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Back to Routine

We’ve settled in back home and into the school routine for another year. The girls are enjoying their new classes and happy to be back with their friends. After school and Saturday morning activities have started back up again and I feel pretty relaxed.

The school swimming carnival was held last week on a 40+ degree day. I think being in such a small school has helped their confidence and they entered every race they could (other than butterfly). Alice came 2nd in 10yr girls 50m freestyle and 1st in the Junior Relay. Lucy came 2nd in 9yr girls 50m freestyle, 2nd in junior girls 50m breaststroke and 1st in the Junior Relay. I was so proud of them for having a go, especially when they are not competitive swimmers. They both made it onto the region carnival which will be this coming Friday.

I’ve started helping out at the school again and really enjoy the time I get with the kids and feeling like I’m making a difference. I still don’t know what I’m doing yet but the teachers give me tasks and I work through them. I’m about half way through my course and I’ve really started enjoying studying.

They’re both looking forward to swim club starting up again tomorrow afternoon. It’s such a fun afternoon with their friends.

Lucy has been asking about horse riding lessons and we discovered her teacher’s daughter is a wonderful instructor so I have to contact her to find out a bit more about it. I guess it was inevitable out here that one or both of them would want to learn to ride a horse. Alice says she’s not interested but that might change once she sees Lucy having a try.

The vege patch is getting a bit out of control and taking over the garden! Our freezer is overflowing with cherry tomatoes and zucchinis. I can’t keep up with how much it’s producing. I make zucchini slice every couple of days but it’s still not enough. We’ve even started supplying the Co-op with our basil. We have a few pumpkins that are getting bigger and a couple of watermelons growing nicely. It’s so overgrown out there that I’m scared to walk through it to pick veges in case there are snakes or other nasties under the plants. Did you know how prickly zucchini plants are? I cut zucchinis and the prickles from the leaves and stalks make my arms so itchy! I would hate to be a zucchini farmer, they must have some kind of arm protection to stop the itching.

The girls have their first friends coming over for a play date this afternoon and they’re all so excited. It’s difficult with their school friends all living a fair distance away but we’ve made arrangements for them all to catch the bus home together and I’ll drive them home after a couple of hours play. They’ve made some lovely little friends at school so I’m sure this won’t be the only play date organised.

I don’t have much in the way of photos this time around, just a few progress shots of the vege garden. I have been very slack in getting my camera out.

Busy, Busy, Busy

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had the time to write. We have been so busy with visitors and then the girls and I spent two weeks back on the Central Coast catching up with family and friends.

After we said goodbye to Mum in early January, my dear friend Louise came to stay with her two boys for a couple of nights. We had such a fun time with them and the kids all got along so well. We spent lots of time at the river finding baby turtles and making boats to float down the little rapids. The turtles were by far a highlight for us. We know turtles live in the river but it’s the first time we have seen any. We rode our bikes to show Louise and the boys the cows and they really embraced country life out here.

The girls and I then flew back to the Central Coast which was so exhausting but awesome just the same. We had so many people to try to see, we were sad we couldn’t fit visits in with everyone we hoped.

It’s interesting the contrast between life here in Tabulam and life back on the Coast. From one extreme to the other. I felt myself being so overwhelmed by the crowds, traffic, noise and people. At the moment I feel like I don’t really belong in either environment. It was so good to see friends, family and neighbours again though and the girls didn’t stop.

We spent time at the beach, the local swimming pool, Flipout trampolining centre with their cousin and much needed retail therapy at Erina Fair. The girls had sleepovers and play dates. We even managed to fit in a day trip to Sydney Aquarium with our good friends.

So many good experiences but it was really lovely to fly back home to Linden and Minnie.

However, our return to Tabulam took a turn for the worse when Minnie was bitten by a snake on Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with her, she was shaking and frothing at the mouth. We rushed her to the vet (the closest being almost an hour away) and the vet said she was showing typical symptoms of snakebite so they started treatment immediately and she had to spend a couple of nights in hospital. Thankfully she recovered and we brought her back home yesterday. They think it was either a tiger or brown snake so we have to keep vigilant when we walk down to the river or walking around our garden. Since none of us saw a snake, we are not sure when or where she was bitten. Now the tricky part is to try and keep her quiet for two weeks.

