to have hubby home again. This last couple of weeks have been, well, interesting.
You may remember I said Fluffy was going on a Boys Road Trip across the Simpson Desert. It's been raining a lot here in Adelaide, so we were not sure what was going to happen up north, but apparently it wasn't bad at all.
But before that...
Dobby has been saying she is quitting cadets. That has been a huge bone of contention in our family. We strongly want her to keep it up - she's only just earned her hat for goodness sake. She only offers the reasoning that she is falling behind at school. Now, I have to tell you, we accredit that to poor time management, laziness and an unwillingness to change. However, she is 15 so we were forced to listen.
In Fluffy's absence I was not willing to pursue this, however she had talked to her counselor at school, who suggested we sit and discuss it like adults. She prepared Dobby with points of reasoning, including compromises. I still strongly resisted, and this lead to Dobby storming off. I realised I couldn't let it drag on anymore and was forced to admit defeat. This saddens me terribly, but I recognise that she needs to make her own decisions. But, as I knew it would, it didn't last long. She spent all last week doing assignments, but sadly, doing just the smallest bit before ditching them in favour of Facebook or Skype, or texting her friends.
Again this weekend. It's taken her all week to do an assignment that should have taken no more than two hours. However, I cannot say anything as it leads to a fight.
Anyway, enough of that little rant.
Her father's adventure, however, is a wonderful tale. He was offered a place on this trip by a fellow caravanner. He, of course, jumped at it. The fellow in question, lets call him Bob (he's a builder, don't you know), is a very mild mannered, pleasant, quiet fellow. Most of the time.. tonnes of fun otherwise. His whole family are beautiful people.
So Fluffy bid us all farewell on Thursday the 24th, with his car all packed up with camping gear and a box of food, and headed up to Bob's place. He called me when they were on their way to meet the rest of the pack, and that was the last I heard until the Saturday night.
Dobby and I got off to a good start. Thursday we went shopping after work, grocery that is, and I made us dinner while she finished unpacking our purchases. Friday we had a gathering of other "desert widows" to attend. There were actually only two of us with husbands on the road, a 3rd who is a good friend, a 4th who is a workmate of the hostess, another who is a single mum, and the last whose husband is a soldier in Afghanistan.
As usual, we had a lovely evening. I took up two bags of clothes that sadly no longer fit, and the next day I got a lovely message from the hostess saying that she got lots of goodies for her upcoming cruise and was very happy. That's good to know.
Saturday, Dobby spent some time on her homework, and I ran a few errands. I'm sure we did something else but it escapes me right now. Saturday evening I promised Dobby Chinese dinner. One around the corner does a family pack which used to be cheap but is creeping up in price. It had 3 meat dishes (we chose beef and black bean, sweet and sour pork, and honey chicken) plus a container of vegetables, a container of fried rice, 4 spring rolls and a bottle of drink. Still great value at $40.
While there I got a message to phone Bob so I could speak to Fluffy. It was lovely to hear from him. he was telling us that one of the boys had a brand new swag. Through the night the rats had chewed through the canvas, through the interior, and bit him on the face. Nice! I found out today, that the bush telegraph really does work fast up there, that by the time they got to Birdsville two nights later, they already knew about it, because of one fellow who they told at a little pub.
I won't go into details of where they stopped here because it's too confusing for me, and Fluffy is otherwise occupied, but perhaps in a future one I'll give more details.
I can tell you, though, that they had a lot of fun. They saw emus, camels (including a couple loaded up with a traveler and his goods), eagles, chicken hawks, and other native birds. A flock of emu actually almost caused an accident. They decided to race across the road between cars, then double back and almost wipe out the next car!
They crossed three states - South Australia, Queensland, and Northern Territory. There is a triangular marker at the junction of these three, too, which they took photos of. They traveled the Birsdville Track, Oodnadatta, Strezleki Track, Innaminka, William Creek, and various other little places (if you want to have a look on your map). There are road warning signs out there. In the event of rain the roads are closed due to the dangerous conditions. They are clay and very slippery. Apparently there are huge fines for traveling on those roads while they are closed too.
From Birdsville they took 4 days to cross the Simpson Desert. Photos show miles and miles of nothing but sand hills. With a single two tyre track winding over them. You are obliged to call every few kilometers that you are on the road, so that other travelers are aware of you as you cannot see over the tops of the dunes. 4WDs are also supposed to have tall orange flags attached so that they can be seen. The going was tough, but Fluffy said they saw plenty of other vehicles on the track, too, so it must be a popular thing to do.
In all they were gone ten days. He said that they had written slogans in the red dust and mud on the back windows of the cars, which some readers may find offensive, so please be warned. They included such gems as "Sorry Ladies I'm Gay", "Poofter", "Will Suck For Beer" and the one on Fluffy and Bob's car "Just Married". That cracked me up. Fluffy reckons he'd yell out "Wife! Have you got my coffee on yet?" and Bob would make him a coffee and cook breakfast... Hmmm not sure that went very far to making him self sufficient, do you?
So, anyway, back to Dobby and I. That Chinese dinner did us Saturday, Sunday, and Dobby finished it Monday. Have to love that. But things went bad for us from Sunday when we started discussing the cadets issue. We finally resolved it Tuesday evening with a lot of tears and some home truths from both of us. It hurts, but I have accepted she is quitting. She has something on this Tuesday night, but I told her she has to have her gear all packed up ready to take back next Tuesday.
Wednesday was a terribly busy day. She had netball straight after school. I sometimes pick up a friend as well as her, and when I do I have to bring her almost back to our place. It's also guitar day. This week, however, the friend had other arrangements, so we decided to stop for dinner at Hungry Jacks, and sat outside guitar eating it.
After guitar it was straight up to the hairdresser. We didn't get home until 8.30 pm. Long day. Tuesday I cooked us cranskies and vegies for dinner, Thursday it was stir-fry and rice, and on Friday we had spaghetti while she did more work on her assignment.
Saturday morning I had a doctor appointment. It was a follow up to one the Saturday before (I knew I did something else - she was supposed to have one too, but had a head cold and stayed home). I had a few things to talk about but he focused on my increased pain. The doc sent me for a CT scan on my lower back to find out what's going on there, and changed some of my medications. Saturday he reviewed the results and it turns out I do have some Facet issues - the tiny joint to the right of my back bone on my hip. It's just wear and tear but terribly painful. He wrote me a letter for a pain clinic but tells me they are very hard to get into. He also is happy that my pain medication routine seems to be working, although this weekend I have been in agony. It's girlie time, and that has been playing havoc with my back. I have actually been in intense pain all weekend, and didn't even get any sleep last night (which I couldn't even blame on the fact that hubby was home!).
When I got back from the doc we did a quick clean of the house, and went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Quite a good movie. Kind of chick flick-ish, funny, poignant, and one I would probably see again. Then it was home, finish some last minute stuff before Fluffy came home. It was so lovely to see him and hear his tales. He has a full face beard (which makes him look a lot like his brother, although taller and better looking). I suspect it will come off tomorrow, though, sadly.
Back to work for me, he's got some cleaning up to do. All their gear is full of red mud and dust. You should have seen the cars. Boy. But the dog was happy Dad's home. Very happy. And so am I. Now I just need to convince him it's my turn next... haha.
I do have some photos, but won't put them up till I have Fluffy's permission which ones to use. He's a bit reluctant yet, because all the boys are pooling their pictures, which will be great. When I am allowed, I'll pinch some. There are some good action shots, and some lovely nature ones. Good sunsets. Can't wait to share them.