Family photos

Yesterday I wrote a post about my insanely busy week last week – and included a photo of my gorgeous three cherubs. This was the first time I have ever posted a photo of them – any of them – online, as I am paranoid when it comes to their security. I have asked all my family and friends to do likewise (to not post photos of my children, if they have them) and even emailing is something I am wary of.

To some, I know this sounds absolutely crazy, and I must be certifiably insane. To others, that I’m taking my role as their protector a little too far. To a few, such precautions are prudent. The world wide web is simply NOT a safe place, and although I hate to admit it, I know that there are some very poor children who have simply horrendous things done to them, and I want to keep my children as safe (and as innocent) as possible, for as long as possible. It would break my heart if I inadvertently was the cause of anything remotely close to their being in danger.

Reason being: I have cute kids. Yes, I know that every parent probably thinks that about their children, but in my opinion, they are really quite good-looking. I am Eurasian, which gives them slightly olive skin, high cheekbones, and cute button noses. Miss 7 has light brown hair and brown eyes. Miss 4 is blonde with blue eyes. Mr 2 has almost black hair, and eyes so dark brown they’re almost black. And I’d prefer for them to be in their late teens before they start posting identifiable photos of themselves online. They’re all listed with Faye Rolph models, and the girls have both had modeling jobs in the last 6 months (Miss 7 was in the Christmas Amart All Sports TV ad) but any identifiable photos which can be traced back to our address – or even any specific location – are a plain scary thought.

That being said, the photo of them yesterday was cute without revealing too much. And I liked that. They’re a huge part of my life, and I like writing about them. So I’ve decided to post more, similar, photos of them here. (They DO take a good photo, I must admit!) Today’s is the whole family, taken early last year. It’s probably my favourite photo ever.

Tigger vs Rabbit

Today marks the end of my week-long posting series. (It was actually meant to finish yesterday, but I kinda piked out last Thursday due to the Queensland floods.) But anyway, this is the seventh ‘Important Word in my life’, inspired both by the the American Dialect Society’s ‘Word of the Year’ and by @fionawb‘s #blog12daysxmas posts. So, to sum up:

Word 1 was ‘integrity’, Word 2 was ‘restless’, and Word 3, ‘blessed’. I realised that ‘history’ should probably be Word number 4, never having previously comprehended the depth of my emotional attachment to the city of my childhood until it was destroyed in the floods. Word 5 ‘organised’ offset the ‘openly emotional’ of Word 6. And today? The final day? I think it would be remiss of me to not include ‘responsibility’. As in, something which I feel weighs heavily on my shoulders.

I think I’ve always been a responsible person. Maybe it comes of being a middle child. Maybe because I was the girl between two boys. But I can’t ever remember a time when I haven’t felt as though ‘goofing off’ was morally irresponsible. Weird, looking back! Once, I led a devotion at Caloundra Christian College, comparing A.A.Milne‘s characters of Tigger and Rabbit. Tigger, the playful one who bounces through life, oblivious to the damage he causes to others, and Rabbit, the grumpy ‘it must be done properly, in an orderly manner’ one. My point was that as teachers, we shouldn’t force our Rabbit ways on our Tigger students if (as happened in the example I gave) the end result is the same. I was speaking from a wealth of experience. I am far more of a Rabbit than a Tigger. It’s funny, cos Tigger is my favourite of the whole cast of characters! (Maybe it’s true – that opposites attract?) Anyway. I’d say that ‘responsibility’ is an apt choice for my seventh and final word important to me. That reflects the person I think myself to be.

Looking over the list, it seems pretty bleugh. But that may just be my perception. As I mentioned previously, for each character trait I tend to see the negative outweigh the positive. But that’s okay. The list is finished now. So let’s move on to something more fun. More interesting. And I’ll try to present six of them. Momentous events in my life. (That way, I’ll cover that ‘cult’ story I mentioned the other day.)

So… til tomorrow, dear readers – stay safe and well!

‘Where the rainforest meets the reef’

I love that slogan. It’s just so picturesque. And it’s certainly got me hooked. I want to see it for myself, which is why the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation area (apparently now all just called ‘the Daintree’, to encourage tourism) is number three on the list of four ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’.

And the good bit is – unlike the Kimberley’s, which was number two on the list – it’s (apparently…) accessible by caravan! (Yesterday’s post described how enamoured I am with my caravan, if you missed it.) Although, having travelled that far, up to the Daintree from all the way down here in S.E.Qld, I’d probably want to keep on going and end up right at the northern tip of our country. Just to experience it, and be able to gloat that I’d been. But apparently, taking caravans further north than the Daintree is just foolhardy. Again – a pity. But that’s okay… I’ll get there one day! (Hopefully I have a lot of time left before my death /rapture…)

So I have the caravan, the 4WD, and the road to get all the way to the Daintree. Which means that the only thing holding me back is ‘time’. Cos I have absolutely NO idea on exactly how long it would take to drive that far. And once we got there, how long would we want to spend exploring the area? A week? Two? A month? More? And how about exploring the areas on the way up / the way back? (To date, we’ve ‘seen’ as far as Yeppoon, with the exception of when we flew into Proserpine and bussed to Airlie Beach on the way to the Whitsundays for a pre-kid holiday.)

