#403 Lengthened Night

It was already so much darker between the hour of 6:30 to 7 this evening.

That’s because this was our first night of non-Daylight Savings Time, after our clocks moved back one hour very early this morning.

I have written about this before. And so it surprised me that yet again, I gladly welcomed the end of Daylight Savings for another year.

This time last year, “I almost welcomed it”… those were my words. And obviously, I was grateful, grateful for the opportunity to hibernate like a bear and do nothing but sleep, eat, and write.

But this year, I wholeheartedly and vigorously embrace the darkness.

And it’s simply to do with the fact that I just need a break. I just need to slow down. I want to turn our attentions inward, literally, into our house, and chill, and think, and re-design when we can, and enjoy our family time together.

Not necessarily at the beach… but we can still have fun looking at the beach, and waving to pretend pirates on ships far, far away on the horizon.

That’ll do just fine. Now, excuse me as I go to bed.

#389 Beach Days no. 2

So it’s not my second post about the beach, but with the above heading… you get my drift.

(Oh let me count all the billions of ways in which I am grateful for the beach!…)

Mills beach, again. Because, family friendly. Shallow waters allowing the littlies to play on the sandbanks emerging everywhere. They can dig holes, build sand castles. They do both and then someone/something comes along to crush/wash it all away.

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29 degrees. It’s not a 35 plus burn-your-epidermis-off stinker. A comfortable hot. The kind where your sunscreen lasts longer than just 30 minutes.

It is still. Not a breath of air.

The water is warm, and as you walk further into the water, there are patches of cool. I dunk into these quickly, looking like a sook next to baby girl who is all in, DIVING.

We sit in the shaded comfort of our beach tent. I read about Sam and Snezana in Peninsula Kids mag (I fell in love with them on The Bachelor), and then eat grapes, and pizza rolls I made myself – puff pastry, sauce, cheese and bacon. Too easy.

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We all stand out in the water and splash about, surprising each other with sudden bursts of cold. Baby girl climbs atop her Frozen board, and we hold her as she ‘surfs.’ We make quite a racquet as she screams and we laugh loudly.

Hours pass, and then it is time to go. It’s been a fabulous day, and though it takes concerted effort to get baby girl to leave the water, once out she wraps her Spider-Man towel around her… and off to the car she goes.

Our beach girl 🙂

#384 Beach evenings no. 1

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It was still. Not a breath of wind. Low tides, so the water was warm.

Post 6pm. Quite a number about, but as the evening wore on, the people dwindled, and looking around on this evening, post-Labour Day weekend, it was nice to know that this was all locals.

Just locals. Ahhh.

We sat on our comfy beach chairs, eating a pre-prepared pasta salad. I had it all packed up in my new Tupperware picnic basket, and it was all kept lovely and fresh.

(New Tupperware can be super-exciting).

As the night came down, the waves crashed in – not high and huge, but low, strolling in, gathering enough speed to make the kids run into the bay, screaming and squealing with laugher, jumping into them and crashing about.

I wrote her name on a raised sandbank within the water. Then Hubbie started an impromptu game, so he, baby girl and I chased each other on this ‘island,’ round and round and round, ’til we got tired.

We didn’t have to tell her the beach was closing. It grew dark. She was hungry. She confidently wrapped her beach towel around herself, dismissing my help, holding it in the middle of her chest as we walked back to the car.

Just like a regular ol’ beach gal 😉

#371 Casual beach epiphany

These casual beach visits are happening more and more lately… partly because we are testing the literal waters of how close we are, and also, because… well, the hot season ended just yesterday.

Either way I love these visits.

It doesn’t mean however, that the warm weather has gone away. March has already brought a spectacular sunshine-y day to us, and looking at the forecast for the week ahead, things look really good.

While sitting on my beach towel watching baby girl and Hubbie in the shallow waters earlier this evening (I only ever get to sit for a few minutes at a time, IF I am lucky) with baby girl leaping into the water like a frog, and Hubbie keeping watch nearby, I turned around to look at the scenery around me.

It was a Wednesday afternoon. Lifeguards were jumping off of their red boats and practicing essential life-saving skills. A man sat in his beach box behind us, making us all jelly that he had residential property on the beach. A couple of dogs ran wild in the water. And in amongst the decent lot of people around, I spotted some casual-looking ones: straw hats, low slung beach bags, big sunnies, and oversized tops thrown over their swimwear.

I looked back to the pristine and still waters before me, glistening in the sun, and got very emotional.

This was now our neighbourhood. We were now locals, as they all were.

It was a small moment, and certainly one that has struck us with its epiphany before, but every so often, Hubbie and I will be somewhere in our ‘hood, doing something, and turn to each other and say

“Look where we are.”

We actually, dumbfound ourselves.

I love these moments. I hope they never end. The wonder and sheer surprise that life has to offer, with its marvellous and weird and trippy twists and turns.

And I hope they keep on coming, at the beach.

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#342 Blissful views opposite Kirks

Last time, it was cold, windy and daylight savings was not on our side.

This evening, there was a mild warmth. It was still. And daylight savings in summer, is still around.

