Thursday, July 24

From giggles and laughter to the ending of worlds and the catching of fish

The morning started rather chillily. Thankfully we were all snuggled up under layers of blankets and donnas so didn’t notice too much until the need for a wee became to strong to ignore. 

Mr Awesome was super excited to get a chance to wear his new beanie. Being the tropical acclimatised people that we are beanie wearing is something we rarely get the chance to do. Upon stepping outside Edna however a fellow camper walked past in nothing more than a singlet and shorts. Needless to say Mr A decided he needed to toughen up and promptly threw the beanie back inside. He did not however remove either of the long sleeve garments he was wearing.

Truth be told though Mr A wasn’t the only one excited about the cooler weather and the clothes it allowed us to wear. I too had with great excitement whipped out my R.M. Williams jacket and boots. Sadly though I discovered that initially the jacket is quite cold to wear and needs to be worn for a few minutes to warm up. A mental note to purchase a thermometer was also made so in the future we can have more of an idea as to how cold it actually is.

The two little girls accompanied me on the toilet run and then hightailed it back inside Edna. Lovely had created a warm little haven and invited them to come and join her. The laughter and giggled that ensued warmed my heart endlessly and confirmed that this trip was exactly what we needed to strengthen our bonds.

Of course all is not always perfect. 

Listening to their giggles is what prompted me to start writing. By the time I got to the part about them giggling Teapot was standing next to me telling me that Lovely was being mean to her and destroying her world. 

And by that she meant her Minecraft world on the iPad. Sadly the girls are yet to grasp the lack of electricity and that electrical devices need to be used sparingly. As much as Edna has a battery and solar panels and all the rest of it, it is not to be used for charging toys. Well at least not their toys, it could be a different story when my toys go flat.
I started writing this in the morning while drinking my coffee. Ironically when I came back to add more later that evening my laptop battery had mysteriously dropped from 88% to 12%. 

The rest of the day had gone rather enjoyably.

We wandered down to the river and read about the Aboriginal creation stories for the area. Which will be covered in a post all of it's own. From there we started walking down to the boat ramp only to decide it looked like a bit of a hike. So we turned around and returned with out bikes. Twenty minutes or so later we were rather glad to have made that decision. 

Another ten minutes down the road and there was still no boat ramp (or river for that matter) to be seen. Mr Awesome turned back with the girls in tow and I powered on through to see whether or not there was actually a boat ramp. 

There was and it was another ten minutes of rather fast riding away.

The seemingly elusive boat ramp. Doesn't look like fun thing to operate.
When I finally returned back to camp Mr A had the girls lined up to do a spot of fishing down on the river. Leaving me to sit under a shady tree and crochet in peace and quiet. Which was pure and utter bliss.
This is the life I have been dreaming of

The fishing expedition was not successful enough to feed us but it did leave one young lady rather pleased with herself.
Not nearly big enough for dinner, and somewhat
camouflaged in the photo, this little beauty
was thrown back in the river to keep growing
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Wednesday, July 23

A bit bumpy, but all's well that ends well

By the time we reached Katherine Mr Awesome and I had decided that our best option was to bunk down in a motel for the night. Not exactly the start we were hoping for but the thought of unpacking everything just for one night was a little daunting. Especially since we were both on the verge of exhaustion and running on empty. By not having to pack everything up the next day we would be able to get the elusive early morning departure.

As it turned out staying in accommodation for the night was the best idea we could ever had had.

Shortly before we arrived at our destination Zany started to mention that she felt a little unwell. Being the parents of the year that we are we paid her no heed at put it down to motion sickness and staring at her iPod screen for too long. By the time we were checked into our room and showering for dinner Zany was curled up in a ball and fast asleep. 

Hearing the chatter about our options for tag teaming for dinner though she woke up and declared she was feeling well enough to come with us. Sadly her recovery was only short lived and before we had even ordered she was asking to return to the room. 

Mr Awesome left me to order and escorted her back. By the time he returned my stomach had decided to go out in sympathy with Zany’s and I was forced to make a quick departure. Before long I was curled up fast asleep as well hoping that the little food I had managed to consume would stay put. Sadly it was not to be though.

What ensued felt like one of those nights that just never seems to end. If I was jumping out of bed to race to the bathroom for my own needs then a child was calling out across the room asking for a drink or something or other.

So much for our early morning getaway.

