birthdays · daughter · rain · reading

It’s my birthday and I’ll be in a mood if I want to.


I’m a creature of habit. I could blame my star sign for this fact if I really wanted to. They say that those born under the sign of Taurus the Bull are predictable creatures. I can be sometimes, but not always. Many years ago my mother had an astrological chart made up for me, based on my place of birth and actual date and time, the grand conclusion being that my personality is heavily influenced by the sign of Libra the Scales, meaning that I like balance in my life. According to the Wise Astrologer my mum met way back when, I have more of a Libra personality than Taurean, however I remain a self-confessed creature of habit. Is that the Taurean side of me, or the Libra? I often question myself.

So, being the creature of habit that I am, one of the first things I did this morning was to check Facebook. Already I had received a few happy birthday messages, yet pleased as I felt to be thought of, I didn’t feel inclined to reply. Not yet, anyway.

Adam needed to be extracted from his cosy bed (again) and rushed off to school on the last minute (again). His father complained that he refused to get out of bed on time (again). Big brother Ben complained that Adam thumped him in the stomach as he walked by, just as Ben was taking a mouthful of hot coffee. (Don’t you make a habit of thumping Adam every time you are within thumping distance of him, Ben? It’s your brotherly thing that you always do.)

Father continued to ask Adam if he was ready to leave yet, when obviously he wasn’t. Ben continued to drink his coffee. Adam continued to dither.

Adam rarely complains, but makes a habit of doing so, constantly, when his father is about. Father complains, constantly, about anything and everything. Ben hardly ever, if ever, complains.

Do I want to go out for dinner tonight, husband asks. The dishwasher is broken, it would be easier, I am told. Easier for whom, I wonder. There are enough left-overs from last nights dinner for tonight. Besides, left-overs always taste better than they did when first made. And he knows I prefer to stay at home at night, so why think I would want to go out to dinner on my birthday?

Yesterday was a great day. I took photos at Point Danger, standing atop the lookout, gazing across the blue/green ocean, watching keen surfers catching the waves, seeing a boat or two navigate the bar of the Tweed River, which leads out into the ocean. I bought cappuccino at the cafe across the road and read my book, sipping coffee, as I awaited the arrival of my two daughters, mother-in-law and best friend, who were joining me for lunch.

Lunch was fun. The food tasted great (as always) and we chatted constantly. Later, when home, my family arrived for dinner, and the dinner I had prepared yesterday, even though freshly prepared and not at the left-overs stage yet, still tasted delicious. The house was filled with ten people, three dogs, two cats and a bird, all of whom wished to get their two cents worth into the conversation.

Chaos reined supreme; all was well with the world.

So why am I feeling so melancholy today then, I ponder.

Once the complainers, non complainers and those in between had left me all alone in a peaceful house, I ate breakfast, put on a load of washing and read a chapter of the book I had been reading yesterday over coffee, the book which is taking me far too long to read, as I never seem to find any time to read lately.

My plan for today was to go to a very large book shop on the Gold Coast, so large that it is on two levels and has an adjoining coffee shop, yet I’ve wandered around the house from room to room, chore to chore, wearing my denim jeans and white and grey mid-season jumper. It’s a grey kind of day today. There have even been a few spots of rain. That’s okay though, I like the rain.

I read a few more pages of my book, this time whilst sipping Chai Tea. I also read an article on the internet ~ “What age is middle-age?” they ask. “Why does everyone and everything have to be labelled”, I ask? The comments were quite interesting (I didn’t leave one myself, if you’re wondering) and I noticed that a couple of forty-ish year olds regarded themselves as feeling worn out, haggard and having reached middle-age. I’m past the forty-ish stage, and I’m here to tell anyone who cares to listen, age is a state of mind. As your children grow older and begin to leave home, you begin to feel less haggard and worn out. You become younger. Your life becomes your own again. You can put yourself first. You can do the things you want to do, instead of the things you have to do.

Today, even though thus far I am not doing what I had planned on doing, the day feels like a grey kind of day and I’m in a “mood”, I’m okay with all that. I don’t get into “moods” very often. It isn’t even a bad mood that I’m in, just simply a mood. Even though I don’t feel inclined towards conversation, my mood prompted me to write, even if the writing is simply about my mood.

It’s my birthday, so I guess I can be in any mood I wish to be today.

Having pondered my mood, I feel that I am in a reflective state of mind. I’m very comfortable with my company and thoughts today. So long as I don’t consider anyone else (in my real-world life) today, I am at peace.

Who knows what that means! Yet I don’t need to know. I believe that I will enjoy my birthday much more when the collective population of the world can quit labelling people, according to their age. I am not feeling the way I am meant to feel, (according to my age). I do not have a great desire to become a grandmother (which apparently I should, according to my age).  I do not wish to wear my hair cut short and allow it to grey gracefully (which I should, because I am at that age).

