Friday, 18 September 2009

Aus Holiday

See those white lines on the ashphalt? Well they are the back wheel being worn down by the brakes. This is coming into the house in QLD - downhill. He got a new scooter after this exploit. We found spare wheels after their Dad came - which meant we had 5 scooters - and YES, we did family scooter rides. Because we are very, very sad people.
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DS Nintendo

What would you do to have the sound on the game you are playing (we were over the noise of the gameboys due to having 5 around us). Would you hide in a cupboard just to have some stupid ding ding ding noises???????

Well my genius's would. Well - maybe the genius is the one who takes in a pillow, blanket and happens to be the only one on her side regardless of the fact she is the smallest......hmmmmm......obviously comfort wasn't a high priority for the other two!!!
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Falls Creek

After the tube park - before leaving, C girl and J did 2 more monster runs - the little people made a much desired snowman (they were waiting all week for the perfect opportunity - that finally came.

We ended up having a huge rush to catch the bus - (interpretation - no shower after 8 hours skiing). But not one moment was wasted with sitting around.

I love this family - I think we would fantastic in "amazing race" for families. Bring it on.
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Ski Moments

Don't you love skiing amongst trees, over bumps and around blind corners (snow boarders should be banned). The great Aussie bush with snow gums and slushy & unpredictable snow. This was the kids favourite run other than the straight down and go flat out ones (where it takes 10 minutes to get to the top and 1 minute to get down - not kidding - we timed it (or course we did)).
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Falls Creek Tube Park

Isn't this the most beautiful photo of C girl. There are some photos of this girl that take my breath away - this is one of them. She was travelling at an extremely high speed when this was taken. The smile is pure adrenalin and loving what she is doing - I think the words "having a fantastic time" comes to mind with this smile.
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Surfer Girl

Just wanted to show you a photo of her surfing. Her surfer board shorts say "little horror". Fitting I believe. The head bopping out is our good mate GJ. It's his board and he patiently goes out with her for hours at a time and teaches her. He's happy someone among the 6 kids shares his passion for surfing.
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Idul Fitri No. 2

I know I sounded like a complete sook (is that the word for a whining brat??) in the last post. Oh poor Me, the driver is late......etc....etc. I am not even the one fasting - so why am I complaining.

Well - only today and tomorrow left and we are over the worst month of the year living in Indonesia. Luckily I love living here and it would take more than just one month a year of a little bit of fustration to kill the spirit.

I have been busy making plans for our school community activity that is just like the old fashioned Aussie town gatherings. Now I don't know what cities in Australia do (and I don't care), but in the towns I have lived in, around christmas, there has always been a huge town event at the local pool where games, slip and slides, jumping castles, jumping castles in water, slides into water etc bring the whole town together in an afternoon of fun. Adults/kids will do wrestling into the water from a beam, races across, all the fun stuff (that is if it hasn't been shut down by some Health and Safety party pooper.

(When they coined the phrase - up S*&T creek without a paddle - they obviously didn't have a spare shovel around - anyone for crossing a pool in your pajamas - dry?)
We are having one at school, it has taken 2 years for me to get this idea off the ground - and I was up against a "twilight orchestra picnic". When I said I would compromise and arm the kids with water pistols, I was given the go ahead for the big day of fun in the sun (not the official name - obviously).

My kids are hugely excited. I am hugely nervous. If it is a success we will do it again for the secondary school. Hoping the kids expectations aren't seriously above what I can organise on the day. But I was out there this morning in the hot blistering sun with the events manager (who is fasting, so he was probably a lot more uncomfortable than me), laying out plastic and hoses so we could make sure we didn't forget anything vital. In a meeting yesterday, I even got the Health & Safety Co-ordinator invited so that it wouldn't have hold ups on the day.

First weekend after the holiday, straight after a swimming carnival, then it is on (gives you an idea of how jam packed the school activities are when you have to be scheduled on a sunday after a swimming carnival (or invitational swim meet if the word carnival is throwing you off). Mind you - no one has any idea what is involved - so it is all a bit of a scary/fictional event at this stage.

So yes - the school is going to experience a little bit of Aussie. The really fun, family orientated part of Aussie. Yes there will be beer and tequila sunrises and a BBQ. I'm expecting the men in one corner and the women in the other - but it hopefully will be a lot of fun......

We've even got those trampolines where you get strapped in and go really high.

First things first - a holiday at the beach with our holiday buddies (look for the blog jenjenqld and you will see us in almost every holiday photo).

Fingers crossed that no one nearly drowns and there isn't an earthquake (as the last earthquake caused a tsunami alert at the resort we are staying at (and it was near the epicentre)).

