Thursday, 3 February 2011

Catching up: Australia Day 2010 on Planet Baby

Ah, sweet Planetarians, I’m back after another unscheduled break in transmission. How I’ve missed you! Thanks so much for all your heartfelt comments of concern about Graeme. His funeral in Hobart on Monday was attended by hundreds of people, many of whom had flown in from all over Australia, just to have the privilege of being there. His elder daughter gave a moving and insightful eulogy and all up, it was a fitting tribute to a gorgeous man. I finally had *those conversations* with my godmother and her daughter, my dear friend, which was comforting for all of us. So life now goes on. Mother Nature continues to wreak havoc in north Queensland in the form of Cyclone Yasi but so far, lives have been spared. I think it’s time Mother Nature took a Bex and a good lie down!
Joshie sporting his tattoo proudly
Now I have time to share with you how we spent Australia Day 2010 on Planet Baby – better late than never! For the non-Australian Planetarians among you, Australia Day is our national day. It is held annually on 26 January and commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet of British soldiers, convicts and settlers in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 to commence the colonisation of Australia. Of course, the Aboriginals who witnessed their arrival with great surprise had an entirely different take on the concept! But that’s a tale for another day. Australia Day is celebrated by a national holiday which is often spent relaxing with family and friends over a barbecue. Which is exactly what we did on Planet Baby this year.

We loaded up the trusty chariot and headed off on our longest drive since returning to Tasmania in September 2009. Bushy Park was only 40 km away – my, how our radius of movement has shrunken since we arrived on Planet Baby! Mind you, there was still a lot of “Are we there yet?” chorusing from the back seat for most of the journey☺! We found our favourite spot near a creek which is a small tributary at the start of the River Derwent. Mr PB and the older pixies found some kindling and then we showed them how to light a fire. Then both sets of grandparents arrived to share in the festivities. I’ll let the photos tell the tale.
Here are the two grandfathers cooking the sausages, using Dad’s 40 year old wire mesh tray. That’s my father-in-law on the left and my Dad on the right, stoking the fire. The blackened tin can is the billy can I made as a Girl Guide back in about 1983. It always appears at family barbecues for tea boiling.

Here’s a close-up.  It’s all pretty basic but does the trick, every time. 
Here’s Joshie, proudly displaying his toasted (er, *slightly* burnt) marshmallow.
Then he had a go at cooking damper which we rolled into a long sausage and then twirled around some green sticks. We cooked them over the fire until they turned a toasty golden brown, slid them off the sticks and then poured honey inside. Mmm!
India enjoyed the wide open space for running around. Here’s our gorgeous girl.
Sam, meanwhile, enjoyed chasing Sophie the giant poodle around. Here he is in a rare moment of stillness.
Here they are, eating their sandwiches. At a barbecue. Go figure!
And here’s my pièce de résistance – my pavlova with raspberries hand-picked by the older pixies. This is one view taken just as we left home. Yep, that’s my hand holding  it.
And here’s the table shot before we all dived in! Just scrumptious. My fail-proof recipe is here if you think this looks enticing.
And then we attempted a photo of the five of us. Again. We *nearly* nailed it.
But then it ended in tears. Again. Keeping it real here, lovely Planetarians!
The pixies loved the open space, collecting water from the creek for the billy tea and then making trips back and forth from the creek to fill up the billy can with water so we could douse the fire completely. I hardly sat down at all as I was constantly chasing Sam away from the fire, the creek and the thistles. The older pixies played cricket with Mr PB while the grandparents relaxed in their armchairs and enjoyed their wine. All up, it was a brilliant afternoon and one we know the grandparents cherished just as much as the pixies. I hope you enjoyed this little outing with us. And do let us know if you try the pavlova recipe! 


  1. Snap, our pav's do look very similar! Looks like you guys had a great day. Aren't the pixies growing up fast. Love to you. xo

  2. So lovely to read about your Australia Day Jane and to see so many happy faces. What a wonderful thing it must be to have your extended family so close to share these special experiences which will make for wonderful memories forever.
    I love the family photos on the rug, what a gorgeous bunch of snuggle-bugs!

    Your pavlova recipe is bookmarked, although it might have to have passionfruit vs the sumptuous berries as they are more in season in my pocket of the world.

    Biggest of hugs,

    Felicity x

  3. Yum! It's been a long time since I've had a pav. I think I will give your recipe a try soon :) We made lamingtons here!
    I love your candid family photos, they're always the best.
    Rhi x

  4. Dearest girl, I've been 'offline' for a while and have only just caught up with all your news, and I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Graeme. Hugs to you Jane...

    I love this story of your Australia Day - it's not really a day we celebrate much - but it looks like you do it in style on PB.

    Let's catch up soon...

