I’ve been at Mum’s for 5 days now. The train ride up was fairly pleasant, as pleasant as long train journeys can get, I guess. 6 hours on a train is never exceptionally fun, but it was bearable. It was hard saying goodbye to Nell, though. Love her dearly and miss her loads.
Arrived in Tamworth on time to be met by 6 men of the family, my stepdad, John, brothers B and G and their 3 sons. Much hugging and giggling later, and after young K had seen the train engine close up, we stopped off to get dinner on the way to G’s place to meet the wives ( as well as mum, B is with K, and G is with J) and other child.
Mum v happy to see me, as you’d expect after not seeing me for 18months. Much hugging and kissing and chatting and giggling. Headed out for the hour drive to Barraba a few hours later. Quiet roads, nice countryside, assorted witticisms from John made it go fairly quickly. B & K and their son J were staying at Mum’s too, but were going to follow later.
Got to Mum’s and settled into my room for the week – they’ve got a 4 bed house, which is really too big for them now, but Mum likes to have it so we 4 kids can all come visit at the same time without pitching tents in the yard. The house is a typical big old country property, tin roof, big verandah and lots of assorted bugs, grass seeds, bindies and birds. They use bore water from the artisian well for laundry and toilet, and sometimes the shower when it hasn’t rained for a bit. But they’ve had a bit of rain recently, so the tanks are fairly full and can shower in normal water, not the strange smelling yellowy stuff that gets pumped up from underground. Ah, the joys of middle-of-nowhere living! Don’t get me started on the spiders and bugs, especially not the grass seeds that get into absolutely everything…
Anyway, Friday was a bit of a rest & recovery day before we had the extended family over en masse on Saturday for Nana’s 85’s birthday party (subtitled the welcome home Jane party). Sat morning was a lesson in how to get my mum flustered and panicked, as she panics at the drop of a hat but especially when the house will be full of people. So all morning Sat was cooking before the fambly arrived for lunch. Nana, Aunty L and Uncle T, brothers B & G and their families, and B’s school friend/best man, J and his family of 4. 18 in all made for a quite busy house, and made John v busy on the bbq! But the food was delish, Nana got some nice presents and it was really nice to see everyone. Got a little tipsy only, not raging drunk, but everyone had a good time.
Sunday was recovery day again, and B & K left mid-morning for the drive back to Qld, and G & J and assorted kids left not long after for their drive back to Tamworth. Was really good to see B again – I’ve not seen him for a good few years and he seems to be doing very well for himself. Rather proud of him actually, in that proprietary sisterly way. ;)
After the departures I spent the day reading my big David Eddings omnibus between chores for Mum and John.
Monday mum & me went to Tamworth for the day. Got another 2 pairs of shoes (that makes 4 in total this trip! I’m such a girl!:) a couple of skirts and a couple of shirts. Also bought present for flatmate to say thanks for cat-sitting my wee hairy beastie. And no hints, Mark – you’ll have to wait til I get home! No luck on Christine’s Ugg boots tho. Bummer. Oh well, I’ll look at Dad’s next week. Stopped in at G & J’s on the way back for a quick coffee and farewell – I won’t see them now before I go to Dad’s on Thursday morning. It’s lovely to see G again – he and I get along v well, we’re similar people and understand each other.
Today I’ve setup Mum & John on the internet. She’s a bit old-school and scared of computers, so I’ve taken care of all the installation stuff and shown her how to send me emails and how to get to my blog so she doesn’t have to go in to the library anymore. Going to spend the rest of today going through the boxes of stuff I’ve got stored here. I sold almost everything I owned when I went to the UK, but there’s some stuff that you just want to keep, and Mum’s getting worried that the bugs and rats are getting into the outbuilding it’s all stored in, so I’ve got to go through it again and perhaps do another cull. Then I leave early Thurs morning for the plane to Sydney, before another 4 hour train trip to Nowra where the train stops. Dad will meet me there before heading out for a 3 hour drive to get to his on the south coast of NSW. Thus begins the next chapter of my holiday. Next post will probably be from his house. (EDIT: And this post too, cause WordPress were having an upgrading party and the system was giving me lip!)
Hope all are well and as happy as me.xx