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a bit of this, a bit of that

School holiday time. Always a good time. No pressure. No clock watching for pick up time. Stay up late and hopefully sleep in. Days at the beach, in the sun… worn out little chickens at the end of the day. What’s not to like?

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So, I try to keep things pretty simple, cheap and easy going for the kids…. throw in the occasional day out as a treat. To kick off the week we decided to have a morning out at The Big Pineapple. Ahhhh, The Big Pineapple. Memories came flooding back. I reminisced the drive away. Lost the kids to their iPhones/pods/pads about 10 minutes in, so I was happy to indulge in some nostalgia. I remember us going there as kids, like it was yesterday. The pinapple fields went on forever. The actual pineapple was shiney and bright and BIG. The animal Farm was fresh and cheery. The baby chickens were the colour of rainbows. The pulley rope system they had to help you get up the hill was sooooooo modern and flash. They had two trains running. The Nut Mobile was a highlight. Actual big nuts that you could ride in AND it took you to the macadamia nut factory. OH! So many activities!!! The souvenier shop was on 2 floors!! It was massive. To top off a visit, we would sit and wait for eveeerrrrrr for Mum to line up and order our parfaits. My choice was always macadamia nut. The Plantation restaurant was always packed out. The parfaits were so good and fresh and yummo. The (at least) 30 minute wait never bothered us, we would wait forever for those baby’s. It was pretty special…… then we grew up a bit. Next memory for me was my High School Formal/Graduation class of ’89. Yep, we had it at the Big Pineapple. Why? dunno… it was so far away from our school. But, it was a wonderful night. I remember lots of StudeBakerHawk dresses, good friends, my Dad smiling….. it was a good end to an era.

Now, I know things can never be the same as what they used to be. I was prepared for it to be a little less fancy. Let’s face it, The Big Pineapple has pretty much had it’s day. I have to say they are making an effort with what resources they have. Tom loved the train. LOVED it. Bella and Jared where behind me in the carriage being all cool and pre-teenagery. Every now and then I would hear them say “siiiiick” … I took it as a positive sign. I, however had to put on a very brave face. I had just handed over $40, (well that escalated quickly…forty bucks! what thaaaaa?) The train was old, dull and needed a dust. The pineapple fields stopped at one, the other fields were barren, empty. When we passed the second, now “retired” train, the driver pointed out the carraige that Di & Charles sat in. I almost started weeping then and there. Could they not have at least given it a hose down? I could not pretend anymore. This joint was as old and as tired as I was, but dammit I still make an effort, why can’t they!!!! I plastered on fake mummy smile as we disembarked at the animal farm. O.M.G. If I wasn’t depressed before, I certainly was now. I know, I know… they are trying, it’s very dry, it’s had it’s day yeah yeah yeah. But for gods sake, instead of standing around talking, somebody please grab a rake or broom and give the place a basic once over before the tourists arrive. And the pond, seriously dudes. That’s not a pond. I don’t even know what that is… let me get back on track… The chickens are not rainbow coloured anymore. And then my friends, there was the “situation“. The baby lamb. I’ll try to be brief. Apart from a couple of goats, a few mice and some regular coloured chickens in the barn, there was a very, very sad baby lamb. It would not stop crying. The type of cry that rips your heart out. Over and over again. It was so bad that Tom started to cry. Real cry, that made me almost cry, then Tori welled up… we had to get out of there. Now, I’m not one to stick my nose in. I like to think the experts know what they are doing but, I just had to ask one of the farm dudes wtf was wrong with this skinny, sad, sad little lamb. Turns out he was brought in the night before, 3 months old, under nourished, his mother had abandoned him. Then the farm dude let me have a cuddle. Lamb stopped crying and looked me straight in the eye. Bad move. Had my hand bag been any larger, we would have had a pet lamb. It was so sad. Too sad. Just, sad.

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It was time to cheer ourselves up with a parfait. Ummm, what?! 2 scoops of icecream in a disposable plastic cup, squirt of canned whip cream, a drizzle of strawberry topping (I’m guessing home brand, not that there’s anything wrong with that) = $9.50. EACH. Shut The Front Door. I’m not even going to go there……. at least they stuck in a wafer.

{below are snaps of The Big Pineapple, as it once was, how I remember …… in all it’s rainbow chicken coloured glory}

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Look, overall it was a lovely morning out for the kids. They loved it. It was something different to do. I’m not totally bagging it out. It was up there with the Bli Bli Fairy Castle, Bellingham maze….. things are always bigger and brighter and shinier when we are little….. Unfortunately my memory is too strong and my love of  ’the way things were’ made it less sparklier for me. By the end of the morning, the kids had heard enough of me starting each sentence with “when I was little…..“. Their eye balls were exhausted from excessive eye-rolling. So yeah, the chickens used to be rainbows, the parfaits used to be out of this world, the animal farm used to be “alive”, the nut mobile used to exist, the Plantation restaurant used to pump and the trains used to shine. We all get old. That’s life…… If I was Clive Palmer and had millions and millions of dollars, I would scrub the Big Pineapple up very nicely, perhaps add some dinosaurs to the spare paddocks and breathe some life into that joint. The place deserves a second chance. I mean Charles and Di LOVED it, look at them! That’s it. I’m off to buy a lotto ticket.

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When we came home, Jared made us Mars Bar Slice……. all was well with the world once again. It was the best thing since…. well…. erm….since the last time we made Mars Bar Slice

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Then later that night the kiddlets were on TV!!!!! Local news for the opening of a the new pet shop. That’s what happens when I send them out with Dad for bread and milk.. they come back all like “hey guess what, we’re gonna be on TV”…. nice one babe but where’s the bread and milk?…..What a buzz!!! Famous for a day. Even Mick’s left ear made an appearance!

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Total change of subject…..I’ve been hoping like crazy to grab last minute One Direction tickets for Bella’s birthday present. I am not having any luck at all. Nothing. It’s driving me mad. I am being ‘financially sensible‘ by being firm and not paying $300 for a ticket that originally sold for $98… will I fold? … stay tuned.

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I did grab Grease tickets for Mum & Bella ages ago. They go this weekend. I’m a bit jelly. Could not have come at a better time. Bella, being my daughter, is absolutely obsessed with the movie. She quotes randomly (and oh so perfectly), listens to the soundtrack non stop and her dream is to one day be a legitimate Pink Lady… for reals! Can I just say how proud I am of my girl. That’s my girl. So proud….. Tom has a mean dance routine down pat to Greased Lightning as well (imagine the bear is Tom on the coffee table. Yep, exactly like that) Gahhhhhh, my parenting is done as far as I’m concerned. So proud.

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Ok folks, I think that’s enough blog babble from me……… one final “big thing”. Expect me to be ultra sensitive and emotional over the next few weeks. I may even hide out for a while…….Next Monday is the final episode of Breaking Bad. It’s over. For EVER. Already I am not coping. It is not going to be pretty. Tough times ahead. Here’s my little tribute……. I feel empty inside.

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 I love you WW. No matter how bad you are….. I know, I know….. you did it all for your family. I understand. I’ll miss you x

 

Still here? Niiiiiiiiiice effort, she was a long one……. big kisses for you and have a great week MWAHH xoxo

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Rachel - Oh Sonnie, that was soooo gooood! My favourite bits….StudeBakerHawke (yes guilty), your dad smiling (remember it well), Bella’s love of Grease ( shall we let her join the Pelican St club??). Another brilliant blog sunshine. Xxx

Stacy - Go Bella!! Nice to see the youth enjoying quality flicks of yesteryear.

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