Which brings me to my dilemma. I’d like to spend at least 3 weeks there, I’d say. Minimum. Plus a week up(-ish?) and about a similar time back. Around 6 weeks or so. Which is tricky to find when hubby only gets 4 weeks off a year. But I’ll manage something, I’m sure. Stay tuned… I’ll blog our adventures one day, I promise! But not tomorrow. No – tomorrow we head overseas again. Destination Number Four, last on my list, promises to be one to fill the senses. Intrigued? Well, have a lovely day and I’ll see you same time, same place, tomorrow!

PS Some more piccies – again, taken by others. Unfortunately.

 

CC Images courtesy:

Daintree rivers
from thiery49

Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the ocean By dirk huijssoon

 

River in the Daintree
from Mozzer

Travel all over the countryside…

I was one of those kids, growing up in the early eighties, addicted to the Leyland Brothers. What a brilliant show it was! What a sense of adventure it instilled in me, together with the desire to see as much of this wonderful country as I possibly can.

Here I am though, a few decades later, and still barely left Queensland except to do short trips just on the other side of the border. Fartherest south to date? Melbourne. (But that was too cold for me. I’m a sun lover, and probably always will be.)

But all that will change. I’m determined. I am recently the proud owner of a gorgeous, brand-new Montana Hastings caravan, and plan on using it as much as I possibly can to see as much of this extraordinary country as possible! It’s a pretty tiny thing, especially when the three kids are underfoot as was the case just the other week when we were stuck on the ‘island’ of 1770, unable to travel due to the 6+metres of water covering both access roads. (By the way, if you were planning on using the Baffle Creek road any time in the next four months, don’t. It’ll be out for at LEAST that long, they’re saying. The bridge will need complete replacement. Sorry about that, being the bearer of bad news an’ all.) Anyway… back to my caravan…

Yes, I LOVE it. The kids do too. And hubby doesn’t mind it either, which is pretty good seeing as he does all the organising of maintainence, all the driving (to date, anyway! I think he’s a little worried I’ll roll it…) and understands all the ins and outs of the fridge workings and the tuning in of the TV antenna. (Both extremely important, I’ve discovered!) So we’ll be getting away whenever we can, and ‘seeing’ Australia for ourselves.

Well, as much as we can, anyway. Unfortunately, there are a number of places I’d like to take it, but it’s just not going to happen. And today’s post, (which was meant to be the second of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’, but kinda got sidetracked onto ‘my caravan’,) is on one of those places. It’s the Kimberleys, over there in WA. A gorgeous spot, judging by all I’ve heard, but not particularly kind to caravans. Pity. I could spend ages just looking at photos taken from that region of our great land. (Could, but don’t. Too darn busy.) But just looking isn’t going to cut it for me. I want to SEE those places with my own eyes. So once the younger two are out of nappies, I’ll be planning it. Maybe I’ll still be blogging then, and take you all with me in my laptop bag?! LOL!

Til tomorrow, when we meet Destination Three…

Ceridwyn

PS Just thought I’d share some (other people’s) photos that inspire me…

CC Images courtesy:

Kimberley Ranger Forum 2010
from KimberleyLandCouncil

Bell Gorge
from Chip_2904

Hiking through the Bungle Bungles
from David Busch Aus

Palm Spring S32663
from yaruman5

Okay, okay. We get the picture now.

I can’t recall coming across many sarcastic songs. But I think I’ve just realised, at the age of 36, that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which I had always thought of as a beautiful love song, is one such song. Over the past twelve days, I’ve looked at each and every gift, making comment on the meaning behind the gift, and the possible intention of the giver – the so-called ‘True Love’.

Initially, I was impressed at his pragmatism. He gave gifts that showed his understanding of the real world. That relationships need practicality too. The partridge and pear tree, both edible, came before the two turtle doves – symbols of devoted love. Hens and more edible birds followed.

As the days went past, the ‘True Love’s organisational skills impressed me. Not only was he able to source some pretty interesting gifts (geese that always laid, swans known for their singing ability) but he also managed to get a LOT of them. Six geese per day, since Day 6, means (let’s see my maths skills in action again, shall we…) that today we now stand at 42 geese. Seven swans per day since day 7 means 42 of them too. That’s a lot, in my opinion. Finding them, purchasing them and organising them all to arrive on the exact day that they were needed, would have been a task-and-a-half as well, I’d say.

But then the sheer enormity of her household started making more and more of an impression. By Day 8 we were adding people. Milkmaids (with cows, I’m assuming), then ladies dancing, then leaping lords (which again would have been a difficult find!). And finally yesterday, we added musicians. Eleven bagpipers would certainly add to the cacophony.

