Monday, December 20, 2010

Norfolk Island Christmas Pageant

It was a rainy day on Thursday 16 December the day that was scheduled for the Pageant.  It was decided on the afternoon of the Thursday to delay the pageant to the following day, Friday.

Along Taylor's Road people were starting to arrive just after 6.00 where the kiddies rides were in full swing and people were already lining up outside The Olive for some dinner that was available.

The corner of The Village was the place setting for the kiddie rides
There were some great kiddie rides, the merry-go-round is a favourite as was the jumping crocodile and Andrew told me that later in the evening two stink bombs were let off inside the crocodile!!!

Good old Trent - always entertaining the island - and there's Alison and Adam in the background

Our beautiful island dancers

The beautiful girls who are our island dancers were performing outside the Commonwealth Bank as was a band who provided the music for those girls to dance to.

One of the many bands on this lovely island

The lone piper heralding the beginning of the parade

The pageant started with the haunting sound of a single bagpipe and then the lovely Miss Norfolk entrants were escorted down Taylor's Road in gorgeous sports cars.

One of many entrants to the beauty pageant which raised funds for the hospital


....... and his mates

Red Hatters - Rowena, Shirley and Ann

Rob says these are the horse riding girls

My friends, Rob and Elizabeth and newbies Julie and Jack.
 I found my friends having a drink stop at Tempo Cafe and it is great to catch up with everyone as, believe it or not, you don't see everyone everyday here!

Me and my friend Roberta

A large crowd were gathering for some spectacle.  We had to leave to pick up Tom from the airport
Tom's plane was coming in at 7.20pm so we had to leave the pageant to pick him up - we went to the Bowlo for dinner but it was closed and we walked back to our car and this is where I took the photo below.  We ended up having dinner at Mokka and then we all rejoined in the pageant fun until close down at 9.00pm.

My three boys
Another great night - the Christmas Pageant was the first outing on our arrival here on Norfolk Island last year and we were missing some people from the parade.

Last year we had Vince and Rob in the police truck wearing santa hats, the fire brigade and the VRA were also in last year's parade but this year the fire truck had to be at the airport for the plane to come in and the VRA had organised their Christmas party on the Friday night and couldn't change the date to accommodate the change of date for the pageant but it was a great parade anyway with all the beauty entrants and we still had Santa who threw lollies to the kids which was great.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

My visit back to Oz for Tom's 18th birthday

Going back to Australia for two weeks didn't seem such a long time when I was booking my flights with Juliette from Burnt Pine Travel, however, two weeks is a really long time when I was away from Rob.

I left Norfolk on Friday the 12th November and arrived in Melbourne early afternoon.  I caught up with my two sisters and their families as well as our darling mother.  I spent four days in Melbourne, two of which were used up shopping at Southlands!  I left Melbourne for Canberra on the 16th.

My sister Felicity, her husband Jim and twins Fallon and Aiden and our Mum

My sisters Felicity and Debbie and Mum having lunch at David Jones
 My bestie Fiona met me at the Canberra airport with Tom which was the biggest surprise.  I didn't know he was going to be there and I just loved it.  I stayed with Fiona from the Tuesday night through to the Monday night.  Fiona had arranged for many dinners and lunches with our lovely group of friends, Anne, Maggie, Jenny and Simone.

Fiona gave me the use of her car which was fantastic and I took advantage and visited as many people as I could.   

Fiona and her twins Alex and Joe
Having a delicious dinner at Pistachio's at Torrens
The girls having lunch at Fiona's
I caught up with my work mates at the Australian Public Service Commission (only some of whom are still working there).   I stayed the night at my friend Debbie's house with her husband Mick and daughter Rachel.  She had invited our friend Louise who now works at Medicare and her husband Harry to dinner.

Big boss Annwyn and me

Former boss Debbie and me

My last boss dearest Karin

Debbie, Louise and me in Deb's backyard

Me and Deb having lunch in Manuka lawns

On the Friday I had lunch with my bestie Diana and Amelia at the Calwell Club - I had my ususal, Chicken Hollandaise, yum and it was great to catch up.

Amelia, Diana and me at the Calwell Club for lunch
 I then took Tom to the Phillip Medical Clinic as I needed some scripts and we waited 3 and a half hours to see a doctor - yes, absolutely ridiculous.  I was then running late for my 30th Hawker College Reunion.

Me and Tom entertaining ourselves during our marathon waiting at the Phillip Medical Centre

Straight after the doctors I dropped off Tom then raced to my friend Marian's house.  Marian and I met in 1974 when we were both new Year 6 students at Weetangera Primary and we were besties all the way through school.

We hadn't seen each other for 12 years or so but we talked and talked like it was days since we've been together.  We had a lovely dinner at a Thai restaurant at Griffith Shops then we went over to the other side of town to the Pot Belly bar in Belconnen.  There was about 80 or so people there for the reunion and I recognised about 4 of them!

Marian and me at the reunion

Peter and I went to Kindy and Infants school together  at Lyneham Primary school
Some boys I went through High School and College with

Saturday night Fiona, Natalie and I went to the Tuggeranong Club at Erindale for dinner - it was very crowded but luckily we had booked a table and we enjoyed our night.

