#1305 Walk to café, walk to beach

Hubbie and I had the BEST Wednesday today.

It was productive, fun, and we did sooo much. But the best way to start this sunshine-y day, was not just with our usual –

“But first, coffee.”

It was a modified “But first, coffee… after a lovely walk.”

We walked to our local café.

It was so much more rewarding. So much more fun. The sun shining down on us, made it all the more pleasurable to be out and about, even more so with a loved one.

MY loved one. ♥

It was a different coffee walk on this Wednesday post redundancy… and this one ended with a view. Because we upped the ante by also walking to…

THE BEACH.

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It was only the beginning of what ended up being such a fruitful, fun and busy day… and to be honest, we can’t go back… I can never work a Wednesday again!

Or rather, I seriously need to find a way to work from home…

Oh, hang on… writing?! :);):);)

#1275 I love Main street, and let me count the ways… no. 4

We spent 4 hours at Chadstone yesterday and I didn’t find anything remotely interesting to wear for my birthday.

I spent 35 minutes at a store in my town today and I walked out with 3 items.

!!!

Seriously Chaddy, we are not feeling the love from you lately, AT ALL. Instead my love is going entirely to the local store which I am loving more and more every time I enter it.

The prices are reasonable…

The clothes are on-point…

I don’t have to drive 45 minutes…!

And almost every time I walk in there, there is something new to look at!

That and the fact it is literally down the road.

AND…. I would rather support a local shop than a massive multi-million dollar conglomerate.

There. Or as baby girl would say, “na na na na boo boo.”

 

#1149 Free sticker school holiday fun

I get that it can be initially daunting at first to try to come up with novel and engaging ways to keep your child entertained during the school holidays.

But with the day and age we live in, there are plenty of places that try to help parents out, for FREE.

I wrote up a little list for myself a couple of days ago, outlining both paying and free places and activities baby girl and I could attend, to break the days up, plus make the school holidays a fun time to look back on, rather than just SLEEP EAT BABYCINO REPEAT.

Ideas you are after? Libraries often run programmes for kids of various ages in between school terms. Shopping centres too have become major hubs of activity with themed things on offer, to either showcase the latest kids movie or some crazed kid product that has all the juniors talking.

Our local shopping centre gets on board every time too.

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It’s not a huge centre. Woolies at one end, Bakers on the side, and Dan Murphy’s far on the other end (perfect). Without fail every school break there is at least a week of scheduled activities, with a different crafty thing for the kids to do every day.

I love it, because you never know what you will get, I go there anyway for my groceries (3 times a week sometimes) and of course…

It is FREE!

Today was ‘pick-an-Easter-sheet-and-apply-stickers-to-it’ day. Very simple, yet it had 2 year-olds up to 9 year-olds vying for bench space and reaching out for coloured stickers and pens to make their artwork the best.

It is so simple, but anything that makes the child happy, right?…

Makes the parent happy too 🙂

#1064 Lovely things to look at

I am just a little bit excited.

Today while out exploring the Mornington Racecourse Market (a place I would highly recommend anyone visit, and one I’ll be most likely reviewing in future) we came across a photo stall.

There were frames upon frames, both big and small, of the beach. Photographs with white backgrounds and caramel coloured wooden frames, and what excited me more than just the fact of it being ‘photos of beaches,’ was that it was ‘photos of OUR beaches.’

There were scenes taken alongside our stunning Peninsula, and to add to my happiness quota…

They were taken by a local himself.

I have said to Hubbie on many occasions, that when I put stuff up on our walls, I want them to mean something. Likewise if I am going to put up beachy shots within the house, I want it to be of our beach, and taken by someone from the area.

The Angels presented me with a brilliant opportunity today, because I went home with this:

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Every time I look at it, I am happy. I just have happy thoughts. Is it the striking orange and yellow hues across the sky, or the brilliant blue of the ocean mirroring the sky above… The fact that it was taken just down the road? Or a bit of ALL of the above.

As my eyes now run past that previously bare wall, they now jolt back to that vision of beauty, and I am all happy.

All grateful.

But that is not the only view I was enjoying today. We were able to pick up our balcony table and chairs set, and so we wandered up in the evening to sit, and bask in the summertime feels…

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Ahhh. Now that is gold. Beaches on the inside… and beaches on the outside. 🙂

#1044 Christmas Eve at the Beach

Well. What an iconic way to spend Christmas Eve in Australia.