All of which led to my change in opinion. From incredulity, to suspicion. (Okay, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, I’ll admit it. Took me til Day 11.) With that much noise, I’m now of the opinion that his intentions may actually have been the opposite of what I had originally thought. I’m starting to think that he may not have been particularly fond of the singer – rather, he wanted to give her a mental breakdown. My proof? Circumstantial, I admit it, but still. Today’s gift is drummers. Twelve of them. All drumming. What’s the bet that they don’t just perform one song?! So by now, we have… 12 drummers, 22 bagpipers, 30 lords flirting with 27 dancing ladies and 40 milkmaids (and I’m guessing, at LEAST 40 cows), 42 swans, 42 geese, 40 pheasants, 36 blackbirds, 30 hens, 22 turtle doves, 12 partridges and 12 pear trees (well… at least they’re quiet!)

Now I don’t know about you, but that to me sounds as though he has had a bit of an agenda, and disguised it with supposed kindness. Sneaky. Underhanded. Not the nicest person you’d want to be your ‘True Love’. So all in all, I’m left feeling rather disappointed. I hadn’t expected that this process would end up as a bit of a downer. Sorry, folks.

On a happier note though, I must admit that I’m very glad I joined in this #blog12daysxmas challenge. I had expected it to be a more difficult task, blogging each day, than it was. Maybe it was easier due to holidays, or something, but now that I’ve started, I’ve decided to continue blogging. And I like the idea of using a ‘list’ on which to structure my writing. @haikugirlOz gave me the idea, actually, tweeting about Wilsons Promenade – a place I’d love to go to, but haven’t. (Yet!) So that’s my plan. Starting tomorrow, I’ll work through the Top 4 places I’d like to visit one day, and why. Stand tuned for Ancient Rome, this time tomorrow! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers!!!

O Danny boy…

The pipes, the pipes are calling… For today’s gift, the second last, the true love adds eleven pipers to his collection of partridge, pear tree, two turtle doves, three hens, four blackbirds, five pheasants, six geese, seven swans, eight milkmaids (and accompanying cows), nine ladies, and ten lords. Just what I’d need, were I her. Imagine the ruckus, the sheer density of sound assaulting your ears on a minute-by-minute basis. Add in the sound of a bagpipe or eleven. Wow. Pretty insane.

I have suffered from the odd headache (or several) in my life. Actually, that’s a bit of a massive understatement. I used to get headaches very frequently. A stress thing, combined with a LOT of lack-of-sleep thing. At one stage, my daily dose of panadol stood at 8. For days (actually, more like weeks) on end. Then I went and had acupuncture on my shoulders / upper back / neck, for a pulled muscle. About three weeks later, I realised that I hadn’t touched the panadol packet for ages, and worked out that my last tablet was the day of the acupuncture. So you’re reading the words of someone COMPLETELY sold on the benefits of needles. Just so you know.

Anyway, I would say that the singer may also need some pampering after being around all this noise. I’ve listened to someone playing the bagpipes close up, and it was loud. Ever heard that joke, “Why do bagpipers march when playing? To get away from the noise!” Well, I get that. But to have eleven pipers close by, and presumably standing still? Well, I’d be hoping that the tune they were playing was a short one. With no encores.

I know… that’s pretty harsh, and it sounds as though I’m not too fond of the bagpipe and its resulting sounds. Well, I’ll admit to the harshness, but I’ll negate the opinion. I actually love the sound of a bagpipe. But eleven may be too many. And when that gets included to the bird calls, the cows lowing, 32 milkmaids nattering with 27 dancers and all of them flirting with the 20 lords, I’d say the resulting noise would be fairly cacophonic. Makes me wonder why the true love was sending them. (And tomorrow we’re going to get drummers added to the mix?!) Maybe we’ve got it all wrong, and he wasn’t devoted to her at all? Rather, he wanted to break up and was devoted to the idea of sending her insane? Hmmm…

Oh well. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Have a lovely rest-of-the-day!

Three hens (the ones from France, please)

Okay, I’ll come right out and admit it. This one had me stumped. “Three French hens.” Seriously? Three hens? Why French ones? (Apparently the song itself is probably French in origin, so why specify the country when you’re living IN the country?)

And why something so bland and mundane after the rapturous “Two turtle doves”? We already had partridges and pear trees in the first verse, so I would have thought that the ‘food’ part of the gift was covered. (The silly section of my brain is saying “Would you like eggs with that?” right now…) Maybe the ‘true love’ was imparting the thought that the raptures of devoted love aren’t enough to meet the practicalities of daily living. Let’s face it. Three hens generally means three eggs a day – one for each meal. (Maybe not enough for two people to live off, but when you combine it with a pear or two, you might survive…)

Being practical makes sense to me, actually. Give me pragmatism any time, I think. People often tell me I’m pragmatic. (Hopefully they see it as a good trait! I certainly choose to take it as a compliment…) Super-organised is another word I get a lot. (Again, I’d prefer to see the positive side of that than the all-too-obvious negative I know that it generally manifests as! But back to my topic…)

When reading up on the song, I discovered that tomorrow’s was actually changed. It’s now ‘four calling birds’ but it used to be ‘four colly birds’ – otherwise known as blackbirds. And I’m mentioning it now because it’s going to take me at LEAST a day to think up what to write about them!!! So if I don’t post ‘til late tomorrow, you’ll know the reason why. Wish me luck in my ponders! And til then, Merry Christmas Day 3 style, all!