••• tiff firth photography •••

Friday, August 30, 2013

canola - sensory overload

Canola is sensory overload. The vibrant yellows dominates the landscape. The aroma fills the air with its distinct perfume. You can hear the bees buzzing in the neck of each bloom collecting pollens, ensuring seed setting. Each petal feels velvety to the touch. Spring is so very close and the next few warm days will fill the farmer with joy. 

Canola really is the Farmer's Gold. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

pt lincoln gym comp august 2013

I can't begin to say just how proud I am of Sean at the Pt Lincoln Gym Comp a couple of weekends ago. I haven't blogged it as I was waiting on the official results which only came on line a few days ago.

MAG (Men's Artistic Gymnast) apparatuses are scored out of 10 and there were 12 competing in MAG Level 1.

HBar     8.8   2nd
Floor     8.8   4th.
Pommel 8.8   5th
PBars    8.8   5th
Rings     8.9   8th
Vault     8.8   11th

Overall score of 52.9 out of 60

To see his face light up as he was awarded his medallion for 2nd on Bars was just awesome for me. And I just about welled up with tears when he held the trophy for coming Third overall. Coming third was such a buzz for him and has installed so much more confidence in himself. He's red hot keen to go the Pirie comp now :)

It's his very first 'trophy' and so it means an awful lot to him. At home we have made a new spot on the side board for his trophy and the ones Annie has won at Gym over the years. They both want to see them while they sit at the table.

I've even spotted him giving his a bit of a polish.

Friday, August 16, 2013

the rig

I've made the decision to continue with golf as I'm enjoying it so much and it was time to commit to it with my own gear. I've been very fortunate to have been able to borrow everything to get started and to see if I was really that keen. The buggy, the bag, the sticks, the big Bertha driver, and the putter were all on lend. Even the first tee that I hit from was given to me as I had the wrong sized ones.

I had the chance to zip into Drummond Golf Store on Monday while in Adelaide. Never thought I'd be drooling in a golf shop, but there you go, I did.

I've now my own putter and my own bag. Its a Birdies and Eagles St Andrew's bag (swoon). I bought the blue one as it matched my sticks which I've been using and I'm now buying from the golfer who lent them to me. I've had the Smoothie Mark II buggy for a little while now.

The bag had a bit of a wayward time getting here. It was supposed to be delivered to Stateliner in Port Lincoln so a wonderful friend could pick it up on my behalf. It should have been there Tuesday morning. But no it wasn't. Nor Wednesday. I made the call to Drummond to enquire about it and was assured that yes, it had left Stateliner on Monday night. So where was it??? No one had a clue. Thursday came. Still not in Lincoln. So another call was made and they make a number of calls to Stateliner. And it was found. In Cleve. It finally it made its way to Cummins and I had it in my hot little hands. As to how it came to be in Cleve instead of Port Lincoln and why it was delivered eventually in Cummins, I've not the faintest idea. But its here.

So I cleaned out the old bag and transferred things over. Of course I had to get a quick shot of my pride and joy.

Now to break that handicap. No excuses now hahahaha

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Zealand Day 10 11th Aug 2013

We had a bit of a lie in before tiding up the apartment and packing our bags. To be honest I was a bit concerned if they were all going to fit in the car as it was only a little one. But they did. Just.

We had the idea of taking the kids ice skating in the morning, but an ice hockey tournament on the ice soon put a stop to that. 

So we headed up to the Gondola car park and played mini golf instead. Complete with beanies and thermals. It was a lot of fun and surprisingly popular. The motley crew playing for Kiwi Sheep Stations. :)

Worm point of view

The kids stripped themselves of the thermal leggings and tops while in the loo there as we wouldn't need them on the plane flight. I took my leggings off and forgot all about my long sleeved top and singlet. That would bite me later on in the day. Its funny how you get used to the feel of things. When the leggings came off it felt kind of naughty to feel bare skin against the jeans.

We headed to Frankton (satellite city to Queenstown) and not far from the airport, for an early lunch at the Frankton Arms Alehouse. This was the closest thing we could find as a pub in our entire trip. And we had our last ice cream at the airport. Their flavours are just amazing, so much richer and just more yum than ours. And bigger portions too.

Customs and Immigration were all cleared without hassle and with surprising humour. And finally we saw our first rain in all our trip. Just a slight misting as we walked out to our plane. 

We settled into our seats and the kids watched their movies. I watched the Great Gatsby but didn’t quite finish it before we landed. L  Left it on cliff hanger. Doh.

