Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aaaaahhhhh, the summer...

Yes indeed, the Summer! Sometimes it was freezing and nasty like this, and other times it was blissfully perfect. Here are some images from my week away.
The amazing random penguin!?! Can you believe there were three of these little guys frolicking under the Rosebud pier for days? They had plenty of little fish to keep their pudgy bodies in perfectly rotund shape. Fascinating how the little critters can swim. Just as fast as fish, which makes sense if they're to have any hope of catching any.
Is this gorgeous, or what? Just about everywhere I turned to look was a vision of heaven. Photo opportunities were too many to take advantage of. And every magic vision was accompanied by that dread feeling of, it's-all-coming-to-an-end-far-too-soon-and-I'll-be-back-in-the-rat-race-before-I-know-it. Still, I tried not to focus on the finishing line in favour of letting my thirsty soul drink of the magnificence.
I jumped off this pier! Yes I did. For days, my kids had been doing it, and one day I thought I'd be brave enough to try it. Middle child urged me on, and so we walked right down to the end where it's deep so I could give it a go. I have to admit I chickened out at first and did a tame little jump off the lower platform. That got my courage going a bit, and a few other jumps followed. It's been literally decades since I did anything of the sort, and it was surprising how quickly I got back into the routine of taking a breath and expelling it as I hit the water. The taste of salt in my nostrils took me back to my childhood.

With my pride intact after a few jumps from the lower deck, I climbed to the top level once more. It still looked way too high, but then I told myself to stop thinking and just do it. And so I did. What I didn't know, was that my husband and remaining kids were watching from the beach. My oldest told me later that husband was doing a running commentary, a la Olympic diving event. I can't say I enjoyed the high dive terribly, except that actually going through with it held a certain spark of achievement.

The day of jumping off the pier was the very last day of our holiday. The water was as clear as glass, a tropical light blue close to shore, graduating out in increasingly dark ribbons. In the shallows, it was as tepid as bath water. We swam for the greater part of the day, and stayed on the beach for a pizza dinner. After that we swam again, soaking in the last sensations of another beautiful holiday reluctantly drawing to a close.

And now we're home. Yes indeed. The summer highs have sure hit with a ferocious vengeance here in Melbourne. For weeks, all my skimpy summer clothes stayed hung in the cupboard, until I wondered if I would get a chance to wear them at all this summer. Cardigans and polar fleeces had too good a workout all through spring right up until a few days ago. Now I can take out the halter-neck dresses and floaty fabrics, since our previously 'cool' summer has died in a fiery, mid-season climax.

The current heatwave of above 40 degree temperatures is out of the ordinary, and has tested all my previous contingency measures. I'm one who tends to boast about the coolness of my house. 'It doesn't get hot until the third above 30 day,' I tell anyone who'll care to listen. 'We only use our air conditioner once each summer, and only for about 20 minutes.' Boy oh boy! Yesterday (our first full day back from holidays) we only lasted until lunchtime, and today the air-con has been on for 20 min, off for 20 min because I'm trying not to use it too extravagantly. The television is on pretty much permanently due to the tennis, and Channel 7 is constantly driving fear into me by reporting on all the power outages throughout the city. Images of people throwing out the entire contents of their freezer are enough to make me want to brave the heatwave cold turkey... or rather, hot turkey.


Tracey said...

Funny how we both live by the seaside and then take off on our holidays to seaside destinations! Sounds like you had a good holiday, and good for you for making that jump. I remember the fear of standing on a high diving board and wanting to back away and realising that right behind you is a line of people, a ladder full of them, waiting for me to jump, and there's only one way down... Always a horrible realisation, and then there's the sucking in of the fear, the exciting plummet, and the exaltation of having jumped.

As for the heat -- yeah, horrendous. I'm glad it's broken, at least for today!

SCRIBBLY said...

Yes, it might seem funny that we go away to the beach when we have the beach close to home, but for me, there are some very valid reasons. Maybe they're the same for you?
1: Better beach, ie: not crowded, better sand and much more beautiful surrounding views.

2: Being out of the city means there is less hustle and bustle, and if we choose to drive somewhere for a change, it's not in an urban environment.

3: Not being in my house means I can truly relax. When away at the beach house, I don't do a thing. I just sit with a book, stay up really late writing or watching telly, sleep in late each morning and wander through each day as though time doesn't matter. When I'm home, I can't really relax, because everywhere I look, I see jobs.

Ellen said...

I'm exactly the same when I go to my parents' beach house. Somehow time and the chores disappear and the result is ultimate freedom . . .

Shrinking Tardie said...

Ah the "wonderful" summmer heat! After spending a couple of days with Indii last week (well for dinner/brunch anyway) and experiencing power outages and 45 degree heat I think any homes coolness rating will be tested!

Wonderful photos from your holiday - especially the penguins and that idyllic water. Very jealous.