post photos once I get them sorted (but it might be some time - they're are quite a few!). Mum's on the plane now - she'll be home on Monday.

What have the rest of you been up to lately?