capn_n_pye: (capn pye 2005)
[personal profile] capn_n_pye
And lo, it did then come to pass that Stinky and Pye did once again enact the Rite of Summer.

First stage of the rite involves Christmas, which, for Pye at least, seemed to be far, far too soon. She managed to stay amazingly alert despite jetlag, and also managed to not end up snoring face down in the grass after one glass of wine. Christmas highlights included a pink inflatable flamigo...


… which was 100% purchased purely because of the spelling mistake, our family is the best. There was also the inestimable pleasure of watching people eat Gangnam Snacks...


… and these awesome moose hats! Bring on winter!!


Speaking of meese, Moose made sure he got D’admiral and Chuckles a Christmas present (because he fears and respects them). He was pretty proud to find something that so perfectly encapsulates his interests.


While not opening presents and eating like kings, we amused ourselves with long walks on the beach and the like...


… until New Year’s Eve rolled around and we went to Williamstown to eat ourselves sick on fondue and enjoy Melbourne’s fireworks. Then before we knew it, it was D’admiral’s birthday! The classic Beatles hit “When I'm 64” firmly stuck on repeat, we kicked off with a Winery Lunch, wherein D’admiral discovered the first ever Rose he actually liked (the waitress was very proud)...


… and was further celebrated with a picnic at Coolart. It was enjoyed by man and beast alike…



… and we had an ulterior motive, on account of our Cunning Plan. Once upon a time, we had been wandering around Coolart’s stately home, a modest mansion of an age with our Spinster Pad (okay, maybe it’s late Victorian and ours is early Edwardian, but whatever).


D’admiral had pointed to a door in the bathroom and said that he had pinpointed it as the tower access door, and was totally going to go through that one of these days. Well, you don’t want to go about vaguely mentioning things like that around us if you don’t expect anything to come of it! We conspired with Coolart’s rangers and made it so, ah ha ha ha ha!



The tower is pretty decrepit inside, so we were only allowed up one level. For our own safety, they had one rule: please don’t go up the ladder. What a great idea, said our mother (Us: “Chuckles, no!” Her: “Chuckles, yes!”)


To be fair, she didn’t climb up through the manhole, because it was pretty gross, dark and dangerous up there (Ranger: “I bloody told you!!”).

The Rite of Summer continued with lots of hanging out with the Cabin Girl and Powder Monkey, who we have cleverly tricked into thinking that they are having fun when their parents leave them along with their aunties and grandparents, when really we're just forcing them to learn the words to 'Modern Major General', waving cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse at them, making them do long-multiplication, then teaching them how to play chess, while constantly telling them we're going to take them out... to buy school shoes. Hah, suckers!


The sad thing was that they never thought to argue with us that buying school shoes was unneccesary - they wear sneakers to school! They had a break from all that fun when we popped home so that Stinky could get rid of the blonde hair. This avatar of her has been floating around for years, not knowing it was a prophet!


Also worth it was a brief sojourn at Southbank, even though it turns out it might not entirely bear-free...


Luckily the children didn’t run screaming at the sight of their purpley auntie, and we all got to go to Phillip Island to enjoy our Christmas present - a cruise around Seal Rocks. Of course, no one can make it to the other end of Phillip Island without having to stop at the chocolate factory first.. We'll show YOU what 'extra nutty' looks like!


… who would have thought that chocolate could be so cheesy!? There is also San Remo’s daily pelican feeding, which, while much more fishy, was also fun, what with their stupid-looking beaks and such.


We learned all sorts of things, like how pelicans regularly eat seagulls. Not just chicks, not eggs, but fully grown birds! See, we knew you couldn’t trust ‘em! We also learned that pelicans are like children, in that they also come in the ‘special needs attention seeker’ variety. We named this one Sam!


They waddled and squabbled and gobbled and ate...


… and at the end, when the crowd was invited to applaud, they turned as one and buggered off. Nature’s show offs!

After fish and chips by the beach, it was finally off to our main goal. We can see Seal Rocks from D’admiral and Chuckles’ house, but only those two had ever actually got across to check them out close up, and they had decided it was time to rectify this oversight. It’s always cool to be able to pick out their house from across the other side...


