Bianca and the boys picked me up early from work on Friday and we headed off to Prestbury Farm near Toowoomba for the weekend. The food box and esky held supplies for more than a week. We arrived to a warm welcome from the farmer's wife Sally and one of his three daughters who showed us our cottage which already had smoke billowing out of the chimney. Our friends, the Fields, arrived a short while later and it wasn't long before we had our feet up and were nursing some red wine in front of the fire.
The kids woke at sparrows and made enough noise to ensure we didn't miss the sunrise, which wasn't bad once I'd overcome the bends from rising out of a deep sleep. Jackets and shoes had to be forced on them and breakfast into them before they headed off to explore the far reaches of the farm on their bikes. Farmer Rob kindly loaded the kids onto the back of his bakkie to join him on the feeding errand. The restful lazy hours were regularly interrupted with games of soccer, bush walks, tennis and quad bike rides. Other outings included watching the steers being weighed, afternoon tea in the farm kitchen and an evening bush BBQ where we were treated to farm sausage and a traditional Aussie damper. (Just a moerse stok brood wrapped in tin foil and buried underground with coals.) The next day Keal proudly showed us a dingo skull with a redback spider on it. These poisonous spiders have only accounted for a dozen known deaths in Australia to date (and that was before an antivenom was available), luckily a statistic that didn't change over the weekend.
The sun made a welcome appearance this weekend giving us all a sniff of spring. I was so excited I even gave our boat Naartjie a spring clean in anticipation of the warmer weather. Friday night had us at a fundraising trivia night, which was heaps of fun even though we didn't know many of the Australian general knowledge questions, let alone the answers. Did you know that the Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke held the world record for downing a yard of beer?
On Sunday we took things easy and I attended to some much needed maintenance around the garden. After several months I have given up waiting for Sam, our old gardener, to arrive from Mozambique.
For Tyle's birthday I was given the job of being chaperone on an outing to the movies. We arrived armed with a bag of lollies (sweets), chips and cokes, together with three hyperactive youngsters (even before the sugar injection). The boys filled their faces throughout the feel good movie, which involved the predictable underdog team of rejects winning the grand final and everyone living happily ever after.
Two hours later, when we got back to the car, which was parked down a side road, we found the car keys dangling in the driver's door. What luck! The unfortunate thing of living in Australia is that your stuff so rarely gets stolen that you can't get insurance payouts to regularly update your technology and CD collection.