#884 Inverloch getaway

It is night 2 of our mid-week Winter Inverloch getaway.

And the only thing guaranteed about a mid-July escape, is that there are no guarantees on the weather.

Which is why today has been such a delight.

IMAG2052

Yes, it was windy. Yes, the waves were wild. But there was sunshine out, it was even mild at times (I kid you not), and along with heading out amongst the elements to experience it all, we had just as much fun watching it all from the comfort and warmth of indoors, once the fiercer weather rolled in.

 

If you’re not sure whether or not to do it, I say DO IT. A random winter escape is the perfect way to escape winter and the routine of life, by doing something unexpected, at the time of year where people probably least holiday out and about.

But enjoying uninterrupted time with my family has been the bestest escape of ALL.

 

#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. πŸ™‚

#828 Bath time

Last week at the end of a particularly crappy day, I was sitting at the side of the tub where baby girl bathed, when I had an idea.

She was just there doing what normal 4 year-olds do: splashing about, playing with her toys… turning here; and then suddenly, turning there, quickly like a fish. And as I observed this, her carefree nature and relaxed attitude, the water enveloping her in a warm hug, I realised I needed something.

I needed a bath.

I mean, as a grown women, shower, sure. But bath? How often do we do it?

I can say with certainty I have not had one in years. I can’t even remember the last time I had one, and it definitely hasn’t been in this house…

So tonight…

BATH TIME.

IMAG1027

Can I say ladies – HAVE A BATH.

Get your Hubbie to look after the kids. lock the door. If you don’t have kids, get your partner the hell out of there and make sure he knows this is vital for your wellbeing… and well, if you don’t have kids or a partner… what the hell are you waiting for? You should have a home spa!

It was, absolutely unreal. I locked the door. Lit a candle. Poured some wine. Made sure the water was hot. And let myself sink into relaxation for a good half an hour.

I need to do this at least once a month. The calm and peace that followed me afterwards was crucial in the recovery and growth of my soul.

But a word of warning ladies… watch out if you are combining hot water and red wine…

#dizzyspells #holdontight #ifyouhavelowbloodpressurelikeme

πŸ˜‰

IMAG1030

#810 The scenic route Home

It doesn’t matter if I’ve been on the other side of town ALL day.

It doesn’t matter if I’ve just been stuck in a traffic jam while heading home from work.

Nor like today, does it matter if I’ve driven for about 4 hours and just wanna get home.

Because I’ll ALWAYS take the scenic route.

To be fair, if I take the extended freeway length and get off it closer to home, it may or may not be 5 minutes shorter. Certainly, going that way means I don’t have to get off the freeway earlier, and contend with traffic lights and 60-80 km/h traffic through Frankston and Mt Eliza…

But then I wouldn’t see this.

IMAG0555

Driving an extra 5 minutes is totally worth it. Every single time I sneak a look at the water when I drive past Frankston Waterfront – every time. I’m not the only one though. You can tell the 60km/h speed limit is as much for the water-gazers all turning around the bend in unison and getting perilously close to one another as they take longer than necessary looks upon the ocean before them, as much as it is because the road curves.

I’ve had both good days and bad days looking out towards that view as I drive home.

And each time, I am brought a renewed sense of Hope, no matter how shitty things may have been that day.

Today’s mood? Reflective. And appreciative, that I was Home. β™₯β™₯β™₯

#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 πŸ™‚

#758 Her encouraging nature

IMAG9489

See that light? You can see the setting sun creating a circle, a halo, far on the water of Port Phillip Bay.

There is a reason why I say that.

Today I did the usual at kinder drop off. I hung around while baby girl settled in, watching her paint, observing the kids around her, looking around while parents came, kissed their little ones goodbye, and then left.

Still, I stayed behind.

A boy saw baby girl painting, and decided he too would paint at the easel next to her. On the smock went, and he reached over to grab a paintbrush sticking out of a cup of blue paint.

He painted somewhat haphazardly, not really sure of what he was doing, glancing over at baby girl, while also distractedly looking around the classroom to see what else was happening. A few minutes passed, and while baby girl was carefully painting with her fourth colour, he took off his smock, and walked off, leaving his painting hanging there.

Baby girl, suddenly noticing his absence, leant over to his easel. (It was a plain piece of paper, with a few streaks of blue. I know kinder art is very preliminary, but this didn’t resemble much of anything).

And viewing his artwork, she said happily “oh, he did a great job!”

My heart SOARED. No, my daughter was not misguided. She was not ignorant in her paintings. She was not daft, and didn’t know the difference between what was good, and what was not.

She had compassion. She held encouragement in her soul.

It was something that lacked in others. It was something that lacked in a similar girl her age, who had seen baby girl drawing a picture at a party, and said to her out loud, in front of me, after I had complimented baby girl on her “great work!” –

“I don’t like it, that doesn’t look nice.”

You see, it’s not about the artwork. Rather it is about the character. For me, it is not whether baby girl turns out to be a Picasso or not. For me, it is about whether she has a heart or not.

I was initially worried when baby girl received that negative comment from that girl. I was worried that the girl’s negativity, rudeness, and mean manners, would rub off on baby girl, and turn her usual bright happy and smiley soul, into a cranky, angry, and negative one.

But then when she said about that boys picture, with the same encouragement as those she looks up to “great job!” I knew we had done something right.

Like a light, encouraging Hope, amidst the darkness.

And here, for arts sake, baby girl against the sunset. Hubbie reckons the power lines kill the photo. But I know what makes it πŸ™‚

IMAG9493