Saturday, January 05, 2013

1st of January


We awoke in our portable home and decided on our plan of action for the day.  As vaguely as is our wont, we decided to investigate the Mumbulla Falls that  had been recommended to us. For some reason I quite eschew recommendations by others, thinking that in some way they mustn't be going to enjoy the same things I would.  Which is, of course, completely ludicrous.  But even by my own bizarre standards, the notion of a waterfall that created a smooth stone water slide really did sound too good to pass up.  So off we drove and boy were we impressed.  Seriously, this little neck of the woods is gorgeous.  The waterfall is about a storey high and there is a cliff and alongside it a rolling waterslide.  You have to climb up the rocks to get to it and it's pretty steep, which rendered it out of offer to the children.  We contented ourselves with slipping and sliding along the lower, shorter waterslide with the children.  Harriet goggled up and slid down.  She was ecstatic at doing it all herself, and after needing one of us to be at the bottom to 'catch' her (read: act in an aquatic moral support role), after a few turns she was confident enough to plunge into the warm depths on her own.  

Ted was his own zeitgeist, travailing the uneven landscape with a kamikaze-like abandon.  Without a known place to pop his feet, he insisted on pulling and pushing us to move forward, without realising how it would make us lose our own balance.  I guess adults really do seem infallible at that age.  Harriet and I showed him how if you stood still in one of the pools, your feet would be covered in little tadpoles, and we could even scoop them up easily in our hands to investigate those sweet little leg nubs forming at the rear.

But as with all adventures, we were stymied by our children's insatiable hunger.  So off we drove to Merimbula, all the while promising to return to the falls before we drove back home.  In Merimbula we ate some pizza (not before Ted cracked it when the owner of the restaurant made what was meant to be a good-natured jibe at him for dropping some popcorn on the floor.  And when I say cracked it, I mean the hitching hysterical sobs of the just woken threenager.  Poor poppet, and poor owner, he was mortified and brought out lollipops to pacify before we could refuse).  We also found one of the best little bookshops I've ever come across - their range was almost perfectly aligned with the interests of every member of our family.  James was enthralled with their choice of music biographies, I was enraptured with the new-release Trixie Belden covers I found, Ted could barely be prised from the Wallace and Gromit activity book he found (which was actually pretty good) and Harriet found the Usborne rack, so she was gone.  We literally sat in there until the place closed, with the children becoming quite at home as you can see.


Before we left Sydney, Harriet had lost a tooth.  In the financially rewarding times we currently live in, she was awarded  five dollars.  And Harriet being Harriet, that money was burning a hole (a HUGE hole) in her wallet, so she kept poking her head into different shops, trying to find different ways of liberating herself from her currency.  We found a $2 shop and she found some bouncing putty.  And not only did she find that, but James found a $2.50 kite.  Oh yes, well you may scoff, but it turns out that $2.50 was well spent.


As the sun was sinking below the treeline, we arrived at the beach a little better prepared than the night before (read: at least we had swimming costumes on this time).  James popped the sticks into place and away it flew!  It picked up the breeze, fluttered dutifully in all the right places, was perfectly manageable for Ted and Harriet, and managed to exhaust them with much running, exclaiming and yelling.  And again on a long, deserted, pristine beach.


This one is my official PAD.  Hopefully you can see why.


After much kite wrangling, Harriet and Ted threw themselves, literally, into the ocean.  Harriet was ecstatic to uncover the thrilling awsomeness that is body surfing completely by accident.  She then recreated it over and over again, and I could see her falling in love with the balance between mastery and vulnerability that any activity in the ocean offers up.


There were tears when we had to move it back into the campsite.  A warm shower and pyjamas, along with a camping tea and our guilty camping pleasure, Ginger Nut biscuits (yep the nasty ones from Arnotts, I have a close affiliation with them and camping and I cannot break it!), these two went in to bed.  Ted requested Harriet to read him his bedtime story and then they both collapsed on their inflatable beds with the happy exhaustion of the ocean within them.

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