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