~ loveliness found ~ 14/52

if you would like to share your ~loveliness found~ moments from this week
… & I would so love it if you did …
please leave them in the comments or share a link to your place!

all that blue

cliffside picnics

~ picnicking at a magical spot
where rolling green hills meet the glittering blue sea
underneath a freshly painted sky ~

alpacas

the kids

~ making roadside friends wherever we go,
whilst dreaming of how amazing it will be when we have our own ~

apples

golden mornings

with podge

~ freshly picked, organic & so very local,
eaten every which way & especially lovely when softly cooked
until golden and served with our morning podge ~

dandelion

purple flowers

yellow flower

grass

~ finding my inner Ophelia
as I make the family stop yet again
so that I may sigh over the prettiness of these sweet weeds flowers ~

ceiling tiles

poppies

~ filled with awe, respect & sadness
as we stop to give thanks, in such a beautiful place,
to those who have given so much ~

new paths

rich colours

~ yet another new path that takes us to another new beach
filled with such wildness & beauty, it sweeps our breath away ~

jolly girls

running back to the car

~ a pair of girlies who, for four hours, cheerfully leap in & out of the car,
Flat Stanley in hand,
to pose him for a little boy and his kindergarten class
far, far away in Canada ~

busyness felted jumpers my busyness~ at home busyness …
on the porch, in early morning beds,
downstairs in the sewing room .. all three of us, cut from the same cloth ~

shy visitor

the locals

~ catching up with the locals … I really MUST
get stuck into that long list I put together at Christmas ~

beach play


view

sunscreen and blts

Ahhhh … you know where we are, don’t you.  Yes, Abby, Sacha and I have made the trek across the Gippsland and are spending a week with Mum in marvellous Merimbula.  Oh how I do love this sweet seaside village.  Only a few more years and our family will be moving up here.  Until then … we will journey back and forth, spend lovely hours at our favourite spots, and soak up all the sunshine, salt and beautiful vistas we can.  Day One … Bar Beach.  We began our afternoon of bliss on the deck of the wee beachside cafe and shared the loveliest lunch … toasted leg ham and cheese sandwiches with homemade tomato chutney.

Then it was down to the water’s edge where the girls swam, frolicked and squealed, whilst Mum and I stretched out in the sun, our feet buried in the soft warm sand, our needlework and knitting on our laps …

the girls

splash

mum

new knitting caddy

wading

wringing wet

Then, as the clouds uhmmed and ahhhed about whether or not they should crash down upon us, the girls decided that to stay in the water any longer would be to risk frost bite.  There were sandcastles to be built and mermaids sculpted …

lowering sky

sandcastle

reinforcing their moat

folly

Oh how I laughed when I met the mermaid … it is a sandy representation of our stoic prime minister, Julia.  Complete with this year’s new glasses, dangly earrings and pearls.  And subtitles in case any passers by didn’t recognise her …  and Oscar sweetie, look who’s cuddled up there with Ms. Julia … it’s your little travelling friend, Flat Stanley!  He had such a lovely time at the beach – and even had a swim with the girls :-)

julia look oscar

subtitle

It’s such a funny thing … often I find myself lost in daydreams of our future life in the beautiful Bega Valley.  I think of the new hospital being built that I hope to work in.  I think of being close to Mum and being able to share so much more of her days.  I wonder what Abby will pursue once she finishes school.  I marvel at Julian’s big dreams.  And I think, come on, come on, faster, faster, faster, finish this semester, move closer to the end of yet another year in Melbourne.

Then, I realise that I am wishing away these very days I have been blessed with right now.  And I don’t want that.  Yes, they are busy, sometimes stressful, money is often painfully tight ( ah, the joy of new tyres, car maintenance and repairs, and an electricity bill that all arrive in the same week), and frankly, I am getting to the point of being OVER studying … I want to be a real grownup with a job!

Because I also want to savour every moment of Abby’s childhood, especially now as it’s moving into its last years.  I want to find and enjoy the loveliness of everyday.  I want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity to grow and learn and build my skills.

So …. here I sit, making the most of this lovely week away.  Chattering and giggling with Mum.  Delighting in the antics of the girls.  Filling my heart and eyes with the beauty around me.  And tucking the dreams of what will come, away in my heart, knowing that they will arrive sooner than I can imagine.

makes me think of tiny cliff caves shouting
red rock

hanging out with the locals

We went to the zoo!  On the hottest day of our heatwave so far ….. (that sound is me hissing through my teeth)  … it was lovely.  But excruciatingly hot.  The best part was when I stood under the canopy sprinkler with the kookaburra.  I just wish they’d turned the tap on a bit harder.

We started with a quick airconditioned stop to plot the route followed by three hours of walking.  I think the only critters we didn’t see were the echidnas – I don’t know how we missed them, we just did – and the wombats, they had sensibly taken to their underground burrows and weren’t coming out for anyone.

There were wonderful pelicans – my favourite …

– this fellow had one very skinny leg and one normal chubby one,
don’t know why, but the poor thing looked a bit lopsided –

– these two were so funny, they did everything in unison,
perhaps they were escaped circus pelicans –

Abby wanted to take this wee fellow home – a Tasmanian Devil – they are so cute.  Look at his amazing feet – they almost look like ours, don’t you think.  Poor little dears – they are at risk of extinction due to a horrible facial tumour disease that has spread like wildfire through their wild populations.

We met an incredibly charismatic emu, who after winking to get our attention, gave us a wee curtsey and wandered on over.

She then got quite frisky – practically charging Rina who responded in typical teenage girl fashion – squealing – which amused the emu no end!

But then she changed her mind and did a big poo instead … much to the raucous amusement of every child in the vicinity.

