Christmas with the cousins at Inverloch.
Evan16 loses his balance…
That was on the first night. The next day I glanced out of the window and saw that he learned from his experience:
You should have heard Mum laugh!
Another set of cousins catching up. They were having a D & M while others were performing on the verandah.
I have to say, Kate and Francis “do” holidays very well. Francis took down amps, guitars and microphones… they set up the hammock and a table tennis table on the front lawn and everyone just had a ball.
People were walking down the laneway beside the house and they’d stop and have a look and listen to the music. All those years of music lessons finally paid off!
We took the dogs down with us and they loved it. Bertie, who is the most gentle soul in the world, got exhausted when we went for our first walk on the beach. Tom20, who has a soft heart, carried him back along the beach for ages. When he finally put Bertie down, Bert came and sat expectantly in front of me, waiting for the limousine service to be resumed. Molly had none of that rubbish! She was running around after her ‘cousins’, my sister’s shnauzers, chasing seagulls.
The house has only a one person kitchen. It got a little crowded at times. The kids had to *gasp* do the dishes by hand as there is no dishwasher!!
Due to me being unlikeable, I’ve never repartnered so my poor boys have missed out on tutelage on the manly arts. On the first night Francis gave the boys a lesson on How To Barbeque. Notice Molly hanging around being companionable. Trust a Cavalier to be where the food is!
Bertie was still dead to the world.
Ryan17 has things all under control.
Actually, just realised I’ll have to change his name. As of today, he’s Ryan18!
This is the first birthday since he was 2 that I’ve seen him. Usually the boys spend the week between Christmas and New Year with their father, but Ryan18′s having a gathering with all his geeky gamer friends so he came back early. He’s going into year 12 next year…. growing up….
Anyway, back to Christmas.
We set up the table tennis table further forward on the front lawn and ate and drank to our hearts’ content.
The dogs made sure that any titbits were taken care of.
(And no, Americans; it’s not “tidbits”. I take my cues from the people who actually invented the language.)
Some idiot gave Evan16 this HIDEOUS jumper.
He loved it *sigh*
I scored particularly well in the present gifting from the kids this year. They’re finally getting old enough to put some thought into what they buy. Evan16 gave me a sat nav so I won’t get lost going to thermomix demos (I was SO RAPT!!) while the other boys gave me novels I actually want to read, a puzzle book with the only puzzle that I actually do and MONEY!
That last one made me laugh. I lent Tom20 the tuition for his first 3 semesters of his course when the government gave a discount of 20% on uni fees if they were paid upfront. When they downgraded it we stopped doing that as it wasn’t worth it, but the expectation is that he’ll repay me with interest, so it’s in his own best interest (ha! See what I did there?) to pay it back asap to stay ahead. One of Tom20′s presents to me was a yellow envelope. In it was a note saying, “I now owe you $7000″ and 10 crisp $100 notes. I opened it, read the note and laughed my head off. (Banked it as soon as I got home; 64K on the mortgage now…. watch it plummet, baby!)
On boxing Day Mum, Kate and I went into town to have a coffee. While we were sitting out on the deck chatting away, a waiter came to clear away our empty cups. I was talking and didn’t glance up at him until I heard a gasp and an incredulous, “Ms Frogdancer?!?”
Mum started laughing. I looked up and there was one of my favourite ex-students who I taught way back in year 8 English. He’s 4th year uni now so it shows you how time flies.
“Hello Horror-head!” I said and we had a chat and caught up. You never know where or when an ex student (or current student for that matter) will pop up.
When I got home I made the first batch of soap to be used for 2013. We’ve come perilously close to running out of soap and having to buy the awful shop-bought stuff, so I’m learning from 2012 and I’m going to make HEAPS of soap over these summer holidays while I’ve got time. This one was a castile soap with oats mixed through it, coloured with turmeric.
I poured most of it into old long-life milk containers, because I like the shape of the cakes of soap that come from it and I poured the rest into a silicon cake mould. Strangely, the milk cartons were ready to be cut into cakes of soap the next day, while the soap mixture in the silicon container was still soft and needed another day to harden up. I’ll be cutting it up this morning.
Grace from Simple Savings and the FB seed saving group was asking how I make soap. The best recipes I’ve found have been on Suse’s blog. I keep coming back to her basic recipe with Copha, olive oil and canola oil as being the most cost effective and lather effective.