I stood on the sand after 4pm, telling baby girl’s friend’s mum, that it was in fact my third visit to the sea and sand that day.
“Oh, you poor thing,” she teased.
I did in fact, feel bad to say it out loud. 3 beach visits in a day? Gee, sounds stressful!
But it happened rather randomly and unexpectedly, and the way it happened felt like it was MEANT to happen.
Maybe because things have been so shit for some time, the Universe aligned to give me a great, sunshine-y day. 🌞
I had important errands this morning after school drop-off, and after they were done I grabbed an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s, a cappuccino from Store Fifteen, and walked on down to the beach.
I’d had an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s YONKS ago,and back then it had blown my mind. Well it was pretty delish today, not really any mind-blowing, but that’s because I think I had cheese then, and not today.
Having not had any food since waking up, that brekkie on the beach was the best thing ever. I made friends with the seagulls, squinted into the sun, and watched a sea plane land in the water! It was incredible.
Then my sister and parents visited after lunch, with the sole purpose being, ‘a beach visit.’
So, again. First it had been Mothers.
This time, Mills.
I really loved that my parents seemed to enjoy it. Sis enjoyed it of course, for sure, she loves the water as I do. She dipped her feet into the mild waters, and Dad even did a light jog alongside the water, which we were rapt to see.
I went to pick up baby girl from school hours later, looking forward to a chill afternoon. The last few days had been pretty busy.
But she and her friend had another plan in mind.
They wanted a beach playdate!
And so we found ourselves at Mills again, 30 minutes later. 🤦♀️
The water was colder, and the tide had come in so much, it actually blew my mind how short the span of sand now was. But us Mums sat and talked, the girls wade through the waters looking for so-called pearls, they made sandcastles, and we saw what we were pretty sure were dolphins, far off in the waters, spraying up water! Unbelievable.
3 beach visits. I know I’ve had 2 in a day before, but this is taking the cake, AND for the last day of April, in Autumn… just wow.
And it may seem overly boastful, or excessive… but trust me, with the way things have gone since last year, I need about 54 beach visits in a day to make up for all the hard times that have transpired.
But 3 is good for now. I’ll raincheck the rest. 😉
But now, I AM BUGGERED. Think I’ll stay home and do lots of washing tomorrow… 😂
I met one of my closest friend’s little baby today, and ooooh!
He is just the sweetest thing 😍
I am such a sap nowadays. I walked into her place and immediately welled up and nearly cried, at the sight of him sleeping in the corner, mittens on and arms up, oblivious to the world around him.
In several months, our entire girls group will have littlies with them.
My high school group of girls. We’ve known each other now for 2 decades, some of us going back even longer.
It’s the stuff of dreams. We used to talk about this in high school. All of us still being friends and catching up together, and having our kids together too… making them be friends with each other, you know, all that starry-eyed optimistic talk you have about how the future will be.
To know that soon ALL of us will have a littlie around the table when we meet up… well it’s just darn amazing.
There’s nothing quite like holding a newborn. Everything else just melts away.
Can’t stop grinning. He is absolutely precious. 💖💖
A few weeks ago when we were at the beach, the ice cream van rocked up.
Playing its ice cream music melody, LOUDLY, from the car park, like a good 300 metres away… from across the water, across the sand.
We watched it eagerly for about 15 seconds, before deciding, to hell with it.
It was close to dinnertime… but we wanted ice cream!
Baby girl and I started heading over to our bags to grab some money and hail the driver down.
We hadn’t even reached dry sand… we were still in shallow waters, when we saw the van reverse…
And then drive off.
He had been there all of 2 minutes! Give people a chance to walk over! Geez!
My ice cream van desire had been ignited. It was well and truly, LIT.
Well, fast forward to today. Today after school to be precise. We had a little catch-up, a little playdate with baby girl and her friend (because they don’t see each other enough at school), and situated on the side of the park we visited, was a van.
The ice cream van!
Well guess what we did?
You know which one mine is? The choc nut. There is nothing better than vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate, then having nuts sprinkled all over it…. YUM YUM YUM.
And I’m pretty sure this is the same ice cream van that ran away from us the other day…
Today was a beautiful day, as we got to support and celebrate a dear friend’s artistic accomplishments.
We were there for the opening day of the exhibition ‘Hanging by a Thread.’ Three artists have brought their pieces together in the collaborative theme of climate change, taking inspiration from life, what they have lived, seen, and felt, and pouring it out into some thought-provoking and exceptional pieces of art.
