Dee Beach, Bendalong

Outsourcing submission for the 2019 Beaches of Christmas series…..this entry come via my folks, holidaying on the NSW South Coast seaside town of Bendalong. A favourite holiday destination of theirs, for years an annual week long vacation signifies the start of summer.

Hot of the press, these photos were received early this morning, my parents had the entire beach to themselves. As a Sydney sider, this seems utterly unimaginable! But on the South Coast of NSW it can be your summer reality.

Having had the privilege of an Autumn family holiday to Bendalong this year, but seeing the ocean in its summer time glory, a site to behold.

Expansive blue sky, pillow soft clouds, cocooned by native gum, majestic ocean water: my Dad took a dip, my Mum paddled in up to her knees.

The verdict ‘ Specatcular’

The 10th Beach of Christmas : Dee Beach, Bendalong 

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Geoff James Ocean Pool ( Clovelly Ocean Pool)

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The 11th Beach of Christmas 2019 – the Geoff James Ocean Pool, Clovelly.

Visited on a day when Randwick Council had scheduled pool cleaning so alas no water is pictured in the 25 metre, 4 lane salt water pool.

Upon researching the eleventh entry, I discovered that the pool was named after past president and life time member of the Clovelly Surf Club. Mr James had been instrumental in the proposal and development of the pool in the 1960’s.

Having always preferred to take a dip in Clovelly Beach, to bob amongst the waves and splash about in Sydney’s biggest open air bath tub, I am yet to submerge myself in the enclosure that is the Geoff James Ocean Pool.

That day will come.

Appreciative of the history of the pool, which the National Trust placed on the heritage register in 1994, it seems fitting that that day should come sooner rather than later.

But before then, a thank you.

To Mr James for commissioning the Eastern Suburbs delight that bares his name.

 

Edwards Beach

The 12 Beaches of Christmas 2019 is here. Time to get your swimmers on and apply a generous lathering of suncream. With a good book in hand and a keen sense of adventure, to the water one must go!!

And to the ocean I did head, finding myself at the delightful Edwards Beach, Mosman, situated to the north of Balmoral Beach, separated by Rocky Point Island.

Never was their a more picturesque beach to herald in the Christmas reviews and the arrival of summer in our city!

I was not aware that Edwards Beach existed. I have frequented Balmoral Beach on numerous occasions unaware that if you strolled along the tree lined promenade, heading North, another beach would roll out the red carpet.

Complete with historic bathers pavilion, calm blue waters and squeaky white sand, Edwards Beach is a site to behold. Often overlooked for the jewel that is Balmoral ( I admit I assumed Edwards was said beach!) discovering yet another Sydney beachside gem was indeed a Sunday morning treat.

So next time you say ‘ Let’s go to Balmoral Beach’, walk on the wild side, the north side, and park your beach towel on the golden sand of Edwards Beach.

You will not be disappointed. I’ve heard that locals remark is as good, if not better that their beloved Balmoral!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Rituals

IMG_4138Coogee Fish Shop, 201A Coogee Bay Road

‘ Underrated. A throwback to the 80’s fish & chip shop, so if that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll love it’  The A Team, August 2019

Little rituals. I’ve lived in Sydney for 15 years and for as long as I can remember Potato Scollops and Fish Cocktails 1980’s style are best purchased and eaten seaside in this Eastern Suburbs gem.

I’m an 80’s kids.

I grew up at a time when $2 worth of hot chips would feed a family of 4 and then some.

I grew up at a time when potato scollops were cut by hand and coated in thin, crispy batter and then loaded with plain salt. Chicken salt was not available till the early 90’s.

I grew up at a time when fish cocktails weren’t a thing – battered fish the size if a thong was. A piece of shark would set you back a single gold coin.

Fast forward 3 Decades and 2 Fish cocktails and 3 potato scollops are priced at $7.00.

But for that 1980’s taste I would pay five times that amount.

These hidden gems, these fish and chip shops stuck blissfully in an 80’s time warp are few and far between. When you find them, you stick by them. You travel to support them. And you hold you breath upon approach, hoping to god that they have not succumbed to high rental costs, the Hungry Jacks or Subway epidemic that swallows up seaside realestate.

Today as I ate my 2 fish cocktails and 3 potato scollops I was that 80’s kid again. Carefree and smiling as oil dripped from the fish cocktails, coating my fingers. Salt coating my lips as I crunched my way through the crisp battered hand cut potato scollops.

Today was a good day. No, today was a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

Whitney

 

Oh Whitney!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of having lunch with childhood neighbours, the women responsible for introducing me to ‘ that voice’.

I recall with fondness said neighbours playing Ms Houston’s vinyl records at volume, the sound reverberating off the Illawarra Escarpment and into my childhood bedroom.

