Sorrento ROCK POOL

We spend a fair chunk of our time at the Sorrento Back Beach.

There’s a Surf Lifesaving Club – so it is relatively safe, when patrolled.

The rockpool is fabulous for jumping, and the surrounding area a low tide is AWESOME for exploring.


Each Nippers session is well run, and there are plenty of water safety personnel (including me – OH – and Madison as of last week!) to keep everyone safe. When the tide is low, the Nippers paddle out on their boards to the ‘lagoon’, and jump off the area surrounding Darby’s Rock.

Quite frankly – it’s all very civilised and a whole heap of fun!

It’s perfect for a spot of wave catching and boogie-boarding – even at dusk!

I also get to indulge in my passion of feeling the water and capturing the motion…

underwater photographyunderwater photographyunderwater photographyunderwater photography

It’s a WIN WIN!




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top tips for running away

So. My biggest little person ran away A FEW MONTHS AGO.


I never ran away.

She must get it from her father.

Apparently I was so scary as a parent, that she needed to tell me a lie about her upcoming saxophone exam. The one that she had previously completed a few days prior without telling me. The one that she told me was in a few days time. THEN she told me she had already sat it.

WHAT? I just can’t even make this stuff up!

Seriously. You would rather tell me a lie than face up to an unpcoming exam without practice? If she thought I was scary prior to the lie – well. No wonder she ‘ran away’ after!

Actually – I was speechless. Almost apoplectic (I have totally always wanted to use that word!).

Anyway, off she went. Whilst I was on the phone to her sax teacher. She thought I was talking to Wilbur – which apparently is very scary.

I look around, maybe fifteen minutes later, and do a quick head count. 3/4 children present. Other one not in usual ‘stealth mode spots’. Bike still in shed.

Check ‘find my phone’. There she is. Let up a silent prayer for Steve Jobs.

Jump in car and retrieve sobbing, hot mess of a child. That’s what she is. Still a child.

I envelope her in a bear hug.

Then I bombard her with running away advice, should she choose to do so again SO HELP ME GOD I WILL SPIFLOCATE HER IF SHE DOES.

  1. Take your bike. Safer than slowly roaming streets – and you will get further.
  2. Wear a helmet. Or a hat. Sun protection.
  3. Take water.
  4. Take mobile phone. (Thank-you Steve Jobs for your foresight)
  5. Wear sensible shoes

This parenting gig is tough work. Being the eldest of four is tough work.

She turned 14 on the 8th January – something tells me I need to prepare for more of this sort of thing….. FROM HER SISTERS!

Thank goodness loving is not hard work at all.

Tell me – did you ever run away?

Have you any top tips for running away?


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the perfect 7th birthday

Milla had her 7th birthday on the 21st December. I KNOW – where did the time go?!

As it was the first day of school holidays, she opted to go into Melbourne to view the Myer Christmas windows (an iconic Melbourne feature), with the promise of Grill’d (a family favourite) for lunch.
The train trip is always a treat, and alighting at the bustling Flinders Street Station was a shock to ALL of the senses!

The Myer Christmas windows were not too bad this year – we arrived fairly early, so didn’t have to wait too long.

The next item on the list were ‘personalised Barbies’, I KNOW! Who knew. We wondered through the expansive Myer and up into the very posh lift – the girls’ eyes were agog! As well as personalising a Barbie each – we got to be our own version of Barbie….

A leisurely stroll through the Christmas Emproium and Melbourne laneways, saw us arrive at Grill’d for lunch.

We sent Wilbur a text message along the lines of – “we need you here – there are left-overs!”.
By this time, the girls were fading slightly, so under the guide of heading back to the Station, I took the long way via Southgate, and the National Gallery of Victoria.

We checked out the very fabulous Victor&Rolf for kids, where we created fashion with paper, and had a load of fun poosing in the black and white diaramas!

We stared up at the glorious roof, got lost in a mirror maze and participated in the Lee Mengwei MOVING GARDEN exhibition.

Of course, we HAD to check out the KYLIE exhibition next door at the Arts Centre….. (no gold hot pants available for viewing!)

It was well and truly time to gather up and go home!

We have some very glorious friends who have taken it upon themselves to create a cak for Milla’s birthday EVERY year (they also make one for Madison too!). This year was a mermaid theme – which is very fitting for the young fish…

A VERY Happy Birthday to our little CAPSLOCK – she is truly a one of a kind gem!


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Clark Christmas snippets

We keep Christmas fairly low-key. No real need to go very far, just to Nanna & Pa’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunch.

This year, we decided to do Christmas Eve Eve. I was busting to cook my Christmas ham (is there anything better!).


As we were travelling to Nanna&Pas – we figured we may as well open a couple of gifts prior, so we didn’t have to take them with us! WIN WIN!


Every man needs his OWN jar of Nutella!


Wilbur was incredibly proud of his gift for me – he somehow created it himself with the help of a workmate…

The unicorn was a popular gift this year (according to my various social media feeds), but possibly not so popular with the blower-upperers!


Murph scored herself a fairly dubious ‘donut maker’ – perfect dipped in Nutella!


Of course – time for the post-Christmas Eve Eve celebrations nap….


On Christmas Eve, we headed to Nanna&Pa’s house, and after a horrendous sleep (thanks to a combination of heat, excited children and heat), we celebrated with more presents, a walk to the park, and Christmas lunch.


