These little tykes, Jewel and Gem, are new additions to the farm menagerie. They are happy to be patted, and the kids were even able to feed the furry calves their milk in 'bottles' - plastic milk cartons with rubber teats attached.
We wandered down to the orchard and picked some sun-warmed grapes to eat. Laura and Ben checked the chook pen for eggs, and each of them took turns to hold Caramel (one of the chooks). We ate lamingtons for morning tea (for those of you not familiar with this Aussie sweet delight - lamingtons are pieces of sponge cake, encompassed in chocolate icing, and rolled in coconut). At lunchtime, Joe barbecued sausages and hamburgers, which we ate in buns with coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, and tons of barbecue sauce. The juices dripped between my fingers as I ate, and I politely licked up the mess.
Later, we filed down to the creek, and Laura and Ben scooted about on their boogie boards, investigating nooks and crannies. A watersnake scared the pants off everyone by suddenly darting towards us as we waded in the shallows; everyone threw small stones into the water in front of it and it dived, no doubt perplexed by our panicking.
We returned to laze about on Mum & Joe's wide front veranda, chatting and drinking my sister's magical homemade punch. My sister pulled a grey hair from my head, despite my (admittedly feeble) protests. I plaited my sister's hair, then undid it, then plaited it again. Everyone teased Ben about his freaky front tooth - a baby tooth being pushed out and forwards by a new tooth, causing the old tooth to poke out sideways and upwards. My husband Fatty peered through his binoculars, spotting for birds.
When we left there were hugs all around, and everyone was smiling. We couldn't help it - we'd just had the happiest Australia Day on record.