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Andrew Pollock


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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day 30, A full day on Coochie

Last night went pretty well. Once I got Zoe to sleep, she slept well, with only a brief wake up around 2am. Any mosquito bites she sustained didn't seem to give her any grief. She woke this morning at 6am. It makes me think the blackout curtains at home aren't really contributing to her sleeping in.

We had a lazy start to the day. Zoe watched some TV after breakfast, and after I had a shower, fed some bread crusts to the chickens and then we played with the box of dress up costumes for a little while.

After that, we jumped on the bike and went down to check out the trademark of Quirky Cottages, a bunch of converted rail cars and "zoo". There were chickens, geese, guinea pigs, a sheep and a donkey. The rail cars weren't anything much to phone home about (much like the Cow House). In fact the whole affair looked a bit dilapidated.

Then we continued on the bike down to the local playground, where Zoe had a swing for a bit. We walked over to the jetty and watched the passenger ferry arrive, and then bought a loaf of bread at the store and biked back to the house.

It was too early to have lunch, so we just pottered around in the yard. We inspected the chicken coop, and Zoe played on the swings and swung from the rope swing. We tried and failed to catch a chicken, because Zoe wanted me to pick one up.

We had lunch, and then Zoe had some fabulous self-directed imaginative play indoors with the various props the house had to offer, while I put my feet up. Then she declared she wanted to take a nap anyway.

After her nap, I wanted to go back to the beach. I'd gotten myself all organised so that we could try and jump on the bike as soon as possible once Zoe woke up, but there was the requisite amount of stuffing around. I'd put Zoe's water shoes on, so she could ride in the trailer in her swim gear ready to go, but she had a mosquito bite on her foot that was giving her grief, so I cut my losses, and took the water shoes off and put her sandals back on, and promptly left the water shoes behind. We got all the way to the beach before I realised, and so we had to go back and get them.

Once we finally made it back to the beach, I chose a different location than yesterday, just so we would not have any memories of the mud crab incident to deal with. It turned out to be a good choice, because we had a fabulous time exploring.

The tide was even lower than yesterday, and the water was a bit silty, so we didn't do much paddling around in it, instead we explored the rock pools.

We found some tiny (1 centimetre and smaller) hermit crabs. These didn't seem to freak Zoe out, and she was even prepared to hold them. We saw some really small mud crabs. Once we were still for a little while heaps of soldier crabs started coming out, right near us. That was pretty cool.

On the walk back to the bike, I found a crab claw on the beach, so Zoe got to take that as souvenir. I showed her how the claw opened and closed. I think we'll have to eat a crab in the near future, just so she can get a good look at one up close.

I most liked how as the excursion progressed, Zoe became more and more confident with the rocks and the tide pools. Initially she was apprehensive of everything, but starting with the soldier crabs, she'd become more and more comfortable with everything. I'd poke at stuff, she'd poke at stuff. It finished with her being comfortable wandering off to explore on her own.

We got home, Zoe had a shower and then I made dinner while she watched TV. We read some stories and so far bedtime appears to have gone pretty smoothly, which is good. I'm feeling quite exhausted. Tomorrow morning we have to pack everything up and be on the 9am barge out of here so we can race home, and repack to fly down to Melbourne for the weekend.

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