Fiona, Natalie and me - we've been friends since 1986

On the Saturday afternoon I popped over the Anne's place in Farrer.  She and I moved into our Woden homes within one day of each other.  We knew each other as St Francis of Assisi mothers and we've been friends ever since.  I renovated my 70's doer upper almost immediately after moving in, but Anne has waited three years for her renovation and I had yet to see them.  The house looks fantastic and it is difficult to remember what the house used to look like.  They have done a great job and it will look great when they are all completed.

Anne and me in her new kitchen
After the best weekend Fiona and I took a drive up to Goulburn to see her father Ronny.  Ronny and I used to go to the movies together on a regular basis when I was working part time and we enjoyed each other's company.  The three of us went and had a pub lunch then went for a shop at Dimmey's.  We got back to Canberra about 3.00 and I then moved over to the Lindfields home to stay for the rest of my visit.

Ronny, the big kid, with his pride and joy, his train set
The next day was Tom's 18th birthday - the whole reason I was in Australia.  I woke him up about 10.00 and gave him his pressies from us.  Mum and Dad's present was no surprise as Tom had chosen his own gift after a shopping day in Civic.  He chose a German tungsten ring with a black ceramic band.  We got it engraved on the inside.

Tom with his ring on his 18th birthday

His lovely adopted parents, Gaye and Michael had organised a dinner that night at the Mawson Club where we went for a dinner.  Diana and her girls and Adrian were there.  Adrian and Tom have been friends since Kindy and Adrian was turning 18 two days later.

Fiona was there as well as the Lindfield family and a friend Matt.  Tom Lindfield works for the Hughes Bakery and he had ordered the birthday cake which was white chocolate mousse with orange liqueur in it.  It was absolutely delicious.

Our table of friends

The Birthday Boy and his mum

Tom L, Tom M, Matt and Adrian

Diana, Tom and Fiona

Tom and his cake "Legally Responsible" GL: HF - good luck have fun

Me with the two Toms

On my last day in Canberra I caught up my friends from Calwell, Helen and Tracy.  I've known Helen and Tracy since our children were at preschool together, Andrew, Carly and Benjamin.  Tracy has had a baby since I've been away on Norfolk and I met the appropriately named "Fletcher".

Helen, me and Tracy with baby Fletcher at the Calwell Club
I just HAD to go  past my beautiful home in Torrens.  The tenants have done a lovely job keeping the gardens lovely and tidy.  I miss my home very much but I don't miss Canberra at all.

My pride and joy!
On the last night in Canberra, Tom had arranged another 18th birthday dinner with his old Marist friends.  We went to the Australia Pizza Kitchen in Woden.  These boys have been friends right through high school and they have all just finished school forever.  Tom has another year to go as he restarted Year 11 when he came to Norfolk Island.

Tom's Marist friends at APK

We had dessert at Goodberry's at Erindale

In the morning I took a taxi to the airport and was astounded at how different the Canberra Airport has changed in less than a year!  It is now huge and looks similar to Melbourne or Sydney.  My flight to Melbourne was delayed which made the Norfolk Air ground staff worried that I would not make the flight home.

I was very confused at the airport about where to check in and you could see the relief on the face of the girl at the counter as she was on the phone telling someone that I had finally arrived!  I went straight through customs and immigration as I was the only passenger I could see until I got to the gate for my three and a half hour flight home.

Rob and Andrew were at the airport to meet me and it is so nice when staff at the airport say "welcome home" - I just love it here.  My two weeks away were fabulous and very busy and I caught up with most people which was great.  I had a lovely time but I am happy to be home.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Andrew's 13th Birthday

Andrew with his delicious chocolate pinata cake

Friday the 15th of October was eagerly awaited as that was the day that Andrew became a teen.  He wasn't so much excited about that but for the fact he got to play with his new Xbox and Wii games at last.

They had been "hiding" at the top of my cupboard for weeks since buying them on Ebay and he had been longingly looking at them since their arrival.

He went to school as usual and his friend Edwin came home with him after school to have a play with the games before the rest of the gang arrived after 4.30.

Andrew invited seven of his friends for a sleepover and we fitted them in the lounge room by bring in Andrew's mattress and the spare room mattress and the rest found respite on the couches.  Sarah kindly helped out with pillows and sleeping bags.

Rowston boys and Edwin

Playing the consoles, was of course, the main attraction and we had four televisions going in the lounge room with 4 Xboxes and all eight of the boys were playing the same game!

Settling in for the night

Food was eaten in copious amounts and I was well prepared by having sausage rolls, mexican dip and nachos, hot chicken rolls and heaps of lollies.  We had the most delicious chocolate pinata cake made by the lovely Sarah which was a big hit with the kids - literally.

The Pinata Cake - yum

The cake was a mud cake smothered with jelly lollies and snakes then a chocolate covering was placed over this and decorated.  The chocolate coating was smashed by the boys because they knew what was inside!  The cake was glorious and the lollies were a great treat too.

After smashing the chocolate outside, the cake was revealed with all the lollies and we could fit the candles on
The original plan for the evening was for all the boys to go to the Outrigger disco until 12.00 but only 4 wanted to go in the end so I picked those boys up at 12.00 and brought them back but on the way we gained one more guest who wanted to join in the party fun.

The boys were extremely quiet all night and only two boys stayed awake all night - one of which was Andrew.
Copious amounts of drinks were had by all - here's the evidence!

After the last boy was woken at 8.30 Sunday morning I made bacon and egg toasties for everyone and by 12.00 decided enough was enough and I drove everyone home.

The morning after

They all said that they had a good time and I'm sure they did.

Happy 13th Birthday Andrew