Monday, April 02, 2012

Catch up blog

Hi everyone. Not blogging so well at the moment - the bloggable events have just been sailing by unremarked-upon. In brief:
  • The Swiss came to town accompanied by Fred
  • I had a birthday
  • my Uncle Peter just made his first visit to his sister (my mum) since 1969
  • Michael came down with whooping cough
Chonk and Irma brought their kids over from Switzerland for a visit, primarily to see Bill and Felicity in Canberra. It was only about a year since their previous visit. Bill (85 this year) is reported to be more sprightly than he has been for some time. They made their side excursion to Tasmania at the start of the trip this time, and were fresh and energetic. We all went to the Bream Creek show one day, getting stuck on the way in possibly Bream Creek's first ever traffic jam.

Bea and Eric have delightful Euro/Texan accents. They are lovely bright, smart kids. They and all the visitors were entranced by the snake display at the Show, put on by the people who did Marcus's snake party a few years back. We are now hard to impress with snakes, but we were very blown away by the tree-felling race. This is a woodchopping event where;
the object of the event in the modern day arena is to climb the tree pole by cutting “board holes” and placing special tree boards in the notches to ascend up the tree in a spiral fashion. Whilst balancing on the top board … the axeman cuts the block half-way through … and then descends bringing the same boards back down. The axeman repeats the process up the reverse side of the tree concluding by severing the block in half … [while standing] on a board at a height of approximately 3.1m above the ground.
Pic and description from
 While the Swiss and Fred were here I had a family barby at the good old Cascade Gardens for my birthday. My Dad wrote me a beautiful haiku as a birthday present, recollecting my birth in the small hours one night in 1968.
One blessed morning
Christopher arrived safely
Dad slept peacefully
I also received a 2 terabyte hard drive which I am filling as I write. Boxes of old backup CDs and DVDs are being systematically tipped into it. Then I will sift, sort and  consolidate. Whenever I think about my bazillion bytes of storage I want to do an evil laugh. Who can hold me back from world domination when I have so much storage?

Today Uncle Peter and Auntie Chrissie flew back to Sydney after a whirlwind week driving about Tasmania like scalded cats. We have been applying increasing leverage to get them down here over the last few years. Chrissie had never been, and the only evidence I have that Peter was once here is a black and white photo of him holding me - I look like I weigh about 10 pounds. I heard a rumour that while he was here he saw an ad on TV for sheep dip, and it affected his views on the general sophistication of Tasmania.

Mum and Peter grew up in Sydney, and although he and Chrissie have travelled the world extensively (he was a gun computer salesman and still moves in rarefied business circles), he never could be persuaded to come south to see her until this week, even missing Mum's 70th birthday last year. But all is forgiven now.

I think they had a good time - but the strength of the sun took them by surprise. They said the roads were better than in NSW which is the opposite of what you usually hear. They covered a lot of territory - I get the impression Peter does everything at full tilt. We had everyone here for dinner on Saturday night, then got together again last night at Mum and Dad's.

It was good to see them, and just good to know they now had some picture in their heads of our lives. But now they've gone I can get on with dipping the sheep.

There is a whooping cough epidemic all over the country at present. Peter said that shortly after their latest grandchild arrived, when he mentioned the happy event, his doctor didn't even ask his permission but just sidled up and gave him a whooping cough jab. Michael had a regular cold about 3 weeks ago, got over it quickly but never quite lost the cough. The mum of one of his classmates rang last week to say that her daughter had been confirmed to have WC. Elf took Michael for a swab and he did too. The rest of us have not been tested as yet, but we have temporarily shelved the kiss-hello.

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