Tag Archives: family holidays

Who puts the ‘it’ in community?

I’ve recently returned from a trip to the Hawkesbury River with my husband and his family. They have a place in a holiday park and have done so for nearly 15 years. Weekends, public holidays and random midweek jaunts have all been spent there.

The first time I was taken there I spent the entire car trip clutching my freshly made caramel slice thinking ‘will they like me?’. See, not only have my in-laws owned a place there for years, so have all the other people in their street. Before I had even packed my overnight bag, I’d heard numerous tales from the good times at the river. I must admit, I was confused as to who was who and who did that funny thing that time etc. And I was anxious wondering if I’d be accepted by them all.

My worry was pointless. As soon as we arrived I was treated like a long-lost friend. I was kissed and hugged and handed a drink. I spent the night sitting around the fire making new friends.

The river owns a special magic. It infects you with it when you arrive. Time slows down and the temperature heats up. But it’s not just those things that have you singing “we’re going to Bonnydoon’ on the way there. (If you’re not an Aussie and/or have not seen the movie The Castle, that reference just went way over your head).

During my last visit, we were all sitting around the communal fire in the middle of the street. All the different families sharing food and wine and general good cheer. There is a pleasant familiarity from spending so much time with people at their most intoxicated relaxed. Everyone looks after each other’s children, we all feed each other and someone is always ready to listen to your latest story/trouble/news. You see, these people have created their own little community. A river community.

I’m convinced we could take aspects of river living back to the real world and be much richer for it. Well, probably not the happy hour at 3pm and in bed by 8pm thing which always seems to happen to me down there. But….just saying.

Here’s to the river! Always so pleasant to visit…always so darn hard to leave.

Can you see the Easter Bunny making a special delivery?


Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure


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I wanna take your picture…

I want to tell you a little story. It’s about a woman I know.

This woman is a terrific mother and dedicated keeper of family history. On a big family holiday (the last shall we say before her children all ventured into the big wide world), this woman made it her mission to document every waking moment of the trip.

  • Departure lounge photo – check
  • Hotel arrival photo – check
  • Resort bungalow room by room photos – check
  • Kids by the resort name sign photo – check
  • Kids eating ice-cream photo – check

Well…you get the picture (no pun intended). By the time day two had arrived, no one much felt like saying ‘cheese’ and smiling til their cheeks hurt. But it was this woman’s prerogative to snap snap snap until her fingers bled.

By the time it came to change the roll of film (yeah, we are going back some years), the woman was shocked, appalled and horrified to realise she never put film in the camera in the first place. All those precious family memories lost. That woman is my mother.

I actually thought the whole thing was pretty funny at the time. Especially as we moaned and groaned every time she said, “now stand there and smile”. But she was completely devastated. It wasn’t until I went on a trip to America years later with my friend and ended up losing 5 rolls of film that I understood what she went through. I was totally inconsolable at the time.

So what’s with our fascination in capturing single moments in time? Well for me it has to be that I have the worst memory in the history of remembering things. So I love going back through old photographs reliving  forgotten adventures…sometimes they are a complete surprise to me. “Whaaa, did I really do that??”

I recently wrote a fantastical post about playsuits. The best part of the post was going to be moi in a playsuit circa 1998. But I couldn’t find the photo. My mother diligently helped me go through boxes and boxes of photographs trying to find the one of me posing like John Travolta in a blue pinstripe playsuit wearing my infamous roller skates. We never did find that photo…so I never ended up publishing that post. Shame, I really liked it.

It did make me realise though what a wonderful legacy my mum has left us with her years and years of happy snapping. Especially as sometimes we were less than gracious about it. So this one’s for you mama darling…thank you! xx

Here are some of the activities I have no recollection of doing.

My early start to a modelling career.

Closely followed by an equestrian career.

Which led to a stunt water ski career.

Which finally led me to a fighter pilot career with the Australian Airforce.


Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure


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