Goodbye to the Grippers!

Ged had his big annual solar conference on Friday in Sydney so on Thursday we cleaned his car (inside and out!) and packed up half the house (that child!) and then drove down to Sydney, arriving in Terrey Hills at Rosa and Ilia’s brand, spanking, new house at about 8ish.  We had last seen the house when it was just a frame so it was fascinating to see it finished.  It is HUGE!  The bathrooms are bigger than our little house!  It is very modern with high ceilings and big tiles throughout – very white and clean so I LOVED it!  Gorgeous!  Benjamin was pretty overwhelmed by his first conscious interaction with other children – Dane, Tiana and Jake were very excited to see him.  But he was such a good boy and just followed the routine, no matter where we were (which was sleeping on the floor in the huge playroom – they only have furniture for the family at this stage!)  I had to take Ged to the station at 6am to catch the train to his conference venue and Ilia had said leave Ben if we wanted to.  I had done a 5am feed and he was so sound asleep that I decided it was best to leave him be, so I whispered to him what was going on, and then woke Rosa to tell her we were leaving him downstairs but not to go down to him, as he was so out of it.  Sure enough, he slept like a babe the whole time we were gone (about 40 minutes) and stayed sleeping til long after the kids were up.  Dane made us all scrambled eggs with the Avalon eggs which was delicious, and I was intrigued to see (having just read ‘Superimmunity for Kids’) that Ilia doses all the children with essential fatty acids (EFAs) together with Magnesium, vitamins etc.  Amazing!

I had a 12 noon hair appointment with Ilia in Newport so when Rosa came back from dropping them all off she insisted that I leave the little man with her.  I was nervous, but all set to do so when two towering Maori men turned up to replace the leather sofas and Benjamin looked terrified.  So I decided to put him in the boiling hot car and take him but Rosa called me coward, chicken and neurotic so I had to give in and leave him behind!  He slept for three hours!  I was gone for two – taking advantage of the freedom to have coffee, lovely hair cut, and a quick sit on a rock on the beach for a howl about my aunt’s death of the day before, which I hadn’t had time to grieve in the rush of the race down to Sydney.
Back at the house I decided to remove all evidence of Phee from the house by washing the acres of flagged floor – man, that is a big house! while Benjamin slept on and on.  Then I showered and changed and left to pick Ged up.  Almost two hours in bumper to bumper traffic across Sydney with Benjamin screaming in the back and nowhere to stop and soothe him.  I pulled over at every emergency break down point and clambered in the back to calm him down but as soon as we started moving he would howl.  It was SO hot and the sun was on him through the window (despite my jerry rigged muslin shield) and the air conditioning too cold if I turned it up, and basically he was totally fed up with being in the car after his mammoth road trip of the day before.  I just kept chanting to myself ‘the only way though is through” and reiking him on the steering wheel and eventually my time of torture was over!
Ged had a great day and achieved everything we wanted – they are agreed to break away from the Clean Energy Council (CEC) which is about as clean as my septic tank and form their own organisation which will give them a voice both to the Government and the Media.  Ged has been unanimously voted Chairman of the NSW branch.  They will be a national organisation though and will then vote on the board again, but I believe he will always have a place on the board with his experience, breadth of knowledge, passion and the obvious respect with which he is honoured within his professional body.  Looks like I get to be the marketing person then (nepotism and all that!!)
Onward to Kangaroo Valley, arriving at about 8pm and Ben was thrilled to find more little people for him to watch and study.  So nice to see the Grippers and despite the incredible temperatures (46 degrees in town, 42 in the shade on the verandah) we all stayed pretty cool in both body and temperament.  Ben was passed from loving arms to loving arms so both Ged and I got some time off to play in the river, or go for a nice long walk, both singly and together.  I showed him lots of concrete causeways and rope/steel pedestrian bridges as fuel for thought and took him on our famous Welly Boot walk so he could see the pastures and cottages that inspired my dreaming of Love Farm.  Jane invited the neighbours over on Saturday night so we had a good catch up over champagne on the deck – lovely!  Lorraine has bought us a ‘no dig veggie patch’ book which is perfect timing as that is definitely next on the agenda . . .

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