#870 Winter Sunset

Do you know there are people who think it is pointless to move to the seaside, unless you are a surfer?

Do you know that this very sentiment has been expressed to us, since our move?

“Do you swim everyday?”

The haughtiness drips.

My personal response?:

IMAG1555

You don’t need to swim everyday when you have a view like that.

There are many ways to enjoy living by the sea. Yes, one of them is to swim in it. Other things can be the calming effect of just looking at the water; walking by the water; and taking your daughter to the park where the water looms at you from below.

There’s a meditative aspect. It is soothing. It is spiritual. The beachside locale usually means a community feel is present, a real authentic and meaningful connection in all that you do, and the places that you go.

And of course, there are the water views such as the above. Living by the water you can be assured that there will be some kind of spectacular sunrise/sunset visible in the horizon, and fortunately for me, on this side of Port Phillip Bay, it is the latter. I am not a morning person.

In the warmer months we swim in it, and in the colder months we appreciate it.

That is called BALANCE.

And it is striking to me that at this, the coldest time of the year, the sunsets have been beautifully drawn and more amazing than what I would have imagined them to be at Winter time.

And that my friends, is called WONDER.

#862 K2 Swimmer

It’s such a simple thing that has me feeling grateful today. It is about growth.

Baby girl has been doing swimming lessons now for just under 2 months. She shares the class most of the time, with a boy, and a fellow girl, who I can only say is slightly younger than her just based on her size. Although younger, this girl can swim with her head in the water, legs kicking furiously, for almost half a lap. She has clearly been doing this for a while.

Monday nights are crazy, in that half of the Peninsula is there at the swim school between 3 and 6pm, all the lanes packed full of classes containing kindergarten and primary school-aged kids, all with varying levels of skill and ability.

And as these lessons take place, so too do you see the ‘walkers.’ The swim teachers who aren’t in the lane, but they are doing their rounds, their walk-a-bouts, checking attendance when they approach each teacher, and also, from time to time, checking the children’s progress.

It was baby girl’s class’ turn today.

She approached baby girl’s teacher, and from my position I could see them exchange some words – suddenly baby girl was in the water, and demonstrating how she could push off and kick with her kickboard. They nodded in understanding, but then I didn’t see the rest of baby girl’s progress, as she moved from my view behind a huge brick pillar.

I watched the other children partake – both the boy with permanent goggles on his face, and the younger, feisty girl. They both did longer laps, kicked for a decent duration, and were able to travel a greater distance than baby girl. I mean, it made sense. They had been doing this longer.

Sure, she could put her head under water. She didn’t get worried when her face got splashed on. And she was getting amazing at her floating, even doing it by herself! She just wasn’t as skilled as the other two yet, in travelling a lap-type distance.

I watched the ‘walker’ give some positive encouragement to the kids when they were done. She high-fived each of them, and then headed on over to us parents, to give us the update.

I was the last parent to get the news.

“She’s doing great!” she exclaimed to me. “She’ll be moving up a level!”

Really? I thought. I’m the first to praise my child, but also I am not blind.

“Wow!” I said out loud. “That’s great!”

She went on to explain that from baby girl’s K1 level, her goals had been to make four kicks with a kickboard – that was achieved today, and with her other skillsets, was now able to move to K2.

“She’ll still stay in that class, as it is both K1 and K2,” she went on. “But she will be going home with a certificate today.”

Oh. Now it made sense.

As the ‘helper’ headed off to review more kids, I was beaming. Rapt. Next time baby girl looked over at me, I gave her not 1, but 2 thumbs up.

I was so proud.

It was such a simple thing, yes. But as I always say, the simple things are the most important.

And though it may seem like an everyday, average event…. the feelings I got were far from. 🙂

#855 Singing on the way to family day

Monday morning. Cold, but still. I had dropped off baby girl at kinder, and was now driving along towards the freeway, the music blaring through my car…

I was heading to the city, with George. George being of ‘Michael’ fame. 😉 And ‘the city’ being 40 minutes out of the Peninsula, which let’s face it is more city than anything in the south beachside where we are.

IMAG1408

Not only did I have THE BEST TIME EVER singing out loud to music from my ipod as the sun streamed on down through the windows (think Bruno, old school Christina, and the best reggaetón from Daddy Yankee) but I was heading towards a much looked forward to destination.

I was having lunch with my parents and sister today. It was a month late, the occasion being us girls taking our folks out for a belated anniversary date… but better late than never, and to be honest I’m pleasantly surprised it didn’t take us ’til Spring time to organise.

We have busy schedules. All of us live on opposite sides to one another. But we pushed all of life to the side for a couple of hours today, where we celebrated my parents marriage by talking about their 50 years plus together, from all of those years ago when they first made the move to Australia, all the way to today, where we made plans for more fun and parties that will surely follow.

IMAG1412

We always say that we should do these catch-ups more often… let’s hope that we do, as I am all for the awesome foursome getting into some more food, some more family memories and laughs, and lastly, some more singing in the car.

#778 Dromana day

We finally got our relax day today.

It didn’t happen on Friday – we were sick, and I was busy baking.

Saturday I was still busy baking, we were still run down, and then I was working.

On Sunday, well… Easter.

And today, we were able to just lounge about and enjoy the day in some kind of unhurried state, as we ventured a short 15 minutes or so to Dromana.

