We are home again after that evil interminable flight. Every time you check the flight information board, the hours left to your destination seem to get stuck. 15 more hours until we get to Dubai, you say? And no food for Ned because the travel agent forgot to ask? Ohhhh, someone has stepped into the curry residue on the tray on the floor? Ohhh, the baby has been standing in a pool of someone else’s wee in the toilets? Ohhh, the husband has fallen asleep again while the children punch each other and the baby tries to spit at the people in the seats behind us? LOVELY.
But we got home to mild weather and a clean flat (incidentally the size of a doll’s house, which is a bit disappointing – people in the Southern Hemisphere live in Real Houses with Actual Backyards and even GARAGES IN WHICH TO PUT STUFF! Amaze…) and our excellent bed and power shower made us weep a little inside with sensory-related gratitude. And we have been mostly awake in the day, the kids forced to school yesterday, Mark back at work, me managing the sleep apnoea of the little kids. And we are now very grateful for the lovely month spent at home with our family, and we are wondering if we should move closer to them. Hmmmm.
So, Australia was very muggy and there were lots of gumtrees and noisy animals screeching at 5am and geckos who scampered up walls and kangeroos which were quite awful to look at. Kangeroos look like small muscular men with ears and fur and a strong alarming tail. We fed them. Look!
The kids were unaware of the wrongness of the small-man-masquerading-as-a-furry-animal-with-penile-worrisome-tail thing and fed them anyway. And there were snakes and lizards outside the supermarket for kids to stroke. You go for milk, you come back with the whiff of a snake on your hands. Astounding.
We were together with all of my family and their kids, mostly kids we have never met. And there really is a whole part of life that we have been missing out on – one where you have your family around and you do stuff together and you share a bit of the pain. You trash other people’s houses, yes, but they love you so it doesn’t really matter. Probably. And there are older cousins to inspire and intimidate and to play Lego with and to climb on and to annoy, and younger cousins to chase and scare. And grownups who think your kids are ace. This was all a total revelation.
Time for photos. I have neglected to include the ones showing the infected scabs which covered three out of the four children. Sorry for the inaction, little fellas. I will try to up my levels of this-needs-medical-attention-awareness. Ahem.
The beach! On one of the rare days we weren’t inside, sheltering from the monsoons.
Burgers and Uncle Glenn’s chips and fluffies at Schnapper Rock, Tutukaka.
Stinky geysers in Rotorua.
Lovely Aunties and delicious babies.
Stopping at the Karangahake Gorge for some essential stone-throwing
Cousins, uncles, aunties, grandparents, brothers and sisters all along the seafront with icecreams. How excellent.
Handsome baby Ned in his new Country Road outfit of terry-towellingness.
L&P and a mixed bag of lollies. In the car at Paeroa, naturally.
Grandad and Ned, having a moment.