Spring beach holidaying – with photos

I at Mt Tomaree.jpgWe spent the last weekend of the spring school holidays with friends at Shoal Bay near Port Stephens on NSW’s north coast. It was my first time there and it’s such a pretty and laid-back place.

We’ve actually done pretty well at getting out and about this year. The children are getting older and I feel more relaxed about taking them for longer trips (I think Peter was always keen, it was probably more about my ability to cope with travelling as a family than with the kids’ ability to travel…)

Shoal Bay from Mt Tomaree.jpg
Shoal Bay, I think, from near the top of Mt Tomaree which we climbed on Saturday
Mt Tomaree.jpg
A bit of local history

It was only about two and a bit hours’ drive away and we could easily have stayed longer but school went back on Monday. This week I’ve had some lovely quiet working from home days. Not doing much, a little bit of writing but mostly catching up on paperwork, filling out school forms, making sure the kids have their uniforms etc. I keep getting distracted by Facebook, but I’m getting better at noticing when I’ve strayed from work-related to personal Facebooking and closing it up. The hours pass too quickly, but a couple of times I’ve also managed to read morning prayer, as well as get a load of laundry started or go for a walk during a quick lunch break.

Findlay Bay.jpg
Fingal Bay

The kindergarten orientation forms for our four-year-old have arrived, and I’m keenly aware that this is the last term I will have my littlest one with me at home during the week. True, he goes to preschool three days a week, and I have a babysitter on Fridays, but until recently I was around on Fridays with the two of them as well. He is so sweet and interesting. How can he be nearly starting big school? He still needs a nap after lunch! I’m making the most of this time with him without getting maudlin about it. We will see how I go on with that.

Love lockets.jpg
People had left love lockets along the way up and there were heaps at the top of Mt Tomaree. These were the best.

I don’t normally watch our kids’ basketball games but because of the new season’s schedule I got to stay for our second daughter’s game on Tuesday night, which also happened to be my birthday. Our eldest made my cake (cinnamon and cream) at her own insistence, all by herself from scratch, while I wrote a column on Monday night. Do I sound proud? I now know the answer to the meaning of life (Douglas Adams fans will understand). Tomorrow I’ll head into The Catholic Weekly office and see how the interns are going with their current crop of stories and also scratch, or rather, tap, one out myself.

What I’m reading: I’ve been re-reading St Thérèse’s Story of a Soul and Her Last Conversations and beginning Flannery O’Connor (Complete Stories). I’m glad to have lots of O’Connor still to read.

Top pic: Isaac before tackling the climb up Mt Tomaree. He was such a trooper!

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