Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas wishes from Norfolk

Whatawey Yorley!

Hope you all had a very special day like we did!

I did get some Christmas cards out, but as Christmas crept up so quickly this year, some of our friends and family missed out, our apologies if that was you.
Thankyou for all the ones we received, I really appreciate them and all of the updates.

You may have got these from us via email,
If not, have a look. It is such a funny concept, and all of the other elf yourself's that I have received have been equally as entertaining.

Here is our family elf yourself......


and then Teddy wanted another one, so here is a very cute one of just the kids....


I couldn't resist one final one, there was a perfect photo of Brandt for scrooge yourself......


Take care and have a Very Merry Christmas!

love and friendship,

Tina and the family.


Monday, 17 December 2007

Happy First anniversary on Norfolk!

12 months ago tonight, we arrived on Norfolk Island on a delayed flight from Brisbane, farewelled at the airport by our beautiful close friends and My brother Mike and sister in law Kate and nephew and neice, Jake & Jess.

Brandt kissed the tarmac when we arrived and Ted thought that was what you did and copied him.

Our Norfolk Family was all there to meet us at the airport or back at Mary and Bernies house for a late supper before we moved in to our loft that we kindly were allowed to live in for 8 weeks before we moved into  Fletcher Christian Apartments.

Teddy was only 3 and a half and Sienna was only 15 months old, her passport picture looks so little, now that she is a big Miss 2.
We have had a fantastic year of learning about the seasons, enjoying and sharing seasonal fruit and the weather patterns, It has been an amazing learning curve and we are glad every day that we have done it, there will never be any regrets in this family.

We do miss all of our Qld friends and family very much, just like we missed everyone from Sydney when we moved to Queensland in 1998.

When Teddy told me on our last holiday that he wanted to go home, I asked him where home was and he wasn't sure, so we have definately decided that home is where ever our little family are together.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

through the swirling mists

I had a wonderful time, as did Teddy and Sienna with my niece Alyssa and my Mum(Granny) here with us on Norfolk Island for 2 weeks, we went driving and sight seeing around the many scenic roads and bays here as well as snorkeling down the beach, and when I was working, they also went sight seeing. Even after 2 weeks, there was still some areas that they didn't get to, Well, you have to leave something for next time.

The weather was more spring than summer, with cooler evenings and an odd cooler day, but on the last few days of their trip, we experienced a most bizarre weather change.

It was like the whole Island was enveloped in a giant cloud, the mists had rolled in and made most Norfolk landmarks disappear.

Everyone knows here, that if you cant see Mount Pitt and Mount Bates, then the planes won't be coming in to land or taking off, So on the day of Mum and Lyss' departure when the mountain became invisible and the plane was delayed, we decided to drive up the Mountain to see, and we couldn't see.

We took similar photos to the beginning of their holiday when you could see forever, so you could compare the difference, it was quite an amazing and eerie experience.

They did get to the airport and checked in 12 hours later than expected, and we said our goodbyes, But as they were sitting on the plane ready to taxi down the runway, the mists reappeared and were rolling in thicker and faster than ever, those of us who stayed to wave our farewells to the plane were willing it to get going quickly before it became to hard to see, or else disembark the passengers, it was a bit fraidy.

The take off down he runway at 9pm had the plane's flashing lights reflecting off the clouds, but just as the wheels left the tarmac, they really did disappear into thin (or thick) air.

It was sad to see them go, but glad they did get to the Sunshine coast safely for my niece Olivia's 1st Birthday.

It all reminded me of another strange weather day that we had at the beginning of September which was a one off.
The low cloud turned our normally bright and cheerful gardens at Fletcher Christian apartments into a dull grey landscape.

Knowing that no one would be at Emily bay, Clayton, who works with Brandt, and a few of his mates took their jet ski out with their wakeboards to zoom around the bay and coral reefs of Slaughter bay.

The weather here recently has kept us guessing, given the locals something to talk about and certainly keeps life interesting.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Its beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS......

Mary's angel on top of the Christmas tree she made for us.

I Love, really really LOVE this time of year!

the 1st of December is the beginning of a whirlwind month that you can cram as many parties and get togethers and catch ups in, as well of thinking about friends and family who you don't see, especially when Christmas cards arrive from people you have known and loved over the years, you may not see each other due to distance or other circumstances, but a Christmas card is a little glow that says I still think of you fondly.

This year is the first time we have stayed put for Christmas since Teddy who is now four and a half was 6 months old, since then we have spent Christmas in Norfolk, then Sydney and then last year in Norfolk again, but this year we can start our own traditions, Teddy and Sienna can wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning and look under the tree..................................
Teddy's face watching when our lights came on for the first time.
BUT, first we need that tree. That is why the 1st of December is also a special day as it is the first day that we start to decorate and sing Christmas carols and start the countdown on the advent calendar(only 24 more sleeps to go!)

