Tuesday 18 July 2017

Jo's BIG day ..... she's in double figures!!

Our Jo turned 10.  Yes ...... our LITTLE Jo ..... TEN!!!!!!!!!  Oh my ...... Mum's still in shock.  She was there when she was born and it only seems like yesterday to her..  Dear little Jo .... she's such a sweetheart.  She's my favourite of all the Grandkids.  She really loves me and hangs with me more than the others do. I love 'em all but Jo's special.  Mum and Jen made her cake. Now that she's in double figures they aren't doing number cakes anymore so they put their hands to their first ROUND cake. Jo wanted a unicorn cake so Mum and Jen went to work and came up with this little number.
Cute, aye??
Look at all those pressies!!
Jo loved it.  Mum and Jen weren't so happy. It was difficult for them.  They tried a technique they hadn't tried before and they had a lot of trouble but it turned out ok in the end.  The pictures looked better than it really was.  They'll try again but Mum's going to practise a bit before attempting another one.  They are getting a lot more adventurous in their cake decorating and are making their own fondant decorations and Mum's been really practising her piping and getting quite good at it again.  She's really been enjoying it.  Jo went to the movies with a few of her friends and they then came back to our house for the present giving and cake cutting etc.  It was a lovely afternoon but VERY hectic. Mum took 3 days to recover.  Not me .....  I had a great time and yes ...... I did get to try the cake and I also got ICECREAM!!  It wouldn't be a birthday without ice-cream, aye???
Uh Oh ..... Herbie the photo bomber!!!!

Pinyata time!!  
She did ask for a rainbow unicorn cake.  Success on both counts, aye?
Awwwwww ... beautiful girl.  
Crikey ..... ten years make a BIG difference, aye??
Oh and I wanted to thank you all for popping over to check out Bianca's blog. You blokes are the best. Bianca's family have lots of animals and when she finishes this trip I'm going to try and talk her into continuing her blog and maybe she'll join us here in Blogville.  That would be good, aye??

Wanna run .... Love, Charlie.

Monday 17 July 2017

A new blogger!!

Is there anyone out there that likes a good read.  A friend of our Jen's has recently set out on a trip to the very top of Australia and she has, and is, still doing a very comical blog about it.  She and her husband are travelling with their 4 kids and, trust me, it is a good read.  You will see some great photos of a quite remote part of Australia in the process but you really should start at the beginning to get the full benefit.  HERE is the link.
Mum has really been enjoying the blog as she and Dad did this very same trip a hundred and 87 years ago. When they did it there were no campsites along the way and they had to free camp everywhere. There were NO facilities at all. It took them a lot longer than it is taking this family.  They weren't anywhere near as well set up either but they didn't have 4 kids in tow. They were told to take another couple with another 4WD as it was, supposedly, too dangerous to do it alone but Mum and Dad took no notice of that. Lucky for them they survived but only just if the stories I've heard are true.  I think it is a bit different these days. Mum and Dad hardly saw another vehicle for their entire trip.  I don't think that would happen anymore. One funny story they tell is when they saw a "house" and, as they were quite lost, decided to head on over and ask for directions. The house turned out to be 4 poles with a corrugated iron roof, no walls and a dirt floor. There was a family living there and the numerous kids and dogs and chooks and a couple of pigs came out to greet them.  The parents eventually wandered over too and told Mum and Dad the way to go.  "Just keep going along that track and you'll get to the place you want to go  (Princess Charlotte bay).  No-one's been out there for a while so we don't know what the track's like but you'll be right, mate. If you're not back in a few days we'll come out and look for you".  Well they never did find where they wanted to go but they did manage to see some interesting stuff along the way and made sure they were back so as the family didn't have to come looking for them.    
Our Jen went to work on Thursday Island soon after she graduated from University. She was a special education teacher, specialising in hearing impairment and her job was to travel to all of the Torres Strait Island communities and check on the kids that had hearing problems.  There were a lot of them. Nearly all the kids she saw were local Torres Strait Island kids and, unfortunately, they had and still have a lot of hearing issues.  She travelled by helicopter to the different Islands and would return to her home most nights.  She would sometimes stay overnight but not too often.  She'd never been in a chopper before and was terrified at first but soon learnt to love it.  The waters up there are inundated with all sorts of sea creatures, not to mention crocs, so the view from the chopper was always entertaining.  She ended up living on Horn Island (not Thursday Island) and her flatmate was Bianca, the Mum in the blog.   They became very good friends and are to this day.
Crikey .... such a long time ago now.  Our Jen's first school.  
Just some of her beautiful pupils.  
Teaching sign language!
 This was taken from Thursday Island looking toward Horn Island.  The colour of the water up there is amazing.  
Just so you don't forget what I look like!!
I'm sure, if you take the time, you will enjoy Bianca's blog. I sure hope you do.  I know if you left a comment or two Bianca would be over the moon.  She didn't think ANYONE would bother to read her blog.

