#589 Signs of Spring no.2

I was looking forward to something special in particular. I knew the time of year was upon us, and so as I waited for the familiar ‘sign,’ I took snapshots of some other bits of garden beauty:

And soon, as I did this, one morning I went out to my car, and there it was.

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The tree had started to bloom.

It’s not even our tree. It’s our neighbour’s tree, but the branches tip over into our driveway, and welcomingly so… I had been thinking of this tree for a while in the lead up to Spring, as I remember distinctly this time last year, we had bought the Sea change house, yet we still didn’t have the keys as settlement was still weeks away… but we couldn’t stay away from it nonetheless.

On one visit, I was astounded at the brilliant bright colours this tree produced, and back then, especially so since everything was so novel and exciting and fresh, it really felt other-worldly.

And it wasn’t even our tree.

This year, each day I see it it grows fuller with beautifully flowering petals. Close up you would say there are only two colours, but from afar, I can see three: white, pink and the elusive lilac. It is so colourful, so uplifting, so vibrant.

(Left to right, shows the progression of the flowering tree over a span of days).

I know it is not my tree, but I love it like it is so. And yes, I know the expression, “the grass is always greener on the other side…” but with this tree, peeking over onto our side, I just happen to think we have the best view 🙂

 

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#579 First Christmas Tree sighting

I had heard of rumours that there had already been sightings of Christmas trees in some Department Stores.

You know those people who see Christmas decorations appearing after mid-year, and groan and shake their heads in dismay and exclaim “too early!”

I AIN’T that person.

As baby girl and I approached Myer this afternoon, I could say finally, with certainty, that I actually spotted one: the elusive, too-early seasonal festive tree.

And I was overjoyed.

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“Baby girl, look!” I said. “Can you see what’s over there?”

I pointed up ahead. This was a test, you see. She had passed with flying colours last year. She has been getting as excited as me every year for Christmas, and the older she gets, and the more she understands, this Christmas joy in her grows. I want her to get to the level though, where she is rubbing her hands in excitement as early as late August.

Some Mums put their kids in pageants. I put mine through an extensive “love/joy/merriment/laughter festive Christmas” programme.

She had a pensive look on her face as she peered ahead.

“Christmas tree!”

Pass. Good job Princess. She hadn’t forgotten.

We walked in, with me exclaiming about how early we were seeing this tree. Another Mum who had also walked in ahead of me, was staring incredulously at the tree. She turned to me open-mouthed.

“I can’t believe it!”

I smiled, nodding…

Yeah. Um, it’s soooo surprising. Soooo early….

I cannot lie.  I am rapt 🙂

#564 Spa ‘me’ day

I have had the most splurgiest of splurgee splurge sessions today.

I went to the Peninsula Hot Springs.

For anyone that doesn’t know what the Peninsula Hot Springs are, they are a collection of thermal mineral waters that flow into pools and private baths in the Fingal location on the Peninsula, that make it the prime real estate of bathing, and other luxurious treatments such as massages.

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I not only bathed today. But I massaged. AND I ate.

It all started with the voucher I received from Hubbie for my birthday… last year. Yep, I am continuing my wait-’til-the-last-possible-second tradition of fulfilling a gift voucher by waiting until the last day possible to use it. And today I used it before its expiry date of tomorrow, so at least I’m being consistent.

Not due to lack of want, NO. I love the Peninsula Hot Springs. I’ve been there once before many many years ago, and now that we are locals and an approximate 30 minute drive away, I’d love to make this as common a luxurious tradition as humanly (and monetarily) possible.

For me it’s always been about the TIME. Finding time to do something for myself, and making sure baby girl is occupied or there is someone to look after her, and simultaneously trying to find ‘me’ time outside of ‘family’ time, because DON’T GET ME STARTED on Mum guilt…

So today I put Hubbie’s voucher to good use. I followed a lovely lady into a hut within the trees occupying this forest oasis, and had an hour-long Peninsula vine massage…

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Followed by a lunch in the Bath House café, where I sat unapologetically in my white robe, with only a pair of disposable knickers underneath, true story.

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Because nothing says relaxation like not removing your terry white robe to eat a very distinguished lunch menu. Tee hee hee.

And then I had about an hour to spare before kinder pick-up, so I went through the Bath House pools, intimate bathing spaces for those only 16+, and tried out some steaming hot baths, one of which was a mere 40-42 degrees Celsius.

Thin branching leaves and trees enveloped the entire Bath House area, so that it felt like a little private piece of watery heaven.

I had been all on my own, and it had been a day for me. I left feeling clear, fresh, rejuvenated, and seriously, those minerals had really changed me. They had done something to me internally, and I felt lighter for it.

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I felt all brand-new. And that is certainly something to be grateful for.

