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There was no travelling today. Instead we planned to spend some time with Nick and the kids when they were available. Sophie and Ben had dancing much of the day and Harry had Spanish classes and some dancing. Lucas would be at home.

We had arranged to arrive at Nick’s place around 9:30 am. By that time Harry would be gone to Spanish and Sophie and Ben would soon be heading out to dancing. That allowed us to rise late, eat breakfast in our hotel room, and then drive the short distance to Nick’s place.

Majella planned to work with Lucas to produce a painting using the brushes and paints we had given him for his birthday. Soon after we arrived she headed off on foot to the local Officeworks to buy something to paint on. Meanwhile Nick took Sophie and Ben to dancing and left Lucas with me. 

Sometime later Majella returned with two canvasses and soon had Lucas at work with his paint. They selected a simple subject, a bowl of fruit on the table, and set to work with Majella offering advice and demonstrating technique. By the time Nick returned, and hour or so later, from shuttling kids and shopping the artworks were complete.

Meanwhile I had been catching up on some email correspondence, banking transactions, and general reading of news. The backlog was not entirely eliminated but it was reduced.

Lunch was salami and salad sandwiches made from some of Nick’s shopping. The multigrain bread was more to our taste than that of Lucas but he managed to eat some. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

After lunch, Majella attacked the kids’ rooms in a frenzy of tidying. They looked much better after she was done but it may take a while for the kids to find the gear they had left for easy access on the floor and every other surface. Her efforts inspired Nick who gathered together some surplus items for disposal.

All that cleaning produced a collection of items that belonged elsewhere. Nick, Lucas, and I walked out, deposited some cardboard in a recycling bin, dropped some outgrown clothing in bins across the street, and delivered some e-waste to the bins at Officeworks.

By the time we returned Majella had run out of spaces to tidy and there was relative peace for a while. Sometime after 4:00 pm Nick headed off to collect the kids from dancing. They were back just after 5:00 pm.

Last night Harry had proposed that for dinner tonight he would make knöpfle (pasta-like) noodles using the regifted Swiss knöpfle maker Majella had given him at Christmas. That sounded good but then the conversation drifted to soufflé and that was added to the menu. 

Soon after the kids returned the kitchen was busy with Majella and Harry working on soufflé with strawberries and cream for dessert. Once they had that done they turned their attention to the knöpfle, mixing the dough of flour and eggs with a dash of milk so that it is less firm than pasta dough and can be extruded through the maker into boiling water. Meanwhile Nick started cooking chicken and some vegetables. Ben set the table. Dinner was a major production and very enjoyable.

After dinner Majella and I washed the dishes – there were a lot of those for such a complex meal. On the way back to our hotel we searched for cheap fuel and filled up the car ($195.9).