We were there to cheer on our very talented friend, who painted some incredible pieces in the underwater theme. As her personal response to all the debris found in the oceans, she used things like plastic foils, straws and balloons to create the vivid and detailed imagery that we saw today.
To be there, baring witness to our friend’s great achievement, clapping for and admiring all her hard work, and seeing how she has taken a global issue such as ocean pollution and used it to create artwork… well, it’s something else.
And besides the incredible art we saw today, it was just lovely being out amongst friends and family. Every time we are together, I realise how much I miss them all, and how much we all missed out on last year.
If you can, check out the exhibition showing at Alternating Current ArtSpace in Windsor. It runs until the 20th of March.
Living through lockdown has given us a new way of connecting with other people… online.
I am still working from home, and today we played this online Pictionary game. You have to draw on the screen from a selection of words you’ve been given… and the rest of the room, (people participating) have to guess what you’re drawing.
I thought it was pretty cool, and it was Friday, so later my mind wandered where it usually goes to on Friday nights… to my friends. We spent a lot of Zoom calls together during those few months last year, and so I got to really get used to seeing their faces, talking about anything and everything, and just connecting in a way that honestly, we never really had before.
The lockdown had given us a new opportunity to learn even more about each other, through a multitude of topics, discussion, and debate.
And it was great. I realised no matter how much they talk, how much we disagree, how much we maybe shit each other up the wall… we are ultimately stuck with each other for life. That’s it.
And I love it.
So, missing my crew, I sent the random message out: “Anyone wanna play a game online?” Well to be expected, most were busy and couldn’t, but one such friend said “sure, give me a sec.”
And so I’ve spent the last hour or so of this night, chatting to her online while we played online Pictionary!
She is one of my oldest friends. I actually can’t remember if we were friends first in grade 1, or grade 2… I have no idea. I have no idea because after a while, your memory starts to get blurry. I never believed it when I was in my teens, or late childhood. I couldn’t understand how people would say “I can’t remember” about a huge, momentous milestone in their life. I used to think, “how can you not remember something so important?”
Well, now I know. Because as life goes on, your head gets filled up with more and more stuff, and the other stuff that you don’t think of as much, well it starts to fade.
So, so true. Maybe that’s why I’m so adamant about capturing every written word. It’s my own personal record for my unpredictable mind.
Anyway, you get my drift. We’ve been friends for about 30 years, not a word of a lie. And while we laughed at each other’s funny drawings, and tried to make sense of the game, we also caught up and reconnected, and it made me realise that technology, lockdown even, brought a few pretty good things with it.
A Friday night spent watching something on TV, or just letting the hours while away on random stuff around the house, was instead spent sharing some laughs and having fun with one of my oldest besties.
And then, in amongst all that… a milestone! Baby girl got fed up with me on the computer playing games, and put herself to bed!
It’s actually the second time she’s fallen asleep on her own like this, but the first that she did it intentionally… the first time she went to bed as I set up watch over a huntsman in our room, making sure he didn’t hide anywhere, waiting for Hubbie to come home and get rid of it. I’d told her to wait in her bed for me another 20 minutes, and instead she had fallen asleep.
But tonight, tonight was intentional. I was there chatting away, and then went to check up on her… I even kissed her head… and she remained sleeping. Peaceful. Absolutely beautiful, as all sleeping children are. 🤣
So, a good night all around. Looking back, looking forwards… as long as it’s done with the right people…
Today was the day that we said goodbye to our family home.
The home that my parents have lived in for 40 years.
The home that my sister spent growing up as a teenager, all the way until she got married.
The home that’s the only childhood, family home I’ve ever known… that I lived in for 25 years until I got married.
Goodbye, number 14.
It was an emotionally bittersweet day. Emotional because oh God, all of the above! So many memories are in every inch, every corner, every crevice of that house.
Through the rush to get everything out of the house this morning, I tried to pause every so often, look around, take a breath, and say a personal thanks to the house that made my years growing up, the best in the world.
Here is the emotional part.
I was reflecting on my life spent there as I walked around the empty rooms, a bit taken aback by the hollowness of it all. The furniture, furnishings, and all the photos and trinkets that made it such a loved home, were all gone.
But oh, those walls. If those walls could talk.
Those walls would speak of happiness, of laughter. Of sadness and shock, family coming together, and family celebrating to make the most out of life.
And love. SO much love.
Memories hit me as I walked into rooms, turned corners. Looked this way, that. People from the past resurfaced, along with people from the present.
In the lounge room, I saw myself sitting on the floor while my parents watched footy on the TV.