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#548 Returning to Island time

I wrote a post very early this year about a photo I took while on holiday with Hubbie at Phillip Island, many many many years ago.

Not only did this photo stay with me due to it being taken at a highly creative and deeply personal awakening time for me, but its strong and subtle message of taking it easy while being on an island, sang an especially sweet song. It spoke of not just relaxing into the moment, but allowing all worries and stresses to melt away as you succumbed to the slow-down pace of a more mindful part of the world.

Well today after about 5 years, we were back at Phillip Island.

Then it had been a still and sunny, though cloudy January day.

Today it had been a grey, incessantly rainy, and hair-flailing windy August day.

Then there had been an abundance of tourists everywhere lapping up the scenery.

Today there had been few overseas people about, the streets mostly empty and quiet.

Then the shops and cafes had been bursting with livelihood and excitement amongst the best time of the year.

Today there were more shops blackened and closed, than were open.

Then I had taken my sweet time to take the best shot possible of my favourite pic, angling the camera just the right way to get the best light, while using the poster’s message to take it slow and take it in, in my task.

Today I had forgotten about the poster on the passing building until we were nearly past it, and I made Hubbie slow down in the middle of the round-a-bout while I made a mad scramble for my phone and took a hasty shot of it again.

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I didn’t even get ALL the words in.

And yet I didn’t care. The people, conditions and comparison didn’t matter to me: all that was important was that the poster, the message was still there. And as long as that poster was in that same spot, that meant it was always going to be island time.

And it forever will be, rain, hail or shine.

(The background tree photo on my SmikG blog is of the Phillip Island iconic trees on the main strip, an ode to the time when an especially important story and group of characters came to life in my head…

#508 Singing in the car

I mean, who needs the rain, when you have the terrific shelter of a car as you drive 80kms through bushy terrain, the sun shining down on you, and Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran blasting out of your radio?

I found myself in this delightful disposition this morning on the way to the shops with baby girl. We had this view

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and suddenly, baby girl was like “more,” indicating to me that she wanted the volume to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to go right up, and soon it was blasting, we were shaking, and we were laughing and singing our heads off.

“Shake it off, shake it off!”

Some more views

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and then it was Ed Sheeran singing about “The Shape of You,” and again the volume was blasting, baby girl was babbling/singing, and we were grooving to

“I’m in love with the shape of you.”

I love when we get these unexpectedly happy moments. Not only are they appreciated so much more when they arrive with no prior pretence of joy, but when they showcase to me how baby girl is learning, developing and growing into a young girl each day, it just warms my heart even more.

Awww, shucks 🙂

 

#490 Walk around the ‘hood

What was meant to be a little walk to the local park and then back home, ended up in us heading that extra block to see the beach, and then winding around a couple of extra streets, to get just that bit more sunshine.

Winter, so far, has been spectacular. I know, right? In fact, the sunny and still days we have had so often, so far, has put me in a greater state of fear over how horribly the rain and wind will hit when REAL Winter comes along. According to My Climate Guide, we are actually in Win-tumn, which is false pretences Winter, and the REAL mofo Winter that will f$^k us right up, is due to hit in about 5 days.

Sigh. But we won’t worry about that now. Today was absolute bliss, walking around our ‘hood in our trakkies, and discovering the sights, sounds, scents, and seeing all the beauty that is around us… All of this, and the magnificent sun in the background, made me so, soooo grateful, that this is OUR TOWN.

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And with each day, I’m loving it more and MORE. Even in Winter. Can you bloody believe???

#488 The tree in Their yard

Still on nature.

There are many things we take for granted in life, and many that we act as if it will be there forever.

For me today, that forever thing is my parents’ home.

It was the place I was brought home to when a newborn, days after coming into the world. I grew up in that house, and only left years and years and years later, when I got married. It may seem confined and claustrophobic to some, but the years I spent there were some of the most memorable and happiest years of my life. I love that house.

Likewise, their yard. I’ve never really taken much refuge, notice of, or practiced much gratitude towards it, only because well, ‘taking things for granted’ note as above. Assuming it will always be there. Thinking that I will be able to visit it FOREVER.

Things don’t always turn out the way we envision them to be in our little fantasy-lands. Often our fantasy-lands are just that, images in our head.

So today while over there visiting on yet another Friday, drinking a coffee my Dad made me out in their yard, from a coffee pod machine I bought them one Christmas (of course I would buy them something coffee-related) I came upon, and noticed for the second time that day, the spectacular nature of a tree.

It’s the only one in their yard that still has part of its leaves on, and visually striking is the fact that it is prime-centre in the middle of the yard, surrounded by all the other leaf-less, stark grey branches around it from neighbouring trees. I looked at this stunning hybrid Pear tree (my Dad is a supreme Gardener and Handy-Man, so don’t ask) and observed to myself, that it was beautiful. Stunning even.

‘Pear, hold on.’