Shortly after 7.30 I gave up with trying to rest and decided to face the day. Zany was feeling marginally better than the night before which was pleasing. I felt almost human which was even more pleasing. Sadly though Mr A was not feeling so crash hot.

Eventually we managed to sort ourselves out enough to hit the road. Knowing that we only had about a two hour drive made things easier. We had decided to head to Flora National Park. It is situated about 135 km southwest of Katherine. 

We arrived just before lunchtime. Though because we had skipped breakfast everyone was ravenous. Unpacking as quickly as we could, it wasn’t long before Lovely was in charge of cooking some sausages. For some reason though by the time they were cooked everyone’s hunger had somehow disappeared. Apparently a stash of mandarins had been located and devoured while they waited for the snags to cook.

Mr Awesome then took the two little girls to get firewood and I used it as an opportunity to catch up on some of the sleep I had missed during the night. It never ceases to amaze me how that the girls always prefer to ask me the questions over their dad. Even if it means waking me while he is sitting there bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Once I came to terms with the fact that I was still not go to get any sleep we headed down to the river for a bit of a gander. Unfortunately it is populated by crocodiles so swimming is out of the question. As is the inflatable canoe and dingy.

By the time we returned from our little walk it was time to start dinner. A nice and easy pasta, that halfway through cooking Zany informed me she would not eat on account of not liking it. Which apparently she has told me on numerous occasions so why do I not remember these things? 

Ah well, I don’t remember these things because last time I cooked it (not two weeks ago as well) she hoed into it like there was no tomorrow. Which normally I would not be bothered about in the slightest but I had not accounted for eating any this day as I thought she didn’t like it!

Kids huh?

I momentarily contemplated reminding her of all this but then couldn’t be bothered. It was just as easy to open a tin of spaghetti and give that to her. Which with her upset tummy still threatening to explode seemed like a much more feasibly option than a rich and creamy pasta.

After dinner Mr A lit the fire and the girls found sticks for toasting marshmallows on. Suddenly it felt like we really were on holidays.
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Sunday, July 20

And we are off!

After what feels like forever we are finally on our way! What started as a pipeline dream that I never really expected to come to fruition has actually began.

As I type we are heading down the Stuart Highway with Edna in tow and packed to the hilty. We have been on the road for all of an hour but that is only a minor detail. The headline is that we are actually on the road and #ouradventureofalifetime has officially begun.

The last few weeks, and especially the last few days feel like they have been an endless battle of that have seen us running round in circles chasing our tails. It just felt like despite being constantly busy we weren’t actually achieving anything. The fact that the things we had to achieve were incredibly tiresome didn’t make matters any easier.

Thankfully though that is all behind me now. There are no toilets, showers, walls and floors  that need scrubbing so they look like new. Nor are the mountains of clothes and toys that need to be culled and re-homed. Instead all that lies before me is the freedom of the open road.

Kind of.

The freedom of the open road is currently hindered by a convey of American Army vehicles that appear to be in even less of a rush than what we are.

The convey we were stuck behind for far too long
At this point we haven’t decided on where our first night will be. It was so exhausting trying to squeeze in all that we thought we needed that Mr Awesome and I have contemplated staying in a motel tonight. Especially since we didn’t finish squeezing till nearly midnight and got up before the crack of dawn to tie up all the loose ends we hadn’t got around to.

As lovely as Edna is she is not without faults. The main one being it is very much a case of unpacking everything if we want to have a sleep. If only we had of thought things through a bit more we probably wouldn’t have sold our tent the moment we got Edna.

The fact that it was nearly lunch time before we actually managed to get away doesn’t help case either. The thing about the Territory is that there is lots of nothing. Lots of long empty roads with not a town or a place to stop to be seen. 

We had hoped to get at least past Katherine on the first day. Generally about a three hour drive. Given our excessive weight and a desire to not go fast, not too mention the aforementioned traffic, it will probably take about four hours today.

For now we will just wait and see how everyone is when we get there. While we are in no rush and plan on spending a few days at every stop we have been to Katherine plenty of times before. As far as it might be from home it is still a little too close to let us really feel like we are away.

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Thursday, July 10

Surrounded by a crowd for a quiet moment for me

Sounds crazy I know, submersing yourself in a crowd in a bid to find some peace and quiet but given how crazy life feels at present it actually seems to make perfect sense. Well to me at least. 

As I type this I am sitting on my Pat Malone on a soon to be crowded beach. There are already a quite few others wandering down, dinner in hand, to watch the amazing view unfold before their very eyes. 

