Coffee By the Sea

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share chez moi. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a tail in your face or a dog on your lap, especially if you’re joining me for Tim Tams. The doggies can’t seem to read “Not suitable for dogs” on the side of the packet. Don’t worry. I don’t feed my dogs chocolate, although there have been times when their thieving paws have helped themselves. “Go to jail. Go directly to jail puppy dogs!”

While it might seem like I’ve had a busy week, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been a bit of a Homer Simpson glued to my armchair as the alternating heat, rain and chill took its toll. Need to muster up some energy to finish off my son’s room. I emptied out more cupboards while he’s off at my parents’ place and lost my mojo somewhere along the way. Wasn’t such a good idea after all!

Jonathon shark Umina Beach

Monday afternoon, some sort of crane must’ve plucked my son and I out of our respective chairs and plonked us down at the beach with the dogs. Almost straight away, I spotted a fisherman doing battle with a mighty fish and was spellbound. I’ve since realised that the ocean is one of the last unknowns on this planet. After all, Google Earth must have documented nearly each square inch of land. Hidden cameras seem to capture our each and every move. However, who knows what’s on the end of that fishing rod? Who knows what’s swimming around your feet while you’re hanging out at the beach? Yes, the ocean is one of the world’s last mysteries… the last frontier.

I manage to inject a fair amount of suspense into The Boy & the Shark .

For better or worse, I found out we had sharks at our beach. They were baby sharks but who’s to say the rest of the family wasn’t out there as well?


Captain! oh my Captain!

Tuesday, we went sailing with my Dad at Palm Beach. We motored down to Newport and then sailed passed Scotland Island and then motored back. Although I barely know port from starboard and am more likely to get hit in the head by the boom, I do make good ballast and I did have a go steering. Overall, I found the whole sailing experience very liberating and almost an out-of-body experience. There was such freedom out there and so much space.  Just a vast expanse of water, sky and the sunlight sparkling over the water like a diamond carpet.

Shark Smile

Not sure whether it was Wednesday or Thursday my time but I participated in Trent’s Weekly Smile Share. I must admit that I was a little cheeky because I posted a shark smile. While my son was poking and prodding the gasping shark on the beach, I noticed that the underside of the shark’s mouth either resembles a frown or a smile depending on the angle. It was at this point, too, I must admit, that I also realised just how much blogging has taken over my life. I’m an addict.

Although the rest of the week has been fairly quiet, I have participated in 1000 Voices for Compassion’s monthly blogshare. This month’s theme was forgiveness. I decided to write about the difficulties of forgiving Dermatomyositis, the severe auto-immune disease which remains a formidable foe.

Forgiveness turned out to be an incredible theme. Most of us live with something we’d love to exterminate, delete, replay and it is a real struggle to know quite how to deal with all that angst without imploding. I read some incredible stories where writers have ripped open their hearts, souls and minds and let me in. Shared those very painful moments in slow motion frame-by-frame. Sharing such intimate details, naturally brings closeness, intimacy, trust. After all, if you don’t truly know someone, how can you call them friend?

I really recommend you read as many of these posts as you can.

The rest of the week has been a blur.

All I know is that I only have 5 sleeps until the new school year begins. I am hoping that all my preparations haven’t been in vain but we could well see the birth of Frankenstein. Both kids are starting at new schools so we’ve been organising uniforms right down to checking the colour of their socks. Of course, this is all been a conscious process which is such a contrast to arriving back from holidays the night before and stepping right back into familiar shoes. Hey, even the car knew the way! I tell myself I can do it and Geoff will still be on holidays and yet I still feel like I’m about to walk the plank and did I mention something previously about SHARKS??

Deep breath Ro! Stop catastrophizing!

Does anyone else argue with themselves like this?

By the way, sign up starts for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge on Monday 25th January. I strongly recommend taking up the challenge. I participated for the first time last year and loved it but will be doing things differently this year. Last year, I wrote my posts every day and didn’t really have a tight theme. It was something loosely based on my world. While it was fun, trying to write and read so many posts really took over and the whole thing became quite intense. This year, I’m aiming to have all my posts written well ahead of time. Of course, for most of us, there are letters where you have too many options and there are a couple letters which cause such angst but I’m on my way.

