We found snow. Sort of. It was cold and white and wet but it was more like ice than snow, but that didn't matter, especially not to Sport Boy who later descibed it as the best day of his life! Imagine if there'd been fresh falls of powdery snow instead of months old and rapidly melting pack ice!! I hired a plastic toboggan from the Merrijig Motor Inn and the boys spent a couple of hours sliding down the hill on it then clambering back up again. They both took a few spills but eventually got the hang of it and could get all the way to the bottom without mishap.
It was good fun and we all had a good day except when a couple of unfriendly ladies had a real go at Fashion Boy for using their toboggan, which had been lying unused on the snow for some time. Sport Boy was soaking wet by the time we left and the legs of my trousers were pretty wet so the dry warm car and a change of clothes were welcome.
We arrived at Shepparton by about 7.30 and managed to find Auntie Merle's place at about the third attempt. She was glad to see us and to meet the kids and we had a lovely couple of days there. She made a fuss of Sport Boy who lapped up the attention but he was polite and well behaved which won him some points. Fashion Boy was just glad to find a computer he could use and managed to sort out the problems associated with buying his ticket to the State of Chaos concert, his birthday present.
On Wednesday we took a drive to Nathalia, the small town about 35km from Shepparton where my Nanny used to live. "Nanny 'falia"(Little kid speak for Nathalia) as we always knew her died 30 years ago but I still have vivid memories of our trips to stay with her during school holidays when we were kids. Auntie Merle and the Gallagher cousins lived next door so our visits were always full of fun and adventures.
I knocked on the door of Nanny's old house and was delighted to be invited in, whereupon I found Norma who has lived there with her husband for over 20 years and knows Merle. She was happy for us to come in and allowed me to show Carolyn and the kids around the house that held so many special memories from my childhood. It had changed a little due to some renovations and alterations, but was still essentially the same house I knew and loved.
(Pictures will follow.)
We visited the cemetery where Nan is buried, the first time I've been to her gravesite. She was a wonderful Nan whom I loved very much and it was both special and sad to go to her grave.
From there we drove on up to Yarrawonga to visit Gary's Mum Jan who retired there with Allan many years ago. Allan died three years ago but Jan has picked herself up and is making the most of her life. her family are often there, as they were when we arrived, Joanne and Colin having come up for the school holidays. Carolyn had never met Jan before but they hit it off and we enjoyed a lovely visit, albeit a brief one as we had to head back to Shepparton where Merle had a yummy roast meal waiting for us for dinner. It got the seal of approval from both boys, quite an achievement!!!