Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Wedding, Part 4

Ceremony & Reception.

Jax’s brother J had been entertaining our guests on guitar, we gave him the signal & he wound up his tune & our god daughters started up their wedding march, S (12) on Keyboard & vocals & M (14) on Viola. S had done an arrangement to include a viola solo, so the tune went for quite a while (6 minutes?).

It is You (I have loved)

There is something that I see
In the way you look at me
There's a smile, there's a truth in your eyes
But an unexpected way
On this unexpected day
Could it mean this is where I belong
It is you I have loved all along

It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved all along

There were times I ran to hide
Afraid to show the other side
Alone in the night without you
But now I know just who you are
And I know you hold my heart
Finally this is where I belong
It is you I have loved all along

It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved all along

Over and over I'm filled with emotionYour love, it rushes through my veins
And I am filled With the sweetest devotio
As I, I look into your perfect face
It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved
It is you I have loved
It is you I have loved all along

The ceremony was on the board walk in front of the surf club & luckily we had quite a bit of decking we could use as the aisle. Tess, who’d been quite nervous the day before decided she was fine to walk first as she could see Mum & Dad waiting for her at the half way mark & a lot of the guest were out of view from where we started. Next walked Sis & Jax together, & finally T & K a step only in front of me.

Originally I wanted all 5 of us (me, sis, Jax T & K) to walk together in a line, no-one before, no-one behind, more a sign of unity & friendship, but it looked a bit stupid & there wasn’t enough space. When we got to Mum & Dad I hugged Sis, T & K in turn while Tess then continued on followed by Jax, then Mum & Dad linked arms on either side of me & walked me the rest of the way to PB (Fi, T & K followed behind).

The celebrant did the giving away – the variety of me not being property to be bought or sold though, & do I come of my own free will & do I come with my families blessing who accompany me today. Next was a bit of a welcome about us & our relationship.

My Sis then read this:
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”

Jax read this:
Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore
Let thy love play upon my voice and rest on my silence.
Let it pass through my heart into all my movements.
Let thy love like stars shine in the darkness of my sleep and dawn in my awakening.
Let it burn in the flame of my desires.
And flow in all current of my own love.
Let me carry thy love in my life as a harp does its music, and give it back to thee at last with my life.

***at this point Paul returned with the video camera!!!! Sis got the vow’s on tape.

Then the formal stuff the celebrant has to say by law, the asking & of course the vows:

I call upon the persons present to witness that I PB, take you CM be my lawful wedded husband. Well, you finally got me Cat, my eternal mate, generous, always considering others before yourself. Thank you for your patience in our journey together as I can be a schmuck at times. You are my greatest supporter no matter how tough the going gets. I will always support you with the same love & strength you have shown me unconditionally. You are kind hearted & you always loved & cared for me not matter what. We have laughed, cried & smiled together throughout our journey through good & hard times. You are always (well, most of the time except when you are watching reality television) interested in what I have to say & do. I cannot imagine my life without you in it. Today, I want to make a promise to you & to myself, in front of our friends & family, present & passed, to love, honor, protect, care & respect you for the rest of my life.

*** of course at the reality television line & I threw my head back & laughed; as did the guests. PB was holding on to me so tightly he cut of the blood circulation in my fingers. I thought I’d be the one who would cry my way through my vows, but surprisingly I didn’t. I did tear up while PB read his vows; he was quite choked up too.

PB, my soul mate, my best friend. You are honest, brave & wise. You are kind hearted & you always love me, no matter what. You make me smile, you stick up for me, you take care of me and you are always (well, most of the time) interested in what I have to say and do. I cannot imagine my life without you in it. Today, I want to make a promise to you and to myself, in front of our friends and family, to love and honor, protect and respect you for the rest of my life.

*** I kind of felt my vows were a bit short in the end. I didn’t think PB would want something too long, so tried to keep it simple for him. He’d had mine to use as a guide, but I had no idea what he was going to say.

