It’s a balancing act, pure and simple. (The slackline, that is.)

Brioni balancing on a ledge of rocks, The Gorge, Launceston, December 2012
After watching lots of this sort of activity for months, I thought it was time to take the girls to the next (literal) level.

We ordered a proper slackline and picked it up today while visiting Yvonne in Launceston. With a bit of help from a clothesline and a shade-sail pole, the line was up, and the girls started making their way down its length.

Brioni walking the slackline, January 2013
I think our slackline will make a perfect camping companion as it's quick to set up and pack away.

Calista walking the slackline, January 2013
Cali stays close to the clothesline and practices taking four steps back to the pole.

Brioni walking the slackline, January 2013
Brioni is more adventurous and is intent on walking the length of the line.

Yvonne helping Brioni walk the slackline, January 2013
Yvonne lends a shoulder to give Brioni confidence as she finds her balance.

As I watch the girls interact with Yvonne, I feel blessed to have older women in our lives who take an interest in the girls and encourage them. We may not be geographically close to blood relatives, but the bonds that the girls make with surrogate grandparents like Yvonne are close and loving.

For the rest of the day, the girls amused themselves around the house while Yvonne and I talked heaps. Yvonne has just returned from a trip to Bali and so could advise me on what to pack, what to expect and how to behave like a local when we visit Indonesia later in the year. It’s also interesting to hear of her travels overseas, her time as a single parent and how her now-grown children fared after years out of formal school.

Aisha in the bubble bath, January 2013
Aisha covers herself in bubbles with help of the air jets in the spa-bath!

Yvonne’s bathtub proved immensely popular with all four girls, and they nearly flooded the house in their enthusiasm. Yvonne was very relaxed about the children’s games in her house and didn’t mind the soaked towels. “They’ll wash and dry,” was all she said.

Calista playing with Yvonne, January 2013
While playing with a plastic wine glass, Calista transforms herself into a unicorn and asks Yvonne to help her tape her "horn" to her forehead.

When we left Yvonne’s house late at night, it was only after the girls received assurance that we were coming back — and we will! We’re also looking forward to seeing Yvonne next weekend at the Circus Festival. That’ll be fun — especially with our slackline!