I'm sitting with sandy feet, in a messy lounge room as I've just come in from chookwrangling and watering - it's 23°C outside with a sea breeze, which is heavenly after several days of unrelenting strong Easterlies blowing across from the scorching heart of the continent. It's been a very hot Christmas period. This week should be a little more kind to those of us (me!) who don't like scorchers.
I haven't made an entry in a while so let me try to work my way back. Yesterday in the afternoon we met a couple of Rob's nieces and their husbands, Rob's sister and her ward and her two friends to teach them all disc golf. We did 9 holes and everyone had a great time as the sea breeze cooled us and the seemingly slowly setting sun (I assume the Earth wasn't turning any slower than usual) rays shafted through the eucalypts and Balga which grace Cockman Park and Rob Hancock Memorial Disc Golf Course. Some interesting styles developed. I hope everyone enjoyed it enough to try it again.
I won, I think I got myself a personal best. All this cardio boxing has really strengthened my drive capability, and I startled myself a couple of times with some really long drives for me. In fact for everyone present, there were 10 of us I think, and my disc was frequently the one closest to the hole after the first throw. I still feel quite chuffed.
Afterward we practised putting with Rob's sister and the girls, and then we went home and had a cold dinner of Christmas leftovers and freeformed for the rest of the evening. We had not done much else that day.
On Tuesday we had dinner at the St George pub (excellent GF menu) with arcadiagt5 and retired to darklion's place to have a game of Last Night On Earth. This is the original version of the Martian Game which you've heard me enthusing about earlier, I'm sure. The them is Small Town Vs Zombies. I don't care much for zombie themed stuff, but it was an alright game, and got pretty close. These are very well balanced games, and there was really something chilling happening as the zombies, so many!, closed in on arcadiagt5 and me, and a relief for us when arcadiagt5 struck the final blow that killed the last zombie and saved the town.
Now things timewise get a little bit blurry, because a lot went on.
At some point we had a big cleanup from the Christmas fallout, and throughout, we kept the garden watered and the chooks fed and happy. There was also a lot of frantic adventuring in the Kingdom of Loathing to take advantage of the Crimbo Event for the year.
It was also nice to drop in on Poss on Sunday night and watch our usual videos, with a break for the Dr Who Christmas special, and a lovely cold middle eastern picnic followed by cold christmas pud and custard.
Monday or was it Sunday? saw us visiting Rob's brother and his wife to drop off their family exchange Christmas present. Rob had drawn his brother in the selection process, and I had drawn his wife. I resolved, that due to a bit of stress that a Wii and Wiifit might be a nice present. While it was a big overthetop present, it was the *right* present, I felt. The stunned (Rob thought she was going to faint) look on SIL's face certainly convinced us we made the right choice. We managed to keep the surprise from their two youngest children (they're school age) for a couple of hours so they could enjoy *their* gift unmolested for a bit. They've all very enthusiastically taken to it!
Christmas itself we drove down to one of my sister's places at Mandurah, her husband had been let off work early in Kalgoorlie, so they could come down and very kindly host. My grandmother, my uncle, my mother, and sister and my BIL, Rob and I all had very good food with a view of the sea in the back entertaining area. It was very nice but pretty hot, so we retired indoors for dessert.
We rarely get together like this so it was really nice, there wasn't much snarkiness and it all just came together.
Then we drove home and flaked out playing KoL and freeforming.
The 24th was...interesting. As in interesting times. We had been informed a day or two previously that our car MIGHT be ready for Christmas Eve. Goodness, what a shock.
So, many frantic calls between garages, me and Rob ensued. The panelbeater in Wangara ASSURED me I could pick my car up at 11.00 despite issues with the other garage, and issues with the insurers. Doubtful, I blazed on nevertheless and started some hard thinking. I'm in Doubleview, the car was in Wangara. Mum and her car were due in Ashby which is not far north of Wangara at 10 for a Christmas morning tea with my cousins and baby. So I got Mum to pick me up, gatecrashed the party and rang the garage again at 11. "Are you sure I can take my car?" I said, "Sure!" said the fellow.
