Bronte Beach

The 11th Beach of Christmas…Beautiful Bronte in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Bronte Beach P1030006

Bronte has long been a favourite beach of mine….and I’ll tell you why.

Christmas for me is a time of reflection, a time to stop and take stock of the year that has been. This process can cause a range of emotions to surface…joy, sadness, anger, frustration…as you look back over the events of the past 365 days, and often wonder in pure amazement how you survived!!

Bronte Beach has this effect on me…it always invites me to stop and reflect for it is a place I have frequented time and time again since moving to Sydney in 2004.

Each time I visit a memory will come flooding back and catch me off guard, inducing a smile as I recall fun times spent on her shoreline, in her water.

As I paid my respects recently, knowing all too well that Bronte would be the 11th Beach of Christmas,I recalled a hot summer’s day in 2005, when I was living in Sydney’s Inner West suburb of Leichhardt.A hot summers day and Sydney’s Inner West is a less than perfect combination. A beach girl at heart, whenever the summer sun is out, I just have to be by the se…the concrete jungle does not agree with me.

My mint green Honda Civic sans air conditioning, took the hour long car ride to Bronte Beach that day…and 14 minutes into the journey I soon realised all 4 million Sydney siders had the same idea.

Arriving at the beach, drenched in sweat, I dragged myself to towards the sea…I dumped my towel, and headed into the water, my dream of a solitary seaside dip was not to be…yet I did not care…I was at Bronte Beach, I was in the water ( with one million others) and all was good, great, wonderful, perfect.

Fast forward to 2012, and 8 years on I find myself living only 5 minutes drive from Bronte Beach. I am spoilt for choice as to which Sydney Beach I might take myself to for a summer dip. Yet time and time again, I find myself back where it all started…Bronte.

Bronte, a nostalgic choice for the 11th Beach of Christmas…time to get cracking on the campaign…Only 12 days remaining in the year, so please excuse me whilst I get my swimmers on and start the car engine xx

Callala Beach

Callala Beach

Callala Beach

Its time to kick-start the 12 Beaches of Christmas Campaign….so without further ado…Beach number twelve – Callala Beach, on the NSW South Coast.

As a young girl, aged 5 my parents took me to Callala Bay for summer holidays. I have strong memories of the beach side shack we stayed in, which resembled a garage. It was made out of fibro with no hot water. I recall taking a bath in the kitchen in a bucket of water ( but that could be a fabrication!)

But who needs hot water, or a bathroom when you holiday accommodation is waterfront….the ocean becomes your bath tub in summer…And Callala Beach is perfect for a good summer soak!

The first swim of summer 2012 was taken at Callala Beach, when I visited my friend Colleen, who recently became a full-time resident of the Callala Bay community. I feel so lucky to have a friend who calls this part of the world home. As I took my first swim, I took time to scan the shore line, looking for the holiday shack I had stayed in as a youngster.

It was nowhere to be seen, replaced by double story seaside mansions, the passing of time has brought change to Callala Bay, holiday homes with bathrooms and lots of hot water!

But my memories of this sleepy seaside town remain unchanged…circa 1983, when our family set up camp in the garage for some summer time fun….My little brother would turn two on the vacation…But my parents had not factored this into our holiday.

I remember the panic and dismay as Mum and Dad tried to come up with a festive plan to herald in the occasion. I thought it was funny. My brother…he remained blissfully unaware that all the raised voices of the  ‘ How could we forget’ variety were centered around him.

Nothing a quick trip to Nowra Fair couldn’t fix, and the purchasing of a Fisher-Price helicopter toy and a sponge cake enabling the carrot haired infant to register he was indeed another year older!!

Ah, Callala Beach, Callala Bay….you hold a special place in my heart…and it is with a broad smile and light fingers as I tupe…that you are  hereby inducted into the 2012 12 Beaches of Christmas campaign.


Five Sentence Fiction : Devotion

Word Prompt: Devotion

A dear friend recently recommended I take time to watch the French film‘ Goodbye, First Love’

Of the film, I could not speak highly enough….so inspired by the movie and its achingly beautiful depiction of  first love, I wrote a short piece of fiction.

She loved him, loved him with her heart, loved him is much it hurt.

The love she felt consumed her, made her feel lost in thoughts of only him…it also made her angry, tired and irritable.

‘It’s the cross you have to bear ’ her Mother had said to her one day when she had confided that the love they shared was at times heavy,  a burden.

Yet whenever she felt overwhelmed by love, her adoration and devotion to him alone, she knew to think back to their first kiss.

In had taken place in  her Father’s rose garden, the flowers perfume had been intoxicating, and when they locked lips it was as if the world finally made sense….that first kiss had been a gift, it served as a reminder when her  heart ever had doubts, that the love she had found was one of  life’s true certainties.

12 Beaches of Christmas 2012

Disclosure: I wrote this post yesterday..when it was 12 days till Christmas…and then forgot to post it…Alas…only 11 days till the man in red visits…but my words below remain unchanged!!

Ready for Summer

Ready for Summer

It is fitting to post this entry today as it is in twelve days time St Nick will squeeze himself down chimneys across the globe, delivering presents to those who have behaved themselves during 2012.

