Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Now technically I was ‘away’ for six days, but two of those were travelling to get to where I was going. However, that being said, the travelling time was ripe with ‘experiences’ because - *raising eyebrow in a ‘ya know’ manner* - I was embarking on this mini adventure with my brother Gareth. One poor train passenger on the ‘to Sydney’ leg of the trip did agree (amused) when Gareth asked that he take our picture, possibly left convinced we were mentally challenged. Was it the perfectly reasonable need for photographical evidence that we were actually on the train that cemented his mirth, or was it the idiotic laughter emanating from my brother and I? And it’s not even like neither of us has ever been on a train before…though this was the first time in many years together. Just to set the scene, Dearest Reader, phone calls between Gareth and I usually result in nonsensical conversation and laughing like that of fools! The ‘from Sydney’ leg began with equal joviality when I mistook a complete stranger for the aforementioned brother. The look on this man’s face was priceless and I was left with no choice but to produce my own brother as proof that I was not an asylum escapee! Thankfully the man did have a sense of humour.

In-between all this travelling there was four days packed full to bursting. Now keep in mind that I spent 17 years living in Sydney myself so it was familiar turf for me. Gareth did at one point rein my walking pace back a kilometre or two, reminding me that he was still in country mode. It was surprising how easily I slipped back into city pace, and how quickly everything time-slipped back to a period before I absconded the city to make my childhood country hometown a permanent residence again. There was some apprehension, I admit, upon arrival in Sydney because it had been three years since I lived there, and things do change. But the transition was made beautifully welcoming when, after disembarking from the train, we were met by my son Bobby and future daughter-in-law Natalie.

I could write a very lengthy blog (and this will be lengthy enough!!!) about all the reasons why I love these two within an inch of their lives. Oh, I am mad-crazy in love with all my kids!!! J Any parent will know this feeling, I’m sure – that of, after almost a year without seeing them, looking through the sea of the unfamiliar and finding the unmistakable face of the man my son has become. Ahhh, be still my heart! And his beautiful fiancée who I love like a daughter. *Contented sigh* God’s blessings are an overwhelming abundance.

I took photos of everything, most especially in an attempt to share this (for me) simple little holiday with a dear and treasured friend, by way of seeing everything so ordinarily recognisable to me through his distant and first sight eyes, and through pictures. Thankfully I am blessed with patient and understanding (albeit bemused) family well used to my idiosyncrasies. Ha, ha, I have one picture of my brother taken month ago, with a look on his face that reads; “You take one more and I will have to hurt you!” His patience this trip was award-winning! Blessings upon Natalie also for not wanting to run for the hills because I was taking pictures of everything she cooked. (Natalie, you are an indescribable addition to our family, honey!)

Natalie calls me Mil – for mother-in-law – and as I grow accustomed to that I love it more and more. She introduced me to the wonder of a spa pedicure, showed me that a pretzel is more than just a salty, saliva absorbing, twisted cracker, and exposed me the pure decadence of churroes and strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate. She coloured my hair, enthusiastically encouraged as I shopped, shared her music with me, and most heart-hugging of all, shared her precious free-time willingly with me…her future mother-in-law. I praise God endlessly for the gift He has given not only me but my son as well in this amazing woman.

Our first full day in Sydney was filled, for Gareth and I, with anticipation. For me it was waiting to see my absolute favourite band in the whole world – Def Leppard – in concert for the second time…for Gareth is was the support act, Heart, he was most eager to see. We were both pleasantly surprised by the notable lead-in act, The Choir Boys. Sleep deprivation was a constant companion to both of us throughout the entire six days, nicely launched on this first night by our arrival home. I don’t know about Gareth but even at that wee hour of the morning I was on too much of a high to even contemplate sleep, so THANK YOU skype for being an outlet, and Navjot for suffering through me gushing about every little detail, and even listening to the distorted sounds of phone recordings claiming to be Def Leppard songs! Navjot’s immense patience continues, I assure you Dearest Reader, when I reveal to you that I emailed 17 concert photos to him YESTERDAY! (I wonder if he is reconsidering this friendship???)

Concert night was followed by a much needed deep tissue massage for both Gareth and I. Kudoes to my way-cool brother for enduring almost an hour and a half of it! I can’t believe either of us actually paid someone to hurt us like that, but WOW, it was sooooo worth it!

Amidst all the concert going, pampering, shopping, eating and socialising, my son had his 22nd birthday. That involved more friends, so much more food, a lot of laughter and another very late night. There were the antics of a very lively and decidedly ostentatious cat named Loki. And on top of all of it, it was discovered that DVD board games are not a good idea when one is tired and too sore (or old) to be crawling around the floor tossing dice. I drank so much soft drink that I forgot to drink coffee. I ate so much delectable home cooking (done by someone else – bless her!) that I can’t find it in me to get excited about my own cooking anymore…it pales in comparison. When I arrived home after this time away dinner was on the way to being cooked, and my mother and daughter were happy to see me.

I can’t believe how fast it all went! After two months of anticipation, like a dissipating puff of smoke, it is all gone. But the memories (and photos – sorry Navjot!) remain. I can daydream and pretend with surprising certainty that when, from a stage so far away it was little more than a chimera, Rick Savage, when he pointed at ten thousand screaming fans, knew I was there! ;-)

Life continues as routine again but in-between domestic duties and normality I can steal moments of happy reflection and be amazed once more how much God loved me, because His blessings come in so many wonderful, surprising and joy-giving ways.

God bless each of you, Dearest Readers,
Hugs – Jeanne.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this article and haven't stopped laughing about the stranger at the train station. I am seriously considering stealing this from you. I'll even take my bro since he is so good natured and not everyone has a sense of humor like your stranger. I am so glad you had such a good time and was able to spend time with your family and future DIL. You are truly a dear friend to me and I thank you for that. Kerry

  2. Enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I am really glad you have had such an exciting experience after a long time. The memories of this trip will remain for a long long time.

    You have had so many blessings showered on you.. like watching your favourite band play in front of you, Your Daughter in Law ( DIL - which means heart ) cooking for you and spending such a nice time with you giving you a glimpse of a beautiful future with your Son, Traveling with your Brother, everything has been so great.

    Amazing article from you... thanks for sharing it.. and also the photos.. :P

  4. Not nearly long enough Dear Sister. I wrote a longer message to a friend of mine just on the topic of sleeping during our adventure. But that aside, was nice to go away with you and I will always have it up here in my little brain to recall fondly whenever I wish. My brain being as full as it is I had to make room so I no longer can name the premiership winners in Rugby league from 1934 to 1946 and I was completely stumped when I needed to open a childproof medicine bottle so that's handy but well worth it regardless! Love ya! :) Gareth x

  5. Ha ha, I love you too, bro!! I've decided holidaying with you is way cool fun, and everyone should try it! The line starts HERE →⊙← !!!!! Take care of what's left of that brain of yours....I might need it at some point due to the demise of my own!! ;-) Hugs—-—-—-—your sister!!!!! :-))