The sun was setting as we came into Sydney 2 and a half hours later. 

And I was overheating. I didn't cope well coming from 2 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees. This is when forgetting to remove the thermal top and singlet bit me. As soon as we were in the terminal I bolted to the loo to strip. Phewwwww.

We cleared Customs in Sydney after getting Sean’s and Kym’s passports reconfigured as we had been having issues with them all the way through. Nothing major it seems but they both failed one of the several security tests. All fixed now. Again all with good humour. With luggage now cleared we popped them onto the carousel and off they went to the other terminal and to our aircraft. As easy as that.

We caught the shuttle bus from the International Terminal to Domestic Terminal 2. I gather it’s dedicated to Qantas as there were no other service desks, advertising or aircraft other than theirs.

We only had about a 20 minute wait before we were called to board. And dang it all, I totally forgot about Krispy Cremes.

By now the sun had set and all we saw was a sea of red flying kangaroos.

Sean and I were lucky enough to score just ourselves in our row of three seats. I had a quick look and it seemed every other seat on the plane had been filled. We spotted the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the night scape of Sydney which is something I really hoped one of the kids would be able to see. And the reason why I especially booked window seats for them leaving Sydney

As soon as the seatbelt sign was off, I had Sean with a pillow and blanket and stretched out over the two seats to sleep. He was totally stuffed and the three hour time difference was a bit tricky for him. 

While he slept through the flight I had the laptop out working through as many images as I could in the 2 hour time frame.  I woke him after we landed and carried him off the plane while Kym took care of the laptop and camera bag. He wanted to walk after we got inside and he was like a dead man walking according to David who picked us up.

Side note: there were 8 coppers who met our plane and were checking out the passengers coming into the terminal. They had a few over to one side and questioning them. As Kym and I were about the last ones off, the coppers started looking confused and asking the airline staff ‘is that it?’ Then they seem to rush down to the luggage carousel while others were outside seeing who was leaving the terminal. They still looked perplexed and confused. I've no clue for whom or why they were questioning passengers. I don’t recall any ruckus on the flight so I don’t think that's it.

Anyway… we stayed with Kym’ sister and partner at their place for the night. They are expecting their first child in 6 weeks so it was so wonderful to see her with the bump. They have what they have nicknamed  ‘The Mental Health Room’ which is a lined garage shed and made into an outer office and social area. And it’s also the guest room as all the lounges roll out to beds. Complete with slow combustion fire. The kids pretty much went straight to bed as it would have been 11pm NZ time. We weren't that far behind them.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Zealand Day 9 10th Aug

We are absolutely stuffed. We had a bit of a lay in this morning (not as much as I would have liked lol) and by 9.30 we were down the street to book our day of excitement. Kym went up to the car rental place so he could present his license so he could drive the car too. Then he met us up at The Ski Station where we booked our Shotover Jet Rides for the kids and me, the Gondola passes and the Luge rides. We left it up to Annie to have a look at the Queenstown Swing before deciding if she wanted to give it a go.

By 10.35 we were on the bus and heading out to the Shotover River and the Jetboat ride. I’d been advised to put the snow goggles, beanies and ski gloves on the kids. I wished I wore the neck gaiter as my chin got really cold. I couldn't even feel it at one point. I sat in a seat and the two kids sat in behind me. Not the way I would have liked it, but that’s just the way it worked out. They LOVED it. A lot. I bought the video and photo package as they were so keen about it.

We headed back to town after taking a few iPhone shots around the Shotover location as I had left the camera locked up in the car back in town at the Gondola carpark.

We went to Fergburger for lunch but it was sooo busy, (there was a queue out of the door) we went next door to the Fergbaker.

I grabbed the camera and bits out of the car, dropped off the things collected so far and then we headed up the Gondola. Sean had the GoPro on his head, Annie was conducting a TV interview of us in the Gondola while Kym and I took in the scene.

Once out of the Gondola we walked out to the Viewing Deck to take in the gorgeous vista.

We browsed through the souvenir shop for things. The kids wanted something to show their classmates, I wanted embellishments for scrapbooking. Annie watched someone drop on the swing and decided that’s perhaps it’s not for her.

The Luge was the next big thing on our list. Sean and Kym headed off on theirs, and Annie and I left after them on ours. The first run is a slow one so you get used to the cart, the brakes, the turns and how it all works. Annie had a couple of big stacks that really rattled her. The last one scared me too to be quite frank. I had to drag hers and my luge off the track and sit with her offside while she got herself composed again.  It really frightened her. But she squared her shoulders, took a deep breath and go right back in that Luge and off she went. Atta girl.

