Time to go home, but we need food first so the Bellarine Family gathered at precisely 10.45 at The Dunes in Ocean Grove before we hit the freeway home, after the oh so slow drive through Geelong.
Myself and R, Ex Sis in Law and her husband (Mornington Peninsula), Sister and her daughter Jo and Fire Fighting Nephew and his daughter Little Ju were all there and it was quite nice, with nice views over the sea and great surrounds. FFN's wife was unwell and stayed home.
Three weeks earlier they had announced she was pregnant. He made a grandiose announcement at brunch that they were having twins. We were so excited for them but the wife cried all the way home from where the scan was taken. She is an event organiser and had also organised their lives for the next ten years. Twins weren't in the equation. She stayed home this day as she is suffering a lot of pain in her early pregnancy.
FFN's sister, Hippie Niece has the cafe latte coloured twins. Twins do run in the family. FFN told me twins come from the mother's side, not his. It was not his doing and he should not accept blame. I said to him, surely you had something to do with it. He laughed.
That's a short post. I'll go on and of course River trumped me with the announcement that her son is having twins.
The still crawling Little Ju came across Jo who was seated at the table. Little Ju stopped on the floor at the feet of Jo and stared up at Jo for at least two minutes. It was like she was trying to absorb something from Jo. I took photos. It was weird. Little Ju is the most wonderfully happy baby.
It is some time since I have said much about Jo, my sister and her wife's daughter. She is fourteen and remains perfectly polite and friendly. She has no great desire to visit our place, the Tall House as she used to call it. Why would should she? Two old men out of touch with the culture of the young. But she doesn't mind our fast wifi connection and watching internet on the large screen or computer screen rather than her phone. Note: Jo did have a brief uncommunicative period, but she seems to have passed that. Also she has expressed a desire for us to take her to see the Myer Christmas windows.
She is interesting to observe. Her dress sense is unconventional. At times I think, that doesn't work but other times I think, that is not conventional but it works. I've recently noticed that while she doesn't wear conventional makeup, her lower eyelids are lined with a black subtle upward curve, or is her upper eyelids.
The first 6 or so years of her education were at government primary school, admittedly a very good one. She now travels in a bus for an hour each way to an excellent non religious Japanese owned private school. Within just two years she has developed a posh Australian private school girl accent. Along with being academically excellent, she is also very interested in performing arts and can sing and dance, play a little guitar and flute and will soon attend a huge scout jamboree, as she has before. She can write and has been minor published. Just today as I write, Sister posted a photo of her playing cricket at some club. I am surprised. Much to Sister's disappointment, Jo doesn't really like sports.
All that by the age of fourteen. She is also passionate about the environment and animal welfare.
She still loves her Uncle R, and I suppose has some respect for Aunty Andrew.
She is way smarter than any of her family, including her own mother, but what she is yet to learn is how to speak to people on their level. FFN asked her about school and she talked about it in such a detailed manner and I as listener and FFN both had very glazed eyes. We ill educated had no idea about what she was talking about.
The last time she was here, Sister said something about something that happened two weeks ago. Jo argued it was one week ago. Sister argued back. Eventually I said to Jo, does it matter? There are times to be accurate and pedantic when people say something wrong. There are times when a minor point is not important. She replied, but I am right. She is perhaps with an unfortunate gene in common with Aunty Andrew.
Sister's social skills are excellent. Sister was recently on a tv quiz show and performed well. A couple of days ago she was on ABC radio talking about public swimming pools and her desire to swim in every one of them in our state. Sister is friendly and outgoing and can talk to anyone in any situation quite naturally.
It is a skill Jo has yet to learn but I am sure she will. I think of myself at fourteen and I was so way behind.