1st January to 2nd March.
The beginning of 2016 for OZLAP involved early mornings, very early mornings in fact, particulary for Mr OZLAP, Nik, who had scored a temporary contract as a qualified Greenkeeper at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. This contract involved preparing and getting the course ready for the Perth International tournament which was is to be held there on the weekend of 27th and 28th February. Whilst the early mornings were not delightful, Nik did enjoy getting back into his preferred career choice, which he had left some 20 years ago. So it was throughout our stay at Chateau De Burton that Nik left early for work, arriving home about 3pm where he tagged myself and I headed back out in the car to work a few evening or night duty shifts each week at the local hospital in ED, much to my surprise, delight and shock. Even though we were without a car during the day, with Nik at work, we were spoilt with a fantastic pool and the constantly generous offer of my aunties car if need be.
However, not all of our time was spent working, we were also lucky enough to visit Adventure World with my cousin Penny and her gorgeous girls, as well as the majority of WA. The weather was glorious and the park was choc a block, however we decided to stay a little later than most and by about 4:30 the crowds had halved and we got to go on the rides without having to line up for an hour!!!!
On another fine Perth day we decided to head into the big smoke and spend a day at Kings Park, exploring the ANZAC memorial and walking around the many stunning gardens and playgrounds scattered about the acres of bush. After what felt like a few hours of walking we settled ourselves on the grass in the shade at one of the playgrounds, while the girls played and enjoyed the water playground.
On another occasion we met up with my cousin David and his lovely wife, Debbie and their friends for a fantastic afternoon spent enjoying the sun and the canals down in Mandurah, it was a great day and we were made to feel so welcome. The girls were spoilt for choice and got to ride around on the back of jet skis, jump off the boat moored at the jetty, as well as go off exploring the surrounding canals in kayaks, going under quaint little bridges and having a ball.
We also lobbed in at Kelly’s (yet another cousin) house for a BBQ dinner, taking a quiet stroll to the beach less than 200 metres from her back yard. The kids had a quick swim while Nik spoke to the fisherman, when he returned he oh so casually mentioned that he was fishing for shark……..needless to say the kiddies were herded out of the water and we headed back to the house for dinner.
We also managed a few catch ups with another aunt and uncle, Peta and Garth and their daughter Erica, one of which involved a late night collection of pavers…………….. The lifesaving carnival calender also kept us on our feet during January with a few carnivals. Our first foray into the WA lifesaving carnival way of life was at a beach north of Perth, called Sorrento. The beach and weather were superb, unfortunately we were also introduced to these nasty little sea critters the locals called stingers. Well these little buggers took a particular liking to Zoe and caused her grief, even a week later when her stings flared up again and she developed a nasty case of hives. But our girls are tough as nails and they repeatedly went back into the water to compete in the swim surf race, board races and board rescue events. We were so proud of the girls (and guilt ridden) we decided to head to Hillarys Boat Harbour down the road for a late lunch at the pub/ cafe, which made us feel less guilty for sending the girls into the water…..
Our next carnival was an hour south of ‘home’, down at Bunbury and once again we had another glorious day. The sun was shining, the stingers were no where to be seen and the girls had a great time competing and spending time with their friends. It was a long day and not surprisingly they fell asleep for the very long hour drive home. Our last carnival was a team events carnival up in Fremantle, where for once the weather failed to put on a show and the day was overcast and even bordering on getting a little chilly. The weather teamed with the wind didn’t make for favourable water conditions and it was an early day as the water events were called off before lunch, Nik and I were practically high fiving each other on the way home. We love the carnivals but they are a long day trudging up and down the beach only to make it to each of the girls events just after they have competed……..