Wanna run ..... Love, Charlie.

Thursday 13 July 2017

The ears have it!!

Crikey ..... Mum loves gum tree trunks for some strange reason or other. She takes millions of pictures of them.  See I told you she's boring.  She took these a while back now and thought they were hilarious.  Do you see anything funny about them??  I sure don't?  Weird woman my Mum .....

Wanna run .... Love, Charlie.

Tuesday 11 July 2017

She's back with more BORING pictures!!

Well knock me down with a feather ...... some of you weren't bored with Mum's post yesterday!!!!!  Fair dinkum??????  Who'd have thought??  Not me that's for sure!!  Well ..... the few of you that weren't bored will be pleased to know that she's back. Sorry to the rest of you but flick through to the end. There'll be an interesting shot of you know who??  That should make up for the absolute and utter bored state that you have found yourselves in.  Take it away Mum ......

Well first to answer a question that Blueberry's Mom had ... Then just pictures ..... I wouldn't want to take up too much of Charlie's precious post.  I have to say Da Phenny made me laugh big time with his comment when he said when his Mama reached into her pocket for her phone so she could take a picture all she came up with was a poop bag.  I've been there and done that so many times. My pockets ALWAYS have poop bags AND treats in them.  But back to Blueberry's Mom's question.  She didn't know what salties and freshies were.  Salties are saltwater crocodiles AND DEADLY and freshies are freshwater crocodiles and not so deadly.  Freshies aren't real big and don't worry you if you don't worry them.  I've swam in heaps of places with freshies around without a problem.  There's no way I'd swim anywhere near salties though.  Now to the rest of the pics. Oh my ..... I've just looked at the ones I chose  and Charlie's right.  Way too many. I wanted to show you 36 pics.  That's way too many, aye??  So here's just a few (more than just a few I'm afraid) .... oh and it's better if you biggefy them.
Many an hour was spent here. The wallabies, birds and buffalo  were great company.  
From inside our room! Although we didn't spend much time here  
There was always someone wandering by and the noises at night ..... oh my!!
Such pretty sunsets. I'm afraid the phone just didn't do them justice.  The bloke from Michigan took some stunners. I was so envious of his whopping big telephoto lens.  He took an amazing photo of a saltwater croc too. 
Lotus lillies. Oh so pretty and useful too.  You can eat all of them and the stem can be used as a straw for drinking and the local aborigine women used them as a hat. We had them in one of our meals one night.  Delicious! 
Pretty, aye??

This was a huge eagle.  Again ..... wish I had my camera.  He was truly beautiful through binoculars.  
Loved the air boat. The places it could go!  Amazing!!  I swear there was NO water under us at times.  if you live in the US I believe you use them in the Everglades.  
I loved this place.  They called it kingfisher lagoon.  So many kingfishers and bee catchers to be seen.  

This was a Jabiru nest and Mrs. Jabiru was standing up.  Again the Michigan man got a great shot. Me ..... not so much but you can see her if you biggety it.
These blokes were all over the place.  
Good looking specimen, aye??
Mumma and baby.  That baby was still in the Mumma's pouch from time to time.  You'd wonder how it would fit but it did. Probably not for much longer.  

The next few pics I stole again.  Sorry to whoever took them but I'm just trying to show how brilliant your skills are compared to mine.  
Brolgas ..... We saw some just like this.
Crikey ..... makes my wallaby pic look cheap, aye??
Magpie geese.  They were everywhere but I couldn't capture them like this.  
Dead scary!  I ALWAYS kept my hands INSIDE the boat.  

