LOTS of catching-up to do for Easter but first, breaking news: I just won that competition!
Well, when I say 'I' I actually mean 'you' the readers / voters, of course. Thank you all so much! I'm still reaching for the smelling-salts here, it's quite stunning to be on coveted top of the list, first outright comp win ever, actually. Usually I'm delirious just to be mentioned somewhere. I know it's not the greatest story ever (and I even spotted a typo in there, tut tut) but there we are, you've given me another something to put on my CV, and it's vastly appreciated. Oh, it's at http://www.strictlyshakespeare.com/winnerspage.htm (in case anyone round here isn't all too familiar with the Strictly Shakespeare site by now...)
Now, where were we. It's been a mix of indulgent laziness and exceedingly nice strolls and little outings all over Easter, which is just the way we like it.
One of the earlier things I took the Littles to was the Easter Bilby versus Easter Bunny thing put on by the Parks... hang on I think I wrote about this a while back, didn't I? Well here's a picture of her and the other kids. Lots of finding clues and stuff like that. Lovely setting, and just down the road from us at Kahiba.
There was another similar excursion on 'Bush Art' with an aboriginal ranger. Here she is with her aboriginal hand-print. Luckily we didn't have to blow the paint on in the traditional manner, the ranger just had a spray bottle. Also luckily, we didn't have to paint on rocks because it would have been awfully heavy to carry home. Or a cave. They gave us pieces of cloth instead.
What you do is blow the outline of the hand on first, then take a twig and dob blobs and blobs of rows or paint all round the outline and work you way outwards in a sort of rainbow-aura type effect. Apparently, yellow is a girl's colour, grey and brown are boys, red is for men, white is spiritual. Although he did also say grey is for sickness. Hm.
While we were doing this the guide was talking away about various aboriginal stories, in no particular order or sequence, but it was all quite interesting. It seems that there are so many local variants of even the most fundamental sort of stories (like the origins of the shape of the Southern Cross – he said it was a tree with two cockatoos chasing it, the person at the Observatory had said it was the claw of an eagle, and if you 'go down south they'll tell you it's a stingray') it's almost impossible to get things 'straight', as it were. Also that the rainbow-Serpent is a white man's invention (?? wow). Another curious tidbit: the most heinous crime an aborigine can commit is apparently being greedy. Greed tops the list of no-no commandments, followed by incest at number two, something else at number three and murder at number four. Somewhat surprising, I thought, but fair enough.
It was an absolutely lovely day and the place was lovely. While the Little naughtily skipped off with the others, I saw my first wild goanna when the guide pointed it out. Dear me what must he have thought... he pointed to something with a long black tail trailing off into the bush in an indistinct way, and a bunch of crows following it, and I blurted out 'Oh, is it a lyre bird?' No, it's a goanna, he said dryly. Oh dear, really wish my eyesight would take a turn for the sharper. It was jolly impressive once I got a better look, though: must have been well over a meter long.
The next ones are pictures from when we took Daddy to the fossil place on Dudley beach. Absolutely beautiful day, as you can see, and Daddy turned out a real dab hand at finding super fossils: every other rock he turned over seemed to be covered in excellent leaf-prints.
Then, there was Easter, of course. Needless to say, this was … somewhat early in the morning. The Easter Bunny left a Galactic Bunny of gigantic proportions, a pack of autumn clothes, and of course lots of Easter Eggs... some of which he hid. The Easter Egg hunt was much enjoyed, and you'll see some pics of searching for (and finding) eggs. Here's the first clue, written on the blackboard... and then one egg found in the cereal packet.
Here's Princess Eggington. Her hair is looking even more fantastic after she stayed out all night. And here's Lara checking under a chair in search of eggs.
'Found another one!'
Tubby the Duck Beanie.. been much-desired and finally delivered by Easter Bunny.
Here's another excursion we went on: to the Yueleralbah trail (I think that's how they spell it) where we did the Easter Bilby and the Bush Art, only this time we took Daddy. Again, fantastic day. The two of them spent most of the time running little races in the persona of various Beanie Kids (that'll be the pictures of them disappearing into the distance). The bell birds were cheeping, the sky was blueing, and the air was generally freshing the tender green leaves of the vines sprouting all round and in short a more pleasurable experience would be hard to lay hands on. Here she is strutting her stuff in a new Easter outfit. (Both of them, actually.)
Now, this little piece of picture-narrative has somehow slipped by and lain dormant in my 'drafts' for ages, so I'll just bloody well POST is because loads has been happening since then. See you shortly!
('Don't call me shortly').