#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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#369 Mr Penn

This gratitude thread holds a fair bit of bitter-sweetness.

Let me introduce you to someone.

Mr Judda-Penn.

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He is our Indian Ringneck Parrot. I say Mr, for frivolities sake, but am slightly disappointed that he never took to the Penn name we tried to re-Christen him with when we obtained him from Hubbie’s relos. He would only respond to the name he had known with his previous owners, which was Juddy.

Hence, his hyphenated name was born. I couldn’t let go of the Penn, even if he never squawked back at me when I used it.

He… was our Indian Ringneck Parrot. I hope I can use ‘is’ again, but Hope is not only a survival technique, but a dangerous one at that. I want to Hope, but I am also scared to practice it too much.

We had him for 4ish months. And I didn’t realise how much he was a distinct presence in our home, until today. I didn’t realise how much he amused me. I didn’t realise, that part of me would miss how he would aggressively jump up near his food bowls as I tried to change his seed and water. I didn’t realise that the removal of his 4pm calls would create a silence that was cold. And I didn’t realise that when I found his cage empty this morning, that I would also feel subsequently empty, and a strong desire to move the cage elsewhere so it didn’t remind me that he was not around anymore.

He escaped, sometime this morning. He is a clever bird, and a cheeky one at that – something we are also missing. Hubbie feels betrayed. We fed him, gave him a home, gave him water baths on hot days, and played with him. Even our family and friends were beginning to get to know him. We really enjoyed having him around.

I don’t know what the next chapter in this story will be, but now that he is gone, I realise that I am grateful for his presence in our lives. He was in it for only a little while, but he made an impact. After all, he transitioned in an important part of our lives, with our Sea change.

I am also grateful to the people on the facebook community groups, those from Mornington and the surrounds, who have been sharing my lost bird posts. Even though I don’t know these people, I am amazed at the willingness of people to spread the word of our lost bird, in the chance that someone sees him on a nearby fence, bathing in a bird bath, or pecking away at fruits on a tree.

As I gazed at this view earlier tonight, I wondered, where would Judda-Penn sleep tonight? Would he have adequate shelter? Would he be safe? These thoughts made me sad.

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Goodnight Judda-Penn.

*If anyone reading this is from the Mornington area or surrounds, and comes across a bird looking like this – PLEASE contact me. Baby girl would like to blow him kisses again XOXO*

#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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#326 Arthur’s Seat Chairlift

On the last day of our holidays, we went to a place that has fascinated me for quite some time.

I heard about the failed chairlift when we first holidayed in Arthur’s Seat sometime in 2012. All I knew was that there had been a chairlift, there had been an accident, and therefore it wasn’t in operation anymore.

However, following our recent Sea Change, the chairlift was recently revamped and reintroduced late last year, and my curiosity spiked ten-fold once again. Made more so by the fact that here I was, living in my dream location, and friends of mine were driving over to the area and going on the chairlift, before I even had a chance to!

Grrr, argh.

Today though, following a cloudy morning, bliss:

I’ve decided it would be amazing to view the area in each season: so now we can tick off Abundant Summer, then follow it with Shedding Autumn, Still Winter, and Flowering Spring, to see the changes in atmosphere, in landscape, and just generally in Life.

And also, my urge to go many more times as soon as possible is that baby girl will get in for free for only another 8 months.

If you have the opportunity I urge you to go. It is a truly meditative experience.

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#316 Family beach time!

Finally! We hit Mount Martha beach today as a family.

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I am super grateful for that. We have been living in our Sea Change location for almost 3 months now, and given our unmatched schedules, opposite work routines, and lacking Melbourne summer, all 3 managed to reverse itself and collide today for a superb, super-hot, sandy-toed and salty sea, time.

The seal has now been broken. There will be more to come… not just these holidays, or this summer… but like my book, or my life, or our house, or even my parent blog SmikG… this is a work in progress.