The Norfolk pine is such a perfect Christmas tree shape, it even has its own stars on top.
This fine specimen is on the grounds of Government house, over looking Kingston.
We were lucky to be offered a live pine sapling from my friend Eve who had a few growing up in the wrong places in her garden and was happy to donate one to us, we ceremoniously arrived to cut it down and had a good giggle at Eve's husband Doug surrounded by miles of fairy lights trying to untangle & replace bulbs(another Dec.1st tradition).
This is Teddy's friend Mirabelle who found the tree for us in her garden, she looked just like a fairy on top of the Christmas tree.
Our tree was chosen, cut and taken home for decorating.
As we packed up our house last year, our decorations got packed up too(and I didn't have a collection of preschool ones...yet), so it was time to start anew.

It seemed that this year was going to be Red, Green and Gold, when we wrapped the tree in red foil and found some little green Teddy ornaments.
But the best part of December 1st this year, was after we had decorated, Granny (my mum) and my niece Alyssa were arriving on the night flight from Sydney. Yahooooo.
She brought with her the most adorable elf costumes, which both kids loved and looked so cute in.
Let the Christmas season begin!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Lots to be Thankful for at Thanksgiving.

I do have a lot to be thankful for, I am definitely a glass half full kind of girl, every cloud does have a silver lining and tomorrow is always a fresh day with no mistakes in it.

But for today, I am spending my first Thanksgiving here on Norfolk Island.

It began being celebrated here, when the American whalers brought their wives here and they brought their traditions with them, the locals here adapted them and it really suits the Norfolk community to celebrate Thanksgiving as they do rely on the land to provide fresh fruit and vegetables as they don't import any fresh ones other than potatoes and onions, plus it is a good Christian community who give to neighbours in need or to anyone if you have excess .I came home from dropping Ted to school with a beautiful pumpkin from my friend Lou's garden, (Thank you Louise, it was lovely) This is not unusual around here to see the generosity of people who live and work together on Norfolk.

But back to what I am really Thankful for, I could write on and on, because I really do see the good things that I am lucky to be part of,

But, Number One would be my family, I loved growing up in my family as the youngest of 5 children, Mum and Dad are very special and I was lucky to spend time with them both when Dad took early retirement when I was 10 years old, I love my 4 sisters and my brother and all of my in-laws and I am so lucky to be Auntie to so many nieces and nephews (even though I miss them all to pieces.)
And mostly to find such an interesting Husband in Brandt, I do get bored very easily, but life with Brandt is NEVER Dull!
And together we have 2 interesting, but beautiful and very cuddly children, even though we both said that we really didn't want children, Teddy and Sienna came along for a reason and we are very blessed that they did.

I am also very grateful that we can live here in Norfolk Island together as a family, everyday is a lucky one, with beautiful scenery, always bumping in to someone down the street that says hello and a lovely unrushed and safe feeling that often gets forgotten in Cities and large towns.

Now, let me share some of our Thanksgiving day on Norfolk.

We started the day with a special thanksgiving church service down at All Saints at Kingston, a magnificent restored Georgian building stunning on the outside and the inside, but even more special today, as it was filled with local produce brought in buy the community to display. Each pew was adorned with corn stalks(still with corn on them) which amazed Teddy and Sienna.
At the end of the service which Rev.Rod Oldfield listed the things that he was thankful for, including the whole Island being only 5 minutes from Emily bay, so no matter where you are or what time of day, you can go to one of the cleanest and most picturesque beaches for a swim,
The freshest produce was taken outside to sell and all money to be given back to the community. Only potatoes and onions are imported here, everything else is grown fresh.

despite the funny look on Sienna's face, she really enjoyed her very fresh corn on the cob.
After the service, we joined a large section of the community for thanksgiving lunch at Mary and Bernie's Devon House.
My hungry cousin Ed, starting the feast As with nearly every celebration here on Norfolk a bring a plate lunch or dinner(pot luck) is more like a gourmet feast, the locals here certainly know how to be resourceful with what is available seasonally.
It was great to have a day off to catch up with a lot of other locals also celebrating this special public holiday.
After Lunch while everyone was enjoying the amazing table full of desserts (including Teddy, who could find a spoon, but still managed to find a unique way to eat his dessert) Kim, organized some fantastic old time games like egg and spoon races and 3 legged races including the adults as well as a special treasure hunt following the clues to a booty of lollies. Sienna found one of the lolly bags without the clues and ate them while all the other kids were energetically racing around.
Teddy was boasting that he was going to win the sack race against all the other 4 year olds, despite his little legs being at a shorter disadvantage. (both Ashleigh and Ashley in pink on the right are in his class)
Ted put in a great effort for his first ever sack race, but was only succeeding in jumping up and down on the spot, Kim who foresaw the disappointment and tears that would come by being left behind, gave Ted a jump start and helping hand to finish the race.Thankyou so much Kim!

Time for a lolly scramble.

As usual at the end of a wonderful celebration day at Devon house, you can usually find Sienna completely worn out.
Thankyou again Mary and Bernie for your amazing hospitality.
Find out more about our day on Mary's blogspot http://devonhouse.blogspot.com/