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After last nights festivities we all woke up fairly late and didn’t really get going until just after 10, I was worried that I’d almost missed ringing the UK to wish them all a Happy New Year now that we were all in 2015 together. Thankfully I didn’t miss it and managed to get hold of everyone at number 4. I managed to speak to Grandwen briefly before being passed around the whole room and only after a few people did I realise that the the Nicholas family were also with them – sorry Robert for confusing your voice!!!

I also spent a lot of time writing up the last couple of days and finally getting up to date with this blog. With all the writing and phone calls I completely forgot to have breakfast! In the end I joined Susie, Luciano and Amy in an early lunch and I enjoyed a large scrambled egg on toast. The weather was quite chilly and overcast so we decided to go out to the desalination plant which had been built quite recently amongst some considerable resentment (opened three years ago, there are still large amounts of graffiti over any sign and placards placed in several locations)

The area around the de-sal plant has now been rejuvenated and planted quite carefully outside the plant, on the roof of the plant! And a wetland with a great bird hide has been built to support the wildlife. We walked out to the bird hide and whilst walking out over a board walk over a swamp where we heard these loud cluck type sounds pinging one at a time from different patches of the swamp. These turned out to be frogs (possibly bull frogs, but we couldn’t see any so it was quite difficult to identify them properly).

When we were in the hide we saw two Black-Shouldered Kites who hovered stationary high above us possibly hunting. The diversity of the wildlife was incredible for an area which until very recently has been a vast building site. Whilst it definitely needs a few years to really establish the plant life properly it was still very impressive.

On our way back we dropped into Wonthaggi to pick up some more bread and milk, I managed to post a couple of postcards so I hope they make it – the postbox was a little like St-Foy with various slots to hundreds of different areas.

Once back at the house I read my book, which I’m really starting to get into until Luciano announced that supper was ready. I hadn’t noticed the time and hope that I’m not too sunburnt because of it! Luciano had cooked a tuna and tomato sauce which we ate with linguine. We’ve also been drinking lots of Lemon, Lime & Bitters. I’m reliably informed that this is a very typically Australian soft drink and it is certainly quite delicious and very refreshing. It has an orangey, pink colour. It seems to go with everything and tastes much better than in sounds!

Having eaten our supper we went out to play cross country bocce / pétanque on the lawn. It was cross country because it was played between the Ti-trees and on a very bumpy, sloped lawn covered in rabbit diggings. We were also trying to play by moonlight at the end as the sun had gone down; the ball usually completely disappeared the moment you threw it which made it rather challenging. Luciano won by some margin (11-9-7). As we finished Susie came out and joined us with a torch as we were aiming to see some more wildlife. I still had yet to see a wombat or an echidna in the wild. Unfortunately, they weren’t in the mood to be seen, but there was certainly evidence of the presence of a wombat as it had left some droppings quite near a new hole.

As usual the day ended playing scrabble. Halfway through there were some large thuds on the roof and quite a lot of scurrying. This is quite normal as possums live happily in and on the roof of the house. I offered to go outside and have a look at what could have caused the noise. As I walked around the side of the house I allowed the torch to shine into the tall Ti-tree that stood near the corner and on a branch over my head there was a very large Brush Tailed Possum. It sat quite merrily on the branch gently looking round at me with wide red eyes. It’s eyes were ringed by white fur. When he moved it was much slower and more deliberate and more like the Koalas that we saw in Kennet River than I was expecting. Given the noises you hear you expect to see it scurrying and jumping like a squirrel.

The Scrabble game went very badly for me and I came last spectacularly. I would like to claim, in mitigation, that the only non-single pointers that I had all game were an H & Y. Even so, a poor show! Amazingly Luciano and Susie managed to draw after Luciano went out and Susies letters we’re taken away from her score to give them both 118!

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