Normally we fly to Queensland but we drove this time in an attempt to
I can highly recommend Dubbo Zoo. It differs from most zoos in that you hire a bike or golf buggy type thing, or drive your own vehicle around the specified route, stopping as often as you like to get up close and personal with the animals, many of whom are out and about in the open and separated from the visitors only by moats or deep crevasses (tigers and cheetahs excepted. They were behind wire).
There were about six different species of rhino but this splendid armoured cartoon character was my favourite.
These reindeer (?) were reaaallly close. I was fascinated by their furry antlers - they remind me of nightmarishly ginormous spider legs. Creepy but faaabulous. I kind of want to stroke them and I kind of don't.
The photographic record now jumps to northern New South Wales (I knitted furiously between Dubbo and the Tweed Valley and the camera didn't make it out of the bag). Here we have the world's tiniest frog. That's an 11 year old's little fingernail for scale. Isn't it unbelievable?
(That picture is for Jo, if she still reads here. Home!).
We had the annual mowing of the grass ...
Followed by the feeding of carrots to my uncle's next door neighbour.
And another horse. My uncle's latest magnificent woodwork. (He's hanging out for grandchildren).
From that point onward it rained a good deal of the time. We headed up to Brisbane where we caught up with more relatives and made our regular pilgrimage to GoMA, two days before it flooded and was closed, like much of Brisbane.
I'm not sure what they were watching up above, but the Lego city interactive installation was a big hit.
After a week with my parents we escaped to a nearby island for four days. More rain. More knitting. More reading.
can you see the torrential rain?
Poor Mr Soup had no knitting so he had to swim in the pouring rain,
and gaze wistfully at the wild, raging, man-eating surf.
The wind howled. I knitted on. I was also rather ill by this stage and continued to be unwell for two and a half weeks despite two courses of antibiotics but sickness makes for tedious blogging so there will be no detailed descriptions of my symptoms. (You're welcome).
The sun came out for one hour on the third day and the children had an archery lesson. Raging success. Sport and weaponry combined!
After our island idyll *cough* we returned to my parents ostensibly for one day's stay, which due to the floods closing all routes south, turned into several. In the end we were finally able to access the New England Highway, which meant no Dish, and three full days of driving instead of two, but we gratefully arrived home dry and intact (with not only a completed cardigan but a pair of wrist warmers as well), heartily sick of Stephen Fry's dulcet tones, and in shock at the severity of the floods both in Queensland and now in Victoria.
Going home the pretty way did mean that the children got to play soccer on the hallowed ground of the Bradman Oval (my god, ten points to anyone normal [ie. non cricket tragics] who makes it through the copy on that link) ...
(yes there's probably a law against it)
and a motel room with cable tv so they could watch the soccer game that they were missing out on attending in person (we were three days late by now).
The menfolk watched the match while I lived it up on the motel's
My personal highlight of the journey home? An introduction to the world's largest concrete sheep.
It's a ram. Just take my word for it and be thankful I'm showing you the bow not the stern.