Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dennis' birthday and a cyclone

On the weekend John and I went to visit our dear friends Dennis and Amanda in Beachmere (which was just recovering from bushfires) to celebrate Dennis' birthday. But instead of extended family and a barbecue lunch, Dennis and Amanda got a visit from ex tropical cyclone Oswald, as king tide and flood waters causing a sea surge came over the sea wall and flooded the town. Good Beachmere residents came and helped each other but the damage would have been extensive.

So Dennis' birthday lunch was just us awesome foursome with quite wet feet ... and even John and I had to leave early so as not to be caught by more flooding. But we had a lovely time with Dennis and Amanda, and we agree that Beachmere is a *really* exciting place to visit!

Rain and wind lash the coast and the tide comes in. It was hard to stand up here.

A quiet place to meditate and watch the ocean?

The sea water floods the town. Nothing to be done, Mother Nature's in charge here ...
I made a short video as the water came in over the sea wall, probably to the detriment of my good camera...


Dennis helped neighbours and friends and meanwhile, the resilient and resourceful Amanda drummed up a  lovely lunch after all ...
Calm during the storm ...
Thank you Dennis and Amanda for a lovely weekend!

After a rather difficult trip with torrential rain and much wind, we made it home safely, just before more cyclonic winds hit our farm. More updates on that to follow.

Good old fashioned fun: happy kids

Going back a few weeks now, but here's a lovely short clip of Esmée using the rope swing to join Yarrow in the river. The kids built this swing themselves when we were camping at the Clarence River down at Alice Flats. They spent most of the days in and out of the water ... Well, who wouldn't?

I love the wink and the thumbs up ... and that confident little wiggle, yes ... :-) :-) :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rascal goes to the Clunes store and café

Today John and I went for a ride, and took Rascal for the first time right through the main street of Clunes to the shop and café. Busy traffic: cars, trucks, kids on bikes, flapping plastic bags, barking dogs: he just took it all in his unflustered stride. I'm so proud of him and so very happy with the excellent training that Carla Stanford gave him.

At the café they offered Rascal a coffee, which he politely declined...  but he did get a couple of juicy big carrots which he shared with his good friend Gandhi (who was a very good boy too). They also posed for some photos. Karen the shop owner took some photos too and when I get a copy I'll put them up as well.

The boys give each other a nuzzle

Bring on the carrots!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


My loved sister Anoush (Ana-mir, Anna, Auntie Anana ... a rose by any other...) is visiting from Melbourne on a rare and welcome long visit. Today we took a wee break from family stuff and Anoush went for a ride on the good cob, Emu, who is now owned by Hans. She has overcome a good many health problems to get back in the saddle and as you can see, has done so admirably! Our dear old dog Chicco ambled along (though she kind of went adrift every now and then ... but hey, at 13 she is fairly ancient).

Emu's got his ears forward and was obviously enjoying the ride with Anoush. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

The adventures of Nick and Esmée

My niece and nephew, Esmée and Nick (my brother's two eldest from the Netherlands), have spent the last three weeks here enjoying the Australian summer. Here are some of the many many photos (click to enlarge).

Arrival at Brisbane airport after a tiring 24 hour flight, but they're still smiling!

Both Esmée and Nick spent time learning to ride / improving their riding skills. Es rode our young Arab/Brumby cross, Rascal, and Nick rode the trusty bay horse, Emu.

Nick and Esmée both had a driving lesson in the Subaru ... Good fun on Peter J's 60 acre river flats!

Esmée celebrated her 15th birthday with elegance and fun ...

Home-made flower necklace courtesy of Ongel (Oma)'s pink frangipani

All the cousins did a fair bit of hanging out: John's daughters Briony and Bella, Bella's fiancée Tim, John's nephew Rian and his fiancée Nadine, Tess and Yarrow ... here they are all hanging out at Claudia's place.

Of course we went to play at Killen falls. Nothing quite like standing under a waterfall and letting the water cascade down your back on a hot summer's day ...

New Yea: a bonfire and dancing at the Grange. Here are Esmée and Yarrow ringing in the new year ...

Nick spending some quiet time gaming on the computer, supported by Inkling who was obviously mesmerised by the cyber entertainment ...

A highlight: Camping at the Clarence River (Alice Flats). Sleeping in tents, cooking on the campfire, swimming and canoeing in the river, body surfing down the rapids, afternoon massages ...

Crocodile Nick approaches Yarrow who had been reading in the Canadian canoe

Cousins reading and chatting

Just hanging around the campfire

Nick receives a massage from Auntie Anana

Nick giving Yarrow a massage

Home again, and time to relax in the bath and soak all the camping dust off!

Esmée reading in "a bath with a view" ...

We spent a day at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where there are not only marsupials and monotremes, but monkeys in the trees ...

Nick going down the longest flying fox, 18 metres above the ground

Tess negotiating the high stirrups. I found them really hard to do!

Esmée with a friendly kangaroo

Auntie Anana and Esmée chilling out in the shade with the roos

Who says wombats can't do yoga?

Esmée in the terrifying grips of a large python ...