My Big Break

The following four blog posts were written while I was away on a break and uploaded upon my return, so the tenses may be a bit weird but I hope you find them enjoyable anyway!

Have you all been wondering where I’ve been? The last four days I’ve been away on a break in St Helens at a friend’s shack. It’s been planned for a while – it’s the only time that DH and I can get away together for four days and I’ve felt the need for a holiday for a while so we jumped at the possibility.

A very big part of the idea for me was that I would take a proper break not only from home and from work but from social media as well. That I would concentrate on reading and writing and get some significant work done on my novel. That I would learn how to concentrate for longer lengths of time without having the constant distraction.

What this has meant is that at a time when I am actually doing Facebook-worthy activities I am not posting them. I am not answering messages, I am not even reading my email. I am limiting my internet to checking on DS’s progress in Fiji and my parents progress moving house.

You know, this would be a lot easier if I were actually out of contact with no access to the internet, but my phone is still receiving email, still telling me that I’m getting messages and I am having to actively ignore them. I’m grateful that I can still be in contact especially that I don’t have to worry that I’ll miss big news from Fiji. I think I would have struggled with leaving for four days if no-one could contact me in case of emergencies. However, if you actually wanted my input these last few days, I apologise if I’ve hurt you, but I needed the break.

There is a lot more time on holidays. All that you have to do is read and walk. Walk and read. If you’re not reading, you’re exercising. Or eating. It’s a pretty simple lifestyle!

That’s not quite true. This shack is pretty rustic but it has a TV that we watched last night. The night before, we played scrabble and I reckon there’s a bit of crib going to happen as well. And then, I’m working on my novel – working on an overall plan that shows how each character develops and making sure the the structure of the book holds together. It’s a great project to potter on over a long weekend.

But we’ve done a fair bit of enjoying nature – on the way here we climbed the rock at Bicheno and rock-hopped over to the blowhole. We didn’t expect great things from the Blowhole but it was a whole (hole!) lot of fun. Just when you didn’t expect it the spray would erupt and get the unsuspecting bystander all wet.

On our first evening here, immediately after we pulled up in the car, we wandered down to the water that we can see from the shack windows. We stood on the side of the road and looked down at the crystal clear water and a skate swam slowly past.

Yesterday we walked from this shack into St Helens proper on a little path that follows the road along the side of the bay, past beaches and small cliffs and rocky foreshores, and over bridges and through into the township. In the evening we walked the other direction, along the beach and then almost to the point on the other side. This morning I walked down to the jetty that sits at the base of this property and watched the little fish swim around – some tiny fish and a couple of puffer fish about the size of my palm.

Towards lunch time we went to Binalong Bay and found an amazing rock pool. Tiny shrimps were picking the food off the rocks, tiny stripy fish swam around in schools, then there was the little pink and the little greenish-grey fish lazily making his way around the water in front of us and some other red fish that were very  shy and spent most of their time under rocks. Then occasionally we would glimpse some fairly large fish, as long as my hand, plain grey or with vertical stripes they would zip past and then go out of sight again. Right at the very end as we reluctantly made our way back to the car I saw a large crab scuttle down between two rocks. And all this doesn’t include the pelican that was happily waiting for fish scraps from the men fishing on a nearby jetty.

Binalong Bay

After Binalong Bay we drove up through the Bay of Fires area and stopped for lunch on a white sand beach with turquoise water. Beautiful clear water with gorgeous waves. It was like we were in another country – it was so different to the beach back home. We ate our sandwiches, then drove to the end of the road, stopping for more rock-hopping here and there. One of the other tourists said that there were dolphins, but they ran away when they saw me coming (like they usually do).

Empty beach

This isn’t Binalong Bay but another completely deserted beach that we walked along near St Helens Pt.

The rest and the exercise are two great companions. The view of nature, unspoiled and beautiful, out the window is just a huge refreshment to the soul. The rock-hopping and wandering along beaches and through bushland and all of the nature we’re getting to see, it’s all a joy, a great joy. I knew I needed this break, I needed it so much that I was scared that the four days wouldn’t be enough, but every minute is doing me good and I know I am blessed to be here. I’m unwinding. It is good.

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