Sunday, 24 November 2013

The (Joe) Eagle has landed ...

Well he's back - with a one year visitor's visa - not the ideal but we'll take it.  Four months separation has been excruciating … well the last month for sure.  After we settle in, we'll attempt to apply for the spousal visa, but for now … he's "home" - yippee!

(oops - no photo of him - he looks pretty much the same as when he left surprisingly!)

He was 3rd through the door after the 43hr trip, looking in pretty good shape and that would be thanks to the business class seats we had enough points left for (sadly the last time either of us flies bus. class).  Jasper ran into his arms and then went all shy - he was used to poking him on a screen and now here he was right here in front of him - very confusing.

Forgot to get a picture of him running into Joseph's arms!

Thanks also to business class there were two HUGE suitcases to unpack - full of mostly things for me!  My teapot (yippee), my photos (oh so many photos!), my Creative Memories stuff (oops!  CM has gone bankrupt! who knew?), the plastic cake server my brother made in high school!, a few more pieces of clothing … but not my jeans!  I've been asking for my jeans for four months - I know I left them behind and there were two pairs!  He says he's looked everywhere and they are not there.  Humph!  Finding jeans that fit is so traumatic - I want my jeans!!  Well there are 15 more boxes arriving any day surely THEY will have my jeans.

The very next night we have a neighbourhood party - right on the dock - three feet from our front door!  Good to meet the neighbours and I think I finally have their names sorted out.  Surprised to find out there were some youngsters in the group - renters like us - and mostly from overseas; an Irish couple, Vicki from London, Anika from Germany. The oldies include two artists, the couple who started the local pancake restaurant and Mike who is the doyen of it all. 
Not great pics but you get the general idea!

They were impressed with my bbq meatballs!! (recipe from internet and I didn't even have any Worcestershire sauce!!) … aaah … ignorance is bliss!!  They even liked our tomato/basil/boccancini appetizers (from Katrina's wedding) and even my Moosewood gazpacho soup!!   The mini maple-sugar pies were so-so… but the Nespresso machine was a definite hit.  

Sorry ... no photos of the dolphins … it was dark!

Just as we were packing up (in the dark), the dolphins arrived and did three or four jumps completely out of the water SIDEWAYS!!  We (well the girls) were screaming with delight!  I think they heard us talking and came to show off… I honestly do.

An extra day babysitting makes for lots of grandpa/Jasper catchups and still no jet lag!!
He was SO good at putting the decorations on.

There was the odd bird from ONW that Joseph bought with him
and the rest are from the Salvation Army
(a bag for $1)
He's slowly settling back into MY house...
It's tricky having to remember there is somebody ELSE to consider when doing … well … when doing nearly everything and of course when your boyfriend's back, there's gonna be laundry, and it was while doing the laundry that we realized that HE had been wearing MY jeans for the past four months!!  It was happy/sad … mostly sad that my jeans fit him, a little sad that winter has gone and I no longer need them, but ecstatically happy that I have at least one pair of jeans!!!

Yet another celebration down here at The Port!!  This time it's the The Port Santa parade complete with fireworks. Mum's walking with the Meals On Wheels "float" with Jess & James along for the ride … er walk… so we're off to wave to them.  It's a beautiful warm evening, perfect for a Santa Parade - and we wave at the mishmash of "floats": the Green Bin (feed it your kitchen scraps!), the nursery-school cuties, the men waving hankies (huh?  an English thing apparently), the greyhounds!!! (surely only in Aust!).

Here's the green bin with his cheese scrap …
such a Christmasy thing!

Who has greyhounds in a Christmas parade?

We're still waving … and finally here comes the M.O.W. with Jess & James waving at the crowd ... but no Mother!

Here's the Meals On Wheels "float" ...

… here's James & Jess! … where's mum?

So we keep waving and wonder if she is lying on the road and the bands are having to step over her, but finally, a good five minutes later, she appears - she's been stopping to chat to everybody she knows along the 1.2km route!! Of course!!  

Now this is Christmassy!

Can you see the beer in his hand? 
Here's one of the four hotels on the parade route - three more just a street away!

Some of the bands aren't too bad and the large Aussie crowd is pretty excited!.  It's easy to get excited when you can order a beer and step right outside onto the sidewalk and see the Christmas parade pass before you. Down here at The Port there is a *hotel on (almost) every corner  - it's just the perfect place for a parade!

Yoo hoo Sanata … over here!

Back at the house after eats and drinks the fireworks start and they are within spittin' distance from us so the balcony and upstairs deck are just the perfect places to watch!  The noise is pretty crazy and they seem to be almost on top of us but it's an amazing display - on a par with any Canada Day ones I've seen - Joseph of course disagrees!   Pretty good for a local council I say.

I'm too excited to take good photos!

Next day there's a bbq and tennis in the hills … it's been so long since I've hit a tennis ball!  Joseph finds the requisite koala and a Superb Blue Wren that I missed 'cos I was just too comfortable in the shade in my chair.

Ali & Theresa hugging Kim!
The place is alive with people having BBQs/picnics playing cricket or tennis and waving away the flies - oh so many flies!

Then, after just over a week together we are apart again!   Joseph is off to Esperance to visit Cassia. He's so happy to see her and I think Cassia is happy to have company and of course it's a great place to bird!  I use my alone-time to finish Christmas cards and I almost faint when the Post Office worker tells me how much it will cost to mail them to Canada!  Apparently it's a 94% increase from last year!  Next year … hmmm … I'm gonna have to think about it.

Yet another funeral - six since we arrived 12 months ago - this time in the Barossa, where the Droegemueller's are from - and we take time to visit my 101 year-old great aunt that I can't remember ever meeting. Dear Auntie Nell is almost blind and wishes she weren't here, but she leans over and asks Mum if I'm "her girl that went to England"!!!  Goodness me - how on earth can she remember that!  She's my maternal grandfather's sister - the baby in a family of 10. The genes seem to be good on both sides of our families … Mrs. Dafoe's younger sister, Aunt Zeta sister turns 100 on Christmas Day but  Joseph says we only have enough money to last until we are 83!!

On my way to funeral # 5 this is what was on the road in front of me!
It's a mother koala with her baby on her back!
it took me a while to figure out what it was as well

Christmas is nigh and our house is moderately (pathetically) decorated and I find myself thinking about Ottawa and decorating the store, our ONW friend's Christmas shopping night, Thymes (I'm always thinking about Thymes) and that's it's been a while since we've been gone …
It's not quite up to Eileen's standards :(

My bit of snow - when the lights go out the "snow" on the tree glows…
only trouble is when I turn out the lights I'm on my way to bed!

The tree!

The wreath! (too windy to put it on the door!)
That's neighbour Mike the doyen - pointing to my brother John
(inside the trailer that my brother David USED to own)
taking out some gems that we made good use of!
(alas he wouldn't take out the toilet paper for me!)
(That's Kym doing her Vanna impression)

*There really was a hotel on every corner in The Port, when the Wharfies (Waterside Workers) numbered around 30,000. Some hotels, have closed, some empty for years but there are still quite a few operating and Joseph especially likes one near us that offers "Happy Hour from 7.00 a.m. until 9.00 a.m..".

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