AMBA NSW, The Carrington Hotel Katoomba, + Plans Going Awry

Well, the PLAN had been to write a good, long post about that grande old dame, the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba.

I stayed there last Friday night, as a guest of the NSW Branch of the Australian Multiple Birth Club, whose seminar was on the Saturday.  I gave a talk on ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder and Multiples’ because, yes, having twins, triplets etc is one of the risk factors for ASD.

Anyway, the PLAN was to drive up to Katoomba on Friday morning, finish the slides for the talk at leisure, swan around a few bookshops, have tea and scones and take heaps of photos of the hotel and learn all about it.

But like all good plans, this one had a fatal flaw.

It didn’t work


Thursday night saw me inspecting a painful lump on Teen16’s coccyx. Friday was spend at the GPs, and then we went straight to see a surgeon. An operation is booked for tomorrow.

Poor Teen16 has a pilonidal sinus, what I’d always called an ingrowing hair, but now know is not that at all.

The poor lad was in agony, and was started on antibiotics and painkillers straight away.


By the time we got home it was after 4pm and we all needed to take a deep breath. Thanks goodness for Bethany au pair. Thank goodness for painkillers that work.

Thank goodness for a strong cup of tea and a secreted 100g bar of dark chocolate. Comfort eating has its place!

Anyway, I made sure Teen16 was OK, kissed them all goodbye and drove up to Katoomba in the dark, getting there in time to grab something to eat in the Grand Dining Room then spent the rest of the night furiously finishing the Powerpoint slides.Carrington-3

I did try to take photos next day using my DSLR. Popped off quite a few... then realised there was no memory stick... it was still stuck into the photo printer in Sydney.

But I hope these few photos taken on the iPhone can give you an idea about this remarkable old style hotel. The ceilings are amazingly high. The rooms are straight out of the 1800’s (except with reverse cycle aircon!) The electric blankets work a treat.

I just loved the old-fashioned (because it is genuinely old) ensuite bathroom. Look at that sink!

And I am in love with all the plumbing on the shower – love it. The shower was hugely powerful too, I nearly got washed down the plug hole. Fantastic!


Early on Saturday I had breakfast (continental is included in room rate and was plentiful, cooked breakfast costs extra) and then found the function room.

It’s at this stage that my tummy started turning somersaults.


So I walked around as the PA system was being set up, repeating my anti-nerves mantra.

‘You’ve done this before, you’ve got things to say, you can do this.’

‘I’ve done this before, I’ve got things to say, I can do this.’


Checking out all the raffle prizes was a great distraction, as was buying loads of tickets!Carrington-10

The NSW AMBA Seminar in full swing; great bunch of people doing great work for multiple families, all volunteers too.

I talked for AN HOUR about what autism spectrum disorder is, and what it isn’t, about our family journey and about what is known about autism in multiples.  Twin studies are really important for unravelling the gene/environment interplay and great strides ahead are being made.

Being a bit worried about GiantTeen16, I did get all emotional at certain points. Didn’t burst into tears as such, but felt quite weepy. Appropriate, I think.

And there’s no more loving or kind or accepting a bunch of parents than the mums and dads of twins, triplets and more. It was a privilege to meet them and to be involved.

Here’s the one slide that says it all for me.


We parents of children with any sort of additional need just want our kids to be taken as they are and treated as individuals.

We love that, we need it and so do the children.

So there you go, an overnight stay that turned out to be a big emotional trip.

I whipped home after lunch and got stuck straight back into the chaos of family life. As we all do.

PS I do love the Carrington, check out prices and availability if you fancy a stay right here.

How’s your week looking so far?

Any plans going awry yet?

Do any plans ever go according to plan when we have children?

Take it easy,


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