If you've read this blog for very long you will know that January means camping for the flowerpress gang up the coast with the Mr's side of the family. (last year, the year before).
Each year we meet up at a beautiful little campground in a National Park in the small beachside town where his parents used to live. My father-in-law swam in the Bogie Hole (natural sea pool) as a baby in the days when you had to row over to swim at the beach.
Mr F is one of four and there are lots of us, mixed, blended, old married, just married, going out, new babies, small kids, big kids, really big kids, and including loads of friends who have been around so long they've become family too. We make a crowd!
It is heaven. Even after all these years I forget how magical it is. The effort involved in driving up the coast, celebrating Christmas, driving back down the coast and then repacking in a couple of days for camping is huge. But its always worth it and I am always grateful that the hard work running our own businesses during the year gives us the freedom for this long holiday break.
The site is slap bang on an amazing beach. Those beach swims, sometimes five or six a day, starting with a pre-breakfast float help wash away the year's stress. Its my annual water therapy. The simplicity of no hot water, no phone reception, no technology, no housework, and just the occasional brushing of sand from your bed, hanging up your wet togs, and washing your plate in a plastic tub is liberating.
Venturing into the real world we managed to do a tour of the local op shops, see The Hobbit on the hottest day and cheer on our friend Rob at the local 'Band on a Barge' concert. And I finally got to meet lovely Leah from Sean the Prawn too through our mutual friend Mika that night too, hi Leah, hi Mika!
Camp ended as always with awards night and my niece made these amazing origami lotus tea light holders for the tables from a thrifted Mills and Boon. So there was a tiny bit of crafting too!
During the camp we kept up with the all important weather but managed to avoid most of the news. The day the park closed to day trippers due to fire danger we hid out at the movies. It all became too real though when days later our friends had to pack up and drive home to see if their house had survived the Coonabarabran fires. Luckily it has so far, but not their garden which was burnt out, and many of their friends have lost houses and sheds. Another scary year for fires, my heart goes out to anyone in those districts or on fire watch.
Back home now we are slowly washing clothes, watering the garden which survived the heat (thanks to some lovely neighbours), and packing away the camp stuff. The christmas tree needs seeing to but we are busy celebrating as my beautiful girl turns 15 today!!! Happy Birthday my love.
Its nice to be back, and I am slowly starting to work out priorities for this shiny new year ahead. But more of that later, there's birthday cake to eat!