DSC_0449DSC_0161Before we begin, here is the other half of our house for the next little while. With help from friends and family, we lay a slab and built this little baby over a weekend. Creation can be as easy as putting your mind and energy into a project and trusting in the outcome! (fingers crossed she’s waterproof ;))

Five Nights at Five Rocks

What an event to welcome us into this next chapter of life… Dad had the ingenious idea to entirely book out the campgrounds at five rocks for five nights to celebrate his 60th birthday. Filled with extended family and friends from the Byfield community and beyond, we settled in for a fantastic chunk of quality time together. I’d never spent time at this special beach and it was a welcomed treat to discover its beauty.DSC_0217DSC_0220DSC_0226DSC_0237DSC_0245DSC_0249FotorCreatedDSC_0253DSC_0258DSC_0265The invitation called for each of us to bring something to the table to share with the group. Most of the meals were catered for with a planned menu: a variety of delicious foods from fish curry to rice paper rolls, an endless feast. Guinness and red wine were provided, and we all enjoyed getting merry around the fire in the evenings. We even had the old gas stove/oven up there in the camp kitchen, for the luxury of freshly baked bread… and great ease (minus the transport of course). I jumped on the opportunity to bake a birthday cake and tried a new recipe for a beetroot, quinoa and chocolate cake that a beautiful friend had raved about. I made a simple sweet ginger yoghurt icing, it was delicious. Here’s a link to the recipe, in case you want to try it yourself: http://www.theholisticingredient.com/blogs/wholesome-food/10218301-beetroot-quinoa-and-chocolate-muffinscookDSC_0273Leo contributed the decks, speakers, and set up the DJ booth. He played a brilliant techno set one afternoon that carried the space perfectly. Leo, Andy, Jas, James, Dad and Luke spoiled us with a soundtrack to match our long weekend and dance music to keep us grooving. Jas brought his fire stick, which was well utilised and lit the dark sky with ever changing art. He encouraged any of the kids who were keen to have a go, and was patient and clear with his instruction. I admired him in this situation and his carefree yet careful approach.  April and I had a brilliant time dancing with our hoops and I was grateful for the practise time; this inspired the Hula Hoop making workshop we will run together at Tropical Bloom this year.DSC_0339DSC_0331DSC_0346Andy made Damper with the kids and baked it in the camp oven in the remaining coals of the nights fire. Linda brought a stack of white t-shirts for natural dyeing, we used turmeric and red bloodwood sap and they came out in rich warm yellows and reds. Over the weekend we each made additions to a canvas that Ela had left us, it soon became a beautiful colourful mandala.DSC_0343DSC_0267DSC_0338DSC_0268DSC_0302FotorCcolourreatedBy Saturday afternoon this new way of life had soaked into all of us, complete freedom, living in paradise. Dad had set a bar for himself from the beginning; no less then two swims a day, I happily followed suit and enjoyed the high and the low of each day. Mornings began with group swims and beach hangs, and we all relished in the fresh water creek shower on the path back to camp. Cat and I had a beautiful swim with Indira as the tide was coming in. She bravely ran along the bottom of the sand with water up to her chin, back and forth giggling and spluttering. All three of us were in stitches laughing for ages. Indira just couldn’t get enough of it, absolutely filled with the thrill and excitement.DSC_0283waterrDSC_0281The low tides meant we could climb out to the five rocks to fish, and after Andy brought back a beautiful mackerel one evening the enthusiasm in the group rose. The following day a group of us went to the rocks on sunset with a bunch of fishing rods and an esky filled with beer. Luke caught his first fish and the rock cods were out and about in numbers, unfortunately none were big enough for dinner but it was well worth the adventure.DSC_0374DSC_0376DSC_0383DSC_0389DSC_0396DSC_0399Returning back to camp was always a lovely sight, a circle of camp chairs around the fire offered space and comfort for the down time. Crafts were abundant and it was inspiring to see the women at work; Joan made a wonderful little basket using natural materials she had found at the beach. Trisha made a gorgeous necklace using beads that she crafted from pumice and pink flowers. April was working on a knotted patterned bag as well as her felt slippers, and Sparkle was drawing away.daddyDSC_0336Mum arrived in high spirits with fruitcake in hand, and melted straight into the abundance of activities. She carved an underwater scene into a cuttle fish shell, and before long was brainstorming with the kids about ‘The BEST school ever!’ It was amazing to see the passion filling each of them as they tore the schooling system apart and rebuilt it in their own ideal way. This ongoing discussion also inspired a workshop at Tropical Bloom.

Note: Tropical Bloom Festival is now in its third year and will be a treat for the senses, it has been a delight to be a part of, creating and enjoying this incredibly inspiring space. Leo, with an enthusiastic team of volunteers will come together to create his vision for a Culture, Arts and Music festival. The healing area will be in full power with a huge array of different workshops from yoga to making your own herbal skin products. Cat has been busy getting the timetable organised, along with the market holders who will bring their handicrafts to sell. The weekend will be jam-packed with 24 hour music, kids activities, great food and chai, art installations & gallery, performances and so many more surprises… One not to miss! Find details here: http://www.tropicalbloom.net/

DSC_0355DSC_0359Lindsay and Connor took the gang over the hill to Three Rivers a few days in a row, to swim and surf and explore the neighbouring beaches. On his birthday, Dad drew an enormous mandala in the sand and the crew collected seaweed, shells, pumice and rocks to decorate the massive art piece.DSC_0348DSC_0350DSC_0366DSC_0362DSC_0360The time away was filled with smiles and laughter, co-operation and co-ordination, continuous adventure and living purely in the moment. I didn’t even find time to read, there was too much fun going on. It was a taste of a simple life away from the ‘real world’. Immersed in the love of community, sharing skills and quality time. In many ways I think it was exactly what Dad had wanted, yet a lot more rich and full then any of us could have imagined.DSC_0408DSC_0420crDSC_0433DSC_0442DSC_0447

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