Friday, January 27, 2012

Plotting and Scheming

I totally fell in love with Esperance. Just quietly, I think it reminded me a little bit of Tasmania. The natural rugged beauty with its glorious white sandy beaches and a delightful little seaside town to boot made it a perfect destination in my book. 

We spent hours on the foreshore playing on the beach, fishing on the jetty and watching the resident sea lion "Sammy" do his thing. We watched him laze about, open and close his eyes, sneeze, point his nose in the air and reject fish from the fishermen. I almost had to help him roll from one side to the other as it painfully reminded me of when I was heavily pregnant with the twins and couldn't do the same without assistance.

Anyway, when we weren't enjoying these lovely little moments we spent some time dealing with some 'house-keeping' issues in readiness for the new chapter - our return to Tasmania next month.

This Big Adventure has been a journey on so many levels. The Pianoman has been calling it a 're-alignment', I've been calling it a 'circuit breaker', some may call it a mini mid-life crisis and Blue Eyes has been telling strangers we're travelling around the world, god bless him! Whatever it is, it has been wonderful and we have spent many many hours plotting and scheming.

As you do when you are spending every waking moment with someone on the road, we have been trying to plot a bit of a sketch of what we want to achieve in terms of family, careers and life in general life. And we have been coming up with all manner of schemes of how to get there. There are the bigger picture things like what we want to do with the Farmlet when we get back and to that end we have been tossing up all sorts of ideas from Orchards, Crops, Breeding stock, Lavender or Saffron Farms. Or maybe we'll enjoy being hobby farmers with a mixture of all of the above. It is a long long long term plan and we will do it ever so slowly. I hope you are in for the long haul with me! Frankly, if I reinstate a few chooks, start a vegie patch and don't lose the kids in the bush during the first few months then I think I'll be doing well. 

On the more immediate term we need to think about jobs. We actually left Sydney to embark on The Big Adventure without a job to go to at the other end. One of our bolder moves I must say! I know people do this all the time, but it was a big step for us and quite ironic given the Pianoman was awarded the Young Australian of the Year Award for Career Achievement in his home state some years back. His career has been a big part of his life so to chuck in the big Sydney job was a big thing I guess. However, our reasons for doing so are obviously worth it it in the end. And lo and behold, the world didn't end and things have worked out OK. I don't want to sound flippant or to trivialise the stress of not having a job. On the contrary, it is one of the most stressful things to happen, particularly when you have 4 young children and a mortgage to pay. I don't know, we took a calculated risk and figured something would come about in the 3 months that we were away.

So in the 2 and a half weeks we had to plan this trip, the Pianoman set about putting a few "irons in the fire" and somewhere along the coast of WA one of them came off, which happened to be just great for him. Lucky for us it was a job in Tasmania where our worldly possessions had already been sent and were being stored (there was actually a Plan C based in Darwin at the time we left Sydney). But to cut a long story short, the Pianoman needs to be back in Hobart on 1 February. There was no way we would have comfortably made it to Hobart with the caravan from where we were at the time, so it was decided the Pianoman would see us through the Nullarbor Plain (you know, in case there was a Damsel in distress scenario) and then he would fly from Adelaide to Hobart and I would continue on The Big Adventure as planned with the kids for the last little bit.

As you can imagine there has been a re-jigging of arrangements. We finally got the caravan on the Ferry across to Tasmania (we have actually been wait-listed for 2 months) and are now trying to get the Whippet on the flight with the Pianoman, both to ease my load and a 2 hour flight for the Whippet is so much more palatable to him than an overnight trip on the Ferry. The lease on our house comes to an end just in time for the Pianoman to move straight in. This means everything will be arriving in my absence. This also means I'm now drawing up sketches of where every item in our house needs to go as the Pianoman does not care for such details and I'm a bit of a control freak!

So there you have it. Our days together are now numbered which makes us want to soak up the days even more, not that I think that is possible as I think we've really made the most of the trip.

Here are some shots from the gorgeous Cape Le Grande near Esperance.

We patted the Kangaroos at Lucky Bay.

Blue Eyes added "Kangaroo Impersonator" to his repertoire of tricks.

Matthew Flinders named this bay Lucky Bay in 1802 during his circumnavigation of Australia. It may have been a safe anchorage then but it was blowing the clappers on this day. 

This is Whistling Rock at Thistle Bay - it really does whistle!

Lucky Bay was a tad windy but Thistle Bay was nice and sheltered so we picnicked here instead.

I came back from the car with food and everyone's swimmers and towels to find this -  I was too late again!

Exhibitionists, the lot of them!

We left Esperance to do the infamous Nullarbor Plain - so far so good. Will update hopefully tomorrow when we have finished :-). Goodnight!


  1. Very exciting! My God my hat goes off to you travelling alone with four kids! Eek! My worst nightmare. I hope all goes smoothly and you make it onto the ferry without incident! X

    1. Yep you and me both! I have reinforcements in Melbourne to help get me onto the Ferry if needed. Will keep you posted :-)

  2. Exciting times ahead.
    I love your meticulous approach to letting Hubby forge the way - and place furniture.
    Wishing you smooth travels - particularly as the lady of the van.

    1. Cheers Shar, not the end of the world to have underwear in the cutlery drawer but I don't want to have to move the bulkier items :-)

  3. Your very own adventure, leading the troops home to victory - what an amazing adventure you've had. Look forward to hearing about the next chapter.

  4. I wish you the best of luck with the 4 kids on your own. I am not a parent yet buI can see how it would be challanging.

  5. heavens much going are so brave...there will be heaps of grey nomads around to help you 'back into sites' etc...go girl!!

    1. Yep it's not so much the kids as the caravan as you'd remember. I love the Grey Nomads, they've been awesome company and so helpful. I may cheat and request some drive through sites too :-)

  6. Well as rushed as it may be for this last bit of your trip, it must be a relief that Mr Pianoman has a job in Tasmania.
    I can't wait to see your little farmlet and what you plan for it. It's exciting the planning.
    Best of luck with the rest of the trip- you'll be fine I'm sure.

  7. Wow esperance is gorgeous! You have had such an incredible trip, you've given your children such memories to cherish.

  8. Oh wow Mel, you are a brave woman, a caravan and four kids on your own and letting the piano man set up house!!!
    Congrats though on the job for pianoman! That must feel like a weight has lifted.
    Safe travels!

  9. Wow beautiful pictures . I love that the children can touch animals in the wild. awsome adventure. you are very brave. Safe trip

  10. So pleased things are working out for you and the Pianoman Mel. All is pretty much as it was here. Perhaps we should risk a Big Adventure too, who knows what might turn up!

    The whippets say tell Remy they are in total agreement re. air versus sea travel (not that they've ever tried air travel but they sure know they don't like boats) ;D

  11. Esperance and Lucky Bay , Cape Le Grand was my favourite spot in WA .Hope you survived the Nullabor . It doesn't seem like it was only 2.5 months that we were there and crossing the Nullabor.

  12. Oh Mel, just catching up with your news, Gorgeous. Goodness - that means Mr Pianoman is in my fair city right now! And by the sounds of it, you won't be far behind him. I'm getting excited now...J x

  13. He is Jane, and unpacking the house while I still have 2 weeks to go. I do feel just a teeny bit guilty :-)

  14. Wow. You are amazing. This trip is amazing. I can't wait to read the whole lot. I've been a really crummy blog reader, but am now finding a few that I must read. Yours is a MUST.

    How gorgeous is that last pic?? Amazing. Your kids are so beautiful.