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Even so, it wouldn’t have happened in our old house. Back then we would have had to plan and organise a time and day where we were all free, packed up about 7 bags, a fridge, a heap of beach toys and tents and chairs, because you know, pack the kitchen sink and all when you’re already making such a drive… and that would have happened, oh, maybe 3 times in one Summer, if we were lucky to manoeuvre our schedules that way.

But today.

Today, on the eve of the busiest and fullest of family days of the year, I headed on down to one of our fave local beaches with baby girl.

I was applying sunscreen on me and her as I heard my phone notify me of a message.

It was after 2:30pm.

It was Hubbie. He was home early from work!

Damn it! We had just missed each other, I mean, he could have come with…

Wait a second.

I called him.

“Come on down!”

His easy response – “I will.”

:):):)

I left it as a surprise, preferring to see baby girl’s startled face at the sight of him, than to ruin it earlier and tell her he was coming.

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It was beautiful. ♥

Everything was beautiful. There weren’t too many people around, and yet already my radar is fine-tuned to spot tourists! The water was sublime, that perfect stroll-right-in temperature.

There was a slight breeze taking the edge off of the beating sun.

And it was Christmas Eve!

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(That’s me waving from the water in the distance over there)

It still amazes me that two years on from our move, only now we are getting more of a chance to do the things we so wanted to do frequently, when we first Sea Changed.

It was the best way to head into the holiday season, and head into Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve all 🙂

 

 

#713 Beach mornings

Sometimes work makes us do weird things. And forces us to get out and do something, we normally wouldn’t.

Like today. Sure, the beach is fairly close and accessible to us. But getting up early enough to get there, in the AM, just never happens for this lover of sleep (and a certain baby girl who follows in her Mama’s footsteps).

But because I was due to be working tonight, thereby losing my Saturday night with the fam, and the weather was going to be hot, I thought…

“let’s sneak a cheeky beach visit in early on.”

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Hubbie was working so it was just baby girl and I. But a working woman’s gotta do what a working woman’s gotta do… grab that opportunity by the horns and run with it! Don’t wait for anything! Enjoy the moment NOW.

Which is exactly what we did. 3 and a half hour of cheeky beach fun. The weather was actually perfect. Not too hot, and yet somehow, hot enough. No wind. So still. And I reckon they were generally locals around, since it would have been more packed than it already was if the Long Weekend touros were onto us…

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But just imagine. Imagine I missed out on perfection with my daughter, just because I was waiting for the right day. When Hubbie was around. When I wasn’t working. When we had MORE time. When we were all well-slept.

Scoff. Nope.

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It was heaven, it was bliss, and sitting here at work now, I am soooo glad that we did it.

Here’s to more beach mornings, and early rises 🙂

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#712 Family Fun on Jan 26th

Today is a day that divides many people from the land down under.

January 26th – Australia Day. A national holiday to celebrate our achievements as Australians, to recognise how far we’ve come, and to reflect on our culture.

The local park down by the beach ran a huge Australia Day event, and naturally, we all headed on down.

It was a very pro-Australia Day experience. Flags abounded, Union Jacks on clothing, and green and gold was the norm. Massive theme park rides were spaced on the perimeter of the park, food trucks on one end, and a stage for live music on the other.

These people came here to celebrate Australia day – or as was in our case, to take advantage of the free entertainment.

But there is a movement, a wave of people that has been increasing exponentially, that believes we should not celebrate Australia Day on January 26th.

And I agree.

BUT that does NOT mean I am not proud to be an Australian.

January 26th is not the day the First Fleet landed in this country, as many people are led to believe. In fact it is believed to have occurred in 1788, somewhere between Jan 18-20, and the 26th is the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney Cove, to declare British Sovereignty.

Australia Day was celebrated in Sydney on January 26th in those early days, before other states took on the holiday too, but they did this on different days, like Tasmania’s ‘Regatta Day,’ or South Australia’s ‘Proclamation Day.’ This was the case for 200 years, and only in 1935 did it become nationally recognised and celebrated, even then only being declared as a holiday in 1994.

In that way, Australia Day as we know it today, is fairly new.

The day January 26th, is known as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’ to these Anti-Aus Day Jan 26-ers. Because it signalled the end of 50,000 years of Indigenous occupation on this land, which then led to brutal colonisation. Massacres of the Aboriginal people took place, land was taken, and children removed from their parents. The stolen generation was born, and many Indigenous descendants grew up not knowing where they came from.

