Remote Beauty and Quietude (No 24: Eleanor – 3 February 2013)

It’s time to fill in the gap in this blog. I visited beaches 24 -28, Eleanor to Flat Rock, in late summer/early autumn of 2013. These were to prove the dying days of my marriage. At the time I hadn’t realised that cowardice and silence were eating cancerously at our relationship – his fear of saying what was going on in his heart and mind, my fear of asking. It all seems kind of obvious now, as these things do.  It’s taken me a while to get to the place where I can work with these words and photos – and …

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A Warm Spring Dip in the Middle Harbour – No 23: Edwards (11 November 2012)

Somehow this beach went missing … even though it was written up and the photos were edited, ah well. Here it is now. It’s funny how a project designed to get me to the beach more often has sort of fallen away.  Here it is autumn already and we’ve only been to two beaches this summer and I’ve posted neither of them until now.  In part the weather is to blame – as it hasn’t been inviting.  And travel – not a bad thing at all, of course – but our having travelled to Korea, Japan and China this January …

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No 22: Delwood Beach – 11 March 2012

I’ve been a bad blogger.  Our visit to Delwood Beach not only seems ages ago but was, in fact, ages ago.  The couple whose engagement party we attended in Manly on the Saturday night have since wed and are expecting their first child. It was an unexpected almost-weekend away. The engagement party was at the rowing club on Manly Cove on a bright, sea-sparkly, Saturday afternoon into evening. We had ridden our bicycles to Manly – no small thing at 27 kilometres (nearly 17 miles) and having forgotten just how hilly North Sydney is.  The feat impressed our friends and …

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No 21: Dee Why Beach — 5 February 2012

A more-or-less perfect beach day was predicted for Sunday: mostly sunny and 28 degrees.  Although I was spending Thursday and Friday in Canberra at a bicycle tourism conference I put out a call for at least one beach-goer to join us.  We had reached 21 and would need a hand to make it work. Things didn’t look good, we’d received a lot of regretful ‘no’s.  Then a twinkle of hope on Saturday from L1 and another from Dave M.  The day dawned perfect — sunny, warm – like Sydney’s entire summer had come at once.  L1 bailed but Dave was …

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No 20: Currawong Beach – 29 January 2012

Leaving home at 10:28am we encounter the first of several instances of good public transport karma the 400 is at the previous stop when we arrive at Burwood Road.  We run up the steps as the train pulls in to Burwood Station, wait a few minutes for the L90 and arrive at Palm Beach at 12:28.  I love that Sydney’s public transport system, somewhat faulty as it is, reaches so far and wide. Once the bus turns off Pittwater Road – which, as an extension of Military Rd is like other Sydney arterials with real estate agents, kebab shops and …

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No 19: Curl Curl Beach – 1 January 2012

Friends came along on New Year’s Day to beach number 19, Curl Curl. Per Wikipedia: The name Curl Curl appears to be the original Aboriginal name for the larger area of Manly Vale, Freshwater, Queenscliff. The name Curl Curl may have been derived from the Aboriginal phrase curial curial, meaning river of life. We took the train to the city, collected Erin and her car and headed for the beach.  As with Cronulla we again hadn’t properly consulted the map before setting out and so managed to fly well past Curl Curl before realising our mistake.  The traffic, by the way, was utterly shitful. Curl Curl is 28.5km/17.7mi from our home. Arriving we …

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No 18: Cronulla Beach – 18 December 2011

We began our visit to Cronulla at Ham Harry & Mario where we had their breakfast plate: kind of a European deli take on the Australian big breakfast: prosciutto, avocado, sliced tomato, ricotta, boiled egg and good sourdough toast with a drizzle of olive oil over the lot. Tasty, filling and just a little bit different.  Coffees were good; service was fine given the busyness of the hour. We’ve visited Cronulla once before in this project for beach number five, Blackwoods, back in March 2010.  Today we were visiting the main Cronulla beach and, as with Coogee a few weeks ago, we found it crawling …

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No 17: Coogee Beach – 20 November 2011

We have visited the 17th beach, Coogee, to officially get the 2011/12 beach going season under way. We’re in the midst of the chaos of moving houses but I thought it important and worthwhile to breathe salty air, feel the sand in our toes, watch waves rolling in from the South Pacific and, as it turned out, bear witness to thousands of nippers participating in a surf carnival. For the non-Australians amongst you, or those not fully literate in Australian culture – nippers are children, specifically children participating in Surf Life Saving.  Surf Life Saving Clubs have been responsible for much of …

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BBQ Brekky, Bowls & Cricket – Not a Beach: 30 October 2011

It began inauspiciously but developed into a nearly perfect Sydney Spring Sunday.  Rain was falling at the appointed hour of departure but in the nature of plans made for Sunday morning by the time we rolled away on our bicycles it was more like midday.  By then the sun was shining.  Its heat had a summer bite but in the shade it was still jumper-cool. When Mitch, Mac and I arrived at St Leonards Park we found Erin threatening to mobilise her Twitterverse behind an #OccupyBarbeque movement.  A gaggle of parents and costumed toddlers had commandeered the only public barbecue in the …

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No 12: Clontarf Beach – 5 February 2011

Per Wikipedia the suburb of Clontarf is named after a district in Dublin, Ireland. But far more interestingly this beach, in 1868, was site of Australia’s first attempted political assassination. Henry James O’Farrell, an alcoholic recently released from a lunatic asylum, shot Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh – second son of Queen Victoria – in the back. The Prince survived, most colonists were embarrassed and outraged (and took it out on the Irish as expected). A hospital was opened to memorialise the drama. Thus: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. One hundred and forty-three years later there seems to be some drama around dog poo. Clean up after …

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