This week has been an active one for us – at least compared to a few of the previous weeks.
This weekend, we celebrated Jill’s 70th birthday and enjoyed the company of our whole family who made it a very special time. Actually, her celebrations went on for a few days. A week, or so, ago Jill had ten of her special friends join her for a Sunday ‘High Tea’ in the city. I thought it would be much safer to make myself scarce while they were all together, so along with one of her girlfriend’s husbands, I took a stroll along the river and parkland near the city.
Then on her actual birthday- last Thursday, Jill and I both went out to a special lunch at one of George Colombaris’ restaurants. He is one of the judges on the Australian Masterchef TV program and the food was superb (as it ought to be).
Cathy and our grand daughters Audrey and Violet among with David, Yuki and little grandson Orin made it a special day when they all joined in for lunch on Saturday at one of the nice Yarra Valley wineries. It was a wonderful family day having them all together – especially with David, Yuki and Orin coming over from Perth on the other side of the continent.
All this food is making it difficult for me and my weight reduction program. I’ve been reinvigorating an old ‘Gut Buster’ men’s health program that I used many years ago. It involves reducing fat, increasing fibre and increasing exercise. Over the last six weeks I have decreased my girth around my waist by about 6 cms, so I am doing OK. If I can manage to lose another few centimeters, I can comfortably wear my old suit again to an upcoming wedding. Being retired, I really only seem to need a suit now for attending funerals and weddings!
I have been walking around 4 kms on most days and fell very grateful for some of the parkland that we have within a few kms of our house. The path around Westerfolds Park (originally a dairy farm) is 4.4 kms long and I can comfortably walk around its loop in a about 45 minutes. I enjoy seeing both the bird life as well as the animals along the way. The other night, in a late afternoon walk, I counted 84 kangaroos. I think it’s wonderful that this wildlife exists in the middle of suburbia and only about 1 km from home. There appears to be two mobs in the park – one that inhabits an open area by the river and another that seem to stay in the area of the old farmhouse.
We were lucky to get out for the day early in the week and enjoy one of the few days of spring weather we have been having in between the continuing wintery cold ones. We did something that we haven’t done for a long time – we took ourselves out for a ‘drive’. In an accidental way, we found ourselves driving along an unmade forest road in the Toolangi Forest, just north of Melbourne. Not quite sure of our location, we followed a well made and graded road for quite a long way. We were reassured that we weren’t really lost when we came across a picnic area where a party of around 20 people were sitting around a fire and cooking a BBQ. Further on, we followed the Murrindinfi River down its valley, passing many little camp sites and more picnic areas. With somewhat of a surprise, we ended up finding a major highway in a totally unexpected place but we knew, by then, enough about where we were to know which way to turn and head back home.
We ended up having a delightful day of exploring. Many of the Wattle trees that make up the understorey of the forest were blooming in their masses of yellow blossoms and it was quite a beautiful environment. If I was a bit younger, and more flexible, I would be very interested in grabbing my tent and camping in some of those attractive areas along the river.