I am not very bright. Sometimes I am downright dumb. Case in point : only just discovering this beach, only 10 minutes from my work, when I have been at this job for four years. Four years! I could have been going to the ocean every week for the past four years! What a dufus! Geography, to be fair, has never been my strong suit, and I never drive in the direction of the coast – I am always in a hurry to just get the heck away from work ha ha. I just want to go home at the end of the day.
So, now my walking schedule has taken on a much more pleasant vibe. I LOVE the beach – it is my favourite place to be. I love the sand and the seashells, the water and the sea air. I don’t care that my hair gets messed up or that I get sand everywhere. I actually feel content and happy near the ocean. It is calming and soothing and makes me feel small and safe all at the same time. Plus, it is so beautiful and much nicer to look at than a sidewalk or a road, when exercising.
A brisk, half-hour walk along the beach is restorative and cleansing and great exercise. You feel it in your calves and legs and spirit. And, for some reason, I don’t feel self-conscious at the beach. This may be because there are more scantily-clad ladies around than I, so I don’t feel that anyone is bothering to look at me, wheezing along the shore in my daggy shorts and t-shirt.
I’d like to say I am exercising every day, but I’d be lying. Life isn’t simple or straight forward this year and so free time is not always something I have. But, I am trying to fit in as many walking days as I can. With a location like this, I have no excuse, and I actually look forward to going. I collect shells and take photos, watch the people surfing, and just breathe the fresh air. It’s good for the soul.
I promise to post some crafting things soon – I’ve just been so busy with life and haven’t been able to get stuck into anything creative at all. But I have got a couple of projects in the works and will post them here soon.
Mum and I recently took a weekend off, for a little road trip to Bunbury, a favourite haunt of ours. We wanted to relax, sit on the beach, collect shells and just chill out for a couple of days. Sadly, the weather was pretty awful and so we only had one clear afternoon for visiting the beach without being blown away or drenched. Never mind – it was an enjoyable few days anyway and we felt much more relaxed and mellow.
We tootled around with no plans or schedules. I had researched a bit before we went, so that I had some places in mind I wanted to visit. I definitely wanted to go to a few places that Mum would really like and, seeing as how she doesn’t drive, wouldn’t be able to go to on her own. So, with that in mind, I took her to Craft Collections, a gorgeous shop filled with everything a quilter could desire. Wall-to-wall fabrics and sewing supplies, with special gift items related to quilting, patchwork, bear-making, and sewing in general. Mum was in heaven and prepared me for a long stay as soon as we walked in the door…
It was all displayed beautifully, and the staff were so friendly and helpful. Mum wandered around for ages, picking out fabrics and fat quarters, wadding, embroidery threads and more. It was hard to choose – there was so much stuff!
A favourite fabric artist of ours is Tone Finnanger, the creator of the Tilda brand, and Craft Collections has an entire room dedicated to her. It made me want to start sewing immediately (which is odd, because I am NOT a sewer!) and Mum could barely restrain herself from buying everything in the pretty little room. Tilda designs are sweet, cheerful, feminine and cute, and the drawers full of fat quarters were so inspiring. We wanted everything! Tilda also has delightful range of patterns, kits, books and embellishments like ribbon, lace, buttons, and so much more!
So, I can thoroughly recommend Bunbury’s Craft Collections as a wonderful spot to stop and indulge your sewing, quilting or fabric obsession. If only as a way to keep your fabric-mad mother quiet for an hour or so 🙂
Op-shopping (thrifting), as I have said many times before, is one of my favourite things to do. Probably THE favourite thing to do, if I’m honest. I love the element of surprise, of never knowing what you’re going to find. I have learnt not to actually go in seeking a particular thing, because I won’t find it. It’s more of a treasure hunt – and sometimes you don’t find any treasure. Which can really suck 🙂
Recently, on my birthday week, when I had some time off work, I did a bit of solitary op-shopping. I had nothing to do and nowhere to be except in the rows of second hand goodness. The weather last week was dreadful – it’s the middle of Summer and it has been cold and rainy and blah. Which is probably the best kind of weather for trying on clothes because you don’t get hot and sweaty and cranky.
I have recently put on quite a bit of weight which, aside from being really upsetting and depressing, means that a lot of my clothes don’t fit me. Ugh. Is there anything more blues-inducing than trying to squeeze into a skirt that USED to be baggy on you but now makes you look like an overstuffed sausage? No, there is not.
So, I needed to buy a few more items of clothing that would a.) fit me and b.) be suitable for the weird weather we are having. Longer sleeves were the order of the day, because it’s too cool for short ones, and my arms are hideous. That’s right, I said it – HIDEOUS. They should be hidden away in case they scare someone with their white flabbiness. There should actually be a law against my arms – seriously. They could incite people to revolt.
Anyway, I went op-shopping. I found a really nice shop that I hadn’t been to before and it had a great selection of clothes – so much so that I found myself with a basketful just from the first rack. Reasonably priced and in my size – what could be better?
So here’s what I got :
Nice, lightweight top for Summer days. Beachy and bingo-wing covering!