Very satisfying … and off she went …

There were snoozing bats …

chortling peach faces …

not laughing kookaburras – this one was too busy having a good soak under the
sprinklers …

lots and lots of kangaroos and wallabies, conserving their energy in the shade …

and of course – koalas – what every Japanese school girl dreams of …

they are such funny things … this one was maintaining his balance with his forehead – smooshed up against the tree, his arms and legs sticking out skew-if.  Much of the eucalypt foliage you can see is actually this …

Very clever – and apparently, very expensive.

Julian loved the reptile house – such a boy – he had an alarming or funny story to match every inhabitant.

Look!  It’s a long necked turtle – relative of the two Julian rescued on the back road between Bairnsdale and Sale last year.  He was a marvellous little swimmer and hasn’t he smiled nicely for the photo.

There was also a lovely Platypus House – Abby’s favourite, and a Nocturnal House – it was like a circus!  But both were so dark, photos weren’t possible so you’ll just have to take our word for it – they were marvellous, and their little inhabitants utterly enchanting.

Yep, it was a lovely afternoon at the Healesville Sanctuary.  Heaps of interesting information and a wonderful focus on living sustainably and gently with our smaller, native neighbours.  And I would love to go back … in winter.

 

 

 

 

 

this is where I eat humble pie …

… and say sorry for every occasion on which I have been a bit dismissive – alright, downright sneering – about the beaches of Port Phillip Bay.  I’m truly sorry.

Today I have been forced to eat almost every harsh word I’ve ever uttered regarding the rights of Victoria to claim that there’s lovely swimming to be had in Port Phillip Bay. Yes, I’m prepared to admit that we have just had the best summer’s day I have ever had in Melbourne – it FELT like summer – it LOOKED like summer – it TASTED like summer and it was spent on Birdrock Beach, Mt. Martha.

This greeted us from the top of the wooden stairs that tilt one way then the other, down, down, down the steep, fire red cliff.

Under the shadows of thickly canopied trees, through patches of brilliant sunlight …

… until we reached this.  Oh my.  My heart was all aflutter.  My eyes open wide with delight.  A huge grin on my face.  This is our fourth year in Melbourne.  How did we miss THIS!  A hasty camp was established under the only bit of shade on the beach and a picnic lunch quickly gobbled before we hit the water.

A bit tentatively at first.  After all – this bay is fed by the Bass Strait and Great Southern Ocean – warm currents are likely only to be enjoyed if you – or someone nearby – spend a penny!  But – the weather here in Melbourne at the moment is frightful – another day over 36 – so that cold water felt utterly delightful, and Abby and I squiggled into our swimmers as quick as could be.

This being Rina’s first ever trip to the beach – first time she had ever stood on the sand and let little waves ripple over her feet – amazing! – she decided to stick to paddling and photos.

Ahhhhh folks.  I have never felt so at home down here.  At first, you must pick your way across a very rubbly section – next time I will certainly bring some old rubber soled sneakers.  Then – you think you’re going to hit a lovely patch of sand – ’cause you can see its soft creamy smoothness through the sparkling water.  But when you get there – it’s ROCK – smooth, velvety, sand-coloured rock.  And the water’s still only up to your thighs.  Any deeper demanded the tricksy navigation of more rubble.  So there I stayed – bobbing – floating – allowing all the heat that has been building up in my body this week, to slip away.  It was so good.

Little waves plinked and plonked around my body as they hurried into the shore, sounding like a delicate xylophone.  Laughter and jesting floated over to me from a small group playing frisbee in the water.  Out in front of me, a trio of young men scampered across the rocks for which the beach is named, looking all the world for like they were walking on water.  Around them, the rocks’ regular inhabitants – the sea birds – were fluttering and strutting.  The deeper blue waters were filled with small darting yachts – in neat rows, they flitted in and out between vivid orange buoys.

My fingers and toes turned to prunes.  I caught myself absent-mindedly sucking the salt from the end of my plait as I did when I was little.  If only we could have set up a wee wooden caravan there on the edge – something quaint and old fashioned, stocked with wonderful books, thin cotton sheets, soft pillows, yummy food, and cold drinks – we could stay for the next week, swimming for hours, pushing that nasty heat wave away with our cool, shrivelled, salty hands.  Oh can you imagine how utterly blissful that would be.  Bugger school!  Bugger university!  Bugger work!  I think that if the temperature is over 35 – then it MUST be the summer holidays, regardless of what the calendar says.

And what a treat being able to share it with Rina.  In a usual March, we would have been driving up into the mountains to admire the trees’ autumn finery, wander the lake’s edge at Daylesford, hunt for mushrooms in the forest.  Not this year.  Rina was enchanted.

However, all good things come to and end.  Eventually we had to brave those stairs – this time, trudging up and up and up through wilting steaminess.  Every time we turned back to the sea we wailed!  We would need another swim to cool off by the time we reached the top.  It seems to me there’s something not working quite right with this arrangement.

On the way home we stopped for icecream at Chill – Mt. Martha’s Gelati Bar – highly recommended …

… stopped for a super quick play on this ship – I was waiting for it to sprout leaves a’la Quentin Blake’s divine book “The Green Ship” …

… and made our final stop for the day here …

… why yes, this truly bizarre sight is real.  That’s why I snuck a photo.  CPR dummies under the trees in Frankston.  First time I’ve ever played this game on my way home from the beach.  However, I’m not complaining – if I hadn’t had to be in Frankston at 5 pm to spend half an hour pumping their flaccid chests for thirty counts before pushing two breaths into their funny little mouths – over and over again – we would never have made our way to Birdrock Beach.

And you thought I would once more try to end my post with some meaningful and poetic words – ha!