#548 Returning to Island time

I wrote a post very early this year about a photo I took while on holiday with Hubbie at Phillip Island, many many many years ago.

Not only did this photo stay with me due to it being taken at a highly creative and deeply personal awakening time for me, but its strong and subtle message of taking it easy while being on an island, sang an especially sweet song. It spoke of not just relaxing into the moment, but allowing all worries and stresses to melt away as you succumbed to the slow-down pace of a more mindful part of the world.

Well today after about 5 years, we were back at Phillip Island.

Then it had been a still and sunny, though cloudy January day.

Today it had been a grey, incessantly rainy, and hair-flailing windy August day.

Then there had been an abundance of tourists everywhere lapping up the scenery.

Today there had been few overseas people about, the streets mostly empty and quiet.

Then the shops and cafes had been bursting with livelihood and excitement amongst the best time of the year.

Today there were more shops blackened and closed, than were open.

Then I had taken my sweet time to take the best shot possible of my favourite pic, angling the camera just the right way to get the best light, while using the poster’s message to take it slow and take it in, in my task.

Today I had forgotten about the poster on the passing building until we were nearly past it, and I made Hubbie slow down in the middle of the round-a-bout while I made a mad scramble for my phone and took a hasty shot of it again.

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I didn’t even get ALL the words in.

And yet I didn’t care. The people, conditions and comparison didn’t matter to me: all that was important was that the poster, the message was still there. And as long as that poster was in that same spot, that meant it was always going to be island time.

And it forever will be, rain, hail or shine.

(The background tree photo on my SmikG blog is of the Phillip Island iconic trees on the main strip, an ode to the time when an especially important story and group of characters came to life in my head…

#547 The Penguin tradition

I was about 8 or 9 when I went with my parents, sister, her then boyfriend (my soon-to-be brother-in-law) and a whole lot of extended family and cousins, to Phillip Island, where as tradition has it, we saw the Penguins.

Today, for the first time in about 25 years, I went back… with the first-timers, Hubbie and baby girl in tow.

I may as well have been a first-timer, it has been that long. Being a Monday we thought it would be quiet. Like, I actually thought, there may be like, another group of people beside us… something like, 25 or so?

Try 25 HUNDRED. Or so.

There were soooooo many people. So many tourists, and buses, and guides, it was like OMG.

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Despite the crazy, we waited in the stands in the surprisingly calm Wintery air, and saw a few groups of penguins approach from the crashing night-time waves. After seeing half the crowd up and suddenly disappear within 20 minutes, we decided too to investigate and see if we could find any penguins who had made their way back from the sea, heading into their burrows and bushy-homes for the night.

We saw heaps. Baby girl was up close and personal with several of them, pressed against the barbed fence that separated the humans from the penguin track, saying “awww, so cute,” as they waddled past, and even waving goodbye to them as they made their way further and further in-land.

It was very sweet. And then once we had had our fill of penguin cuteness, some more adorable overload.

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I mean, when there is something so exceptionally life-sized, it is a MUST to pose alongside it, yes?

Penguin joy passing from generation to generation. I promise I won’t wait 25 years until next time.

#546 After the party

Today Hubbie and I were in FINE FORM.

It was a sunshine-y day. There was NO PARTY. No family, and no friends about.

We pumped the music LOUD. Actually, from two stereos – one from his car in the garage as he stored away spare chairs and tables from inside and tidied up from that end of the house, and me with the inside stereo, throwing up the volume as I washed, and cleaned, and tidied, and sucked every pesky crumb from the carpet I could find as I vacuumed with such jolly, ALL OVER THE PLACE.

And we couldn’t have been happier.

Because as much as we love throwing parties – damn it’s good when it’s over, your house returns to some sense of normality, and suddenly, the pressure is OFF.

No rush, no stress, no freaking pulling my hair out.

Just memories, a lot of mess, and ahh moments.

Ahhh. ‘Til the next birthday…

#545 Face paint at almost 3(4)

When you write a gratitude blog, you are looking at the happier things in life.

Brighter moments.

Uplifting times.

A flower blooming bright amidst grey concrete.

The rainbow that follows a dark storm.

The perfect coffee to perk you up on a cold Winter’s morning (of course, coffee).

But when it comes to Motherhood and kids, life is soooo off-kilter. There is a lot to be grateful for, but there is also a lot to bang your head against the wall in frustration too.

Take today for instance. We celebrated baby girl’s 4th birthday.

Do I mention how she hid under the table and didn’t come out as visitors came forward to wish her a happy day? No.

Do I mention how she only wanted to stay outside, away from everyone inside, and only came in when she fell and grazed her knee and I forced her to? No.

Do I mention how she screamed with fury when everyone started singing happy birthday to her? No.

No No No.

Because I’m also a glass half-full gal, which makes writing a blog like this, a bit easier, amidst challenging times. Diplomatically speaking.

So, I am grateful that I got a little face ‘decorating’ done today. Of course baby girl refused her face and got her hands painted instead (of course, it’s her birthday after all), but as soon as I organised the face painter to come for the kids, I immediately thought ‘I’m getting something too.’

I thought that, because I am young at heart, and baby girl brings that out in me, even more. And not only do I enjoy her birthday and the fun that these events bring to her, but it is double the fun, because actually…

Baby girl and I share a birthday. What do you know. Double the trouble.

So any excuse for a big party for her, is an excuse for a big party for me. And any excuse to get face painting for her…

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Is an excuse to get face painting for ME.

Bright flowers and blooming butterflies. We focus on the positive things here.

Eternally youthful… I don’t care for growing up.

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#544 Sparkly cupcakes at midnight

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When I am up making cupcakes at night, you know something, is UP.

A party is near.

But when those cupcakes with their finishing touches are being applied at midnight, well then, you know a special cheeky princess monkey’s birthday is near.

It’s actually 12 hours away, and yet I am still not in bed.

I am grateful for the sparkly cupcakes, not only for the future fun and frivolity they promise, but for the fact that when it’s ‘finishing touch’ time of any pre-party preparation, I know the huge day that just was, is finally over.

Ahhh.

Before more madness ensues tomorrow morning.

On that note, goodnight 🙂

#543 Café-ing with Hubbie, ALONE

Oh wow. Like this has not happened, ever ever ever, since before we had baby girl.

In 4 years, have we not sat down at a café opposite each other, just us.

But today, it happened.

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It only happened because Hubbie and I are on leave together, and today was baby girl’s kindergarten day. Score. It was a quick stop, as we were super busy and in the midst of weekend birthday preparations for baby girl… but still, it was a great break, just the two of us, as we sat outside Store Fifteen feeling a decent breeze, with a stronger sun pulsating on through, and a stunning and shimmering beach horizon in the very close distance.

It was amazing, and I can only imagine what we’ll get up to next week during her kindergarten session, when we have NOTHING to plan, and NOTHING pressing to attend to.

…!

#542 Hubbie’s tooth removal…

… went well. All according to plan. I’m so grateful that when the periodontist removed the front tooth, he was able to remove the entire tooth, root AND cyst at the end of the root, in one clean sweep.

Yep, cyst. It had to be done, or else his tooth would have eventually crumbled and fallen out on its own.

It’s been a few months of anxious anticipation and waiting, just wanting the main, big important procedure OVER and DONE WITH.

And now, after all the nerves and stresses of waiting, for Hubbie and myself, it is over, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

The worst part is over. I’m so grateful for Hubbie, and I’m rapt we can now look forward with more clarity to…

PAR-TAY!

🙂