You have to have fun, whilst on the journey of life 🙂

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#273 Declarations of love no.2

It’s the little things that are the big things. And so as I came home from work tonight past midnight, I found Hubbie yet again asleep on the couch, waiting for me. And it made me feel very loved and wanted.

The first time he did it I wasn’t expecting it at all. His work starts are early, now even more so that he’s doing the big commute across the city from our Sea change destination. So when I crept into the house on that first post-midnight arrival, to hear movement from downstairs, I was a bit apprehensive. Then to find that he had been sleeping on the couch nearby, faithfully waiting for me, struck me hard. His sleep is precious, and he works long days.

It didn’t matter one smidge that he immediately got up and went to bed after giving me a quick peck. It was the waiting that counted. He later joked that he was like a devoted dog waiting at the door for its owner to come home.

I found that both incredibly funny, yet incredibly sweet.

Tonight, again. I found him there. Through a sleepy haze he smiled at me before we whispered a few things and then he was off. But I am grateful. Grateful to have him in my life, and grateful that he waits for me… I think to have someone wait for you, shows an intensity of love that cannot be questioned. It just is, true and pure in the action itself.

It’s a prized and precious thing, to have someone wait for you.

#269 We went into 3 shops…

There is a whole swagger of gourmet, eccentric, specialty, exclusive and decorative shops running up the Main street. This is kind of like heaven to me. I would do almost anything to spend an indefinite amount of time on this strip, meandering around, taking my sweet, sweet time, thinking of what piece to buy for whom, interjecting it all with regular doses of caffeine and abundantly generous salad rolls thrown in between the designer, one-of-a-kind shops that are so prevalent beach-side.

However I am still, one month after moving here to our Sea change location, waiting to do the above.

In recent months, baby girl has become especially difficult when it comes to shopping. Unless we are going into a toy shop, or I am ordering something along the lines of “babycino with marshmallows” she will just not have it. She’ll outright refuse entry into said shop, will scream, and even has laid down on the ground when I have tried to pull her in.

You can imagine how this scene looks like. Desperate Mum pulling a screaming baby girl into a specialty high-end shop.

Yep. Screaming kid plus $$$ shop = not a good combo.

So half the time I give up. Go home. I’m a hopeful idiot. I swear against going out, and then the next day I think ‘maybe if I let her go on the playground first/go into the toy shop/buy her a babycino, she will let me go into some of those nice shops.’

I wager. I beg. I plead. I threaten. And most of the time, she gets all the above things, plus more, and I get Jack squat. Nothing. No shopping for me. Delaying her wishes of getting a babycino or going to the shopping centre playground doesn’t work either, because if I go into a shop I like first, it’s like she isn’t happy straight off the bat, and won’t do anything. I need to set her up, happy, to get a happy reaction later on.

Only I’m not getting a happy reaction later on. I’m just getting a disobedient one.

It’s really frustrating.

I woke up a hopeful idiot again today. I’ve been thinking about how when she is well-slept and well-fed, she is easier to manage.

So we went to the Main street. And in the car…

“Now baby girl. We are going to the BIG park. The BIG park, next to the beach!”

“Big Park!” she imitates.

“Yes. But you have to be a good girl, Mummy has to go into a few shops first, maybe 5, and you get to have biscuits… then we go to the BIG park, ok?”

“Yeah.” She nods.

“Remember? You have to be a good girl, and LISTEN to Mum… and you get biscuits! Then you get the park after some shops, ok?”

So, like my post title tells you, we went into 3 shops. I could have bought stuff in all 3 of them, but I didn’t. Baby steps. I’ll have to go back with Hubbie so he watches her while I secure those deals. But I did my Christmas research, had my longed-for sticky beak, and even though it was trying as I kept her curious hands from touching too much, instead filling them with mini rice puffs, I got to see 3 shops.

3 out of 300 (or so it seems).

Baby steps. I’m getting somewhere. Baby steps. I should finish my Christmas shopping by next May at this stage…