Broken Bay Writers – Stories of NSW Central Coast and beyond

Scribbles on life, the universe and everything… Woy Woy, Ettalong, Umina and teh Central Coast that is!

Tag Archives: swimming

Four Days in the Life of…

Four days in the life of Al & Judy… BUSY! Here’s a snapshot of the last four days, you can then judge for yourself whether we live a busy life or what!

Saturday, we have company. They actually arrived Friday night. The morning starts in a typically Aussie way, coffee and in our house, trivia from the Sydney Morning Herald. This mornings trivia is about Australia as Australia day is on Tuesday. Al aced it! Not only is he a trivia buff, he is very knowledgeable about his country.

This lazy morning was followed by a swim on the beach with Stef and Steffani. The water was great. I also had the luxury of sitting in our beach tent while I viewed life through the eyes of seven year old (Steffani). This not only meant playing in the water, but also building a duck pond at waters edge for the gaggle of ducks who kept swimming by. The ducks weren’t impressed with the makeshift pond, but I was. I think the ducks would have much rathered a couple of slices of bread to impress them, but Steffani had other ideas. Her grand plan of the duck pond only managed to attract… Al! What a great Godfather he is.

Saturday night was dinner and entertainment at Lizottes, a local eatery that has good food and great entertainment. This Saturday was a treat for us because Al and Stef’s friends The Robbo’s were playing. Check them out at http://www.robertsonbrothers.com.au. Al has known them for many years which makes it even nicer to listen to their toe tapping music. We even danced, which is quite a feat since it is a restaurant. Al & I are so shy!

Sunday was a nice relaxing day spent walking on the beach, going to the markets and then a drive to Patonga for coffee on the waterfront, which is silly because it is waterfront everywhere you go on the Peninsula (where we live), but Patonga is “different” waterfront!

Monday morning, company is gone, it’s early and Al and I are golfing at Peats Ridge. The weather was beautiful. When I say the weather was beautiful, it means overcast and warm. Perfect golfing weather for me. We have recently joined a golf “club” which entitles us to inexpensive (a nice way of saying cheap) golfing at many courses, some of which are very near to us. Peats Ridge is only a half hour away and turns out to be a nice challenging course. More challenging perhaps because we haven’t golfed since we were in Vancouver last July. How do you say… rusty?!

We actually didn’t do nearly as bad as I thought we would. In fact for such a challenging course, we did pretty well. There are a lot of water hazards and sand traps, but the biggest hazard of all was the crow on the 17th hole! I was using a fluorescent yellow golf ball. I had just tee’d off with a great hit, when he (the crow) swooped down and stole my ball. I had even hollered at him to drop it, but he wasn’t having any of that. He flew into a tree with his new treasure. I had to drop a pink ball very near (I am sure) where my yellow ball had been and proceeded with another great swing! It was the kind of hit that keeps one playing this silly game. When all of a sudden, the crazy crow was back. I couldn’t imagine he would steal another ball, but that is exactly what he did! He took my pink ball!!! I played the rest of the hole and the last hole with a white ball. I wasn’t taking any more chances.

When we got back to the clubhouse, I mentioned the crow incident to the lady at the desk. “Oh, he’s back” she said. Turns out that he is a fairly regular thief at the course and does take white balls at times. Here I had thought it was only because I was using the coloured balls.

On our way home we stopped at a couple of roadside fruit and veg stands to pick up some yummy local produce. It is all sold on the honour system and if you happen to be out this way, well worth the drive!

Today (Tuesday) is Australia Day. This is the day that Australia comes out to party in a big way. The flags are flying, the beer is out and Australia is celebrating… Australia! The streets are filled with “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi! It should be the national anthem!

We were up early again, this time to ride with a motorcycle club that we have just recently joined, Ulysses. This club is in a nutshell, for old people or nutters who are old, whichever way you want to look at it.  You must be over 40 to be an junior member, and over 50 to be a full member. Al qualifies for full membership, I only qualify because I am his spouse (just had to add that).

This was our first ride with the club and my first ride with any motorcycle club. The ride was great, the people were nice, I look forward to getting to know them better.

I know what you are thinking, another club! We now belong to a business group, Toastmasters (of which Al is president), a golf club and the motorcycle club! In our spare time we kayak, write and snorkel. It’s enough to make one’s head spin.

In fact the thought of all these clubs has made me so faint (could be the heat also) that I think it is time to go for a swim before heading out with friends to the Australia Day celebrations and fireworks! And, that is four days in the life of Al & Judy, too much fun! Know of any good clubs to join? We’re in!

Water babies!

Summer in Australia produces a blend of beauty and terror in and around our beaches. Killer sharks, lethal jellyfish and the dangers of an environment that is now inhospitable to humans – perhaps we should never have left the sea in the first place.

Australian summer is a cocktail of a hot climate, beautiful beaches and warm, clear ocean waters. When the mercury climbs on a balmy antipodean summers day, there can only be one thought, “to the beach!” Well, and a cooling beverage, the occasional frothy, sparkling brown wine.

My lovely partner, Kitty, and I love the water. We both grew up with it. For Kitty, she would be in the water as often as possible. In the chilly waters of Canada, this was not always possible so she had to be content with holiday swims. However, she grew up in a place only accessible by water; being on and around the water was part of her daily life. I grew up south of Sydney, I was on and in the water constantly.

When Kitty moved to Australia, her one thought was to spend as much time in the water as possible. Despite her love of water, the risks of things that will kill you in Australia made her a little concerned. She read Bill Bryson‘s “A Sunburned Country” on the way over. Bryson’s famous quote “Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else” seemed to have an impact on her, as you would expect. I’m sure the first time I took her swimming in the ocean she was seeing the shadows of lethal mammals all around us.

More than two years since Kitty first visited downunder, she is now a devotee of the surf, swimming and now, since Santa gave her snorkeling gear, taking a look under the water. This too brings a renewal of concern of scary Aussies, other than those hanging outside the pub. Last week we went snorkelling at The Haven in Terrigal. We went right our along a rock reef and saw lots of things. One special moment was when a black stingray about one meter across gracefully flapped along the sandy bottom right below me.

Kitty is such a water person and I love our water adventures. I am so impressed with the way she has taken to our deadly seas. She shoots waves like a veteran, occasionally ending up staggering out of the water with her bikini top wrapped around her face. She goes snorkeling confidently, despite wallowing like a beached seal with flippers in the air (not quite like the woman in “Along came Polly“). Taking life by the horns and giving it a solid shake!

From hardy Canuck growing up in a remote and beautiful coastal settlement to Aussie beach babe and big city shopper! Thats my girl!