It will come as no surprise to hear that my mini-break had its dramatic moments.
I thought I’d get them out of the way first, then bore you with all my pretty, happy snaps later.
I am SHATTERED.
I drove to the Byron Bay hinterland and back over a five-day period. It was a bit … epic.
Why did I do it? There were dear friends we hadn’t seen in years. I figured I had a short stretch of days in lieu to burn, so the kids and I hit the road on Tuesday.
First stop was a friend’s property in Nana Glen. Her neighbour is Russell Crowe. We ate some juicy steaks from his property on the first night.
The eldest and I – both having slightly nervous dispositions – weren’t entirely sure we’d make it to my friend’s property on that first night.
We stopped at the Big Banana for souvenirs – the eldest insisted on an “I love Big Banana” hat – and to check directions. Darkness was falling, my mobile phone battery was failing, and we found ourselves meandering through the countryside, not entirely sure we were on the right track.
We finally made it for those juicy steaks … we were supposed to have fish, but my friend’s dogs snuck into the kitchen and scoffed it … and spent a glorious two nights getting to know her lovely horses, chickens and rabbits.
The eldest was in heaven.
Then we headed to The Channon to visit the divine Bronwyn and Simon and their brood.
We stopped at a chemist in Grafton to get the youngest something for the four-day piercing headache in her left eyebrow. The chemist looked a little anxious and refused to give me anything, saying I should head to the local medical clinic instead.
The local medical clinic informed me it would be a three-hour wait for a doctor.
The youngest looked awful – swollen, red, watery eyes, violent head pain – so I sighed and agreed to wait three hours for a doctor.
The terse receptionist, bless her, stared at the poor, miserable nine-year-old for a moment, took pity on us and squeezed us in to see the ex-pediatrician medico who proceeded to freak the eldest and I witless by extensively discussing how he was pretty sure it wasn’t the “C” word, but if the youngest started vomitting at any point we should hot-foot it to our nearest GP.
The eldest reckons I started to go quite white after the third “C” word mention …
Tentative verdict: allergies.
After an extremely arduous administration of pain relief to the namby-pamby youngest – involving two chocolate bars – followed by a visit to the local Maccas for create-your-own burgers (surprisingly tasty), we finally hit the road again, arriving in The Channon long before darkness fell. Phew.
The only drama at The Channon didn’t involve the two brown snakes who’ve taken up residence behind the back shed. It was when I managed to upload 95,000 of my emails onto Bronwyn’s laptop. She accidentally deleted all her emails trying to get mine back off again, then spent an hour or so on the phone to tech support trying to retrieve.
Two nights later, I was back on the road again in my old rattler, heading for my sister-in-law’s place at Port Stephens. Around 30 minutes from our destination, a guy overtook me on the highway and started wildly waving to indicate there was a problem with my vehicle.
I pulled over to discover I had a flat tire.
Hmmm. What to do about a flat tire in the middle of farking nowhere when one has never changed a tire in one’s life? Go feminist me.
I sent a photo of the flat tire to DD and asked him to solve the problem. DD is really, really sick with the flu. In the almost-year I’ve known him, DD has never been sick. But he’s finally been flattened by a doozy.
After examining the phone, he croaked that I should limp to the nearest service station and pump some air into the tire.
I have never pumped air into a tire at a petrol station. Go feminist me.
But I edged my way to that sexy beast called The Rock servo and gave it my best shot. It was a doddle.
DD has no recollection of giving his advice, but it got me to Port Stephens and my brother-in-law, who changed the tire for me. Go feminist me.
Thank you DD and my brother-in-law! I love yous both.
The next morning, I swung past Newcastle to give my nephew a lift home and finally chugged into Sydney around 3.30pm, then headed to the dog sitter at Mona Vale to collect the fur babies, dropped the kids to my ex, went and did some grocery shopping, clagged in front of Doctor Who with a TV dinner, then crashed in bed.
Fark! That was brutal.
But also fun. I’ll tell you about the fun stuff tomorrow, or the next day.
How’s your week been? Did you miss me?
Song of the day: Snow Patrol “Chasing Cars”