Pronounced Husband & Wife! J played John Lee Hookers “Mr Lucky” while we signed our marriage certificate & I quietly slipped on my wedding bands Jax had been wearing (to look after them for the afternoon). Dad did an amazing blessing. I don’t have it in writing yet & must get it from him. My parents are quite religious & while we wanted a non religious ceremony I though having Dad do a blessing would allow them to share their faith in some way. Dad basically said that he hoped our guests would go home with the peace & love in their hearts that PB & I had shared with them today.

Then we had J fire up his guitar playing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as the recessional, as our guests followed us to the other end of the board walk while Peta raced up to the balcony of the surf club to take a group shot.

We did a few family photos on the balcony upstairs & then got down to the business of dinner. The food was fabulous. We had a bit of a Mediterranean BBQ Theme:

#Vegetarian mixed Bruschetta
#Antipasto Plates

#Charcoal Grilled/BBQ'd Portugese style whole butterflyed chicken
#Charcoal Grilled Greek Lamb
#Charcoal Grilled Beef garlic & red wine marinade

#Garlic & Parsley Roasted Kipfler spuds
#Garlic & rosemary roasted pumpkin
#Panzanella Salad
#Potato salad (traditional style)
#Deb's "warming salad"

#Vahlrona Chocolate Tart
#Lemon & Lime Tart with syllabub
#Pavlova with mixed berries

To be honest, I really didn’t eat a lot. The champagne was good though! I tried to get around & chat to everyone before the band fired up as I knew I would be on the dance floor then! Our band was AWESOME! Richard learned the Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" for us. We hadn’t really planned on having a bridal waltz, but had joked about this song with Richard. He played a couple of tunes (I'd already started dancing, but PB was still chatting), then Richard basically announced that it was about time the bride & groom had a dance & fired up Sympathy.

Of course we both just had to dance. At least half our guests joined us. We continued to dance the night away. The Kids went home around 10.30pm during which we managed to do the speeches. Again totally unscripted & simple. Best man welcomed us & did a toast to the bridesmaid/flowergirl. I did most of the thank you’s then PB added on a few. We’ve since watched to footage my sister took & were really happy with the speeches despite lack of writing anything down. Although we did forget to formally thank Tess & G & I felt really bad especially about Tess; but I’ve since given a thankyou gift & card & same for G.

What party is complete without a physical accident? Usually if someone is going to hurt themselves or fall down it’s me. I’d kicked my shoes off first dance & most of the girls did the same & were all dancing in bare feet. K had a black toenail already from another incident & someone trod on the same toe, tearing most of it off. Blood everywhere! Dad did an emergency run to the hospital with K accompanied by T. They were back within 30 minutes, toe disinfected & bandaged, tetanus shot issued. Luckily she was numb with champers so didn’t feel much.

Finally we boarded the bus for the trip home. I instructed my cousins to grab any opened bottles of wine on the tables (as we’d paid for them). The bus driver was lovely & let us stop off at the all night service station for supplies. J played us an acoustic rendition of Killing in the Name of on the way home, completely priceless. We all sung to our hearts content. Not sure if Jules has recovered from the language yet, but it was pretty funny.

We finally made it home & partied on in to the wee hours of the morn. I think I crawled into my bed around 6am. That was how we’d planned it & didn’t worry about that first romantic night together! That was to happen in Port Douglas. Alas no luck then either.

I don’t think I’d change much. There were a few minor details I should have done myself & a few things I shouldn’t have worried about in the first place, but we had such a good time!!!!! So many laughs!! We didn’t stop smiling once we were finally together. I don’t recall having a tired face (champers is good!). We did ourselves proud. We made our commitment formal & had a fabulous meal & sensational party to celebrate with our friends & family.

