Christmas 2012

A couple of photos of Christmas morning in our house and with the cousins, and cousin’s cousins in Innisfail! We spent Christmas night in Rydges Townsville and Terry organised some treats on our arrival. Champagne for the big kids and well-dressed strawberries for the little kids.

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Kids, flowers and critters

This is a random collection of stuff from the last few months. Riley’s orchid has flowered very well this year. Mum, Paul, Nan and Pa gave it to him when he was born and it has flowered most years since, always around his birthday. Finn has one too. There’s other flower pictures, some interesting insects, and then a couple of photos from Riley and Finn’s concert at school. Riley had a lead role in his class’ performance and Finn was in a play and also played a ukulele. There’s also a shot of the champion male beginner golfer for 2012…and some photos of one of our chooks being eaten by a small amethystine python. Our friends locked the snake ‘in’ with the chickens one night, without realising. It’s a shame it didn’t eat the old chook that doesn’t lay eggs any more.

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Goldfield Trail – our first overnight walk

So this is going back a few months…I’m trying to drag up those memory cells!

We’d been working towards overnight walks for a while.  Christmas and birthday presents and money had gone towards getting equipment (thanks to everyone) and eventually, with a bit of equipment loaned from friends, we were ready. We were pushing our luck, walking so late in the year as the wet season was imminent, but we spent all the “good” months tripping around overseas. Terry studied the weather and we decided it was worth the risk…and off we went onto the Goldfield Trail.

It was fantastic. The kids loved it and we loved it. We have the longest list of walks we need to do now…and that’s just in our immediate area.

It was only 8km walk on the first day and, although we started late, we were at the camp site by lunch time. The “official” camp site was pretty ordinary, so we waded across the river with our packs over our heads and found the most beautiful and seculded site. It was quite lucky actually because, a few hours after we arrived, a big group of teenagers turned up and took over the official camp site. After we set up camp, we did a bit of exploring and the boys had a go at the rope swing. Terry and I eyed off the bottle of green ginger wine that I had snuck into my pack…knowing it wouldn’t last long after the seal was cracked.

It rained a few drops during the night, but nothing to really bother us. By the time we got up to shut the tents and drag our stuff under cover, it had stopped.

Next day it was 11km for the boys…but I left my camera at one of the stops and had to go back to get it. It was an extra 2km in the steepest section of the walk for me. That’ll learn me.

We couldn’t have done this walk if Pat and Graham hadn’t picked up our car from one end and dropped at the other. Thanks so much.

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The land of Finns

An option on our return journey was a stop in Helsinki and, with a son named Finn, who could say no to the chance to see a country full of them? Helsinki was freezing and it poured rain but our accommodation was toasty and there were markets close by. We did a (warm and dry) bus trip around the city and learned about the Russian influence on the city’s  architecture. Basically all the boring buildings that look like government offices were designed by the Russians. All the cool stuff with elaborate shapes, materials and decorations were designed by the Finns. We also went to the Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) that was pretty cool. Riley was taken by the copper domed roof that is made of a 22km coil of copper…according to Riley, none of us can remember the exact length. I’d be keen to go back and spend a bit more time in Finland, especially in the Lapland region.

I’ve also included a rather risquè photo of Finn taken in a Nepalese restaurant. We were there for 20 minutes before we noticed the interesting interior design.