An Apology

The biggest problem with living on a bus with the kids is, ironically, the same thing which makes it wonderful: their company.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” screamed Miss10, half a step behind a crying Miss7.

I could tell from Miss10’s protests it wasn’t the sort of ‘I’m sorry’ which comes with genuine remorse so much as it was an ‘I’m sorry you’re going to tell Mum and Dad about this.’

Naturally – and by that I mean because Tracey wasn’t around at that moment so I sort of had to – I asked what happened.

“She ran into me with the bike!” sobbed Miss7.

The grazed skin on her leg confirmed some sort of altercation, but as any parent of more than one child would know, there’s always two sides to a story. Even if there’s not.

“It wasn’t my fault!” said Miss10. I suspected as much. I think Miss10 will end up being a solicitor one day. Like her old man, she loves to get her teeth into a good argument. “I yelled for her to get out of my way but she didn’t!”

“So why didn’t you turn and miss her?” I asked.

“Because I was too busy pedalling.”

I thought about that.

“Pedalling?”

“Yeah.”

“Not braking?”

This genuinely seemed to confuse her.

“Why would I have been braking?”

“So you didn’t hit me!” shouted Miss7, pointing at her injured leg.

“But I told you to get out the way and you didn’t,” said Miss10. “In fact, the more I think about this the more I think the accident was entirely your fault.” Adding, presumably because she’s not one to hold a grudge when she’s blaming someone else for her own mistake, “I accept your apology.”

And with that she walked off.

No, she didn’t get far.

A short time later – ten minutes to be precise – she’d done her time-out to think about where she’d gone wrong with that exchange and was to be found seeking out a freshly bandaged Miss7 to issue her with a proper apology.

And by proper I mean formal.

“Here’s my apology I made for you,” Miss10 told her little sister as she produced a sheet of paper with a flourish and then proceeded to read it. “It says I am super, duper, duper, duper, duper sorry.”

“Okay,” said Miss7.

“So you accept my apology?”

“Yes,” said Miss7.

“Good,” said Miss10, handing a pen to her sister, placing the paper on the table and pointing to a spot. “Now if you’ll just sign here to say you recognise this apology…” Miss7 made a scribble, “…and now here to say I have permission to be your sister again…” more scribble/some giggle, “…and here, if you want to, to say you enjoyed doing all this signing.”

Like I say, living in each other’s pockets means we’re there for every squabble – and OMG there are lots of them – but it also means we’re more likely to be amongst it when they’re getting along and getting stuck into the fun stuff together.

Fair trade, I say. God, I’m loving this big lap idea so much.

But also, can I just add how super duper excited I am at the moment. It could really come in handy having a solicitor in the family.

Does this count as a legal document now?
Turns out the grand-daughter of the caretaker here in Alstonville show grounds reads our blog! Lovely to meet you, Rebekah and co x
Wearing shorts on their heads has become a bit of a fad in the bus at the moment. I haven’t been able to work out why, which is totally in keeping with every fashion trend since I was 15.
What did I say about arguments on the bus? Tracey captured this moment shortly after the above photo. Miss7 was trying to steal Miss5’s thunder and photobomb the shot. And without so much as a pair of knickers on her head!
Easter preparations have been in full swing the last couple of days. I don’t know where Tracey hides these scissors but now I know they’re on the bus I’m determined to find them and re-hide them somewhere safe and secure. Possibly in a bin. Goddamn I hate little bits of paper. 

Thankfully, sometimes they still wear hats. At least I think this is a hat.
Neighbour in a caravan told us at 11:30 the local bowls club was having an Easter hunt just after midday so we ducked down for a beer to let the kids participate.
The haul would have been greater but Master12 was giving his eggs to some other kids who didn’t find many. They make me so proud sometimes.
One harmless beer.
Or so I thought until I had to go to the loos. I did wonder why there was no urinal when I went in, but didn’t give that another thought until a surprised looking woman held the door open for me on my way out.
So we quickly left there and went to Summerland House Farm before the police arrived for a quick Q & A session. 
This place is pretty fantastic. Another resident here at the Alstonville show grounds has a daughter who’s just started work there and recommended we visit. So glad we did.
Vomiting Man. Interesting choice for a water park.

Lots of giggles.

I said this was ironic. Tracey misheard and agreed it was moronic.
Not sure how I feel about finding an exhibit in a museum of something I grew up with.
Miss10 said she can’t wait until she has kids so she can bring them back to Summerland House Farm so they can play with the ancient telephone. What a little-
Watts Cottage Museum was actually kind of great. Yes, I was surprised by that. They haven’t gone for smelly old stuff, just stories with great displays and the odd poignant piece. Lionel is the man who started the ball rolling with the House With No Steps after he was considered too disabled to enter a rehabilitation clinic.
A poignant reminder about the threat vaccinations fight against. Like I needed it.
Sorry about that, cleaners. She thinks she’s cute.
Add another BIG THING to our list. Headed in to Ballina to check out the local beaches and maybe have a swim.
Maybe not. Recent heavy rains flooded much of upstream and the river and ocean was brown and frothy. Great if you’re a latte, not so good is you’re a tourist destination.
We checked out a few local landmarks instead, like this cute little lighthouse.
Then we got chatting with a couple of locals and they recommended we head out along the ‘north wall’.
Kids made a cairn. As you do.
Well, some of them did.
Miss5 became very attached to her ‘favourite rocks’.
It took some talking but we eventually convinced her the locals might need the wall more than we need the extra weight in the bus.
View from the north wall, where it begins to jut out into the ocean at the river mouth. We were told you can often see dolphins and even whales here when the water in better condition. We’ll have to come back for that.
Decided to pop down and see the foam first hand. The thing you can’t get from these photos is the smell. It wasn’t totally unpleasant though. It was sort of a tea tree smell.
I think they had much more fun than if they’d been able to swim.

Miss10 decided to do an impromptu report on the state of the beach while I was filming the froth, so I put this together for her. 

Dates for photos by Tracey:

Tamworth Region 21st April to 24th April

Sydney Region 25th April to 5th May

Canberra Region 7th May to 19th May

Wagga Wagga 20th May to 23rd May

Bathurst 26th May to 29th May

Sydney Region first week of June

If you’d like to make an enquiry please contact Tracey at traceydev@rocketmail.com

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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3 Comments

  • So wish I realised you guys were in my area sooner, would loved to have had Tracey come do some family photos and blog headshots for me! Loving the travel stories, just quietly you both soooooo deserve a badge for not only living with kids on a bus but travelling with them too, we are yet to get past 2 hours car travel with our 6 year old twins!! haha. Safe travels.,thanks for always making me smile.

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