Normally I would avoid here like the plague. The crowds of people ambling through the market stalls puts me on an edge I would rather not be near. Tonight though my inner being pleaded to get away from normality. So here I am. 

The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are somewhat of an institution in Darwin. They rate highly on the tourists must see list and are apparently world renowned. 

Given that this time next week we are supposed to be on the road I figured I should head down one last time before we go. Soak up the unique atmosphere of multiculturalism blending together to create a harmony found in few other places. The fact that Mr Awesome said he would hang at home with the two little ones made it all the more appealing. 

I am not coping well with the whole getting ready leave thing at all. Not even a little. 

We already have a lot less money than we had expected. Getting the house ready has been more expensive than we had thought. Which frustrates me no end. It was fine for us to live in why can't it be fine for someone else to live in?

Deep down though I know the answer. It was fine for us because we were paying off our mortgage. Who ever lives here next will also be payin off our mortgage. Of course we should make it a but nicer for them. 

The sun is now even closer to hitting the water. The crowds of people on the sand has nearly tripled since I sat down. I find the hoards of people stumbling over the soft sand dunes midly amusing. Cameras in hand to take the perfect shot of the setting sun. Anyone would think it is a once off event never to be repeated again. 

I will slip away from the beach before the golden ball meets the water. Getting something for dinner will be easier while the masses wait for darkness to descend. Plus tonight is an unusually cloudy evening. Making the view not as spectacular as some I have seen. 

Dinner consists of a Thai pawpaw salad. One that is a little too chilli for my liking but what can you do? At least there was no cooking on my part nor dishes to be done. The burning in my mouth will justify the ice cream I will seek before my solitude it brought to a halt and I am forced to return to the normality of my life. 

Getting closer


My head is all over the place.

I have been trying to write this post since Monday afternoon. I have hoped to have something ready for Tuesday so I could join in with IBOT over at Essentially Jess. Obviously though since it is now Thursday and still not written that did not work out so well for me.

Double sigh.

When last we met I was explain how the crazy times were just getting crazier. I was also still ever so patiently waiting for my kitchen to be installed.

Since then the crazy seems to have multiplied even more, I do however almost have a new kitchen. The cupboard shells are in and the bench tops are sitting in place. They are not yet attached or have spaces for the sink or cook top to go but they are only minor details. I am most certainly a lot closer to having a functioning kitchen than what I have been for a very long time.

Mind you it is not a kitchen I will get to use while it is still newer than new. Which I must admit I am a bit bitter about because it looks all kinds of awesome. Even half finished it looks awesome. A kind of awesome that I never really expected to have I might add. Though it has also end up costing a little more than what was expected. I complain not though because it has still been a lot cheaper than what it could have been.

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Tuesday, July 1

Crazy times just getting crazier

With work well and truly down with now all my spare time can be directed towards the final stages of house packing and renovating. Though even just typing that out leaves me feeling slightly exhausted. There is just so much to do and be done.

The kitchen has not progressed since we last met. Well that is not exactly true, the walls have changed colour but that is about it.

Halfway through packing up on the weekend Mr Awesome and I realised that the walls just and to be painted. You know because we didn't already have enough to do. Anyways since we are still waiting to have the kitchen installed it seemed to make sense to get the kitchen walls out the way now.

A quick trip to our local hardware store and and even quicker stay in the paint aisle and before we knew it two cans of paint and a whole heap of painting paraphernalia were on the way home with us.

Now if I was a good home renovations blogger I would be able to tell you what flash and fancy names were on the paint tins. Instead all I can say is they are a lovely shade of yellow and very very light blue.

The kitchen is a pretty simple and white so I am hoping it will blend well with the yellow walls. As much as everyone who walked into my old red kitchen said it was awful I really loved the brightness of it all. Hence the yellow walls.

Fingers and toes crossed that as you are reading this my lovely kitchen boy is busily installing my kitchen. With less than two weeks till are planned departure date it feels like we are quickly running out of time.

Our beds and most of the stuff we plan on keeping have now been safely popped into storage (mental note I must still sort insurance). There are so many thoughts buzzing round my head that sometimes I find it hard to keep track of them. Nothing really new there I know, but this time round they are all kind of important.

Since all our prized possessions are packed away and we have no workable kitchen we have decided to move Edna to mum's and take up residence there. It also gives us a chance to start packing Edna and work out what fits where.

Exciting times abound.

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