21 November 2018
Bugsy came hurtling in to our room at 06:00 with a loud “Morning!” and jumped into bed with us. Despite appearing to be wide-awake, she did fall back to sleep and stayed asleep until 9 o’clock.
In the meantime, Ian and I were both up, dressed and had had breakfast. Once she was dressed, we headed to reception to pick up a shovel and walk the short distance to Hot Water Beach. This is a unique beach where, two hours either side of high tide, you dig a hole in the sand and it is filled with hot water. Unfortunately, the spot we chose first only produced cold water, but I was determined to keep digging to find the heat. And I dug for over an hour (using a small trowel) while Ian made use of someone else’s pre-dug well and lovely warm water. Every now and then, if I twisted the spade in deeper, I was convinced I had a small flow of hot water, but basically, it didn’t work, and whilst I had created a very big hole, it was cold! I paddled for a bit in our neighbours’ pit, who were trying to get cold water into theirs as it was almost too hot in places. 🙄
Eventually, I was able to legitimately stop, as it was lunch time and I gratefully put down my shovel. We walked across the beach to the car park and showers, to rinse off our feet and legs, and use the loos. There was a cafe there, Hotties, but Ian didn’t like the look of the prices, and with no other plan, we went back to the campsite. This made Cornelia a bit moody and upset because she wanted the hot dog that she’d seen on the menu, and I asked Ian to go back to return the borrowed spade, while I dealt with her strop, but unable to reassure her about what we were actually going to do for lunch. We made it back to our unit, rinsed off our legs again in the shower, and re-dressed. We decided to drive to Hahei Beach Cafe, 8kms away. It was still serving food, and although nothing grabbed my fancy, Cornelia shared her cheese toastie with me, and Ian had a seafood chowder. One of the girls serving was from Hull and came over to chat to Bugsy while we waited for the food to arrive. Cornelia’s toastie was really good and she actually finished her food before Ian, which must be the first time this has ever happened!
Cornelia had asked for a chocolate ice cream earlier that day, but now asked if she could swap her ice cream for a dark chocolate brownie that she’d eyed up at the counter when we arrived. It sounded like a great idea to me, so she had her brownie and Ian and I shared a carrot cake. So, that was a healthy lunch for me… 😳
There was a playground outside the cafe, and Ian took Cornelia there while I shopped for milk and OJ. When I joined them, they were playing Junior Ninja Warrior – Ian had set her an obstacle course around the playground, which was the perfect set up: slides, rope ladders, wobbly bridges and monkey bars! She was acting the part “How much time have I got left on the clock? Am I going to make it?!” and loving it! I had to race the course too, then I became the timekeeper, and lay on the warm slide yelling out a countdown every now and then, ensuring she just completed each round in time! Then she played fetch as Fido for a bit, and we threw seed balls at each other and she, incredibly, correctly identified a nearby tree as being a grapefruit tree. I have to say, this blew me and Ian away. She’s never seen one before, we hadn’t been talking about grapefruit and it’s not exactly a fruit we eat very often. She didn’t even examine the tree, just glanced over her shoulder and said “Grapefruit!”.
Having exhausted the playpark, we drove the short distance to the local beach to stretch our legs. There was a rope swing attached to a beautiful tree which we took turns on, then made a see-saw out of a driftwood log, and ran against the strong wind, which made my crazy hair even crazier…
We just missed the rain as we piled back into the car and returned to our campsite. When the torrential rain eventually stopped, Ian went off to do the washing up from earlier, while Cornelia and I played with her Connect4 discs making sandwiches and dividing them up into different sets and patterns.
Once he came back, it was my turn for the kitchen, and although I’d planned a delicious risotto for supper, our big late lunch and cake meant that we weren’t really in the mood for a big feed. I settled for making pasta, with vegetables and chicken, in the communal kitchen that was full of travelling teenagers. “Hi, do you think I could use this pan for cooking pasta?” “Do you have any salt?” and me “Is that your rice burning?”
I had to take the big saucepan that I had borrowed back to our unit to dish up, and Ian then returned it, washed and dried it, and finally we all sat down to eat together. After a good meal, Cornelia’s bed time went fairly smoothly and I thought all was well, until we heard the patter of her feet, the door sliding open, and saw her head peering around. She ventured out of her room and onto our bed for a short cuddle, before Ian carried her back to her own bed, despite the protests. Sure enough, within seconds, she was asking for me again, but I left her there, and after about five minutes, I assumed she’d gone to sleep. No. She had not… All of a sudden, we heard sections of “How birds fly” being read out loud followed by some more silence and some more banging around. We ran her ragged today and have no idea how she could possibly still be awake! She had a little cry when I told her that I wasn’t coming back in until I’d finished my work, but she finally fell asleep at about 22:30. We couldn’t believe it!