the rambles of a family of five in Australia


Ewan’s doings

Modelling his Timmy the Sheep backpack
Happy Mr E, ready for another great day at preschool

E started preschool in April, three days after Suzannah arrived. When we had filled out his application form, there were spaces for all sorts of things: allergies; likes & dislikes; settling routines; comfort items etc, all designed to help the staff to get to know him quickly and to help him to fit in and adjust easily.

At Stanwick Lakes, with the unexpected treat of a fire engine, up close and personal.

We were struck by all the things that wouldn’t fit into the form that we think people should know about him:

‘Doing stickers’ with some lovely new stickers from Grandma and Grand-Nan.

He will eat just about everything (seriously), except salad items. Why? Too crunchy, and he doesn’t like ‘skin’. He takes after his mother and doesn’t appreciate (and won’t eat) imperfections in the food set before him i.e. bruises on fruit; soft spots; or whole fruit (such as tomatoes or grapes) that might have something unsavoury concealed inside. Yes, it sounds picky, but there it is.

Eating crumpets – having a second breakfast – a sneaky treat he likes whenever he can get it.

He loves to be with Suzy. He brings his toys to her to show her how they work and he likes to pick her toys up and make them talk to her.

Sitting in Suzy’s nest – pretending to be on a sailing boat. Suzy is in awe of her Captain.
He doesn’t like to be dirty, but he loves to play outside with his backhoe loader; shovels and wheelbarrow. Naturally enough, these two desires often come into conflict and create a certain amount of tension.

You can’t see it here, but it is tipping it down with rain and he is watching the water down the downpipe and trying to build a dam with all the pebbles.

He can often be found sitting in front of his bookshelf, reading to himself for up to an hour. He remembers large slabs of text and will mouthe the words when he is being read to, or will recite them if he is ‘reading’ to himself.

First day of toilet training – some quiet time with his books.

He likes to lie on Suzy’s playmat with her, looking up at the mobile and talking to her about what has happened so far that day.

First day of toilet training – a picnic with friends up at the Cedar tree.

He will refer to her as “my beautiful Suze”, “funny Suzy”, “clever Suze”, and “our precious Suz-nannah” while leaning over to give her a kiss.

SEE, I TOLD you there was kissing!

He will always prefer to be outside, but under virtually no circumstances would he choose to go barefoot.

At Stanwick Lakes, digging in the sand.
Mini Cedar Tree with a wheatfield in the background. An idyllic place for a picnic.

Hi-jinks in the loungeroom with Daddy.

Down at the Farm Shop “to see the chicken babies…”

Entranced by the tiny fluffy chicks peeping out from everywhere. There was even one riding on its mother’s back.

He always wants to help in the kitchen – washing up; chopping; stirring; sifting or grating; sweeping; emptying the bin; tidying up or putting things back in the fridge. Sometimes the running commentary on what we’re doing can be a little wearing, until we realise he could probably do most of our jobs without us!

These gloves are TOO big!

He will make H a ‘cup of coffee’ in his tea set at any time she looks tired, adding milk and ‘sugar’ (from the carpet!!) and stirring vigorously. He loves to pretend to feed Suzy in this way.

All in all, there are so many things we find special and amusing about our son, and we love to celebrate them and remind ourselves of how wonderful childhood is – it certainly is fun from his point of view!

IN the fire engine – a fine ending to a fine day!

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A-jousting we will go…

Today we had our first trip back to Blenheim Palace (using our yearly pass, mentioned elsewhere on this blog) and it was great. We chose today for our trip as Blenheim was hosting a jousting tournament, and H couldn’t bear to miss seeing it! (All that teaching of Year 8 History came back to bite her!)

With the scaffolding removed since our last visit, the facade looked wonderful!

A ‘Knight of Royal England’ at full tilt into the arena. H was transfixed, E was intrigued and Suzy was having lunch and not interested at all.

The scene is set…

…as the knights play to the crowd.

The Palace in the background

More showing off before things get underway

Galloping off after treating us to: the tilt; quintain; jousting; hand-to-hand sword fighting; some battles with staves; and lots of classy, well-choreographed action.

Hidden in this pram are our two children. Suze likes to sit upfront (in E’s rightful place) and E likes to be squirrelled away in the little seat underneath, warm and cosy.

Built in 1705 for 475,000 pounds, it’s not bad, eh?

A view of the parkland we have yet to explore

E, aspiring to be a piece of statuary.

Our happy little girl, watching the world spin lazily by.

E – checking the foundations…

Now THIS is more like it! E wanted to climb past the fence to check out the model village more closely.

Miniature villages and giant chessmen – a small boy’s delight.

H tried out the maze, but chickened out halfway through and retraced her steps back to the entrance. All those yew hedges were a bit too claustrophobic.

E, having a walk across the swinging bridge in the playground.

R’s favourite moment – a collection of classic cars.

The maze from one of the footbridges within.

A view from the maze back toward the playground. ‘Let me OUT!’


Spending our time fruitfully…

Broadbeans from a neighbour’s garden: an unexpected delight – R loves them!

Once again we are experiencing the bounty of an English summer harvest: our own raspberries, as well as loads of fruit from the Pick-Your-Own at the farm shop; plus the kind gifts from friends with productive kitchen gardens.

Last Sunday afternoon, after a week of sickness and being cooped indoors with indifferent weather, we decided to meander down to the PYO and see what was ripe for the plucking…

Our two poppets ready for a lazy walk down to the Farm Shop

Dad ‘n Dave, down on the farm….

E thought that picking redcurrants was ‘fantasic’!

A family endeavour – E ate them up and down the rows of bushes…

A new crop for the garden at Glenorie…?

Beautiful Suze slept throughout the whole experience. What a nice way to spend a summer afternoon.

3 kilos of red-and-white-currants – a bumper yield for an hour’s leisurely picking.

No afternoon sleep for E (due to our little jaunt) meant a nap on the couch with Dad on our return.


 The large pot with spoon is our redcurrant jelly; the smaller saucepan is a medlar, apricot and blueberry compote…

Redcurrant jelly – enough for all the lamb we can ever eat.

Medlar compote – yummy on cereal in the morning.

Spending time outside (all four of us) is a great joy and blessing. We continually give thanks to God for His gift of our children, and the things we can share together here in England as a family.
We are also giving thanks for all the friends we have made since we arrived. The conversations; advice; time; comfort and love we have experienced has been monumental. E and S are clothed (in large part) with the gifts of friends here; our sanity is saved by kindly neighbours who let E run amok in their gardens; the difficulties of parenting are eased by the advice and humour of those near to us who are experiencing the same path. We see here the love of our God for even these small details of our life. How wonderful to be cared for in this way!