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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Real and Reverse Sarcasm

It all began about four weeks ago as we were driving from Penguin to Stanley, caravan in tow. The first traffic light we came across in Burnie was red. Darren, along with all members of his family, has an almost pathological hatred of red lights, along with an uncanny ability to turn just about any light red as they approach. It’s known as the family curse. With his niece and nephew in the car too, I knew it would be a very tedious trip, full of moaning and groaning at each red light. Something had to be done.

‘Reverse psychology’, I announced. ‘I love red lights.’ ‘A great chance to rest and relax.’ And so we started cheering for red lights. I think we only had one other red light during the entire trip (but a lot of groaning and moaning each time we went through a green one!)

Last week we stayed with Darren’s sister in Brisbane (said niece and nephew’s parents). Amongst other interesting reports (we apparently made the kids go to bed at 6:30 or 7:30pm – they hadn’t changed their clocks from Qld time, and since it was still daylight at 9:30pm in Tassie they were really confused about what time it actually was!) we heard about ‘reverse sarcasm’. The name stuck, and our little trick for beating red lights has since been passed on to the rest of the extended family.

We ate outside most evenings while in Brisbane, serving ourselves from a bench beside the BBQ. One evening Miss 13 said in the sweetest of voices, ‘We’re lining up oldest to youngest, so you should go to the back of the line Aunty Barb.’ Everyone went ‘ooohh’ thinking Miss 13 was so smooth. Aunty Barb, taken aback by the compliment, responded ‘Was that reverse sarcasm?’
As cool and quick as anything, and with the best of intentions, Miss 13 countered, ‘No, that was REAL sarcasm’.

The whole place erupted in laughter, and we’ve been laughing ever since. Miss 13 will go down in family history as the originator of a family saying that will, no doubt, last a long, long time, causing great hilarity and jocularity whenever it is recounted.

Up until that time a remark I made earlier in the week about something being generic (instead of genetic) had been popping up regularly in conversation. Intentionally playing with words, or picking up on other’s misuse of words, is definitely 'generic' in this family!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sad News

Darren's dad passed away last Thursday (15th January). He had battled pneumonia around Christmas time and had also lost a lot of weight over the past few months. The sadness is mixed with relief, though, as he is now free from his difficult struggle with dementia.

We flew back to Brisbane on Friday and are preparing for the funeral on Thursday 22nd at 11:30am. We are enjoying this unexpected time with family, in spite of the circumstances, and are also looking forward to seeing some of the Aunties and Uncles. While up here we will also spend some time in Toowoomba, and do our next lot of marking up there during the first two weeks of February.

When we return to Tassie we’ll have about six weeks to ‘finish off’ the last few things on the list. I know that for most people six weeks is more than enough time to see all of Tassie, but not for us! The big things still on the list are Maria Island, Meander Falls, a few walks around Launceston, Ben Lomond and Walls of Jerusalem. It’s looking like a busy few weeks…

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Christmas and New Year!

We had a great Christmas with the family, and then a busy but fun time when Dazz’s niece and nephew flew down for the week. We’re marking for a few days now (I’m just taking a break to do photos!!) before our last few days with the family. Here’s a selection of photos from the last few weeks (in no particular order - Christmas, the beach at Penguin, Creative Paper, Wings Wildlife World,

Mole Creek Caves, Devils Gullet Lookout, The Honey Farm, Tasmazia, Cradle Mountain).