We had some lunch with a lovely vantage point over to the water.

We crossed the road to the park so that baby girl could have a good ol’ play.

IMAG9964

IMAG9968

The water was green and coral-like. The sunshine reflecting off it made it sparkle blindingly.

IMAG9967

IMAG9965

And then we started to walk down the long, narrow, not-very-safe-on-one-side pier… ‘started’ being the operative word… until Hubbie decided to look over the side and let baby girl stand all too close to the edge, which resulted in me turning my heel on them and storming off.

IMAG9973

He had to give me a heart attack, AGAIN. I would have no part of them falling into the water with me there, thank you very much. If he was going to be reckless, well then I wasn’t going to stand by and just have a heart attack and just watch!

So, it was relaxing, up until the pier. But you know, bliss in the sun, heart attacks on the pier, IT’S ALL BALANCE.

Dromana is a lovely seaside village with a community of 6000. The advantage of their main strip is that it is directly opposite to an accessible beach, for both young and old. Mornington may be the hub of the Peninsula, but most of their cafes don’t have direct views of the water just due to the geography and how they are placed, and even then the beach access slopes down amidst cliff-faces.

Anyway, we will be Discovering Dromana much, much more 🙂

#767 Foodie Rankings

So, I had a lot of little things that made me happy today, which I’m all grateful for. But the one that had the lasting impression, was the pleasant surprise.

In case you didn’t realise, over on my parent blog SmikG, I post, along with many other things, Food Reviews. I’m about a year behind in actually posting them (for example I recently posted the one of our experience at The Royal Hotel, when we in fact dined there in March 2017), since I take them quite seriously. I don’t just take a snapshot of my meal with the words “yum” and “9/10.” I will dissect the experience, environment and the food, and because of this and this thing called ‘Life’ as Prince would say, these writing exercises of mine have fallen to the wayside.

I link my Food Reviews to Zomato, and if you’re over there too, give me a shout-out, my name is smikg needs coffee… for obvious reasons 🙂 But because of all of this, I subsequently haven’t updated any Food Reviews to that site in so long. I was sure I had definitely fallen off the top of the Mornington Peninsula bloggers leader board…

I only discovered this Zomato leader board after our Port Douglas trip years ago. Zomato likes to rank bloggers, as well as people who take and post photos of their food experiences, and rank them according to suburb. Since I blog, and link all my Food Reviews to their site, I discovered that I was near the top of the leader board after our stay in Port Douglas, simply because I had posted so many reviews in such a short period of time. That is the key you see. You could have posted 10 reviews from the one location and reach the top, but if you then don’t do anything for 6 months, you are likely to slip down to someone else who has been slowly gaining reviews, yet still hasn’t reached the number of restaurants you have. Suburb ranking works on current reviews, more than all-time MOST reviews published.

I was seriously chuffed when I saw my name up there for the Port Douglas list. It has since fallen off since obviously I am not dining there. However when we moved to the Peninsula, I had a little peek at that leader board, and low and behold…

I was on top. I was ecstatic. Can you imagine winning a competition you didn’t even try to compete in? It was a great feeling. I knew I had to maintain it, I mean, I wanted to, I lived in the damned geographical location! But as it happened, and the months wore on, some new bloggers came to town, and I found myself staring at my name in second, even third position .

Damn. Talk about bringing me down a notch.

But today… Oooh today. I went onto the Zomato site to link my latest Food Review there, and thought casually ‘I might as well check where I am,’ not even thinking I would be anywhere NEAR the top. I actually said to myself ‘if I’m in the top 5, I’ll be rapt.’

IMAG9642

Can you see that number 1?! (and my all-too-obvious shadow???) I don’t know how it happened, but clearly the last posts I did were more recent than everybody else’s, because I’m back on top baby!

Small victories, small victories.

(Fist pump).

 

#752 Peninsula sunset no. 2

At the end of a LONG, interesting, yet still tiring, confusing, and confronting day.

More questions. More unknowns. More possibilities, and even MORE forks in the road.

But after all of that, to walk outside in the fading evening light, to this

IMAG9339

And see baby girl running against the glorious backdrop of the sunset… well, suddenly, EVERYTHING made sense.

#688 New people, places and paths

I love those moments. Those moments where you stop and pause for a second, become present in the moment, and acknowledge the place you are in… and then you say to yourself “I never would have thought I’d be here 5 years ago.”

I think and say this often. 5 years ago I never would have thought I’d be on the pointy end of the Peninsula, at a backyard barbeque with family and friends that I know – but still, a totally unknown place. With other people I have just met.

And then travelling home, a mere 30 minutes. Rather than the 2 hours we would have had to travel if we were at our old house.

IMAG7871

I love that life keeps surprising me like this. I think it helps to be open to all kinds of people and experiences. Life is truly beautiful and unique in its ability to surprise you with wonder and spontaneity, and I love that I keep having these moments of awareness… much like tonight.

And although tonight we were mostly with people we knew, like baby girl and my sister above, it was still a different place, on a different path, and the unpredictability of life excites me like that.

Not knowing what is around the corner.

And yet knowing that it will be better than the last.

Always live knowing, that the best is yet to come.

Open to meeting new people.

Open to going to new places.

Open to exploring different paths.