This afternoon our family worked hard on both sides of the earth, and the West Coast Eagles WON!! They beat Sydney Swans at the Grand Final in Melbourne by 1 point after a closely fought game!

Elwyn and friends had been at a pub in London since 5:00am their time to watch the kick-off at 5:30am their time, 12:30pm our time. Rob, Jeanette and I watched it on our big screen.

It was really hard work!

So many Playgrounds, so little Time…

We had Tom for the day on Thursday. Blaine needed a break from 2 kids, so Rob picked up Tom around 10am from his place and took him to the revamped playground at Kings Park. I stayed at home, catching up with admin and working with the accountant to get our end-of-year processing finished. Tom led Rob a merry dance on the “bigger children’s” play gym thingy, Tom going at his usual typhoon pace and Rob running to keep up and keep Tom safe. At one stage Tom ran through a low opening and Rob followed, bashing his head on the overhead railing in the process! Tom was OK though:-) Then Rob spied a separate play gym for smaller children. That meant that Tom could roam freely under supervision, rather than Rob having to run after him.

They got back to our place around 12noon, ready for lunch and a rest! I was juggling faxing papers to the accountant, watching Tom and then feeding him. Mercifully for us all Tom settled for a long sleep about 1pm, after a really good feed.

Rob went off to do the shopping and I got back to working with the accountant.

By 3:30 Tom was awake, but quieter than he had been in the morning. Rob and I took turns to spend time with him as he did his usual wander/explore round the house. Then it was into the pram and I took him round to the shops for some bits and pieces, then to our local playground by Shenton Park Lake. He knows this one well. After running back and forth between the play gyms, and climbing on each one with me holding at least one of his hands ALL the time, then running after the ducks, he gratefully accepted my hug and let me put him back in his pram for the journey home, as he clutched his yellow nasturtium from a nearby lawn.

5:45 and dinner was too far away, although a chicken was roasting in the webber by then. Tom spied a loaf of Pa’s (Rob’s) bread on the kitchen bench and demanded food NOW! So it was into the high chair and out with the vegemite for a good snack.

Tristan, Blaine and Alythea arrived around 6:15, Blaine looking better for a quieter day which had included some sleep, and we had dinner on the table shortly afterwards! Tom tucked in with the rest of us while Alythea slept, and did his best to join in the chat. It was good to have some time to talk with Tristan and Blaine. They are such devoted parents yet keep some energy for their own lives too. A good balance, although lacking in sleep at the moment.

We said farewell to them all before 8pm, then sank into our couch in the family room, glasses of red wine in hand.

It had been a busy day…

Dusky Dolphin Healing

By last weekend Rob had come down with this horrid ‘flu, although without attendant bacterial infections thanks heavens! When he found out that he had Monday off we decided to spend Sunday and Monday on Dusky Dolphin, somewhere…

Maybe she knows where we need to go for some healing time. Whatever, we had a very gentle motor across an unusually glassy Cockburn Sound to Pig Trough on Garden Island – always a very favourite place:-) A quiet row ashore. Quiet walk along the shore, with the gulls, terns, cormorants, oyster catchers and migratory plovers to the NE corner where an osprey sat on its nest. Then an amble round to the NW corner to gaze across to Rottnest. Back to the boat and quiet reading. Quiet sunset, then new moonset followed by setting planets including Jupiter. Stars galore and the Milky Way. And the water was so quiet that night we hardly knew we were on the boat!

Sleep in. Quiet breakfast. Quiet read. Quiet walk around to Herring Bay on the west coast of the island. Quiet walk along the shore there, then back to our dinghy. Quiet lunch.

With all this “quiet” we moved into a slowness that healed, finished off with a slow sail back after lunch, with just enough wind to ghost over the flat water.

It was a bit of a shock to get back on the road again but we did feel a lot better, thanks to Dusky Dolphin.

Donna & Susan

There is nothing like spending time with old friends. Today it was Donna and Susan, both of whom we got to know through our children when they were at kindergarten, which means that we’ve known each other for about 25 years.

We enjoyed lunch at a local cafe, then adjourned to Susan and Roger’s house for a cup of tea before going our separate ways.

It was good.

Tom & the Eagles

Jeanette, Christopher, Tom, Rob and I watched the Eagles beat Adelaide Crows in the semi finals yesterday. Tom was quite happy alternately watching the play on TV, sitting in Jeanette’s lap reading, eating on his chair, learning light switches with me.

And we won!

Then we celebrated by taking Tom to nearby Whiteman Park for a good solid play at the various playgounds there. Because Tom is so active we need to get on the play equipment ourselves to keep him safe. Good excuse, anyway:-)

Itโ€™s Over…

This afternoon was the final Annual General Meeting of Kaleeya Hospital, now owned by the WA Government.

I remember when Dad was setting it up, way back in the early 1970s. He was amazed at the price of surgical equipment and joked with Rob that he might just get the equipment from the hardware shop! He was the first Chairman.

But I wasn’t meant to go today – I was in bed with a particularly nasty dose of ‘flu, so I spent time with my memories instead…

Elwyn, lovely Elwyn

Elwyn has been staying with us for almost 6 weeks.  She’s so lovely to have around that it’s always a joy when she comes back to her old bedroom for a while.

