Our Stories – Part 2…

After many years of having the horses pull the plow, the family had enough money to buy a D2 Caterpillar tractor from the United States. My great grandfather, Bertie Peri, was proudly driving his new tractor up and down the paddock when a big black car comes driving in from Master’s Road, Toobanna towards him.

A Government Official got out and nonno Peri thought they had come to intern him to the camp as he was an Italian refugee, he said to the man, “I’m already packed, just come up and the wife will fix you a cup of tea and I’ll have a shower and get ready. The Government Official replied “Oh no Mr Peri, we’re not here for you, we have come to commander your tractor for the war effort.” Nonno Peri replied “Oh no, please take me, but not my tractor! As he started to cry.

The Officials didn’t give Nonno a piece of paper regarding the war effort, but returned a week or so later and they told him that it was going up to Papua New Guinea to flatten the forest to build air strips for our planes.

Nonno never saw his beloved tractor again, nor did he ever find out what had happened to it. It was back to using horses for quite some time. At this time, my grandmother, Beattie Aquilini, was seven and Nonno decided to sell the farm and bought a general store and bakery at Toobanna.

When my grandmother was eight, she learnt to drive the only truck they had – a 4B2 army truck that my grandmother had to drive to deliver the bread to the railway station to be bought further south.

Gosh! I love all of nanna’s Stories, she seems to have a never-ending list that she enjoys telling the world.

Aquo Xx

My son – the farmer…

Farming has been apart of Jack’s life since he was born. Both myself & his father, as well as most of his grandparents and some of his great grandparents were also born into the farm life in the Hinchinbrook Shire – Being Townsville Road just past Andy’s Road House (BEST Hamburgers ever!), the Aquilini farm then out Warren’s Hill, Blackrock the Irvin farms. So yeah it really does run in our blood. I believe that’s why I personally, have an enormously large passion for the sugar industry in the Hinchinbrook Shire.

This may be the reason why since a baby he would sit in front of the TV and watch harvesting videos on YouTube and if you were to turn it off – God help you! Whenever we have gone out to mum and dad’s if dad is mowing Jack HAS to go mowing to. Dad still has the little 90 quad bike that he bought my sister and I when I was five years old. It has never been rebuilt and it still has the original tires on it – Jack just thinks it’s the best thing. There is no way I would ever let him ride it himself after everything that’s happened, but I have full trust in my sister and my brother, even though my sister is wayyy too overconfident at times, she’s always safe with Jack.

Jack can tell you what every switch and button does in dad’s harvester (John Deere 3520), he watches everything! He watches where dad’s hands are positioned on the sticks (and sometimes when nobody is looking the harvester mysteriously moves) and he makes sure the elevator flap is positioned correctly. I have no doubt in my mind he could do a full day in the harvester with Nonno. He loves it!

During the sugar cane crushing season, my boys go wild! All I hear is Harvester, Train, Haulout, Train, Bins, Units, Mill, sometimes it drives me insane… BUT I love it! This season when Andrew is in one of the Greaves, I take both the boys for a ride and they both don’t want to leave. It’s pretty cool how we can fit all four of us in there – AND there’s still room.

My dad has had Case Maxi-hauls since the early 2000’s and I’ve always thought they are the ducks nuts, they go faster however there is no way you could fit two adults, a toddler and a baby as well as all the crap you have cart along. AND THERE GREEN! Jack says “Greaves – not a Deere” Deere being for John Deere., it is possibly the cutest thing ever!

Harry is only six months old, but because his brother is, he will probably be sugar industry mad also. I’m unsure what the future holds for Andrew and myself, but he has always just wanted to be a farmer – so I guess that makes me a farmer’s wife.

Aquo Xx

Aquo’s famous Sunday Sesh…

Aquo’s famous Sunday Sesh…

The Urban Dictionary defines a Sunday Sesh as being short for “Sunday session”. The act of getting together on a Sunday to socialise and drink likely large amounts of alcohol. That’s not even a lie – it actually says that!

For me, Sunday Seshs’ became somewhat of a tradition of mine just before I had my accident in September 2013. There is just something about the atmosphere I absolutely love, the relaxed feeling of sitting outside, listening to some tunes, drinking a water – common be honest they say! a cold beer or in my case a dad rum. And who could forget – ADULT CONVERSATION!

