This challenge is brought to you by: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ or as always click the above photo.
Today is brought to you but the letter “R” and for me some might say the most important letter.. sure it’s ALL been about Family, but his one is the reason for FAMILY.. finally I’m introducing you to my “Bloke“
Bloke is a slang term for a man common in Ireland, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa.
The earliest known usage is from the early 19th century, when it was recorded as a London slang term. The word’s origin is unknown, and though many theories exist regarding its etymology, none is considered conclusive.
In Australia, a bloke is a unique masculine archetype associated with the country’s national identity. The “Aussie bloke” has been portrayed in important works of art and associated with famous Australians, while in the United Kingdom, “bloke” is an everyday term for any man.
See now there ya go, I even learnt something new, I had NO idea that Britain, New Zealand and South Africa?? really?!! used the term Bloke.. I thought it was an Aussie invention!! His Nick name started when I commented one day “Oh you are amazing, that’s so smart” he’d done something useful for me and I was complimenting him, his reply was “Nah I’m just a Bloke” to which I replied “Yeah but you’re MY Bloke” and he’s been called Bloke even since. To be fair he’s always called me his “Sheila” and I preferred that rather than “My Mrs, or the wife” Some days I think he doesn’t remember my real name but then when he calls me my real name I always cringe and think I am in trouble! The Bloke has introduced me to people like this “Meet so and so and this is my Sheila” people then think my name is Sheila.. and later on they say something like “Oh and Sheila what do you do?” (A question I HATE!! read here: https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/plead-the-fifth/) I then have to gently correct them and say “well actually my name is Kim” he’s so convincing at calling me “Sheila”
If you’re a Sheila set your goals high, Because this is what Sheila’s do.
It is Cool to be a Sheila …Bright, Smart and Beautiful in side and out. Most of all In tune with the Spirit of God!
Funny… I’d never read that particular explanation of “Sheila” before but it fits me!! My family often ask “what are to dancing to? there’s no music!!” ha ha!
So now let me introduce you to “My Bloke”
My Bloke, Rob Hine, Perry Sand hills Wentworth New South Wales November 2014
Robert Hine was born 29th February 1956 (yep he’s ancient!!) He was a leap year baby, the first I’d ever met and then I ended up with a pen pal who is also a leap year baby, this fact will become useful later…
His parents nevr gave him a middle name, so I did… “trouble”
Robert.. sounds foreign calling him that! was the middle child of three, he was a cutie from the photos I’ve seen. A bit of a wild child, he says not, but I disagree he brought an old ambulance with a friend and re modeled it and set off to see Australia.. Wild child or not? They spent a long time wandering over the Eastern Coast of Australia and working as they went, scuba diving and other odd ball jobs. He is still friends with that friend who was the best man at our wedding, he married an American lady and moved to Florida but they come “home” yearly to see his Mum so we catch up then.
Somewhere along the way Rob met the lady who would be his first wife and settled down I guess.. I’m not going into all his sordid back ground but we need to touch on that stuff because that’s how he got our eldest son Kit.
By the time I got to meet Rob, he was a single Dad, enjoying some old-fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll music, dances and seeing bands, he had a house and a steady job so I missed the footloose and fancy Rob and got the high-end business man, jack of all trades, this is the man who, when given a sheet of cardboard recently to take out to the recycling bin, comes back a little while later and says “Hey Hun, Look what I made” I turned around to look at him very proudly holding something.. I am always a supportive wife, and so said “ohh it looks good but … umm… what is it?”
“This” he proudly tells me “is the template for a collapsible fire pit!!” My husband is an Engineer, so if ever I am stuck on a project he’s the first one I call, he is very exact in measurements where as I am the “Close enough is good enough” kinda girl.. if I get stuck I say “huuuuun” you have to drawl it out and sound kinda pitiful..”I just can’t make this work, could you take a look?” and he says “Yeah sure Sheila let’s see” and within minutes it’s fixed. That’s the kinda guy he is, so he’s helped me with Quilting, Sewing projects, painting projects, decorating projects, school homework projects.. we always joke and I say “Can you take a Bloke look at this and tell me where I am wrong?”
