Our 'one year' opportunity to fulfil a dream of living by the sea has given rise to "we can't possibly leave yet, let's stay a little longer". It doesn't make much sense to live in one state and work in another but then again we often end up doing things a little differently.
It has been a quiet and slow week while Colin recovers from surgery and while in theory there’s been time to ‘stop and smell the roses’, you would be hard pressed to do so because they would be bending at 90 degrees trying to survive the blasting wind. We usually take a daily walk, well Colin hobbles, slow and steady, just a few hundred metres (it gets longer each day). There’s a spot along the way, sheltered from the wind, where you can sit a moment and feel the sun warm your body. It is just the right distance for a rest when you have shuffled as far as your sore and stiff body will take you. Johanna is eagerly anticipating the day when ‘dad can walk like a normal person!” When there’s no sun and a windy walk is not inviting we amble to our favourite café and find respite and a good cup of coffee there instead.
Between rests and naps, short walks and work related phone calls, emails, planning and writing, Colin has passed the week away. It has been strange having him around and it has certainly thrown our usual schedule and routines into turmoil. Johanna’s tongue in cheek remark about sums it up, “Dad you’re mucking everything up…” What creatures of habit Johanna and I have become.
The weekend heralded the end of the wind for a few glorious days. Blue skies, sun and warmth reigned. It finally felt like the Sunshine Coast that we have come to love and enjoy; August’s unpleasant weather receding to far distant places in our memories. There is something about beautiful days and seeing people out and about relaxing and enjoying the beach. It is good for the soul and apparently for the body as well; Colin finally managing to ‘walk like a normal person’ and make it all the way to Kings Beach and back…
It has been a strange week. Within a five day period my father was in hospital in Tasmania, Colin’s father was in hospital in Melbourne and Colin ended up in hospital here on the Sunshine Coast for unexpected surgery on a Friday night. Not a great week for the males in the family! (All are out and ok now)
The unexpected has thrown a spanner in the works, so to speak. Colin will remain at home recovering this week, necessitating a lot of cancelling of flights, meetings and other work related commitments. Johanna and I were due to fly back to Melbourne the following week for a few days. We have rescheduled to fly with Colin on his usual Monday morning rude o’clock flight to ensure he isn’t carrying or lifting bags. (however a 4.15am start to the day isn’t that appealing)
In the meantime it will be a quiet and slow week up here. I wonder how long Colin will last before he starts to climb the walls; pain relief is keeping him dopey at the moment. He’s not one for sitting still, could be interesting….
August is the ‘windy’ month apparently. Last year was an aberration, little wind, this year the weather is following its usual pattern. There are more windy days than not, sometimes a breeze and sometimes a gale. It mostly blows from the South East, a cold blustery presence. It can be deceptive to look outside, clear blue skies and a shining sun, but when you step out the door you are greeted by a cool blast. The wind grabs at your clothes and stands your hair on end. The trees bend resignedly, leaves and branches supplicating to a greater force. Mostly people just get on with things and make the most of sheltered spaces, warm and still, a momentary pleasure, an escape from all that blowing and buffeting.
It is the birds that seem unruffled, although I have watched from my balcony as they struggle to roost in swaying trees. By far the most amazing thing is to watch them coast and glide on the windy currents. There is a joyful and playful abandonment as wings outstretched they purposefully ‘ride’ the waves far above the sea. It is the osprey and pelicans who reign supreme, working hard against the wind and then giving themselves up to the drafts, rushing back and soaring high, circling and then beginning again. Sometimes a solitary bird and sometimes a half dozen; it is a joy to watch and you can’t help but wonder just how it feels….
Johanna’s request for the weekend was to do something active! A walk through Noosa National Park ticked a few boxes – it was something active (about 12km) and there was both bushland and coastland; something for everyone.
a spot of videoing
Grey skies and occasional drizzle were fellow companions, but so were tree lined paths, a swath of greens and browns, wooden bridges, birds calling, the wet and green smell of damp earth and foliage.
graffiti on the scribbly bark
Bush gave way to coast, dirt to sand, enclosed spaces to exposed. The wind was fierce at Hells Gate and we sought shelter under a tree as a band of rain swept by.
almost at Hell's Gate
a windy Hell's Gate
heading back along the coastal track
rain is on the way
Two and a half hours later, with tired legs but restful souls, Johanna and I opted for lunch, Colin couldn’t pass up the opportunity to catch a few waves. We ate, he surfed and the heavens opened dumping their watery load. Hot baths at days end were more than welcome…
My days in Melbourne tend to be frenetic, every hour of each day filled with family, friends and things to be done. This time there are two and a half days.
Within an hour of stepping off the plane Johanna and I were in the supermarket buying ingredients to make Zac lasagna for his birthday. 3 hours later the wooden table is laden with food and we scrounge 8 mismatched chairs to come together to eat and celebrate – food and family.
There is morning tea with friends, lunch with Heidi, taking Queenie to the vet, making a big pot of minestrone (I like to know my children have containers of healthy soup in their freezers for days when they are too tired or busy to cook), shopping with Rachel for a rug, bookshelf and bedside table, putting together the finishing touches in her apartment, dinner with long time friends, breakfast with Zac and Jan at the café where Rachel works…. Well that is some of what I did!
I fall into bed each night exhausted but satisfied. Melbourne days are ‘mothering days’ and ‘friend days’, they remind me of what really matters and what I look forward to when spending more time South next year. However experiencing some of the coldest Melbourne days this year was not helping; 5.5 degrees at midday, how crazy is that….