…Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails

2 08 2006

… that’s what little boys are made of!

Our youngest nephew, William, turned 3 on Monday and all the family gathered down at his parents’ 50 acre farm near Yallingup on the weekend. We drove down to Busselton to my folks’ place on Friday night after work, went into town Saturday morning to buy him his present (a frog umbrella!), then over to Dunsborough to see a family friend’s fabulous new house that she designed herself, before arriving at the farm for lunch.

Everyone except Paul was there (he had some urgent business to do in Melbourne on Sunday… defeating Carlton). When we arrived, the older nieces and nephews and their respective boyfriends were out gathering large pieces of fallen timber for a huge bonfire on Saturday night.

As only a 3 year-old can be, William was momentarily enthused about the bike from his grandparents and the dragon’s tail from his sister, along with all his other presents. But he was most taken with the main present – a golden retriever puppy from his Mum and Dad.

“Jasmine” is 6 weeks old and JUST ADORABLE!!! She was only taken from her mother and siblings the day before, had to endure a 3 hour car trip down to the farm, and had 12 adults and one small child loving her to bits all day on Saturday. She is the cutest, sweetest little puppy, and was just so placid. She happily hung around our feet most of the day, sleeping and dozing, and generally being a very young puppy. Later, when we walked down to the orchard and then across to the dam, she scampered along through the grass following William – it looks like the beginning of a beautiful bond and a long friendship! 16a_jasmine.jpg
Honey crackles and chocolate crackles! Of course, there was the obligatory sugar-laden kid’s birthday party fare – honey and chocolate crackles, caramel slice (like Nanaimo bars) and a snake cake covered in sickly sweet icing and sugar lollies! That’s why we needed the walk down to the orchard and the dam…
My sister and brother-in-law are doing a major extension to the farm house – a 12m x 6m ‘great room’ with a massive cathedral ceiling, super-wide verandah, and a deck you could hold a wedding reception on. It looks absolutely fabulous and fits well with the rest of the house. The view of it from the dam showed how well the design fit the landscape too. Farm house with extension

My nephew took me for a quick zip around the farm roads in his new convertible Mini Cooper! That thing sure moves. My first-ever car – way back when – was a Mini… but it sure wasn’t made like these new ones. It didn’t cost the same either! In fact, the Minis in those days could hardly be called a luxury car, whereas today’s Mini Coopers fit that price category. (BTW, my Mini was a bit of a lemon – it used to die whenever it saw a puddle of water, even if the puddle was on the other side of the road!)

After a lovely day in the winter sunshine, we headed back to my parents’ place for a very light meal (ya think?) and to play “Jokers and Marbles”, a game we learned from the other branch of the family tree when we were in Michigan in April. Dad had taken my photos of the board we played on there, and made us a great board based on those photos.

On Sunday we headed back to Perth via Bridgetown. Popped in to the fortnightly Bridgetown Sunday Markets, but there wasn’t a lot left by 11:00am. Drove up to the property development – two new houses are coming along well, and the property we want to build on now has a back fence. Settlement is still not expected on this one for another month or so…

We had a light lunch at the Bridgetown Hotel and made a room reservation for October 21st, the day of the Blackwood Valley Wine Show and tasting. We’ll probably be down again in a few weeks as the AGM of the strata company is likely to be around August 20.

After picking up a couple of cases of cleanskins from the Wattle Ridge vineyard, and some fruit and vegies from the Fruit Barn in Donnybrook, we drove back to Perth listening to the Dockers beat Carlton on the radio. Yay – that’s four wins in a row!

A lovely relaxing weekend.


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