We have landed on a family that we originally met in Canada and that have returned to their home town … and are now growing back into their regular life. The Phelans entered Kate’s world when Tim (the patriarch) worked with Kate around 2007. Tim was to be based in Fort McMurray and Kate was flying in and out of the work site in the deep north of Alberta on a regular basis. When Tim relocated his family from Brisbane, they set up a friendly Fort Mc home-away-from-home and would often invite Kate, a poor-little-displaced-and-familyless-Aussie, over for a properly cooked meal when she was up north. When Kate met Sean and set up her own friendly little home in Calgary, they would have Tim (and often the family) over for dinner … and the occasional two week stretch when the kids were on summer holidays. The Phelans were eventually repatriated to Australia and returned to their bigger, nicer home in Brisbane’s suburb of Ashgrove.
Even though Kate and Tim no longer worked together, we still stay in touch and were able to spend five days with them on this trip. There was much to talk about and catch up on. The kids are now involved in their own pursuits, from water polo and swim racing to viola lessons. The unique personalities we saw as seedlings in Canada have all blossomed into full-fledged, interesting and opinion-holding people. We were lucky enough to just be flies on the wall (and sometimes passengers in the child-transport) while life at the Phelan Household continued at its frenetic pace. We loved being around for spirited discussions over dinner, Kate Phelan’s birthday, a water polo tournament, Sean’s very first pro rugby match (which didn’t end well for the Reds), the start of the planning process for the next family vacation and the general hubbub that exists with a busy family.
|the back porch was were we spent lots of time|
|Beccy and a friend in the pool|
|bike paths around the CBD|
|palm trees - this IS the tropics, after all|
|lovely gardens of Southbank|
|enthusiasm was high ... best rugby game I ever saw!|