Are you planning to sign up? You can sign up here.

Finally, it’s Sunday and we’ve finally returned from picking up the kids from my parents’. Had a great afternoon there where I inevitably ended up in the pool. I can’t believe how quickly I’ve turned into an old lady and all that’s missing is the swimmers with the skirt. Indeed, that would be more flattering. It was after dinner by the time I finally got into the pool and when it came to getting wet and even dipping my lower half in the water, it was painful and took forever.


Not getting my face wet!

Eventually, finally…I did a lap of breaststroke which must have looked more like dog paddle as I obstinately stuck my head out of the water like a little kid. “Don’t like getting my face wet!!” I tell you. Sometimes, I wonder about this other half. She is such a chicken while the other side throws caution to the wind.


Swimming with the kids was really good for me because the water enabled me to be much more physical than I am on land.I was even able to give both kids piggybacks because the water takes their weight. I can’t tell you what this meant to me and to them to be able to play together. For Mummy to be awake. Involved. Not having a nap. Not too unstable on her feet to have a go. Mum could be Mum.


Firing the canon…Photo taken by Geoff (well done!)

Tomorrow, Mum is off to the hairdresser’s at long last. I won’t know myself! Yippee!

By the way, Tuesday 26th January is Australia Day, known by at least some Aboriginal people as Invasion Day. It celebrates or commiserates the landing of the First Fleet at Botany Bay in 1788. That’s 228 years ago. Mind you, this 228 years is just the tip of Australia’s history. It is an ancient land.

We’re not going to be that patriotic this Australia Day. We’re planning to finally see Star Wars 7 and we’re dreading another night consoling a dribbling, shaking mutt as the fireworks go off. However, you can read about the Bicentenary here

Speaking about the dogs, a bit of forgiveness has been required in Bilbo’s court over the last couple of days. Miss has been away for 2 weeks and Mister a week and he’d had enough. He’s been getting quite stressed. Fortunately, they’re back so hope he settles down. By the way, they were both very exuberant when they arrived home today and greeted them with much tail-wagging and paws…no cold shoulders this time!

13 thoughts on “Coffee By the Sea

  1. merrildsmith

    You’ve had a busy week. I don’t put my head in the water when swimming because I wear contacts. 🙂
    Having a pool or beach day would be lovely right now. We’ve just had about 20 inches of snow. Your kids would probably enjoy that–and maybe your dogs? (Daughter’s dog loved it; niece’s dog would not go out until she shoveled a path to her preferred spots.)

  2. Nancy

    Sounds like a wonderful busy week. Good luck to your little one and their first day of school. We are on day 83 here in the States!

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Betty. I was very lucky to have that photo of the shark with my son. The fisherman emailed it to me. Hope you have a great week and I’ll pop round for coffee soon xx Rowena

  4. Norah

    What a busy week, Rowena. It’s great to catch up on it all in one post. A few of the posts I have read, others not yet. You have a busy week coming up too. I hope all goes well as the family settles into its new schools routine.
    It was great to see the photo of you at the top of your post, looking very relaxed and happy. And what an expert you looked at steering through the waves.
    I loved reading about you in the pool with the kids. I enjoy my swim first thing in the morning before I get dressed for the day. I don’t put my face in the water either, and I don’t like my hair to get wet. When the young ones come over I happily sit on the deck watching them all have fun. When it was just my two little grandkids over on Saturday I had to get in with them as well. I don’t think they knew whether it was me or the monster from the deep when I arrived in my rashi and swimming cap. I was quite a sight, but we had lots of fun, even though they did splash my face. “Just a little bit!” 🙂
    Enjoy the holiday tomorrow, ready for back to school, but new schools, on Wednesday.

  5. Corina

    That holiday sounds quite busy! I hope it included some relaxation, too.
    A to Z challenge coming up…hard to believe it’s already time to sign up. I am sure I’ll sign up for it. I don’t have a theme, probably won’t. I had a loose theme last year. I think I probably won’t this year.