So back to the cardboard “collapsible fire pit”.. I gently reminded him that it’s cardboard wont it burn? he says “yeah.. but when I take it to work tomorrow and put it into the computer and then make it out of steel.. you’ll see!” Side track… When we go camping, in tents, with all our gear stored in a trailer which we call “Tilly” we have very limited room, my Bloke designed this trailer and had it made to his dimensions and everything had a place and a place for everything it’s so snugly packed!
He’s Tilly at the Big Banana in Coff Harbour New South Wales. Easter 2014
Inside Tilly has divided bits to hold stuff and store stuff and even shelves, it’s very clever and we love it, but there’s no room to carry a fire pit and sometimes we go camping and we wish we had a fire pit, some camp grounds provide them but it’s on a “first in first serve basis” and that’s not ideal. In Canungra at Easter 2014, we managed to get one from the people who were camped next to us and were leaving, and before we had time to even put some wood or paper in it, someone had come over and was about to pick it up and walk off with it.. until the Bloke said “oi.. that’s our fire pit tonight” It was then a seed was planted and about 3 months later than the “collapsible firepit” was born, all because I was too lazy to walk the cardboard out to the recycling bin…
He came home from work about a week later and said “Hey Sheila wait till you see what I made ya!” and off we go to see.. he set it all up and yes it was amazing, we cook on it at least weekly now.
Fiona Fire Pit.. cooking dinner on the banks of the Darling River in Wentworth New South Wales November 2014.
The beauty of Fiona Firepit is.. she packs flat and takes up no more room than this lap top computer.. we cook whole meals on her we sit a cast iron griddle plate on top and on those bars where the potatoes are, the kettle goes so we have hot water to wash up. He’s made a few different ones, the grooves in the side of this one are where we rest the skewers when we made kebabs.
Now his work, are in on the act and want to see them.. I don’t know whats happening with that but we love ours and are looking forward to taking her with us on the Big Lap, August – October 2015 to Western Australia.
Here is Fiona in the front yard cooking jaffles in the Jaffle iron, I just found out recently they are called “Moon Pies” in the States..
So that’s my Bloke, Jack of all trades, when I see something I like he says “I can make that!” and he does.. I wanted bookshelves for the Study when we first moved in, he made bookshelves not just any bookshelves, wall to floor wall to wall bookshelves and the shelves were measured to fit in various books, CD’s, His vinyl collection and his bloody Phantom comics!!
Everyone has heard of the Phantom, he is the dude that jumps around in purple lycra and lives with the Band of Bandari pygmies and rides a white horse and has a pet wolf called Shadow.. (I think?!) In our house The Phantom is a legend and my husband collects Phantom and says weird stuff like “rough on roughnecks” and “the Ghost who walks the man who never dies” and his favorite is whenever he says something smart he proclaims it as “An old jungle saying” I’ve only ever read a few of the comics, because I really prefer books without pictures unless they are photos! So the Phantom Comics are side by side with the Old 50’s records, and they are next to the CD’s which we used for all our radio shows when we did those. My Bloke rarely watches TV, mainly only the Football or the news, he reads occasionally but once he’s into a good book he hates to put it down.
Teaching Squishy to Swim, Australia day 2014- Alexandra Victoria.
He used to brew his own beer, and I will never forget that smell or brewers yeast fermenting in the laundry!! He likes to cook, and in fact will not allow me to cook Steak,BBQ, Fish/Seafood or any Roasted meats.. I feel he doesn’t trust me. he likes to choose a meal each week that he will have to cook “gives you a break hun” and if I cook, he’ll dry the dishes! He loves tomatoes but hates them cooked. He has a life long version to brussel sprouts, I will never forget the day we were in the check out line at Aldi, and I was asking him “What is so wrong with Brussel Sprouts?” and he waffled on about the yucky texture and the smell etc etc, and he said well so and so doesn’t like them and either does so and so, and so I smart assed-ly asked “So I suppose you are going to tell me that Niddrie Tech School taught you ALL how not to like Brussel Sprouts” and before he had the chance to reply.. the guy in front of us turned around and said “yes it’s true! Mr So so the Maths teacher put me off them for life” Oh My Gosh.. seriously?? then these two blokes stood there for like 10 minutes discussing how they hate Brussel sprouts and did you know Mr so and So at NIddrie tech school?
