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20 July 2013

Family Days, Farm Days, and Christmas in July Days

The kids are tucked in bed.  We're at my sister's house for the last night of our Melbourne Trip.  And heading home on the Highway to the cold that will be Canberra.  The drive home is the gloomiest part of our trip, and we are all always sad to be heading north on the Hume Highway. Will I sleep tonight?  I can only hope, as it is a long drive home.

We spent a really great 3 days on my friend Lyn's farm on the Peninsula.  The kids just thrived.  You can see it in their faces.  What a great part of the world.  I've been struck by how much importance is placed on outdoor, sporting, environmental, music and animal activities at all the schools we visited.  And by the sheer quality of them.  And spending time with Lyn and all our animals was  lovely and gave us our much needed horsey fix.  

The weather turned truly evil, and the riding didn't happen.  But we did lots of fun things anyway, with the ride on the quad bike around the farm feeding all the animals a huge hit.  I took lots of photos, which Lyn loved, because her animals and precious to her and Neil.  Lyn spent lots of time with my kids, and they respond so well to her (who doesn't respond well to Lyn, she's a great friend and person, and immensely talented artist).  She spent a lot of time stressing kindness to Heath with animals, and Neil spent a lot of time with Heath the morning we left.

On leaving Lyn's house I paused to check Facebook briefly as I'd had a couple of messages come in. One of my friends had posted a cute photograph of his new family goat, which had wandered onto his balcony.  I've been to his farm, it's ace, and he's terrific. I scowled angrily at a couple of stupid comments suggesting goat curry would be a good idea.  I suppose it was supposed to be funny, but a small part of me wanted to suggest rug-rat soup instead of the goat curry, but that seemed unfair on innocent rug-rats.  Perhaps I was just being snarly and sensitive.

We drove in the heavy rain to Croydon, where we went to the McInerney Family Christmas in July lunch.  Being isolated in Canberra has made keeping in touch harder, and most of my cousins I've seen once or twice in 15 years.  We've all got multiple children now, and it was a really ace get together.  My aunt Anne was funny.  She kept introducing me as 'she's the famous photographer, you know, the Black Caviar photographer'.  I'm not sure I'm all that famous, but it made me remember getting her text message from the stamp show, saying "I'm a very proud aunty standing in the line to buy your stamp and Gerard's book", and telling everyone around her that her niece took the photo on the stamp they were all buying.  I had a great chat with a couple of my cousins who work in similar fields to me (one's a photographer as well, and two of my Heffernan cousins worked/work in the media industry), and it's always amazing when you discover you know a  lot of the same people.

Speaking of rug-rats.  I went over to our little home away from home to collect a few stray things we'd left behind.  Lottie, the cocker spaniel, or perhaps King Charles spaniel (note - I am not a dog expert), leapt up into my arms in delight.  And I have to admit, I was stupidly pleased to see her!!!!!  Of course I am missing Maxie off the scale, but it was nice to see Lottie.  She spent the entire time I was there trying to be in my arms, and I was much softer on her than I'd been, and let her jump up on me, just because I was pleased to see her.  It was lovely to meet Verity, but I can't believe that my sister didn't remind me that she's married to the brother of a pretty cool and handsome Australian actor.   I kept looking at him thinking 'now who does he look like?', yes, my memory still works like a sieve at times...

The famous Dan, my little Jessica outside the famous Kingston Park Stud.  Birthplace of my hero.  The mighty champion Kingston Town.  Note how I had to take a photo with Dan in it..

I think we need a mailbox like this...

Lottie..   'our' little rug rat.  Hopefully no one wants to make rug rat soup or curry jokes about her.

Rug Rat...   Lottie..  She learnt not to pull on the walks with me.  After the sheer power that used to be Buzzi and Jilly, she was a breeze...  I had to have a little laugh at Verity's gorgeous note, warning me that she pulls and that they hoped she wouldn't pull me over.

the very tough but also soft and friendly (on his terms!) Astroid

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