I have just arrived home, nerves afire, wide-eyed and bone-shaking after the scariest drive of my life.
Up the Eastern Beach, in the seaspray dark, on a rapidly incoming tide, the black ocean licking our wheels, invisible drop-offs at our side, the creeks surging around us and the soft, wet sand dissolving beneath us, threatening to swallow us if we don't keep moving.
Me at the wheel, my first real dark, dark night drive, because I missed a boat (but got lucky - there was an extra return today!) and need to get home.
And in the dark, it's an inexact science of tide heights, times, beach and weather conditions and a fair thwhack of guesswork.
I was lucky to have K on the radio at home talking me through it.
When we finally arrived home, there were chunks of sand in the wheels.
Nobody really gets the impossibility of living in this beautiful, crazy outpost.
What it takes.
A 12-hour return trip for a blood test (me today) // emergency physio (K yesterday). With little down time, because it's also a chance to replace the number plates that were stolen. And find screws to fit. After you call the RACQ to get the car-that-won't-start going, and convince them you're legit despite the lack of number plates and our failure to update our details when we replaced the plates six months ago - oops. Throw in a police chase because you're driving (without number plates) to catch a boat. Add some serious pain. Yep, K is having a really awful birthday week.
Can you tell we've had two really crap days involving two separate, trying, perilous pilgrimages to the mainland?
We're lucky, so lucky to live where we do.
But sometimes, it just bloody does our heads in.
We watch sunsets soak their watercolour glow into complete horizons.
There is sand through our house and often in the bed.
Our small boy chases pelicans and dabbles on the shoreline.
Our cars are being eaten alive by rust.
We don't come within a credit card zap zone of a shop for a month.
But then spend several whole days doing nothing but.
We don't have to deal with traffic or pollution - except after a storm when we get half of south-east-Asia's rubbish on our eastern shore.
But don't have playgroups or playgrounds, doctors or libraries, supermarkets or swimming lessons.
I am so lucky to be able to mix paid work and child-raising comparatively seamlessly, mostly without commute and with the flexibility to be there when I am needed.
Did I mention there is often sand in my bed?
I yearn for a simpler life, yet this life less ordinary is complicated.
And I am so, so happy to be home.