And if you’ve read this far, well done! I know there is a lot of detail, but I wanted to capture it all for when the memory starts to fade & my brain goes a bit dim. I like to be able to read back over & remember all the little bits & pieces. So, thank you for indulging me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Wedding, Part 3

The Photography:

Before she’d come to photograph us girls getting ready, Peta had been to photograph the boys & had left them instructions as to where & when to meet us. Our destination was Granny’s Grave, a local surf beach named in memory of the first white woman born in Warrnambool. Her grave is in the sand dunes overlooking this particular beach. We were originally going to have photo’s taken at the middle island beach, but as the day was warm & that was the best beach for kids, there would have been a million kiddlets all running about. Not so conducive to private photography.

We jumped out of the limo & wandered down the pathway to granny’s grave which was where the boys were waiting at the look out. PB was suitably impressed with his bridal wench & said I looked a bit of all right! We kicked off our shoes & Peta took heaps of photos on the beach – smooching, snuggling, walking hand in hand, from in front, from behind. We even did the O what a feeling shot in the Toyota advert. By now we were quite windblown & my hair was a bit all over the place.

Next stop was Flag Staff Hill. We’d negotiated entry (at a price) to have photo’s taken on the old boats, however on arrival, the other bridal party (who was having their ceremony & reception on site) were having their photos taken so we weren’t allowed inside. We were allowed in the “free” area & took some photos with the light house & in front of a blue stone cottage. Peta had bought a CD player & played “Leave your hat on” asking us to all dance & get a little down & sexay! Was pretty funny. I don’t actually like many of the photos taken at this site, but there are a couple of priceless ones – Dave doing his Michael Jackson impersonation; & a group one with T & K on either end with 1 foot kicked up.

Finally it was time for the boys to head to the ceremony location & help the musicians set up. At this point PB says to me, “has K got her blackberry”? Yes I say, why? “I need my vows”. What! I say, didn’t you email them the celebrant???? He’d written them that morning between 9 & 11am (I'd written mine a month ago & given them to him to copy off). “Yes, but I need to print the out”. Why I ask, “I haven’t learned them yet”. Bless him. I thought he was just a bit nervous about the ceremony. You don’t have to learn them you goose, the celebrant will read each line out & you repeat it after her! She explained this at the practice!!! “Oh” he says. “I guess as usual I wasn’t listening”. The flood of relief on his face was pretty funny.

The boys depart & we jump back into the limo & head for Thunder Point, another spot overlooking the ocean, but with limestone cliffs. We did shots first of Tess then Tess Jax & I popping out of the sun roof of the limo. Then we clambered down the rocks. This location has some brilliant shots of me with my dress billowing out in the wind. While we were there, 6 prime movers rocked up so Peta asked if we could take a photo in front of one of the trucks. No worries they say. I even have a picture with two of the younger truck drivers in their blue singlets, work boots & stubbie shorts.

Time to head to the ceremony. All of us have hair everywhere. None of us packed hair spray! Quick ring around & best mans wife has some in her car at the venue. Our limo driver’s ears picked up & suggested we pop in to his place as it is on the way & he’s pretty sure his wife has hair spray. What a gem that man was! Was great because we could all use the loo too. One of Pauls kids took K for a guided tour around the house & we even met the family cat.

Back into the limo & we are 5 minutes away. One last chug of champers & we exit the limo for the last time, thanking Paul profusely for all his help. Sis all of a sudden realises she’s left her video camera back at Thunder Point – she’d been filming the day & had put it down when she we required to clamber the rocks to get a photo with me. Oh Noes! Paul offers to go back for it. Bless him – he was a legend.

Quick application of lippie & we were ready to go.
Time to get HITCHED!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Wedding, Part 2

EDIT from part one. I forgot to mention: a little birdy flying by, dropped a message from the sky, said the bride wiping her eye, thank the lord that COWS don’t fly!!! The morning the day before the wedding while we were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine, a birdy dropped me a message. The girls all assured me this was a sign of good luck. I was just glad it happened the day before, not the day of.

THE WEDDING PART 2: the morning of.

