My family is a bit fragmented – small in number, we are spread across several cities – indeed, across a couple of countries. The latest Hines Reunion, following the successes of Brisbane 2002 and Christchurch 2006, took place in Canberra – in late October rather than at Christmas, for a change. There was mischief and mayhem, camping and chaos, hugs and hilarity and a cast of thousands! (OK, maybe not quite thousands – but there were three generations of us gathered...)
The Christchurch and Brisbane contingents joined Mick & Jayne for a camping extravaganza at Lake Burrinjuck while I spent the week banging my head against a brick wall. Erm, I mean, developing young minds (!) By all accounts, it was great fun (the camping, not the banging of the head).
Pater Peter, Jayne & Mick enjoying a barbie and a few bevvies
Jayne & Deirdre - champers and chat
Ingrid, the Bird Lady of Burrinjuck - with friendly locals
Did anybody else notice how many of these photos contained glasses of something that looks suspiciously alcoholic?
After returning to Canberra, Graham & Deirdre set up camp in my backyard, and Kylie and Felix arrived from Perth. There was much barbecuing and yes, more wine... My liver will never forgive me.
The Big Event, however, was on the following Saturday – a sort of Halloween/Christmas hybrid – Hallowhistmas, if you like – at Kate's place. Kate's wig got a workout:
The wig as she is supposed to look...
...appropriated by Boomerang Boy...
as did the stash of Lindauer Fraise and many bottles ofwine... and Graham's silly sunnies, bought in bulk and distributed with desperation:
Dad, Diana, Betty
Dad, Diana, Graham, Betty, Mickey, Jayne
There was a bit of mad hattery:
Ingrid, sans parrots
Here's to your elf!
And from youngest to, erm, most mature (in vintage only!), the occasional reflective moment:
Kylie - the youngest (but apparently the most sensible) of the revellers
Diana & Dad ('The Patriarch')
A good time was had by all – rather too good, if the headaches on Sunday were any indication. Ow ow owwwww!
Mark the Miffy-Friend and sleepy Betty at the end of the HUGE day
Eventually, though, people had to return home. Home for Dad, Diana, Chris & Ingrid is in the rather wobbly city of Christchurch – so they had to go and make sure nothing had fallen down in their absence. Kylie and Felix had to return to their new house and dishwasher in Perth (bloody capitalists!) and Graham & Deirdre packed up the campervan and trundled back to Brisbane, to retrieve their lovely dog from doggy prison and go back to work.
And here in Canberra, life returned to normal – or rather, to whatever passes for normal in Hines households! Happy Reunion, folks - thanks to all for a great time!