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After dinner at Kirks, with the extended sunlight on show, we headed on down the sandy steps below, to find a secluded piece of outstretched beach. It is called Royal Beach.

I was royally unprepared. I had wedges on, and simply watched, clenching baby girl’s hand as we walked down the steep decline to the beach, while Hubbie pranced about deliberately on the sand far below us, waving to us and making us both totally jelly.

He came back and asked baby girl if she wanted him to carry her (“why of course Dad, that is no question!” – she hates stuff getting in her sandals!) and then I stood on a patch of grass at the bottom of the decline and took some pretty snaps of them in the distance.

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Apparently it’s a dog beach. It is beautiful. I’d love come back with them one day soon and walk along the beach when I have more appropriate footwear.

The Peninsula. Discovering beautiful beaches, one blissful day at a time.

The Peninsula. Discovering that you need a pair of thongs in your car boot AT ALL TIMES.

#340 Mills beach

We went over unprepared.

Just to ‘test’ the waters.

It was our first time as a family to Mills Beach in Mornington. Baby girl and I had been there once, months ago, and after I had had to chase her down the beach on multiple occasions, leaving all our belongings lying in the sand for any old seagull to snap up, I realised I couldn’t go with just her. It was a tad too hard.

Today, it was better. Not just because Hubbie was with us. The water was calmer, and the shallow waters seemed to stretch out for ages. Also, having the beach full, swimming with lifeguards, and inflatable boats about, along with the lovely warm water, made the atmosphere that much more pleasing.

We decided we would be back. Arnie style.

I mean, we lived BY the beach. This is the reason why we moved. We wanted a relaxed beach lifestyle. It wasn’t like we had to plan for the whole day, take the kitchen sink and more with us, and commit ourselves to a 5 hour stay at least because of the 90 minute drive – one way.

No. We were around the corner. If we wanted to go home and then come back 3 times like that, we sure as hell could.

Why live by the beach, when you can’t even enjoy it, and its benefits???

Hours later, and sure enough, I found myself here.

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I had a few minutes to myself. I lay down to soak up some rays, and closed my eyes, bringing my arm over my face to shield my exposed face from the direct afternoon sun.

Conversations floated over to me from left, from right. Seagulls called. There was also music in the distance. I could hear Hubbie’s voice drifting over to me from the water, as he told baby girl not to splash other people.

I breathed in. I breathed out.

Then I felt something wet dripping on my leg. I sat up. Hubbie was trickling sand over me.

“Your turn.”

It was good while it lasted. But, living in this seaside location, I know it will last, a long while yet…

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#336 Moorooduc to Mornington steam train

With the school holidays still around for a few days more, the silly season has meant the addition of some extra events and festivities to keep the littlies amused… and one of them is the January Moorooduc to Mornington steam train.

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I’m led to believe that the steam train runs the first 3 Sundays of each month, however with the school holiday season upon us, a few sessions were introduced each Wednesday in January, with the final day being today.

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When I heard about the idea I knew it would be absolutely perfect for baby girl. She is a girly girl in some respects: she carries a bag around, likes to wear dresses, and will let me put bows in her hair; but on the other hand, she will throw and catch a mean ball, run you up and down until you are exhausted, and will play the hell out of her lego blocks and trains.

She LOVES trains.

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We headed over to Moorooduc station for the departure at 11:45am today, with the approximately 15 minute train ride taking us to Mornington station, and then back again to Moorooduc, once the engine had come around and joined onto the other end of the train carriages.

We had as much fun as baby girl. Where she gained an immense amount of happiness and pure joy from the tooting of the train, the steam sound being released, and the side to side, back and forth rocking motion in the carriages, we gained a deep appreciation of the vehicle that had been used to transport people in the carriages, so, so many years ago. To think that people generations ago had been in the carriage we had sat in, and travelled to various places, had been doing various things, and had been living a totally different life to what we live now, is almost mind-boggling. We were in a train that was built in 1941! That in itself is incredible. It is humbling. At one point I turned to Hubbie and said “I feel like I’m in Back to the Future… part 3.”

:):):)

My favourite moment of the trip came when I had my head out the window here:

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It gave me such a sense of relaxation, freedom, and a whimsical remembrance of childhood and all the frivolity and fun it embodied, that I was brought to tears, in thinking of how lucky we were to be living and experiencing a beautiful part of our state, and appreciating life in a whole new way now.

The drive home afterwards was slightly unnerving, and as much as I love my car, being in a vehicle lacking all character, doing 100 on a highway, felt alien. I had felt alive on the steam train, connected with life and nature and being, and I wanted to go back to that moment. I thought of all the things I wanted to do on the Peninsula, and which I had already done but wanted to revisit  – Arthur’s Seat chairlift; wineries; coastal walks; beach days – and realised this was something my soul was yearning. I had to connect to the world, to nature, to life, to a general sense of honesty, and my trip in the steam train this morning had certainly woken me up to that.

We had a truly terrific day today, even following our steam train ride, and although much of the later part was spent doing groceries and house jobs, I felt so happy and invigorated, that really, I believe our steam train ride put us in the right frame of mind this morning.

It set us on track. Pun intended.

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