Story Blog

Codine's off for the moment, but if you haven't read 'Turning Stones' it's still up there - free read!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clawing way back to normality today. Summer holidays are drawing to an end, less than one week left now. Less of this lying-around-the-house-like-fleabitten-curs-with-no-vocation. Mind you it is damn hot. Last night it hit a mere 26 degrees even at the coldest point of the night, and I think was still up at 38 at about 8 in the evening. With no AC and no insulation to speak of, the house is pretty toasty. Kinda encourages the fleabitten-cur syndrome.

Well, after a nice spot of work with Lara in the morning, we picked up Lillian and went off to New Lambton Library this morning. Rainbow Fairies party, one of those things the library lays on during the long holidays. Was absolutely spot-on for them but nearly turned into a complete disaster. Walked into the basement, filled with little girls dressed up as fairies and eager to set off, and Lillian wobbles a lip and declares I want to go home. What??? Lara looks uncertain, then after a rapid three minutes of escalation there’s a general explosion and they both have to be taken out of the room because they’re howling so much. Ugh. It was touch and go but finally a library lady came by and persuaded them that they would be OK going on in, so they did – about ten minutes late. They were both a bit of a pain in their own ways (Lara was being manic – I’ve never seen a fairy dance quite so violently, and Lillian was mainly sitting at the sidelines refusing to join in) but eventually they came to and started colouring in and decorating … well, they simply couldn’t help it, it was too enticing. Made magic wands, decorated biscuits with icing and sweeties, coloured in butterflies, listened to stories, etc. All the proper things a fairy should do. As Lillian put it later to her mum, ‘crying first, then, happiness.’

Afterwards, having obtained permission, we brought Lillian home for a playdate… and indeed this was a boon for me because they kept themselves amused with the very mildest of supervision, which meant that I was able to catch up on some paperwork, something I’d never have been able to do if Lara were there on her own. Ready-packaged pizza entirely acceptable for lunch, preparation time approximately 5 seconds. If only more things were like this.

We didn’t get round to returning Lillian home until almost 3:30, by which time it was pretty tight to get to the post office before swimming lessons. Post office, because we had to send off some MORE forms for our visa. Have I told you yet? Ah, the wonders. Well we submitted our visa application sometime back in September, and as one of the many, many requirements we had to provide criminal checks for every country we’d lived in for the last 10 years for over 12 months. Which was just the UK. So we did. Now, by mid-January the visa was just about due to be ready and processed, but instead we got a call from someone at the visa office. Ah, how are you. Now, it seems that you’ve been in Australia for over a year, so we need a criminal background check. But we weren’t in Australia for a year when we submitted, nor nothing like… it’s just because the form has been sitting with you for so long. Well, yes. We now need a check.

Well, what can one say. So, police check it is. We filled in the forms but I wanted to send it off registered, hence the little trip to the post office. They say it’ll come back within 15 working days. I guess that’s about three weeks.

Swimming lessons were, as usual, enjoyed. She was flailing a bit and I can’t say there seemed to be massive progress from last time, but she was grinning as if her cranium were about to split in two for a flip-top effect so I guess one can call it a success.

I realise at this point that I’ve missed out a significant number of days in the tally here. I think I left off on about Thursday last, which was when we went for the fishing jaunt. On Friday, we spent most of the day with Indiah – she came at about 10 in the morning and we went straight off to the beach before it got too hot. They did pretty good swimming and diving actually. Then back home, lunch (the by-now-traditional pizza, oh so easy and appreciated), and an afternoon of play. I left them to it, it’s bliss now that they’ll just get on with it rather than having to be directed the whole time. As she left at about this took up most of the day, and I think there wasn’t much to report on after this.

On Saturday we mainly took it pretty easy during the day (and BOY it was hot) but in the evening we went over to one of Ian’s colleague’s house for a BBQ. He has three kids (all a bit older than the Non) and most importantly BUNNIES. Well, his daughter has bunnies. And a large back garden. Non spent the early evening running up and down on the grass and being pandered to and encouraged to kick a football, then eating nothing but sausage sandwiches for dinner (can you imagine the bliss?) and THEN when she got tired tucked up under a comfy blanket in the sitting room which, rather bizarrely, was mainly filled with the pen of a couple of lop-eared rabbits. They also had a brace of long-necked turtles, very small, about 3 years old. Beady-eyed little things that regarded one with the deepest suspicion. While the girl was tucked up, we were having a very nice time talking to everyone there who were all without exception extremely affable – there were two other couples invited so it was a pleasant little party in all.

If you look right in the corner of her arm you'll see the tiny lop, snuggling

On Sunday there was of course Nippers, and Non was eager to be back after such a long break. I stayed at home and put in some small amount of much-needed work in the writing field. They came back good and tired as usual, so we had a quiet heat-of-the-day-hide-in, with tortellini and Mario Carts on the DS. In the afternoon went out to one of the ‘livesites’ events that pop up occasionally: today it was kites on the foreshore. Not a huge number but very impressive in any case, there should be some pics to come. Glorious day for it, breezy as hell and blue as sapphire, sand and wind everywhere and kites flapping like mad.


When we got back there was a call from Anna asking whether Lara would like to come for a sleepover… would she ever. So of course, off she went. Unfortunately by the time she left it was pretty late anyway, and we hadn’t planned anything special like a trip to a restaurant of the cinema, so we just stayed in as usual but I have to say the next morning was rather pleasantly quite.

Picked her up on Monday at about , and spent the rest of the (again) VERY HOT day doing not much more than woozling. I’m not even sure we went to the beach. That hot. Really can’t remember.

Anyway, it’s all more than a bit slapdash but tomorrow is Australia Day, so Daddy will be home and there will be Stuff going on. I think we’ll try to get down to th Foreshore for early races (one of Ian’s students is doing the Stockton swim, so we’ll go and cheer her on), and try to get back home before the real terror of the heat sets in: last year it was pretty intense and we were zombied for the next couple of days.  

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