Thursday, 29 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Friday, 9 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
We woke early this morning. It was perfect pack up weather. Clear skies, slightly breezy and not too hot. We had breakfast with our friends kids joining us and then they played and hid in the bushes while we drank coffee and looked at the tent wondering if all of my obsessive tidying and ABs pick of uber rent-a-tent would make for an easy pack up. It did and we had everything in about an hour after we decided we should start.
Trish took Arieal for a wee in the bushes behind her tent where we had heard all the weird noises last night. She came out looking pale with a stick and wool figure that had been in the tree. She was certain that it hadn't been there the afternoon before and seeing that our two families were the only ones camping in the area it was especially freaky. Also seeing that the figure had blonde hair and that voodoo doll / blair witch feel about it, I think we all were kind of ready to be moving on for a bit.
So now we are on the road. Drove through Bello for one last time for 09 and I felt a little glum. Like leaving a loved friend that you know you aren't going to see for a while. We are hoping to push through and make it home tonight, so all going well (fingers crossed) tonight we all get to have long hot showers and sleep in our own beds.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Day Ummm ....?
The weather is divine and as I think of packing up I'm excited to come home and slightly saddened that today was my last day of hanging in the sun with the children running wild and free.
This morning started slowly; coffee brewing, reading my book. Did I mention that Andrew took the kids for a three hour walk *grin*
We decided to go for a drive. Past the farm we almost brought and then on through an area called the 'Promised Land'. I wondered how I would feel when we drove past the garlic farm. I thought it would be nothing but a funny little dream, but as we stopped and then drove slowly passed and looked at the bits and pieces they had done I got teary. It looked exactly the way that I had imagined it would look and it still ticked all the boxes for what we would want if we moved out of town.
I wasn't totally surprised. Beliingen is still the only other place that I have come across that I could imagine settling down in. As we were driving in, it all felt right and the more we walk / drive around the more ways I can see myself here. At the moment the city is winning and ticks the most boxes but when I am here its a very fine line.
We then drove through the 'Promised Land'. It is lovely and the scenery is quiet breathtaking. We stopped by a little creek. It had water so clear and crisp that I found it almost impossible not to jump in. At one point AB laughed and told me to stop smiling. There is something about a rock bottomed clear river that makes me feel so peaceful and centered. As I walked up the middle, knee deep in water, listensing to the frogs. I looked up and there was a high rocky out crop that gave the spot a enclosed and secluded feel. I thought to myself that I had finally found a spot that I could imagine putting mums ashes. It seemed to fulfill everything that she had wanted; it was cool under the trees, the slow running stream was tranquil and clear, it was secluded and altogether a dreamy sort of place. Even the kids were taken with it asking if we could stay a long time and if we could go back to that spot lots.
I don't know if I will scatter mum there, but it felt lovely to find a spot after all these years of keeping an eye out for 'the' place, to think that maybe I would find it after all.
After we got back to the tent we all lay in the sun reading and talking for an hour or so and then we wandered down to have our last swim in the Bellinger river for 09. The locals were finishing for the yearly eel fishing championship. Imagine two dozen people all gathering around a few garbage cans and pulling out eels the size of a five year old and you get the drift.
So now we are back at the camp site. The kids ran till they dropped. The men went up to get pizza. Trish and I heard something in the bushes and spent 20 minutes freaking out. Trish armed herself with a carving knife. I seemed to think that a dust pan and brush would suffice. Needless to say the boys got back and we were saved by the rabid whatever it was in the forest. Now we are eating pizza, laughing and trying to think a bit about the job of packing up tomorrow.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Saturday was another sultry day. The four of us walked into Bellingen and wandered around. I had been struck down with my first full on hayfever since before I got pregnant with Jack. To combat this I tried everything herbal and pharmaceutical on the market. Nothing seemed to be keeping it at bay. There was some question as to whether it is hayfever at all but I had all the symptoms, red runny eyes, sneezing, and the ever present drippy nose.
Luckily I managed to stay pretty chilled out about it and then every so often (about once every 2-3 hours) I would loose my cool and have a little whinge to myself until I felt better again.
Saturday night is party night, everyone seemed to be partying late. I woke up a few time and once I heard a sound coming from directly outside our tent I sat up and looked and saw two young guys in the dark trying to get into our esky. I was right above them and I said " Oi get out!" He was obviously drunk/stoned because he took a moment then jumped back like a cat that caught a fright screamed and ran off into the night. AB woke with a fright thinking that it was me that had screamed. They got the beer, but we got a good giggle so it was almost a trade off.
Sunday the rain came. It rained for 24 hours straight. Keeping two boys occupied in a soggy camp site was a new thing to add to the;
+ List of parenting trials that I don't need to do again, but happily survived.
The boys are doing fabulously, they haven't asked to go home again since the first day. They haven't asked for television or showers. They are mostly playing happily together, with the occasional play with our friends kids to break up the monotony. They have slept in their own beds all night and stayed asleep until around 6am each morning. I'm actually quiet surprised and relieved.
One of the best bits about the campsite is the impromptu jam sessions. We were all hanging out and a group next to us started a drum and percussion jam. One of our friends started playing the saxophone. Hamish was dancing up a storm, a few people commented on his wicked hip movements and rhythm. Jack was struck by the saxophone player. Once he was finished playing Jack walked over to me with a glisten in his eye and said
"Mummy, can we find one of those for a four years boy to play?"
He was so taken by the 10 minute jam that it is the top of his list of thing he liked about the festival.
It stopped raining just in time for the light-up lantern festival. This year I was determined to take the boys to make a lantern but neither of them were interested. It became a new thing to add to the;
+ List of things you want for your children and then realise that you are living vicariously through them.
