Thursday, January 10, 2008

a post for my SIL

hi Shelly and Ashabandha,

It was lovely having Bernard over for christmas. Everyone really appreciated his visit. We especially appreciated it when we brought the power lines down and we had our very own electrician to fix the huge, HUGE catastrophic problem of bringing the power lines down. We are now using travel hair dryers that suit the american wattage.

Christmas day was spent with Tracie, Barry, and the kids (Lochlin, Gareth, Alistair and Shayne), Shirley, Bruce, me, John and Jack. Heaps of fun, food and presents. Australian Monopoly arrived and Aunty Madge cleaned up, Lochlin found a hidey hole under the mat for his extra millions and Alistair learnt how to blackmail his uncle.

Boxing Day brought Anne, Noel and the two puppies from Adelaide (rookie and razoo) which pleased tipper no end (the farm dog).. and Paul and Bernard from Canberra. More presents, more food and the kitchen table extensions came out to seat all 15 of us. It took way too many visits to the supermarket for more food to feed us all for 2 weeks, 3 fridges, about 3 cases of wine and 2 of beer, endless loads of washing and we kept the slow combustion stove going (thank goodness for the colder weather) so that it would heat the gallons of hot water we needed.

Hives of activity all around the place; the cousins (Lochlin, Gareth, Alistair and Jack) spent the week building go karts from parts found in the truck shed, the big shed, the metal pile, the black plastic pile and under the pine tree; the sisters and SILs cooked up a storm - corned beef silverside, roasts, roast vegies, lasagne, pavlova, coleslaw, omelettes and porridge for brekky; the brothers and BILs cleaned out the wood shed, chopped wood and stacked it in the shed, cut down the big gum tree threatening the house, put the power lines back where they should be (!), carted hay and loads of other things that I don't know about; the MIL sat quietly in the sun room trying to keep the pain of shingles at bay - so painful to her; the FIL carted the round hay bales into the hayshed.

I was really thankful for Bernard's visit back home because John was really missing him (amongst others) and needed to spend time with him. I had a whole day with him when he was in Canberra, enroute to Townsville to see Justine... very interesting conversationalist! I was amazed by the similarities between B and John - physically. I was astounded to note that John is taller than B (its funny what you remember!) So many moments and memories made. B took a lot of photos, as did I, which I will try to post on here and I hope to finish an album to send to you soon. I hope you like the books that are on their way to you via Bernard's suitcase. They are the books that the family society wrote. So interesting and lots of info about life in Australia as a pioneer. Bernard had to prise them away from me - they were my beloved possessions - no seriously I hope you enjoy them as I do and I hope they give you a clearer understanding of the Australian wing of your family.

There's more to say but will send an email to you. This photo is for Ashabandha - Lochlin and Gareth on the 4 wheeler on the driveway outside the cabin.

talk to you soon,


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