Last shake of autumn

It's the last official day of autumn. I've heard a few people say that Melbourne has four true seasons, and I'm starting to understand why. Autumn here is spectacular. Huge drifts of leaves banked up on the curbs, parks sparkling red, and gold with emerald green grass. On sunny days, the colours are offset against a cornflower blue sky and well - it's pretty spectacular.

Autumn is fading along with it's glorious leaves, and tomorrow is the start of winter. I've heard it's going to be 3 degrees. We're ready. I think.

We celebrated autumn in style this year. Family reunions, a drive into the mountains, and park play dates.

My mom's only sister has lived in New Zealand for the past twenty or so years. In all that time, they've only seen each other a handful of times. In December, I met my aunt and uncle in Melbourne on a sunny Sunday morning when their cruise ship docked in the port. We walked along the beach, had tea and fruit toast, I locked the keys in my car and had to ask a tattooed stranger to smash the window with a tyre iron (a story for another day) - and we hatched a plan. My aunt and uncle would fly over to Melbourne, I'd sneak them up to the apartment, we'd think of some way to get my mom to open the door, and then - surprise! It all went exactly to plan. The reunion happened in the entry way of our apartment. The shock! The tears! The hugging and crying and laughing. I watched them, engraving it all on my memory. This small apartment breathed laughter through it's walls for an entire week. Six of us shared a tiny bathroom, Immy and I slept top to tail in her single bed, my aunt and uncle lived out of their suitcases and we couldn't have been happier.

My uncle could only stay for a few days, and I didn't manage to get any pictures of him. But the day after he flew home, we headed to Fitzroy Gardens for a lazy Sunday morning poking through Cook's Cottage (so tiny!) and admiring the scenery.

 The smiles in these photos though.

 photo IMG_8175_zpscwtuxfvo.jpg

 photo IMG_8133_zpsuvxndtxm.jpg

 photo IMG_8279_zpsivmmp4qi.jpg

 photo IMG_8253_zpsinlwdk8h.jpg

 photo IMG_8229_zpslvhjnupk.jpg

 photo IMG_8154_zps9h5arrmh.jpg

 photo IMG_8148_zpsi8xyushc.jpg

 photo IMG_8132_zpsglahu3xj.jpg

 photo IMG_8284_zpspmmab5hc.jpg

 photo IMG_8288_zps6qs0xl1g.jpg

Immy wasn't with us that day, but she's been enjoying autumn in her own way. Play dates in our local parks, with two of her besties.

 photo IMG_5614_zpsynbfqyya.jpg

 photo IMG_5611_zpscxl32xnd.jpg

 photo IMG_5606_zps7gvutqjt.jpg

 photo IMG_6670_zpsuhp6cvmp.jpg

 photo IMG_6653_zpssakwevru.jpg

 photo IMG_6684_zpssh88f7ni.jpg

The play date with Sophie ended in tears. I felt like I was on the set of a movie, there was so much weeping and wailing and gnashing of milk teeth. They had a fight. Neither one wanted to say goodbye to the other. Sophie left with her mom, bawling. As soon as they were out of sight, Immy burst into  tears and ran - RAN- to catch up with her. I ran after her, and when I got to them, they were standing with their arms wrapped around each other, tears and snot faces pressed against each others' shoulders.  Sophie's mom and I smiled and rolled our eyes at each other because - seven year old girls.

The last day that my parents were here was a Wednesday. I took the day off work, and we drove into the Macedon Ranges because I wanted to take photographs of the beautiful autumn trees on Honour Avenue. I was too late. Rains had come and most of the leaves had fallen to the ground, so we drove a bit further and found our way to the Gardens of Tieve Tara.

So beautiful.
 photo IMG_6506_zpsgdjtjrel.jpg

 photo IMG_8406_zpsmomdmkgb.jpg

 photo IMG_8403_zpssbpozgc9.jpg

 photo IMG_8388_zpsbaqtq5ve.jpg

 photo IMG_8365_zpsjk30dyr4.jpg

 photo IMG_8350_zpsxrhnzqau.jpg

 photo IMG_8337_zpshdpuxoft.jpg

 photo IMG_6553_zpsegdts4yy.jpg

 photo IMG_8386_zps9fyw0hjz.jpg

I'm taking Immy back for a spring picnic in these gardens. Now though, we're gearing up for a trail ride on Saturday morning. She's so excited because she gets to ride her own horse, no-one leading it by the bridle, out into the wild.

Oh! and last thing. Her and I? We're like two little old people at bedtime. Propped up on pillows, books in hand, glasses of water on the bedside table. Quietly reading before lights out. It's my new favourite thing.

Goodbye autumn. You've been a beauty.

 photo IMG_8366_zps0zcuomty.jpg


Dad said…
Ahhh My Darling Girl, yet another beautifully written post, such sublime English and sparkling similes accompanied with such lovely photographs. Just brought back all the deeply etched memories of our delightful and most special holiday with you in Melbourne. (To be honest it brought a waterfall of tears to my eyes). Such a wonderful visit in such a beautiful city with its glorious surrounds.

On another note, I see there were 59 blogs in 2013 and they have dwindled to merely 6 so far in 2017. I am just saying we love your blogs and many more will be so welcome, so get to it :-) .

We miss you and Immy so much that every post makes us happy, even if we weep because of our love for you and we miss our little two girls very keenly.

Love you much, Dad