Nowadays everybody is super busy but I feel if we don’t make time to catch up we never will (unless it’s at the Annual Race Meet). I’m not too worried about who does come or who doesn’t, I’m just giving the option to catch up for a few hours. I’m thinking I’m going to make it once a month or once every few months and make it pretty awesome for the kids, with different activities each time.

Now, my Sunday Seshs’ are all about the kids (Because most of my mates have kids). There is nothing better than watching all the kids playing together and having fun. Not everyone gets to spend a lot of time with their kids and it’s good to see your kids interact with other kids apart from daycare etc.

I have recently invested in some pretty cool water toys for the kids – today Ingham Travel dropped off a little kid pool with a palm tree and a slide, now I just need something for the big kids! But hey – I’m more than happy to just sit under a sprinkler with a coldie haha.

Catch ups like this don’t need to be expensive – have a bbq, even just a sausage sizzle and a few nibbles and your set. Ask everyone to bring a dish and everyone gets fed, lifes good. Here is a link to one of my favourite websites – Frugal and Thriving, check it out for some awesome ideas!

The following videos have some pretty cool activities for the kids. Mr Carl annoys me (Sorry Mr Carl!), but some of these activities are easy to pull off and for most of them, you will have things at home so you don’t have to spend a cent!

Aquo Xx

Shredded AF…

Around the start of the sugar cane crushing season I started training back at Tweak Fitness – the only place to be… with Louise Doughty and phoh! does she push me hard or what! But that’s what I want, I don’t want to be this nice piece of ass (for a lack of a better phrase). I want to be strong! I want to get shredded and create a piece of art.

It’s incredible what you can achieve with your body if you put your mind to it. Before my accident I didn’t take much notice, half the time I couldn’t keep track of my period – but now I have educated myself through the internet and reading and have started living consciously… with everything.

The other day I wore bikinis for the first time since I was 17! And you know what – my body looks better than what it did at 17! I am so incredibly proud of myself – This hasn’t been a year long adventure for me, it has taken five years. FIVE YEARS – People usually get to ten months and give up. What can I say – The only reason I’m still here is because I have a bloody HARD head!

It is the best feeling deep down FINALLY being happy in my own skin.

Today I am not in a very good head space, and that reflected in my workout. Louise pushes me hard, but I want to be pushed hard. At the moment, I am trying to be the most positive person that I can be but that is all slipping away very fast with everything that’s going on. Working out is the only thing, I feel, that keeps my mind from going back to dark places. BUT – that will be a forever journey for me living with a brain injury. Thankfully, we are about four weeks away from the end of the sugar cane crushing season -alleluia! This season was hard, for everybody, it’s definitely not like it was 10 or 20 years ago – the sugar is just not there, lack of diversification etc.

Today was one of those days where we finish all of our sets, but I didn’t want to stop, I had so much built up anger that I could have pumped out another three hours – I didn’t want it to end. Louise is helping me create a machine – and you know why I want to do this, I will prove all those chaps wrong, the people that say “there’s no way she can’t do it!” I told Louise, that I will be her little guinea pig and we are going to create something awesome! This is the only thing, that I feel, is for me at the moment, the only thing that keeps me from going bat shit crazy.

Since having my accident, I have proven everyone wrong, with everything and it makes me feel powerful – NOT invincible. The reason I push so hard is because there is always somebody worse off! Check out this video of Andy, this bloke is incredible!

Here are some other articles I have written in the past about this topic:-

Body image – the female perspective

How I rebuilt myself – Aquo 2.0

I’ll keep you all posted – you DEFINITELY haven’t heard thee last from me regarding this topic.

Until next time…

Aquo Xx

Maraka Festiveal…

This year marked 60 years of the Maraka Festival in Ingham at the Rotary Park in the Hinchinbrook Shire so I thought I would take my boys down to the end of the street to watch the procession. They were both so well behaved which made it easier and Jack made some new friends – he’s usually alone dinosaur.

