Still Looking For My Season.

It was with much excitement that I got ready for bed last night.  After all this time, Autumn / Winter was arriving!  I knew this because my weather station on my phone had told me it was to be.

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See …. Tuesday overnight low of 11ºC!!  That meant I needed to put a blanket on my bed for the first time in 2015.  I’ll start with a cotton blanket to begin with but I would put my quilt nearby – just in case it was needed.  Winter pj’s – nah, a little too risky for this menopausal hot stuff!  Now to hang my fluffy dressing gown on the back of the bedroom door.  Everything was ready – I would hunt up some slippers tomorrow!

As I snuggled into bed, it wasn’t long before FurBaby was there to share the warmth.  Right under my chin!  She’s been slowly moving closer and closer but I hadn’t really been interested – tonight I was.  She could stay.  The next thing I knew, it was 6 am!  Do you know how long it is since I have slept past 4 am these past few warm months?  Heaps!  I couldn’t believe it.  I had slept, all night, without really moving!  Blanket still in place, as was previously mentioned FurBaby.  I lay there for a moment and took in the cold around my shoulders and considered adding the quilt.  Decided against adding the warmth because today is a work day and I just may feel like staying in my cocoon – all day.

So after a few more minutes stretching in bed, I sat up and felt the cold envelop me.  As my feet hit the wood floor, I cursed myself for not finding some slippers last night.  My thongs would have to do, as I moved towards my snuggly dressing gown, hanging on the door, readied the night before.  As I slipped it on, the familiarity and comfort felt great.  My season was here – better late than never!

So I began my morning as usual, with bathroom, breakfast preparation and cat service!   Though not necessarily in that order!  By the time I had renewed the cat litter tray, I was already too hot and sat down to eat breakfast with a light cardigan over my summer pj’s – snuggly dressing gown thrown over the end of my bed!

Well that went well!

At first I was a little disappointed, as we only really have cooler weather for about a month or two in Queensland. During those two months, the weather is just about always clear and sunny and you usually get to strip down to short sleeves during some part of the day!  I think I still miss the cold wet New Zealand Autumn / Winter’s …. but then I got thinking back to Friday, the week before.  I had been kidnapped by some friends, on our day off and taken to beautiful Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.  I thought about how the sound of the sea, the smell of the ocean, the sight of the clear blue sky and feel of the waves on my feet soothed my weary heart and mind.  The blessing of still needing to apply sunscreen and find a shady spot to eat our picnic.  The joy of sitting with my friends, still able to fully appreciate the Eye Candy as it jogged by!

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Yes I love Autumn – the colours, the temperatures, the clothes, the leaves and  I can find a place for these things on Pinterest and photos from the internet or family in New Zealand.

Autumn-Wallpaper-autumn-35867786-1280-800BUT I can only find the warm sunny Autumn / Winter days in Queensland!   Where I can still go to the football at night in tee shirts and sandles.  Where I can watch the children play in the water and swim, way after Easter.  Where I can still sleep with only one cotton blanket and the windows wide open until the end of April!  You know what?

There is no place I’d rather be!

Getting my G20 on.

I don’t know if anybody outside of Brisbane realises but we are hosting  the G20 Summit this weekend and for a relaxed holiday city like us, the security is crazy!  Obama’s secret service detail requested that a roundabout outside the University of Queensland, be demolished so that the President’s motorcade would not have to slow down when transporting him!  Request denied!

US decoy helicopters.
US decoy helicopters.

Tomorrow has been declared a G20 public holiday in Brisbane, making a lovely long weekend.  With the extra day break and the predicted temperatures of 38-42 degrees celsius, most of Brisbane has made their way to the beautiful Sunshine or Gold Coast to enjoy the beach.

Beautiful Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland
Beautiful Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland

But not me!

What to do on this momentous occasion?  Well, I could wander into the City Precinct and go people watching. Don’t really want to get frisk searched or mixed up with the many protest groups already there.  I could go shopping.  Many of the Shopping Centres are closed.  I could do housework and fold clothes from Mt Washmore – actually I just might do some of that.  I’ve been wracking my brain for what to do.  It is just this kind of weekend, when most of my friends are away, that I can fall into a deep depression and crawl under the covers and not come out (obviously with the air conditioner on).  So I decided I needed a plan – thank you Pinterest!

Mandy’s Stay at Home Pampering Weekend is about to be planned.  My mind, body and soul are going to be nurtured and loved and spoilt and hugged …….. by ME!!  I am going to rest, relax, drink plenty of water & G & T’s! I am going to slather and lather and scrub and smooth!  I am going to pray and think and read and write! I am going to move and swim and listen to music and dance in my kitchen!  And I may even plan my food for the next few weeks and I will definitely be sneaking in a few “get ready for Christmas” activities!

