Heart hurting sunny days

As I sit here inside the shop, keeping an eye on the weather outside and hoping for it not to rain, at least until after 3 this afternoon so that the blankets I have hang up this morning can be taken inside, I have an immense feeling of despair. I have been feeling like this for most of the week. The weather today, for most of it, has been splendorous. It is warm (20 degrees C is warm for New Zealand), the sun is shining, and apart from the clouds rolling in, the sky is crisp. Most days when the weather looks like today, I am in a cheerful mood, enjoying every minute of my day. But today I feel like crying.

This morning, in the kitchen baking with the kitchen windows wide open, over-looking our lush green back yard, letting the fresh spring air in and having the sunrays dancing on the dining room carpet, I found myself thinking how wonderful it would be if I could stay home. How much there is for me to do at home, how much has been neglected since I started working 55 hour weeks. I would have opened every window and sliding door to get a proper breeze throughout the house and let the magpies’ singing fill the house. I would have sorted, scrubbed, played my music, ironed (and I do NOT like ironing) and washed the delicate mountain of clothes.

Yes it my choice to have these working hours as we get our new part-time staff member on her feet. As a small family business we do what we can to help each other out. And obviously the additional income helps a lot towards our (first in 10 years) family holiday next year. It has only been 3 1/2 months but it feels like a life time!

Today I miss my friends. My lavender companion. Our house. Our dogs. Our random and spontaneous braais. Sitting outside in the shade with our kids when they were babies and toddlers, playing, laughing. I miss the connection with my family. Having Wimpy breakfasts with my sister. Secret Santa with our home group. Our church.

To have these memories are an absolute blessing, but today they hurt my heart.

Day 59 28 February – last day of summer

I feel like crying! Even though we will still have several warm days ahead *fingers crossed* during March, today officially marks the last day of summer in beautiful Aotearoa. There isn’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how much I LOVE SUMMER. The early morning sunlight desperately trying to peek through the curtains into the bedroom, the late evening walks along the beach front, the ice cream buying dash, the slip. slop. slap philosophy to ensure you don’t burn to a crisp, the cicadas buzzing loudly all day long.

IMG_20170228_204315_343.jpg

This morning was another stunner of a sunrise. Pushing my depressed thoughts aside, I went outside phone in hand, took a deep breath, smiled and took photos of the painted sky. I walked around the back of the house which oversees the polo training paddocks and captured the fog ever so gently forming an eerie layer over the fields. The fog is usually an indication of cooler mornings yet sunny days, and today was just that. I’m glad I took the time to take these photos as it lifted my spirit instantaneously and my day turned out pretty good.

Cheers summer, until next December.

 

Day 36 5 February – Clarks Beach

Today we discovered another beach, a well-known beach for most local South Aucklanders, but new to us. Clarks Beach is a small, delightful beach on the edge of Manukua Harbour. It certainly is a swimmers and paddling beach as there are no waves. I took my son, daughter and my daughter’s best friend late afternoon and we stayed until early evening. We walked along the beach to the furthest northern point we could go. There’s a lot of shade from the Pohutukawa trees that lines the edge of the beach. And oh my goodness, the water was warm! As my daughter’s friend said in great exclamation, “it’s as warm as a freakin’ spa”.

IMG_20170206_113150_283.jpg

About an hour into our visit, I saw what I thought was a fish jumping out of the water. Surely the bright glare and reflection from the sun played tricks on me. Perhaps something fell into the water. Not a minute later and I saw it again, this time I could clearly see that it was indeed fish jumping out of the waters. They would jump straight up into the air, or jump horizontally travelling approximately 2 meters across the surface. They provided a lot of entertainment to all the beach visitors. One even got as close as a metre from my son’s head. I have no idea what type of fish and if it’s a natural phenomenon for this area, but it was certainly a wonderful thing to witness.

Shortly before we left, another couple entered the ocean while their dog stayed behind on the beach. She was obedient and sat for a good 2 minutes before she noticed us and with a jubilant trot came over. The kids gave her hugs and patted her, but it was obvious that she’s not much into playing, and she came to sit down next to me on our blanket. And there she stayed happily while I scratched her tummy, neck, ears. She even gave me kisses on my cheek. I whispered in her ear and asked if she would like to come home with us for a visit, and I know she would have said yes if she could speak 😉 We named her Felicity and she’s my photo of the day.

