Tuesday, 3 December 2013
giant polka dots, hair scarfs, ballet flats, and finding the swimming spot of my dreams
Am I in a whirl with time or what?! A couple of weeks ago – um, maybe? – it doesn't feel that long – John and I went on a drive, in search of the perfect swimming spot for this summer. The beach is a pretty long drive for us, and we wanted something more like a watering hole. I had a dream quite a few months ago that we were walking through a forest with some friends, along this tiny little path that we knew really well, and then the trees cleared and the most amazing lake stretched out in front of us, silver and shimmery and beautiful. It was the most familiar and comforting place I knew on earth and it made me so happy to be there. I woke up feeling unbelievably blessed that we had this magical part of the world in our lives... and then boom! no, we didn't at all! To say that was disappointing is an understatement..! So, you can imagine how excited I felt about maybe finding this place for real. It might exist after all! Total confession here, but I was a bit hungry before we left, and decided for some strange reason that we were just going to a cafe first for coffee, so I didn't wear sensible shoes. The thing is, I'd bought the navy and ivory polka dot skirt some weeks before and couldn't wait to wear it with my 70's cricket jumper and bright red platforms. You know when you get an outfit in your head and it just has to happen? Well, this was one of those moments! So, there I was, in the wild Australian countryside, displaying my rather impressive mountain goat walking skills for the birds and for John. I tried something I've wanted to do with my hair for a while, and did a casual roll at the back, but instead of using a rat I wrapped it around the scarf. I followed the steps in this vintage hairstyling book, which you might have seen. I'd seen it on blogs and was chuffed when they sent me one; I'm always keen to see vintage hair inspiration and am always up for a chance of learning something new. I did the front section of my hair different from the book. You can see the back section, rolled around the scarf, here. I really like it and haven't done it for years, so I am chuffed my hair is long enough again for it. It feels really secure, too – excellent for prancing around in the countryside! When my hair is a little longer I can do that really curved roll, too! And this is where we went... ... heaven! It's a rocky cave, and water rushes out and over the big rocks, like a little waterfall. There is sand and rocks to sit on and you are allowed to swim here... AND SWIM WE SHALL! I don't want to speak too soon, but have I found dream swimming spot? I really hope so! I had actually bought some ballet flats along with me so I changed into them. Not exactly hardy walking boots but much better for clambering than five inch platforms. I decided to give ballet flats another go after a not so good experience with them a couple of years ago. I thought they were the work of the devil, and after wearing them for a day – admittedly, I was working on my feet for all of it – I got home and didn't know if I wanted to cry or to chew my own feet off. So incredibly painful. I thought I had the wrong feet but luckily it turns out it was not that dramatic; I simply had the wrong shoes. These have been very comfortable – in fact, I'm converted! Now... look how beautiful it is! The water isn't even cold. The sea here is freezing – I thought, being from the UK, that I'd find the sea here maybe a bit cold but not that bad, compared to England... ha. HA! So, to find somewhere to swim that wasn't icy, hurt-your-bones-in-seconds cold is SO GOOD! John investigated the cave mouth. And then it started to get very dark and grey. Still, I had to take some photos. The houses here are amazing. To have a tree house in a garden for kids would be magical! But then it started raining properly – you can see how dark those clouds were – so we were back in the car and headed home through quite the storm. And I had that coffee. Beautiful, beautiful day.