You go up on a chairlift up to the beginning of the Luge run and we took each moment to clown for the camera.  

On the next run, which is the more advanced than the introductory one, I followed Sean while I wore the GoPro and Annie went with Kym. I managed to keep up with Sean and only squealed a couple of times on the unexpected drops.  What a hoot. The others went on to do another three runs while I went to a couple of strategic spots above the track and filmed them zooming past for the video montage.
Everything is very well set up to capture photos for people to buy of themselves. From the Shotover Jet, the Gondola, the Swing, the Luge. So I didn't take any shots of the family today. It was all film and I bought the selected ones, which are also available for download once purchased. Made my job easy today.

Annie's thoughts of the Luge.

By now it was later afternoon and the kids were hungry. Rather than stay up at the Cafe/Restaurant and pay for the expensive food, the kids wanted Maccas. So down the Gondola we went. I didn't get the chance to do the late afternoon/sunset photo of Queenstown that I had hoped for so I bought a postcard showing it instead. That will do.

Kym took the car back to the apartment with all the gear we didn't need and met us back at Maccas. And a warm fresh cookie.

We all felt pretty brain dead after our day so we headed back for hot bubble baths, flannel PJs and just to slouch for a bit.

Something I have noticed here is how early people eat dinner. By 5pm the eatery area of the food court was chock a block. Skiers start coming off the slopes around 4pm and are back in town by 5pm and they are hungry. This is rush hour for town and business. They are all open to at least 6pm on week nights because that’s when the people are in town.

We pack our bags tomorrow, chuck them in the car and we are going ice skating as our last big thing before heading to the airport.

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Zealand Day 8 9.8.2013

Today's start of the day was a bit different from the last four days. Due to our taking on the extra ski day, I needed to pick up the hire car that had been arranged for the next couple of days. I rang the car rental business yesterday to delay a day, but unless I contacted Eyre Travel and our wonderful agent Janene (plug plug) and she rang the hire car company on my behalf, they couldn't do anything. What an arse about way to rearrange a small detail. So rather than make the international call and bother Janene we decided that I would pick up the car while Kym got the kids up to Remarkables via the bus and get them to their lesson on time.

I purposely not let myself think too much about driving a car in a place that I'm unfamiliar with. Adelaide totally freaks me out and I just literally can’t drive. The buildings loom down on me and the cars in the lanes alongside are waaaaaay to close for my comfort. (I'm claustrophobic). Fortunately having being on the bus the last few days on the same route that I was about to drive on reassured me a bit. Even still, I took the wrong turn out of the airport where I picked the car up from and I had to stop and ask for directions. I was soon back on the right road.  Driving myself worked out well as I was able to dawdle my way up the dirt mountain road and pull over at different wheel chain parking points that I had eye balled over the last days to shot off a few images.

Frankton township with Queenstown in the background. Queenstown International Airport on right. Lake Wakatipu with Kawarau River outflowing from it

The kids have both passed their level 3B which qualifies them for the Intermediate Ski Slopes. Not kids intermediate, but adult intermediate. Don’t tell the kids but that scares me more than a little. More so tonight after watching Annie’s POV when she wore the GoPro.

We did lose Sean for a bit. We had all gathered together after the lesson end and decided that Kym would take them up for a run on Sugar Bowl so the lunch line up would be less by the time we got back. We looked around and Sean was gone. Not to be seen anywhere. Kym and Annie went up the chairlift to see if they could find him either up at the top of Alta or Sugar Bowl or spot him coming down while they were in the lifts. I started to hunt around the Lodge, the beginner slopes, the magic carpets (3 of them). I was starting to really stress. And it spiked when a Patrol Snowmobile took off up the slope with its siren on and the bloke carrying a first aid back pack. Annie and Kym were back from their run and still no sign of him. I was starting to really get worried now. I went to the Alta chairlift and asked one of the attendants if they were able to see if he had boarded the lift in the last 40 minutes. You need a Lift Pass that’s electronically swiped each time you go through the gate to allow access to the lift. Information is recorded and can be accessed via the attendants’ iPads. But I still couldn't find out as the info is not recorded alphabetically but by time stamp. And there had been hundreds of people in that time period as each chair can carry four people.  So the attendant put out a ‘missing’ report to each chairlift and magic carpet attendant. 7 year old skier in orange jacket and black pants. Answers to Sean. He was spotted at the bottom of the magic carpet and was sent up to meet me at the Storage Area.