I woke at 4am to my heart pounding out of my chest & being unable to breathe. I think I had a panic attack. I was kinda freaked out for the next ½ hour. I wasn’t freaked about actually getting married, just freaked about all the things we needed to get done that morning & the sheer volume of stuff I had to do myself. Plumbing Boy of course didn’t stir & snored away softy beside me while I watched the sun come up over the southern ocean. I got up at 6am, made a cup of tea, fired up my computer & had a bit of a look at what I needed to do by when. I had exactly 3 hours before we had to leave.

PB & our mate C were up by 7am, no-one else stired until 8am. I sat out on the deck in the morning sunshine & made up around 40 coloured paper cones for the rose petals (instead of confetti). Mind you, we completely forgot about picking the rose petals & therefore that was a bit of a waste of time! Reconfirmed the seating chart & saved the document for the girls to write out the name place cards. Jax did one table as soon as she was up; the others flaked saying their hand writing wasn’t good enough. In hind sight, I should have done them myself; I ended up leaving them with Dad to take to the reception – not sure who he got to write out the other table but they looked fairly average. I spose if that was the worst thing that happened then I was pretty lucky.

Packed the car – dresses, underwear, shoes, make up, rings, paper cones, all the beyond blue stuff including the framed photo’s for the reception. The boys decided we needed a fry up for breaky – thought of food made me feel sick. I had a piece of Vegemite toast. You know, I really can’t remember now what else I did that morning – but 3 hours isn’t long when you’re tired & have a lot of fiddly bits & pieces to do.

9am Jax & I hit the road. First stop was to meet my aunt at the florist. She’d volunteered at the last minute to do the flowers (I was going to do them myself). G was all in a tiz when we got there because they didn’t have my flowers. I could actually see them in the window with my name on them, but G was convinced I’d told her I was having white flowers. It so doesn’t matter what you actually say to people, she’d just assumed they would be white because it was a wedding! She was also in a tiz because I wanted gum with my pink Orientals, but according to G she’d rung all the florists in town & they didn’t have any.

I know Warrnambool is in the country, but they are not that backwards. As soon as I walked in I could see heaps of what I wanted. But apparently that stuff is called Cootamundra & is of the wattle family not Gum tree family. The florist said she calls it gum, but anyhoo. Minor detail. Next drama was G wanted to put those big green foam blocks in my clear glass vases as she didn’t think the flowers would stand up by themselves. They will they will I cry! The gum is so bushy it holds the Orientals wherever you place them. These are my favourite flower combo & I use them year round in all different vases. I know it works. NO she says. I’m going back home to get a vase to test it out.

Meanwhile Jax & I sit outside in the sun, Jax calls her mum who is staying at mum & dads with G & explains the situation to her & asks if she can please please help G to chill & to believe the bride!!! By the time G gets back (Dad is chauffeuring her) we have 10 minutes to get to the hair dressers. The florist checks the vases & says bride wench is correct, no but ugly green foam required. I help dad shovel all the flowers into the back of his 4WD, while G continues to argue with the florist. I suggest to dad that he just drive off & leave G there if she doesn’t chill. G is finally sort of convinced. We are now 5 minutes late getting to the hair dressers with not enough time to get a real coffee. Cries!

Luckily the hair dresser has a cappuccino machine. Of course Jax hair takes twice as long on the day. I am getting very antsy as they haven’t started on mine yet & I’ve changed my mind on what we originally trialled!! My sister had dropped Tess (flowergirl) off & her hair was done also before mine was started. My sis & my aunt Jules came by to pick up Tess. Jules came to the rescue with some food. She’d picked up a couple of nougat bars thinking that I might have needed a little snack. Go Jules. Finally they get started on my hair which takes less time to do than the trial & I am very happy with it.

We are now 10 minutes late for makeup. The makeup girls were fantastic, but as we were being done at the same time we didn’t run any later. In fact we made up a bit of time. 1.45pm - next stop Mums, to get ready. G is looking frazzled, but has done our hand bouquets. They only needed to be 1 unopened bloom each & a bit of gum tied with string (she's had 3 hours).

