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One adventurous Sunday

Last Sunday we decided to have a change from the usual boring housework routine and went on an adventure. The weather was perfect for a bushwalk, not too hot and not raining so we drove to Bald Rock National Park near Tenterfield and climbed to the Summit of Bald Rock (the largest exposed granite rock in Australia). There are two tracks to the summit, of course Linden chose the steep Rockface Walk. Thankfully, we came back down the easier Bungoona track. We were lucky enough to see a beautiful python and some Cunningham’s Skinks along the way. The balancing rocks were so interesting, huge granite rocks just balancing on top of the rock. It’s hard to imagine how they were formed. We missed the flowering of rock lilies which would have been stunning, but there was so much else to look at, we weren’t worried.

After our Bald Rock walk, we drove to nearby Boonoo Boonoo (pronounced Bunna Bunnoo) falls and walked the short distance to the viewpoint. There were some really nice campsites in the area an pools to swim. The water was a bit cool but Linden and the girls went for a dip in the Platypus Pool.

Next stop on our tour was Thunderbolt’s Hideout, believed to have been used by Captain Thunderbolt to hide from the Troopers. “Captain Thunderbolt” (1836-1870) was a famous bushranger who began his career when he escaped from Cockatoo Island prison in Sydney Harbour. He had been serving a sentence for stealing horses. It was fun to walk around the tracks and find caves and imagine a bushranger hiding out from the police.

This past school week has been a very busy one. The girls went on an overnight school camp to Thunderbird Adventure Park at Mount Tamourine on the Gold Coast. They had a ball playing laser skirmish, fossicking for thunder eggs and had a bonfire at night. The came back home with lots of stories and a bag each full of rocks and treasures they had found.

Swim Club has started back up again and they’re really enjoying Thursday afternoons swimming with their friends.

Friday afternoon the Bonalbo pub organised a Halloween Trick or Treat afternoon. The kids were split up into two groups and we had a list of houses to visit that were happy to welcome Trick or Treaters. There were so many scary costumes, it was awesome to see the children of all ages having so much fun. I walked with the older group and they were all so well behaved. There were lots of lollies handed out and lots of smiling faces. It was great to be involved in such a well organised event.

I’m definitely looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow though, it’s been a hectic week for all of us.

Until next time.

A walk around town

I’ve been wanting to do this Blog post for quite some time but never seem to get around to it (or have I shared a similar story previously and my memory is failing me again?). During the school holidays, while Mum was visiting, I took her for a walking tour around town to take some photos so I could capture what the actual centre of town looks like. She was a bit grossed out by my obsession with a decaying cow over the other side of the highway and I did take her to the first cemetery in Tabulam to look at some old graves by the river. There is the main cemetery up near the Racecourse, but this little one is just a few graves and I’m intrigued by their age and stories.

I thought people might be interested to see what this little town looks like. Hope you enjoy the snaps.

Lucy turns Nine!

Tomorrow marks one year since we moved into this house in Tabulam and what a year it’s been. Alice was a bit teary again this morning, missing her old  home but I keep reminding them of all the amazing things we are getting to see here that we wouldn’t experience in Bensville.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks with Mum visiting for the second week of the holidays then back to school with Lucy’s 9th birthday thrown in the middle. Thankfully the weather was cooler for her and we even had a few spots of well-needed rain to help the gardens and water tanks along. We took Mum to Alstonville one day for lunch and visited Summerland House Farm and pottered around the gift store. Afterwards, we went over to Ballina for a quick swim to cool off then drove back home. We didn’t do a lot while she was here, as she was pretty worn out from a 3 week bus tour of Western Australia. We did manage to spend a day at the Macadamia Castle and had a lovely time patting the animals and watching the free flight bird show. After the castle, we visited Lennox Head for lunch and the girls had a swim at Lake Ainsworth, a tea tree lake that is so beautiful. The water is stained brown from the trees but it makes your skin and hair feel incredibly soft.