I just about cried and he nearly was too. We hugged a lot and worked out what happened. When we had all got together after the lessons and prior to Kym wanting to take them up to Sugar Bowl, Sean said he needed to go to the toilet. None of us had heard him so when we started to look for him we all moved away from where we were. He came back to find us gone so he clicked on his skis and hopped on the chairlift to catch up Kym and Annie at the top of Alta. Instead of going up to Sugar Bowl he came back down the Alta slope and further down to the base of the Ski School beginner slope in search for one of us. That was when he was spotted by the magic carpet attendant to come back up the Lodge.

We all sat and had lunch and set some new ground rules. Just because they have passed the Ski Schools Green Beginner Slopes and have qualified to ski on the Blue Intermediate Slopes, they still can’t go on them on their own. There is just too much traffic and too much risk for a young person their age. And I really don’t want/need the grey hairs.

We had some fun and threw snowballs at the GoPro while it was recording for the video montage.

Annie and Kym headed up Sugar Bowl so she could show him the Rollercoaster. Her favourite bit of the slope before leading him through the tunnel. This is when Kym had the GoPro on and was recording Annie doing her thing.

Mid-afternoon saw our only accident for the entire time on the slope. Annie had hit the deck hard on an icy patch and has an ice burn on her hip and butt cheek with abrasions surrounding those areas. That really rattled her and she wanted to park her skis and call it a day. We went to the first aid room and had the area on her hip where it’s the most raw covered with a dressing. 

The first aid room was a bit of a surprise. It’s a bit like a hospital ward with curtains around each gurney. While we were there, a fella was having a nasty leg injury seen to by who I assume to be a doctor. Injections and stitches and all. (He didn't have his curtain drawn)

Hot chocolate put a smile back on Annie’s face.......

(ice coffee for me)

......and we soon spotted the boys coming back to the lodge. Sean had his hot chocolate and it was time to organise for the bus ride back. I wanted to leave in the car before being caught behind the buses coming down. I really wanted Annie to snap on the skis for one last little ride down to the steps that lead to the car park to get some confidence back in her. (a bit like getting back on the horse after falling off type of thing). She did and it was good to see her real smile light up.

Sean came with me in the car and Annie went with Kym in the bus. When I rang about changing the bus transfers the night before, the company had it all totally mixed up. Instead of just cancelling my seat on the bus today, they cancelled all of ours. Including the skis, boots, poles, jackets and pants. So Kym and the kids weren't even on the list this morning to be on the bus. Fortunately another party didn't arrive for the bus and our lot were able to have the last 3 seats. We told the driver tonight that I would take one of the kids with me in the car to free up a seat for someone else if needed. Everyone is ticked on the bus in the morning and ticked on again at the Ski Car park to make sure no one is left behind up the mountain.

Driving down was fairly straight forward as was coming back to the apartment. The kids went through the hot bath to soothe their tired legs before loading up the car with all our rental bits to return down the street. Because I didn't have Kym’s driver’s license with me this morning on vehicle pick up, he can’t drive the car yet. So that left it to me to drive it into downtown Queenstown in peak hour and on a Friday night. I just about shit myself. I did take a wrong turn and in doing so found the local ice rink.
Eventually made it in town and it was bedlam. People just walked anywhere on the road without a care and traffic was at a crawl. I did manage to score a park within 50 metres of the rental business and I'm glad for that. The gear was dropped off and I wanted to clear up any bill remaining from the mix up. There should have been at least the extra day rental on all the gear. But no, with a smile and an apology for the confusion, they waived it. A saving of over A$200. Thank you.

Drove back through the madness with the window down so the cold night air could cool me off as I was sweating from the driving jitters. Seriously sweating!

Once we were back inside we had tea and watched the days GoPro efforts. Total stacks recorded on film.
Kym - 2   (he only had two for the 5 days and we have evidence of them both)
Sean – 1  (the one recorded was one he actually didn't tell us about but it’s when the GoPro head harness popped off his head when he fell and it was later recovered)
Annie – 0 none recorded but she’s has the war wounds to show for it.

