Summer and sunscreen

Sandwiched somewhere in between wanting to enjoy the sunshine but not wanting to get eaten by mosquitoes is where you’ll find me at this time of year in Melbourne! The phrase ‘every silver lining has a cloud’ is far too relevant for my liking as I battle with sunscreens and insect repellents on the daily and still get bitten more in our back garden than I ever have on some of the most remote tropical islands we’ve visited!

I do worry about the toxicity of DEET so we mostly use a natural deterrent called Good Riddance, which is $20 for a small bottle that lasts us about a week and adds to our ever increasing outgoings that shock Ste to the core every time I return from doing the food shop. Last week I applied it to my entire body before even attempting to hang out the washing in the garden, only to get bitten on the hand I used to apply it with (I obviously missed a bit!) I then was awake for two nights straight as it swelled and itched and drove me crazy! Poor Kian got bites on top of his bites a few weeks ago and ended up with hives. He was so uncomfortable! It really is a massive downside of the summer.

Oh but we love the warm weather! It is such a joy to wake up to a blue sky and warm breeze and be able to plan things outdoors. The kids can only be described as being ‘free range’ since we moved to Australia and probably don’t even remember the amount of time we used to spend indoors in the UK. So, as long as we’re covered in sunscreen and mosquito repellent from head to toe, we’re good to go and there’s always something fun going on around the Mornington Peninsula. Last weekend, Frankston Beach Front hosted a fun event (that I can’t remember the name of), so we packed a picnic and headed out.

It wasn’t very busy last Sunday morning when we arrived and I don’t know if it was the heat or prices that discouraged people. We found the $5 per activity a bit pricey for us as a family of 5 and I wasn’t impressed that we got charged an extra $2 in addition to the ride tickets just to pay by card but the kids were excited and lead us straight to the candy floss to start the day on a high!

The kids first experience of candy floss was a success! I’m sure the odd fly that managed to land on their sticky faces while they were eating it only added to the flavour (UHHHH!) 

After a very quick (too quick for $15) run around the ‘jungle maze’, the kids joined in with some activities on the beach. It was a great set up, with water games, chess and live music. The kids ran back and forth loading water canons from buckets and spraying down little pictures that had been propped up. They managed to win the kind of plastic rubbish that keeps them quiet for five minutes, so they were super happy unlike one of the poor ladies running the game who got squirted by a boy (as above). I have NO IDEA who that boy is by the way!

It gives me so much pleasure to watch the kids at the beach. The way they kick off their shoes and run screaming and laughing all the way to the sea without a care in the world, makes my heart happy and all the battles we have experienced after emigrating, seem worthwhile. We try to tell them how lucky they are of course, like all parents do! How picnics on the beach and swimming in the sea were activities Ste and I only ever got to enjoy during family holidays when we grew up in Manchester but they don’t understand that! Living near a beach and being permanently scattered with sand and freckles is the norm already after only 2 years to them!

It’s hard to take in how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place sometimes. Looking back over the pictures at the bright sky and smiles on the kids faces, is wonderful! I’m so grateful to live in a world where we have cameras to be able to capture these special moments!

Team Fitz were in their element when football kicked off in the sand! I was so proud of Ariana and Kian in opposite goals and Kaira running around like a maniac with no idea where to kick the ball but loving every minute of it, in the middle! This picture of Kian cracks me up because he looked so comfortable stood there among the big boys, “I don’t need help mummy!” he shouted when I offered my extremely limited advice about keeping his legs stretched out wide! Also, I’ve only just noticed the guy photographing in the background! I wonder where that ended up!

We had such a fun time and even managed to resist nipping into Sophia’s on the beach for tea. Kaira has been really struggling with some digestion issues recently and if you’ve followed the blog from the start, you’ll know about the Cows Milk Protein Intolerance (CMPI) she was diagnosed with as a baby. We thought it had gone away but after some pretty severe symptoms, we fear it’s back with a vengeance and have had to take dairy out of her diet completely. We’re happy to do it as we gave up meat and milk around 6 months ago, but it means no more ice cream at the beach for the kids (we feel it’s not fair to buy for the other two) so we all went home and enjoyed some vegan coconut ice cream together instead. I’ll tell you more about the changes to our diets we’ve made in future blog posts.

As always, thanks for being here with us. We have so many wonderful messages of support and advice, and I always try to respond as soon as I can in between covering us all in mosquito repellent and sunscreen that is! It really does take forever but I’ll get used to it, right?

Love from Leyla

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