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Long weekend updates...

  • Jun. 15th, 2013 at 7:27 AM
I have had the best weekend... it started last Wednesday June 5 and finished on Tuesday June 11. A nice loooooooooong weekend with family and friends and intelligent conversations and fun and balloons and hand-me-ups ...

My sister, the one with MND, turns 70 on the 23rd of this month. Her ex turned 70 on May 31. Their daughter (the one who gave me the hand-me-up - nice trendy pair of jeggings) had originally planned to hold 2 birthday parties until I pointed out there was a lovely long weekend available smack in between and would be far more convenient for everyone to only have to congregate once. So that was the plan, and it worked well.

I flew down on the Thursday morning, spoiling myself rotten with a business class seat (I had enough points), spent Thursday evening "doing" Vivid Sydney - fantastic light shows all around Circular Quay and Darling Harbour - the Opera House looked fantastic. Then Friday was spent doing nothing because I was so sore from all the walking the night before (niece and I had also walked from Town Hall to Central to meet up with her NZ aunts and cousins). Oh, I did do something on Friday (apart from a bit of writing) - I babysat Sarah's laptop which had been doused in wine on the Wednesday evening. Why is this important, I hear you ask? Sarah had done up a powerpoint presentation for the party - she'd scrounged photos from everywhere she could of both her mum and dad - so to have the laptop out of commission was a disaster as she hadn't backed it up to anything!

Saturday I was shuffled over to Kym and Fiona's place. This was the part I was dreading. For those of you who know me on Facebook I put up a post after I'd spoken to Kym on the phone about how terrible she sounds and how upset I was. So to see her face to face was possibly going to be an ordeal. I was wrong. She's doing fine relatively speaking. Yes, her voice is much affected and she has to pace herself speaking so her breathing can keep up, but her mind is sharp as a tack and she is very philosophical about the whole situation. They are all sorted out about their move to Taree, and the wheelchair is ready and waiting for when it is needed.

Fiona, her business partner and now full-time carer, is doing a wonderful job. So caring and so comforted knowing that she will get as much support from all of us as she is giving to Kym.

We drove up to Wyong where the ex lives (yes, they are still on very good terms) on Saturday afternoon and met up with kiwi family again, had a huge dinner (ie lots of people and plentiful food). All the geeks in the family hovered over the laptop, coaxing it into life.

Sunday morning, it was on. Balloons being inflated and tied with streamers, tables being set up, food appearing from all over, crockery, glassware... Carolyn, the ex, lives on a golf estate and we were using the community room for the party. She was beginning to get quite cranky about all the attention being paid to the laptop, not knowing about the presentation.

Party time arrived and we got dressed in our finery, trooped over to the community hall and the rest of the day was full of laughter, good food (spit roast lamb and pork with veggies), fun, hilarity, touching moments - I teared up when Kym and Carolyn cut their combined birthday cake and then hugged - having a Doctor/Donna moment when an old friend I hadn't seen in a couple of decades pointed at me and mouthed my name, then pointed at herself and mouthed her name, and I was up on my feet giving her a huge hug! We had a big catchup.

One of the kid-sized kiwi cousins decided to collect every loose balloon and tie their streamers around a very heavy glass - even though she did manage to tie every balloon to it, it still wouldn't float up!

After sunset people started drifting off, and the rest of us staggered back to Carolyn's house and wound down and by 3pm Monday afternoon it was just me and Carolyn, having a good catch-up because I hadn't seen her in a long time either. Then she dropped me off at the station to get the train back to Brisbane.

Again I spoiled myself rotten - I booked myself a first class sleeper! Got back to Brisvegas only a couple of minutes late, caught the train to Caboolture and crashed! I swear, the train track between Taree (had to get the coach from Wyong due to track works) and Brisbane is all curves and BUMPS! The only straight bits were bridges and stations. If I wasn't sliding down into my feet I was sliding up into my head all night! At least the stars were pretty when it wasn't foggy!

So all in all I had a fantastic time and I'm looking forward to my trip to the UK in August!


eneit wrote:
Jun. 15th, 2013 11:46 am (UTC)
excellent :)
gillpolack wrote:
Jun. 15th, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC)
little_foxy wrote:
Jun. 15th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
sounds good. did the laptop survive and was the presentation well recieved?
tropic_dm wrote:
Jun. 15th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
yep, see below!
tropic_dm wrote:
Jun. 15th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
I forgot to say - the laptop roared into life about a half hour before the presentation was due to be given! PHEW! Mind you it was still unwell - the trackpad wouldn't work so a USB mouse was located and utilised.

The presentation went down very well, although there were a few mutterings about how many photos there were of Sarah! There were a few that I hadn't seen before (and yes, I did pop up in one or two) including one of my sister not long after I'd arrived in the country working on a part of the Opera House organ, which prompted a request by said designer/builder of the Opera House organ for a copy of the photo - it was one part of the organ's story that he didn't have a pic of.

Also, Kym used to sing in an a cappella choir and two of the members, plus Sarah, gave a heart-rending performance of one of the choir's favourite songs. I believe Sarah has joined the choir - she's got a good voice. A lot of people wondered why I wasn't up there with them... I was wearing all purple and the choir's colour is... you guessed it... purple!

On Monday morning Kym, Sarah, Fiona and I plus one of Sarah's besties, sat around my notebook looking at all the photos I'd brought with me - all the ones Mr DM had scanned into our genealogy software. They got to see pics of Mum's cousin Myra who sadly passed away last year - she lives on the south side of Brisbane. Mr DM and I met her once when we were on our way from Canberra to Cairns, but hadn't got around to visiting after we moved down here :(.

One of the results of the weekend was me thinking, but not speaking, in a Kiwi accent! There were so many of them!
little_foxy wrote:
Jun. 16th, 2013 02:43 am (UTC)
Sounds like it was definately worth all the work gathering them, and babying the laptop back into life then! :)



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