Rocks, Excitement and Debris

Summer time in Australia is hot and most people gravitate towards the beach or cool waterholes. However, many people are not aware of the dangers ,and we often hear of visitors to our shores drowning or being injured by sharks, stone-fish and poisonous sea animals. Rocks, rock-pools and seaweed debris are wonderful hiding places for these dangers, and often drownings happen because the oceans around Australia are strong and fierce and visitors are excited by the vastness of our shores. Here is a little story that shows that even Australians can be ignorant of the menaces in small and innocent looking pools found in the rocky edges of the sea.

Please remember, if you are interested in any of the books or paintings featured in my blog, please follow the links ( https://www.facebook.com/BooksByMaureenLarter ), (https://www.facebook.com/AlphabetanimalsofAustralia ), ( https://www.facebook.com/Sweetfields-Publisher ), or Direct Message me. Thank you.

The following painting, by Mykey (https://www.instagram.com/kwhyette ) , inspired the following short story.

Squidhands

A Day at the Beach.

The rocks felt warm under Toby’s feet as he carefully picked his way along the headland. His mother followed close behind, carrying the picnic basket.

Every now and again, Toby stopped and knelt down, looking at the pools of seawater trapped by the shallow formations of sand and grit. Then he bound away towards the next obstacle or two.

Eventually he stopped at a fairly deep pool that looked as if it had been there for a while. He called out to his Mum to come and look.

“See, Mum,” he said excitedly. “There are little fish and seaweed clumps hiding crabs and stuff!” His mother called out to be careful, but he grinned and submerged his hand in the water, watching as a couple of sea anemones closed up to avoid his prying fingertips.

A tiny crab scurried away and Toby tried to catch it. Then he saw another small sea animal that fascinated him. It looked like a baby octopus, and this time he managed to get it onto his hand.

He giggled.

“Oooh, Mum, this tickles,” he said, holding out the prized wriggling creature in both his hands to show it to her. It has pretty blue rings on it!”

Toby’s mother let out a squeal.

“Let it go!” she yelled, dropping the picnic basket in her haste to reach her son. “It’s poisonous!”

Toby frowned.

“But it’s so pretty!”

His mother reached him and flicked the octopus off of his hands and it fell back into the pool, hiding away immediately. Toby was not happy.

“But Mum…” he whined.

When she got her breath back, and felt her heart begin to beat normally, she said.

“That, my son, was a blue-ringed octopus, and is considered to be one of the most venomous marine species known to man. If it had bitten you, I would have no longer had a son!”

Raspberries, Equipment and Diets.

To follow on from my post last week, let’s talk more about diets.

We are bombarded by advice all the time. Diets have become a multi million dollar business.

But just what do you follow? Are you hoping to have a body of an eighteen year old, even though you may have had 3 children and have reached the ‘over the hill’ age?

I think it is about time to be realistic – blow raspberries (yes – I know – the real things are good for you) at all those yoyo dieters and gym junkies.raspberry

Now – I have nothing against exercise and good, healthy eating. But there is no need to go overboard.

Yes – the gym has a certain appeal, with it’s equipment and weights and bars – and healthy eating has it’s place, too. But …

It’s your friends birthday, and there is a birthday cake covered in luscious chocolate icing and accompanied by whipped cream as well as a very insistent friend smiling at you and begging you to have some. Now that’s exactly my point – have some! You don’t have to demolish the cake all by yourself in one sitting!

The secret, as far as I can see is my mother’s generation’s old adage – everything in moderation.

My mother even went so far as recommending that a dinner plate should have a little bit of as many colours as you can find. White from potatoes or turnip or rice, green from lettuce or broccoli or beans or peas, red from beetroot or tomatoes or capsicum, yellow from pumpkin or corn. You get the idea.

We always had a small dessert after dinner as well. Sugar was never overused in our house, and was not considered a health hazard.

The things we DID NOT have was soft drinks and junk food. Everything was cooked fresh.junkb

Weight was never a problem – and as you grew older, it was understood that your body changed and exercise was not so robust. I have been doing some research into the phenomenon of the ‘middle age and older’ body. It used to be called ‘middle-age spread‘. Women, in particular seem to take on a bigger boob, rotund tummy and larger backside shape.

Why?

It can’t be that we are all bad eaters and not exercisers. Well – I’ve found out that as we age our metabolism slows down – but we can do something about it! Matt Stone has done a lot of research into this particular problem – see his website –  http://180degreehealth.com – very interesting reading. Diet suddenly becomes a dirty word!

Let’s get back to a sensible outlook on our food and daily lives. Stressing constantly about what you eat and what you weigh is counterproductive. Consider that you can eat less, if you are overweight, but don’t starve yourself – it only makes the body confused and can be dangerous in the long run. And remember – getting tangled up in the diet mentality means you are only making someone else rich on your weaknesses and addictions.

That’s all from me about that now – I’ll get off my soapbox. Enjoy your life – let minor irritations go and learn from your mistakes but don’t let them rule your life. After all, to be blunt and scary – in a hundred years time no-one will even remember that you were worried and stressed.

In my next post, I’ll talk about gardens – our Earth seems to have been put on a diet too, and the soil is impoverished and needs food. What are your thoughts?

Till next week.

With Kindness

Maureen

Even dogs can experience stress – and it is no good for them, as well as for you and/or your Dotdogfrontchildren. Here is a story about Dorothy Dog who gets lost. The paperback to read to your children is available from me for AU$20 plus postage. Take a look at my facebook page and message me if you are interested. www.facebook.com/AlphabetanimalsofAustralia