At the beginning of our trip away I felt a little like when working full time ... the omigod it's Friday night which means in two more days it'll be Monday again feeling. But as it was, time stretched out in front of me, there were beach trips and outings in the car, various photo sessions with three different cameras. Nights spent chatting, handstitching a little felt horse and a new pincushion. Afternoons devouring books found at the beach house; Irish novels by Marian Keyes, one after the other. I read the one about the lass who goes to rehab (rachel's holiday), the one whose husband leaves her with a newborn (watermelon), one about a girl with an alcoholic dad (lucy sullivan is getting married) and another about a woman finding love at the same time her gay friend is sick (last chance saloon). All page turners, with messages. While the pile of worthy fiction I'd bought with me sat ignored. Although I did start The Sound of One Hand Clapping by Richard Flanagan on the second last day. And kept reading in spare moments once we got home. Even though it's a heartwrenching read. So my reading mojo is back. Which is good because it's been long gone.
There were lots of moments with family, with Mum and Betty and Ruby. During which Grace almost smothered her little cousin with kindness a couple of times and learnt about sharing. Or not. Watching them play in the shallow water at the inlet and then racing to pack up and drive our cars out before high tide. Lots and lots of aunty cuddles, not really ever enough. Lance and Gerard arriving at the weekend. More visitors, a house full of people, easy dinner and lots of wine and talk (mind you half a glass of red knocks me nearly senseless these days). A visit from Dad and Nina and an unexpectedly good boogie board day at the beach. Followed by a visit to my aunty and (step)uncle who live nearby where Grace stayed up until eleven o'clock and was well behaved!
What else? Playing with Grace in the water. That girl must have veins of ice. There weren't that many days really hot enough for extended swimming. But every time we went to the beach she insisted. I tried to convince her to paddle in her shorts but learnt quickly the best thing was to put her bathers on, let her run around and splish and splosh, pulling her out and wrapping her in a towel once she started to shiver. Sometimes a biscuit in the back of the car was in order. She also loved going out in the surf with me, jumping up to meet the waves with me holding her hands and being tossed about a bit in the shallows (very well supervised of course). Sand castles were a big hit, as was visiting nearby Magic Beach which was easily recognisable from the book by Alison Lester. I bought this book while Christmas shopping and put it away, sneakily packing it in unseen with the other books and toys at the last moment and gosh, what a thrill. It'd be fair to say, I think, that Grace will inherit my love of the water. She also seems to have grown half a foot and tripled her vocabulary.
I feel like I could have stayed away another week, cocooned in a precious little web of holiday. Not that it was perfect, because we're not, but it's nice to be cooking dinner and looking at ti-tree and going for walks along big open beaches with a changing vista every day. It's good for your head, good for your soul. We're starting to slide back into everyday life again. Although I'm going away for a craft retreat this weekend which I feel absolutely and absurdly excited about. You mean I get to sit around with other women, sew without feeling rude, chat, drink and talk about blogging and craft and heaps of other things?!? And eat yummy food. Oh yes, very excited.
Meanwhile my computer is still having surgery. And G deleted the photo editor I like to use from his which means I feel all at sea photowise. Still, I'm very lucky to be able to go online at all (yes, but you know this time I din't really miss it after the first couple of days, not like last time, but I wanted it as soon as I got home, hmm). And I have just discovered that the flickr editor is pretty easy to use. Still I haven't downloaded or organised most of my photos. Which means that when I get back from the aforesaid weekend of excitement, not only will I have to rouse myself and get back to work but there'll be three weeks of photos to do. Blogging may therefore be a little thin on the ground for a while. Or not. We'll see.