  5. I'm in agreement that Mother Nature should go take a rest, especially when it comes to poor QLD.
    Love seeing how you spent Australia Day. And that pav? Yummo!!! Looks like perfection!

  6. Your family is adorable. Loved the last shot of your youngest crying, and truly enjoyed your adventure. I'm terrible with the metric system, but the longest we've been on a car ride with our children is three and half hours. We are the only people in America that has not broken down and gotten a DVD for the car. Our trips are brutal.

  7. You looked like you celebrated Australia Day like a great aussies:) Looks like a great fun.xo

  8. Men fiddling with fire, not a female in sight, brilliant photo!! I was thinking, either Sam is tiny or that is one big poodle!! Seriously, you've only driven 40km or less since you moved there, you'll die to know i drive twice a day to schools 25km away, aha, 100km a day here in Canberra. Far cry from walking them 4km a day back & forth in Darwin, oh how life changes when you move!! Love Posie

  9. What an awesome day! That tattoo is lovely! Have a wonderful day, Kellie xx

  10. Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate Australia Day... I just loved the photo of Sam with the giant poodle... hilarious! Lovely to see you and your family looking so happy.

    Have a brilliant weekend Jane.

    Ang x

  11. Jane, it looks like you had an amazing day. And I'm with Josh, marshmallows need to be almost black because it makes them all the more melted in the middle :)

  12. What a special day and what gorgeous photos!

  13. Great photos. We love doing that sort of thing. We go out to a friends bush block and cook all sorts of things. I must try the damper on a stick next time. The kids would love it.

  14. Jane you have a beautiful family and your Australia Day looked heaps of fun. I haven't blogged my Aus Day because it started and ended in tears with plenty inbetween - oh and the boys had a little cry too! :)
    I never ate pav growing up but now I make it often. I am always keen to try a new recipe for it as I am sure mine could be better. Your's looked scrumptious.


  15. Looks like you had an awesome day! You have such a beautiful family! The pav looks divine! :) We spent our day up the beach at Bribie, cooking hot dogs, no where near the delights of a pav! And we got totally roasted so much fun though - great tan now! :) xxx

  16. Ah, ladies, I'm so glad you enjoyed sharing our Australia Day. Growing up, neither of us really celebrated it with our families. It's really only become more popular in the past 15 years or so, I think. But seeing how much the pixies enjoyed it has made us realise it will probably be an annual highlight for them.

    Do try the pavlova recipe - I'd love to hear how you go!

    Hi Jodie Thanks for stopping by. As for the marshmallow, he wouldn't eat it. Of course.

    Gosh, Louise, no tan here! Our pale skins definitely follow the old 'slip, slop, slap' regimen ☺. J x

  17. Jane, I have been offline over the past week and a half, due to my Grandma passing away, so just caught up on all your news. Sorry to hear about your loss too.

    Looks like you had lots of fun on Australia Day. We celebrated with friends, Tim Tams, lamingtons and other Aussie fare. No Pav like yours though. That looks delicious. Gx

  18. I laughed aloud at your comment re Mother Nature taking a bex and and good lie down - well said and I agree. Also your pavlova looks divine - I just want a piece now!!!!! X

  19. I forgot to say, I'm sorry for your loss, such sad times. Also, your family shots on Australia Day are just beautiful. X

  20. See, I assumed it was an independence day like in the US. Thank you for making me a bit smarter today :) XoL

  21. Jane I'm so sorry to hear what a rough time you've been having. My deepest condolences to you all. Good to see you back blogging though and your positive self shining through. Fantastic Oz Day, especially love the family photo ;-)

    MD xx

  22. Jane, I'm just now catching up. Please accept my deepest sympathies! I'm so sorry you've had to wade through these difficult weeks of sorrow. My, how you do keep your chin up, though! :)

  23. What a beautiful family day out Jane, looks like you had heaps of fun!!!

  24. Oh, Georgy, I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Life's all been a bit too much, lately, hasn't it?

    Denise, I'm glad you got that bit of humour. You don't hear it at all nowadays, do you? And thanks for your caring comments.

    Ah, Laura, I'm pleased to oblige. That is a quirk of our history, now celebrating our emergence as an independent nation on 1 January 1901 instead of a collection of British colonies. I might post on that one day.

    Thanks, MD. Ah, yes, I'm glad to be back in the saddle again. I have so many ideas and not enough to time to get them out of my head ☺. It probably has something to do with also looking after the three pixies...

    Thanks, Emily, you darling. I promise I will get back to you soon abut our little idea.

    Thanks, Trish - yes, unfortunately I deleted the video I took of the ritual 'swinging the billy tea can' event. I'll have to show that next year! J x

  25. What a magical Australia Day you celebrated! I was a Girl Guide as well, some of my best childhood memories just came flooding back looking at your billy!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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