The girls had a horseriding lesson and their swim club presentation while Mum was staying so it was great for her to see them riding Crystle. Lucy was awarded a 3rd place trophy at swim club for her division and she was so excited for her first trophy.

Linden and I also took advantage of having Mum here so we left the girls with her for an afternoon and took the canoe out. We paddled up under the Tabulam Bridge and along a little creek. It was peaceful with the only sounds being some lizards splashing in the water and birds chirping. I think I may have seen my first platypus too – though it was too quick to be sure.

Mum had to leave early on Lucy’s 9th birthday so we gave Lucy the choice of what she’d like to do for a family day. After dropping mum off at the train station, we had breakfast in a café and then headed to the coast for the day. We went back to Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head. We stopped at a lookout spot and watched humpback whales and dolphins playing and jumping out of the water. It was incredible. Then went to Byron Bay for the afternoon. We ate birthday cake in the back of the car with ocean views and the girls went surfing in the crystal clear water of The Pass. It was such a perfect day and it was the first day of the school holidays that I actually felt really relaxed. The ocean is my calming place – I think it has that effect on all of us. The smiles on the girls’ faces were the biggest I’ve seen in a long time.

We are back at school again and slowly getting back into some kind of routine. The local pool has opened again for the 2017/18 season and swim club will start back up next week.

Before we know it, it will be the Christmas school holidays and we’ll be heading back to the Central Coast for a couple of weeks holiday. The girls are very excited to see their old friends again.

Be warned, there are lots of photos of the birthday girl this week!

Until next time xx

School Holiday Fun

This time one year ago, we were decluttering our house and saying goodbye to friends and relatives as we were getting ready for our 3 year adventure to the country. It’s hard to believe that we are now a third of the way through. Before we know it, we’ll be packing up again for the next adventure. Who knows where that will be, but we are pretty sure it will be back on the Central Coast.

Tabulam is currently busy with backpackers living around town picking and packing blueberries. Their driving skills are a little dangerous but otherwise they keep to themselves and seem to be having a good time. Workers have also arrived to start building the new Tabulam bridge which will apparently take a couple of years to complete. The site office has been set up with 4 or 5 shipping containers and looks like it will be a busy hub out by the highway.

We are still in need of rain, though apparently it’s pretty normal for winter here to be dry. The paddocks are very brown and there’s been talk of farmers having to buy feed for their cattle as there is no good pasture at the moment. With the extra backpackers renting in town, most people are running out of water in their tanks. We do pump up water from the river for most people, but it still doesn’t seem enough. The river is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, we can see rocks and areas that we’ve never seen before because they’ve been underwater. There are always people complaining and Linden is trying to help out as much as possible with the pumping. There is a yearly fee to help out with the cost of pump maintenance and diesel fuel and we generally use that water for washing, toilets, watering the garden and even the showers. We rely on the rainwater tanks for drinking.

There has been a lot of talk of snakes around town so we are being extra mindful walking down to the river making sure we make lots of noise. I don’t mind the pythons but I’d rather not come across a brown or black while I’m out walking the dog.

School holidays are halfway through and we’ve had a jam packed week with a trip to Dreamworld, visits with relatives and playing with friends. One of my dearest friends gifted us season passes to Dreamworld so we spent 2 nights on the Gold Coast visiting Dreamworld and White Water World. We always have a lot of fun riding the roller coasters and water slides. I think our favourites are the water slides, though the weather was a bit cooler than it has been in Tabulam so we only spent ½ a day there. The girls are real daredevils and went on loads of crazy big rides that go upside down and round and round. Lucy is keen to go on everything straight away but Alice needs to warm up a bit before she goes on the really scary ones. We even managed to get Linden on a roller coaster that went upside down!

After Dreamworld we drove to Brisbane for a visit with some of my most favourite people in the whole world. The Brisbane Ryans. My Aunt Sheila and Uncle John (JJ) have been so very special to me my whole life. My dad died when I was 18 and every time I see JJ, I see my Dad as he would have been if he had grown old. JJ is getting older, slower and frailer but my goodness, his sense of humour hasn’t diminished. He makes me laugh and I love him like no-one else. I also love seeing how much respect he gets from the younger generation. I have witnessed it on many occasions in the past at family reunions but watching my girls sitting with him in the sunroom telling him all about their lives and being so interactive with him was just beautiful. It was an image I will keep forever.

