We drove over to Adelaide in one day. I picked Rosie up from work at 11:15 and it was on. We must remember to pay the e-tag thing. This was a quick toilet stop in the middle of Australia somewhere, complete with a locust storm like in the TV show Monkey (no, not Monkey Magic - that was the chorus of the theme song). Tess got more than she bargained for when she ambled into a pond to cool off. These ducks started chasing her around! Seems they were trying to protect their young or something.
One of my new year's resolutions is to collect photos of pun-based businesses and create some sort of amazing calendar or tote bag collection come December. Submissions welcome!
In Adelaide, we reunited with my family and did stuff like hit the beach.
Anna and Penny, who didn't take too kindly to Tess muscling in on her turf. Though they did have some fun, it must be said.
Every year when we ask my dad what he's planning to cook for xmas, he says, 'Not much. A few salads. Some chicken. And a ham...' and so on. It's quite an impressive operation.
Joy and D getting stuck into some crackers before the guests showed up.
I'm also getting into photos of gloves this year, finally.
I managed to fit in a quick roll at my old local, the West Beach skatepark. The vert ramp has been resurfaced and is as amazing as ever, though someone had waxed a section of the transition!?
Ran into Steve Wilson in the little shop next to the park, and met his kids Daisy and Maxx (with two x's, unlike my solitary one). He gave me a copy of his band the Slimeballs' CD (which features a photo of him grinding the vert ramp while playing the guitar!) on the proviso I listened to it loud. True to my word, I put it in the car stereo on the way home with the volume turned up around the 20-22 mark.
Taking a walk at a good track.
One of the highlights of the stay was a rousing game of french cricket in the backyard at my mum and Anna's house.
Next stop: Rendelsham, the tiny town where I spent my formative years. This is the cricket pitch where I spent a lot of time honing my skateboard moves. It's been since rendered unskateable, along with the gutter drainage thing up the road. Apart from that, the place is pretty much unchanged. Very pretty, but not really the place for a skateboard enthusiast.
However, nearby Millicent now is home to a surprisingly good facility. I couldn't believe it.
Neither could Tess. 'Nearly as good as Newport' she said, though she lamented the lack of uneaten chips.
I went through a few boxes of my old stuff that I had forgotten existed. This Star Wars fighter (the Luke one, shit I can't remember the name, I'm slipping!) was inherited from my cousin Jason when he died.
Box of formative tapes - had to throw them in the bin, in spite of their significance. Trying to cut down on nostalgia this year.
Next stop: Johanna Beach, our regular haunt, for a spot of camping.
Tess was up to her usual tricks, skulking back to the campsite, sausage in mouth.
Her belly was extremely swollen. She vommitted profusely in the tent one night, though I think by this point she was handling her excessive food a bit better.
Some friendly skater folk were camping next to us, allowing me to take photos like this, supporting the illusion of our wild new year's eve.
The beach was the focus of much of our activity. Tess really hates kites, it seems. They enrage her!
It's a pretty spot.
Our campsite was significantly improved from last year. For one, we got a white and red beach umbrella for shade.
Also picked up a handy little cooker, making lovely things like coffee a reality.
Rosie, in our faithful tent.
We played a bit of Scrabble Scramble, a bastardised travel version of Scrabble. Being completely out of the grips of phone and internet reception, it filled the gap our iphones usually fill quite nicely.
Rested and refreshed (but somehow very tired!), we're now back in Melbourne.