Time To Wake Up To Myself

Tracey took kids to the loo this morning because I wasn’t in the mood. I was foul because I’d been woken up by chattering and giggling from their beds.

If I’d been in a better frame of mind I’d have been fascinated by their conversation.

Miss11, it seemed, had had herself a cracker of a night because she woke up when Tracey and I slipped into bed.

“So I had TWO dreams,” she was explaining excitedly.

“That’s not fair!” said Miss8 from the bunk across the aisle. “Why should you have two?!”

At this point I remembered the dream which had shocked me awake in the early hours of the morning. Miss6 had drunk something which turned her into a huge, red skinned Hulk and we were trying to keep her calm because if she got angry she’d fully transform into the Hulk proper and not be able to turn back into the raging, mindless, destructive little possum we know and love.

Tracey had shaken me awake because I’d let out a sound like I’d been punched in the gut and she’d naturally assumed it was a death rattle. In my dream Miss6 had jumped on my stomach.

After that it had taken me a little while to get back to sleep, so I’d woken up a bit shagged this morning.

“Keep it down, guys,” I mumbled through my sleep apnea mask.

“It’s not my fault,” Miss11 explained to her sister. “I just got lucky.”

I vaguely remembered they can’t always hear me when my mask is on, so I tried again.

“Have a bit of respect,” I said, raising my voice to a near shout, “for people still sleeping.”

“That’s right,” I heard Master13 say. Thank goodness someone was listening, I thought incorrectly. “You can’t control how many dreams you have.”

“And no-one wants to wake up when Mum and Dad go to bed,” added Miss11. “You know, just in case.”

“In case what?” asked Miss8.

“In case they’re-”

“ENOUGH!” I screamed, tearing off my mask. “QUIET! GO TO THE FRONT OF THE BUS, YOU RUDE LITTLE-!!!”

“-canoodling,” Miss11 finished like she didn’t hear me.

“EWWWW!!!!” they chorused.

“They promised they don’t do anything in the bus,” Miss14 assured her siblings.

“They shouldn’t do it at all,” said Miss8. “Gross.”

And they all laughed heartily and then Miss6 began to excitedly explain the dream she’d had last night.

From here things deteriorated until I was bellowing and pulling handfuls of Miss11’s hair – and STILL they wouldn’t stop chirping on about their dreams.

Don’t judge me.

Also, don’t call child safety just yet.

Even as I was yanking heads about the conversation went on as normal. No one was listening or paying me the slightest attention.

Except my darling wife who was lying beside me.

“Bruce…Bruce…,” whispered Tracey as she prodded my shoulder. “Wake up. You alright? You’re groaning again. Bruce!”

Seems the reason my kids hadn’t listened while they were talking in their beds about their dreams was because all the ‘action’ had been going on inside my dreary dull skull.

Tracey suggested she take kids to the loo so I could calm down. Also, that I shouldn’t eat leftover sausages before bed.

On a more pleasing note, I saw Miss6 was back to a healthy shade of pink so the threat of her turning into the Hulk must have passed.

The above snippet took place on the property of Tostaree Cottages, about 25mins north of Lakes Entrance. $10/night/adult to camp there, with another $10/night if you need power. You probably don’t, you know. 

Owners Greg and Vicki have raised five kids of their own so kids stay free. They’re our people.

We went for two days and stayed for four. We would have stayed longer but we needed to be somewhere for work. Kids made us promise we could go back next time we’re down this way. 

I’ll add, they have basic little cottages for $100 a night. We met a couple of nice families staying in them including a new favourite couple of ours from England & Germany who worked for Red Cross and the UN. Some amazing stories by the fire with those two.

This is a working farm. They have cattle, and they’re a ram stud. The camping side of things was sort of an accident. They had some people staying for an event using their shed (they hire it out for weddings and things) and a bloke said he’d set them up on Wikicamps. They didn’t know what that was but suddenly people started showing up with motorhomes and tents.

There were heaps of the cutest little lambs being born in the paddock beside us. We didn’t manage to see an actual birth even though one happened fifty meters behind us while we were chatting. Next time.

Pretty sure this face is how vegetarians are made.

Dam is way down from lack of rain. Greg kept saying he wished we could see the place at its best. If this was what drab looks like I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be.

Another highlight of our stay – Greg took us on a tour of the property on his farm buggy.

This bridge is closed but was originally made from lumber from another bridge which was replaced. I like tales of recycling. Also, you see the path below it? That’s a cycling trail which follows the old train line. The bit we saw looked really nice and I’m keen to come back and do a stretch with the kids. 

Tour of the farm on a buggy – no charge. Not just sexy looking families like us either. For anyone who stays and is interested.

Wombat burrows pit the hills

Hospital Creek. Story is a drover was left here for three months after he broke his leg, then caught up with the others once he could ride again. I wanted to know what he ate. Wombat stew? That’d be a bit tough. Also those stumps are the old highway bridge.

This is Vegemite.

“Can I have a volunteer from the audience…?” Greg explained how it’s done when he shearers come through.

The best bit after a hard day watching a farmer work – beers by the fire.

About four hours from Melbourne and only a little more from Canberra. If you’re looking for a cheap, fun camping holiday or weekend with the most obliging of country folk, you can’t go past this place. Showers and loos are in the shed, along with the table tennis, pool table, darts, bar, fireplace, fuzzball table and disco ball.

Yes, an actual disco ball. See? This place has everything.

A quick vid thrown together to give a little hint of the farm tour adventure buggy ride we went on with Greg. It was a hoot.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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