Decades have passed but the love for this songbird remains steadfast.

Yesterday I spent the morning at a Business Chicks breakfast with Australian Supermodel and serial Entrepreneur Elle McPherson, who disclosed she shared her first US modelling job with Whitney.

So perhaps the fact I dusted of Ms Houston’s greatest hits cd to accompany me as I drove from the east to west last night to collect a parcel from a friend was predestined?

Disc one of the two cd compilation – ‘ Saving All my Love for You’ and I’m transported back in time. I’m 10 years old, in my childhood bedroom, the yellow walls glowing in the afternoon sunshine. Whitney is playing on my tape deck and I’m singing along, with a toilet roll microphone. A private concert for my Cabbage Patch Kid, Care Bear and My Child.

But it’s  2019, the eve of another birthday. I’ve driving a silver Honda, careful of inner city speed limits, indulging in a car disco for one. And still, after all these years, Whitney’s songs define moments in time.

My birthday this year will be low key. Catch ups with  friends and family to herald in the occasion. A cake from an Italian patisserie,  dinner at an inner city hot spot, a massage, time with Jenny Brown the cat.

And Whitney will provide soundtrack. Three decades of devotion to an idol and her other worldly voice forever serenading the passing of time.

 

Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown you turned my world upside down.

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Our first meeting was Saturday the 26th of January 2019 at 11am. I was doing foster care training at Maggie’s Rescue in Marrickville. You were the resident feline, your home for 15 months and counting, yet to find your purr-rect match. I fell for you that day. But your profile requested that your adoptive parent / parents have a garden.

Residing in an apartment on the fourth floor I did not push the issue.

The staff at Maggie’s remarked that I was an unlikely foster carer – ‘ You won’t be able to do it’ and by that they meant I would adopt straight away. I tended to agree with them.

In February I suffered a health set-back. During that time Maggie’s Rescue contacted me, two cats, brothers, needed a home. I was not well enough to take them on.

My health returned and I was offered a mother and her two kittens, I knew I could not take on multiple responsibilities so I had to turn them down.

And all the while I checked the ‘ Cats for Adoption’ Maggie’s Rescue page and you Jenny Brown, with garden request, remained unhomed.

Fast forward to July and I received a message from Sue Mariani of Maggie’s to ask if I was interested in looking after a 2 year old female cat called JB. Aware I had no to every offer Sue had extended me since May I said ‘ Yes’ without hesitation. I admit that after the exchange with Sue I snuck a look at the Maggie’s website to see if you Ms Brown were still looking for a home. Your profile was no longer live. I assumed you’d had found your happy ever after.

Two hours passed, I decided to ask for more information about the feline who would soon in be my care – ‘ Can you send across any photos? Does the JB stand for anything’

The photos appeared. In an instant I recognised this tortoise shell beauty as my Jenny Brown.

‘ What about the garden request?’ I asked Sue via email.

Turns out the garden option was no longer top of Jenny Brown’s requirements. Instead love, affection and a stable home environment were number one priorities.

That was 5 weeks ago.

And I’m ready to adopt, I’ve got the papers ready to sign!

Jenny Brown you have turned my world upside down.

Love you xx

 

Ode to Michael Hutchence

I’ve returned from Paddington, having watched ‘Mystify’ the documentary about the late great INXS front-man Michael Hutchence.

In 1988 I recall getting a compilation cassette. It was not the one I wanted and I was bitterly disappointed. Despite my distain for ‘ 88 The Winners’ I was taken by one song in particular – ‘ New Sensation ‘ INXS. Side One, Track One.

It would play on high rotation for many, many years.

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Nine years pass at it’s 1997. Despite a splendid music catalogue, Michael Hutchence, in recent years, has been better known for his high profile romances. The Grunge movement having transformed the music scene in the  early 1990’s with the likes of Oasis and Blur competing for the Brit pop crown.

INXS are on the come back trail and are to play in Wollongong at Waves nightclub late November.

A phone conversation on the day of the gig with my friend Cameron who has tickets to the concert ‘ Michael Hutchence is dead’

I’m not sure I uttered this remark out loud upon hearing this news but I thought it  ‘ Its because he did not want to play in Wollongong’

Years pass, I learn to appreciate good music and quality front men / women who put it all on the line for their art. I fall in love again and again with INXS. With Michael.

He oozed sex appeal, body rocking good looks coupled with an insatiable lust and passion for life, love and pleasure.

I’ve often thought what I’d give for the chance to see the INXS live, in a stadium of thousands, Kirk Pengilly on saxophone, The Farriss brothers on lead guitar and drums, Garry Beers on bass. And Michael front and centre.

The stuff of mere fantasy.

Michael’s legacy, INXS’s music is his timeless gift.

