I'm tired as hell. I earned it, though.
New Year's Eve went pretty well. The usual suspects rolled into Chez Flinthart around eventide, and once there were enough kids on the ground, the watergunnery went off in a big way. I got very very damp, saturated a bunch of rug-rats, and then set about the cooking. I had my first gluten-free flour failure (or rather, incomplete success) with vegetarian calzones for Girlie Jones. They tasted okay, but the actual dough came out a bit thick and crumbly. Never mind.
We decided we'd watch Sean Connery lishp his way through Goldfinger to see the New Year in. And of course, Aurora Electricity came to the party - or more accurately, failed to come to the party. We had a big power outage, across a wide chunk of the north-east. Didn't really cause us much concern. We just delayed the start for a while, and sucked back a few more beers. It was a warm day, after all, so a bit of extra time for the shed to cool down was a good thing.
Girlie Jones didn't much like the ladder to the shed, mind you, so she repaired to her lair to catch up on Internetty stuff. She emerged late in the piece with a request for yours truly to massacre a couple of bodacious huntsman spiders that were eyeing her in a manner that made her uneasy. (I guess I can understand that. There's a lot of eyes involved in that process.)
The power did come back. It also went out again. And came back again. And went out again. We saw Goldfinger in installments, cheering at the appropriate times, and joining in with "No, Mister Bond - I expect you to die!" as one must. It was pretty cool. Bruce hooked his Nerdphone into the 3G Internet, and kept up a stream of interesting trivia regarding the movie, which added a nifty dimension so far as I was concerned, anyhow. Nice one!
Next day, there were a few sad and sorry victims lying around the place, so I rustled up a picking posse and we grabbed ourselves a load of blackberries for the traditional New Year's Day Flinthart Breakfast -- thick, fluffy pancakes, whipped cream, maple syrup and plenty of bacon on the side. Took it easy for most of the day thereafter... Tiarne and I teamed up as the Zombies in a game of "Last Night On Earth," successfully clobbering the small-town zombie-hunting team of Bruce and the Elder Son. Elder Son didn't quite realise just how many zombies were closing in on Nurse Becky and Father Joseph, and in one turn both of 'em got torn apart and eaten... thus fulfilling Zombie win conditions.
Happily, the game lasted long enough for Tiarne's hangover to move out of the red zone... she and Bruce were last seen disappearing over the Sideling at a very sedate rate of travel.
Yesterday, I packed up the kids and Girlie Jones, and we took off for Hobart to visit Tansy, whom I've not seen for an aeon. We stopped at Launceston for a new tyre and a few bits and pieces, then made the run through to Hobart with no more than a stop at Campbelltown for sandwiches.
It was a near-run thing. As we eased into Hobart, the kids began to show signs of boredom. Worst of all, Younger Son got the bug. And he started in on one of his surreal explorations -- what if the wooden horse of Troy had been a rocking horse?
First we decided that the Greek soldiers inside would probably have spent all night vomiting. But then, Younger Son just got more carried away. By the time we reached Tansy's place, Girlie Jones and I were literally begging him to stop telling us about the Giant Spiked Killer Rocking Horse of Troy. The kid is a LUNATIC!
It was great to catch up with Tansy et al again, though. I finally got to meet the new daughter - four months old, and cute as the proverbial button. And the Mau-Mau got together with Tansi's elder daughter, and the pair of them played for literally hours. The Mau-Mau even wound up sleeping on the floor of the daughter's room, sharing bedtime stories, and giggling and keeping each other awake as a succession of (increasingly inebriate) adults wandered in and told 'em to keep it down.
The boys mostly watched Justice League cartoons -- a huge treat for them. And better still, Younger Son discovered the plum tree.
Turns out Tansy & Co don't much like the little red plums on their tree, so they were being left to the birds. Younger Son thought that was a waste, and so for about three hours, he trooped in and out of the house, bringing in four or five plums at a time, spitting the pips into the bin in the kitchen.
After the first couple of hours, the 'adult' crew (we were working our way through champagne, Sea Breezes, and eventually Limoncello) noticed the number of plums going into the kid. In fact, it became quite scary. Honestly? I have no idea how many he ate, but it had to be up around the three dozen mark by the end... hence the title of this post.
We repaired to our bedding, somewhat the worse for wear, well after midnight. I had a hell of a good time drinking and yarning with the others, and the kids enjoyed themselves too. Even Natalie had a nice day -- home in a clean, tidy house, entirely alone for the better part of 24 whole, quiet hours.
We're back now, though, having said a slightly said goodbye to Girlie Jones, who is on her way back to Perth. The Mau-Mau and Tansy's daughter bonded very nicely too... we'll have to find ways to let them get together again.
Meantime, after the long, tiring drive home, all I want to do is rest for a day or two... and wait for the terrifying buttsplosion that would seem the inevitable consequence of Younger Son's plumgluttony. Did I mention that he favours the firm, somewhat sour, slightly unripe plums? Or that he brought home about two kilos of the damned things in a cardboard box... after eating his way through another dozen this morning?
This just can't end well.