Last Tuesday we had an outback adventure. Miss Gabby and I packed up the kids, a load of swags and jammed it all into the car and headed cross country to Mrs Gumnut Designz house for a School of the Air group day. Well days actually. We drove for one day, had 2 whole days there and then drove all day to get home.
Mrs Gumnut lives north of Tennant Creek. We drove across the dusty stock routes and in through the paddocks to get to her. So the trip (one way) involved about 6 hours in the car, about 500km, all of that was on dirt roads, apart from 70km of bitumen. We only saw about 5 vehicles the whole way and 2 of them were road trains.
If there is one tip I can give for travelling long distances with children it would be: AUDIOBOOKS! Heading over we all listened to Paper Planes. Lately we have listened to a few Roald Dahl audio books, and this time I wanted one that wasn’t so “kiddie like”, one that Miss Gabby and I would enjoy too. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Roald Dahl but just needed a little break. Paper Planes was fantastic. The kids stayed quiet, didn’t fight amongst each other and were generally pretty well behaved. So you can imagine the disappointment on my face on our return trip when I discovered that my phone needed an update and hence it wouldn’t play the other Audio Book I had downloaded. To say it was a LONG TRIP HOME was an understatement. The kids were tired and feral, I didn’t have that many songs, and they basically whinged and moaned for the whole 6.5 hours. I was the crankiest mother ever, I am pretty sure there was steam coming out of my ears.
So back to my story…. the group days… the kids had a ball. They just love these school days. There were about 13 children and 3 teachers. They got to have 3 nights together – one massive sleep over. What is a Group Day I hear you ask? Well these are days that are held on a Station. 2 teachers from in at School of the Air are a dedicated “Field Team” – they spend their time travelling around the countryside holding these days. People who live in the area come over. They are usually only one day, you travel over in the morning, stay the day, take some lunch and smoko to share and then head home. But because we live so far from each other here in the NT we make 2 days of it. The children learnt how to play the ukulele, played AFL and Golf and of course did some art. At the end of day 2 they held a little concert for the Mums. Here are some visuals….
Isn’t the station gorgeous, it is like the Royal Botanical Gardens. Like a huge park. Perfect for all of those children.
No one went hungry. No one ever does at these sort of days. Everyone brings a few dishes and some smoko’s and we pool it all together. Makes life much easier for the host.
Clancy and I got down and dirty with Mrs Gumnut – here she is in her natural environment. We were fortunate enough to be taken on a dump run and Clancy got to feed the chooks too.
Upon arriving home it was straight back to reality and back into the kitchen to whip up an impromptu dinner, so I grabbed some frozen prawns out of the cold room and knocked up a quick prawn curry.
This week I need to get on top of everything, try and get ahead with some baking because I am off again on Thursday. I am so excited it isn’t funny. I am heading to Melbourne for the Kidspot Voices 2015 Masterclass. This is a bloggy thing, so most of you could care less, but to those bloggers out there you will understand my excitement. I can’t wait to catch up with my blogging friends.
Mrs Savvy B is looking after Clancy for me for 3 nights. Isn’t she such a good friend. So we will head over to her house on Thursday afternoon and I will then head into Mt Isa very early on Friday morning to fly out at lunch time. Bring it on!
Is it a long weekend where you are? I hope you have had a great weekend if it is, did you do anything special? Here’s to a great week.