Jan 29, 2012


Puppies We see Peter down at the market every now and then.

He has three Rhodesian Ridgebacks, beautiful specimens, and he takes the whole thing kind of seriously, going to shows and all that.

And it just so happens he lives on our street.

So Eloise, dog-fan, was delighted to hear that Peter's lady-dog was in the family way and that she was due to drop around Christmas time.

She agitated every single day to be allowed to go and see the puppies. Initially this was not allowed because the puppies were too little, then because they were too delicate, then because she was just nagging too much and it was bloody irritating.

But finally I relented and we went around and were invited in to see the puppies wobbling around, suckling, sleeping, and pooing and peeing.

A week later we went back to see the puppies walking around, suckling, sleeping, pooing and peeing.

A certain sister-in-law should thank her lucky stars that she won't be required to lick up her offspring's doings.

Jan 16, 2012

Another Set of Visitors

One Year On After Mum had left, and after New Year, which was uneventful, thanks for asking, we had some more visitors in the shape of relatives-in-law, namely Josie, Nicole's cousin, who lives in Melbourne with her not-quite-husband mAdam; Adam, her not-quite-husband; John, her father and Nicole's Uncle; and Ros, his wife, Josie's mother and Nicole's Aunt.

They came for a flying visit and so we collected them from the airport and deposited them back there again afterwards.

In the intervening day or so we ate ourselves into a state of engorgement and rode the buses and CityCats up and down the river.

We introduced them to another Australian River City, but one where the water is water-coloured and the river can honestly be said to be a river rather then a big stream, and where the subtropical air is sweet with the fragrance of flowers of paradise. Which does tend to bring on Nicole's hayfever.

Anyway I think they enjoyed it, perhaps except the underground bits on the bus.

Jan 11, 2012

On another day in New South Wales

Uncertain Road We went out one morning to walk the dog and decided to go down to Ballina and see what beaches there were.

The writing was on the wall as we approached our candidate and the heavens opened, prompting eyebrows, so we progressed on the Lake Something Or Other where things were dry and took our chances.

We took an umbrella, sensibly, as a hundred yards onto the beach, raindrops began to fall, building rapidly to a drumroll of water on the umbrella beneath which we all cowered, lowing.

Eventually we came to the conclusion that things were unlikely to improve, and legged it.

Though we did manage a beachy walk later on.

Something woke me in the early morning and I looked outside to see dark and murk, so I decided to take a drive with the dog down to Byron through the valleys. It was a misty drive at first with ghostly groves of macadamias sliding by but then the rising sun reached through an edge of mist and we descended in clear air to find Belongil Beach which we tramped up and down, dodging the high tide surging up against the rocks.

Jan 10, 2012

Nightcap National Park

Nightcap National Park One day, down at Byron Bay, to relieve the obvious monotony of going to the beach every day, we decided on the second or third day to visit a waterfally rainforesty place.

And the place we chose was Minyon Falls in the Nightcap National Park.

The drive there was pleasant, kind of hyper-English as we drove along little country roads under those sort of archy tunnels of trees that are so very nice to drive under. Lots and lots of tree tunnels, and very windy roads in a condition of aged weariness. Then of course there were the extensive macadamia plantations, which were kind of un-English in a counterbalancing way, complemented in that sense by the nice weather.

The road gave way to a dirt track as we entered the National Park and the eucalypts to more exotic woodland and we climbed the valley-side before arriving at the car park. A short walk to the platform at the top of the falls, which weren't really in full flow, but rather a gentle glush across the cliffs which disappeared out of sight across the ledge, with a view below a hundred metres perhaps (but probably not) to matchstick figures beneath wandering around and waving up at us.

We decided to take the walk to the bottom, and so drove down to another car park where there was an idiosynchratic rooster wandering around idiosynchratically with a splendid ruff or comb or whatever, very pleased with himself though no doubt confused to find himself in a rainforest. Perhaps not intelligent enough for confusion we found out as he attacked his reflection in a car hubcap.

The walk itself was warm and steep, and after a couple of km, confusing as it disappeared with limited signage up a tumble of volcanic boulders which we needed to scramble up and over.

We wondered if Mum would make it with her bandaged leg, but she was a trooper and heventually we arrived at a theatre beneath the cliffs where the air turned to rain at the whim of the winds as the glush we saw from above became pulses of mist gliding down to the rocks beneath and the forests behind.