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This weekend was one of ups and downs. Literally. It was the first time I went gliding. After getting lost finding the Bathurst Soaring Club and almost running out of petrol on a windy country road with no phone reception, Dyl and I finally found the little white gliders and the cute little plane-shaped hangars. A few false starts later trying to avoid flying in the storm tempting to run right over us and we were ready to go. We were shown the ins and outs of the glider, the main thing that stuck in my mind was that the red lever on the right ejects the canopy….ie DON’T TOUCH! Then after being fitted into my special booster seat (because I was too small for the seatbelt), the cable was connected to the front of the glider and the tow plane (piloted by my uncle Gregory) pulled us down the runway and into the sky. Interestingly the glider often lifts off the ground before the tow plane does. The plane pulled us up and up and up until the cable was released. The glider dropped slightly and then we glided quietly through the air. What an amazing feeling! My pilot Paul did a couple of zero gravity rollercoaster-like moves which were mildly terrifying but childish giggling-like fun at the same time. I even got to take over the controls for a while (wise move or not, I am still here to tell the tale)! The flight lasted about 25 minutes and we landed back on the runway. Well, we overshot the runway because the wheel breaks weren’t working, and almost ran into a field, but it was all part of the fun.

Oh, I almost forgot! On the way to Bathurst we stopped in at Katoomba for breakfast. Ordered the ‘Deluxe Hot Chocolate’ and oh mama was it a days-worth-of-calories-delight! Definitely not breakfast food…but when in Rome…

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Sunday was family picnic day at Shelly Beach in Manly. My lovely 93 year-old ‘I’m not grey, I’m blonde’ grandfather has been down visiting from his new residence on the Gold Coast. So this family gathering was a great opportunity for all of us to catch up! And also to finally get to see my beautiful second cousin Lila! Nat and Dan you are doing the most wonderful job with your gorgeous daughter, and I couldn’t be a prouder second cousin πŸ™‚ The day was sunny and hot as the sun finally decided to show its face, the company was wonderful, the food was a plenty and we narrowly missed getting a fine from the ranger for having an unleashed dog on the beach.

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I also received some very sad news this weekend about the tragic passing of a highschool companion. Something that really shook me and reminded me how fragile life can be. Willis, I don’t think I have a single memory of you without a smile on your face. You will be missed by so many and my thoughts are with your family and friends