The pain, suffering and loss the Indigenous community experienced is more than profound. And that doesn’t include the repercussions echoing out to this current day. To think of what they have had to endure, not just over years, but decades and centuries, with oppression and hate and discrimination, when all they were doing were living on their land… a sorry will just not do.

But it was done. In 2008 the Australian Prime Minister formally apologised to the Aboriginal community – for the successive laws and policies of previous governments that inflicted severe pain and grief onto their families and communities.

January 26th, the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney in 1788, is then a representation of all that preceded, and all that was lost to the Indigenous community when the First Fleet arrived. The slavery, the violence, the oppression. It is a day of mourning for many. Rightly so.

My ancestors were NOT from that First Fleet. In fact, in 1788, my ancestors were probably farming cattle in a remote and poverty-stricken land somewhere in the Balkan region of Europe. My parents came to Australia in 1970, for a better life. It is the story of so many European immigrants, and continues to be so to this day. They came from nothing, from having to work so hard just to be able to obtain, I don’t know, a bike… over the span of a YEAR… and the opportunity to come to a “land of plenty,” where stories of filling up a trolley with fruit and vegetables with only $2, and realising after their first pay check working in the factory, that they could achieve so much more here in months, than they could achieve over there in years… that is the history I grew up with.

I grew up hearing, how Australia saved my parents. In doing so, they saved my sister and I. I grew up hearing of the comparisons between my parents’ beloved native country, and the ‘lucky country.’ They have such respect for where they came from, and when you ask them their nationality – they are Australian. Proudly so.

I have seen more of my family come from overseas. They didn’t come here to brutalise and oppress any minority or otherwise group, just as my parents didn’t. No, they came here for a better life, for a chance at something greater, even to escape WAR. They came here because they heard things were good, and they wanted to see things for themselves.

They have all stayed. We ALL have.

The Australia I have lived with, and which has been represented to me, is a good one, a noble one. I know things are not perfect, and there is always something the government must do better. But here, there is democracy. Freedom of speech. There is strong multiculturalism. People are kind. People are friendly. People love to connect.

However, bad things were done, many, many years ago, and despite the fact that we can’t go back, we can try to make things work as a unified community.

A country, united as one.

Both black and white, coming together.

But it has to be a conscious and integrated effort from both parties. There are white people I know that complain of the country we live in, or talk about how shit Australia is, or how that ‘other’ country is soooo much better.

Well move then. Go on, piss off (as a true blue Aussie would say). Don’t hang around here gaining benefits and working and earning Australian coin, when you know of so much better.

You are ungrateful. We don’t want you.

Likewise I have heard some other pretty horrible things today. I have heard of Indigenous people at Invasion Day rallies, saying “F*&k Australia, hope it burns to the ground.”

This makes me terribly sad. Sad for the mourning this person would have experienced to want the country they live in, the country we ALL live in, to burn to pieces.

Like I said, both parties need to want to move forward, peacefully. Slandering will not make things better. And it unfortunately won’t change the past.

Whether like me, my ancestors were not part of that First Fleet, or like other Australians, perhaps they were… the power to want to change the future is out there. People want to make amends for the past, whether they are white or black… but a person living in Melbourne today, should not be blamed for what their Father did in February 1st 1985 for example… just as today’s First Fleet descendants that want to change for the better, should not be blamed for what their ancestors were part of from 1788 onwards.

The idea is out there, that Australia Day needs to be moved to another date, or it is abolished all together and another day that celebrates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities coming together, is created.

I believe this is the only way forward. I think respect needs to be shown to the original people of this land, and January 26th and Australia Day, are synonymous no more.

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Soooo…..

I went to the park today. I was happy to be amidst our community of proud Australians – Australians that love the country they live in, the people in it, and the culture that lives on.

Was I celebrating Australia Day? Hmm, not quite. I was celebrating the life I live…

But that I do every day. Because I am grateful for the place that I reside in the world.

I am grateful for MY history. I am grateful for the choices my parents made. And I am grateful that change is coming to respect the life and culture of those who inhabited this land 200 years before any white people were on it.

I had my own family fun day, and I enjoyed the fact of some extra time together, with them.

I hope wherever you were in the world, your day of January 26 was great too…

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