More Fool Me

“How about we duck down to the RSPCA for some cuddles with kittens?” Tracey asked the kids this week when she had an hour to fill in while I pretended I knew what a brake cylinder was at the bus workshop.

With our being tied down to Gympie for the last couple of weeks we’ve been looking for things to amuse our tribe and stop them biting each other’s heads off.

We’re finally only a couple of days and we’re off again on the next leg of our journey. While we were planning to go north and across Northern Territory to Western Australia about now, we’ve had to tinker with our plan some more because Tracey’s final operations are again on the cards for this year, meaning we want to stay relatively close.

And by relatively, I mean on the east coast.

So come Saturday we’re starting to head south to the Sydney and Canberra areas. You know, because at a forecast of 3 degrees for tomorrow morning in our nation’s capital the weather is so balmy at the moment.

Actually, I’m super excited because I’ve never been to Canberra, so it’ll be another Australian capital city I can cross of my to-do list. Plus, I’ve been wanting to pull Malcolm aside and tell him what he’s doing wrong, since it’s obvious to me no-one else down there is.

Meanwhile, a session with baby animals seemed like a great idea to relieve a bit of stress.

It was not.

“What the hell’s happened?” I asked Tracey. Loudly, so she could hear me. “Were they closed?”

“I wish!” she shouted back. “It didn’t go quite as well as I expected!”

“Didn’t they like playing with kittens?” I asked, surprised.

They didn’t like playing with kittens in much the same way Scrooge McDuck doesn’t like playing with money.

“Mack and I had a connection!” Master12 yelled from the backseat. He wasn’t yelling angrily, it was just the only way he was going to be heard over his three youngest sisters. “I wanted to keep him!”

In fact, despite already having both a cat and a dog, the drama was they all wanted to keep their kittens.

Animals clearly intended to be an issue for us this week, because this was not the only furball incident of note. On the bright side, though, the cat thing was all on Tracey’s shoulders. The dog thing a day later, not so much.

“Did you want to tell the kids or should I?” I said pointedly to Tracey in front of the kids.

“I think you can have the honour,” she said to me, primarily because she had no idea what the hell I was thinking. The reason for this, I’d hazard a guess, was because I hadn’t told here anything about what I was about to say. Which was, in hindsight, probably why I was still about to do it.

“You know how Winter was getting spayed next week?” I said to the kids. All eyes were fixed on me. “Well, we can’t now,” – pause for effect –  ,”because she’s going to have puppies!”

“REALLY?!?” squealed Miss10, followed by delighted exclamations from her siblings and even the joyous clapping of hands from Miss7.

Brilliant, I thought. Ignorantly, it turns out.

“April Fools!” I shouted.

“Good one,” said Tracey, although I’m fairly certain that was sarcasm because the space in front of us was now filled with more screaming, crying and, ultimately, angry children. “What the hell was that?” she wanted to know.

“A joke?” I suggested.

“Aren’t they traditionally supposed to end in laughter?”

Bugger worrying about drama from taking the kids to see the RSPCA kittens, it’s Tracey who’s the real concern – she comes back sooo friggin’ catty.

Thank you to the RSPCA Gympie for letting the kids play with the baby mousers.

Anyone thinking about adopting a cat, this weekend your local RSPCA is letting ‘adult’ cats (that’s over 4 months old) love you forever for only $50. That doesn’t even cover the cost of spaying it! I know because the same operation for our dog Winter just cost us $300+. So that’s the 8th and 9th of April 2017 ONLY. If you’ve been thinking about bringing something purrfect into your home, now might be the time.

You can tell just from this photo alone there were going to be tears.

The kids got to play with ducks as well this week – only no crying or screaming happened so they’re hardly worth mentioning.

More birthdays this week. Miss9 has jumped to double figures. Eeek!
Grandad not quite getting how to take a photo with an iPhone.
Grandad was apparently trying to take credit for making the cake here. Miss10 apparently had doubts.
In other news, Miss13 had an X-ray and a scan and ultimately three physio sessions while we’ve been here and her knee is much much better. Might even be able to leave the crutches behind.
Not that Darren from Mary Valley Physiotherapy won’t be seeing a member of our family regularly while we’re gone, because Master25 took Master11 roller skating…
…and while neither won the disco dancing or red rover, my big boy did manage a bonus ride to hospital with a suspected broken ankle and, to judge by that face, pending addiction to the ‘green whistle’. I really do think it’s time the Devereaux clan stopped using ambulances like some form of taxi service.
Ended up being ligaments. He assures me that’s worse. Meanwhile, this is the closest Master25 has come to a tan in many years. 

Miss7 asking me, out of the blue,  “Dad, were you in the olden days?” I can punish her for that, yeah?
Since we pulled up back in Gympie three weeks ago, we’ve had HiWay1 Gympie replace the cylinders in the front driver’s side brakes, and Poppy and I (hahaha) put some new LCD lights in the front living area of the bus so we can see what we’re tripping on. ‘We’ also fixed a hot water leak under the bus which went a long way to explaining why the pump was always priming itself, and, most importantly, managed to wiggle our old  ‘sweet jeezus this is comfy’ mattress into the bus to replace the ‘I swear I’m sleeping directly on the slats’ foam one. Poppy and I dismantled part of the bed frame in the bus so we could move our proper mattress in where it belongs. This is how bad I am at this shite – I told Poppy we couldn’t move the mattress in this way because that pole between us which holds up the curtains was welded in. Turns out it was only welded to the bit that was bolted in. On the bright side, he did let me use a screwdriver. We’re hoping this is the last of the major tweaking done for our journey. The trailer will be fitted out by Poppy while we’re away for our big trip across the NT to WA – he really is a super handy sort of a bloke to be related to. He’s got a good head on his shoulders as you’ll see in the next shot. 
See! Had local Cooloola Autoglass come and remove the back window so we could move the mattress into place.
It didn’t go in easily, but I was persistent. My side of the foam mattress we’ve been using for the last three months is flatter than a spiked tyre. I think it was faulty. Tracey thinks I’m fat.
I put the pole back all by myself. Pretty sure Tracey asked Poppy to check my work.
It’s been an amazing eye opener for us to learn how little we actually need to get by. We made more trips to the shed to offload boxes of stuff we just can’t see the point in taking with us. Although we did end up putting the ‘egg carton’ foam top back on our already cloud worthy mattress. You can’t be too comfortable, is my new motto.
 Cloudland is about two inches closer to the ceiling now – three or four inches on my side. Having done all this I then spent much of the afternoon alternatively testing it and getting the bus packed up and ready for the next leg of our adventure – we leave Saturday! Sydney and Canberra, here we come!!!

If you’re wanting photos done by Tracey in these areas, or between there and Gympie, then this is your chance. We’re basically letting Tracey’s work dictate our itinerary. Send her a message on [email protected]

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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