2. Cute little jacket that is still cool enough for Summer, or I could even
wear it as a top – it’s a blousey sort of material.
3. Super-soft checked shirt. I don’t normally get these because I can never find one that looks ok on me. But this one fits perfectly, is SO SOFT and I loved the blue tones. It’s good as a cover-up over a t-shirt, or on its own. I channel Madonna in her “Don’t Tell Me” video when I am wearing it. Don’t judge me.
4. Was lucky to find this lovely Review top. It probably retailed for at least $100 originally, and I got it for $7. Can’t beat that! A good one for work.
5. At $10.25, this was perhaps a tad more expensive than I would normally go for in an op-shop. But it was so pretty, and just what I need for my craft room to organise my paintbrushes, pens, papers etc.
6. I found this teeny-weeny religious thingy for only 50c. It’s about the size of two postage stamps. So dinky! I am going to cover it and collage over it and make it completely non-religious, but hey if it has some built-in blessings or divine protection, I won’t argue! I wish I had been able to find more, so will have to be on the lookout for them. I guess maybe they are a little travel thingy so you can take your faith with you or something? Whatever, it’s cute.
7. I snagged this cushion cover for a dollar. Although it does have a store label on it, it is obviously handmade which neat, little stitches and imperfections. It is very large so will actually make a nice table mat or it could hang on the back of my couch. I liked the colours and the slightly rustic quality it has.
8. Shoes! I have wanted a pair of these chunky heels for ages but have never been able to find exactly the right pair. So I got these. They’re a tiny bit small so I might need to stretch them out just slightly. I got them for $5. I am a mega klutzoid so I need chunky heels if I am going to wear heels at all. Otherwise there is falling down and general embarrassment and humiliation.
So, a good day, and I have already worn a couple of the items which shows they were worthwhile purchases. I Especially like the checked shirt – I think I will be snuggling up a lot in that in the Autumn months. And pretending I am Madonna. When she was still cool and making good music and not gadding about in leotards and pretending she’s 25.
“…When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused…”
“…Love is an afternoon of fishing when I’d sooner be at the ballet. Love is eating burnt toast and lumpy gravy with a big smile. Love is hearing the words ‘You’re beautiful’
as I fail to squeeze into my fat jeans. Love is refusing to bring up the past, even if doing so would be a slam dunk to prove your point. Love is your hand wiping away my tears, trying to erase streaks of mascara.
Love is the warm hug that extinguishes an argument. Love is a humbly-uttered apology, even if not at fault. Love is easy to recognize but so hard to define; however,
I think it boils down to this… Love is caring so much about the feelings of someone else, you sacrifice whatever it takes to help him or her feel better.
In other words, love is my heart being sensitive to yours…”
— Richelle E. Goodrich – Making Wishes : Quotes,
Thoughts & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year
(Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. The world needs a lot more love than it currently possesses – so try not to be cynical today.
Embrace and share love, in whatever way you can.
It’s never been more important than this moment in time.)
Birthdays have always been a bit tricky for me. For a long time I believed that something bad would always happen on my special day (mostly because, for several years in a row, I had disastrous birthdays where loved ones became gravely ill, pets died, people got in car accidents and general chaos and doom reigned) and so I tended to try to just get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
As I got older and, particularly after surviving a life-threatening illness, I starting believing that having another birthday was actually pretty good. Bad stuff could still happen, but then it could on any other day, so why worry about it?
Usually, I try and organise a dinner out, or a get-together of some description with friends or family or both. This year, I just wanted time on my own. I didn’t want to involve anyone else, which sounds really selfish and unsociable, but I just wanted to spend my day pottering about by myself, doing as I pleased and not having any schedule to follow. I highly recommend it 🙂 I don’t get lonely and am quite happy with my own company. I wanted a stress-free, restorative, recharging kind of day.
So, my idea of a good birthday goes something like this…..
1. Dress in a comfortable outfit, in your favourite colours. Makeup and hair done for no one else but yourself.
2. Take yourself out for a delicious, hearty breakfast…….
3…..and eat it all up. Don’t feel guilty at all.
4. Visit a favourite, gorgeous shop. Wander around for an hour or so and don’t buy anything. Feel good that you didn’t spend unnecessarily (even if it is because you’re a bit poor right now and couldn’t afford to even if you wanted to).
5. Make yourself a birthday cake and share it with loved ones at dinner time. It doesn’t matter if the cake is a bit homely looking. People will be polite and eat it anyway.
6. Drink vast quantities of tea, preferably out of pretty china so you feel like a lady.
7. Go op-shopping. Buy shoes for a ridiculously low price (in this case $4.25).
So, for me, a perfect birthday is one in which I spend time doing things I enjoy, with no schedule or plan. I ended the day with my brother and his family, which was lovely – I even had candles on my cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Delightful. Maybe spending a day on your own isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was exactly what I needed and I’m so glad I did it.
So how do you spend your birthday? Do you like to ignore it, go all out and spoil yourself, or plan a quiet day of solitude and reflection? Whatever you do, I hope you always feel loved and appreciated on your special day.