Monday, 5 October 2015

Fantastic Family

My husband with an aunt and two of his cousins.
Can you spot the family resemblance?
Talk about ups and downs!
From Sydney we went by train to Newcastle. It has been absolutely fantastic. Did you know that in New South Wales people in their sixties can catch three trains and two ferries all on the same $2.50 ticket? Yes, travel all day as far as you wish on the one ticket. Train, bus, and ferry were all covered as long as it was the public transport system.

My long-suffering, but nevertheless loved, husband has family in Newcastle and the surrounding district. We spent hours and hours with various cousins chatting, going out for meals, gossiping, catching up, and just relaxing.
They invited us to a birthday party. One cousin, John, turned 60 and his son Ryan turned 30.
John works on a freighter travelling from Karratha to Osaka. He is an energetic man’s man type. Blokey. Physically strong. Formal school did not appeal to him, but he has excelled in the real world. As a boy he was a Queen’s scout. He rode a motorbike from Newcastle to Perth once, just for a bit of fun. He enjoyed driving a LandRover from Perth to Darwin so much that he went to all the trouble of getting a driver's license too.
John and his mother Norah.
Norah is only 82 and is very lively.
Ryan, his son, is very similar, but academically strong as well. Ryan has just graduated with a management degree from Swinburne University.

It was decided to go to Buttai Barn for country-western themed party. That was a challenge we were all happy to accept. This place is out in the scrub and specializes in country style entertainment. Maybe there were 250 people there that night. What a terrific time we all had! You should have seen the costumes of the people there. Cowboy hats and sheriff badges, toy guns and drizabones. One girl even wore an inflatable horse costume.
At least six birthday party groups were there. And a Hens Night group too. A talented singer performed for hours giving us many old favorites. Dolly Parton would have been envious of her talent.There was a special arena with a mechanical bull-riding machine. John and Ryan each had a go at that. Food was plentiful and delicious. Something for everyone including the vegetarians and coeliacs. There was bush dancing and live music for other dancing too.

Cousins galore, and a future cousin too.
How many cousins did we see? At least one aunt, three cousins, four nephews, two nieces, two great nephews, and a few whose relationships go into the seconds, thirds, and removed categories. Just how you categorise the grandson of a cousin will take me a while to sort out. And be careful of second wives/husbands/partners too.

We hired a car and drove around the district as well. Aah, life in the sophisticated parts of Australia can be good indeed. 

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