And that was just the start.
It's always difficult when they leave, we call it "The post Rocklea Stress Disorder" as the kids always have a hard time settling into school routine after the freedom of being here. As I said, it's time for me to go back to work and school is your work, so we just have to get through that and look forward to the next break, when we can do it all again.
Every Christmas for the past several years, I have taken a photo of them all on the same old wooden seat - it's interesting going back over the old ones. Here's one for 2015.
Left to right - Back Tyler 17, Jackson 14, Harrison 11, Lachlan 10 Front Lily 9 (almost 10) Bronte 9 and Declan 7.
As I said last week, there's been a fair bit of work happening at Rocklea, this time not in the garden, but a new set of steel yards. Bruce and William had been planning them for some time, to replace the timber ones we built when we first arrived here in '82. So it was all hands on deck, firstly to remove the old ones and peg out the new. Post were cemented in, rails and gates, cut and welded. Jackson had his first lessons in welding and Tyler's friend Mitchell, out for the weekend, was put to work immediately.
There's a whole lot more to do, but they made a great start and the remainder will happen as time permits.
We had our annual visit from our very good friend Sam Lovell from Derby. Some of you may remember that he spoke at Bruce's service. He's the greatest story teller and the kids are always enthralled. William, who has been listening to him for many, many years, says that he's only ever heard the same one story twice! He made a couple of CD's for the children to listen to a whole lot more. Sam just turned 82 and makes the trek across the country to attend the Tamworth Country Music Festival every year.
The Silver Thimble has had a "summer clean". There's been a bit of a change in layout and a whole lot of cleaning out! Lots of great specials to start off the year. Patterns, books and threads all need to be culled!
Books at $5.00 each, some only one copy left. Embroidery threads at 50c each or 20c each if you take the remainder of the box. Patterns at $2.00 and the best of all, Duet threads at 50c each. I cannot purchase these threads any longer (and they were a great collection) so I have ordered the Gutterman range which should arrive soon. Once again, I must thank my good friend Norrelle who has been helping me all the way with this massive job. There are lots of new fabrics to arrive in the next month, so hope to see you all before too long.
Talk soon, Sandy.