The hardest goodbyes

19 December 2018

Ian and I were both up around 08:00, although I waited for him to go for his shower before I bothered rolling myself out of bed.

We were in the kitchen when I heard screaming… “Out! Out! Get out! No! No! Mummy, Mummy!” I ran outside, down the steps and into our room to find a sheepish Ruby on Cornelia’s bed. Through her tears, Cornelia told me that she’d woken up to Ruby licking her face, and then she tried stealing Cowbat. Luckily she saw the funny side, once she’d recovered from the surprise, and wanted to come into the kitchen to say hi to everyone, once I’d made sure her Gang were safe and Ruby was out.

Avis was in the kitchen trying to get Levi and Zara out of the door to Kindy, gently convincing Zara to have her hair brushed and Levi to put on his clothes. She has the patience of a saint and the energy of a Tasmanian devil! I received great big cuddles from the twins before they left, and then Bugsy and I had breakfast together, before I cracked on with a bit of life admin and she watched a few new episodes of Peppa Pig. I decided to make cauliflower soup, as I had bought the ingredients before we decided to have a few days at Sunshine Coast. Apart from burning my arm on the kettle (bad schoolgirl error), I managed to find and use everything I needed, including Rochelle’s amazing Thermomix (my next new kitchen gadget). And apart from putting on the lid upside down, everything else went according to plan, and we ended up with silky smooth and delicious soup. Even though I say so myself. 😉

In the meantime, Cornelia had asked to go swimming and as neither Jacob nor Daniel wanted to go, Ian supervised as she had a good old swim around for about an hour. During this time, so Ian told me later, the chickens were out and so was one of the dogs, Charlie, who has a taste for the chooks… apparently Avis managed to catch Charlie, who had a chicken in his mouth, before any damage was done! 😳  Avis, who (bless her) had been doing several loads of laundry asked me if I ever found the other blue sock that I’d managed to lose while doing our washing.  I had one, and was convinced that I’d taken the other one she already found and given to me once… but oh no, being unusually disorganised, somehow I’d lost it again, and thankfully Avis was there to sort me out and hand over my blue sock!

Carl nipped in to say goodbye around 11:00 and tested the soup for me, before whizzing off again with a portion of lasagne for his lunch.  They will be sick of eating it for days soon…!

I went off for a shower and texted Rochelle to say lunch would be ready in half an hour, and then Bugsy joined me to have a good scrub, washing away the soapy suds from last night, at last! By the time I was out and dressed, Rochelle was home and with the kids’ help, the table was laid and the soup and bread served. It was really good (thank goodness!) and Jacob didn’t even tell me how much Rochelle disliked cauliflower… 😂 In fact, although he wasn’t going to to have any, he tried some and decided he really liked it, AND Cornelia had a second helping. Hurrah!

But then, it was time to load the car and say goodbye. I cried before Ian had even finished packing the car. 🙄 I managed to get a grip as we promised to stalk each other: Rochelle when she comes to Brisbane for a night with the family before they fly out to Tasmania in a few days; and then we shall hunt them out in Italy when they next visit Carl’s family there…!

We had hugs and photos, and then were on our way up through Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

The traffic around this part of Australia is surprisingly heavy, and our journey was slow due to the volume of traffic moving around. Cornelia watched a bit of her Kindle before losing it for the rest of the day by spitting fiercely in my direction, because she didn’t like something I had said.🙄 But she recovered herself quickly and went on to create a zipwire with the cable from her headphones and (with a bit of assistance) a harness for Tiggy so she could slide down it. She seemed quite pleased with herself, remarking “This is a fine harness, isn’t it, Mummy?!” And indeed it was!!

Once she’d exhausted the zipwire game, she moved onto the Lego. Hmmm, Lego and cars don’t mix terribly well, but she was persistent in her play, making for quite a difficult but equally fun drive… “Mummy, look at this! It’s an aeroplane. If you do this…then this… it becomes a space rocket.” Having dropped a couple of pieces (which she had been warned may happen if she took out the Lego in the car), she asked that I tell her “When we’re approaching the roundabout, Mummy, so I can hold onto my Lego!”

So, I spent the last 45 minutes of the journey warning her about every bend in the road, but it worked and no more pieces were lost.

We arrived at our accommodation near Sunshine Beach at around 17:00, and I left Ian and Cornelia in the car while I checked in. Keith, the manager, was thorough and showed me a map of the local area, and took me through the apartment, before I rejoined Ian and Bugsy. Oh dear. She was in Ian’s footwell (well, half in it actually) and a very cross Ian was telling her off and throwing his hands up in despair. She’d lost a couple more Lego pieces and had ended up throwing the whole lot over the car in frustration. Or something like that. 😂

But we unloaded the car and took the lift up to our lovely, spacious two-bed apartment, while Cornelia explored. It was time for a cup of tea, and while Ian and I drank it, Bugsy managed to offload all of the cushions onto the floor and generally make herself at home.

We were going to walk to the nearby general store, then decided that we needed more than just milk and OJ, so drove over to Coles instead. Cornelia was getting a bit tired and feisty, so Ian took her off to explore the local area while I whizzed around Coles in peace. Ah, bliss!

After twenty minutes, they found me in one of the aisles whistling Christmas tunes to myself, and helped me finish off the shopping. Once we were back at our apartment, I knocked up a quick pasta supper and Cornelia was off to bed immediately after. She was exhausted but fighting for two stories. Unfortunately for her, she’d run out of time for a second book (having wasted time while brushing her teeth), but incredibly when I walked out of her room, she just yelled out for me once, then fell asleep – albeit with her light that she had switched back on!

I spent the evening watching Masterchef UK (so exciting!!!) and then Grey’s Anatomy which made me inexplicably sad. I had a bit of a quiet cry while Ian was busy nursing his various injuries with ice, before pulling myself together and doing some stretches before bed!

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