Monday, April 6, 2015

Holidays. Or, where we tag along again.

These days (ie. these days when we live so far from everyone) all our trips seem to be based around some course or meeting or workshop that Gav has to fly to for work. The little bird and I are official tag-alongs. This last trip was based around Sydney. There was some family catch up times and some holiday making as well. It was most well timed with my need to get out of the heat. Alas, we are back and it is still hot (of course). Nevermind.

And little E, the well travelled child. She is now walking and socialising on planes and at airports like there is no tomorrow. She hunches over, straightens her arm out, gives a little wave and says 'hi', expectantly hoping that someone will respond. I've been trying to break it to her that sometimes it's better to make some eye contact first...

These are the places we visited:

 The view from Umina Beach, Central Coast.

Our cosy and most excellent stay in the Blue Mountains.

A brief stint of city living in good old Newtown.

A final stay at Stanwell Park, nestled between beach and forest.

I might even write a bit more about things...!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

STILLS: the weeks that were

This is a bit of a whopper edition. These photos serve as a beautiful reminder of all the good things in life and definitely put a silver lining on the tired eyes and sweaty body. Here goes!

:: Neighborhood bliss, making use of a pool over the road while this lovely little family are away

:: Calming the tired-induced chocolate cravings with a cacao drink plus the most satisfying little truffles everrrr. Definitely less protein ball and more truffle, yet full of yum and good things. Another winning recipe courtesy of Petite Kitchen wonder-lady, Eleanor. I'm a bit excited about her book making its way to me in the post.

:: She's started kissing babies, children and animals in books. Love heart eyes to the max. Now if only she would offer kisses to her humans!

:: How could I resist these little ballet slippers at the op shop? They make the sweetest shoes on little feet.

:: A moody and cool walk on a stormy morning, over the dunes and also down the path behind the dunes. We heard lots of birds and, at our turn around point, stopped and watched the veriagated fairy wrens.

:: A backyard friend taking some time out in our hammock. Cute!!

:: We popped into Matso's for an afternoon drink, E keeping herself busy with ice from my juice glass.

:: This kid and her giant hat from Aunty Ingy. At the waterpark/playground. Always a winner.

:: The waterpark looks out over Roebuck Bay, such a stunning view. In the shallows of the water is a type of blue green algae that appears in the wet. It's a result of an influx of nutrients and is bad news for sea grass and therefore creatures that rely on this habitat/food. It can also make humans sick. One of the National Parks workers was down there waiting to meet their boat as well as take some photos of the floating algae.

From the Roebuck Bay Working Group facebook page: Long hot cloudless days (and too many nutrients from groundwater and stormwater runoff) are not good for Roebuck Bay, with a Lyngbya (cyanobacteria) bloom underway. Lyngbya growth can accelerate around the start of the wet (clear hot cloudless days and nutrients from groundwater), with the greatest spread and intensity in February. Unlike other bacteria, Lyngbya forms large air bubbles from photosynthesis, which allows the mats to become buoyant and spread across the bay. Soon after the Lyngbya dies and is washed onto the mangroves and shores. The message is, don't touch it, it can be toxic in certain stages of its growth.

:: How the washing gets done around here. Maybe E will become chief dish rinser?!

::  Yesterday afternoon I met Gav and E at the park. We went to say hi to our neighbours with the pool in the first photo. Gav and E were then invited for a swim while I went to harvest lemons from our tree that were hanging over into the empty block behind us. Just a few lemons!! It was such a pleasure to be able to then pass these on to our friends, who then invited us for dinner. Apart from this being so lovely in and of itself, it was one of those nights where we were completely unprepared for dinner. What a welcome invite! At this rate we may never leave Broome.

:: Crazy foraging lady strikes again. Gathering fallen branches for wood and dyeing experiments. The nature play spin off with the small one is a huge bonus. She loves it!

For stills by my sister from another mother who lives on the other side, go here!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunset picnic

In the endless wet season, late afternoons at the beach is one of the best ways to ensure an ongoing love for this place. The breeze blows, the sun loses its bite, and the clouds light up beautifully. Now that we have E and are managing the whole dinner-bath-bed routine, we don't get out quite as much. The sun doesn't set until 6.30pm and the car trip home often involves tears. But our little bird is getting older and it has become bleedingly obvious that the beach is one of her happy places too.

So late last week we picked up some (not very great) takeaway fish and chips and headed to Cable beach. We occupied a shady grass patch for dinner (while backpackers took turns using the public restrooms for their showers), headed to the playground for a slide and swing and then finally moved on to the actual beach. Although E cried while we headed away from the playground to the beach, we promised her that there was more fun in store. From the way she basically ignored us while clambering through baby-sized pools of water, running her fingers through the sand, gathering up sea snails and climbing over and around rocks, we think she liked it.

