Words Fail Us

To keep them amused on long car trips Tracey came up with a heap of activities for the kids, including what I suspect might worryingly become their number one go-to time killer on our big lap.

“I’ll say an animal,” Tracey explained to the kids, “and you have to come up with a new animal using the last letter as the first. So I say Koala and your Dad says…”

“Anteater,” I chipped in.

They quickly got the idea. Rabbit. Tarantula. Ape. Elephant. Tiger. Reindeer. But, of course, by quickly I don’t mean anything close to a rapid fire calling out of animals. Sometimes it was painful listening to the cogs turn.

“I can’t think of anything else,” said Master12. “It’s so hard.”

“Come on,” I prompted. “The name of an animal starting with R.”


“Sure,” I said. “And your sister’s next go is going to be a frog named Herbert.”

“Raccoon then,” he said, although I suspected Miss13 had whispered to him.

The game was going well and there were giggles and we were distracted from the tedium of sitting on a highway with nothing much to look at out the window.

Which was when it went to another unexpected, uncalled-for level.

“And animal starting with A,” we called out to Miss5.

“Ant,” she said.

“We’ve already had that one,” Tracey told her.

She tried a couple of others which had similarly been trotted out – ape & angelfish – but we had to shake our heads at those too.

“I don’t know,” we could hear her mumble.

And then it happened.

Now, I want to express categorically our youngest child did not get this from me. I don’t use this word. Not because I’m too honey-lipped to say this sort of thing, rather more because the opportunity just doesn’t present itself very often in conversations.

“What did she just say?” Tracey whispered to me a few moments later.

Then the car erupted.

“She said anus!” yelled Master12 happily.

Not saying she deliberately said it. Chances are she started out saying ants and was trying to come up with another sound to pop on the end in the hope it got approved.

It so did.

“Let’s do body parts!” suggested Miss13 with what sounded like malicious glee.

“I don’t think tha-” started Tracey.

“Snot!” yelled Miss7, hitting on her favourite pet hate.

“Tits!” screamed Miss10 because…well….Miss10.

Suddenly there seemed to be no difficulty coming up with new suggestions, including one from Tracey we change the game to things about a house.

“Skin!” yelled Master12.

“Boring,” mocked Miss13. “Noodle!”

“Eyebrows,” I said quickly, hoping to score some brownie points with my wife – especially as I’m pretty sure she wasn’t going to believe me about not having taught Miss5 the word anus.

And all too soon it was their mother’s turn.

The car seemed to hold it’s collective breath.

“Shin,” said Tracey, sensibly.

The game was still afoot, pun intended.

“Your go,” Miss13 told Miss5. “Something on your body starting with N.”

“What starts with an N?” she asked.

I was about to suggest nose but I never got the chance.

“Nipples!” Tracey shouted.

And by the time the car finished guffawing and laughing we’d arrived at our destination in possibly the best spirits ever.

Meanwhile, like James Comey, I have to keep a written record of how this game came about because inevitably Tracey’s going to try blame me for starting this.

Sydney is full of exciting free rides for the kids if you know where to look

If I’m honest, the Sydney Harbour Bridge looks great but didn’t really float my boat until we got under it. I mean, it’s beautiful in photos but driving over it isn’t that exciting because you can’t see anything and you’re worried if you look up you’ll take out the car beside you – but once you get out of your vehicle and walk around it, it takes on a real depth of personality.

My Cher moment at the cannons where the old fort stood. If I could turn back time I’d be skinny enough I didn’t have to sneak on to Tracey’s computer to subtly photoshop away the odd lasagne so I’d look half decent. Also, that’s keys in my pocket. I wasn’t that happy.

The loos under the bridge give you the full convict experience.
The old architecture around The Rocks is gorgeous, if mostly a bit neglected. Even the kids loved checking them all out.
Rain was setting in by the time we arrived at the Observatory. Personally, I think it just added to the ambiance.
Loads of exhibits and dryness inside, even if the lack of coffee was disturbing. Star gazing is done primarily at night, isn’t it? Surely caffeine would be considered a workplace health and safety thing.
Turns out we managed to have a much more extensive tour than most visitors. This lovely shot out a window was taken just before we were kicked out of our second room for the day. The staff really need to learn to close the rope barriers behind them.
Tracey found Cave Beach online while she was researching locations for some photo shoots. This was the highlight of our day. And that’s including spending time in both Officeworks and Dan Murphies.

Not only were there large caves, there were ‘tunnels’ between beaches and caverns. Some required a strict and lengthy diet to navigate, but there were others which even I had no trouble getting through.

This rocky platform was popular with lots of us tourists. Had to jump a few puddles to get out to it, but once there the kids said the view of the green stuff on the rocks was spectacular.
Jumping rock.

Miss10 came up with the idea to advertise by writing ‘Big Family Little Income .com was here’ in the sand. Given this bloke walked through it before I even got a photo I don’t know if it’s going to work. If you’re here because of this though, let me know. If this works I might start hitting the beaches up the coast with a writing stick.
Miss10 was suddenly striking what she thinks are modelling poses all over the place. So nice to capture our own kids with Tracey’s work camera.

Cave Beach is genuinely beautiful. So glad we checked it out.
Selfie today with this lovely bunch. At least I’m in focus.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

We’re coming into the Central Coast NSW region in a few days (parking up at Umina Beach) and staying a week or so. If you’ve ever considered the idea of professional family photos this is your chance to grab them at a family friendly price. Send Tracey an enquiry at [email protected] (or message her on 0407821071). 

Even betterer, because we know what it’s like making ends meet as a family, and because we’re travelling and can’t give a month or two notice when we’re coming to a spot near you, Tracey is more than happy to work out terms which fits in with your family’s budget (we don’t mind if it takes months to pay off). The most important thing is to capture the moment now and get those shots in the can while the little munchkins are still cute 😉 

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