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In early July I drove from Queensland down to Victoria with my children to visit my family. My husband had to work, so I had to do all then driving. It was a two day ( 10 hours per day) drive each way. We has a great visit and reunited with family members that I hadn't seen in way too long.
When the weather radar lies_Day 182 of 365.jpg
We don’t usually get much rain in winter. Today it was forecast, and cloudy, but when I checked the radar I thought we were in the clear. We weren’t. The rain set in around half way through our 3km loop. We got very wet, but we didn’t rush, just dipped our heads so the rain wouldn’t run into our eyes.
Taking better care of myself_Day 183 of 365.JPG
I just got back from a trip to Victoria to see my Dad who isn’t feeling so well. I didn’t post any work whilst I was away, although I was constantly drawing and taking pictures, and have come home with a brain full of ideas. I will be posting multiple times a day for the next few days to catch up to my place in my year of daily drawings. This image was drawn after my final walk with Penny prior to driving to my parents. After forgetting my umbrella and Penny’s coat the day before and getting quite wet, I prepared us better and we arrived home warm and dry.
Thank goodness for Aldi Bags and Stationwagons_Movie still_Day184 of 365.JPG
We have just returned from a road trip to visit my parents who live 1600kms away. Thankfully, with the kids getting older, they could help more and packing was easier.
Day one of the drive_Day 185 of 365.jpg
After a pretty early start, we drove for 10 hours, including a few quick breaks. We drove through unfamiliar landscapes. We drove through the rolling hills of Bam Bam springs in a dramatic fog and caught glimpses of huge bottle trees near Bell through the mist. The roads cleared, but the massive wind turbines were still shrouded in fog and we watched their blades emerge and disappear. We saw massive prickly pear cactuses, some over 3 metres tall, with tiny pink fruit on the edges making them look very festive. We saw so many grain silos and marvelled at all the different types. I was particularly enamoured by the little sheds on top of the silos, Alby took photos of many of them and enjoyed the huge clouds of pigeons that flocked around them. We saw giant fields of cotton with the road sides littered with loose cotton from transport and enjoyed the optical illusion’s caused by rows of plantings on farms as we sped by. We didn’t see much wildlife, which is good because it always makes me very nervous when we drive- I guess that means that recent rain offers them more food sources away from the roadside. We saw some wonderful bird life, including wild budgies- they had me ever so excited, and a new bird for me- the gorgeous apostle bird. All in all, kids were good and the drive was smooth. We made it to Narrabri and spent the night at a motel and prepared to do it all again after a good sleep.
Day 2 of the drive_Day 186 of 365.JPG
We left Narrabri just after 7, it was 1C, and found ourselves in a heavy bank of fog. I was too nervous to drive through it and pulled off at the first rest stop and waited for the fog to lift. Once it did, the landscape was beautiful and there were lovely misty blue distant mountains and rolling hills. We drove past Lake Cowal, which was full of trees, and the crops made way for sheep. I had declared at the start of our trip that the first person to spot an emu ( live and not in a zoo) would receive $20 and Alby spotted and showed us the only one we saw. I had to back off a narrow bridge when a semi-trailer carrying an oversized load came rushing around a bend and passed through loads of roadworks. We arrived in Yarrawonga at 6pm and reunited with my parents.
Dad with Oranges_Day 187 of 365.JPG
A visit with Mum and Dad after a 2 day drive ( 21 hrs of driving). COVID and illness have kept us apart for 18 months. It has been 10 years since I have visited them at their home, in that time they have moved from my childhood home and town. But it is true that wherever they are feels like home.
Mums cupboard of quilts_Day 188 of 365.jpg
On my recent trip to Yarrawonga, my Mum showed me her quilt cupboard, which holds 40 quilts that she has made that she is waiting to find homes for. She donates a lot of them to charities. I have at least 10 of her quilts and use them every day, but she still thinks I need more. Turns out I did, because I came home with an amazing pink and green one that I adore. She is so tirelessly generous with her time, skill and money ( making quilts is not cheap) and I am so lucky that she is my Mum.
Lawn bowls with Uncle Cam_Day 189 of 365.jpg
It had been over 10 years since my kids had seen my brother, and they were so young that they didn’t remember him. When they were reunited they instantly had an easy, comfortable rapport. He fought Nerf battles, with much more enthusiasm than I can ever muster, and taught them how to lawn bowl.
Working from Home_Day 190 of 365.jpg
My sister spent her days in Yarrawonga working from home in Mum’s sewing room, with the occasional breaks for doing jigsaws and firing Nerf bullets. We then shared dinner and conversation and enjoyed inhabiting the same space. It was so lovely to be all together.