So mum drove me there, and sure enough, there was little Ti, looking much better than the last time! Sooo...I hope in, bid farewell to Mum, and drive back toward home, down the freeway.
And a dashboard light comes on. And it looks scary. And it's very hot. And the airbags and seatbelts have been jiggered with. But it's not a light for any of those. It's a triangle with an exclamation mark inside, you know, hazard! This worries me. I don't have the manual in the car, because I cleaned it out when I thought it was going to be wrecked.
Then my phone goes off. I'm on the Freeway, and I don't have a handsfree kit. Bugger. I'm sure as hell not going to answer it. I pull off at Warwick and stop. Who called me? Huh, The Red Cross. What the hell do they want? Have they found something horrible in my blood? What on earth could it be, I'm pretty bloody low risk for bad stuff, I would've thought? Have I stepped on a hypodermic or something without realising it?
"Hi, you guys rang me" "Do you have your donor number? "Noooo...but here's some info." "Oh, we're ringing to remind you of your appointment on the 29th.." "Ok, thanks." Said with great control.
Of course, now I'm out of credit. I start up again and the light doesn't come back on. I get back onto the freeway, and it comes on again. Nothing bad seems to be happening so I drive home and collapse in a nervous wreck, and look up the light in the manual.
Then Rob says he's been let out of work early, so I drive to Welshpool, and the light comes on again about halfway there.
That night is Christmas eve, and we hold gaming and have a nice game of Tobago, followed by Invasion Earth, The Martian Game. Steveg plays the Martians against Richard's, Rob's, me, and Elaine's circus heroes. And it really came down to the wire again, with Steveg abducting the 4th ally most capably as we tried desparately to stop him. Oh well, at least the Feejee merman was saved. And we had pizza.
Thursday Mum wants me to go to Mandurah with her to take stuff for the Christmas party at my sister's house. Okay, down we go. Then I get a call from Craig at JustBents, he's got my trike and hopes the repairs will hold, can he drop it off.
"I'm in Mandurah" I say. "Oh" he says. "But I can be back by two" I say. "Ok" he says.
I've given him, as a token of gratitude for the extra trouble he's taken, and various others a copy of Debra Mayrhofer's Velo-City Perth: Cycling in Western Australia. It's a very interesting book, with articles by various people about the cycling subcultures in W.A. It's fascinating reading if you're a local bike user. And plus, my photo's on page 20. Or 21. Or is it 22? I dunno. It's in there, anyway, against the article about recumbents.
So I've got my trike back now, but I have not had, actually a chance to ride it or anything!
The week preceding Christmas saw me being roped into shopping around for hams with Mum and other gifts, getting the stuff for the Wii we were buying sorted out, and also visiting my cousin's daughter's 1 year old first birthday, and shopping for presents appropriate to a one year old.
So it's all a bit of a blur, really, and I forgot that I went and saw the Voyage of the Dawn Treader with ariaflame and ratfan too, sometime, well, it must be a couple of weeks ago now, and enjoyed it. I tried to rent Prince Caspian before seeing it, but instead left the video store with a copy of Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus that was cheaper to buy than to rent! Haven't seen it yet.
I also picked up a DVD on WWI aircraft as I thought Rob would enjoy it, and to get more educated on the planes I'm flying in Wings of War.
Yeah, well, that's all I can remember at the moment about my Christmas time.
I think my favourite present has been a purple anodised aluminium water bottle Mum got me when she saw me admiring them in Anaconda. And an album to us both with "odes to a river, a lake, a pool, the ocean and a duck" called Watersongs by Brenda Conochie, with Bruce Boyd and Jessie Rider. I've not actually listened to it yet, but it's got a song about the Swan River and a song called Big yellow canoe, so how good is that? and a song "Follow that Duck!" inspired by Michael Leunig!
Well, that's about all. I've got to go to the Blood Bank for another donate this arvo, so it's a short day. I better get on with some washing and cleaning up.