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We love Byron Bay

The girls have had a real treat this past couple of days. Lucy’s best friend and her mum came to visit on Tuesday and we showed them the sights of Tabulam. A lunch at the café, buying local blueberries that have just come into season and a play at the river were on the agenda. We then took a trip to Byron Bay with them and as luck would have it, Alice’s best friend was in the area with her family so we were able to catch up with her for a couple of hours too.

It was so lovely to see Lucy back to her quirky cute self and it was like her and her bestie haven’t been apart at all! Alice and her friend quickly picked up their friendship too and she was so happy.

We stopped for coffee and gelato on the way in Bangalow. I was pleasantly surprised by their CWA Rooms, it was a buzz of activity with ladies sitting around tables knitting and chatting. There were lots of beautiful handmade crafts to purchase too.

In Byron we stayed in a caravan park and the girls played in the water park and showed off their gymnastic skills on the jumping pillow. We had absolutely perfect weather and walked from The Pass up to the Lighthouse yesterday morning. Whale season is definitely in full swing and we saw dozens of humpback whales migrating, with some coming really close to shore. It’s such an amazing sight to see.

We wandered the streets, stopping for coffees and treats for the girls. There were buskers almost every each street corner to listen to and so much colour in street art. The three girls loved all the souvenir shops wanting to go in every one to see what they could buy with their pocket money. Eventually they settled on postcards, some jewellery, bookmarks, crystals, and little animals.

Walking along the main street one evening heading to Thai Lucy for dinner, we were stopped by a lady saying she’d love to photograph the ‘redheaded twins’. I had a little giggle and told her they weren’t twins but thanks for the offer. She gave me her business card and wants me to contact her next time we are in Byron. I did have a look at her work when I got home and wow, she is good! Maybe I’ll take her up on her offer one day.

We also visited The Farm in Ewingsdale, admiring the piglets and free range chickens, cracked Macadamias in the Macadamia orchard and ate delicious pastries from the bakery.

It was such a special couple of days for us to unwind and enjoy the company of friends. Although it is nice to back home to the peace and quiet of Tabulam, we do love Byron Bay.

We’ll have a few days rest then off to SeaWorld Resort next week for two nights with more friends. It’s really going to be an amazing but busy school holidays.

Hooray for Holidays

I started this Blog as a personal diary for our family of our time in Tabulam. One day, we hope to print it out for us to remember what we did and what fun we had. I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since I last wrote a post. The last couple of weeks of term were crazy busy with me working full-time in the office at the school.

I missed out on a lot of things the girls were doing at the school but we are finally starting to see some money being saved and getting that step closer to paying off the mortgage. The girls had their school athletics carnival and both did so well, receiving ribbons for almost every event they entered and Alice being named Junior Girls Champion. She was so proud of herself. They will compete in the District Carnival next term with the other local schools.

We’ve celebrated a couple of birthdays since my last entry. Alice turned 10 and Linden turned 40. My Mum (Nanny) came to stay for Alice’s birthday and we had a lovely time with her. At least the weather was kinder to her this time around and not as hot as her Summer visit. Alice chose to spend the day in Byron Bay and while the sun was out, it was a bit too windy to spend much time at the beach so we wandered around town, visited the lighthouse, had afternoon tea at a lovely café and then drove home for dinner.

While Nanny was here, I took her to visit Tooloom Falls which had a heap of water flowing after the recent rain we’ve had. It was looking much better than the last time I visited a few months back.

The girls and I have started a beginner’s Archery course in Lismore on Saturday afternoons. I’m loving learning something new and we all get so excited when one of our arrows hits the gold in the middle of the target. Admittedly, our target is pushed pretty close to us but we are just learning technique at the moment. I hope to get a bow and arrow for us to use at home, we have a huge paddock out the back that we could set up with targets. The girls are enjoying it too, though Alice has a hyper-extended elbow and it gets bruised by being hit with the string each time she shoots (even with arm guards). We have been given some exercises to help her twist her elbow without twisting her wrist which will hopefully help.

We are so happy for two weeks’ school holiday and are waiting for one of Lucy’s best friends to arrive this afternoon for a visit. Then tomorrow we are going to go over to Byron Bay for two nights with them. A girls trip away sounds perfect. We are so excited to see her and her Mum and we have lots to show them. The cows up the road all have calves and we have a beautiful big python down by the river that suns itself on a tree. Linden even saw a platypus a couple of weeks back but I’ve not seen one yet.

Next week we have another adventure planned – Sea World for two nights with one of my dearest friends and her two girls. Stay tuned for the updates.

Until next time.

Tabulam Campdraft

Today we got to watch a sport we’d never heard of 6 months ago. I have no idea of the rules or classes of Campdrafting but it was so exciting to see these skilled riders and horses working the cattle. They’re so fast! I just wish the weather was better so we could have stayed longer.