In the kitchen I saw my Mum cooking up a feast, our family sitting down to eat at the small round table, perfect for us in size, so perfect, to keep us tight and close together, as always.
In the garden I saw happiness. Friends, cousins, brimming around, enjoying a drink on a hot Summer’s day, folk music from the garage wafting over and adding to the festive atmosphere of it all.
The garage, ohhhh, the garage. Where so, so, so many parties and events were had. Birthdays. Milestones. Weddings. Day after weddings! New Years. And all of the Christmases that Mum cooked up a storm, catering for over 30 people like it was an absolute breeze, even though it wasn’t.
She made it look effortless.
Those were the days. Those were the BEST days.
The park next door. Hearing the squeals of happiness from our younger cousins as they took advantage of the play proximity.
At the front door, I saw my sister being led out in her wedding dress by my parents… then I saw myself, doing the same.
The dining room showed me all of us, our big family, as we are now. The original foursome, us, being my parents, sister and I, but now with our Hubbies and our kids, filling up the table, eating heaps, drinking more, and playing music off of youtube on the mobile until the late hours of the night.
In my bedroom. The bedroom that I spent 15 years of my life sleeping, dreaming and hoping in. I had another room for the first 10 years of my life, but I claimed this one, sister’s one, after she got married and moved out.
It’s always been the better room.
I sat in my old room. Took some photos around me. And then here, I began to cry.
I remember watching Video Hits for hours on weekend mornings.
My childhood cat scratching at my window, wanting to be let in, and then me opening the window to shoo her, upset she had woken me… but when she jumped down from the window sill outside, I thought stuff it, you’ve woken me now… and so I would call her back in (she must have thought I was a crazy bipolar cat owner) and she’d snuggle up next to me as I slept a little more.
I’d open up that window, and talk to friends through it.
I talked to SO MANY people, through it.
I listened to music for hours on my bed.
I had sleepovers in that room.
I had sleepovers in that house! On the lounge room floor, covered in blankets and sleeping bags.
When Croatia played Australia in the 2006 World Cup, Hubbie-then-boyfriend and I watched it, me running around the house with a Cro flag when Croatia scored a goal, and Hubbie running around the house with an Aussie flag when they scored a goal.
I don’t remember who won that game. All I remember is the memories.
All the people who came, and went from that house. It would be in the hundreds. Friends, family, people who I grew up with, grew apart from, so many people have touched base in that house, shared a laugh, a dance, a drink, and made a memory.
Even baby girl. It was the first place that she ever visited, after her own home.
Speaking of baby girl… My waters broke in that house! And my own Mum’s waters broke in there, when she was pregnant with me!
Both sister’s Hubbie, and my Hubbie, met my parents for the first time in THAT lounge room…
News broke. Secrets shared. Heavy discussions were had. Tears shed.
People were welcomed. People were greeted.
People came in, and immediately knew that there was love. They were safe. They were in a memorable place.
And so today, the time came. We walked through the house. We took our final photos.
And we drove off, for good.
That was seriously bitter, right?
Where is the sweet?
Well, it comes with the choice. How blessed are we that this was born of my parents decision to move closer to me and sis, and not because of a bad circumstance.
How lucky are we that we get to say goodbye, together, in the best way possible… and how lucky that we still get to take ALL the memories with us?
Including most importantly, the people.
I am so looking forward to making just as many happy memories in their new abode. 🏡🏡
But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.
Oh God. All my reasons why I love living by the beach are pretty much the same, with like, two or three very minor differences.
Convenience again, rears its head. Well of course. It is the super convenient to live by the beach, because of the proximity, right?
Today Hubbie and I had a day off, and we decided given the fact that Summer appears to disappear on weekends lately (only reappearing during the working week, have you noticed?) any family time beach visits on let’s say a Sunday, have been pretty impossible.
But when you’ve had the day off, and you live by the beach, well…
We put on our beach gear under our clothes, and waited for baby girl to run up to us after school and work it out herself.
We weren’t even at the car when she realised WHERE we were going.
Yep. Straight to the beach. No home stop here… it breaks the flow. I bring her swimwear, change her in the car park, towels, sunscreen and snacks and water bottles are brought along… and that is MORE than enough.
We ended up staying for longer than we thought we would, when surprisingly baby girl’s school friend turned up…
And then MORE shenanigans ensued.
The water was perfect… the air was still… the sun was shining…
We don’t have to wait until the weekend for the beach. In Melbourne, we aren’t granted with that luxury. Summer comes, and Summer goes, even within the month of Summer.
So making the most of it when we can, mid-week, after school… I just love it. 💖💖🏖🏖