Some things I've noticed while on the ski field. Skiers have a particular kind of walk due to the rigid ski boots. Snow boarders seem a bit arrogant but tend to fall over more often. I was surprised at how many boarders there are. Their boots look more comfortable and softer than ski boots. Skiers go faster than boards on the ski runs.  Wee little kids who seem not long walking zipping around on skis. The grey nomad generation on skis and boards. That guys with long legs look seriously good in the fitting ski gear. Some of the women are much more concerned with their hair, make-up and attire than their ability. How happy people were to be on the ski slopes. How much bigger the smiles got when it snowed. (it snowed again today). The honesty, the lack of angst. How good hot chocolate is when lips are cold. How many grown men wore onesies. Some of the getups people were nearly wearing but really shouldn't be. 

Tomorrow’s weather looks quite pleasant and we are talking of a bit of a sleep-in, doing the Shotover Jet, taking Annie out to see what Bungi is about (she’s keen but Dad is not), the luge and the Gondola at sunset. Well that’s the plan at this stage


Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Zealand Day 7 8.8.2013

On our way up to The Remarkables we watched the grace of a hot air balloon in the crisp morning sky. In the beginning we were under it, and by the time we were half way up we were above it. It was descending as we were ascending.  It was lovely to watch it touchdown near the lake.

The kids had time for a quick run on the beginner slope before joining their Level 3b class. And that was about the last I saw of them in the morning as they were up the chairlifts and on the mountain.
I took advantage of no kids and walked some way up the slope to shoot a different perspective from what I had seen over the last few days. More often than not I was lying on my tummy to shoot the lines or plants in the foreground. I also took the time to scope my shot to video the kids coming through the tunnel. It’s different from shooting stills to shooting vision. Kym found me on the lower slope as I was coming down so we just sat and took in the atmosphere. And a couple of iPhone pics. He took off for another run and I crunched my way down the slope. Thank goodness for my ice cleats.

I spotted Kym about to take the kids up the chairlift after their lesson and popped the GoPro on his head to record the kids skiing down the Sugar Bowl Slope before coming down the Alta Slope. Kym managed to get Sean taking a jump and sticking the landing. And while Kym was shooting them from behind going through the tunnel, I was shooting from the front of them coming through it. I indicated to Annie to ski my way and we all ended up in a laughing pile up as she landed on me with Kym and Sean pulling up just behind. And I have it all on film from two different angles. Sweet. I can’t wait to splice all that together in my video montage.

While we had lunch I schooled up the kids on turning off/on/record/stop on the GoPro and popped it on Sean’s head. He is really starting to fly on the slope with no fear, which scares me a little. He didn't tell us he had a fall near the end of the run on Alta and the GoPro popped off his head and stayed in the snow. He found me waiting for him in front of the lodge and he was quite upset about losing it. And amazingly a guy turned around and said he just handed a GoPro in to Guest Services. It had the orange sticky back on it so it was easy to spot on the ground. He said it was still recording till he turned it off in the lodge. How awesome is that?!!!! I've been very impressed with the lack of angst on the slopes and in the line up to the chairlift and the honesty here.

We watched the vision tonight to see what happened from Sean turning it on till it was turned off by the fella who handed it in. He did wave and say bye. Funnily enough the guy walked straight past me with it still recording as I saw myself briefly while the GoPro was swinging by the head harness on his arm. Only 4 skiers went past it before it was picked up. It was lying on its side and snow slide down over the lens. It was rather funny to watch from the stack to the point it was turned off.

Kym and I had a bit of a talk at lunch about dropping one of our two days sightseeing and doing things around Queenstown to have another day up on the snow. The kids have taken to skis so really well. So we had a yarn to the kids and put it to them if they wanted the extra day to ski. They were super keen as their next lesson takes them on the intermediate slopes. It’s the same level of difficulty that Kym has been skiing when he’s had his time without them in the mornings. I think he’s more excited for them than they are. The extra day all depended on phone calls to confirm the skis, boots and poles. The ski jackets and pants. The bus transfer up and back. The morning ski lessons. And booking the chairlift access. 2 phones calls and it was all done.

While I was sorting the details Annie headed to the ‘Valley of Doom’ while Kym and Sean went to the ‘Sugar Bowl’. Its Annie’s turn for the GoPro tomorrow so she can show me what excites her about the Valley.

4 o’clock was on us before we knew it and time to get to the bus. Sean was so revved up from being on the big slope that he was such a chatterbox all the way back. Just gotta love that raw enthusiasm.

I made one more call to sort out the hire car details for tomorrow. Kym and the kids will head up on the bus while I'll pick up the hire car and make few stops on the way up to take a few pictures. I’m not thinking about it yet, but the traffic and the switchbacks are worrying me a bit. Cars zoom past the buses on the way up, often on blind corners and on the occasion there is a bus or car coming down. I’m hoping that by the time I finish up taking my shots most of the bus traffic that holds up the car traffic will be over by then. If not, I'll just chug along quietly. I do hope Kym will bring it back down tomorrow night though.