Someone gave Milla a selfie-stick…… so i found a large selection on my phone!


The 2.5hr trip home was HOT. HOT and grumpy.

The rest of our day was spent lazing about, playing with toys and enjoying each others’ company, all washed down with the perfect Christmas dinner!


Merry Christmas from the Clark gang to you all, and we hope you had a fabulous time with your families and loved ones.

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we wish you a Merry Christmas

Every year I think “I must write a Christmas card (or ten)”. I never do. Which explains why we receive just one card a year – from faithful Nanna and Pa. Thanks Nanna and Pa, love your work.

So – our Christmas wrap-up has either been non-existent or digital – see previous (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 – not entirely sure what happened to 2014; 2015 was surrounded in crisis and scandal – so I never got to it!).

A couple of years ago, I very looselyadapted a familiar Christmas carol, and came across it via the fabulous Facebook ‘memories’ (love a good memory!) I figured I may as well do it again, so here it is – our 2016 Christmas wrap-up!


We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



We’ve had the best year yet,

We had no major traumas,

We didn’t lose any limbs,

And we’re all still in one piece.



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



Madison finished Year Eight,

And snagged herself an academic award, (maybe her name was pulled out of a hat?!)

She rep’d her school in all the sport,

And is a gorgeously splendid girl.



She’s off to outdoor prison camp,

Next year, for Term One,

She’ll blossom and become all grown up.

And finally find her tribe of friends.



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



Mackenzie got through Year Five,

With lots of ups and downs,

She also snagged an excellence award,

And is loved by ALL who meet her.



She tends to her veggie patch,

And shares her produce ‘round,

She keeps on keeping on,

And for that we are so proud.



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



Murph pranced her way through Year 3,

She is still headstrong and super stubborn,

She’s a princess in the making,

With a devilish cheeky grin.



She lives for pasta night,

And carb loads like an athlete,

Loves tickles and teasing Daddy,

But never kisses him on the lips! (you are too prickly Daddy!)



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



Milla just turned seven,

Her preferred clothing is only bathers,

She swims just like a little fish,

And has us all wrapped ’round her thumb. (STILL.)



She charmed her way through year One,

And believes in fairy magic,

Daddy can do no wrong,

We just wish she would wiperherownbum! ( OhMyGoshYES)



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



Wilbur has had his BEST year yet,

It’s amazing what a health/family crisis can do,

He’s now grog free and the best dad,

And a bloody good husband too. (except for when he thinks he is ALWAYS right!)



He works hard at the Farm,

Comes home covered in poo, and fresh eggs in tow,

He loves his girls with all his soul,

And can demolish chocolate like a bear.



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



Kylie is finally a Real Nurse,

She’s an expert band-aid applicator,

She starts her Grad year at the Children’s,

And will conquer her Honours next year too!



She still crossfits, ‘photos’ and blogs,

And cooks, and bakes and runs.

She loves her gang of girls,

And her Wilbur is still the ONE! (only just!)



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.



We are still living in a box,

That single toilet is a nightmare, and the oven doesn’t work.

We are lucky Wilbur loves his BBQ,

And that he’s a collector of stray gas bottles! (TEN to be exact!)



And with that we end another year,

Full of love, laughs and lots of tears,

We look forward to seeing you all,

And giving each of you a hug! (virtually or otherwise!)



We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year.






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off to see a man about a dog

Otherwise known as

never volunteer your husband for the BBQ

Let me set the scene for you.

It’s Sunday. Nippers day. We are at the front beach – it’s calm, somewhat warm and the excited voices of Nippers can be heard.

Wilbur is getting his BBQ on. He has volunteered to run the post-Nipper session BBQ this season. He is in his element. Sausages, gas bottles, BBQs. Need I say more. That man has a BBQ affinity like no other.

I am in the water, resplendent in fluoro orange top. Water safety (only where there are no waves) extraordinnaire. It’s a little like herding wet kittens. I am busy. There are lives in my hands.

Wilbur gesticulates from the shore, and I leave my post thinking something must be (150m away) awry. Maybe he’s out of gas (surely not – a man with ten gas bottles cannot ‘run out’). Maybe Milla has impaled herself – so demanding were his arm movements.

“You want one?”, I hear.

Huh. No. I do not want a sausage thankyouverymuch.

He continues to gesticulate, so I advance. Sighing.

I get closer.

“You want one?”

I nod YES resignedly. So caring of him to want to give me a snag in bread.

Then I get closer and realise what I actually agreed to.

“You want a dog?”

Lucky I didn’t say “yes please – I’ll have two”.

Yep. My husband met a man on a beach, fell in love with a puppy and promptly named him Bruce (actually – I named him – that was the condition).

The word spread like wildfire.

“What?! – Wilbur got a dog from a man on the beach!”

“Hey Kyles – I hear Wilbur got a dog from some

bloke on the beach”.

And so on.

So. Meet Bruce-bean the American bulldog.

Wilbur went home and researched him. It seems he is now the proud owner of the male dog version of his daughters –

Emotionally fragile. Needs good strong pack leader. Needs stimulation or will lie around indoors bored playing on chewing iDevicesMay jump high fences. Needs constant activity or will nag you for attention.


Keep up with me here @brucebeanthebulldog!

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