Wednesday, June 12, 2013

40 at the Beach

Funny how age creeps up on you, you know it is coming, the maths is obvious, and suddenly there it is, forty.  40 sounded ancient when I was in my twenties, old like my parents old, an age that happened to other people, grown ups. Surprisingly 40 doesn't feel much different to 20, now that I'm an old parent. Less nights out, better Sundays. More time with family, less time with friends.  More reflection, less impulsiveness. Hopefully I am a little wiser. I now appreciate the brief time we are of this world, I'm no longer invincible. 

It feels strange to say I'm 40, half the time I feel just like a child, still figuring out what journey to take. 

 I have spent a few days journeying with the Bowerbird family and staying in a little cabin at Wye River, to celebrate aging. It is a gift, to see the passing of time. To be alive, especially in such a beautiful part of the world. The Great Ocean Road and the Otways are exquisite, and filled with presents. In my moments of delight I have gotten a little camera happy, so there could will be a few holiday posts coming. This is the last day of our holiday (my birthday) on the journey home. The sun was very generous and graced us with unexpected golden rays for our winter break.

 Sheoak Falls (near Lorne)

 I love a sheoke. Those whispering droopy leaves. The way that there are girls and boys, sheokes ad heokes. The spiky echidna seeds, that give great hand massages, and are fun for little hands to send sailing over cliffs. Those spooky wind gnarled trunks.

 Bursaria spinosa - Sweet Bursaria
The name Bursaria is derived from the Latin word Bursa, meaning purse, in reference to the shape of the seed pods, they are like little love heart purses that rattle with the promise of new life. The spinosa bit is obvious, check out those spines, little birds love to hang out in these bushes for protection and to sup the nectar from its sweet flowers.

A magnificent rainbow arced through the clouds above the sea, all laid out for my birthday. Thankyou nature, I'm feeling the love. I secretly hoped for a whale to start splashing underneath it (it is the humpback migratory season and we missed one passing in Wye River), but that would have been ridiculous.

 Aireys Inlet beach


Each beach has its own personality, different seaweed, different rocks, different shells, different waves, different smells.  There was a lot of cuttlefish washed up on this beach, we brought home a few pieces for the guinea pigs to grind their teeth on. When I was a kid we gathered cuttlefish for the budgie to munch. I'm not sure if either pet was/is really enamoured with cuttlefish, but there is enormous joy in the gathering, and the gifting.

 If only today's rubbish heaps looked so beautiful.  An aboriginal shell midden in the cliff face. Lots of mussels but other shells too, I wonder what limpets and sea snails would taste like.

I am in awe of the enormity of the ocean, its waves crashing in with a salty slap, reminding us of how minuscule we are, chuckling foam, laughing at my reflections on 40.

A great quote I read in The Age this week

"Keep your feet in the mud and your head in the clouds" 

Artisit David Bromley, in conversation with Wolfmother frontman, Andrew Stockdale.

Read more:

And some words from the great wisdom of my Merbein Nanna,
"You're only as old as you feel",
She was in her 20's forever and did aging very well.

The cheeky girl in the yellow dress is the biggest Bowerbird at around two years old, she's now taller than me, but looking a lot like her younger sister in these photos. I've just arrived at my 30s, sporting a bumpy dreadlocked do, all set for a big trip around Australia, my first stops were staying with my two Nannas.
 I think my Nanna was definitely a mud and clouds sort of lady.

Feeling grateful and linking with


  1. What a gorgeous place to spend your birthday Kirsty, hope it was lovely!
    I remember collecting cuttlefish for the budgies when we were little too. :)

  2. Happy Birthday! What a beautiful place... the ocean is so foreign to me!

    I know what you mean about getting older - it just seems unreal somehow. It's more like the world keeps getting younger around me. But take heart, I'm 46 and still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Perhaps I'll just never grow up!

    Anyhow, not sure if you ever read my mid-life crisis post, but suffice it to say, I can't even seem to get that right! Here's the link if you'd like to be assured that you're aging much more gracefully than some of us!

    1. That post is hilarious ecocatlady, grown up doesn't really sound that fun does it. Really we're all fools, muddling along the best we can.

  3. I'm not much younger than you, but I still feel young, too. "You're only as old as you feel" for sure. Happy birthday, you don't look anywhere near 40 in those photos!

    1. Hi Tat, I just added some pics of me from the day, so you may have been looking at the one of me in my early 30s, but thanks for the kind words anyway.

  4. Many happy returns Kirsty. Enjoy being 40 .... it's a great time. I think I can remember that far back lol. cheers Wendy

  5. Beautiful post, words and reflections. I hope someday you spot that whale underneath a rainbow. xx

  6. Happy Birthday - you look like you are in your 20's! Loving those beach photos and Nanna

    1. Too kind Lesley, I have some serious crows feet to signal that the 40 years have not been bad. Over exposure can be a good thing. She was one awesome nanna, makes me so happy remembering this time with her.

  7. A lovely blog. So nice to see the photos of nana having fun with Kirra. The day of your birthday I definitely had my feet in the mud, but maybe my head in the mist of Papuan rainforest. Sorry I missed your special day. Love you xx

    1. Yes definitely clouds and mud mum! Love you too, amazed at the adventures you take yourself on.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young