We headed out for tea tonight to the Brazz Steakhouse. Easy walking distance as it is just literally down the road. And we are all too puffed to go too far. I've been feeling a bit light headed late this arvo and a bit headachy. It might have been from Sean’s enthused chatter on the way back from the Ski Field.

So back to the snow we go tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Zealand Day 6 7.8.2013

The weather forecast wasn't the greatest for today, but once again the weather man got it totally wrong. Instead of wind and rain, the breeze died away and it snowed at The Remarkables in the afternoon.
The kids had their ski lesson this morning and they both were deemed good enough to go up the chair lift for their end of the lesson.

I’m so gosh darn proud of them. They came down in each of their groups with the biggest smile on their faces. Even though it was breezy and that definitely had a wind chill factor involved, they both just beamed. Rosy pink cheeks chin and tip of their noses. I ducked into the ski shop and found a neck gaiter each to cover their neck, ears, chin, cheeks and nose. It looks like a thick fleecy headband that slips over the head and sits on the neck. It can be pulled up to cover whatever you want. Even Kym thought they were a good idea.

While the kids were doing their thing I strapped the GoPro to Kym’s head to record his skiing of the slopes from the Sugar Bowl down to the Alta Chair lift. And as it so happened he had a stack. It’s been his only one and it’s all there film for the kids to see. Teeheeee.

So while we were having lunch it started to snow. The kids just had to go out and catch snowflakes, stick their tongues out to taste them and just generally get in amongst it. As well as click on their skis and run amok in it. Oh and it was 0 degrees.

Now the kids were up to using the chair lift there is a tunnel on the slope they zoom through for a bit of fun. I asked one of the Ski Patrol boys if they were able to kindly run me up the slope in their snowmobile so I could photograph the kids coming through it. It was a bit of a hike otherwise and my hiking boots aren't that waterproof. They were only too happy to zoom me up there. On the way we passed one coming down with a passenger with his arm in a sling. It didn't look that good.

It was still snowing in earnest and I was able to get myself with my back to the incoming flurries and keep the camera under my unzipped jacket to keep it reasonably dry. Fortunately the Slingshot bag comes with a weather cover so I was able to protect the bag and its contents with that. I guess I waited about 10 mins before the kids let me know they were about to come through.

And I stayed on the spot for their second run to film them ripping through it. 30 minutes later my beanie was crunchy with frozen snow and my back was pretty well covered. And my shoes were wet and I had cold feet. But it was worth it. While I was waiting I took a shot of the chairlift disappearing into the snow to get an idea of the snow.

I walked back down to the bottom which was a bit of a trick in itself. I've had my ice cleats on every day as soon as I get to The Remarkables and they help immensely. But nothing can stop the glasses from fogging up and there was no way I was taking them off while walking into the snow. Snow and eyes don’t mix. Near the bottom I just couldn't see the ground and I mistimed a step and down on my bum I went. I reckon I slid a couple of meters before coming to a stop. I laughed so hard. It would have been funny to watch from the ski chair perspective as they were moving over head.

The next few shots show some of the skiers as they came in and how crusted with snow they were. The four blokes in their Cookie Monster onsies tuffed it out. 

Annie came in on her own. She took that field solo without Kym and Sean. I'm glad she told me that after and not before.  Her plait was frozen with crusted snow and a smile so wide.

Even Bob got in the action amongst the snow.

Annie wanted to come in and warm up a bit so I took her upstairs to the café for her first ever hot chocolate. The boys found us up there and Sean had his first one too. I reckon the melted marshmallows at the last swallow are the best bit of all.

It was nearly time to pick up our backpacks from storage so the three skiers clicked on their ski and had one last run and then headed to the bus to meet me there. It was still snowing up there, but not far down the road from the ski field it had turned to rain.

We checked the skis and boots into the drying room and I brought the kids into the apartment for hot baths. Kym went down the street for a few supplies. It was so good to get the two pairs of thermal socks off that were fairly wet by the end of the day and have a hot shower.

We've had a sloth evening in readiness for our last day of skiing tomorrow. I think the kids want to do more but we do have other plans for them.

Over the last couple of days Annie had developed the same snotty cold as Sean but I think she has managed to kick it. Sean is now on the back end of his. Thank goodness. It hasn't stopped them one bit though. Little tuff nuts.