Apr 24, 2011

Damp Camp

Rainforest Leaves Nicole was fitter for duty the next day so we went on the customary walk while Josie sloped around at Base Zero with a book.

We then reverted to form and played cards and football and read books.

In the afternoon we went on a drive in the forest up to the excellent-sounding Point Pure Lookout.

Eloise was whingeing about this and that. In between bouts of out-of-school Literacy Hour. She forgot her shoes.

Anyway Point Pure was windy, and the clouds daunting.

The road though was better and eventually we found that this led back to the main road so we had found a less harrowing exit route for ourselves.

I was forced to remind the Slimms that the forest was, by law. not to be used as a source of firewood.

We set around the fire, upon our return, beneath umbrellas, the rain sizzling on the embers.

Afternoon Stroll

Brooyar State Forest In between showers, as the "lady-folk" got on with whatever it is that ladies get on with, I walked the dreaded dog once more.

The sun came out for me. Which was nice.

Camping: Fun As a Function of Facilities

Luxury Camping Nicole's cousin Josie came to visit last week, and we decided to go camping.

Avoiding the Easter rush, we pre-empted the exodus by a week. Nicole did a trawl of pet-friendly campsites on the internet and came up with Brooyar or Amamoor; Amamoor's access road had been cut off by the floods and was still incommunicado, so Brooyar it was.

Brooyar State Forest is up near Gympie, a few hours drive North of Brisbane. With an extra body in the car packing was a slight issue-ette so we downgraded our self-inflating mattress for yoga mats, and didn't worry about the duvets, settling for just plain old sleeping bags.

We were considering leaving the table behind but opted to leave that in, but I selflessly packed just the one change of clothes... plus a couple of extras, just in case of rain.

Still with all the optimisation things were still a bit of a squeeze but we made it up to Gympie where we stalled a while trying to find a place to sell firewood.... unsuccessfully.

Putting this pyro-Slimm-disaster to one side we headed off for the campsite and it turned out it wasn't too far out of town, up the Wide Bay Highway then a turn off.

At the end of the sealed road there was a Hallelujah Moment as the last Homely Homestead had firewood for sale. Deep Joy.

Then onto the gravel road, which wound its way into the forest. There were a few washouts and we began to realise the low-riding Mazda 3 once again is not the best for off-tarmac road war as unpleasant noises came from underneath while traversing with great care the washouts and ruts.

But eventually after 10km or so we arrived at the legendary camp site and headed for the facilities, which consisted of some composting toilets.

The tent went up without too much drama and as the sun went down the campfire went up and a glorious repast was served.

The camp site was nestled by Glastonbury Creek in a forested valley. A track led further into the hills and in the morning we headed up it.

Nicole wasn't too well, with a migraine, so she stayed behind to sleep it off, whilst the rest of us inched our way up the muddy track, eventually discovering a hiking trail that led up through a forest of grass trees and gums, across the ridge and back down to the campsite.

As we got back to the tent, the clouds started to roll in.

We played cards and read books for the rest of the day, relaxing. There was the occasional shower.

As the fire went up, the rain came down.

Apr 8, 2011

The Age of Responsibility

In the Woods Put it down to conformism or peer-pressure or whatever you like, but as time marches on, Eloise is asserting her independence more and more.

We're not allowed to pick her up from the classroom any more. Instead we must wait underneath the tree at the end of the courtyard for her to pack her pack, come down the stairs and deliver herself into our care.

She's even starting to carry her own bag, which is a step forward for independence, if not back health.

Apr 7, 2011

A Visitation from Scruffy

A Visitation from Scruffy We had a visit from Scruffy the classroom pet. He came home with a whole visiting toolkit, with food and a lead and a ball, which was just peachy to take home on the bike.

Also in there was a book that his previous hosts had filled in with details of his visits to them.

The idea being that we would fill in a page for him and Eloise would do a show and tell based on that the next day.

So we fed him, played games with him, stopped Matilda from eating him, etc. etc. for an evening.

He didn't get to sleep in Eloise's bed.

In the Neighbourhood

Scooter Scooting up and down.

Apr 1, 2011

The Beach of Unrelenting Focus and Direction

06:33:35 The Beach is all cleared up, no more Riverwalk sections sitting forlornly out in the bay. A horse wandered on the sand flats, an indeterminate distance, as the sun came up.

We've had Prince William in town to commiserate with the floodees, how exciting! And he's getting married on my birthday too.

The Lord Mayor has quit after the floods to become the Liberal (read Conservative) leader of the State Government.

Such evolution and excitement apart, life goes on.

Term is drawing to a close. We had a parent-teacher interview. Feedback generally positive, but a slight issue with distraction... don't know where she gets that from... reading and numeracy are going well, but when it comes to sticking insect parts into books Eloise is more interested in producing perfect colouring-in and then having a chat with her buddies.

All the kids get "home readers" every day at school, little books they bring home and read in the evening. Then the next day they bring them back to school and read them to parent volunteers before choosing a new one for the next day. It's all good fun.

She has grown to 111cm tall, whilst mysteriously maintaining mass parity at 15kg, given that she's been eating like the proverbial horse.