Usually, July sees me heading off somewhere I haven’t been before – undoubtedly in pursuit of the sun because I’m slowly dying from lack of it. The week of rain beginning of July that followed the week of rain end of June did nothing to help this Vitamin D loving Leo.
The first spoke in the proverbial works occurred back in March when I noticed an email from Ticketmaster arrive on the home account accompanied by four tickets to the British Lions game taking place on 6 July. They were four adult tickets which indicated that this was not a family event. The bigger problem was the date. Bang in the middle of what is usually a sun shiny day in the warm for me.
My wailing on the other end of the mobile did nothing for The Artist. Nothing at all. Tough love apparently. We are not made of money either he says.
I sucked it all up like a big girl (talk to the shop assistant in Country Road that was talking me into a smaller size jeans that stretch when I was trying to tell him that the only thing stretching at the moment was me), yes a big girl (wearing that one, not happily but wearing it) and prepared myself to go the distance here on the dark side in Sydney until sunny December rolls around.
In May another surprise email re-jigged the dynamics. Miss10 had been invited to play in a team for something called The Kanga Cup. The maternal beast that is the Soccer Mom roared in my chest and we were going to Canberra. Yes, you heard that correctly, Canberra – freezing cold capital of our nation.
My friend DL was heading off to Thailand and every time I whimpered at mere mention of it he would say “but you’ll always have Canberra” and laugh his arse off.
Canberra became into a full team family turnout. With a reluctant Miss14 in tow, has to be said. In the parenting manual that I will write one day there will be a chapter dedicated to advising parents on when not to bring a teenager along on a family holiday involving the sporting prowess of your other child because the teenager will refuse to attend and will practically barricade herself in the hotel room for the duration of the trip watching tv and playing on her computer.
Five minutes into the journey we were sidelined by a rather stern warning from Precious that there was a problem with a tyre. Now this would not have been as irritating if the first warning hadn’t come on the Monday night prior, causing The Artist to put more air in the tyres but not actually check the wheel or get it checked out that week BEFORE the three hour journey to Canberra on a Sunday. Those peeps at Bob Jane in Edgecliffe love The Artist and I. They can hear the ka-ching ka-ching of us coming five kilometres up New South Head Road. (FYI there were three nails in the tyre. Three)
Two hours later we tried again and successfully reached our destination in time for the first practice but without stopping at Grandma’s Little Bakery. Which again saw much wailing from the passenger seat. Back to that big girl thing again.
The total surprise on this trip was that it was completely fucking awesome. From the weather, to the down jacket I bought (gratitude to Nicole from the gym for this one) to protect me from the weather, to the other parents on the team, to the kids for their spirit and to Canberra itself. What a cool place.
Part of the charm definitely had to go to my mate Sandy and her family – all the way from the home country. Touching base, even with someone else’s parents who still live at home warms the heart. The Artist also had a bit of special – connecting with an old family friend from home. And there were the new friends – parents from school that you never get to really talk to when you’re screaming for the kids to get into the car at the drive through. People, stop and smell the roses (note to self too). There are some really magnificent people out there in our midst.
Our girls got the Fair Play Award for their age group. Woot woot – go team! In case, like me, you live in a cave and don’t know about The Kanga Cup, its quite a thing. Teams come from New Zealand, Korea and China. International I tell you! 4000 kids, 250 teams and almost impossible to get a reservation at a restaurant at night.
The Artist and I did Parliament House – we rocked the place. Completely. I had the sillies. Got a picture with Bob Hawke and the Queen. Here’s me stalking a bird on the roof for example.
The Artist also had the sillies and got a photo with this guy.
Canberra is an interesting place. In the middle of nowhere we saw this. The Artist had to drive really slowly on the return journey so I could hang out of the window of the moving car like a tourist with my iPhone at the ready.
While in Canberra I also tried my hand at orthodontics. Miss14’s wire came loose and was proceeding to poke a hole in her cheek. The solution seemed simple. A nail clippers to the wire. I just want to tell you that those wires are strong. And a nail clippers, not so strong. And the inside of a mouth is a smallish place. I dislodged a number of brackets, destroying a significant amount of the good orthodontist’s work. I spent an hour and a half there yesterday while he repaired my work. No good deed goes unpunished people.
Heading back to Sydney I starved all of breakfast with the promise of a stop at Grandma’s. The Artist knows better than to deny me twice. Only problem was that somehow we bypassed it. Crisis. Approaching 10.30am without breakfast or coffee and you have a precarious situation on your hands. By that time someone has usually had at least two cups of coffee and my head was pounding like a jackhammer on tarmac.
One thing you should know is that in a crisis, I’m a lateral thinker and was able to remember a conversation a few days earlier about something called The Rose Café in Goulburn. I felt really strategic (needing sarcasm font here for those in the know) thinking of that one at such quick notice. And thank goodness I did because had I not, I would have missed this bit of awesomeness.
What a welcome to Goulburn. The Bridge has nothing on that ram. Nothing.
I ate cake for breakfast – yes, cake. Apple crumble with cream. The Artist was horrified because I had said I was hungry. The waiter thought I was The Bomb! and did the “Breakfast of Champions” fistpump with me. Much eye rolling from the rest of the table.
If you look carefully in the background to the right of my cake you can see someone else’s breakfast of eggs and toast and baked beans that were supposed to be on the side……..The said person had a bad case of food envy. Just saying.
So I guess that’s a wrap on Canberra. Chances are it’s going to be a go next year too. Maybe I’ll get to Grandma’s this time. Where’s there’s life there’s hope.
Love and light
Linking up with the IBOT team over at Essentially Jess.