Today is lovely...not too cold, sun shining brightly and...no wind. The last few days it's been horrible, bitterly cold westerlies...strong enough to blow a dog of the chain. There has been havoc in New South Wales...one ship driven onto the beach and at one stage, there were three more in dire straits. They've had floods, people have been killed, one section of the Pacific Highway collapsed completely, sending a car and its occupants plunging to a horrible death. Trees down, the main street of Newcastle (a rather large industrial city on the coast) looking like a canal in Venice, but not nearly as picturesque, mayhem and chaos and a declared natural disaster area. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Australia is a land of savage contrasts...if it's not drought, beaten farmers, dying animals and draconian water restrictions, it's cyclones, floods and raging torrents, plus there's the bushfire factor...yet we love this unpredictable country. We are patriotic to the utmost, waving the flag for any ceremony, memorial or national holiday...and anyone who denigrates Australia does so at their peril. I guess, at heart, we not unlike other nationalities around the world, are we?
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Darryl was rapt with his Jurassic, or Wollemi pine, to give the official name. We met for dinner (he'd already imbibed) and was burbling on about where he was going to plant it...and I was hanging out for a glass of wine. We had a great night, delicious food, lots of laughs and some lucky punters one of whom was my youngest daughter, some of you may remember her as Flossy when she used to blog. She doesn't have time now, with her new job in real estate, which she loves.
Anyway, on Friday night, she put her numbers on Keno and won $120 (this was before any of us had arrived). We all bought raffle tickets. Her number came up for a bottle of wine and while she was collecting that, the next raffle was drawn and she won that also...a $30 fuel voucher. I went off to play the pokies, after touching her for luck, and...bummed out horribly. As I had lost what I had allowed myself...that was it for me I don't believe in giving the casino all my hard earned cash.
Darryl had himself a whale of a time, but he always does. One of his gifts, given by a mate, was an apron with lacy bra, knickers and suspender clad torso and the words "Sexy Girl" emblazoned on it. No problems...he donned it and strutted around the place much to the hilarity of all the other diners. It was a good start to the night. Little Cooper found himself a lady friend and I turned around at one stage to see them cuddling and Cooper giving his little friend a kiss. Oh dear...like father, like son...they sure start early these days.
There was a guy with a guitar singing all Bob Dylan, early Beatles, Peter, Paul and Hairy...sorry, Mary, stuff and the littlies were dancing to the music...it was so cute.
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These last three days have been wonderful...no setting the alarm and leaving in the dark and coming home in the dark...I've been catching up with everyone. I know it sounds really strange, but I do feel isolated doing these full time stints...not seeing my daughters or my grandchildren, or my friends...I really don't like it at all. Yet, when the decision was made to work from home 75% of the time, I was told I would be isolated and it wouldn't work, blah, blah, blah...yet the opposite is true. I actually can't wait to throw in my two days in the city...only a year to go. I'll still work from home, because I really enjoy that, but not having to get up so early, drive half-an-hour to the station and be squashed into a train for another 40 minutes will be absolute bliss.
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There are heaps of kids tearing around outside at the moment. Jane and Fred are having a barbeque for Scotty's soccer team and the kids are out on the soccer field Fred set up, having a wonderful time. Just as well there's the room.
Plans are well on track for the pool...yessss! Saves me driving to the gym to use theirs...in the summer, anyway. The gym pool is heated in the winter so it's not such a shock to the system.
Right, I've rabbited on long enough. It's time to eat my ciabatta stuffed with salad and tuna.
Enjoy your weekend and I'll catch up with you all soon.
Ciao for now.