I came home and searched the internet for some explanation – Campdrafting is a unique Australian sport involving a horse and rider working cattle. A rider must “cut out” one beast from the mob of cattle in the yard or the “camp” and block and turn the beast at least two or three times to prove to the judge that they have the beast under control; then take it out of the yard and through a course around pegs involving right and left hand turns in a figure eight, before guiding it through two pegs known as “the gate”. The outside course must be completed in less than 40 seconds.

It’s been a busy weekend down at the racecourse with trucks, horse floats and caravans driving past our house. When we drove down this morning I was surprised at how many people were attending and competing.

There will be another Campdraft held in a neighbouring town next weekend and another in two weeks. I’m hoping the weather improves for those ones so we can stay a bit longer and take more photos.

It’s a complete different world to what we were used to back on the Central Coast and I’m loving that we are seeing so many new and different things here. The girls were really interested in watching the cattle being loaded on and off the big trucks and watching the competitors. Lucy even found herself an old horseshoe in the mud that she’s brought home to clean up as a souvenir.

Everyone Loves a Parade

Who doesn’t love a parade? Casino was a bustling town during Beef Week and we stopped by to watch the Parade a couple of Saturday’s ago. Sawdust and hay bales were scattered on the main street and prizewinning cattle were paraded up and down followed by various colourful floats. There were amusement rides, music and market stalls. I love how stylish the farmers are with their shirts, hats and boots..

We had to stop the car on the way to our horseriding lesson the other afternoon as a farmer was mustering his cattle along the road. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching them herd their cattle on horseback with 3 or 4 dogs working. I was surprised how quietly it happens too.

I celebrated a birthday last week – 46 years old now. It was a quiet day at work as I hadn’t told any of the ladies I work with in the office but as I was walking past Lucy’s class, she told her teacher so the class stopped and sang to me. It was so beautiful. We are now preparing for Alice turning 10 and Linden turning 40 in a couple of weeks.

School photos were last week and I had to sit in the staff photo. I think it’s been around 30 years since I’ve had to have a school photo and I still get put in the front row being one of the shortest!

It’s getting pretty cool around here now and the locals are saying they are expecting a very cold Winter after having a mild one last year. Typical, Summer was crazy hot and now they say Winter is going to be crazy cold. Just my luck. Thankfully our fireplaces were all checked yesterday so we can now have a fire to keep us cosy at night. We even had a campfire and toasted marshmallows down by the river last weekend which was fun.

Mum is coming to stay for a week soon so we are all looking forward to that. She’ll be here for Alice’s birthday and we hope to go to Byron Bay for the day to celebrate.

This weekend coming is going to be another busy one, we’ll go to Lismore on Saturday as usual but after gymnastics the girls and I are going to have an archery lesson. I’m excited to learn something new. Saturday night there are some fireworks for a fundraiser for one of the local schools and on Sunday we are going to watch a Campdraft (a horseriding sport working cattle) down at the local racecourse.

Hopefully I’ll have lots of photos and stories to tell for my next post.

Until then x

Horseriding and Blueberries

I take my hat off to Mum’s who work full time and keep a house in some kind of order. I’ve been working 3 or 4 days a week for a few weeks and I’m already feeling like I’m drowning. Today is my first free day in a couple of weeks. Though I must say, I am really happy that I’m able to contribute to saving money now and paying some of the bills. I might even book myself into their hairdresser now that I have some money of my own – it’s way overdue.

The girls are both loving horseriding lessons and the horse they are learning with is so gentle and calm. I’m sure their gymnastics skills have helped them with their balance and core strength on the horse. It’s great to watch them learning something new and beaming with excitement. They look forward to every Monday now. We are hoping to go and watch one of their friends compete in a Gymkhana on the weekend and there’s a local Campdraft coming up soon so we’ll check that out as well.

Tabulam hosted their first Blueberry Festival a couple of weekends back and I was the official photographer as well as helping out with the CWA jam stall for the day. It was a long day and I was exhausted by the time I got home but it was a real success. There were market stalls, information stands, SES and RFS and a jumping castle to entertain the children. While we had a bit of drizzly rain to start the day, it fined up by lunchtime and it didn’t seem to stop people visiting and walking around the stalls. The CWA sold out of all its cakes, biscuits, jams, conserves and compotes with only a few scones left by the end of the day. My blueberry monte carlos were a hit as was the blueberry and banana bread I made. I’ll have to make double the amount for next year’s festival!

The new season harvest will be soon ready for picking and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those delicious fresh blueberries.

Lucy competed in the District Cross Country carnival last week and came third so she made it onto the next level which is Zone to be held tomorrow in a town outside of Lismore. Apparently it’s a real cross country track with a big hill. Alice unfortunately dislocated her toe two days before the District carnival so couldn’t run. She should be okay to compete in the school Athletics carnival in June though which she’s happy about.

Casino Beef Week is on this week and there are celebrations in the town all week. The girls and I are looking forward to the street festival and markets on Saturday afternoon. We’ve heard they lay sawdust down on the main street and parade cows through town. It should be a fun afternoon with lots of activities and cattle competitions. It will be yet another ‘first’ for us. There have been so many new and exciting things for us to experience here.

 

 

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