The girls are starting back at school next week, Alice will be going into the year 4/5/6 class and Lucy with be in the 2/3 class. I don’t think they are really looking forward to school but I’m sure they will have fun with their friends once they are there.

We are in for another hot week so I’ll be laying low, studying, volunteering and staying in the air conditioning as much as possible.

I have lots of photos to share this week, I hope you don’t get too bored.

 

 

Hello 2017

Happy New Year to all my family and friends who take the time to read my updates. I am very grateful and without the encouragement and awesome feedback I’ve been receiving from my Blog posts, I wouldn’t keep going. I’ve always enjoyed taking and sharing my photos but didn’t realise how much I would enjoy writing. So thank you all!

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I’d love to hear what they are and how you are going with them. If you are like me and don’t make resolutions, what are your hopes and dreams for 2017? I’m hoping we get the chance to explore more of the North Coast while we are living here with as many weekend getaways to the beach as we can manage. I’m sure our 3 years here will fly by and I’d love to see as much of the area as we can.

Linden’s garden is starting to colour up with some pretty flowers he’s planted in the front garden. In a few months it will be a sea of colour and will look so good. He’s such a hard worker and just loves his garden. And we get so many garden visitors. Yesterday, the girls caught two Christmas Beetles, a Stick Insect and two Katydids. Today it was a huge green frog.

We had a lovely couple of weeks with Mum though the weather wasn’t very kind to us and we weren’t able to get out and about as much as we had hoped. Still, it was lovely to spend time with her and the girls loved having their Nanny around (even if she did leave her hearing aids at home and couldn’t hear half of what we said!!).

Saying goodbye to Nanny yesterday morning on another hot day we were so relieved by a beautiful cool change and rain in the afternoon. It’s barely rained more than a few drops since we’ve been here and as we can only get tank water, we were hoping that we would get a good downpour soon. It was perfect and the temperature has dropped dramatically which makes everyone happier.

Having one visitor leave, we are now awaiting the arrival of our next visitors. One of my dearest friends Louise and her two boys will be arriving tomorrow to stay for 2 nights. I used to work with Louise a lifetime ago. She moved to the Sunshine Coast and we’ve managed to stay in touch and visit whenever we are able. I love seeing her when we get the chance and it’s like we only saw each other yesterday. The girls are looking forward to showing her boys around town and swimming in the river.

Here’s to an amazing 2017 full of adventure. I wish for you the very best for the year in health and happiness.

Until next time xx

January 4, 2017 - 10:50 pm

Karen - Hi Kathryn, I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and your photos are absolutely breath taking. I’m glad to hear you’re all settling in and I agree that your 3 years out there will have flown by before you realise! Happy 2017 to you all, I hope the year is full of happiness, good health and great memories (and lots of visitors). Take care, Karen x

January 9, 2017 - 8:45 am

admin - Hi Karen, thanks so much!! Only 33 months to go 😉 Hope you are all well, love seeing your beautiful boys on Instagram xx

Goodbye 2016

As 2016 draws to a close I wanted to take a photo of the Tabulam Bridge. It’s been earmarked for demolition and it is truly a piece of history for this little town. Tabulam Bridge is the longest single span wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. It is around 300 metres long and single lane traffic. It will be sad to see it replaced. I plan on walking back to get some different angle photographs of it soon.

We have had a lovely few days over Christmas with my Mum staying. I don’t think she was too impressed with the 2am wakeup from excited girls though. Santa had been and they wanted to see what gifts they’d received. I managed to get them back into their bedrooms to be quiet until 5.30am but it made for a very lazy, tired Christmas day. Thankfully, we didn’t have to drive anywhere and could just relax at home for the day. We had a lovely Roast Lamb lunch and blueberry cheesecake for dessert. Unfortunately Linden was called into work so he missed out on spending the afternoon and evening with us but that’s that nature of some jobs. Our neighbour’s wife also had to work so we invited him over for lunch and I was really glad that he accepted. I think the spirit of Christmas is all about sharing and I didn’t want him to spend Christmas lunch on his own. I think he had a good time with us and was grateful of some company.

Another lovely day was had on Boxing Day. We were so lucky that my sister and her family were in the area visiting her in-laws for Christmas so they drove out to see us on Boxing Day. We had a delicious lunch together and then went swimming in the river. We bought the girls big inflatable rings for Christmas and my two nephews received full face snorkel and masks which were so much fun. They had a great afternoon exploring the river and even found yabbies. We even managed to get Mum into the water!

