Neilsen Park

The 9th Beach of Christmas…..

What better way is their to farewell the last 365 days of 2013 than with an early morning beach swim.

The 31st of December provided that opportunity, and their could be no other beach possible of cleansing the toxins, the tears and reinforcing the joy and wonder that was 2013 than Neilsen Park.

A swimming spot nestled in Sydney Harbour, clear ocean water, soothing and cool, a swim the perfect way to honour the year that was.

With another bestie in tow, Ms Steph Lee ( a finer beach companion one would struggle to find) we frolicked, giggled, laughed and lamented as we gazed out to sea, unsure of what the New Year had in store for us…..but certain that was ever was around the corner, it was nothing we could not handle.

Neilen Park has always held a special place in my heart, yesterday’s outing further cemented my love of this inner city oasis.



Balmoral Beach

As the year draws to a close, I am slowly coming to the realisation that a person truly feels invigorated by trying something new.

So a new beach discovery….. I present the 10th Beach of Christmas- Balmoral Beach on Sydney’s North Shore.

photo 1Another life lesson I take from today’s outing…..Everything is better, more joyous went spent in the company of a good friend.

And so I present that friend, ever reliable beach companion, BFF and buddy on the crazy ride called life- Ms Kate Scott.

photo 3photo 2Sure the ocean was fabulous, the food at the Boat House on the Balmoral Pier sumptuous, the sky clear blue and the summer sun the perfect of temperatures, but without the gift of friendship….it would have a tad ordinary.

Balmoral Beach provided not only the perfect daytime outing, but a life lesson or two… to be happy with that!

Austinmer Beach Revisited

The 11th Beach of Christmas in my 2013 count down is none other than Austinmer Beach.

Austinmer, the place of my childhood, the sleepy suburb on the NSW south coast that represents all that is wonderful about summer.

Golden sand, surf, coconut oil and suncream, fish and chips with salt and lemon, coca cola and ice cream.

Sunburn, morning, noon and evening dips in the ocean and sea pools, beach hair and days spent in swimmers, a beach dress and thongs ( flip flops)

The smell of the ocean in the air, the electric hum of summer cicada’s, sea gulls and cockatoo’s circling above, clear blue sky’s during the day and the dark night sky, dotted with sparkling diamonds stars.

Why are the three girls below smiling?


They have spent a day at Austinmer beach…without a doubt, one of the Australia’s best beaches.

Beach 2


Five Sentence Fiction- Silver

The Christmas craziness was coming to an end.

Her husband was in the kitchen, washing the last of the wine glasses, she had fed the dog and the kids were silent, mesmerised by the tv….. Toy Story 2 was on the box.

Looking her watch, she didn’t have the heart to remind her children it was passed their bedtime, the rule book had been thrown out the window that day….they had both been up since 4am, curious to see what the man in red had left them under the tree.

She removed her apron, hung it over the dining room chair and walked into the lounge room, snuggling in bedside her youngest on the couch, who was doing his best to keep his eye lids from closing.

As his Mother’s hands rested upon his head, he whispered ” Mum…I love you so much….more than silver and gold…more than the presents Santa gave me’

Merry Christmas

Catch up with a Mate has been a bit quiet of late.

The 12 Beaches of Christmas Campaign launched with gusto on the 2nd of December has dwindled…There are still 11 Beaches to review and only 6 days left in December. In hindsight, I should have probably stated at the beginning of the month that the reviews would reach readers in a single post, rating the beaches 12 to 1 in 500 words or less. Watch this space…that post IS coming!!

But today, todays post is about Christmas…all that is wonderful about friends, family, food, festivities and tradition.

What would the 25th of December be in my family without catching up with the wonderful Lee clan over a ham sandwich and a rum ball or three. With the arrival of children, new traditions have been added…the reading of Christmas bedtime stories, discussions of the toys that Santa will bring and impromptu Christmas dancing in lounge rooms.

And the Boyle family lunch, more ham, bad Christmas jokes – ‘Why was the lettuce blushing?’ ‘Because he saw the salad dressing!’, champagne and gift giving.

And tonight I will partake in something new, I am heading over to a friend’s place to join in their traditional board game night. What wonder awaits?

Ah, the joy of Christmas, the weird, the wonderful and the downright ordinariness of it all….

Merry Christmas to one and all

Five Sentence Fiction – Alone

Her world was self created…dark, cold and barren.

She was sick of residing there….but the familiarity of this place had its hold….draped over her like a warm blanket on a cold winters night.

Oh how she wanted to leave, and how others wanted her to follow them, along the well trodden path towards a brighter place.

People she had passed on her journey¬†had offered her a map, a compass, even a free train ride….but she had declined all offers.

She knew she had to be the one to find her own path out of the darkness, no one could do it for her….slowly but surely she would emerge, she had done it before and would do it again.


I did not use the word ALONE, but I hope the message comes across. A quote I heard a friend say in 2013 also rings true…’Actions speak louder than words’…and whilst writing helps, action is required to move forward.

Summer is HERE!!!

Summer is Here….and yesterday I spent the day at Freshwater beach with one of my favourite people in the universe….Kate Scott.

The picture says it all….Good times, friendship and fun in the sun.

My 12 Beaches of Christmas campaign has officially started….a swim in the ocean at Freshwater was the first of the season….but certainly not the last.

And although the drive from the East to the Sydney’s Northern beaches was long and hot…..I listened to my official summer soundtrack on high rotation Jessica Mauboy’s album – Beautiful.

The song of choice ‘ Fill me up’…and for you listening pleasure I insert the film clip below. Shot on location in my home town of Wollongong this song is pure pop fun….

Let the good times begin!!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 123 other followers