In Melbourne, this weekend is an unofficial ‘4-day weekend.’ We traditionally have the first day of November off to celebrate our beloved horse race, The Melbourne Cup. It’s internationally renowned, as it’s a 2 mile/3200m race, equally the longest horse race on a racetrack in the world. It beats the Triple Crown by 1/2 a mile, so you really need a stayer of a horse to be in The Melbourne Cup. For most people, having the Tuesday off is a good excuse to have the Monday off as well, and my boys had a Curriculum Day yesterday just to give them a 4-day weekend. So this is what we got up to!
As you all know, we took a 30 hour hiatus out of town Friday night to have a little adventure to Apollo Bay and the Otways… When we were down there, I bought a lottery ticket for the $21 million Tattslotto draw, and won 2 x 6th divisions and a 7th division off a Quick Pick (computer generated numbers), so I won $55 all up, which was a nice surprise.
On Sunday, we had a bit of a day of rest, a couple of downloaded movies, a little bit of work for me and a small outing where my 11 year old and I went bike shopping (which I had done ‘bike browsing’ the weekend before with my 9 year old), and we walked out paying for three shiny new bikes (which weren’t delivered until Monday).
Monday, I had to work… the boys had a pyjama day again, but our bikes were delivered in the afternoon. I also decided to work out what to do with their playroom. It desperately needed some militant organisation and the only way we could achieve that, was to do some research on the Ikea website (of course I wanted it cheap, fresh and something I could put in the car and take with me, and not worry about it being delivered in 5 days time!)
So Tuesday came around… I had a chat with a friend from overseas, the boys asked me to make pancakes for breakfast, which I obliged, and then I said we had to try out our new bikes. My 9 year old was a little apprehensive as he hadn’t really ridden a mountain bike before, but I told him we could have a little practice at the local school and if he wanted to go home we could. At the start, I needed to hold onto him till he got moving, but when we got to the school, he was riding like it was second nature. He was so excited about how he went, he asked if we could ride on the road, if we could go for a longer ride, if we could just RIDE!! So we went back home, grabbed their Camelbaks for instant hydration, and headed towards the beach to ride on the bike path. Of course, the rain started to come in, and there were a few little up-hill inclinations we had to go on which ruined his style (or should I say ‘hurt his legs!), but we made our maiden voyage from home down to the clock tower and back. To me, it was further than I expected us to go, and both boys are looking forward to the next trip, telling me how much ‘fun’ it was! Yeah! Mum got something right!!
After we came home, the boys sat down in front of the TV and I told them to turn it off… too much to do! Need to get bets on for the Melbourne Cup (upon which we all chose 2 horses and put $5 each way for a win and a place), and we had to go to Ikea to get the new bookshelves!
I made it down to the TAB to put the bets on (which just so happened to be next to a pawn shop… obviously help each other with business!), then drove to the new Ikea, walked through the maze of showroom to not find what we wanted until we hit the food hall and the boys screamed out that they were hungry and wanted lunch! So we had some Swedish Meatballs, a salmon (or gravalax) salad wrap and some hot chips (as the $1 hot dogs were downstairs after you check out!), and I tried the Swedish apple cake. We then made our way downstairs to the Market hall and picked up some 79c water glasses, some tea candles and our bookcases with baskets… but we also found a cute little timber outdoor setting that was perfect for our little porch, so we threw that into the trolley, as well (hope I can fit it all into my car!).
As we went to pay, I was handed a $25 gift voucher because Ikea was having a generous week (ooh, I can now buy the cushions I need for the outdoor setting!), and we proceeded blindly towards the car with my trolley literally blocking any vision I had of what was in front of me. I asked my little guides to help me where they could, especially asking them to walk either side of me so I could see where they were. We made it to the car, managed to get it all in and slowly drove home, as the glasses were loosely placed in the boot of my car.
On the way home, as there is a $100 million OzLotto draw tonight, I asked the boys if I should get a ticket… which of course, they said ‘yes.’ So I cashed in my weekend winners, bought a lottery ticket for tonight and a couple of scratchy tickets for some pre-lottery fun.
Once we came home, we lugged everything inside, started making our bookcases, when the race came on. We sat for the traditional 3 minutes of silence, and saw two of our six horses get a place… giving us about $135 back! Not bad for a single mum with two kids who have no idea what we are doing! We then decided to scratch away at our scratches, the boys won nothing on their $1 tickets… but I won $10 on my $5 ticket.
We finished making the bookcases with a hammer to the thumb for me courtesy of my 9 year old, and a bruised knuckle thanks to an allen key, and made their play room look perfect! There’s a desk for homework next to the window, the bookcases, two bean bags, a TV for their Wii, and a world map to mark out all the places that we’ve been.
Unfortunately, my OzLotto numbers didn’t come up… missed it by ‘that much.’ But that’s OK… I’m just happy that I have two boys who enjoyed their long weekend, a tidy organised playroom for them and we had a little luck come our way!