March may have been a month where not very much happened. But April was the opposite with two major events dominating the calendar. As a result I made many trips to the airport, including three in one day - and one of those was at 1 am!
For Miss 17 the highlight of the month was the annual Young Birders Camp. This time it was at the far south of the country, mostly in places she's never been before. A few of her friends flew down to stay with her (and go birding here) the day before camp started, and then I drove them down to one of the camp pick up points. It was cheaper for everyone and the bonus for me was I got to spend the night in a hotel alone since it was too far to drive back in the same day.
|A hotel room all for me! And that may or may not be a tub of premium icecream you can spy in the back - the perfect food for an evening of movie watching and reading.|
|I made a few birding stops on my way home. There's nothing like a walk in the bush to raise the spirits.|
|A very bad photo of a Fernbird, but I was pleased to see one out in the open, since they normally skulk in the undergrowth. I saw one on my drive home from dropping the teens at camp; Miss 17 saw a couple at camp.|
By all accounts a great time was had by all at camp, despite the weather. It rained, heavily, every day bar one. There was a fair amount of boat travel involved and the ferry ride to the island where they spent a couple of nights was pretty rough. So rough that Miss 17 indicated that she would skip the 4-6 hour pelagic (boat trip devoted to looking for seabirds) scheduled for the following day. However, she changed her mind and ended up going - a decision I think was pretty brave since feeling sea sick is a miserable experience. She said she's glad she went since they saw some great birds and she didn't feel too sick. Luckily she managed to make herself go to sleep for a bit and felt better when she woke up. I don't know what she enjoys more about these camps - the chance to go birding in different environments and so see new birds, or the chance to catch up with her friends. Already they are busy planning their next birding adventure for later in the year.
While she was at camp she was presented with a national award for young ornithologists. True to form she is being pretty low key about it but I'm both pleased and proud. Some pretty big names have won this award in years gone by.
For the rest of us the big event was of course Mr 25's wedding. Although they did officially get married in January, that was more to get the marriage certificate so they could start the onerous task of applying for visas. They viewed it more as an engagement and for them this was the real wedding. A church ceremony was important to him, and her parents included some traditional Indian ceremonies which were important to her. It ended up being a lovely mix of their respective cultures.
|Dh pinning a buttonhole on the groom.|
|The bride's family bought us all clothing to wear to the Indian blessing held the following day. Miss 17's was the red; mine was the white.|
Despite the organisation having to be left until the last minute everything went smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves. While Miss 23 and her boyfriend have been heard talking marriage, I must confess that I'm glad they want to wait a couple of years until they have both finished their graduate degrees. I think I'm a bit weddinged out at the moment!
In between camps and weddings life continued as usual. Miss 17 received the results of her first ever test and did really well, better than she thought. This course isn't coming easily to her, and isn't of high interest so I'm pleased she is putting in the effort and that the effort is being rewarded. Mr 20 was also relieved to do a lot better in a recent test than he feared he had done - he's struggling with one course taught by a lecturer who has the reputation of being one of the university's worst.
University was on a mid semester break for a couple of weeks so Miss 17 and I managed a couple of birding trips ourselves. A couple of rare birds had been reported in the area and we were keen to track them down. One was conveniently just across town. The other was a bit more of a drive, but with views like this it was worth it.
|The wildlife reserve a couple of hours drive away where we found an Australasian Little Grebe - very rare in our part of the country. It was the first one I'd seen but Miss 17 had seen one or two before on her travels in the far North.|
|There were a couple of banding sessions during the month. Here Miss 17 has a blackbird head down in a container while she weighs her.|
My job hunt continues to be unsuccessful. I haven't even managed to get an interview for anything. I suspect I'm seen as over-qualified, lacking in recent experience or just too old! Still I'll keep trying. In the meantime I've been enjoying plenty of reading time and have even committed to yet another reading challenge. This time I'm going to read books set in 24 different countries, as part of a long challenge - to read my way around the world in 80 books (ie read at least one book from 80 different countries). So many good reads in April. I rated The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Every Note Played as 5 stars, but also had a real fondness for Dear Fahrenheit 451 and Born a Crime, not to mention The Great Alone and Let Me Lie. I've also completed an online course entitled Islam Through Its Scriptures, which was really intersting. So much I didn't know.
Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up and Homeschool Highlights.
Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up and Homeschool Highlights.