Monday, 22 December 2014


Isn't this a beautiful crab!!

This is Trigg beach from the rock jetty the children love so much

My favourite place - the ocean!

We are now all settled in to Perth Bible College where we'll be for 6 weeks!  It feels so different from being on the road.  Part of me is still itching to be nomadic but I have to say clean clothes, beds that don't need unrolling and de-sanding every night, a fridge that just stays plugged into electricity all the time without anyone needing to angst about it ..... these are a few of the many luxuries of staying put for a while.  We will do some camping up and down the coast to find various wonderful relatives who don't live in Perth but for the next few weeks we'll just be here.  We've had some lovely reunions with family we've not seen in over a decade which is so special ... and there are many more of those occasions to come.  The children are amazed to discover so many more children cousins they didn't know they had.  

Giles and I are trying to start a regular routine of running to the beach in the mornings before the sun gets too hot which happens at 7.30am followed by homeschooling.  My Dad, Juliet, Venetia and John have the little bungalow next to ours so we have lots of visitors.  Tonight we're hoping to go to the cathedral for a carol concert (probably one of those ones you're not supposed to take children to, but I think we will).  Only having a week to prepare for Christmas feels very different and so does the celebrating.  We're having a big family party in a park, with everyone bringing meat for the barbie and a salad, sounds good and relaxed!  Happy Christmas!

Kid cave explorers!!! by Joseph

On Trigg beach we found a jetty of rocks stretching into the sea; in these rocks we found lots of tunnels of caves and explored them.  Here are some of the photos I took of inside and the entrance to the caves.

This is the deep entrance hole to the tunnels

I took this photo through a hole in the wall of rock we have to climb under

A hollow bit in the ceiling covered in moss because of a channel that sometimes drips water into the cave.  You can put your hand through the ceiling into the channel.

Ethan in a large crack in the ceiling.

The first exit.

Trigg beach is one of my favourite beaches so far.  The caves are only just big enough for us so a lot of people won't be able to fit.  The rocks are very spiky and unforgiving as they're made of sandstone mixed with coral. Arches, caves and craters are amongst some of the small, cool natural things we've found.  Trigg beach is full of rocky outcrops and we're hoping to explore a bigger one soon.

Airplane day by Ethan


Today,we had brekky, did homeschooling (as you can see), packed up,and drove to the airport.At the airport,we weighed all of our bags and went through all the security and all of the boring stuff until we got to our gate .Then we bought sweets and waited at our gate until the plane came. When it arrived we boarded and instantly Joseph and I started playing our games on the inflight entertainment screens. When the plane took off we had sucky sweets and watched movies! We watched Rio 2, ice age 4, Harry Potter and the sorcerers stone and number 4 was the iron giant! It took us 6 hours 45 minutes to get to Perth from Auckland. We had lunch and afternoon tea on the flight! It was really hot when we got to Perth it smelt really eucalyptussy. I thought it would feel really city-like but actually it feels like a village. I feel really excited about being here for Christmas. It's really nice meeting aunty patsy and uncle bob for the first time and trish and her family - it's odd, I've got a cousin who's the same age as me - Jackson, it's so good.

Happy Christmas from Ethan

Monday, 24 November 2014


We are now in New Zealand!! We are here for 3 weeks exploring the north and south islands. We had the day in Christchurch yesterday and visited the Cardboard Cathedral. We were shocked at the extent of the damage from the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and amazed at the rate of rebuilding with everything seeming to be happening simultaneously!

We are now in Akaroa, a French town where the mountains meet the sea - stunning!


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Bye Bye Campervan!

In this photo we are roasting marshmallows over a fire in Daylesford, Victoria.  The next day we did canoeing at Lake Jubilee.  We've been to 4 states, starting in Queensland, then New South Wales, then Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and now Victoria.  Ethan: The camper van was luxurious, all made up for us and you've got all your bedding, and it had a top bunk.  Joseph: Because it's really huge and we had loads of space for fun and games, some of my favourites we played were Carcassonne, Uno and Monopoly.  Sophie: The kind of bunk beds were really nice because we all (the children) got to go in the top.    
Ethan: It doesn't feel the same not having it.  Joseph: It's been our home for three months!  

We really enjoyed having our little home and travelling and having everything to hand.  It felt amazing being able to sit and have a hot cooked meal high up in the mountains in the mist or just being able to come in and chill out.
We miss you Britzy!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Uncle Max

We've been spending a few days with our Uncle Max.  He's going to be 80 next week - doesn't he look great!  We visited him 11 years ago and in a way it was a very similar, precious time just with lots more people!  We visited the national park he's been working on for the past 30 years - Wilson's Promentary - the southernmost point of Australia.  The people from there say, "If you don't like the weather then wait 5 minutes."  It was so true, we had at least 3 seasons while we were there.

In 2011 they had a massive bushfire through the park, apparently the tallest mountain in the park was a ball of fire.  But now, thanks to the amazing hardwork of the volunteer gardeners collecting seeds, germinating them and planting them in the same areas they collected them from; and of course nature itself, the park is green again!  The only evidence of the fire is the forests of white skeleton trees which will soon be subsumed by new growth.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Fairy wren

This is a Superb Fairy Wren!  We have seen lots of them the past few weeks - aren't they beautiful, I think this one was just as interested in me as I was in him!  It's been our first cold day today.  We are now in Victoria travelling east along The Great Ocean Road.  It has majestic seascapes for those seated in the front and very windy corners for those in the back of the van.