She’s been saying how quiet and peaceful it is here, I hope that’s not code for ‘I’m so bored!’. It is hard not to get a bit bored around here and I worry that guests won’t enjoy it. I must say that the first 2 months have been lovely and relaxing but it is starting to get a little boring. I’m finding it difficult that any facilities/activities are so far away.

We took Mum for a day trip yesterday out to Evans Head. It’s the closest beach to us and is around 1 and a half hours away. I’d never been there before and was so happy we discovered it. It is so beautiful and I’m excited to go back out of school holidays when it’s not quite as crowded.

So at the end of 2016, I am sitting here reflecting on how on earth I got here! This time last year I’d not even heard of Tabulam let alone thought I’d move from our home in Bensville. It’s been a whirlwind few months but I’m glad we’ve taken the opportunity to give it a go. As Linden says, we’ll remember these days forever and have a good laugh at the things we’ve seen and done while out here.

Let’s hope 2017 is as fun and adventurous. We hope you all have a relaxing, peaceful and safe holiday and look forward to hearing all your adventures in 2017.

See you in 2017!!

 

 

January 10, 2017 - 12:22 am

Cindy - Hello. Ive stumbled across your blogs and omg it’s like I’m reading about my own life over the last 3 years here. Sometime you love the peace and quiet and other times you sit there and think im so board how am I going to get through the next 3 years.
School has also been my saviour, the more you can do the more people you meet. Keep it up.
You will gain some of the best memories of your life.
See you at swim club or are you coming to pool on Wednesday (blow up slide for kids from 2 till 4)

January 10, 2017 - 1:32 pm

admin - Hey Cindy! So glad you found me here. I’m keeping this up to date for family and friends back home so they can see what our life is like out here. It’s such a rollercoaster of emotions isn’t it? Won’t be long and your new chapter will begin. So exciting.
The girls and I are flying back home tomorrow for two weeks so we won’t be at the pool for the slide unfortunately. We’ll be back in time for swim club so will see you then. Have fun tomorrow afternoon. The kids will love it.

Hooray for Holidays

Only 3 more sleeps until Christmas and we’re getting very excited. My Mum will be arriving in Casino tonight on the Countrylink train and we are looking forward to having her stay over the Christmas/New Year break. Hope she’s enjoying her 10 hour train ride and not too uncomfortable. We’ve cleaned the house and made chocolate mousse for dessert all ready for her.

Minnie has lasted her 2 week trial period and we’ve decided she’s staying with us. She’s still barking lots but not nearly as much as she was. She has learned to sit and is learning to stay. She’s even playing with some other dogs which is so good to see. I take her for a bike ride every morning around 6am and she runs alongside my bike not caring about the cows, horses or chickens she sees. We take her down to the river and she’s getting more adventurous in the water, even going down some of the little rapids. She loves fetching a stick but doesn’t like to give it back and loves playing tug-of-war with her rope. All the toys we buy her? Well, she takes them straight under the house and buries them. Weird dog.

School holidays have started and it’s been lovely and relaxing so far. We went to the movies a couple of days ago to see The Trolls. What a fun, colourful movie with so many good songs to sing along to and a really great message. I thoroughly recommend it! This morning we spent time sewing little felt bunnies. It was actually really nice to spend a couple of hours with the girls teaching them how to sew. We would never have had the time when we were back home, always rushing from one thing to the next. Back home we were spoiled for choice of things to do, beach, parks, ice skating, reptile park, shopping, movies, anything you could think of was at our fingertips. Here, we have to learn to make our own fun. It’s hard that activities are so far away but I’m hoping we cope okay for the next three years.

We’re getting more and more produce from our garden, cherry tomatoes, basil, chives, shallots, zucchinis, beans, nasturtium flowers. So delicious and the girls love going out picking (even if they still won’t eat any of it!). We also have a big crepe myrtle tree in the backyard that has started flowering in a beautiful pink/purple colour.

The weather the past week has thankfully cooled down (though yesterday was 38 degrees again) making it much easier to sleep and more comfortable during the day.

We’ve put some Christmas fairy lights out on the front verandah to make the house look a little festive. It’s so pretty at night to see and I played around with some night photos of the girls practising with different light and I really like how they turned out.

Hope you like them too. Until next time xx

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