Coledale Rock Pool

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The fifth beach of Christmas….. An ocean pool blasted into the rock platform at Coledale. Another South Coast hidden gem, another glorious summers day, another opportunity to take a seaside dip where no Boyle has been before….

A summer cold has floored me during this campaign…I have spent days in bed, with fever and flu, emerging only for an hour each day to go to the beach or pool where I resume the position, lay down and rest…

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Beautiful Coledale Rock Pool….the perfect place to go to get ones health back on track….if this place can’t cure you, nothing can.

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Continental Baths Wollongong

Nothing beats the Sixth Beach/ Pool of Christmas…. The Continental Baths of Wollongong.

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Why Continental? Homage to the diversity of nationalities that call the Steel City home? That is what I am putting my money on.

First opened to the public in 1926, it boasts two 50 metre salt water pools. And I can attest that the Continental Pool is still the United Nations of aquatic centres- South African life guards, Indian families, Italian lap swimmers and bikini clad Brazilian bodies basking in afternoon sunshine. Continental Perfection al la Wollongong style.

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Breath takingly beautiful…..why I ask did I flee the Illawarra for the concrete jungle of inner Western Sydney? I rack my brains, shake, rattle & roll the contents inside but come up with no answer. Images of the Continental Baths and the view looking North from the promenade make it impossible to think clearly and with conviction.

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Yes, while I choose to live in Sydney, it’s places like the Continental Baths, Wollongong, that make me realise I belong to the Illawarra.

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Wombarra Rock Pool

The seventh beach/ pool of Christmas is Wombarra Rock Pool.

This heavenly photo taken on Christmas morning provides insight into the spoils that await South Coast residents on Christmas morning, every morning….

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Deborah Harry/ Blondie sang ‘ The tide is high but I’m holding on, I’m gonna be your number one’….well the tide was high on Christmas Day, and I stayed on dry ground….but my Dad ventured in, for this pool is his ‘ number one’ swimming spot-

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And as I battle a summer cold…and sniffle & sneeze my way to the top prize, I wish you all a Merry belated Christmas & a happy and safe New Year.

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Killcare Beach, Central Coast

I visited Killcare Beach on the Central Coast in November.

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It was the beach I had my first summer dip for 2015 and as I knew my 12 Beaches of Christmas 2015 series was to launch in December, I set about capturing the natural beauty of a strip of coastline my Aunty calls her ‘ local’.

Having grown on the South Coast of NSW, I only ever ventured further South for seaside holidays. As an adult, living in Sydney, I have started to venture North for ocean expeditions and I have never been disappointed.

And I feel it is my duty to continue this Northern discovery of perfect waves and pristine sands. Killcare is but the tip of the iceberg….Northbound there is so much more to discover….

My Aunt and I swam, ate potato scallops/ potato cakes and soaked up the sunshine. Then I caught the train back to Sydney….transporting sand and sea salt from Killcare Beach to inner city Sydney.

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The 8th Beach of Christmas- Killcare Beach, Central Coast.

 

 

Dawn Fraser Baths

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To swim in the oldest known Sydney Harbour pool, established in 1883, the birth place of squad swimming in Australia. Years later the pool becoming the training ground for one of our most successful female Olympic swimmers – Ms Dawn Fraser.

And as I walked through the lush green Elkington Park early this morning, the beauty of the harbour off in the distance, I wanted to kick myself ( but my legs were busy walking)

Why?

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Because I had lived in Balmain, known in Sydney as the insular peninsula, for 3 years ( 2007 – 2010) and never ever taken the time to embrace and savour this hidden gem. What a fool I had been!

Making up for lost time today? Finally mature enough to visit the Dawn Fraser Baths?

The verdict is still out….but I splashed about, revelling and chatting with the locals who had come out for an early morning Sunday dip.

What an absolute treat the 9th Beach of Christmas is – The Dawn Fraser Baths, Balmain. The gift that keeps on giving, today the first of what I hope will be many, many more harbour swims.

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Bondi Beach – Revisted

Please don’t fret…. Not all beaches & pools to be reviewed in the 12 Beaches of Christmas 2015 campaign will fall under the category – ‘ revisited’. But a beach such as Bondi could be reviewed every year, each visit unique & special, as if being welcomed ashore for the very first time….

