Sunday, August 30, 2015

The next big adventure

We were both feeling very nervous by Friday - and then, late afternoon, after a shower of rain we see this spectacular double rainbow, almost over our back garden

 .....and the most spectacular moon rise in readiness for supermoon  the next evening (Auction Day - Saturday the 29th).  I just felt the omens were good...but we both had very little sleep Friday night!

Our auction went well. We had a big crowd roll up (over 40 people probably) but only two bidders - lucky for us they were both serious - and the winning bid was pretty close to the estimate - so we were VERY happy and RELIEVED!!

It was hard for reality to sink in on Saturday for a while, but by evening we were ready to party (just the two of us)!

We celebrated properly today by starting the huge pack up (which will have to be done in record time) and enjoying a lovely long lunch together with our family support team at Poacher's Pantry out in the country on Nanima Road.

I love watching the way the girls tackle fine dining - always with great gusto!
Ella made a great job of polishing off her dessert - peanut butter parfait, caramelized bananas, dark chocolate pudding, cacao glazed, sweetened chilli roasted peanuts - wow!. Although in this pic she looks like she is a bit worried that I might take it from her!

With our time at this house now rapidly drawing to a close the lovely, happy times we've shared here seem extra special. On Thursday afternoon Abi and I did some painting and went for a walk afterwards - up the hill - Abi's and my favourite hill. We always walk up to the big rocks (on top of the hill), saying hello to the kangaroos on the way and telling imaginary stories to each other about our castle, our horses and our dog (and our 5 helicopters), just like Ella and I used to. I hope Abi remembers some of our happy times at this house!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

thirty two years ago

Our house goes up for auction next weekend (yikes). It's made us think about all our happy times here over the past thirty two years.

We moved in during February 1983.....and this is what the front of our house looked like then... (that's Claire, Davey & Josh with some of the neighbourhood boys lined up on the front driveway).  Our big claret ash in the front garden looks to be about 6 metres tall in those days.

Twelve months later Rob had built a pergola over the narrow front verandah and the front courtyard wall had been built.  Joshy's ready for school (he was in Kindergarten then at Torrens PS)!
.....and this is what the front of the house looks like now......what a difference a mature garden makes!

One of the first jobs Rob tackled back in 1983 (with help from Josh and Davey and a few other boys in the hood) was the demolition of this derelict pool and decking in the back garden.
We made it all look quite pretty in the back garden for a while.....

 ..until we learnt that gardens like this took way more time and water than we were able to give it! now it looks like this (although much more green, shady and inviting when it is not Winter!)..

Our metal garage and driveway looked quite shabby in 1983 even when it must have been relatively new. This picture was taken before the side courtyard wall was built in 1986 and the family room extension was added in 1987.

 It looks much more presentable now but the metal garage is still there behind that rendered brick facade and automatic door.

This picture of Josh was taken in 1984 in our front garden. We're creating some new curvy garden beds and he's having fun creating race tracks for his car collection.

and this is how the same front garden looks today - with a few more gum trees in the bush over the road - and a resident mob of kangaroos!

The house interior was in pretty bad shape when we first moved in. This was our first Christmas lunch in 1983, complete with tacky wallpaper and cheap bamboo blinds (to temporarily replace the tacky curtains).

This is what that dining room looks like today - extended a metre, opening out through glass doors to a lovely verandah - and no wallpaper (I use it as my study and the girls' playroom these days).

This is our favourite Christmas lunch spot now (built by Pete in 2006)!

This picture of a rather serious looking  birthday celebration was taken in our first kitchen in January 1985 (Joshy's 6th birthday) the 70s era burnt orange tiles!

Our first kitchen reno was done in 1987 when the family room extension was done and then our current kitchen was finished in early 2007 - I still love this kitchen....and will miss it when we leave!!  It's been the site of many craft projects, cooking experiments and cake icing adventures with the girls over the last 8 years.

These pictures tell something about the happy times we've had at this house over the past 32 years......but it is time to move on..and for us to find the next big adventure.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ollie 11

While Rob and I get used to living in a fishbowl as a result of our house being on the market life goes on (thankfully).

Great fun on Saturday afternoon being an admiring audience for Ollie's 11th birthday party at Skyzone Belconnen. Ella and Angus acquitted themselves well amongst this group of very sophisticated 11 year olds....playing bouncing hoops for AGES........

 and generally playing it very COOL.....

After at least an hour and a half of running, jumping ballgames (all on trampolines), the kids were all super excited about the prospect of food.... 

 and cake......

Nanny Maxie had created real caramel fudge icing on that cake - which took a careful approach when time came to cut the cake.....luckily, Ollie excels at this kind of work!

Best cake ever - and a great party Ollie P.!!  And by the way anybody want to buy a "stunning" house?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Youngest and oldest

We were introduced to the newest member of the extended family this month - gorgeous Ivy Rose born at 9.05 London time on the 20th July 2015, 7 pounds 14.  What a bundle of sweetness!

An adorable baby sister for Ed....who so far looks very interested in this new addition to his little world! We can't wait to see them both this year (and D & C too of course).
And now to the oldest.......Our Mum was born on 31st July 1914 - making her now ONE HUNDRED AND ONE years old!!  And she told us this week - she doesn't feel her age!!  

We made up a photobook for her birthday with lots of pictures of her very photogenic grandchildren (5) and great grandchildren (now 8 including Ivy).  She took a great interest in the book and will treasure it!
We thought that with the cold winter weather we would not take Mum out for her birthday this we celebrated with a family party at Mirinjani on Saturday afternoon.  The staff could not have been nicer - supplying Mum (and her guests) with a lovely afternoon tea with all the trimmings and plenty of space for us to kick up our heels.

Ella and Abi have a ball no matter where they go - and the Mirinjani Activities room proved to be no exception.  The girls provided us with lots of laughs especially when they discovered the vibrating "exercise machine"....
and the balloon and fly swat game. They weren't at all daunted by the various elderly people who checked out the "party" throughout the afternoon. They both had a smile and a chat with everyone who came by, no doubt brightening every one's day.
We had some fun sister (and spouses) time too. Canberra turned on a perfect winter day on Friday and we spent quite a bit of it enjoying the Yarralumla lake front.