Oldies at Large – Camping in the Backyard

CampfireFor those new guys to the subscription list … welcome .. luv ya’s. If you read back you will discover that we are prepping for our escape as Grey Nomads in 4 short weeks . In the meantime however Christmas is just 2½ short weeks away and the family is preparing to descend. It is our Baby Boy’s turn to host Christmas and as he happens to live in the Granny Flat now as we have moved into the Grampie Flat (caravan) in prep for our tour about Aus. the family begins to descend on our place tomorrow and preparations are fully in force.

As long-term prep’ for our ‘days of leisure’ on the road we built the Granny Flat many years ago although at the time is was to house my Dad and Mum though Dad is no longer with us and Mum wanted to live in New South Wales where the youngest of my siblings lives… long story. However we have been very happily living there for the last few years. It’s neat, modern, compact and easy to clean with all the modern cons.

In the meantime the main house has become something of a boarders house where we have a great little mob of 20’s to 30’s boarders comfortably settled, each into their own area and their board pays the maintenance and utilities bills. It is the way we have designed our lives even if our friends and family think we have taken leave of our senses… it works for us.

But Christmas is just around the bend and our kids… all four of them and their offspring (20 in tot.) are about to descend on what will be one of our biggest Chrissy celebrations for some time. I am soooo very much looking forward to it but you wouldn’t believe what has become of our yard.

Firstly … there is the Baby Boy and the new Outlaw, who btw is a delight. In his newfound independence he has been busily turning the Granny Flat into a bachelor pad beyond the wildest imaginings. First was the pool table, a dream of his which in turn acquired a ping pong cover, nifty little beast that it is. This now resides in our ‘outdoor living area’ a great and practical area you will find in many Aussie households. This of course was originally the carport attached to the garage in pre-granny flat days. Now it is the local pool hall.

Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 6.23.13 pmIf this was not enough, the Baby Boy bought himself a 5 people spa off Gumtree no less. Now for those from the northern hemisphere, Gumtree is where the Aussies go to shop… it is sort of like Ebay only with much less constraint, less Paypal, more cash-in-hand and less hassles. It is used by many Aussies as an Aussie version of pay and trade and it’s a friendly place in general. Well it was certainly friendly for the Baby Boy this week and he found a spa for a pittance and is currently busily getting the thing together so he can show it off to his siblings over Chrissy.

I gotta admit, even I am looking forward to that spa!

The Outlaw had something to say about it all… ie the bachelor flat makeover. I could see her point… a bachelor he was not supposed to be and he is getting a little long-in-the-tooth for that term. It seems relationships are fast paced these days and it is just as well… growing up, or rather young adult to mature adult seems to now be a long drawn out business. Lets face it… it takes a long time to become an adult these days. In my day when you hit 18 you were considered a young adult and by 24yrs you were an old hand at it and carrying the delightful burden of often bulging family commitments and a hefty mortgage. Not so these days… either life has slowed down on the road to maturity and those extra years the Government is telling us we are enjoying in retirement at the public purses expense, have been tacked on in life’s experience and educ’ terms, somewhere between 20-30yrs of age.

As a compromise the Baby Boy now calls the granny flat his ‘man cave’ mainly disowning the title of bachelor for the Outlaw’s sake. It is all rather a strange business to older eyes.

In the meantime, the Child Bride, our youngest and only daughter has her bags packed and ready on the other side of the continent and will be flying in to join us with two of our treasured Grandie vegemiters. She will be the first of our arrivals and all is ready for the two terrors and their mum. Fishing is planned and we have seconded the Baby Boys boat for a couple of excursions on the high seas. The rods are at the ready and the bait is just waiting to be pumped. Grampie has organized bats and balls, nets and dogs for amusement and all manner of other things while my dept. is food.

Chrissy 2013If all this is not enough change for the home and house we have known and loved for forty years… there is the lawn. We have of course moved into the Grampie Flat, otherwise known as the caravan, to prepare for impending travels when we take off in a few short weeks and it has all been a great success in moving early into our future home for the next few years. We have discovered any number of modifications and needs, which we can attend to at our leisure while we practice living in the smaller space. Practice may not make perfect straight away… but it surely helps.

Then there is the camper trailer, designed for a large family it has served us all well when it came to en-mass holidays but as Son No.1 gets the most use out of this mobile family tent he will now be taking it back north with him, this rather than letting it sit at home languishing. This is currently ready to be set up in the back yard in preparation for the arrival of the granddaughters who are expected within a week or so and then it will be used to house the largest of the families.

Three of the my babies, babies are gathering ahead of the parents even though they are of near and in the tender teens; this mostly because they are painful to travel with in a car over an extended trip of some 2000klm. The solution is to fly them and drive them in ahead to spend some special ‘Grandparent time’ as well as ‘cousin time’ and I am already thinking of what to do with the early arrivals amongst my little treasures… Let the fun begin, in the absence of their parents.

In short, the place is becoming a ‘touring park’ and I couldn’t be happier.

Christmas is such a delightful family time and when the family truly all gathers there is a special magic in the air that is just not there on those shy Chrissies where not everyone can be together.

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.23.11 amThe Gods have conspired this Christmas to bless us with a full gathering and even the new concept chrissy tree is looking particularly special, it’s the budding mulberry tree in the back yard which has been draped in solar twinkles and is currently awaiting those final special touches from the Grandies who will be hanging the baubles and trims. You can read about the solution to my tree dilemma in a past post ‘Claiming an Aussie Christmas’.

Christmas is near… and may it be a special one for you too, as it is going to be for us. Merry Chrissy everyone and enjoy the warm up. Life can be such a special adventure if you but let it all happen… and give it a kick or two.

Check out other postings from ‘Oldies at Large’.

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2 thoughts on “Oldies at Large – Camping in the Backyard

  1. Pingback: Oldies at Large – Intermission | Jan Hawkins Author

  2. Pingback: Oldies at Large – Out on the Tar at Last | Jan Hawkins Author

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