9 December 2018
We had made a last minute plan to see the daughter of some friends of ours back in England but unfortunately, she wasn’t sure if she would be working on Sunday or not, and by the time Laura and the kids were setting off for the day, she still didn’t know, so we took a raincheck, joined Laura and Bang, and headed for the beach, where we were going to meet up with Wendy and her kids.
Parking was awful at Clontarf Beach, so Bang dropped us off and he and Laura drove separately up the hill to find a couple of spaces. In the meantime, me, Ian and the kids tried to find Wendy amongst the crowds of people, and then just as we saw Laura approaching, we spied Wendy too. We pitched ourselves next to her and spread ourselves out, and Cornelia ran off with all the kids as if she’d known them forever. Bang was straight in the water with them too, pulling them around on the body boards.
Once round one of sea-fun was over, all the kids were given ice creams to refuel, while the parents had coffees! What a perfect scene, watching them all sitting together on the mats and towels, scoffing their happy little faces!
We were joined by Mel and Jamie and their FIVE children – and what a gorgeous happy family they were! Totally loved them and only wished we could have spent more time with them, as they were brilliant company.
Cornelia and Austin wanted to go and play in the park next, and so I supervised while they clambered all over the place. Honestly, he is so brave and competent and Bugsy learned so much from him, which half frightens me to death and half makes me very proud of her adventurous spirit!
Wendy has to leave shortly before 15:00, and so we all packed up and Laura squeezed me and the kids into her car with the boards, while Bang and Ian walked up the massive hill to collect the other vehicle.
We all met up again at home, where Fabulous Phil had been hard at work preparing the most amazing meal for us all: slow-cooked lamb with potato salad and coleslaw. Seriously one of the best meals we have eaten on our entire trip. And definitely the best potato salad I’ve ever had. Before it was ready though, I managed to go for a run. I’d put Laura’s glasses in her bag in the beach to keep them safe, but it turned out to be Wendy’s bag, not Laura’s, so she needed to go and collect them, and kindly dropped me off a few miles away, so that I could run back to her house. It was particularly hot, and I was very happy to discover that two-thirds of the route was downhill!
By the time I got back, the beers were flowing and everyone was in good spirits again. This afternoon, we were joined by a couple of other friends: Gaz, a doctor living in Darwin and Jess, the girlfriend of James who’d been here last night too. We had another brilliant afternoon and evening, although I mostly laid off the booze having felt slightly hungover for most of the day.
The kids did some painting and had a bit of screen time, just to try and calm them down from another exciting day, before their bedtime. Cornelia was very tired, so I just gave her a quick rinse in the bath (oh my goodness, so much sand in that child’s hair!!) and she was asleep quite quickly after her stories. I rejoined eventually, although as it was a work day tomorrow, most people had left by about 23:00, which was still way past our normal bedtime…! 😉
Eventually, my bum was going numb from sitting down for so long and so I called it a night, with Ian leaving the gathering at the same time. I am gutted that we will be leaving tomorrow, but we’ve agreed that 2021 is the year we shall next see each other, somewhere in the world!!