Sunday, February 2, 2014

Summer holidays

Sometimes, the pictures all fall into place, but the words do not. Our summer holidays were hot, slow, long, fun, full and at times very, very challenging. In our house the wonderful lack of routine that would generally create a relaxed holiday instead creates all sorts of trouble.

However, as I look at this bundle of pictures that have captured the last six weeks, it is a stark reminder that no matter how grey the day, there is always colour to be found. Above would be Roboboy's lego mini figure avatar that seems to end up in all sorts of odd places, including this bowl of florist beads the kids chose from the markets, just add water and they grow.

The stack of books my boy read this last few weeks. The only problem now is where on earth do you go from Harry Potter? (tips welcome).

The simple things are the best -  birthday parties with hills and large pieces of cardboard.

Floral arranging sessions. We walked the streets sampling all the blooms on the footpath.

We spent our usual amount of time under the hose on the trampoline.

We played jewellery shop cafe's,

Hot chocolate with marshmallows anyone ?

and built extravagant paediatric hospitals,

created storyboards for the three little pigs,

organised rooms and shuffled furniture to give my boy a desk of his own,

spent hours and hours in construction at the Ipswich Art Gallery

And after more than a year away, we finally made it back to our favourite beach.

As the years pass and we come back here time and time again, the memories just build and pile up atop each other. This is three years ago,

And the exact same spot now.

We made mermaids,

and just like previous times we have come to Moffat beach, there have been some milestones passed.
Like the catching of her very first wave,

first sand dune slide,

and most excitingly, the first bike ride without training wheels. Just like that she was off, haring down those paths to the sea that she knows so well.

We rode all the way to the Mr McGee tree (it was perhaps a little too far in hindsight) and we climbed to the very top ( well not me, I was down the bottom taking photos). The view was amazing.

There was also the usual rock hopping,

tidal creek paddling,

After a swim in the ocean pool at Kings beach, we stumbled across a man snorkelling in one of the tidal pools. As is our way, we of course had to find out what he was up to. He was catching some rare fish and when he left he gave us his leftover bait so we too could hand feed the fish.

So late that afternoon we trotted back with our buckets and nets and hand fed the fish with our raw prawns. We even managed to catch a few for our collection. Then of course we tipped them all back in, squealed at the sight of an eel where our toes had just been and rode our bikes home. I love that we now have another new favourite spot to go back to next time.

It always astounds me how much my children remember from all the other visits to this very beach. This time when we got to a particular spot, Liongirl asked me to play the rock stacking game we played there once, more than a year ago. This time we made beach houses for the crabs, with stones for the windows and doors, a path up to the front door and a seaweed mat.  I wonder if next year we will come back to this spot and do it all again.

She and I spent an afternoon together exploring. We found six sea cucumbers and a nudibranch. Not a spectacular colourful one, but amazing just the same.

We were either at the beach, riding our bikes, eating calamari and chips or in here for the entire seven days.

Summer holidays, we think we did you justice. Now it's time for the relief of that old familiar routine of school.


  1. Fantastic photos. What a wonderful summer you have had. Hope you are well Mel. I want to hang out in little Miss's kitchen and your boys desk is awesome! xo

  2. You've had the idyllic Aussie Summer holiday there. It's lovely that your kids remember the activities they did over a year ago. x

  3. Oh Moffat is our favourite too! We go every year…I must say the addition this year of that coffee frappe thing from that hipster coffee shop really made my holiday!
    I remember loving The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe series and of course anything by Roald Dahl.

    1. Yes, I had been thinking about LWW as well and there are some more Roald Dahls coming for his birthday. mel x

  4. It looks as though you had a great summer holiday, lovely pictures and memories of the beach, and I really like the flower arrangement - and the container that it is in! Hope that the rest of your summer is just as good. xx

  5. I love that desk - bit jealous of it in fact ..exactly what I am looking for to replace my ugly wonky one squished into the cnr of the dining room.

    Re books - Have you seen the Spirit Animals series, and what about Lemony snicket series, or the How to Train your Dragon series, also Isobelle Carmodys Red Wind

    1. Thanks Michelle, just found the Train your dragon books and saw spirit animals in the book club from school- think he has a mate who can loan them. Have not sen Lemony snicket or Red wind- will check them out. He has just started a series called Warriors about a clan of cats and is really enjoying them and there seem to be a zillion in the series. mel x

    2. We have had the desk for years, was mine until I upgraded to the old laundry door for my sewing table! mel x

  6. and YES to Chronicles of Narnia, anything and everything by Roald Dahl and what about The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings

  7. Looks like you had a lovely school holidays. I think holidays and lack of routine, and the ensuing chaos all go together don't they?!! so many wonderful creative activities in all of your photos. Particularly impressed with the paediatric hospital and the mermaid!!! Nice to hear from you again x

  8. My son is an avid reader, now 12 and onto the Percy Jackson series, but a few years ago, he was enjoying the Beast Quest series, although a series of it is enough, I wouldnt go on and on with it...(they go forever) I also go for the classics...sets them up well for school/English later on.....

  9. Gosh you've packed a lot of colour and fun into your summer holidays! :) x

  10. What an amazing summer holiday you've had! We love to spray the trampoline with water, too. My son used to read the Willard Price adventure series. They are old, I think my husband used to read them, too. But there are many of them and maybe they'll keep you wee man busy for a few weeks.

  11. What fabulous shots of summer colour. We have the same problem with lack of routine in our household - my daughter is so pleased to be going back to school today. Books wise you could try: Beast Quest series, Deltora Quest series, The Percy Jackson series, and the Limony Snicket series - my daughter has just discovered this and is loving them. Erin Hunter, who wrote the Warriors series has also got another couple of series called Survivor and Seekers. My daughter has loved these too. Hope these ideas help.

  12. Such a lovely post. There is so much colour in your "at home" photos and I am in love with your girl's vintage kitchen. And that beach looks so wonderful. How special to keep revisiting the same place and build up the layers of memories. I hope the return to school and routine goes smoothly for you all. x

  13. Hi Mel, what a fabulous Summer you have had! Brilliant photos. On the book front, I can really recommend Chris Colfer's - The Land of Stories Series. He's written 2 books so far. He's one of the Glee actors and I was a little sceptical but My daughter absolutely loved them.....Hope the kids had a great start to the new school year! Mel xxx

  14. what beautiful memories your gorgeous children will have. you are so blessed. so glad you had fun. xx

  15. Mel these photos are gorgeous. I love your outlook. My kids are huge readers too. I am suggesting Eragon next. Have you seen the movie? Hopefully your gorgeous boy might sink his teeth into the books, there's three i think. Lovely big fat ones. I'm sure he'll whiz through them. Lulu and I do a lot of flower arranging at our place too.