Twelve days time….and while one might think my focus would have a self reflective theme – Have  I have been naughty or nice, good or bad…Ho, Ho, Ho…No, No, No…..My thought processes are consumed by a higher calling…the ocean and the myriad of beaches that line the NSW coastline…….For whilst it might be 12 days till Christmas, for me that means the annual 12 Beaches of Christmas Campaign must begin….Who will make the cut in 2012?? Which beach will kick start proceedings…which beach will take out top billings? Will it be the infamous Bondi Beach or little know Honeymoon Bay on the NSW South Coast?

Oh the suspense

Oh the elation as I stare down the barrel of the 12 day campaign ( which in truth will be stretched out till the 1st of January 2013…as seriously, in the peak of the Australian summer, there is no better place to be on New Years Day that beach side)

View from a beach towl at Callala Beach

View from a beach towel

If you have been reading my blog for the past 18 months…perhaps you joined me this time last year, as I explored the 12 Beaches of Christmas 2011. For those new to the idea, you can check out last years entries under the category ‘ Beaches’

Dear Readers, I know this campaign has the potential to divide the audience…Some face a Christmas in sub zero conditions, a Christmas were eating a turkey, complete with all the trimmings and sipping mulled wine makes sense….Not in Australia…whilst no doubt we will cook the traditional hot lunch, outside it will be as hot as the oven that prepares our food ( perhaps hotter)…the beach is our only hope of survival during the silly season.

So whether the Christmas period sees you wearing ear muffs, fur coat or bikini….join me in the celebration of all things summer, all things Australian as I document, one beach at a time, the truly joyous occasion that is a dip in the ocean. May these entries inspire those who reside in warmer climates to take to the ocean, and provide an escape for those who are snowed in, huddled around the fire places, that there are warmer days to come.

An Ode to Blondie

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

Blondie…one way or another….she was going to get me…and get me good!

Homebake 2012…the first music festival of the summer season in Sydney and my friend Sarah and I were there for one reason only….to see the lady with platinum blonde hair and listen to her string of hits which dominated airwaves in the late 70’s , early 80’s.

As Sarah and I sat in a bar in Surry Hills, we could hear the festival in the distance..the drum and bass, the squeals of festival goers of carnival rides…But we had other plans…We only really wanted to see the main act, and Ms Harry did not come on stage till 9.45pm…so naturally we decided to drink our way to the concert in the park!!

Over cocktails the conversation centered around our fear that we were indeed too OLD for Homebake….Both of us had been to this festival for the first time in the late 90’s,  and boy had times changed…Sarah had had to arrange a baby sitter for the day! We openly expressed fears at being OVER the festival HILL….

We both agreed, however, it was too late to turn back…we were headed in one direction…and that direction was HOMEBAKE 2012

Our fears were baseless….looking around at other patrons…we were actually on the younger side of old! It was refreshing…we ran into people who had been part of our earlier Homebake experiences…who reassured us it was cool to be part of the day, that Homebake was a ‘nostalgic festival’ of loyal followers…in short….the message we took on board was this-

‘ You are never to young or too old to enjoy a Homebake’

And who better than Ms Harry to reinforce this…At age 67, Blondie rocked and rolled with an effortless cool swagger….Sarah and I were caught up in a truly special moment as hit after hit filled the balmy night air….’ Heart of Glass’, ‘ One Wayr’ ‘ The Tide is High’…and my personal favourite ‘ Rapture’

So thank you Blondie, for reminding Sarah and I of our youth and the importance of setting aside time to do the things you love.

Above all thank you for reminding us both that once aquired, personal style, self belief and self confidence is never ages.

Five Sentence Fiction : Time

Word Prompt : TIME


Time…she could not work out whether she had too much of it or whether it was in short supply.

What she did know was that whatever time she had left, it would not be wasted.

She would no longer look back on the past, and lament at how she had spent her teenage years, her early twenties.

At the same time, she realised it was no good speculating about what the future had in store.

It was one of life’s most important lessons, to embrace the here and now, live in the moment, not the past, not the future….a life lesson she was finally ready take on board.

Five Sentence Fiction: Joy

Word Prompt: JOY

‘Joy to the World, the Lord has come…Let earth receive her King’

She could not bear it….carol season was in full swing and the neighbourhood choir was on her doorstep, spreading Christmas cheer and good will in song form.

She wanted none of it…as far as she was concerned Christmas could be cancelled…it had been a dog of a year.

She poured herself another glass of Shiraz and walked over to the stereo system, looking intently at her record collection for something that would drown out the noise of the god awful choir.

The wise words of Johnny Cash soon bellowed about the living room, blocking out the carol singers who had moved onto a spirited yet out of tune version of ‘ Silent Night’…she turned the volume up a notch and put everything she had into singing along with Mr Cash ‘ Till things are brighter…I’m the man in black’

p.s I would also like to say Happy Silly season to all the Five Sentence Fiction crew…being part of this online writing group has brought me great JOY in 2012….and I look forward to sharing stories into 2013 and beyond. Xxx

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