On new year's eve, we all went to see Sam's band the Phoenix Foundation play. It was the first time I'd seen them live and they were really impressive. I would say that, wouldn't I? But seriously, they were great. Sam told me he spotted me taking photos while they were playing.
Ned, Dins and Rosie
Max squared, enjoying the show.
Jan and Emily were letting their (short) hair down with their mates.
"I love you man"
Backstage VIP area. Sorry Jessica!
Meanwhile, back in the forest near Tom and Averil's, the taggers had been busy.
We packed up the car in preparation for our big road trip. Lulu thought she was coming, but she was sadly mistaken.
We dropped in at Helen's place, where many Scwalkerlongs were still in attendance and up to no good, including Harry.
We connected over an idea to make a huge origami frog, then he and Archie both grabbed my legs when we were leaving. Touching stuff. I nearly fell over while taking this photo. Not afraid to put myself on the line for art.
We drove to Sally and Bruce's farm in the countryside. They greeted us with open arms, fresh lamb and lots of red wine.
Sally is Rosie's auntie. Bruce became a sort of god to us. He kissed me on the head.
Cousin Stu shot this stag. It was the biggest one shot in 2010 apparently.
We slept in the handsomely kitted-out shearers quarters. I couldn't believe I wasn't hungover the next morning! Everyone wore denim shirts because we were city people in the country and that's the done thing.
On our way up to stay in Sally and Bruce's other farmhouse, we stopped for a walk in an old forest, which Bruce described to us as "some good sticks".
Max is a fun guy.
Moody album cover shot
The other farmhouse was kind of creepy
Even the water tank was scary
I busied myself drinking multiple cups of tea and reading Bruce's back issues of Hunting magazine.
The plan was to drive to some hot springs, but this river crossing was pretty much in the dangerous red zone. We were going to punk it, but Jake threw a big boulder in as a test of the strength of the river and it was swept away like a scale model of our car. When we rang Bruce, he surprised us by advising us to leave it until the next day.
So we went back to the house and watched Wedding Crashers.
This hedgehog sauntered past. Very cute. Apparently, if they're getting around by themselves during the day, that means they're a bit sick. poor little bugger.
Went for a walk and saw what looked like a body under a tree. Spooky!
The next day, we went back to the river and drove right over it, moments after this photo was taken. Turns out the car wasn't quite in gear, and we stopped two thirds of the way across, but we made it in the end. However, as we gingerly drove along the crazy mountain road, each car we encountered was smaller and less well-equipped than the last, leaving us in no doubt to what we were - a bunch of cowardly city kids. Not even Bruce could save us from that harsh reality.
After all that, there were a bunch of people in the hot springs. We almost turned back.
But they politely left as soon as we arrived. We bathed to our hearts' content. It was pretty sweet.
Afterwards, we went down to the nearby river and dunked ourselves in the freezing water.
I was feeling pretty darned relaxed, though I had to stay alert because of the heroic driving and such.
Then Rosie and I went on our road trip, but I will save that for next time.