Ahhh - we are back at home-sweet-home.
The trip to Brisbane was wonderful. Didn't catch up with anyone except the Outlaws and one other person the whole time we were down there - my mind was constantly spinning the "oh I should really call such and such" routine, but then the internal giggles from listening to 'Salina and her cousin BPC interacting would drown it out.
We chose discretion as the best part of valour, and did the South Bank thing on Tuesday instead.
Uncle Bo came with us, and the kids (including Auntie S and Uncle Bo) all splashed happily in the water (V and I had a romantic moment or two in chasing shade that coincided with a view of the splashers - I don't have Auntie S's body or a strong desire to share water with very strange strangers, and V has a thing about still water) until the impending waterburst from the sky chased them out.
However, at Southbank we had to have a banana split, apparently. Of course, I didn't because of a strong aversion to bananas, and V doesn't because he has an aversion to eating heaps of crap while out, but the Outlaws and 'Salina saddled up to one of these monstrosities each. There was a verbal agreement that sharing would take place however when crunch time came the willingness to share was revoked and so each participant ate (or attempted to eat) a whole one each.
The skies opened while this was being attempted, and 'Salina's tummy issues (which would be linked to her mother's constant nagging - causal relationship, not resultant) combined with the deluge from our inadequate cover meant 'Salina was the only one not to finish her feast.
Before long the storm had passed and we walked back along the river to the cars. Along the banks many lizards were to be found, and there is no cheaper entertainment than watching a couple of kids count lizards AND get exercise while walking the path. Well, toss up between that and the eruptions of conflict between two only children with strong wills. That is fun too.
Tuesday also signalled the day that 'Salina's mother failed dismally in her tyrrany of controlling sugars and other crap being inhaled by her daughter, the end result of which was a very messy evening. She is the sort of girl who enjoys a sugar high - and gets a hangover from hell to complement it. I have tried to explain to her (and those who offer) that I am not being cruel in banning soft drink and sweets, but occasionally you have to illustrate the point, it seems.
On Wednesday, the deal was that in lieu of pressing our flesh against the flesh of 50,000 strangers at South Bank we would take the kids to the park for a portion of the day, Auntie S would do something with the kids for a portion of the day and we would allow them fireworks for supper.
Colmslie Beach Reserve has a fantastic flying fox. Apparently (because others with me read the fine print) the fox is rated for 119kg, so the kid in V also came out.
There is also a really cool circle of swings, although once they have been heated up a bit they are not so pleasant to swing on (apparently lol).
The warning signs advising "Snakes have been sighted in this area" heightened our thrills, as the children (without knees over the age of 20) raced through the obstacle course - forwards and backwards - several times.
We then went down to "Colmslie Beach" proper. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. It was high tide, therefore the only "Beach" that could be seen was the tidal line of driftwood and rubbish - however the view was great, with the Gateway bridge in one direction, the circus in another and a bird on a pylon for artistic effect.
Of course, you don't have shots of these spectacles because I am not a very good photographer, so you have to rely on my words.
The fireworks in the evening were at 8.30, and we were prepared. I had rung the Council and Arial had assured me of the time and location. We had discussed our strategy and worked our route to the vantage point of choice.
Even the best laid plans have a few kinks.
It seems that asking "shall we take the picnic rugs?" should not be seen as answered in the negative if noone offers an affirmative, a pair of legs to go and retrieve said item OR an arm to carry it under. Taking stoney silence as a negative leads to the constant whine of "I knew we should have brought the picnic rugs" from the under 10s.
It seems I should have questioned Arial a little more closely about the lawnmowing services the council offers parks that have advantageous views of the fireworks.
It seems that someone should have factored in the geographic skews of hills and trees, and indeed the growth rate of such trees since last time that park was used for such a purpose by the participants.
However, after Auntie S took the children to a spot to the right and higher for better "awwws" and "ahhs", there was another factor.
I should have asked Arial about bull ants.
We overrode the non-voting members on a "stay up all night" request (we are not STUPID and appreciate child-free time any night of the year) and played cards, drank wine and coffee until the cheers around us alerted us to the calendar change and then we slept.
Its been a pretty good 2009 so far, and I figure that I am not upsetting the cart with any "resolutions".
I do, however, have goals.
Happy New Year, all!!!