Norfolk Island in the South Pacific....... Heaven on Earth.
Our family have made the move from The Sunshine Coast in Queensland to beautiful Norfolk Island.
This is about our life in this small and friendly community, to us it is one of the most wonderful places in the world and this is our way of sharing it with you.
"Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver the other is gold"
Brandt and I have always said that we are the luckiest people we know. I dont know if it is an attitude to life that makes us feel lucky or that we are grateful for all the good things we experience, that luck finds us.
Being social, is a way of life for us, we pick up friends easily and like to keep in contact with them(imagine my Christmas card list). I love to keep in touch with old friends and get disheartened when a friendship falls by the wayside. I had been looking for my high school friends that I lost touch with when we moved to Noosa from Sydney 9 years ago. Before we came to Norfolk, I had been scanning lost friends websites and school websites looking for Rebecca and Rachel who are twins, but to no avail. On the second last day of our holiday in Sydney, my sister Mandy and I ummed and ahhed whether to stop at the Porters paint shop on the way home, it was late and we were tired, but Mum suggested to stop as we both paint and may not get another chance. So in we went and who should be working there, but Bec, one of the twins.
After the initial scream and lengthy hug, she commented that they had been looking for me too. We had a lovely catch up on my last night at Mum and Dad's, like no time had passed at all, it is almost 20 years since we left school, but we could have still been 3 giggling 16 year olds on the couch. I caught up with nearly all of my dear friends while back in Australia, I hope I can get most of them to come and visit us over here soon.
Lovely Carolyn will be our next visitor at the end of August, we performed on stage together in Noosa and both have a love of gardening, I cant wait to show her our amazing hibiscus here.
Keep in touch, dear friends, not a day goes past where you are not in our thoughts.
I know the photos are of mostly my friends, but even though I didnt take any of you this time around boys, especially Crazy Dave, you know we still love you anyway.
I have always enjoyed Musical Comedies, they were some of my favourite movies as a child, and I could watch them over and over again, especially Fred Astair and Gene Kelly dance sequences. I certainly loved all the glamour of a MGM musical and still love dressing up today. When my sister Maria performed the lead in her first musical at 15 years old, it was destiny that her little sister would follow in her footsteps and ironic that I would meet my husband also performing in musical comedies. Brandt and I like doing shows together, with the old saying, the family that plays together, stays together in mind.
Brandt performed in a few one act plays while I was pregnant, and I was lucky enough to be offered a few roles not long after having our children, with some lovely companies who allowed the children to come to rehearsals. We have met some of our closest friends while sharing an affinity with the stage and some quick changes in the dressing room. We will miss the big musicals while we are here, but I dont think we will be off the stage for long, Brandt is already cast in a play called 'bouncers' here with Norfolk arts theatre to be staged in February next year, and is already enjoying his rehearsal with 'the guys'.
While in Sydney, I had the pleasure of going to see the big budget Priscilla the musical with my parents and sister Jenni, and it didn't disapoint. I liked the movie so much for its quirkyness and colour and the musical had a few more surprises in it which was fun, it is worth seeing for the costumes alone(not fair though that the chorus boys look better in the dresses than I would as a chorus girl!).
I know what shows are about to be cast 'back at home' and a part of me wishes not to miss out on doing them, but I wouldn't swap where we are in the world at the moment, I will resign myself to keep singing in the kitchen, waiting for the next opportunity to perform.
Here are some photos of some musicals we have been in, some of the photos I have found on websites of the theatre company's that we have performed with. Looking back at some our shows, I can see we are pretty lucky to still play dress ups as grown ups, I hope that part never changes.
For the past six years in Noosa, we have celebrated a winter Christmas feast with our English friends, The Campbell family and the Schluter family. Charli helping Teddy pull a cracker while Katie and Sienna look on.
Last year we sadly thought that we were celebrating our last one together for a while, but as our holiday home this year happened to be in the winter, Jenny was quick to organize another one.