Watch this space for G20 Spa updates!

Christmas crockery has made it's way into my cupboards!  Oops!!
Christmas crockery has made it’s way into my cupboards! Oops!!

What will you be doing this G20 weekend – wherever you are in the world?

Mana From Heaven!

Many years ago (about 50 or more) my Mum decided that our family needed to have a beach holiday.  She had been a stay at home mother of 3 kids until my baby brother was school age.  It was then that she went to work as a cleaner of private homes and doctors rooms, solely to give us a family beach holiday.  This continued for around about 40 years!  Yes!  My Mum cleaned for the same people for 40+ years and each of those years our family had a beach holiday.  In the end, all of us kids were married and some of us had moved away but Mum & Dad still went to the same place for their beach holiday until about 10 years ago.  My Dad became too ill to travel to the beach any more, although right up until his death, he, Mum and the family, still spoke with love and laughter about those beach holidays.

Arkles Bay

My Mum loved the beach.  She would live in her togs from morning to night and always smelled of sunscreen.  She tanned as brown as a berry and loved to sit on the shore and watch us kids swim, play and boat in the safety of Arkles Bay.  It was a great place to swim, with no dangers and this was important because Mum could not swim!  Oh, she loved to cool off in the water but I never once remember Mum getting her hair wet.

Fast forward to 2014 – my Sister suggested that we take Mum for a beach holiday to somewhere warm and relaxing.  Of course, I agreed.  We decided on Mana Island Resort, Fiji because my Sister had been there before and knew it would be suitable for a beach loving 84 year old, who has had two knees and a shoulder replacement, and who can’t swim but will want to cool off!  It was with much anticipation that I arrived from Australia and they arrived from New Zealand to begin our 10 day memory making adventure.  It was about a year since I had seen my Mum and I was struck at how well she looked after a few trying years with her health.  However, I couldn’t help but notice that she was, at times, quite unstable on her feet – especially on uneven ground.  She always took our arm when walking outside and was very careful with where she walked.

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The first day or two, was spent travelling and settling in.  We had a beach front bure to live in, that was only about 50 metres from the sea.  It was spectacularly beautiful but after watching Mum get around, I started to wonder if she would be able to enjoy the sand and sea.  Would we ever be able to get her into the water, as I was sure she would want?  I didn’t say anything, as I was certain my Sister would know what was best but I began to dread the moment that would surely come when Mum would say “Let’s go for a swim at the beach!”  Well the time arrived and my Sister left Mum and I to get into our togs while she wandered down to the water for a reckky to scope out the lay of the land and to claim some beach sun lounges for us all.  And so the adventure began …… with me carrying the bags and Mum’s arm tucked safely under my Sister’s arm, we slowly walked the 50 metres to the edge of the sand and managed to guide Mum down the slight rocky incline.  Yes, there was some hesitation – by Sister and me – but Mum wobbled her way down with not a care in the world.  We got her safely onto a sun lounge and Sister & I decided to go swimming to check out the water and the reef that lay below.  We were hoping that the sand before the reef, was flat under the waves …… but alas not!!!!  There seemed to be hidden rocks & shells everywhere, the sand went up & down and the waves were breaking but not huge.

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Time to take the bull by the horns!  My Sister went up and slowly walked Mum down into the water.  It had been 10 years since she had last been swimming and she was not expecting the tropical paradise to have such cold water!  But there was no turning back.  By this time, both my Sister and I were supporting an arm, as her unsteadiness was amplified by her inability to see where she was placing her feet.  Suddenly, the laughter came bubbling to the surface of all 3 of us; at the same time as a wave came and Mum decided to take her feet off the ground!  Whoosh!!  In towards the shore floated Mum, dragging my Sister and I behind – desperately trying to anchor our feet in the sand as well as not lose grip of Mum’s hands!  Whoosh!!   Went Mum, back past us, as the tide took her out to sea …… still dragging her anchors.  The giggling and laughter became hysterics as we thought of a young Mum & Dad swinging their children along between them on a walk.  Only we were two 50+ year olds swinging our 84 year old Mum!!  We felt like kids again and the joy shared between us will remain forever.

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Yes, we went beach swimming three more times with Mum over the 10 days.  Each time was just as hilarious and fun.  We also, went pool swimming and by the end of the holiday I wore with pride the bruises on my arm from Mum’s grip!

But the thing I am most proud of was that we never let Mum’s hair get wet!

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