Beautiful Bondi

Beautiful Bondi rolls out the red carpet whether it is your first or seventy-fifth swim at this Eastern suburbs strip of golden sand and turquoise water. You are just as important to Bondi Beach as the other 20,000 people who bask and bathe at this inclusive summer playground.

So Bondi Beach – the 10th Beach of Christmas, and the third time I have reviewed you. And sure not to be the last, this will be a long-standing love affair xxx

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North Sydney Olympic Pool

There can be no greater way to spend a morning than swimming in one of the worlds most beautiful harbour pools.

Words aren’t needed, pictures do their best to capture the beauty that is North Sydney Olympic Pool – my 11th Beach / Pool of Christmas.

The view as one walk to North Sydney Olympic Pool

The view on the walk to North Sydney Olympic Pool

The entrance...very retro

The entrance…very retro

But in all honesty, if you are a truly lucky and privileged person, with a spare $7.50, get yourself on a train or bus to Milsons Point, and take the short stroll down the hill for a swim with a million dollar view.

And if you are a truly lucky and privileged person, you will take this dip with a treasured friend or loved one.

I dedicate the 11th Beach of Christmas to my beautiful friend Kate Scott, a regular feature in my annual beach reviews….someone who lives life to the fullest, seizes opportunities and packs so much into every second of every day…getting caught up with her positive energy and spin on life is a true joy.

Luna Park smiles as pool patrons swim

Luna Park smiles as pool patrons swim

That View

That view

Sounds of Summer 2015

When I really should be reviewing beaches for my 12 Beaches of Christmas campaign….I find myself desk bound, working harder than ever…harder than I imagined I would have too.

But I am happy.

For music has the power to transport me to the beaches I will review when the time is right.

And there is one song of late, that propels me back to my home town of Austinmer, that sleepy coastal seaside town I am privileged to call home.

Shining Bird, how did you capture coastal living, summer breeze and whimsical day dreams so eloquently in song form?

I find that I lose all bearings as soon as I hear the bird song, is that distinct cry from a currawong ? magpie? …Whatever it may be, I am hooked then and there…. and I am seaside in Austi, a place where coastal perfection is given a big bear hug by the lush green towering Illawarra escarpment.

Shining Bird – Rivermouth – The sounds of Summer 2015

 

 

 

 

2015, the year that…….

I was asked if I would consider competing in professional fitness competitions  ( think fake tan, brazilian waxing, bikini, high heels and protein shakes)

I consumed by body weight in Allen’s mixed lollies.

I was asked if I would consider competing in professional boxing competitions for women by a Priest.

The same Priest, same conversation, inviting me to Syria as part of his ‘ Boxing for Peace’ program….next tour April 2016.

The year I moved house….twice

The year I embraced life in the Inner West of Sydney- Could I ever love a Sydney suburb more?

The year I travelled overseas for work after 8.5 years in International Education

The year I changed jobs ( same industry) after 8.5 years of work in one office.

The year I cheated on Flora the cat and started a love affair with Siamese brother & sister, Coco & Moonie of Abermarle street, Newtown.

Coco & Moonie

The year I lost my Grandfather & therefore last living Grandparent

The year I became an Aunty to beautiful red haired Ravyn xx

The year of highs, the year of lows… Still learning how to navigate through them gracefully.

The year I started thinking less ( just a little) and doing more.

2015 was all this and much much much more.

This blog post is an attempt to capture how crazy, brave & cool it has been….I look forward in anticipation to what 2016 has in store for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Beaches of Christmas 2015

Clovelly Beach Revisited

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Yesterday was the first Saturday of Summer 2015. And I spent that time wisely, in a Sydney seaside suburb I was privileged to call home for 5 years – Clovelly.

As I drove along Clovelly Road, passing million dollar homes, cafés, beautiful parkland, I almost had to pinch myself. How lucky I had been to have the ocean as my backyard & Centennial Park as my weekend retreat.

But for a reality check I walked past my old residence…. The one home in a line of majestically restored mansions that has been truly let go. It awaits demolition. Mould & damp  just some of the challenges I faced when living there.

But as I soaked up the naturally beauty of Clovelly Beach, the sun, sand and sea washed the mould & damp from my memory. I had lived the Eastern Suburb princess dream on a budget- Bondi, Coogee, Bronte beach are now lifelong friends.

But Clovelly Beach is a sentimental favourite….a perfect way to launch into the ‘ 12 Beaches of Christmas 2015’. With 11 more reviews to come, summer is here to stay!! Hip hip hooray!!

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