My big sister Jacki and Mum and Dad stayed with us this weekend. Jacki lives in northern NSW, and gave herself the week off from work and kids to visit Mum and Dad, then drive down with them to visit us.
We hadn't seen Jacki for over two years - she paid us a flying visit while this house was being built, when we were down at Kingston Beach. We are planning to return the visit later this year, and see for ourselves the semi-tropical wonderland where they live. Jacki, Tim, Malachy and Brinley live in Smiths Lake, but the town up the road where Jacki's little boy Malachy goes to school is called Pacific Palms - which for me has "concrete flamingo" written all over it. But I have now seen the home movie DVD - Pacific Palms Public School is so crowded with palms there is hardly room for the kids.
All three visitors and Marcus came along to the indoor soccer semi final on Friday night, rugged up to the maximum. The indoor centre is basically a draughty shed. For a while it looked like we might oblige them with a win, but we went down 4-3.
Yesterday we continued the theme, with Mum and Dad coming along to Marcus's soccer match, while Jacki explored South Hobart on foot (rugged up to the maximum). South Hobart under 7 also had a titanic struggle, coming back from three goals down for a 4-4 draw. Marcus was magnificent and a true sportsman - it warmed the cockles. Robert the coach spent a solid five to ten minutes just with Marcus after the game, going over all the good things he did. He took the praise graciously.
Last night my little sister Sally and husband Matt came over for dinner, and Mum and Dad and all their children were in the same spot for the first time since Michael was tiny. Of course it turned into a photofest. I think everyone had a good time - it was hard to stop laughing long enough for the photos. They were all taken by the others, so I will have to wait until I am sent some to post them here.
The boys don't see much of Sal and Matt and virtually nothing of Jacki, so it was terrific to see them going around giving everyone warm hugs at bedtime.
Today Mum, Dad and Jacki headed back north - Mum to spend the day looking at galleries and Dad and Jacki to go to the Hawthorn v North Melbourne game at York Park (rugged up to the maximum).