He is never far from the airwaves.

New Sensation – INXS, 1987.

 

 

 

Ode to Alanis Morisette

23 years after I fell hard and fast from the music of Alanis Morrisette, I’ve downloaded her music to my iphone and am once more taking a trip down nostalgia lane.
I wrote the following post three years ago, when the album ‘ Jagged Little Pill’ turned 20 – music of my youth, forever to transport, transfix and stop time.

Catch Up With A Mate

‘ Jagged Little Pill ‘

I was listening to Classic FM Radio recently, and over the airways the broadcaster announced that 2016 was the 20th anniversary of the album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ by Canadian Artist – Alanis Morrisette.

20 years….It cannot be! Really?

After this announcement the song ‘You learn ‘ filled the airways and I sang– word for word.

I was 17 years old when the album was released and it changed my tiny world.

I played this cd on high rotation in my bedroom in Austinmer, expressing my repressed teenage angst – a mixture of joy, despair, anxiety and elation – through song form.

I was a complex teenager – a quiet girl, whose inner world was bleak but outwardly I shone bright, smiled and laughed often.

In Alanis I found respite – she was angry, she was despairing, bitter and twisted.

And oh was she was…

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The Golden Arches of Waterloo

There has not been a post for over 3 months.

So the time has come to hit the keys once more, and what better way to do that than declaration of love and devotion to the children of my friends and most importantly my two cherub nieces ‘ There’s a Mc Donald’s on my street!!’

This 6 words are enough to stop a overactive 4 year old dead in their tracks, sooth the distressed cries of a near 2 year old.

‘ What did you say?’ I hear Ms R asking.

‘ There’s a McDonald on my street!’

And I’ve photos to prove it.

Its not at the attractive end of town and I admit I have never eaten their myself but I want to! And I want Ms 4 and Ms nearly 2 to accompany me.

No rush, but in the not to distant future I’d love to eat a happy meal with my favourite little people.

And then there is Ms 8, Ms 4 and Master 1, Master 7 and Ms 6, Master 4 and Master 2….on and on the roll call goes. So many Mc Chickens and 30c cones to devour in our combined futures.

As the slogan goes ‘ I’m loving it’ – a shout to to parents who want down time ( for a limited time!!) – drop the kids off to me and we will go to the ‘ Mc Donald’s on my street’ – the stuff dreams are made of.

I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here : 2019

I first came to watch TV show‘ Celebrity’ in 2018 – Comedian and all round awesome human Fiona O’Loughlin drew me in with a tale of hard knocks, rotten luck and seemingly endless resilience and humor.

After seeing Fiona crowned Queen of the Jungle I went on to see her stand-up comedy routine’ My Gap Year’ at the Comedy Store, Moore Park, Sydney That night Fiona acknowledged that she had won over a new audience from her time in the jungle – shining a spotlight on me!

It was a no brainer that I would tune in again in 2019. Fiona had made laugh 365 days ago, as had the one and only Julia Morris ( with side kick Dr Chris Brown) – A new year, a new cast of celebs and the delightfully delicious familiar co-hosts.

  • I watched without expectations.
  • I watched for escapism from the oppressive Sydney summer heat.
  • I watched to observe human behavior ( what could be more fascinating?) as a group of celebrities of varying degrees of fame were pushed to their limits and then some.

Not one to gush but 2019 contestant Justin Lacko was very easy on the eye. If for no other reason, the 2019 Jungle series was off to a phenomenal start!

But as the days and weeks passed, heart achingly beautiful moments surfaced from plains of the African jungle.  I sat in my lounge room and laughed, cried and cheered aloud, caught up in the joyous 5 week safari adventure.

  • Vulnerable, honest and open encounters and deeply personal conversations – a style of communication not normally paraded during prime time tv – my heart swelled.
  • Countless moments of genuine care and support for one another as the 14 celebs were tested to their limits in trails designed to provoke fear, inflict pain and discomfort.
  • Laughter  – lots of it! None more so than when the celebs were put through their paces in Tucker Trials – Meal of Fortune ( quiet possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV in years – Thanks Justin, Shane, Dermott and Sam for the laughs)
  • And friendship,  unbreakable bonds that formed ever so quickly– bonds one assumes will be lifelong. The contestants transformed before the eye, some physically, others spoke of internal changes – personal growth, clarity of purpose and vision.
  • And Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown – a finer, more endearing duo would be hard to find.

And as the show wrapped last night, I can boldly declare that I’m done with reality TV for 2019. Nothing, I repeat nothing, could compare.

Time to get a life!! Take a leaf out of my jungle friends book and clarify my purpose and vision in this wonderful adventure called life – whilst following my Jungle crushes closely on Insta – Julia, Dr Chris, Yvie and Justin (swoon)

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