Frost_Day 191 of 365.jpg
Alby had never seen frost before our trip to Yarrawonga and he loved it. Each morning he would check how much frost was on the cars from the window in the morning and run outside. He would press his hand onto the frost on the bonnet of the car and leave handprints where it dissolved. Nanni gave him a plastic scraper to scrape the windows and he looked so satisfied when it made crisp streaks on the glass.He was enamoured with the crunchy frosted grass, asking me to record the sound, and ate frozen water droplets from the leaves of plants. Oblivious to the cold, his feet would be frozen in his slides. His Aunty Kat wrapped him up in her dressing gown, which he accepted readily. The call of a warm Milo and the sun melting the frost were the only reasons he would come inside.
An unexpected Boon_Day 192 of 365.JPG
I received a wonderful box of assorted vessels from my ceramicist niece @darcy_parke during my recent visit to Victoria, and can’t wait to fill them with pencils and brushes in my studio. I will treasure them always.
The drive home day 2 of 2_Day 194 of 365.JPG
And then it was over. We packed up and left Yarrawonga early in the morning as the sun rose. We saw more Emu’s and a mob of kangaroos. We stopped at a rest stop with a cool big old plane and saw the Parkes Observatory in the distance. More sheep and back past Lake Cowal, the whole thing was less exciting that the way down. I think it was more to do with knowing that it would be ages until I saw my parents and siblings again than the landscape. I thought that my sat nav would take the reverse of same route I drove down. I realised I was wrong to think that when it was starting to get dark and we were 100 or so kms east of where we needed to be. I had to drive through some quite dinky rural roads and we arrived in Narrabri 75 minutes later than I anticipated. By then it was dark, and we were approaching from the west rather than the south and I was all turned around. I got quite lost given that I had never been to the town in daylight and had no concept of its geography. It was one of the many times that I wished Phil had come with us, as blindly navigating without a copilot is just about impossible. My kids are great, but not yet able to help with such things.When the attendant from the motel we had booked called to see if we were coming ,as they would soon be closing, he graciously gave me directions and we arrived soon after. We grabbed a pizza for dinner and we were all asleep within the hour, recharging for day 2.
The drive hone day 1 of 2_Day 193 of 365.JPG
The conclusion of our road trip. The last long day of driving. Not many differences in the landscape today. We saw a huge semi trailer laden with massive round bales of cotton wrapped in pink and a giant fish statue at the Goondiwindi rest stop. We got a better look at the wind turbines that we saw on the way down as there was no fog.The day dragged on, only marked by the consumption of off season candy canes and later,ice creams at the Wondai rest stop. The real excitement came when we realised that were finally close to home and looking forward to seeing Phil/Dad and our lovely dog Penny. Penny went crazy when we got home and the kids hugged their Dad. I started the washing.
A good old fashioned kick fight_Day 195 of 365.jpg
On our road trip last week we stopped at the rest stop at Wondai and I explained to the kids that this was the type of play equipment I grew up with. They immediately discovered the best sibling use for it and proceeded to have a kick fight.
The reality of the drive_Day 196 of 365.jpg
I know that my recent posts about our trip to Victoria celebrated the interesting things we saw along the way, but the reality was that the majority of the trip looked a lot like this, empty roads, yellow roadside grass, a blur of trees and a clear blue sky.
Pop culture festival_Day 197 of 365.jpg
Emboldened by the comfort of her cloak, my daughter enjoyed her time at Fraser Pop. I love how costumes can give her a confidence boost. I also loved how this moment with a Royal Ranger and a Dalek was a sort of unconscious homage to Princess Leia and R2D2.
Between appointments_Day 198 of 365.JPG
Alby had a day off school today because he had multiple appointments. They wear him out emotionally and mentally, so between appointments, I coaxed him into the Orchid House at the Botanical Gardens. I thought the beauty and nature would be invigorating, but he couldn’t have been less interested. I enjoyed myself, and thought that it was much more interesting than waiting in the car. He didn’t agree. A reminder that we are all very different and are recharged by different things.
Stick proud_Day 199 of 365.jpg
Just like dogs, we should put a greater emphasis on enjoying the little things.
With the dog still in it_Day 200 of 365.JPG
I did this today. When I lifted up the blanket and shook it out, she looked at me and wagged her tail. Then she lay her head back down and I dropped the blanket over her and she went back to sleep.
Acupuncture dreams on the edge of the bed_Day 201 of 365.jpg
Walking companions_Day 202 of 365.jpg
Recently Phil has taken to walking with us, even in the rain, and I have to say that I like it.
Between Yarrawonga and Mulwala_Day 203 of 365.jpg
A drawing based on our recent trip to Victoria.This bridge spans the border between Victoria and NSW, we enjoyed the idea of walking from state to state each time we crossed it.
The things he doesnt like about the weekends are the things I like the most_Day 204 of 365
Nothing better than getting a little help with the household jobs.
Sunday morning Waffles_Day 205 of 365.JPG
During her time in the shower...._Day 206 of 365
“During her time in the shower, Penny paused to reflect on her recent behaviour and questioned whether rolling in the duck poop was a good choice. She decided that yes, it was a wonderful choice and that the shower was just an unfortunate side effect. She resolved that she would roll in the poop again as soon as the shower was over and hope her humans didn’t notice”.
Physical Digital 365 July 2022