Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Man in the Picture

Before we went to Australia, I had an hallucination.

Now don't go worrying about my mental health. Oh wait. Wrong. You probably SHOULD worry about my mental health. But not because of the hallucination.

I think the hallucination was a healthy and normal just-coming-out-of-a-dream kind of thing. The scientific term is hypnagogia--in case any of you are interested.

I have a lot of photos saved on my computer, and I use them all in a slideshow for my screensaver.

Anyway, so I woke up from my nap on the rocking chair and saw a photo of the Sydney Opera House followed by a photo of the Harbor.

And in both photos, I see an image of a giant shadow man.

It startled me, freaked me out, and then was gone before I could think of calling Mulder and Scully. Help! I have a possessed screensaver.

Of course, I believe everything in life has some kind of deep inner meaning. I thought it was a message about our upcoming trip to Australia.

Man? A man? We will meet a man? Australia is going to be attacked by a giant shadow?

I now think it was all about Manly.

The ghosts in my computer were telling us to go to Manly.

The first time I went to Manly was for the shark dive. It was our 9th day in Australia. I think I had Manly scheduled for that day only. The plan was that I'd do the shark dive; then Tim and Jack would meet me later in the morning. We'd have fun, leave in the early evening, and probably never go back again.

I got to the shark dive too early and spent the some time alone walking. I kept thinking This is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

Jack and Tim ended up loving it too.

We loved it so much we kept coming back. We scratched other places off the agenda. Oh yeah. Seen one Sydney neighborhood, you've seen them all. Come on. Let's go back to Manly.

It was almost like an addiction.

Once we took the thirty minute ferry ride all the way over there just for ice-cream. We loved this place called Royal Copenhagen. You get your ice-cream and then on the counter they have all these free toppings to put on your ice-cream. We thought it was the coolest thing.

On days that were too chilly for Ice-cream, we'd have a treat at Max Brenners. Sometimes we ended up getting treats at both places. Oops. Pretend you didn't just read that. Okay? Hey? Yeah. Well, we were on holiday. Give us a break.

We loved the beach. We had gone mostly on the weekdays and so it wasn't that crowded.

There were some surfing school kids. So awesome. It would be too cool to email my family back in America. Okay. Well I must go. I got to walk with Jack to his surfing lesson (Yes. Because in my fantasies we're rich enough to afford a house walking distance from the beach)

The ocean was a bit crazy--not like anything we've ever experienced. I've been to beaches before and I've never experienced anything like the sea in Australia.

The water is wild and wants to either push you down flat on your face, or kidnap you and drag you into the middle of the ocean.

Manly waves are persuasive and a bit pushy. They let you know who is boss, but are still somewhat gentle. Bondi waves are downright abusive. I think they wanted to kill us because we didn't have nice tans and perfect bikini bodies.

Still.....we had fun playing in the water and building sandcastles. These adorable little blond twins attached themselves to Jack and me. We played with them in the water and felt loved.

Then there was the materialistic pleasures of Manly. Souvenirs. Now I have been trying to buy less stuff, and I've done a good job of it. But I did want to buy some Australia junk--since I'm so in love and obsessed.

Manly souvenirs are much cheaper than those in Sydney so we used some of our time there to buy t-shirts and other stuff.

I also found a lovely used bookstore; bought a nice handful of books and had a nice chat with the shopkeeper and a customer.

Jack's favorite thing at Manly, besides the treats and sandcastles, was this little escalator in the mall. I think he thought it was made especially for children. Almost every time we walked past it, he'd insist on going up and down. He didn't have to fight hard for the opportunity. I actually loved watching him go up and down. It was cute.

When we weren't busy doing the beach thing, shopping, or stuffing our faces....we'd take some walks. I'm trying to figure out the name of the park we walked in, but can't figure it out because my brain is fried from all the hallucinations.

Anyway, it's located near the wharf and Oceanworld. ????

Tim, Jack, and I would walk and talk. Jack would complain about being tired and hungry. I would talk about how we should move to Australia. Twice I pointed to houses and said, We should move there. Both of those times we got a closer look and realized the houses were for sale.

See, something in the universe was telling me we need to move to Manly.

Last, but definitely not least.

The ferry ride. We loved it. I think when we said Let's go all the way to Manly for ice-cream, it wasn't just about needing a sugar high. I think in some ways we wanted an excuse to go on the ferry.

It is a beautiful ride. I'm not good at describing scenery, so you'll just have to go and see for yourself.

It was just lovely ....and a little adventurous when you get to the rocky/wavy part of the ride.

Jack and I would sit there reading his book about dangerous animals. Tim would stand outside taking photos of the Opera House.

Maybe one day my wish will come true and we'll move there. In the meantime, we're planning on spending a week in Manly on our next Australia holiday.

Jack fretted about this preventing us from taking the ferry there. I reassured him that we'd take the ferry plenty of times. I'm sure we'll come up with some good excuse about why we need to ride into Sydney. And once we're staying in Sydney, we'll probably make excuses to go back to Manly.

If I can't figure out what to do, I'll wait for a message from my screensaver photos.


