Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spur of the Moment Beach Holiday

I'm going to tell you the part about our homecoming first. I'm doing this because our homecoming was disgusting and annoying, and whilst it is obviously a good story which relates to our trip away, I don't want it to be the final flavour of this piece.

So here is the disgusting and annoying end to our tale:

When we returned home from our spur-of-the-moment beach holiday, we walked into our house, which had been closed up and baked in the historic three-day 43+degree Melbourne heatwave. As expected the air was thick and hot, and although it was nasty to walk into, we were able to congratulate ourselves for having escaped actually living in it during the heatwave. But as I walked from room to room, throwing open the windows to encourage inside the mild cool change that blew around the outside of the house, my nostrils were assailed by a Very Bad Smell. Worse, it came from our bedroom. So I did the only sane and rational thing in I could do in that situation; I went outside to tell Fixit that I was pretty sure that Bertie Wooster had left a dead bird in our room.

My nose had not lied to me, and even Iron-guts Fixit struggled with the clean-up. He was heard to voice his intention to kick Bertie Wooster all the way back to Seymour. The maggotty remains of the bird were writhing under our bed and the smell was just vile. One day, two incense sticks, a vacuum and some bicarb soda later and the smell is still not nice. Thank goodness one of our new couches has a fold-out bed in it!

Now for the good stuff. We got to escape the foul Melbourne heatwave!!

Fixit's work stood him down unexpectedly this week, due to him having too many extra hours to his credit. So I made a quick phone call to my aunt and uncle, and they very kindly gave us the use of their beach-house. And although Barwon Heads and surrounds was suffering from exactly the same heatwave as poor old Melbourne, it didn't matter!!! Heatwaves at beaches are fun! Too hot? Let's go swimming! Or lounge around in the cool house watching tennis! Or eat takeaway food! Or have an ice-cream! (Climber lost a tooth into an ice-cream cone, but didn't swallow it, luckily.) See? Fun. And Easy.

Barwon Heads beach_7632

My friend Jenny loaned us a beach shelter and some blow-up boogie boards, which were a smash hit. The water was completely refreshing and I swam as much as anyone, in Just Bathers, didn't need a Wussy Wetsuit! And we saw a Real Dolphin, an actual wild dolphin!!! A guy told me that the locals call it Archie and that it has been swimming into the river beach at Barwon Heads and frolicking round with the swimming people for the last few weeks.
And we saw it!
I was beside myself with excitement, it's one of my wishes come true to see a dolphin in its natural habitat. Sadly, I didn't have my camera ready because I was in the water at the time.

Cherub mostly floated serenely on the boogie-board, preferably with a parent pulling him around with the leadrope -like a little pasha- or played in the sand, but he practised his floating when I told him to.

Barwon heads on the blow-up boogie board_7626

Climber tried sushi (fussy eaters can come good, Climber is living proof!) and wave-catching. He swam freestyle in the river, jumped through waves in the surf, dug forts in the sand, or ran around the beach playing his own private and intense fantasy games. He is just lovely to take on holiday.


We made Fixit drive us to the nearby beach at Queenscliff to show him how ace it was. Twice. (River beaches are okay, but surf is much more fun!)

floating at queenscliff_7645

Best of all, poor tired, stressed, overworked Mister Fixit-McCrankypants gradually relaxed back into the Fixit we know and missed.

Sandcastles at Queenscliff_7650


  1. Looks and sounds wonderful. Smells not so wonderful.

  2. Wow. Looks like such fun.

    It has been hot. I've been completely submerged in our swimming pool several times in 'just bathers'. That only happens about once a decade.

  3. Oh...and the bit about the maggotty bird? Not so much fun.

  4. Awwwww, so glad the beach time was so nice for all of you. :)

  5. Did you have one of the world's biggest ice-creams from the shop in Queenscliff? Mmmhmm.

    Princess C-W and destructoBoy had a ball playing by the river at Barwon one evening and that was before it got properly hot. For next time the beach at Ocean Grove is a cracking surf beach (sometimes;-)

  6. Sounds like a FABULOUS holiday, minus the welcome home smell bit.

    I think the absolutely positively best piece of beach, bay or river swimming equpment is the blow up surf mat. Magic. You can lie on it, you can catch waves with it, you can try to stand up on it in the water, you can bop your sibling with it. Best thing eva.