IMG_20170205_203313_458.jpg

An exciting way to end a beautiful day.

Day 30 30 January – Muriwai Beach

20170131_190614

Today was exactly what we as a family needed, time outside absorbing Vitamin D in its natural element. The best part of living in the Auckland district is the fact that you don’t drive far to reach beautiful beaches; to the east you have white, sandy beaches often covered in shells and to the west soft, black sand beaches. We have never been up far west before and I was really impressed with the vineyards. One after the other you drive past row after row of luscious green vines. It is definitely a place I would like to visit one day, perhaps a light lunch with my husband accompanied by a sweet, fruity glass (or 2) of wine.

The drive itself was about 1 hour 20 minutes, but it certainly feels short because the scenery captures your attention. From small towns to vineyard mansions to what feels like secret forest passage ways. We arrived at our destination, Muriwai Beach, and I think most Aucklanders had the same idea as us, sun = beach! There is an advertisement on television of people speed walking over hot sand as their feet is burning, which made me giggle as I could only image what we must have looked like walking on the beach to our perfect spot in the sun.

The black sand was in stark contrast to our very pale skin. But I was captivated by the sand, it is super fine so when wet it almost turns into mud and walking on the beach feels like a fitness mud camp. And all that glitters isn’t gold, as the sand literally glistens in the sunshine, as if a bag of tiny diamonds was spilled over the sand. Lying down, my body covered in SPF 50+ sunscreen and tingling in the sun, hearing the waves crash and the kids laughing, my mindset was in a safe space. A place where I am content, where life seems to stand still for a few hours and you have an opportunity to feel.

20170130_121929.jpg

Obviously we had a packed picnic: salad filled sandwiches, boiled eggs, cherries, apples and savoury muffins, all baked and made early that morning. I love feeding my family. On our drive back we celebrated the sunstroke day with fresh strawberry and blueberry ice creams.

Blessed, sun tanned and well fed. It was a good day.

Day 29 29 January – infusion

We are celebrating a long weekend today as tomorrow is Auckland Anniversary, AND I took 3 days leave from work…finally! The weather also pitched up this time as it is a beautiful warm and sunny day.

IMG_20170129_171007_780.jpg

This lemon and mint infused chilled water is exactly what my body needs: to hydrate, to relax, to be rejuvenated.

Take some time today to do something revitalizing for your mind, body or soul. You are worth it 💛

Day 14 14th January – beach stroll

I am fortune to work for/with my parents. I don’t have the stresses associated with working in a corporate and financial environment anymore. I was physically and mentally unwell shortly before I resigned from my accounts payable position at a large international corporate company. I didn’t take lunch breaks, I did the work of a full time employee even though I only worked part time and I was expected to take the reigns from someone who had been with the company for several years and I was newly appointed. My work became a burden and something I wasn’t enjoying anymore.

Currently I have more flexible hours during the week, but some of the downfall is that I work weekends, full day on a Saturday and a few hours on a Sunday and I don’t get much annual leave. You see the customers walking in glowing from the summer heat, buying goodies for their barbeques and all I can do is provide them a friendly service with a smile while cringing on the inside whishing I was home instead. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work as I get to meet a variety of people from all walks of life and I get to bake, but some days I find it hard to see the upside.

Today was another warm and humid day. I was at work from 8:30am to 5pm. When I arrived home, I had some time to take a breather while my husband finished dinner. Thankfully here in New Zealand it stays light until 9pm during summer, so the kids and I were able to go out after dinner for a walk on the beach. Shortly after 7pm we got into the car and drove to what we call our neighbourhood beach, Maraetai. A 15 minute drive from home and we were surrounded by clear blue water, sandy beach and the squawking  of seagulls. The cool crisp breeze was a welcoming companion from the humid, almost unbreathable air earlier today. We walked along the boardwalk, took photos and enjoyed each others company. 1 1/2 hours = my head cleared + my soul lightened.

IMG_20170114_210402_725.jpg

Blessings!