I have started compiling a mental list of 'things to do' in the wet season. This is definitely one of them.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Déjà vu, of sorts

It's not much really, 24 hours, but we do miss the husband/daddy man when he is away. 

Sometimes Gav has to go flying to other places for work. It sometimes also means getting stuck at that place overnight. For all of the on-call he has done in the last 18 months there has been surprisingly few trips like these. One trip happened two weeks after E was born. I was just a teeny bit emotional (ahem...). A friend brought over dinner and E thoughtfully slept through the entire night. Meanwhile, Gav went and had dinner at his friend's place in Darwin and came home to us the next day. 

Almost exactly one year later and déjà vu struck. Well, kind of. For him it was the same town and same friend's place for dinner. For us, however, there was the absence of a friend bringing dinner (but we did had freezer leftovers - yessss!), no sign of a solid night's sleep (that early one was a once-only, never-to-repeated event), and a lack of tears on my part (thankfully).

Now he is back home, on days off, and taking baby duty so I can get rid of the bags under my eyes. BUT I CAN'T SLEEP. I've tried chammomile tea, lavender oil, massaging my temples, deep breathing and yoga inspired neck rolling. And now I feel hungry... SOMEBODY, PLEASE SEND THE SLEEP FAIRIES, ON THE DOUBLE!! 

(The above photo was taken at our park while Gav was away. She's trying to find some fun. Next time I'll stay a bit closer to her so I can monitor the proximity of bird poo once she has climbs up on the bricks and starts crawling along them...) 

Monday, February 9, 2015

STILLS : the week that was

1 :: Saturday afternoon Kubb at the beach. Throwing bits of wood at bits of wood is quite fun actually (there's a diy over on design sponge if you're so inclined!). Meanwhile our little beach bird was ecstatic to have a tennis ball in hand, endless sand and many dogs to watch running about.

2 :: We went hunting in the kitchen for my mojo as well as ways to be in the kitchen with this one year old. We opened the week with re-instating the bumbo, we closed the week with free sitting on the bench stabbing a wooden toddler knife into a slice of zucchini. She digs the inclusiveness, she grew to hate the bumbo. We opened the week with simple frittatas and healthy biscuits, we closed the week with a soft taco feast for 8 and rasberry brownies...

3 :: My ever-patient child with a sneakily "borrowed" toy in hand. We have been driving back and forth down the road several times this week to allow potential buyers to view a friend's couch.

4 :: I left the house ON MY OWN. And not just to get groceries. I finally went along to the Incredible Edible Broome Initiative's swap/share (ok, so kind of to get groceries). It was wonderful. And amazing to see what people are growing in our hot, humid, hot, dry, hot, hot, hot 'wet' season environment. And I met someone who lives on my street! Such a great neighborhood. In this pic: chillies, pink grapefruit, kankun (or water spinach), seeds, star fruit. Not in this pic: the Incredible advice and suggestions I received about growing a garden here. 

5 :: This is us, walking in our park, chasing dogs after a swim at our neighbour's pool while they're away. This is us, really hoping to stay in this little neighborhood. There is a prospective buyer for our rental that wants to 'nest, not invest'. Such is life! 

Back before I deleted my old posts and decided this space was due for a fresh start, I would participate in an online collective of weekly stills. This doesn't really exist anymore but the urge to pause and look back on the week via snaps on my phone is still there. My wonder-friend, Helen (who I miss too much and hope to see soon) has continued on with her STILLS also. She lives on the other side of our very large and extremely vast country so it's nice to connect in this little way and see what went on over in my old town this week with her cute family, ace styles, more-than-three op shops and other excellent things that I'm not there to partake in (wahh!). So, each week I'll be linking over to What Larks Pip for Helen's week in the life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Darwin Botanical Gardens

We had an extra-long weekend to Darwin so we could experience the 'real' Wet season. The botanical gardens was an unexpected highlight. Eva's cafe in a cute tiny church served up delicious coffee and food, and the Children's Garden next door was such a lovely natural space that E had all to herself. She was so happy to sit and sprinkle gravel, touch grasses, pull apart leaves and explore the shallow waterway. I took it as an opportunity to pick up the GF-1 and get snapping again.

Life swap: gentlefolk interview over at What Larks Pip

Here's to 2015 and to kicking off this space again! My gorgeous and well-missed friend Helen has posted an interview about our couple of months on the road back when our little bird was actually little. Head over to What Larks Pip for more...