Aunty Sheila is still the fiery, beautiful woman I have always loved. She tells it how it is and doesn’t sugar coat anything. God how I love them both. My cousin Cate was there too and it was awesome to see her and her son Dominic. We always have so much to talk about and catch up, I wish we could see them more often.

After we had our Gold Coast trip, we’ve had a few quiet days at home to get the house in order before my Mum comes to visit for a week. The girls had a couple of friends come over for a play and we all went to the river for a swim. The girls played a game called ‘stick stick’ where they choose a small stick that will float on the water, then stand around in a circle and splash until the stick can’t be seen. Then they have to look for the stick when the water settles and one of them grabs the stick, then the others have to chase that person. When they have been caught the game will all start over again. It was so good to see the girls playing such a simple game and having a ball. Here’s a video of some of the local children playing ‘stick stick’. Stick Stick Video

Now we are waiting to collect Mum from the train station tonight for the second half of the school holidays and Lucy’s birthday celebrations to begin.

Until next time xx

A visit from home

A visit from home is just what the Dr ordered to recharge my batteries. My sister Michelle had some days off work so decided to have a road trip to visit us. It was so good to have hugs and stories from home. We had a very busy weekend planned. With approval going through, we were able to collect our car. It is so awesome and will be perfect for driving around the country. We have so many adventures planned from little picnics down by the river to big camping holidays. I was a bit nervous at first driving a car so much bigger than anything I’ve driven before but it is perfect!

After we collected the car, did the weekly groceries and washed clothes at the laundromat (yes, our washing machine broke so I’m at the laundromat every Saturday until it gets fixed), we drove over to Bonalbo to watch some of the ‘Working Dog Trial’ competition. We even stopped off for a photo with the famous Working Dog Statue that was installed recently. Lucy felt right at home in her new cowgirl hat that we bought for her. She’s really embracing the ‘country’ lifestyle and wants all things cowgirl now. My sister even bought her an early birthday present of a gorgeous Schleich cowgirl and horse statue so she’s now obsessing over the catalogue and picking out more figurines to put on her Christmas list. We might have trouble moving her back to the Coast after our 3 years has expired.

On the other hand, I think Alice will happily move back to the Central Coast after her encounter with a snake on Monday. We took Michelle to the river and decided to go for a walk along the rocks near the rapids. Alice and Minnie went on ahead and I heard a blood-curdling scream and then she ran as fast as she could over the rocks, falling hard on her knee. I knew something was not right, I’ve never seen her so scared. Turns out she came across a snake sunning itself. It took us a long time to calm her down and she was still thinking about it hours afterwards. I actually think she scared the snake as much as it scared her. I’m still unsure of what type it was but it’s a reminder for us to be vigilant now the weather is warming up.

We also went for a drive on Sunday to the Channon Craft Market and wandered around the stalls buying Christmas gifts and enjoying the day. It’s a lovely, bright market with lots to see. Afterwards, we drove to Nimbin for a cuppa but had to be pretty selective of which coffee shop to sit down at with the amount of ‘activity’ going on. It’s an interesting place to people watch but not really our scene.

I let the girls have Monday off school so we could spend as much time as possible with Aunty Shelly. The girls decided to get out their gymnastic mat which they haven’t used in a long time and it was lovely to see them doing their tricks and practising again. Lucy even got her back walkover without support which she’s not had the confidence to do before. The smile on her face was awesome!

Michelle has gone home, and life is back to routine again. I’m working an average of 4 days a week at the moment but school holidays will be here again very soon. We’ve got another busy two weeks of holidays planned with my mum visiting for a week. My dearest friend also gifted us tickets to Dreamworld so we’re going to take advantage of them and stay two nights on the Gold Coast. Bring on the holidays!

Until next time xx

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