  7. Thank goodness one of the Melbourne Gang was able to escape the heat. It is always so good to see your partner relax too.

    Thank goodness Climber did not swallow that tooth!

  8. Lets hear it for friends with beach houses!!

    We are heading to the beach house 'down south' of our friends Lesley and David of Chapter III on Monday for the week

    Can't wait!

  9. Oh, yuck. Poor you, that's disgusting. At least the holiday was nice!

  10. That last picture? Delicious.
    Has Bertie been forgiven yet?

  11. Bertie Wooster in the doghouse! Well, you can't bloody have your fun beach holiday and eat it too, can you? And here I was at work, passing time with Facebook Online Scrabble. Somehow, your holiday at the beach has sullied my Scrabble fun.

  12. Wow sounds like so much fun!!! And the tooth fairy made a guest appearance. It can't get any better than that. Hope that bird stench disappears very soon. Ick.

  13. Aren't beach holidays fantastic? We are so lucky to have great beaches here. Wonderful that poor Mr Fixit got a chance to relax too.

    Not such a good holiday for the bird, though!

  14. oh Dear bad smell.....but everything else sounds great.

  15. Sorry about the dead bird incident, but I'm very glad that apart from that, you all had such a hoot of a time!

  16. I understand completely, the first part of this post. After my Pete and I were married we travelled to Brisbane to find that his oscars (four very large fish) had died in our unit about a week before. I still can't smell glen20 without thinking of that fishy odour!

    So glad you found a way to survive the melting heat. So glad you were able to find some fun together in a heatwave.

  17. a bowl of white vinegar in the bedroom.

    It will help.

  18. Also, a bowl of sliced onions in water. (Painter's trick).

    Love that last photo. It's comforting to see other people suffer from Crooked Horizonitis too.

  19. The end of that story TOTALLY made up from the nasty beginning. I was getting a bit queasy there for a minute. Ice cream sounds so good. Even if it does steal your tooth.

  20. That is so disgusting re: the bird. Ugh.

    I reckon you will have that smell up your nose for the rest of your life. Ugh.

    Glad you had a nice holiday away from the bloody heat though! God I am so glad Sydney hasn't copped it like Melbourne & Adelaide. Even Canberra has been copping a hammering, as if there isn't already enough hot air there!

  21. Sounds like a wonderful trip - almost necessary, I'd say. Your heat made the news here! So sorry for the loss of life under your bed and the birth of myriads of maggots.

  22. Dolphins!!!How exciting are they?
    When we went to Tathra a couple of years ago people said we would see dolphins but every day I spent ages scanning the sea for a fin or two. Nothin'.
    THEN..when we went to Kangaroo Island this year, I was assured that dolphins would be there. And they WERE every day, splashing and cruising and joyfully frolicking past many times a day, within a few metres of us. The photos in NO way do them justice and can't hope to represent the wonder I felt every time they passed.
    Maggots...eeeeuuuuuuwwwww. Bad kitty.

  23. Are you still scowling sideways at Bertie.
    I would NOT have been impressed, damn cats.

    Still, a tradie dog shat on our (dead) lawn, and even though the tradie cleaned it up and bagged it and took it away, I could STILL smell him days later ( and his doggy saliva in the bucket we gave him to drink out of ). I hate doggy smells.

    Holi looks *perfect*
    And those swimsuits for the boys - *very* nice - I can only find *vile* prints ATM that I won't let the older boy wear. Where'd you get these ?

  24. Oh your holiday reminded me of my childhood holidays, & how much I love them!! Great for everyone.

    Just a little tip for the smell- Vanilla Fridge Wipe is wonderful for dispelling evil odours.


Don't let the cat get your tongue.