"I'm bored," said Master7 as we drove out of G-town.
Tracey looked at me, suddenly tired despite the clock reading 8.30am. "Only an hour until we get there."
I tried to engage the kids in a game involving licence plates.
"Can't we just play punch buggy?" asked Miss8. Any opportunity to thump a sibling.
The one moment of respite on the trip down was when we we were treated to perhaps the most magnificent rainbow I've ever seen. Master7 was so impressed he immediately threw us into a BCF tv advertisement.
"Now THIS is living!" he announced.
The reason we were heading out of town was for a little reunion with my Uncle James & Auntie Madeline's side of the family. My father & James come from an extended family of seven kids (my mum is one of five). And while my parents had three kids, James and his lovely wife had six, so I feel a deep emotional connection with them - I think it's called sympathy.
All up a group of 25 Devereaux's converged on a park and fish & chip shop at Mooloolabah. Sadly some family members were away in Victoria or North Queensland, but then if everyone turns up you've got no-one to whinge about.
The weather could only be described as beautiful, if we were meeting in Hobart. As we were in Mooloolabah, it was crappy, with any occasional bits of blue sky quickly chased away by wind and rain.
We're always telling Miss17 she doesn't dress to the weather, but she never listens. The most important thing is to look good - the high price of fashion is goosebumps followed by a week of sore throats and a runny nose.
"I'm soooo cold," she complained to me at the park, rudely using my XXL body as a windbreak.
"Really? It's not like you to dress inappropriately," I lied. So Miss17, she who must always look worthy of strangers' cat calls and her father's frowns, spent the day with a baby blanket wrapped around her shoulders. It's a wonder the fashion police haven't locked her up and thrown away the key. I know it's a scenario I've entertained more than once.
After we'd eaten our fish and chips a couple of fire engines arrived for a meet and greet with the public and the kids quickly hurried over. I think my cousin, Danielle, was a little disappointed with the fire brigade. I think she expected their equipment to be more impressive. This is the problem with those Firefighter's Calenders, they do raise one's expectations.
Growing up in South East Queensland, it was Uncle James & Auntie Madeline's kids we most often caught up with for family get-togethers. Now we've all grown up (and in my case, out) it's nice to introduce our kids to each other and reconnect. This is our second gathering in as many years, and if the happy faces and warm embraces were anything to go by, it won't be the last.
Not only is this living, this is what life is all about.
|What's this look, Miss17? Baby Chic?
|Master7 and Grandma pose for a photo while I demonstrate I forgot
to ask Tracey 'do I look fat in this?' before we left the house. On the
bright side, I made the firefighters look almost calender worthy.
|My parents - Geoff & Judy
|Not my parents - Uncle James
& Auntie Madeline
|The cousins, playing together :/