Peta our photographer was already there, as were T & K, & a few of my cousin’s who’d been visiting grandma earlier. We shooed everyone who wasn’t supposed to be there out, & frocked up. None of us had had any lunch, nor did I get around to organising it! Was probably on my list to do that morning. Mumsy cut us up some fruit & fruit cake. Done.

Limo driver arrived on time, but we were running a bit late so Dad went out & chatted to him ( plus Dad was saved from all the girl stuff!). Photo’s lacing up the back of my dress, me on Mum & Dad’s bed, Tess on the bed, Jax on the bed, all three of us on the bed. Me with Grandma, Jax with Grandma, Tess with Grandma. Time to leave via a few more photo’s in mum & Dads garden. A few last minute instructions to Dad re what he had to take to the reception & of course the request to write out the other tables place cards!

Finally we jump into the limo (Me, Jax, Tess, sis, T & K). Game on. This is really about to happen! K bless her had bought a few bottles of champers to compliment the singular bottle that came with the limo. Before we drove off our limo driver Paul made sure we all had a glass & Tess a glass of lemonade. We were off to meet PB & his best man.........

Finally I felt like I could just relax & enjoy the day. What ever hadn't been done now wasn't going to get done & I could just let it go. I was really looking forward now to seeing my groom :0)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Wedding, Part 1


On Thursday 12th November 2009, I worked for an hour or so, then loaded up my car for the trip down to Warrnambool. Wedding Gown, check, shoes, check, suits, check, electric piano, check, platters, other clothes, pillows, bathers, most of my bathroom, computer, wedding bible notebook, check. Breakfast? Not yet. Bridesmaid? Oops, better go & pick her up.

I tossed in a container with the last 3 Banana muffins I’d made earlier in the week & hit the road. First stop was Parkville to pick up Jax, then munching on our muffins, we headed down the freeway to Warrnambool. I babbled a fair bit about what still had to be done & Jax reminded me to be calm & breathe. Stopped half way for a caffeinated beverage, arriving in Warrnambool around 1.30pm.

My 2 best girlfriends T (Melbourne) & K (Hong Kong) had headed down the day before to stay with T’s brother & family for the night. T’s sister in law kindly made us lunch & we sat out on their deck for a couple of hours having a wine & a chill.

We headed to Port Fairy, a 20 minute drive further on down the coast to where we were staying. We’d booked a house that slept 14 peeps. Plumbing Boy & I had decided we’d rather stay with our friends & younger family, than on our own, considering the distance some of them had travelled, so we could maximize our time with them. Collected the keys, hit the supermarket for supplies, then to our “home” for the weekend.
Fairy Bay House was a delightful 2 story beach house overlooking east beach. We loved it!

Unpacked & hit the deck for a few bevvies while we waited for the boys to arrive. PB had waited for his mate C to arrive from Woollongong before hitting the road, they arrived around 4.30pm.

We ‘d invited my sister F & family & T’s family for dinner, so fired up the Barby & made couple of salads to fed us all (11). T’s family & F & family went home early as they had primary school aged kids, but the rest of us partied on into the night. I’d figured it would be better to have a big night Thursday so we were all tired Friday night & would go to bed early being rested & not hung over for the wedding day.

Somewhere around 11pm I think, we all decided to go for a walk on the beach, rugging up in blankets & doonas taking our music with us we set out. Port Fairy has a large population of Mutton birds who sadly were just arriving from migrating & were so tuckered there were hundreds just dying exhausted on the beach. One came close to receiving mouth to mouth resuscitation, but in the end, we just had to let them be.

C, PB & I were up bright & early & went for a swim. The southern ocean is not for the faint hearted, but the water was surprisingly warmer than your average November temperature. It was possible I was still a little drunk though! We pottered around; fetched coffee from Rebecca’s, cooked a big fry up once the girls were up & just hung out enjoying each other’s company & recuperating from the night before.