A week today we give the van back in Melbourne.  Our van feels like a very safe, known space. Sometimes we get on each other's nerves and it feels a bit cramped but mostly it feels great to have our entire home - everything we might possibly need - really close by! We were up a mountain road today looking at lots of koalas in the mist and we were all able to sit and have hot chocolate just when we all felt a bit damp! I think we will all miss it!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Epic journey

Today was The Epic Journey Day! We travelled from Canberra to Daylesford changing state from New South Wales to Victoria! 700km of freeway, single track, dirt road later and we are very pleased (and only a little stiff) to have arrived at the spa capital of Australia! We had our first very close encounter with 3 kangaroos jumping in front of the van, such beautiful, fluid movements and wonderfully they lived to jump another day!

Here it feels like England in May and even has the flora to prove it! Elderflowers, forget-me-nots and even goose grass are found here among the eucalypts. We have our fire pit roaring and are about to toast ourselves some marshmallows while the rosellas, cockatoos, correllas and even a couple of peacocks sit and watch us.

We are now 7 rather than 5 or 6 as Uncle John has joined us for the last push along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Taronga Zoo by Sophie

We saw koalas and we saw the seals jumping and we saw the monkies and we went on the cable car and we saw elephants, giraffes and zebras and I fed and stroked rabbits and guinea pigs.  I think you should go there because I think it's great fun and you'll love it.

Taronga Zoo

A few days ago we went to Taronga Zoo in Sydney with Uncle John!  We went on the tube, the ferry and a cable car to get there. There were animals from everywhere in the world, even really rare ones like snow leopards and Tasmanian devils.

Highlights from joseph: was seeing some of my favourite animal:  zebras, anacondas, and lemurs and also the brilliant bongos, elephants and giraffes.  Bongos are like very big gazelles with the same twisty horns but with a dark brown head, with white cheeks and eyebrows and a stripped black and light brown body and legs.

Highlights from Ethan: my favourite animals from the zoo were the seals, birds, snakes, lizards, sun bears, elephants, snow leopards and giraffes.

There were some shows we saw the first one was seals which could do handstands, acrobatics, cool swimming, amazing jumping and diving and a shark impression- we even saw them balancing a ball on their nose.

The second show was the bird show which included the aboriginal story of how the birds got their colours, black breasted buzzards who could naturally crack open an emu egg by picking up a stone in their beak and throw it on the emu egg to crack it open: it looked really funny doing it!  Galahs that could steal coins from the audience (and give it back), and owls that could find a hidden sound recorder just by following the sound.

We had a really great day!  You should definitely go there if you're in Sydney.

Enjoying the Blue Mountains

Friday, 7 November 2014

Stuck in Traffic

Actually our ferry from Taronga Zoo was waiting for a slot at Circular Quay

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Seafood by Ethan

We have found 1 type of seafood and tonight we have also eaten something similar to it (although it doesn't taste as nice to me).

We found the first type of seafood on Booti Booti beach.  They are called Pippies.  We found them under little mounds of sand but we had to dig down quite deep to get them.  The Pippies dug down using their big yellow tongues but we were too fast for them!  Did you know if you touch a Pippies tongue it squirts water out in defense.

When we got them off the beach we put them in a bucket with sand and water and the next day we washed them out and put them in a pan of boiling water and ate them for dinner with the other seafood which was local oysters!

The oysters didn't taste as good I think.  If you look on the outside of Pippies they look quite different to mussels but inside they look the same but white instead of orange.


We have just had the best weekend at Dorrigo folk and bluegrass festival high up in the mountains of northern New South Wales!  We've listened to some amazing and inspiring bands, some locally grown and some from USA and Canada.  The headliners were Chris Henry and the Hardcore Bluegrass from Nashville!!  Wow!! I've always loved mandolin but I've never heard mandolin like it, it was so foot tappingly brilliant!!  The whole festival kicked off with a hoe-down.  We tried our best with limited accessories to look as country as possible.... we had the best time and felt quite at home.  We spent a lot of time talking about how many of our friends and family would have just loved to be here too. 

Four of us bought festival t-shirts. Felt very Greenbelt!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Joseph's Brisbane

Brisbane by Joseph

In Brisbane the City cat is a really good boat to travel on and if you're in the botanic gardens you'll see the bearded dragons. We've just been to a churro and chocolate dip cafe it was really delicious! Afterwards we went to Stanley street market and had a very salty potato cool which was 1 potato chopped like a spring on a stick and fried!

Brisbane is a really good city full of fun things to go to and lots to do!
Our bus is here
Sent from my iPhone

Ethan's Brisbane

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Travelling down the Brisbane River on the city cat on the way to new farm park. We are going because of the fig trees you can play on! We just had lunch at the lagoon which was fun! It is a wiggly curved oblong shape with grass and sand around it. It had deep and shallow bits. We played piggy in the middle.

We just went under Story Bridge!

We went to QAG - Queensland Art Gallery this morning. I was particularly struck by how imaginative people's art is around here! There was a zig zaggy one in orange and green, the Japanese mountains a dark video installation from the twenties.

Next stop is ours!

Sent from my iPhone

Queensland Art Gallery

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Glasshouse Mountains

We had a very steep walk up Beerburrum Mountain today in the heat of the day! We passed a couple of monitor lizards on the path sunning themselves! We are now heading for the big smoke of Brisbane!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Parts of my day

We wake up really early partly because of our proximity to the children (about 4 metres away) and partly because of the sun streaming in through our bedroom window from a while before 6.  The bottom picture is taken from bed this morning.  It's always just too tempting to go and join the day in all it's sunny happiness so I try to go for a run.  The top photo is taken on my run yesterday at Blacks Beach; the children all came and played in the sand before breakfast.  We try to do a bit of homeschooling in the mornings.  The second picture is of the boys round the campfire last night trying to catch up with the old journals!  It was very mosquitoey and everything that wasn't covered was bitten!!  Fun having a fire, we played evolution in the dark after a barbie!

Rockhampton Botanical Gardens & Zoo