  6. roweeee Post author

    Hi Merril,
    How blogging has changed my life! Instead of dismissing the news as “over there”, I saw footage of “Snowzilla” and wondered how you are. Our news showed a guy snowboarding through Times Square towed by a Jeep, I think. He was also flying an American flag. It looked like such a hoot, although I didn’t miss all of the more serious aspects and that people have died. I’ve heard of people slipping walking on the ice but its hard for me to picture that in our climate. I’ve never walked on ice, even when we’ve been at the snow. Our “snow” that is. My kids would definitely love all that snow. Dogs I’m not so sure. Lady is definitely more adventurous than Bilbo, who really doesn’t like getting his paws wet.
    I loved your description of how the different dogs responded at your end.
    I finally had my hair cut and coloured today and had an adjustment done on my royal crown at the dentist. Feel great. The hairdresser even had to ask me if I have a fringe. Says I need to get to the hairdresser more often. That said, the contrast makes for quite a dramatic transformation.
    I am getting a bit angsty this week as the countdown to the new school year accelerates. They start on Thursday. Getting us there organised and on time, is like trying to harness a young bull x 3. My husband is pretty sorted. However, I’m making great progress. I know it’s going to be okay . Just need to keep ticking off the boxes and then ringing the brass bell. Not sure if you are familiar with that term. I used to work for Dun & Bradstreet as my first full time job and when we made our monthly sales quota, we’d ring the brass bell. Don’t think I ever got there but I haven’t forgotten the excitement. The business directories I was selling were out of date and I couldn’t sell them in good conscience.So much for ringing the brass bell but no doubt I was a real winner! xx Rowena

  7. merrildsmith

    I’d never even thought about the ice and not knowing what that feels like. We often get icy conditions here, and it’s much scarier than snow. Right now, I’m wondering how icy the roads are this morning, since it was sunny yesterday, and some of the snow melted where it was cleared on streets and sidewalks.
    It’s funny though that you’re looking to the start of school, while my daughter was overjoyed last night to have a school day today. This is the first winter my husband doesn’t have to be concerned about that.

    Getting one’s hair done is definitely a spirit booster. I always feel so much better!

    I do know the brass bell expression, although I don’t think I’ve known a person who has worked somewhere where they actually rang one. They did ring a bell at the radiologist’s office when I finished a course of treatments there. 🙂

  8. roweeee Post author

    Yes, I’m sure it will be quite an adjustment period for you and your husband this year…a bit like me having to remind myself not to drive to the old school.
    I am quite mixed about the kids going back to school. In some ways, it would be great to be on holidays forever and not face the challenges involves but we’re obviously not slackers so it’s just a nice thought.
    Congratulations on getting through your radiation treatment. Sorry, I hadn’t realised you’d been through that. Hope all continues to go well!
    It’s Australia Day here but we went to Star Wars and let the celebrations pass. Will watch the fireworks tonight, no doubt with Lady freaking out again. That said, I’m hoping she’s forgotten! xx Rowena

  9. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Corina. We’re having a quiet day today. Finally, went to see Star Wars and all loved it.
    I was number 37 on the sign up list. I’m quite pleased about this so I’m right near the start. It was almost bedtime here by the time the sign up went up. I wanted to get in early so I could find my number again and I am suspect I’ll get more traffic. We’ll see. My theme is somewhere along the lines of poetry and motivation.
    No doubt, I’ll see you smiling over at Trent’s soon.
    xx Rowena

  10. merrildsmith

    Our school year begins in September, so that was the adjustment time, although my husband had a part-time job at a golf course. He’ll work there again in the summer.
    No reason why you would know about my radiation treatment. It was a few years ago–4? For breast cancer. I’m doing great.
    Hope Lady was OK with the fireworks!

  11. roweeee Post author

    Sorry you went through that. Geoff’s sister found a lump last year and even though it was caught early, she ended up needing a biopsy, two lumpectomies to make sure they’d got it and then chemo and radiation. She’s in the clear and starting to recover from the treatment.
    Lady was much better. We left the air-conditioner running to distract her. She was much better and although she was on Geoff’s lap and occasionally looking up after a bang, she was fine.
    I heard flocks of local birds squarking and taking flight when the local fireworks were let off. It was quite incredible. Must have been thousands of birds. xx Rowena

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