For a day where I left home before nine and arrived home some twelve hours later, today goes down as one of the better ones in a long while.
After feeding Em's cat, going to meditation and having breakfast with the girls, I made my way down to Popeye's for a cup of coffee, where I got to meet my new canine godchild. Most people collect nephews and nieces, I appear to collect animals to feed and nurture when their owners are away. This weekend I'm feeding Leon (Em's cat). I'll visit the Maow Maow tomorrow, two of my standard charges - but today, I met Gypsy, who has me down as "If my owners can't be found, contact this mad woman" on her microchip.
Gypsy's a small, round antithesis of a Rhodesian Ridgeback. A fluffy Pomeranian arrangement with a flat ribbon bit on her back. Lovely mutt. I sat down and she plonked herself in my lap. I think I'm in!
Following the quick visit to Popeye, I made the hour's drive down to Rye to read at a hen's party. This is the third one of these I've done in a fortnight.
However, it's only the fourth time I've been down the Mornington Peninsula. Two beer club fishing trips and a day wine tasting with Reindert.
I really don't get out of the city enough.
Driving up to the base of a large hill an hour later(Shirley got me there without an issue) I used the crampons and ropes supplied to get up the driveway. Greeted by the maid of honour, I was shown around a magnificent holiday rental house, met the group, reassured them that they weren't going to be told they were going to die and I was lead off to a bedroom where I set up for reading.
Setting up for a reading mean throwing my cards down on the bed and taking off my shoes.
Spent a glorious two hours reading for a group of older women. It appears the Gods of Tarot were on my side today - it appears I was on the money. As always, I made one person cry, but that is the norm. Seriously fantastic, interesting, loving people. I like reading for groups like this. A real array of professionals, stay at home mums, older women - fun, intelligent people. I had a ball. Stayed half an hour longer free of charge just for the pure pleasure of reading for great people.
I love my tarot gigs, but days like this are the ones that feed my soul.
Once that was done, it was time for me. Real me time. Time for a treat. Time to knock another things off the bucket list of things to do.
I've lived in Melbourne for twelve years - but I rarely make it out of the city. There are so many places that I want to go in Victoria, but I use the excuse that I have nobody to go with to no go anywhere. I've been down the Great Ocean Road once - because Glen Waverley wanted to go for a drive. Rutherglen got done when Reindert and I drove a friend's campervan back from Newcastle. Sam and I went to a winery just out of Bairnsdale once, because the wine is exquisite. That was years ago. And other than the odd trip to Ballarat, Bendigo, the wine regions and the long drive down the Western Highway to Adelaide - I've been nowhere.
So, today's treat - to make the trip really worthwhile, not knowing that the crowd would be so good - I stopped in at the Peninsula Hot Springs just out of Rye.
Absolutely magic is an understatement.
Rocking up at around five 'o'clock I wondered if I'd made a good call - it was cool, overcast and drizzly sort of day. I paid my money, changed into my swimmers and looked around. Large steaming pools, paths leading out to the bush and best of all - an area which was signed "Adults Only". This doesn't mean it was for naked use - just no kids - which suited me just fine.
There are two complexes. A spa area which does private baths, massages and the like - a bit more exclusive and no children are permitted. Then there is the Bath House area, a bit cheaper to get into, kids are allowed under supervision, and it was the the place I went, which was just magic.
Wandering through the bush in my bathers, towel over my shoulder, thongs slapping, dunking myself in various pools of differing temperatures, letting the soothing mineral springs take away the cares of the day was a lovely way to spend the rest of the afternoon.
Of the two places I loved the most - the hot pool at the top of the hill that had a view over the better part of the Mornington Peninsula was up there - a scorching 43 degrees, it was at that nearly-too-hot-bath temperature - I managed five minutes before going off in search of a cooler pool.
Just sitting in the warm pools, looking at the dimming light, listening to the bird song, lazing the day away - what more can you ask for. Despite the parade of semi-naked people from every corner of the globe, the centre has an eerie peace to it. I reckon it would be fantastic to go there on a cold, rainy winter's night.
The other place that blew my mind was the recently constructed Hammam complex. Being a huge fan of Turkish baths, I went into the steamy, marble building and just sat. Memories of Granada and time in the Hammam there there came flooding back. I'd go back there tomorrow just for this. (But the way, the background shot of this blog is of the roof of the Hammam at the Alhambra in Granada - the one at the Rye Springs is nowhere near as fancy or old, but it still brought back memories.)
After a turn in the sauna, a quick dip in the cold plunge pool, I showered, changed and made my way home.
Now, I'm just relaxed, a bit tired and my skin feels incredible. Such is the joy of mineral springs. If you're down that way, make a point of dropping in. It's so worth it.
Days really don't get much better than this.
If I pull off the prediction that France will win the Rugby World Cup by two or three points tomorrow, well that will make for a stellar weekend. (I got the Australia result and the spread right - but I'm not sure I have this one on the money)
But we can't ask for too much more.
The only thing that would have made this day even better would be if somebody was here to share it with me.
Ice cream free days: 1
Waiting for the Moon
Peace arrives over a blackened beach
Where darkening waters undulate
A song so silent
Only the sand can understand
The rhythms of the timeless Godless sea.
The first star dares to shine show it's face
As it gently pierces the sheen
Of the velvet silk of the sky.
"I am Venus!" she cries,
Waiting for someone to notice her glory.
Other stars shyly follow her lead,
Behind the deepening blue,
Before standing it's ground
And waiting to be counted by the world.
So you sit, and wait, for the moon,
On this black and silent beach,
Searching the horizon,
For the first signs of life, of light.
Wondering if your wait will be worth it.