What we did today....

After some hair-raising torrential rainstorms during the first week of my visit here in Queensland, over the weekend we've gone back to the Sunshine Coast that I know & love.....not that I mind rain at all (how could I when I live in the UK??) but sunshine and warmth sure makes everything easier, and everyone happier!

This morning,as the older children had a day off school (called a 'pupil-free' day over here) and the weather was absolutely gorgeous, we took them to the beautiful, safe, sandy beach at Alexandra Headland...

my niece and older nephew have been swimming since they were 6 months old and now resemble mini merpeople so I wasn't surprised at all when they took their bodyboards and headed down to the blue waves (admittedly these were not very large waves....but it still looked scary to me!) The little one stayed with his toy dumper truck on the sand and enjoyed himself greatly digging holes and pushing the truck about, I just sat, watched and marvelled at the bliss of an October Monday morning spent in the warm sun on a fabulous beach surrounded by those I love. I did go into the water a little later - I just couldn't resist the gentle blueness and crystal sparkle of sun on sea. It was warm. If I lived here, I'd be swimming everyday for sure. I love the outdoor lifestyle here, the children all togged up and in the surf without a thought for being wet or sandy or cold. Everything is designed to make the very most of the weather and beauty of the surroundings.

After an hour or so, we piled back into the car and drove the few miles to the beachside town of Caloundra. Time for 'morning tea', another Aussie tradition. Phil, my brother in law, was anxious for me to try a cake at The Shingle Inn, knowing how obsessed I am with all things bakery. We all chose a dessert - I had an amazing gluten free Sour Cherry & Almond Tart. I don't have a problem with gluten at all, but I often choose a GF confection as I love almonds and the other ingredients often used to replace wheatflour. This was really sticky and almondy and just perfect. The children loved their butterfly cakes and clown biscuit too...

lovely displays and great friendly service.

Home for naps and lunch. Then Esther & I went to the movies this afternoon. We saw a  film, directed by, starring and partly written by Ben Affleck:

Not one I'd heard of, but a stellar cast and a great story. It's not often that I'm willing the 'bad guy' to win, but this was one such occasion! You can read a review of the film soon on Esther's fabulous movie review blog Half Sweet, Half Salty so I'll leave that to her...but I REALLY enjoyed it, even though it had lots of shooting in it which I usually wouldn't like.

And now, I'm sitting in the kitchen, the children are all tucked up and I'm smelling the first fragrance of the  cake that Esther's baking for me wafting from the oven. Tomorrow is my birthday - the first I will have spent with my sister for 8 years, the first ever with my niece and nephews, the first without Paul in 11....

I'll speak to him, my Mum & Dad and my other sister and nephew on the phone tomorrow and celebrate with them all when I get home. But it will be so special to have this time here, with the loved ones that I miss so very much. And a hot one as well - to us Northern Hemisphere people with late Autumn birthdays, that's just bizarre!

An amazing and memorable day awaits. Enjoy your Monday xx


  1. What a lovely time you are having on your visit to Australia. It looks so beautiful there and it is strange to celebrate an Autumn birthday where it is so warm. Hoping your Birthday is super special. I'll be thinking of you basking in the warm Austrailan sun and enjoying your day!

  2. Rachel,

    I am really enjoying your blog posts from down under! Thank you for taking the time out to share with us all your adventures! The beach looks beautiful! What a wonderful day you had including a yummy cherry almond tart & an enjoyable movie! I want to wish you a very special happy birthday! Hope your day is wonderful surrounded by your sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew. I know you will make the most of your day. So sweet of Esther to bake a cake for your birthday. So much more special when it is home-baked with love! xoxo

  3. It is great to have news from you from so far away.

  4. Thinking of you and wishing you a Happy Birthday, dear Rachel!

  5. hello sweet Rachel:),

    It sounds like you are having a lovely trip! I can't wait to see more photos. And I can't think of anything more perfect than spending time with your family, walking the beach, taking naps..... siiiiighhhh!
    Happy birthday:). I was just reading some old comments and there was one from you telling me that you're a libra and that 'libras are the best':). Well, now I know why we get along so well, dear, as I am a libra too:).

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip- can't wait to hear more about it.



  6. i was thinking about you today...and wanted you to know it...

    sending love,
    kary and teddy

  7. Dear Ray
    I miss you so much. Today I fell over and hirt my lip so I had to go home early.Apart from that I had a great day.
    Love Kip x x x x x x

    Tuesday 2nd November


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