We did a quick count last night and realised that since we moved into our new home on 25 November, we have had five groups of interstate and overseas visitors stay with us. That’s about one a month. It’s a nice average.

[I’ve been vaguely aware of the fact that I’ve grown out of the habit of taking photos. Part of the reason is my phone camera; I don’t enjoy using either of the geriatric cameras on my Sony Xperia or my iPad, and carrying Old Chunky everywhere isn’t practical. I’ve also grown out of the habit of blogging as a result. Uploading a bunch of happy shots used to be a quick and easy way of saying hello here while not having to squeeze out too much brain juice. But with even that option taken away, and now, a slew of favourite TV series now ending (Downton Abbey, The Good Wife…) and the aforementioned guests, I find myself estranged from my blog. But I miss writing to all of you.]

Not to pick a favourite among our visitors – every guest brought fun and busyness to our household – (but) we really enjoyed having Audrey and Deborah stay with us for ten days late last month. We didn’t do anything special, really. I think that was what made it so magic. Because for just those ten days, we could suspend reality for a little while and pretend we lived together for keeps. We were family again, and it was a sheer luxury keeping our children alive together (i.e. feeding them), going about our usual routine, and then talking the nights away when the children went to bed.

One of the many sacrifices made when I migrated to Australia was leaving behind the future families of beloved friends. It was something I didn’t realise I’d miss when I moved here 13 years ago, but something I feel keenly now that I watch our children live separate yet parallel lives. It was therefore with great joy and satisfaction that Audrey and I watched our second-borns hang out together. Enough for Atticus, the little man of very few words but much exclamation, to bother to learn his mate’s name.

“Deh-bwah!”

Audrey did a much, much better job of keeping you all updated on Facebook. But I did manage to whip out the camera now and then.

Arddun washing dishes at sink
Washing the dishes in preparation
Arddun inspecting measuring cup during dishwashing
Does this pass the squeaky-clean test?
Arddun washing dishes in full princess costume
The full regalia. This is her latest improvised Princess uniform. Even when doing the chores.
Deborah and Atticus in the rumpus room
Rumpus Room Rodeo
Arddun balancing on bouncing silver ball at playground
She makes it look so easy.
Arddun, Tony and Atticus at the swings
One goes round and round, one goes up and down.
Deborah sidelong glance from fire engine at playground
That coy look
Deborah at playground fire engine truck
Sweetpea
Atticus in swing looking sleepy
Dreamy, faraway look
Deborah, inspecting her belly button.
In Australia, they call this Navel Gazing.
Deborah poking her belly button.
“Yup, it still goes in.”
Deborah and Atticus each holding a biscuit while sitting in their high chairs
Meal times are more fun with you beside me, holding a biscuit, looking equally stunned.
Audrey and Atticus in kitchen
Aunty Audrey and Atticus
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