But we joined the parade and walked around with Arieal and her lantern, watching the huge glowing men, fish, pigs, ants and other lanterns bobbing and gliding around us. The parade stopped at the concert stage and they had the fire lighting. The word 'Transition' in huge burning writing while the aboriginal tribe of this area did a small ceremony.
Afterwards the kids were awe struck watching the Japanese Drumming. Jack was bobbing his head to the beat and got into the cheering and whooping that everyone was doing on cue as part of the performance.
We could feel the skies were about to open again so we ran back to our tent to get the kids in bed while they were still dry and batten down the hatches.
Monday is pack up day, but we have decided to stay on and as we watched everyone try and pack in the rain we knew we had made the right decision. There were some storm warnings come through they predicted gail force winds thunder storms and hail. Luckily it mostly passed us by with just a few extra heavy downpours.
Waking up this morning to blue skies felt like a gift from the gods. It has been sunny but not hot all day and everything is dry. We have just spent today around the tents, the kids are playing with our friends kids, Andrew did some work, and I got some of my book read and finally got to finish this blog post. We have great reception but charging our phones has been an issue.
We don't know what we are going to do for the rest of the week. If we don't get kicked out we may just stay here or we might pack up and move down the coast a bit. That's the nice thing about these holidays, no plans just the luxury of feeling like you can do whatever you feel like when you wake up.
Friday, 2 October 2009
The picture above is of the view we woke up to this morning. It looks perfect right? Well you'd be half right. During the day and early evening the camp ground was to die for, and then the night air came in and sounds started to travel more loudly and then we started to notice that you could hear the freeway. By about 9pm the sounds of the trucks travelling along the freeway were so loud we may as well have camped in the medium strip. Not to worry but it did keep us up for a lot of the night.
We made our way to Bellingen by 9.30am. By the time we arrived the camp ground was already packed. Apparently people started sneaking in at nine the night before. We are happy with our spot but we are away from the people we know who had a guy on the inside stake a spot for then late last night.
Set up with the Uber rent-a-tent was easy even in the scorching heat. We overlooked 3 other tent setups, men and women struggling in the heat with young kids freaking out from our spot in the shade and thanked the uber rent-a-tent.
Then it was a matter of whiling away the morning with a beer until the festival started at 6pm. We wandered down to the river and cooled off. Hamish slept while AB, Jack and I swam. I feel like I have spent all year looking forward to jumping back into the crystal clear cool waters of the Bellinger river.
It was late by the time we headed up to the festival. Jack fell asleep as we waited to get in and Hamish saw a light-up sword and proceeded to spend the next hour pleading with us to get it for him.
Then we felt the campers worst nightmare, the first drops of rain. We high tailed it back to the tent to put the uncovered windows down. Then in true AB and I style we decided that we may as well call it a night and stayed to hang out at the tent for a bit. Soon we are off to bed ... Party animals that we are <grin>
Tomorrow is another day, we hope to do lantern making, see the amazing drumming monkeys, dunk ourselves in the Bellinger again oh and maybe see some of the awesome music that is playing.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
There is nothing quiet like a rude awakening. I mean that quiet literally. Like when you are laying in your cozy bed thinking that in 10 - 15 minutes tops your hubby is going to take the kids out for their morning sojourn and you are going to be left in your cocoon for an hour or so's uninterrupted sleep. Then you hear the dreaded caravan park camping words;
"someone has stolen our esky!" Quiet a rude shock to the system.
I lay there for about 10 minutes trying to decided if anything could be achieved by my getting out of bed. Only to decided that to be a supportive partner I needed to put my wants aside.
So yes our esky was gone, and just after we had filled it for the trip to bello. Andrew decided to go for a walk around the park to see if he could see it but both of us had no thoughts that we would ever see our esky, let alone our yogurt, sausages etc and my bottle of wine.
Although we were disappointed we knew that these things happen and it would all be ok, there would be more food and other eskies.
15 minutes later he returned without the esky. So off he trotted to tell the reception and off I went to figure out what to feed the kids for breakfast (thank god for long life milk). The guy at reception told him that there was a drain at the back of the park and that often when eskys are stolen (seems quiet common, not something that is in the brochure) they leave them there. So off he trotted again. By this time we had quiet a few grey nomads gathering around taking about how they knew someone who knew someone who had once lost an esky. The kids were asking if a bug'la took it and I was trying to eat my long life milky breakfast without gagging.
Then like a cat who ate the cream back saunters AB WITH the esky and all of our food, minus the wine but it was cheap and I wasn't really excited about drinking it anyway.
Another grey nomad (ie old person who travels around Australia in some sort of van) came over and said that there was an esky behind her tent and it wasn't theirs. I was about to thank her but say it wasn't ours, when I realised that the old esky we use to carry our pots and pans was missing.
2 eskies stolen, 2 eskies safely back home again.
Really nothing else in the day could beat the eskies coming home.
* Uber rent-a-tent once again lived up to its name, as we were able to leave all bedding mattresses etc laid out and just fold it up and off we went.
* Stopped at Urunga which was lovely until it got so windy that Hamish almost blew over
* We spoke to the friends that we are camping with at the festival and found out that in spite of our cheeky ideas, you couldn't sneak into the camp ground 24 hours early
* I decided that we should go to Repton, to stay in a caravan park on the Bellinger river.
So here I am once again. Kids are asleep. Andrew and I are sitting at the waters edge about 6 meters away from the tent. He is fishing, as I write this he just caught his 5th fish (all under sized but still ...) And I am blogging with a glass of much better wine beside me, and a tim tam in my tummy. Its much warmer here so all in all for a day that started with such a bang the evening is positively peachy.