… and the inhabitants of the titular rocks weren’t even that smelly! Moose was therefore rather less impressed, but you can’t please everyone.

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Meanwhile, poor Grandmama was off in Bendigo having a heart attack - and she hadn’t even seen Stinky’s hair yet! Fortunately, after some quality time in Cabrini she was fine, phew!

After a road-trip to the hospital (wherein Stinky played the role of Audiobook and read us “Wee Free Men” - it’s past time those children were indoctrinated with the Joys of Pratchett), there were more native animals to harass, this time at Tyabb’s Moonlit Sanctuary.


There we learned that wombats like sleeping on their back with their junk out (the male wouldn’t go to sleep though, cos he’s a jerk)...

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… and that one is not allowed to snatch up a koala and wander off with it without a proper permit. The Cabin Girl and Powder Monkey had to settle for pats and cuddles, instead!


After enticing some of this country’s most well-fed wallabies to nibble indifferently from our hands...


… we all agreed that these native animals were much more agreeable that the ones found lying around in D’admiral and Chuckles’ yard.


Well, okay, not all of them are dead rodents, there are always some live reptiles around, too...


Other adventures included the day where Melbourne Water sent a crew with a digger down to reduce the height of the sand blocking the mouth of the creek (D’admiral had been keeping a careful eye on preceding proceedings). The Cabin Boy and his grandmother had dug a hole awhile back and had had countless minutes of fun therein.


Since digging the hole, it had filled with water (and later blue-green algae), and we were pretty pleased at the noble and special death it was facing. So we were all down the back, dancing with anticipation as the digger got closer and closer to the hole.


Suddenly, the driver stopped and turned the engine off and hopped out.

“Are you trying to save the hole?” he called.

The children giggled helplessly, while their aunties assured the remarkably considerate man, that no, actually, we were eagerly anticipating its destruction. Thus reassured, he resumed his work.


Howls of disappointment rose from the crowd when the tracks of the digger passed on either side of the hole, leaving it unharmed. But wait! Suddenly our new best friend scooped up a big scoop of sand and dropped it in the middle of the hole. Then he scraped more in, drove on top of it and made the whole digger bounce up and down on it.


Luckily it was already raining, or someone might have noticed that we had all wet ourselves laughing!

Other highlights of the summer holidays included Chuckles’ dwarf peach tree chucking a happy-spaz...


… beach funtimes...


… and the bit where Stinky stabbed someone in a two-dollar shop in the face because she saw this product.


Pye and Robyn also struggled extensively with a 2000 piece jigsaw of Neuschwanstein Castle, both reluctant to concede defeat by leaving it unfinished by the time school went back. Chuckles finds an op shop jigsaw every year, and was pretty chuffed at the diabolical nature of this particular one. She was laughing on the other side of her face when we wrought vengeance by having this picture made into a 1000 piece puzzle of revenge!


As predicted, the sky, if not the sand, is appalling, and apparently Chuckles has called the legitimacy of our parentage into question several times. Stinky stays well clear of this jigsaw nonsense, and anyway, she is too busy making things like the cast of Lilo and Stitch:


When school went back, there was a lot of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and that was just from the gods! By that we mean, it rained a lot in Geelong. Fortunately the only flooding the Spinster Pad suffered was in the shed, which we’re used to, anyway (and it was a good opportunity to throw out stuff that should have been chucked months ago). This was what Stinky thought she could walk home in...


...and this is what Pye had to drive in to get home.

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Cars had to learn how to sink or swim…

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...and Johnstone Park reminded us that it used to be a reservoir.

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The next day the roads were more mulch than road and everything was panting damply and swearing quietly.


If that wasn’t horrifying enough, we spotted something on top of the shade-cloth.


We thought it was a dead bird, but Stinky wanted to investigate what kind, so she got her camera and a ladder (no way was she getting close to it). Spoilers: it’s not a bird. It’s worse.


A former vet at Stinky’s school tells us that it probably used to be part of a cat, so either the kids next door have taken to dismantling strays, or the ravens are giving us presents. Or, third option, there’s a three legged cat out there somewhere who hates us.

There’s much more to add, but we’ll save it for next time. We’ll end with Moose finally meeting someone hairier and more famous than him - Gardening Australia's Costa!


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