We draw names out of the hat, so we all have have someone to buy for and then work out who will cook what for the feast, decorate our houses Christmas style, and generally have a wonderful, fun night with some wonderful, fun friends.
The children are growing up so fast and they love the anticipation and organization as well. the kids table,last year at our house.
Last year, we all tried to hand make all of our gifts and I enjoyed the challenge of making a couple of gingerbread houses for the girls.
Teddy enjoying showing off the gingerbread he helped to make last year, and baby Sienna in the background
I also found this great recipe for a vegetarian nut roast, it is delicious, and I dont miss out on my roast dinner anymore!
MUSHROOM NUT ROAST
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic,crushed
300g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 and1/2 cups of Brazil nuts(235g)
1 and 1/3 cups of raw cashews(125g)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese(125g)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese(25g)
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, chopped
1 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs(80g)
Preheat oven to a moderate 180 degrees C,
grease an 11X21 loaf tin and line base with baking paper.
Heat oil in frying pan, add onion,garlic and mushrooms, heat for 5 minutes or until soft.
Transfer into large bowl & cool.
Place Brazil nuts on baking tray in oven for 2 minutes, add cashews and return to oven for 3-5 minutes until toasted, allow to cool.
Process nuts in a food processor until finely chopped(dont over process) or break up with a rolling pin & tea towel.
I remember our cousins from Norfolk, when we were kids would love apples as the island doesn't import any fresh fruit and vegetables(but potatoes and onions) and is too warm to grow apples commercially.
We were so used to buying these things most of the year, only noticing the seasonal fruits change when the summer stone fruits came around and you would spend the Christmas holidays enjoying as many apricots and peaches and mangoes as you could.
Now children and most shoppers, don't notice many changes in the seasons as the fruit in the supermarkets are stored in super coolers and bred to look the same all year round.(I will try not to go into my anti- Woolworths campaign at this point, even though I think it is ridiculous to have 4 of their stores near our house in Queensland, all 10 minutes from each other, 3 of which are under 18 months old, when everything in the shop looks and tastes(less) the same! oops, tried but failed!) So, now my children are the apple munchers!
Here they are enjoying them.
Don't feel sorry for them missing out on apples all year round, as you don't get nice tasty red cherry guavas straight from the tree in your lunchboxes either.
What a lucky boy, with so many friends and family, 4 big celebrations!
number one celebration; Norfolk Island and Teddy's friends from Banyan park playcentre.
Because Ted has moved from the older class to the younger one, he still has friends in both, but everyone knows each other here and it was a good mix of kids and the mums who stayed had a nice time too (though none of us could fit on the jumping castle) we tried fairy floss from Ted's new fairy floss maker, jumped on the castle, a first for Fletcher Christian apartments, and played pass the parcel and had a pinata, the children had fun in their dress ups, playing in the cubby and drawing on the driveway in chalk.
tasting fairy floss we made ourselves.
We followed this with a pre state of origin dinner with our Norfolk family and friends for Brandt's birthday, as the football is on 1 and a half hours later than Australia.
State of origin rivalry is alive and well, Mal and Brandt.
number two celebration; Birthday dinner at the surf club, with good friends, Harry and Jackson, who were our first visitors to Norfolk Island, and also with Nonni and Poppi.
number three celebration; Coolum park with so many amazing friends and family(thanks to those who came up from Brisbane) who turned up at 10:30 am despite the freezing weather and grim forecast, we were all rewarded with the weather clearing and warming up and were there for so long, that it got cold again at 4:30pm.
Thankyou everyone, It was fantastic to see all our dear friendly faces again and a few tears at the end of the day to know that it will be a while before we all meet again.
number four celebration; Como pleasure grounds, Sydney. With family and some of our oldest friends, what a lovely warm, sunshiny day.
Teddy decided to disappear and go rock climbing, but was found safe and sound in time for cake, we love that number four candle, but now can give it a much needed rest for another 2 years.
Thankyou all friends and family for helping to make us feel so loved and special.
It was all very exhausting and next year will be a quiet one for Teddy, as Brandt's big 4-0 will take centre stage.