Late morning the boys headed off to buy wedding shoes for PB; the girls headed off, T & K to do the last of the shopping then the beach, Jax & I to visit the florist, Mum & Dad, make coleslaw for the rehearsal dinner & sort out utensils etc for that. Then I went for my much needed hydrating facial, meeting everyone afterwards at the wedding venue for the rehearsal.

Jax & I had taken our shoes with us so we had a bit of a practice on the board walk. Luckily my shoes wouldn’t fit through any of the boards, but Jax had to walk on her toes to ensure no tripping or losing her shoes. We set up the musical equipment, had a couple of walk throughs to make sure our musicians were comfortable with what they were doing & to make sure we all had our timing right, as well as deciding who was standing where to minimise sun in eyes factor. PB & I also met with our photographer & went through what we wanted & she scoped the venue for the ceremony & after shots.

Once everyone was happy we wandered over the road to Lake Pertobe for a casual BBQ dinner (PB loves his barby’s!). He & C had done some other shopping during the day & had purchased a big plastic barrel with a screw top lid which made it watertight. It was hence known as the “Keg of Happiness”. This was their eski! We could lay it on its side in the boot & it wouldn’t leak. They also had a wheelie trolley with which to move their new toy around with. We had a lot of fun & jokes with the Keg of Happiness over the weekend I must say.

A few other wedding guests & family who had already arrived in Warrnambool joined us for dinner. They could all bring their kids who had a marvellous time: Lake Pertobe is also known as the adventure playground & has 2kms? of play equipment including flying foxes, mazes, slides swings & a plethora of climbing & play equipment.

We headed back to Fairy Bay house around 8pm & sat out on the front veranda having a couple of drinks watching the ocean & waited for the stars come out. I’d nominated K as my drink Nazi for the night: anyone who knows me well, knows I love a drink. I’d been driving all day so had only consumed a ½ glass of wine at dinner. K had bought a case of Spanish champagne which supposedly was a “light” drink & was not supposed to give you a headache. PB thought I was a loon & should have made T my drink Nazi as K is almost as bad as me!

We did keep it sensible although I went to bed a lot later than planned. My Sydney cousins were on their way & originally I’d planned to go to bed & have someone wake me when they arrived to say hello, but you know, I really was a bit hyped up & wasn’t ready for bed yet. K painted my toenails while I finalised the table seating arrangement!

I’d made a grave error of judgement asking my soon to be mother in law if she was happy to sit next to her friend......she said NO. Nor did she want to sit next to the mother of her grandchildren! She really threw a spanner in my seating as singles are hard to accommodate when you mostly have pairs. Nothing like leaving things til the last minute! Ended up putting her opposite her friend & next to her granddaughter.

I’d always planned on putting her next to either my Mum or Dad (who were sitting opposite each other); as Mum had lost her voice, I put her next to Dad. Mum was next to MIL’s friend who was a nurse in her younger days which worked perfectly as Mumsy is a nurse too.

My cousin’s finally arrived around 10pm & we stayed up for a drink or two with them then all crashed around 11pm.

I woke at 4am to..................................

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stuff n Photos

K. was going to have a bit moan about having a bit of a shitty day, feeling melancholy & all. Work is giving me the shits. If I had a gun there would be several dead telemarketers. Well, actually, the phone would probably be blown to smithereens. I don't think bullets travel along the phone line.

I've also spent time with a couple of peeps recently who are so bitter & angry & blame ridden that I feel like all the happiness has been sucked out of me. Do not like.

It is our work Christmas Party tonight & I don't feel remotely at all like Christmas. I haven't put up my tree yet. All I have to do is take it out of its box & plug it in. Not Hard.

Maybe I'm just being a bit of a princess today; or maybe just a girl & all hormonal if you know what I mean. Best I go put on my Christmas elf hat & cheer the fuck up.

K. Some pictures for y'all.

Went for a drive up to Cape Trib.