Camping with Family and friends Easter 2013
Rob and I, Debbie and Mark, Cousin Lee and Craig
But see that’s another thing about my Bloke, he’ll talk to anyone and find something in common with anyone. He likes little children and will play peek-a-boo in the supermarket with a total stranger and I will say “can you please leave that child alone and finish the shopping?” Once in a second hand shop in Alice Springs in the middle of the Northern Territory, There were some Indigenous Australians in there and a little girl about maybe 2 yrs of age, just was fascinated by Rob, maybe it was his silver hair or how tall he is or his soft voice, but she fixated on him to the point where she blocked the door and would let us leave the shop, and then when we did manage to escape she stood there and cried.. we all fell in love with her and talked about the chances of kidnapping her and keeping her.
This is the man who claims “I hate cats!” and then when we found homes for all but one kitten decided that maybe we should keep her as we were keeping her brother. He named her Janis Martin after his favorite 50’s singer, and she became his shadow. So one day he’d been out in the shed for ages working on his motorbike and I thought I’d do the dutiful wife thing and go see what he’s up to.. I hear music blasting and there is Rob and his Cat, heads together working on a piece of Motorbike.. I said “Ohh you two look very cozy there!” and he gives me this Growl.. “she won’t bloody move and everytime I put my head down she puts hers down for head rubs!” yeah right.. he loved it! he nicknamed her “Janis floppy Shed cat” He was so devestated when Janis left home and went to live with the neighbours down the street, The dogs that used to live over the road trapped her one time in the shed, and she was obviously more traumatised that we realised because she’s never set foot in the shed again and moved house as well.. traitor!!
When I got the bright idea to shave my head and raise money for the Leukemia foundation, he didn’t hesitate to jump on board! Thats true love!
Rob and I have been married 11 yrs this year together 15. We got married on HIS birthday 29th Feb 2004, I told you it would come in handy later!! I married him on his birthday for two reasons A- he’ll never forget the date and B- When we have a “real” anniversary every 4 years we also have another honeymoon!! Clever huh?
And although the numbers say it’s a short time it seems like forever, he’s changed my life in so many ways. when I first met Rob I was convinced this would go no where! We were too different, He was a fancy business man shirt and tie kinda guy and I was a single mother of three, housewife mousy person. We have met somewhere in the middle.. he’s relaxed a bit and I’ve lifted my game a bit and we have a happy medium. I found it so hard to go to the Rock ‘n’ Roll dances at the start, I didn’t know how to dance and everyone was so beautiful and dressed up, so Rob took it upon himself to give me dance lessons, at impromptu moments, usually in the kitchen while dinner was cooking, which 9 times outta 10 would end up with a kiss, and then 4 children groaning “errr yuck.. get a room!!” Eventually I learnt some steps and went to a dance and danced and loved it and we have been dancing ever since, now I am teaching the Grandbabies and sometimes all four of us will dance in the kitchen, Me with Sweetpea and he with Squishy. All the good things happen in my kitchen!!
For our Double Digit Wedding Anniversary in Feb 2014, we had a Mystery Flight and spent a romantic weekend in Brisbane Queensland. He hates to fly, I would fly every day!!
He taught me to not only endure camping, but to love it to embrace it and to want to go more. We said when we went away for our first “Big Lap” September – November 2012, we will either get closer or one of us will come home dead. A few times we had some harsh words because he wanted to be Mr Perfect and do it all himself.. but once he decided to chillax a little bit and give me some chores well life got smoother. He’s taught me to try new things, to taste new things, to explore new places, and so in the last 15 yrs I’ve done more than in the previous 33 years!
Celebrating Amber’s Birthday March 2015.
So there is only one family member left to meet.. my Star Son.. and he’s at letter “W” I hope you’ll check back and meet him.
Will, Me and Rob on the Melbourne Star, terrorizing their Mother/Wife!