Sunday, 21 May 2017

the big five O

I'm not sure how I feel about turning fifty, there's been so much other stuff going on that it has kind of snuck up on me. It does feel decidedly older than turning forty, forty is getting toward middle age where as fifty feels like I'm mighty close to 'old person' territory! The celebrations were purposefully low key. The girls organised morning tea and a trip to Heide Museum of Modern Art. We perused paintings by Sidney Nolan and John Blackman and learnt something of the history of the place. The gardens and sculptures were beautiful and the autumn trees magnificent - wherever my three girls are there is bound to be a bit of mischief...

of course they all climbed the massive tree

of course one got stuck

of course big sister came to the rescue

waiting for some leaves to fall, first person to catch one is the winner



We had a family birthday dinner at a local place in Barwon Heads last night and floated an idea, a no regrets kind of idea, a why not? kind of idea; a family pilgrimage to Italy in November.

I have never been to Italy, despite the fact that my father is Italian. He did not want to return to his homeland for a complicated set of reasons, I offered to take him a number of years ago. Although Colin and I have travelled overseas a number of times going to Italy just didn't feel right, I was waiting. November will be the anniversary of my father's death and visiting the place of his birth and childhood, meeting some of my relatives, getting a glimpse of the region and culture that helped shape the person he was feels right, a closure of some sorts (or perhaps it will be an opening). There is a whole side of myself, the Italian side, that is unexplored. Turning fifty feels like a good time for some exploration and doing this as a family, priceless. We are imagining a villa in Abruzzo, day tripping in a minivan, the coast and Adriatic Sea, the mountains and national parks, visiting relatives and small local villages and of course eating wonderful food. Now we have to figure out how to turn our fantasy into reality...

Monday, 15 May 2017

deferred gratification

Colin has had to wait thirty odd years for a garage. Finally, he has one. Our new place has a two car garage and no cars in it, that's because its full of other 'stuff'. To be fair the camper trailer does take up a bit of space, in fact the whole garage has been set up around it. And then there's the surf boards and all the paraphernalia that goes with them, the bikes, the tools... and on the list goes. Before you know it the whole thing is chokkas. In keeping with his penchant for organisation though every thing has a place of its own. He seems to spend quite a bit of time doing 'stuff' out there; the roller door up and the sun streaming in. The other day he came in with a happy, satisfied grin, "I love my shed". That says it all really...

Monday, 8 May 2017

back to centre

There are some things that you do that centre you, that bring you back to yourself somehow, that ground you in the here and now. This last week has had lots of those kind of things. Finally some quieter days and a weekend memorable for its very ordinariness. We have cooked large pots of dhal, minestrone, pumpkin and chicken soup - all stacked in neat rows in our chest freezer (newly purchased). We have sowed peas into our new garden beds here at home and in our plot at the community garden. I have picked olives from my trees and researched preserving methods. The process is underway. Colin purchased a whole heap of spice jars similar to the ones Rachel gifted him with as a house warming present. He spent a rainy afternoon labelling, organising and filling them all, which was no mean feat considering there were thirty odd! And then; a rainy Saturday night, an open fire, a big pot of chicken soup and friends to share it with, a lazy Sunday afternoon and a leisurely cuppa with another friend. And the cherry on the top, as far as Colin was concerned - a win for the Blues...

on the tree

in a jar

a multitude of jars

a splash of colour

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

the first time

We have replaced the caravan we sold a couple of years ago, not with another caravan but a camper trailer instead. Our intention is to do a lot more weekend wanderings, shorter stints of walking and cycling. The camper trailer is simple and easy - for storage and access, for towing and set up. We took it to Lorne on the weekend to get some things figured out. It wasn't until after we set it up that we realised there was a video on YouTube (of course) that would have been more helpful than the simple instruction page we received. Fortunately the caravan park was mostly deserted so our trial and error approach went mostly un-noticed. We also took the time to set up part of the annexe, something we are unlikely to use very often.

the 'Skamper'

Colin christening 'the kitchen'
There is a lot less space than we are used to, a minimalist approach will be required (along with a bit of creative packing and organising). The main challenge we are yet to overcome is a comfortable bed. We opted for the innerspring mattress, an upgrade on the standard gym style mat that passed for bedding, but alas it is not what we were hoping it would be. We need a plan B.

We think the 'Skamper" will work well for us. The main thing missing, other than the bits and pieces that have been added to a 'to purchase list' was some warm weather. We will be waiting a while for that....

The Erskine River, a stones throw from the caravan park

access to part of the Lorne foreshore

Sunday morning

Erskine River meets Lorne Foreshore

Erskine Falls