Beach No 49: Manly – 10 December 2017

Summer has arrived and the beaches beckon. It’s a gorgeous, golden, shimmering day. There’s heat in the sun and cool in the shade. It feels, as it should, like early summer. I meet Aaron, Giancarlo, and Matthew for a late breakfast at Kansas City Shuffle in The Rocks. We eat, drink coffee, talk of politics, and life, and whatever else comes to mind – an enjoyable, engaged, all-in conversation. This was just the sort of thing I missed while I was travelling alone through France – this sort of free-flowing dialogue among people with enough in common to understand one another yet …

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No 31: Freshwater Beach – 5 January 2014

I would have posted Freshwater sooner but I got distracted by Duke Kahanamoku. Kahanamoku, a native-Hawaiian, Olympic swimming champion and sometime-movie star, is credited with introducing board surfing to Australia.  Australia without surfing is unimaginable; surfing culture is, to many, synonymous with Australian culture.  Board surfing surly would have arrived by another route but we can credit Duke for surfing starting when it did and where it did – Freshwater Beach, Christmas Eve, 1914. This from a report in The Daily Telegraph of 25 December 1914: Going out into the water some distance, the Hawaiian laid full length on the board, …

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No 30: Forty Baskets Beach – 28 December 2013

I’ve been to the beaches but not blogged about them.  It’s been quite a year for me.  Sundays the Beach was our project and now it is my project.  Change is hard and change is good. I’ve decided that counting the beaches with fingers is fun and worth doing when I can but failing to have sufficient numbers is no excuse for not going to the beach on a good beach day. So I’ll tell you about the latest beach, Forty Baskets, today, and fill in the missing beaches over time.  This season I will post the beaches as I …

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Ice Creams at Fairlight Beach (No 26 – 14 April 2013)

Writing about our visit to Fairlight Beach is an exercise of memory. If I wrote something at the time I’ve lost it and it’s now August 2014. April 2013 feels like a lifetime ago in so many ways but I do remember the day. It was hot. We had Mitch’s parents’ car while they were on holiday. We collected Sabra from her flat in Balmain and drove to Fairlight. We found a car park almost immediately. As we walked down to the beach Sabra’s then-fiancé-now-husband, Pietro, rang from Italy. They spoke in Italian and catching a few words I felt …

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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 15: Collins Beach – 5 March 2011

Collins Beach is in the Sydney Harbour National Park in Manly.  It’s a beach that seems like it should be quieter and more obscure than it is. You have to walk a ways to get to it, it’s not obvious from any roadway but it’s busy. Heaps of people! There were several big groups and many (seeming) tourists. I guess it’s on the maps handed out by local accommodation — it felt like it’s the “secret beach” for visitors if you know what I mean. There was an American couple set up near us, speaking loudly on their mobile phones — the guy …

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