Tonight, I will be the odd person, as I wish to eat my left-overs from last night, warmed up, whilst wearing my comfy pyjamas and dressing gown, in front of the TV, watching a DVD that my daughter gave me for my birthday. I will not be getting dolled up to the nines, because I “should” want to, and go out to dinner, because it’s the thing to be done on one’s birthday. And I will wash the dinner dishes, because, heck, I enjoy washing my dishes! Who needs a dishwasher anyway?

While I’m at it, I may even polish my coffee table and clean the kitchen windows. And I will do these things, not because I’m “middle-aged”, but because I like to do these things ~ always have, even when I was in my twenties, and no doubt always will. (I even enjoyed having my birthday dinner at home, back in the middle ages, or whenever it was that I was in my twenties.) Yet silly me denied enjoying these menial tasks, thinking I wasn’t a very “cool” person if I admitted to such wild and crazy things.

Today, May the Second, Two-Thousand-and-Thirteen, is my birthday. I will spend the day doing the things I want to do. I will not wear a label of my age. I will not cut my hair short, nor go grey. I will enjoy eating my home-cooked dinner tonight and I will enjoy washing my dishes. I will turn a deaf ear to anyone who wishes to complain. I may even take a vow of silence for the day. And I will apologise to no one.

I will, however, contemplate the question “why must we live through a number of years on this earth, before gaining enough wisdom to simply be ourselves?”

The rain has become heavier, the grey day continues, and I’m enjoying my moody day.

Australia · music · photography · rain · summer

It’s been raining for so long.

berry buddies

“Well it’s a happenin’ thing
And it’s happenin’ to you
Full moon and thunder
Ribbons of blue
Ice on the window
Ice in my heart
Foolin’ with thunder
Every time we start…” ~ Rain, Marc Hunter and Dragon.

“I’ll have to get rid of those new bunches of seeds off the palms, or we’ll have them dropping into the pool”, announced my husband a couple of weeks ago.

“Don’t cut them down!” I protested. “When they are ripe enough the birds will want to eat them!”

So they stayed , and this morning the Honey Eaters discovered they were ready for the picking. What a lovely time they had, dangling from the berry branches as they ate breakfast in the rain! We can clean the pool up later.

Another wet and gloomy day for the humans, although the birds don't seem to mind.
Another wet and gloomy day for the humans, but the birds don’t seem to mind.

The rain hasn’t stopped all day, with warnings of treacherous weather frightening many people into staying indoors. Shop owners are closing the doors to their shops, the streets have hardly any traffic and the beaches are all but empty. The temperature has dropped to twenty-four degrees celsius and the humidity is ninety-four percent.

And here we are, smack bang in the middle month of summer, on our Australia Day weekend!

When I began my week of “Australian Icon” posts I hadn’t bargained on this horrendous weather taking hold. How can I show you photos of the golden beaches of the Gold Coast in this weather? I’ll just have to extend my Australian Icon week for a day or two, or until the sun returns, whichever comes first.

High tide at the jetty.
High tide at the jetty.

High tide was around 11 am this morning, so we went to the jetty to take a few photos, then drove around the corner to the deserted park. Every weekend during summer the park is chock-full of families, picnicking by the river. Today, there was not a soul in sight.

I felt so sorry for the seagulls in the park. They know this is the place to go to be fed, but today the feeders were nowhere to be seen! I guess they’ll have to hunt for their own dinner today.

The Crested Tern ~ mother and son perhaps?
The Crested Tern ~ mother and son perhaps?

Keeping the seagulls company today were a couple of other birds that I haven’t seen before, one of which I have identified as the Crested Tern. The Tern is closely related to the Seagull and the cousins intermingled together in the rain swept park and along the edges of the river.

Australian Pied Oyster Catcher.
Australian Pied Oyster Catcher.

This funny looking long-legged fellow is an Australian Pied Oyster Catcher. I’m surprised not to have seen him in the park before. There are oyster beds in the mangroves nearby, so they should be able to help themselves to an oyster or two any time they are feeling peckish.

Too wet to leave the car, this photo was taken looking through the windscreen.
Too wet to leave the car, this photo was taken looking through the windscreen.

My son Adam wanted to see how the surf was, with the waves reported to be higher than usual today, so we took a drive up to Point Danger to have a look at Duranbah Beach and the mouth of the Tweed River.

Fierce choppy waves at Duranbah Beach.
Fierce choppy waves at Duranbah Beach.

As we had expected, the surf looked pretty ordinary and only the brave, or the very foolish, were out for a swim. We counted the grand total of two people swimming at this very popular surfing beach.

Dangerous conditions.
Dangerous conditions.

The mouth of the river is hazardous at the best of times, even for boats and fishing trawlers. Today, the rough seas were crazy.