Thank goodness that's over, aye??  Now here's some pics of an encounter I had on the beach yesterday arvo.  I was just wandering around minding my own business when out of nowhere this greyhound sheila ran at me at a million miles an hour. Crikey I thought I was fast but I was no match for her although  I could beat her over a short distance. She ALWAYS caught me though. We had a great time. I hope she comes back another day. Her name was Piper. Pretty name, aye??

I'm in the lead ..... but not for long!!
Crikey ..... what long legs we have!!
We found this great puddle to cool off in but by the time Mum got her camera out from amongst the poop bags and treats we'd had enough.  

Wanna run ..... Love, Charlie.

Monday 10 July 2017

Mum's turn!!

Crikey ...... I've succumbed!!  It's all hers. Sorry!! .... prepare to be bored to tears!!  Some of you actually asked to hear about it.  Fair dinkum ..... what sort of nut cases are you???????  Oh well ...... here you go Ma ..... take it away .....

Thanks Charlie ... I think!!    I'll try not to bore you to tears but will tell you just a little and then let the pictures tell the story.  There are a lot. I forgot to pack my good camera.  Who does things like that?? Me obviously!  It drove me crazy too as we were in a birdlife wonderland and if I had my good camera ... oh the bird photos I could have taken.  Have you ever heard a barking owl??  OMD!!  Do they ever sound like a dog barking?  We had a wonderful encounter with a pair of them when returning to our room from dinner one night.  We could hear them and all of a sudden one flew onto the ground right at our feet and was immediately joined by his mate.  They didn't stay long and flew into the tree directly in front of us but we did have a torch and managed to get a really good look at them.  Oh to have had my camera then.  But back to the beginning ..... We decided a bit of a holiday was in order. Between working, health problems and family commitments we were both feeling slightly jaded. We had 10 days with nothing much planned so arranged a trip to Darwin in the Northern Territory.  We hadn't been there for about 30 years so thought it was time to check it out again. Now I'm not one for cities, if you can call Darwin a city, so we only spent a few days there and then headed down to Litchfield National park and Berry springs for the day and our last five days we spent on a humungous cattle and buffalo station (Swim Creek station) right at the very top of Australia. Swim creek homestead is in fact the northernmost homestead in all of Australia and it is big ...  303 sq kms.  Not the homestead. That's the size of the station.  The accommodation was great. Not grand by any stretch of the imagination but all you needed. The rooms were big tents with flyscreening on 3 walls so you could see out at all the animal and birdlife right from the comfort of your king sized bed and completely private from other guests.  Oh .... its ALWAYS hot at the top of Australia so it was good to have all that fresh air.  No internet, phones or television.  Five days of absolute bliss.  Spent each day going out on the massive flood plains in an air boat in search of birdlife etc.  Didn't have to go far. There were birds EVERYWHERE.  Magpie geese in their hundreds.  We saw eagles, whistling kites, jabiru, brolgas, swamp hens, herons of all shapes and sizes, egrets ... oh way too many to name them all and tiny wee little kingfishers and bee catchers. Such pretty colours. We saw crocs too.  Real big ones but we didn't get any good photos of them.  They kinda take off when you get close and remember I left my camera at home. There were big salties and little freshies too. On land there were huge flocks of corellas and cockatoos. They kept us amused on the days we didn't go on the boat.  There were also the most adorable wallabies hopping around everywhere. Between them, the birds and the buffalo we had plenty to look at and although I tried to read a book I found I was too busy watching the antics of the animal and birdlife around me.  So relaxing.  Our meals were all served in a communal dining room and we enjoyed the company of our fellow guests over some very well prepared and delicious meals. Such interesting people some of them.  One couple we really got on well with were from South Australia. They were both Vets but he was an Ophthalmologist Vet. They were bird watchers and taught us ever so much about bird watching.  There was a couple  and their sons from Michigan. She was a track and field star and a Rhodes scholar. A Rhodes scholar??  Crikey ..... Charlie would say!!! If we had been there a week earlier we would have been dining with Pippa Middleton and her new husband.  Apparently they spent several nights and loved every minute of their stay.  No special treatment for them.  They stayed in the same accommodation we did and ate the same food around the same table. Only the guests were different but they weren't hand picked. Just whoever happened to be there at the time.