She’s shared much time with Jeanette, including a great sail on Father’s Day. She and Christopher have spent much time on “geek” things with their laptops going full pelt. When we had Tom to stay for the week after Alythea was born she had some good laughs with Tristan as well as getting to know Tom really well. She and Rob have shared sport in their usual style – they will be sitting/lying on the couches in the family room, one of them making an occasional comment to which the other may or may not respond, but both of them utterly focussed on whatever sport is being broadcast on TV. She’s caught up with Granny (my Mum), which Granny has loved. She and I have shared much with all the goings on we’ve had around the web site developments and the family developments. She’s had time with friends that she’ll treasure when she’s so far away in her home in UK…

We’ve all had to accept that UK is where her home is for now, just as we did for Jeanette and Christopher.

So when we wished Elwyn “Farewell” today, we knew in our hearts that for now, when she visits us, it is just that – a visit. When she returns to UK, it is going home…

Tomโ€™s first Baby Cino

Last night, to give Elwyn her last chance before returning to UK to see Tom go to bed and then give him his breakfast the next morning, we had Tom, Blaine, Tristan and Alythea over to our place for dinner with Rob and I, Elwyn and Jeanette. The growing family had had a bad night with Alythea the night before and were still getting over their nasty colds, so arrived needing a calming space, and Tom was definitely not his usual light-hearted self.

We crowded around our dining table, that had been in Rob’s family since he was born. It was good to be together:-) Over food and chat things settled. Then it was bath-time for Tom, which he always loves. Tristan put him to bed with Elwyn “in attendance”. Then he and Blaine took Alythea home, hoping for her to have a quiet night and allow them to sleep in because they wouldn’t have to get up early for Tom.

Tom slept all night, which was good ‘cos Elwyn slept in the next room – we were upstairs:-) When Rob left for work and I left for my walk just after 7am, they were both still sound asleep. When I got back Jeanette and Christopher had arrived and they were feeding Tom his toast and vegemite, and cereal. Elwyn and Tom do amazing things with a jar of vegemite (see “Breakfast with Yoda”).

Once everyone was cleaned up and dressed, Tom with Pa’s New Zealand Omarama cap on, we headed for the beach playground at Floreat that Elwyn had spotted some weeks ago and had been telling us about ever since as a great destination for Tom. With many hands to keep him safe Tom frolicked and giggled on the slides, climbing frames, etc. At one point he came flying down a slide and did a face plant into the soft white sand that formed the base of the playgound. We picked him up and between chuckles he was spitting out the sand. A quick mouth wash at the drink fountain and he was off again! Next it was shoes and trousers off and a walk along the beach in the sparkling sunlight. What a lovely sight it was – Jeanette and Elwyn held him safe, each hand in one of theirs, as he walked along in the sand, the sea kissing his feet as the waves lapped up to him.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolphinsailing/248871855/“><img style=”float:left; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px;” src=”http://static.flickr.com/86/248871855_56b041530f_m.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>

We finished with morning tea at the cafe there where he gorged himself on fruit, toast and enjoyed his first “baby cino” – frothy milk with a sprinkling of chocolate in a tiny coffee cup, which Jeanette taught him how to hold ever so politely.

Then it was home to get cleaned up and be presentable for his adoring Dad to collect him and take hime home. All too soon Tristan bounced in the door with shades of his usual cheeky grin (we never have to wonder where Tom got his!) because Alythea had had a very good night’s sleep and had allowed them to sleep in as well. With Tom now back to his usual generous, light-hearted self they left, a very happy couple.

Tom discovers Super Golf

Today Tom discovered Super Golf!

Tristan and Tom arrived at Super Golf after Elwyn, Jeanette, Christopher and Rob. Tom got out of the car and looked around, checking out this new place. Then he recognised Rob and a grinned; then Elwyn and a wider grin. By the time he got to Christopher he was burbling!

He wanted to carry and throw all the balls, so scoring was interesting. Looking at the scorecard we wonder if it was accurate.

After chasing all those balls he was pretty tired by half way round. So Tristan went back to his car and got the pram. Tom rode round the rest of the course in state!

It was a good outing:-)

Fatherโ€™s Day with Challis

It began with Tristan arriving at our place to pick up his boy and take him home, giving Rob a Father’s Day hug before he left. Jeanette arrived with Rob’s present – a heart-shaped chocolate cake, which we enjoyed during our sail.

This year, Elwyn being here for Father’s Day and it being a beautiful day, we celebrated by sailing from Fremantle to Rockingham and meeting Challis for lunch. So for Rob, Elwyn, Jeanette and I it was a gorgeous sail on Dusky Dolphin, one of those sparkly days with a moderate wind, flat water and smooth, fast sailing.

We attached the boat to a mooring at Rockingham and dinghied in to the beach. After a short wait at the cafe Challis arrived, all smiles and hugs. It was lovely to share that time with her, especially for Elwyn who wouldn’t see her again for a long time. So good food and lots of chatter, remembering times like when we all wnet camping with Challis and Digger, and various times when Challis had taken care of our children. She is such a good part of our family…

As we dinghied back out to Dusky Dolphin, Challis walked out to the end of the jetty. “Let’s do a sail by the jetty,” we decided! So somehow in that good breeze we detached from the mooring with sails up, turned the boat and sailed close by the jetty, waving to Challis as we did so. Then sharp turn northwards for a romping sail back to Fremantle.

It was a good day:-)