This is where the Daintree river meets the ocean.

Spot of lunch along the way. Looking a bit scruffy.

The view at lunch.

M & L making a fire on the beach

We had this little visitor on the dunny wall one night. He was very noisy for a little fella.

Paradise. My cousin's pool where we were staying.

& her new pool shower. very flash.

She'd done a bit of gardening since we there last.

New Bath tub on deck. I had lovely bubble bath on our last night.

My cuz has done some amazing stuff with her concrete - looks like she's pressed leaves & flowers into the concrete. Looks Awesome.

The fountain is just about done.

And I love love love their front gate!!!!
Hope you all have a loverly weekend. Peace n Red Wine (or what ever takes your fancy!).

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Honey Moon is Over Baby........

Thank you to each & every one of you who have left beautiful comments & good wishes both here & on FB for our wedding! You all ROCK!!!! I felt like a princess all day.

I haven’t done a wedding update yet, nor did I write one while we were away. Sorry! Just couldn’t be bothered firing up the computer when I could be swimming instead, if you know what I mean :0)

We had a good break, although it wasn’t the romantic week we’d hoped for, that said, it was no-one’s fault. We were staying at my cousin’s who’d gone to the Cook Islands & she’d arranged a girlfriend M to house & dog sit until we arrived & then again after we’d left. M had been on a 2 month holiday for her 40th & her son’s L’s 4th birthdays & had just returned from 4 weeks in Bali. M had rented out her home while she was away but the tenants had some family drama happening & were in Melbourne & had not moved out as previously arranged.

M felt really bad about crashing our holiday, but was really lovely & L was very entertaining. Plumbing Boy taught him to eat his crusts, not climb on the table & to put his head under water. M was a lovely girl & we spent quite a lot of time hanging out around the pool with them both. One night we all went down to the beach, made a bonfire & had picnic dinner, a few drinks & watched the stars come out. It was just beautiful!

We certainly caught up on much needed sleep, going to bed not long after L. I recon I was sleeping 12 hours a day plus naps! I re-read New Moon & Eclipse, & read the new Matthew Riley book whose title escapes me. Did not turn on the TV once.

We took a drive up to Cape Tribulation which we’d not done before; went exploring up Mount Molloy looking for a little pub in the middle of no-where my cousin had taken us to previously (found it!); spent a day out on the barrier reef scuba diving (saw a turtle, a small ray & a white tip reef shark on the first dive!!!) & just pottered around PD going out for lunch etc.

PB had arranged to go dirt bike riding Saturday (the day before we had to leave) as that was the only day the guy had available, but he canceled on him Thursday arvo. We called a few bike shops in Cairns & PD to see if anyone else was going out. He did find one guy who’d take a minimum of 2 riders which made it very expensive, so poor PB missed out this time. It did not tempt him to come horse riding with me however.

I went on a 2.5hr trail ride which involved a 3km canter on the beach. I think the bruises on the underside of my thighs have just subsided & it will be a week tomorrow. Jules – I’ve been thinking of you every day this week – you really don’t realize how many different muscles you use while riding a horse!

It was good fun though, & my horse Jack was a legend & the only grey they had. There were a group of girls (9?) up from Cairns for a 30th birthday who kept the rest of the group entertained. They were really friendly & quite hilarious in their banter. Only 4 of us had ridden enough previously to go on the long canter so was really good to be in a small group, for that part of the ride any way.

So. Back to reality. I’ve just about caught up at work. My house looks like a bomb site. We have stuff everywhere! I’ve not even started on wedding thank you’s.

We received our professional photography proofs & DVD yesterday. I’ve already watched the DVD twice. I am really really happy with how the photo’s have come out. We had a fantastic time with Peta (photographer) & am so glad we did the photos before the ceremony.

OK, work is calling. I’ll try & get the rest of the photo’s I have onto FB this weekend so you can have a bit more of a look. Hope you are all well & am slowly catching up on all your blogs. XO