Friday, September 18, 2009

Sunny Days

G’day friends.

Yep, Edie and I are back in Brisbane and very, very happy to be reunited with great produce, beautiful days and most of all Tim, a.k.a. Dad, some refer to him as Dr…He can’t tell you what that growth is but if you want to know anything at all about foodweb ecology, he’s your guy!

So we had an excellent trip back to Canada during the month of August. Edie was an A-1 traveler and I wasn’t so bad myself. Traveling alone with an infant for such a long distance forced me to accept help from strangers, and you know what? Strangers aren’t so bad. I actually met a lot of really great people. They ranged from a nun who lives and works in Paupa New Guinea who had the pleasure of flying for 14 hours with Edie’s bassinette in her face (forcing her at times to crawl under the bassinette to the isle so that she could get to the washroom) to a lovely Asian woman who had to guard her food during meals so that Edie didn’t snatch anything off her plate, to a geologist who wouldn’t stop talking about the amazing properties of fault-lines. The geologist being the worst that I had to deal with made travelling on this trip easy, easy, easy. Unfortunately, Edie didn’t quite adjust to the time difference and unfamiliar surroundings in Canada, so it was a bit of a tough month sleep-wise for me and the family I was visiting once we finally got to Canada. Thankfully everyone we stayed with was able to get used to Edie’s pre-sleep and middle of the night scream-fests, and I can’t say for sure, but I think that maybe Nanny and Poppy J along with my family kind of miss those scream-fests. They somehow breathe life into a place. Oh, I got my first taste of flying first class for a short leg of the trip over (LA to Phillie), what another planet first-class is. Best $200 I’ve ever spent, definitely made the overall trip a gazillion times easier.

We basically visited friends and family in NB and NS for the month, and on the whole, it was a very relaxed trip. I’m glad we did it. A great highlight for us was a minivan road-trip that we took with my brother and his family from the Valley to Yarmouth, NS to visit our grandparents. Three kids in three car seats and three adults made for cramped quarters, but it was SO MUCH FUN. At one point I looked back at Edie and noticed that she had orange all over her face and chocolate all over her hands…Cousin Maddie was being a good girl and sharing her smarties with Edie. Given that Edie had never tried orange dye number 245, I was a little wary, but it was so darn cute to see those two interacting. It will be nice to be living closer to all of our family someday for those kinds of moments.

So, my sister Sarah came back with me to Australia. She’s here until the end of the month and it’s been amazing having her around. We’ve been doing lots of interesting stuff together, but the coolest thing so far was surfing. She really wanted to try it and I’d been looking for an excuse to do it, so last Monday we packed up the car and drove 2 hours north to Noosa. Tim took Edie for the afternoon and Sarah and I took surf lessons. It was awesome. There are no words to describe how cool it feels to ride a wave, nor words to describe how much harder it is than it looks. Neither of us could move the next morning but we both now understand how all surfers are cut (i.e. the epitome of fitness). The hardest work was getting out to the waves to actually surf, that alone left us exhausted, but then you had to get up on your board and try to ride. I can’t wait to take another crack at it, and I think that we might try our hand one more time before Sarah leaves. I might be hooked and I think I now have my carrot to dangle in front of Sarah’s face in order to lure her back (that is if we let her leave!).

Tonight we’re all going to a Broncos playoff game. What a life hey? The 6th seeded Broncos play the 1st place Dragons (who consequentially lost to the 8th seeded Eels last weekend) but what makes this a real nail-biter is that the new head-coach of the Dragons was the head-coach of the Broncos for the past 17 years and won 3 Championships during that time…For a lot of Bronco players it’ll be like playing against their dad, or maybe grandfather even. A very fun game to be attending I’m sure. Again, what a life!

Edie turned 1 on Sept 6th. We’ve basically been celebrating her birthday since the end of August and officially stopped celebrating last Sunday (the 13th) with a big backyard BBQ with our friends. It’s been fun. Edie’s been around for a year! That’s hard to get the head around. She’s now taking steps on her own and loves to repeat sounds that we’re making. The other day at the doctors office she said ‘doctor’ after I told her that’s who the man at the desk was (he even heard it and was impressed), she’s like a little parrot. She also likes to pick up the phone and pretend she’s talking on it (with one hand on her hip), stack blocks, and is quite keen on running her comb through her hair. She’s so much fun to be around and we just love her so much! She got a lot of books, blocks and dolls for her birthday and she’s having fun with all of them.

I also came home (Aussie home) in September to find that our soccer team (who just eeked our way into the playoffs in 4th place) had beat the 3rd placed team while I was gone, and the day after I got back from Canada was the semi-final game. We won that game as well (I played and paid dearly for it with crazy jetlag over the next couple of days). The finals were last Saturday against Beaudesert, the 1st placed team that lost only one of their regular season games. We lost 2-0 in probably the best game we’ve played all season. It was pretty exciting for all of us to play so well in the playoffs. The season starts up again in February and I’ll be playing in a 6-on-a-side league for the interim with a few of my teammates. I’m so happy to be back into competitive sports again.

And finally, it’s mulberry season here. Our landlord has a mulberry tree on his property that I’ve been raiding over the past two weeks. They are so good! The juiciest berry that I’ve ever tasted, also making them the messiest. Edie loves them but we pretty much have to give her a bath every time she gets into them by herself though we don’t really mind too much...It turns the bath water blue. We gorged on blueberries while in Canada because they just aren’t as good here, so having mulberries now is a nice compliment to the blueberry fest we had back home. Life is good.

With that, I’ll bid you a good day. Love to all.


Oh ya, in the spirit of lovin’ that this summer was, two good friends of ours got hitched in August (unfortunately we weren’t there to witness either event, but that seems to be the norm lately)- Congrats to Suz and Jason and Sally and Cheex! Long may your big jibs draw...together...

PS. It's now Sunday, the Broncos game was last night, the Broncos won 24-10 and it was AWESOME! It's a lot of fun to be in a crowd (50,225 strong) where the majority have a common and generally peaceful goal of seeing the hometown underdogs win.