This Doesn’t Add Up

“Give me a maths sum and I’ll tell you the answer, Dad,” Miss9 suggested.

We were keeping ourselves amused while driving the bus from Bargara to Kenilworth for the next leg of our journey. Because we still haven’t picked up our trailer (hopefully any day now) I had three kids with me while Tracey was driving ahead of us in our car with the other two. So far, to keep us amused, we’d swapped knock-knock jokes, talked turtles and discussed, in non-flattering terminology, the driver who’d overtaken us on double lines, and Miss9 had played all the Ariana Grande songs on my iPhone ad nauseam until I begged her to stop.

Because the bus doesn’t have a rear vision mirror, and because whenever I turn to look at someone the bus tends to wander out of the lane, I can’t really see the kids behind me, but that doesn’t stop us having a chat and a laugh.

Or from doing maths.

“What is 6 times 8?” I asked.

“48,” said Miss9 after a moments pause.

“What’s 14 times 8?”


Is it? Took me a bit to work that out. Let’s blame how focused I was on the road conditions.

“160 plus 42 minus 17,” I tried next, hoping it’d keep her occupied for a few minutes. No such luck.


Mentally, I made a pact with myself to only ask questions I could easily work out the answer for, then instantly changed my mind because:

“Give me a hard one, Daddy.”

“4 times 23 divided by 3,” I challenged her.

There was a definite protracted pause this time, but nothing like the respite I expected.

“30 point 7?’ she said doubtfully. Not because she thought her answer was wrong though. Rather, “I rounded up, Daddy. Is that okay?”

Is that okay?

We’ve only been homeschooling for a week and already I’ve discovered we have a maths protege. I couldn’t wait to tell Tracey at the next pee stop.

“You’re an idiot,” my wife told me, leading me to suspect she had doubts as to the reliability of my claim.

“I’m telling you,” I repeated, “she’s brilliant at maths. Brilliant. I was giving her shit I didn’t even know the answer to and she was getting it right.”

“How do you know?”

Damn that was a good point. Because she sounded confident? I decided to move on to what I saw as the best bit.

“You know what this means?” I asked. It was a rhetorical question. I didn’t expect Tracey to answer me and her face confirmed I was spot on . “She can teach the others maths!”

Homeschooling win, right there.

“You’re serious, aren’t you,” Tracey said. Also rhetorical. She called out to our daughter to join us.

“Yes, Mummy?” said Miss9.

“Hey, sweetie,” said Tracey. “Can you please tell your Dad what your favourite phone app is at the moment.”

“He knows, Mummy. We played it on the bus,” she grinned. “The calculator! It’s super fun.”

As Tracey directed me into our spot in the bottom corner of the park, she could hear people talking in the caravans we passed. Multiple conversations along the lines of: “It’s a bus.” “A bus??” “Yeah, a bus.” Only $18 a night, including power.
Keeping it simple for the two nights we’re here. No gazebos, just a table and some chairs. The weather is beautiful and the spot is well shaded from the afternoon sun by some fantastic old trees.
Miss13 cooking dinner. I could get used to this.

Meals on the bus tonight. Turns out the nice trees which block the sun also attract a LOT of birds. Lorikeets. It wasn’t the noise which stopped us going outside, it was the risk of being shat on. Ah well, I’m learning.
Captains log, 15th Feb 2017. The kids’ journals are starting to fill up.
This is why we’re here in Kenilworth – so the kids can learn about cheese. We looked in the viewing platform window (sadly, that part wasn’t very good) and read the labels while we tasted stuff to chose some for a snack tonight.
I’d been warned about this stuff by a couple of people on our blog’s Facebook page. You were all right – it’s delicious. Apparently. Two tubs and I haven’t tried it yet.
We ended up with Vintage (for me and Trace) and Swiss (for the kids). Plus nearly two kilo of honey yoghurt. Plus a tub of chocolate mouse which barely made it across the street to the park so Tracey had to go back in the afternoon for another one.

…no idea…

The Kenilworth park is legendary locally for it’s range of swings and activities. I used to bring Master25 and Miss22 here when they were munchkins. Totally different now, but still amazing.

Bought a couple of loaves from the local baker. Local told us today he thought most the shops in town wouldn’t survive without the RV people staying at the show grounds. There were forty vans parked here today, most with more than one person. I guess that’s a lot of bums in cafes or at the bowling club throughout the day.
I should have this installed at home. $18 doesn’t include showers, but four minutes was enough for me and we bathed the kids in the pool which is right next door. 

All public pools should have slides. New rule.

Miss9 and I went window shopping after we put three loads of washing on in the laundromat. We still think not installing a washing machine on the bus was the right choice – a 4kg machine would have meant we were constantly doing loads and never leaving the bus. I bought a bottle opener from the op shop for 50c, then realised I didn’t have any beer left on the bus. First world problems.
These cushions resonated with me. Had to remind myself there’s no room in the bus.
Miss5 is learning to get around in the bus. Sort of wish she wouldn’t. While we push past each other in the aisle she skims along the tops of seats and over tables.
Miss5 also decided to ‘help’ us tonight by doing the dishes we’d already done with a dirty cloth. Still, we need to encourage this sort of behaviour so, “Thank you, sweetie.”

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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