My Australian song for today is, appropriately, “Rain” from the Australian/New Zealand band Dragon. The sun is predicted to return by Tuesday. I wonder if it will? Probably “yes”, as that is the day the work week begins again…. and I suppose you have all heard of “Murphy’s Law”!

Australia · challenges · photography · Tweed Valley

The Ends of the Earth

It feels like forever since I last found the time to contemplate adding a post here. What with work, car issues, house rearrangements and illness, some things have had to go onto the proverbial “back burner” of late.

I’m now venturing out of my self-inflicted “blogging hibernation”, and it took Karma to get me moving.

You’ve all heard about Karma, haven’t you? I’ve bumped into her around the webosphere for some time now, but we have never officially met. But we do have some mutual friends.

Karma enjoys offering a Photographic Challenge now and then, sometimes monthly and sometimes when she feels like it, and when I heard about Karma’s August challenge, I couldn’t resist having a go!

This month, Karma is challenging people to find photos of a what we regard as “The Ends of the Earth”.

There’s one place in particular that I love to spend time at, as it takes my breath away every time I go there. I never tire of the magnificence of the area. The view is brilliant and breath-taking, and really looks as though it could very well be the end of the earth.

Only water, as far as the eye can see.

It is Point Danger, right on the border of New South Wales and Queensland, looking across the Pacific Ocean from a relatively small jut out of land, across to the horizon where the ocean meets the sky.

If there was a place on earth where God would live, I’m sure it would be right there, looking across the water.

Surfing off the edge.

I wonder if God has a surf board? The waves in this area are world renowned, with many champion surfer’s living in this area. I haven’t ever been into surfing myself, but I’m sure to some people following the waves is like a religion. They attend the ocean every single day, rain, hail or shine.

Me? I’m overwhelmed by the majesty of the ocean. I’m not too keen on the idea of surfing off the end of the world.

Falling off the edge?

Whilst the roar of the ocean is extremely enticing, I have a huge amount of respect for the power of the waves. I wouldn’t want to take myself too close, nor climb through the fence, as there may be a danger of falling off the end of the earth.

Rocks along the end of the earth.

When the foaming waves finally reach the shoreline and trip over on the massive area of rocks, do the waves realise that they have reached “The Ends of the Ocean”? I have heard the roar of the waves, so feel sure that they are surprised to find that the ocean has an end.

Into the sky.

The earth may also end up in the clouds. If I reach up high, will my fingers touch the gentle cotton-wool puffs above me, but extend no further?

Sun shining from the ends of the earth.

No matter how thick the cotton-wool clouds may be, the sun can always manage to peek through, sending tiny slivers of sunlit rays down from above.

Rainbow Gods

I suspect that only the Rainbow Gods truly know where the end of the earth really is. The arc of the rainbow always reaches from one end of the earth to the other, visiting the places that mere mortals can only imagine and dream about.

The Last Tree.

Surely this must be the last tree on earth, sitting all alone, on the edge of the shores between imagination and reality.

Stairs to the end.

Perhaps if I were to venture along these stairs I may reach another end of the earth, but what would I find there? It would be an adventure to walk along the stairs, to see what is over the other side.

Crystal Paving.

Well now you have seen the ends of my earth, do you feel fear, or joy? Whilst showing the utmost respect for the place where the security of the firm earth beneath my feet meets up with the end of the earth, finding the all-powerful ocean, I can only see joy, for I have seen that when you reach the end, the extension of the oceans of all eternity are paved with crystals.



Australia · autumn · gratitude · spiritual

Over the Border ~ Magic at Point Danger.

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~ Eleanora Duse.

Every single aspect of the Point Danger Lookout had the power to move me this week, and indeed, I did rejoice!

A beautiful sight.

And I believe that I was not the only one affected. There were people everywhere, walking, taking photos, or simply sitting and passing the time of day. No one seemed to be in any hurry to leave.

The morning sunlight, glistening across the ocean.

There was magic in the air; filling the blue skies, the crashing waves, and the green grass.

The highrise buildings of Surfer’s Paradise showed up clearly along the horizon.

Surfer's Paradise in the distance.

In the next photo, you can see that even a seagull was flying high! You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it though, to see him soaring across the sky in front of the rays from the sun.

Flying high.

Whichever way I turned I could see, and feel, the gentle energy in the air. Was it the sun? The ocean? The sounds of the waves?

Who cares! It was there to enjoy, and enjoy I did.The car park was full, yet there was hardly any traffic sounds. The “Sounds of Nature” dominated every sense I have.

A full car park, trees and buildings framed by the blue sky.

I took this last photo through my car window, as I was about to leave. I had noticed a couple who had stopped to admire the ocean, and a magpie who had momentarily stopped walking along the grass. As I started up my car, the couple headed in one direction, the magpie in the other.

We were all on our way...

We were all headed off, on our way to who knows where, each having shared just a little touch of magic.