  1. LOL, you are crazy, just kidding!!!

    Really liked your post, the sense of humor and the sharing so vividly of parts of Australia. My fantasy is just to go to Australia period. I have always always wanted to go there.

    thanks for your great post.

  2. Laurie,

    Thank you : )

    I hope you get to go to Australia one day. It's really wonderful!

  3. I often play itune fortune tell-me what I should do. It has sent me on some amazing road trips. I like to think the universe is sending me signs to follow.

  4. I've got to agree there is something special about Manly ice cream. I used to do the trip across the harbour just for fun with my Gran. My Dad grew up in Manly, well Queenscliff but it's the same thing.

    Have you gone to Shelly Beach? It's just round the way from Manly corso - it gives you access to a short bushwalk, free BBQ areas and is a great spot for snorkeling/scuba diving because the waters are about as calm as they can get. It's an inlet, really so even on windy days it's still fine to swim there without worrying about rips or getting dumped. Usually it's pretty quiet as Sydney beaches go so it's great for kids just getting used to how to handle the ocean.

  5. My mom and I just went to Manly the other day and loved it. It was only the second time I've been there-- and the first time didn't really count.

    I put a link to you on my blog post today, hope you don't mind.

  6. Yup, you're nuts!

    Definitely should have been an aussie!! ;) lol

    Kids and I spent one day taking extra ferry rides just cos we could lol

  7. Ivanhoe Park? It's the big one about a block from Oceanworld...or the littler one between the Corso and Oceanworld is Gilbert Park...

    I think it's so sweet that you distinguish between "Sydney" souvenirs and "Manly" souvenirs, like Manly is its own little world - even though it's so close to the CBD of Sydney.

    In fact, did you know that the tourist slogan for Manly used to be "7 miles from Sydney and 1000 miles from care"?

    Did you go to Balmoral Beach? I'm not a big beach fan at all, but it's a nice one - although as different from Manly as a beach can be.

  8. Darcy: I do that! Is that where you ask a question and then let I-tunes pick the song? What road trips have you gone on? That's awesome!

    Catatonickid: We never went to Shelly Beach. We didn't see much of Manly...pretty much just the wharf, the park right behind Oceanworld, that shopping area, and the beach you get to if you keep walking straight. Does that make any sense? I think that's one of the reasons we want to stay there for a week--have time to explore MORE of Manly. I'm pretty sure we never ventured out of the touristy area. Is there only one shopping/restaurant area? Or more?

  9. Laura: You went when it was cold again!!! Will you ever go to Manly when it's warm? What did you guys do there? Did you take the boys or did you go while they were in school?

    Yes, I mind that you linked to my blog. You know you must have written permission for that. Even though I've linked to your blog before. Was I supposed to ask you first?

  10. Bettina:

    You just totally reminded me of something.

    After I had the weird dreams, I started getting into spirituality/metaphysics, etc.

    I started doing research and.....

    It seemed like almost every book I read or webpage I found had some connection to Australia. Either the author was Australian or the author was American and visited Australia. Even things like the Livejournal community I joined. It was based in Australia.

    You guys must have a lot of people who are into spirituality.

  11. Gina,

    It's the park directly behind Oceanworld. It's kind of like you walk past it.....I think maybe you climb up something?

    I know I sound really dumb and clueless.

    I did hear the slogan. I like it : )

    What is Balmoral beach like and where is it?

    We went to only Bondi and Manly. Just two beaches in Sydney. And then One Mile Beach in Port Stephens.

    We really need to explore more beaches and parks.

  12. Oh...Blogger just ate another comment.. Why does it do this to me??

    In it, I was saying...Balmoral is pretty. In a fairly exclusive area, so lots of beautiful old houses, there's an old rotunda, and a stone footbridge, and great restaurants and cafes. Worth investigating!

    If you're fond of beaches, Clovelly is also nice.

    And this advice coming from someone who really isn't fond of the sun and the sand!!

  13. Dina, it is not fair all this talk about ice cream and Manly beaches when we are deep in the outback of the NT and could quite easily kill for an ice cream and a dip in the ocean!
    Beginning to think this red dust will never ever wash off.
    Fiona x

  14. twosheilasandadog- We love Balmoral Beach -- great for little kids.

  15. Gina: Thank you for the suggestions!! I'll look into both places. Actually, I will google them right now and save the websites. That's what I really need to be doing. I'm going to get all these suggestions and then forget--end up frantically searching through my comments.

    Sorry about Blogger being evil towards you!!!!

    Twosheilasandadog: I envy you and your red dust! Although I'm sure if I was actually in the red dust, I'd want some ice-cream too!

  16. I sent a video of me playing and singing a song to someone, and I had this Frank Zappa t shirt on, and it had this big dark shot of him with an eye and a moustache and hair, and when I adjusted the computer screen at one point, it jerked down and just filled with this image of a man's face for a second, then it was gone.

    My friend freaked out.

    She insisted there was this weird face which "just appeared" in the middle of the video.

    Don't know what Frank Zappa has to do with Manly............?


  17. I have that same kind of hallucination state all the time, I never knew there was an actual term for it. Or that it was common enough for a term to be necessary.