Weekend at the Beach 18th, 19th and 20th March

The weekend started with a picnic at City Beach with Matt and his support worker. We took our van and they came in a van as well. We parked the vans one car space apart to allow for a picnic area. The day was warm and cloudy, not beach weather, but it was good for the picnic as we didn’t need shade for the vans, though we put out the awning for us humans. There was a pleasant breeze which made us fairly comfortable.

I am making a little movie of what we got up to and will post the link when it is ready. Look for us silently singing Happy Birthday to Matt as we had to take out the background music so that Youtube didn’t give us a copyright strike!

Matt’s birthday video

The next day Matt came to visit us at home. It was one of those rare occasions when we were able to see him actually on his birthday, though we were all a bit tired from our outing the day before.

After he left we had a rest, then packed up the van and headed for Pinaroo Point. We chose a spot under shade when we arrived, even though it was late in the day and we didn’t need it. As usual, we found it was a bad idea in the morning as people coming to an event really wanted the spaces next to the lawn. So, we moved.

The main purpose of the visit to PP was to be ready for a walk Sunday morning with Eversley and friends. But, we were able to enjoy an amazing sunset on Saturday evening, which was quite surprising as the colours came after the sun had set, starting with a faint glow and gradually becoming more intense. As usual, we took a drink and nibbles and our chairs onto the beach for the ‘show’.

We had a good night’s sleep even though there was no wind as we kept our 12v fan running all night. The battery hardly registered the power usage and it kept us comfortable.

We headed home in the late afternoon. This time there was no coffee van, but we had enough food and drink on board. We enjoyed watching some wind surfing. It was supposed to be a competition, but the organisers cancelled as it wasn’t quite windy enough for speed.

Pinaroo Point – rest of our stay

The trike coffee van. It runs on battery power and gas, which provides the pressure for the coffee machine. Eco friendly, sort of.

I took two devices to PP that we don’t usually have. The first was our smoothie maker and we had lovely smoothies made with yogurt, milk and blackberries for morning tea. The other device was our rice cooker. I often put additional stuff in with the rice to make it taste interesting and also because it saves cooking them separately. I added a little butter, some spices and chopped onions. This went nicely with some leftover curry mince and vegetables. We felt very sleepy after such a big lunch, but it worked out well as we then were able to have a light meal of tuna and salad for tea, after watching the sunset of course. An icecream van came for a while in the afternoon and we had a soft serve cup each during the afternoon.

We couldn’t be bothered to get wet again in the evening so went for a walk along the beach before enjoying the sunset. Stephen is doing a drawing class on Wednesday afternoons and he took his sketchbook down to the beach to do some drawing.

Yesterday morning we had an early swim. The water was lovely but we felt nervous about the fact that there was no one else in the water and we had people fishing around us, perhaps attracting sharks. A helicopter flew over and there were some noisy small boats, but we would have been happy to have other swimmers further out in the water. So our swim was more of a dip in the edge a couple of times.

After showers and breakfast we went over to the lawn to enjoy the open air cafe experience. Stephen again took his sketch book. He finds, much to his surprise, that he can draw. He is learning tips in the class, but it’s more about observing, and in a busy scene, leaving out enough to make the features he does want to include stand out. There was no seabreeze forecast yesterday and it was a good thing we were leaving as the rest of the day would have been quite challenging with the van getting hotter and hotter.

Sunday night sunset

We’d arranged for Matt to come to tea and he was picked up early, at 3.00 p.m. We just needed time to unload a bit and have a nap before he arrived. I’m wondering if being locked in for a week has actually been somewhat beneficial as he seems very calm indeed at the moment. Perhaps he liked having a rest! He ate well and the staff say that his appetite is good. We haven’t seem him in person for a couple of weeks as we didn’t have him the previous weekend due to the writers festival.

It’s good to be home now with the very hot weather looming, but next weekend should be cooler and we might go back to PP.

Monday morning cafe and sketching
Sunday night sunset

Pinaroo Point in March, 2022

The most important item of the week is that Matt and his housemates have been ‘locked in’ for a week due to a staff member testing positive in their house. At first they had to stay in their rooms, but after all having negative RATs they were at least allowed to move around within the house. Staff had to wear full PPE, which Matt thought was a bit of a hoot, but couldn’t have been fun for the as it’s very restrictive.

Normally, if we want to visit Matt we just have to book in (so they don’t end up with too many parents at once) and sign in and show our vaccination status. RATs have not been added to the mix, partly because Matt and his mates go out quite a lot and are just as likely to catch COVID on their own, without help from parents. Matt comes home to visit by taxi and the only precautions is that the driver must wear a mask. I think he, the driver, is fully vaccinated as well. So Matt has just had to isolate in the same way we would have to if we were a close contact with someone who tested positive.

At the nursing home next to Eversley’s apartment block visitors have to have negative RATs before visiting, but I’m glad that they don’t treat Matt and his friends as frail, aged people. Perhaps being in such a small grouping helps as well, they can contain an infection fairly easily if it happens. Which is an argument for aged care to be provided in small groups living in homely houses, rather than in a large ‘care home’ that is inevitably institutional and works well for spreading flu and other diseases.

So, it’s Sunday, the day of release for Villa 3, and they just have to all have negative RATs. I just checked and they were all negative, but they have not yet had a final release. I’ve left a message that we will contact Matt via Facetime this evening after tea. Clearly it’s too early to work out if he can come to visit us tomorrow for tea.

Last night’s sunset

We arrived here at Pinaroo Point for lunch yesterday. There is a coffee van here as well, though we noticed today that he didn’t arrive until about 12.00, so no good for my morning coffee. For some reason it was quiet yesterday afternoon, until the south westerly kicked in and the parasurfers came down to the beach. Eversley arrived at about 4.00ish in time to buy a coffee. We feel that we want to support his business and as it is much busier here today he should have a good trading day.

We have afternoon tea, then a swim/walk at the beach, then a light evening meal. It’s always interesting to have a shared meal if you haven’t planned what to bring – much better than trying to work things out beforehand and not being surprised.

Then it was time to get our folding chairs and head down to the beach for the sunset. We had clouds on one side of the sky and had some lovely golden light for photos. Eversley left and we settled in the van for the evening. It was cooler than last week and we slept well, especially as we didn’t have any noise overnight. Cars start coming into the car park at about 5.00 a.m., but by then we felt well rested.

This morning after our cups of tea we went down to the beach for a swim. Stephen went in his bathers, but I wanted to check first as last night there was a lot of seaweed near the beach which was annoying. However, this morning the seaweed was further out so I went back to the van to change. It was very pleasant and not cold, even when coming out of the water. We now have our awning out, plus the clothes airer for our bathers. The air has been very dry and the things that were dripping wet are long dry.

Our plan is to spend the rest of the day and overnight here, heading home in the late morning tomorrow, before it gets hot. At 12.20 here it is hot here, but we are expecting a south westerley breeze and there are hints every now and again of the cooler air to come. We have a good spot under a peppermint that provides dappled shade in the afternoon. If we didn’t have it we would have moved, either to a spot close to the grassy area or down to Whitfords Nodes which has lots of peppermints shading the car parking area.

parking spot at PP