The procession was awesome! some awesome tunes played – I can’t wait till my boys are old enough to go on their school float! I don’t understand the random cruisers and patrols in the procession though? I get all the hotted up cars but if there’s utes in the procession don’t they have the Maraka queens and princesses on them?

I didn’t get one photo! ME who takes a million just to make sure there there for all of maybe half hour! BUT we had to go play on the swings on the way out, which we can do all the time haha.

So I was hoping this was going to be a write up on the event that would cop a million hits… But that’s just not the case sorry peeps!

It’s 8.00pm now and I’m sitting on my veranda listening to the festival and watching the fireworks. I’m contemplating walking back and getting ravs (My favouritist food in the world ever) and like a dozen canoli (like my second favouritist food in the world ever), but I’m sitting here thinking both my boys are FINALLY asleep and I’m not going anywhere!

So I made a tea… more like a rum and coke… Watched the fireworks and listened to the tunes pumping and went to bed. There’s always next year, and I promise if I’m able to there will be 20 million photos and a pretty smashing write up to boost our shire!

Aquo Xx

My hometown – Ingham…

I’ve decided to change the direction I’ve been writing lately to a subject I am extremly passionate about – my hometown – Ingham. The small town (that is rapidly growing) is situated approximately 110 kilometres north of Townsville and 1,437 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. The town is positioned about 17 km inland within the Herbert River floodplain where Palm Creek drains the low-lying lands. The North Coast railway line passes through the town, which is served by the Ingham railway station. The Bruce Highway also passes through the town.

So there’s a bit of a geography lesson for you… haha I actually learn’t something at school – sorry that I gave you guys a hard time (teachers).

Ok – moving on… Ingham has been my hometown my whole life… Well – except for when I left school and hated everything… You know – that rebellious phase most of us go through, well… some of us. The suborn, hard-headed, independent little shits seem to be the ones who go far – look around. There’s no need to bring up anyone’s past, BUT, we all have a past. Ingham is the sort of town where some people forget their past and are possibly the most judgmental people you will find.

Ingham is the sort of place where there is more positives than negatives. Look at the support the town gave my family and I at the time of my accident, and still 6 years later they will lend a helping hand when need be. The 4 kids that live next door to me have become part of our family. My boys just love them – to the point my two year old yells out talking to them through his bedroom window – everyday… People need to change their perspective on the world. I would love for my boys to grow up here, to continue to build the empire their father and I are trying to build. What’s here in Ingham at the moment is unacceptable!

I’m not leaving the town the way it currently is – I want better for my boys. The best way to be in life to get what you want is to get out there and work bloody hard for it! That’s what I’m doing… Me – who suffers 24/7 chronic pain. I don’t want your pity… I want you to join forces with me to turn this town around! I love being busy! Being busy means I’m not focusing on the pain.

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you. – Mary Lou Retton

Aquo Xx

Broadwater – Abergowrie State Forest…

My first memories I have down Broadwater was from when I was maybe, maybe ten years old and went down the rapids on my cousin’s boogie board and cut my knees up pretty bad on the rocks. Then there was the camping trip where Uncle Mickey got stung by a stonefish, or maybe it was Uncle Trev… I can’t remember.

The water there was always cold, even in the middle of the day. If your lucky you will see some pretty cool wildlife – I’m sorry but those goannas scare the crap out of me!

It wasn’t until just before my accident that I found out there was a lookout off the main road leading to the campsites. It was beautiful up there! It became a place I would go to think about relationship troubles and just life in general – Best thing about it was how quiet it was up there.

I had a mate who lived out Hawkins Creek way and there are some ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL places out that side of the Hinchinbrook Shire. It was lovely to go for a ride on the quad bikes (yes – I know that’s illegal, but It’s all about not getting caught right?) especially in winter, I’m talking about getting off and having to wipe your face because it’s frozen kind of winter… which is like two maybe 3 days a year here. 😜

The rates to camp there are so cheap – So it’s a good excuse to get the swags packed up and stock the eskies (proper Aussie style with more beers than food) and don’t forget your sunscreen! The UV ratings in North Queensland are crazyyyy!

If you do happen to make it a plan on your to do list, I would love to see photos – @aquoonline and with your permission, they may become a feature in one of my blogs!

Aquo Xx