Eventually, we made it to D and Joy's house in Warradale, not far from Marion, in Adelaide. Tess was instantly happier than she could remember being, thanks to lots of sunny spots and a huge, cartoonish bone she received upon arrival.
There he is, my dad, eating some muesli and musing on the quiz.
Joy was also enjoying muesli on the morning of this photo shoot. Thanks for looking after us guys!
We went out with Bub to visit her mum, my grandmother, Jay. She is lovely. I forget sometimes how similar I am to her. I used to love visiting her little house where she lived by herself with lots of lovely lamps, interesting magazines and biscuits. She is perhaps the best op-shopper I know, always dressed stylishly in designer stuff she found for cheap. She even found a stuffed emu in an op-shop once, and set it up in her living room, complete with reading glasses and suede boots.
Jay is very old now and didn't seem to remember me, but just as we were leaving she grabbed my hand and asked me if I had to leave so soon, because she hadn't seen me for so long.
Next stop was my brother Pij's place. He lives in a cherry orchard/vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, which I now realise is not only extremely beautiful, but perfectly placed for road and mountain cycling, a passion of his that I am beginning to understand better. Luckily, it was Pij's day off from working at the zoo, so he made us a cup of coffee and we sat in his front yard and marvelled at him.
Because I don't get to see my family very often, I always try and make the most of every moment when I'm around them. I imagine it's quite tiring for everyone concerned, Rosie in particular. Here I am about to jump over an agapanthus bush, with Tess in pursuit. Mid-air, my left leg caught on a rose branch, pitching me to the ground on the other side, shoulder first. This resulted in some doubled-over laughter, so, you know, job done.
Bub and Anna showed up with their dog Penny (hiding under chair).
Here's Penny again, this time at Anna's new house. Anna showed us around the lush garden, striking characteristic poses for photos along the way:
Here's beautiful Rosie, less squinty and more in focus than Anna.
I put on a purple dressing gown and read out the menu for the pub we were going to for dinner in a funny voice. Job done again. They loved it. The next morning, we drove back to Melbourne.