C girl has understandably been extremely nervous all week - unable to go to sleep - for fear that something will happen. She asked to stay in Jakarta with her friend, but I asked if she would be okay with this - she thought about it - and decided she would spend the entire time very worried whether we were okay - much better for her to stand on the side of the beach and scream that we come back in (as she has done on many occasions since).

It is a very dangerous beach location - at least we know that going in (unlike when going to Bali and not realising the 100+ people die on Semanyak and Kuta beach a year (each beach that is)).

(I will get a photo of her this trip with her brand new board - we even had to get roof racks)

At this beach, there is a very organised surf club who saved 100 people over last years idul fitri holiday alone. If MMM wants to surf, she will have GJ or a hired teacher to teach, plus 1 surfer to shadow, plus a back float (they are excellent light device that both little ones had when we moved here and they weren't 100% confident). I will also be there with a boogie board (J sewed on some super tough wrist straps last week so they won't pull off in a big wave).

There is an excellent swimming pool, soccer pitch and pool table for other distractions. Don't worry - we will be okay.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Idul Fitri


Been back in country for the last 5 weeks - time for another holiday.

This one is the most deserved of the entire year.

We have ENDURED 3 1/2 weeks of 90% of the population fasting from 4:30am - 6pm every day. That's right - every day. No food, no drink, no cigerettes (as if).

Do you know how much energy people have at the moment? That's right - NONE. Like an empty duracel battery........everyone is flat.

Whereas you might have a reliable driver who turns up on time and takes you somewhere, now you have a driver who arrives late, is tired all day (because you have to get up at 3:30 to eat), gets really confused and although - he doesn't fall asleep - he is a bit doppy this month (no food does that even to the best of people).

Same goes for everyone around you - office boy, security, nanny, gardener (the other day I opened our gates because the security man was praying (fair enough) and the gardener was sound asleep - ssshhh wouldn't want to wake him while our garden dies from neglect.

Anyway - believe it or not - that isn't the worst of it.

I usually leave work at 5. I usually get home just before 6. During Ramadan I get home between 6:30 - 7 (last night I walked the last 1km and beat the driver by 10 minutes).

Everyone is trying to get home so they can eat - fair enough I know. But it makes what is normally bad traffic - impossible traffic. Like - stand still and not move (J got out and stood in front of oncoming traffic the other day, we had been stuck trying to go through it to the other side, cars just kept ignoring us.
LUCKY for me - I worked Monday and Tuesday and I am now officially OVER IT.
Best part - I got through it. By this time the last 2 years I was ready to kill someone, this time - I'm calm and collected.
Going on holidays (along with the rest of Jakarta) very soon. By CAR believe it or not. We are planning on leaving at 4am to avoid traffic. Wish us luck.
The following two photos are why the youngest in our family are collectively known as the "monsters". First photo is after silence fell on our house one saturday afternoon in Australia (they used all of C girls makeup she had been given for her birthday (there is a god).

On our last trip to Aus, they wore these masks for about 3 hours at seaworld. Note the distance that C girl is sitting away from them?????

Friday, 4 September 2009



We had a little excitement on Wednesday. An earthquake on the richter scale of 7 - 7.5 shook us up a bit. The epicentre was at least 300km away and it was a lateral move sideways, not up and down - but it was a good ride.

J was in Kalimantan - only got home yesterday, but last night was hectic (soccer practice, home at 6:30, then dinner, shower and books before 8). Don't know if he felt it.

Kids were on bus almost home - didn't feel it, but the pool still had waves crashing over the side when they came inside.

I had just gone to get a cup of tea after having sat for 3 hours in a meeting. I was with another Australian (very rare occurence in my office) who is slightly older (65 yo) and with a lot of travel experience (goes home every 59 days, record time in Aus, 2 hours (came back on same plane)). Anyway, I was swaying and saying - hey, you know, I feel kind of woosy. It's an earthquake dear, let's get out (I work in a very Indonesian building (marble floors, walls, but DODGY)).

We went outside and there are powerlines 5 m up on 3 sides of the entrance area, plus a lovely overhang over the stairs. Being outside worried me more than being inside.......the tremors kept going. It was surreal.
Anyway, when we were sure they had stopped, we went back inside to continue the meeting (yes, we were the first people inside - silly Aussies). Then the phone call home to make sure the kids were okay (during a freak storm earlier in the year a massive sign fell over onto the road that they travel on). Just checking.
Noone was traumatised, everyone thought it was great excitement. Don't worry, this little family is doing fine (if anyone read this blog I could get in SOOO much trouble for that pun).