Small DB and I were blessed with some largesse from Small Brother, who bestowed a couple of return tickets direct from Coffs to Melbourne – we left on 13 September, the day before the 50th birthday we were there to attend.
My wonderful freckly love, Ellise, greeted us at Belgrave Station and handed me a travel cup of Nature’s Cuppa English Breakfast tea. Could there be a better person ever? Doubtful.
Small DB was very happy to see her curly counterpart and thrilled to be IN A HOUSE. With a DOG, and a CAT X and Sunset and Golden Glow – the guinea-pigs who look remarkably like animatronic toupees.
(I was particularly happy to see Samba, the beautiful tabby, because I brought her to the house in mid 2006. She was one of four wild kittens from my dad’s place and I love that I still have that connection.)
Being able to hang out and help with the preparation of festivities was awesome. From early Saturday morning we made salad after salad – and they were all gluten free!
The Smalls ran about, DBJ (the birthday person) fetched crate loads of beer, wine and bubbly, in addition to the spit, which was placed over the sandpit.
Karen, mother of DBJ, was Queen of Detailing, and wiped the house clean on the inside from the front to the back. OH MY GOD it was a GREAT PARTY!! The speeches made me cry, I caught up with my super-awesome old friends from school, and we danced until 2am.
Small DB was overwhelmed at the amount of people everywhere and, after adhering herself to me, limpet like, for an hour or so, popped herself into bed before 8pm after making this helpful sign…
We had a wonderful breakfast the next day in Emerald, the adults being slightly seedy. All Smalls were put in front of a few movies that afternoon so we could nana-nap.
The next two days, I was principal kid-minder while E and DBJ went to work. My most classic moment during this time was after taking a very long shower in fresh-water (always a thrill) I was wafting around with a cup of tea doing little, when Olivia asked; “When are you going to start looking after us Beth?” I had to assure her that unless someone was bleeding, my duties extended to making sure she was fed and that I had enough tea in my cup… We agreed that this was OK.
Small DB had a well-matched game of chess with Elijah…
I was able to observe Lucinda (my god-daughter) in her natural habitat, which was interesting. She is a mischievous sprite, but so happy to spend hours on on own creating things in the playroom and drawing fantastic pictures. She is the kid I’ve seen the least of the three of them and I was so happy to be able to have time hanging with her.
E returned home after work at lunchtime each day and we managed to jam in some quality op-shopping time and good walks. Small DB and I were put on the train at Belgrave midday on Wednesday and it was sad to say goodbye. I again had the recognition (that I’d experienced at Small Brother’s) that I’d been away for too long – that I hadn’t been entwined in other people’s lives and that I MISSED it. A lot.