Hey Mum .......  you said you wouldn't bore my friends to tears!!!  For how much longer are you going to go on?  You said you'd let the pictures tell the story so how about it, aye??  I'll even let you show the pics over two days if it will shut you up NOW.  I saw how many you picked out.  Fair dinkum.  The things up with which I have to put!!!
Florence falls in Litchfield National park. 
There were a million steps down to the falls but we had to do it.  This was a creek crossing on the way to the falls. 
Wow ... the water was crystal clear and not even cold. It runs all year round as it is spring fed.  So beautiful and clean. You could see the fish swimming around.  There are fresh water crocs but you leave them alone and they leave you alone.  Salties not so much ..... but they are only there in the wet season.  The park is closed in the wet season. Way too dangerous and too much water, anyway.   
These next photos are at Berry springs.  So, so beautiful but quite close to Darwin so a lot more people there.  

The colour of the water is amazing.  Such a pretty place.  
Ok Charlie is getting impatient so I'll quickly show you this one of Swim Creek station and I'll show you the rest tomorrow or the next day.  This is one of the guest rooms.  Looks like walls in the pic but it is flyscreen of a sorts.  You can see out but not in during the day. At night with lights on, however you can see in.  Mmmmmm!  I didn't take this photo. I stole it from the station site.  Hope they don't mind.  

Wanna run away from this VERY boring post .... Love, Charlie.

Saturday 8 July 2017

Practising for Jo's birthday!!

Yeah, Yeah ..... I know ..... you still want to know what Mum did while I was in the slammer.  I will get to it .... one day!!  But it's birthday month at our house and we have serious cake stuff to see.  It's Jo's birthday next (it's Dad's really but he has to share his birthday with Miss Jo) and she wants a unicorn cake. I hope Dad likes unicorns.  If he's real lucky he might get a golf cake but it won't be anywhere near as impressive as Jo's.
Anyway Jen and the little girls came over the other day and Mum and Jen made all the decorations for the cake. Then they decided it was time for a cake decorating lesson for the girls.  SO ...... they made cupcakes and the girls got to decorate them.  Kept 'em occupied for ages. They had the best time.

Mum did these to demonstrate !!
Had a bit of trouble cause the icing bag wasn't big enough.  See the icing sausage coming out the top. Hahahaha!!
Pretty neat colours, aye??
Jo's effort!!  She was a natural .....  got the idea straight away but then .... she is our little crafty one.  
Miss Independence G made a pretty good fist of it too. 
Miss Izzi just couldn't get it right so needed a helping hand.  Well you can't be good at everything and she's our little Miss Gymnast.  Not really cut out for this sort of work.  Love that she tries though, aye??
They got to eat what they made along with a cup of hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate????? Just what you need when it's 27C, aye??  
And these are the ones Mum and Jen made.  They won't last until the birthday but they will make more and do a much better job of the next lot.  It's good to practise, aye??
Herbie came too.  Crikey ..... is he ever a nightmare. He's still obsessed with me.  Can't leave me alone. He's all over me and talk about messy.  He mightn't shed hair but he sure makes up for it in other ways.  He is water MAD!!!!!!  You should see him drink. Puts his whole head in the bowl. Feet too.  Then he walks all over Mum's clean floors.  He also walked through the garden and then came inside with VERY muddy paws and proceeded to jump on Mum's lounge.  OMD!!  What a mess ..... muddy paw prints everywhere. He also pooped inside but that was Mum's fault.  She forgot to open the door with the doggy flap in it so he couldn't get out first off.  He did try. I know because I saw him. He went to every door in the house before he pooped. Poor little bloke.  Did he ever get yelled at by our Jen.  It was a fun day though.  Everyone had fun.  You should have seen the house after they left though.  OMD!!  What a mess.  Poor Mum was pooped by the end of the day.  We went to bed very early that night.
See ..... everywhere I go there HE is!!!

Fair dinkum ......  the things up with which I have to put!!  Really, Herbie???????

Wanna run ..... love, Charlie.