Monday, March 30, 2009

Day which the sun finally comes out

Jack's big love in Australia was Judy Blume. We had read Fudge-a-Mania on the plane. That was nice. I think it made the ride go faster for all of us. At Tracey's house, we found that Molly had a nice collection of books, including the one Fudge book we hadn't yet read. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. Molly kindly traded that book for one of our books. I read it to Jack in Canberra and Seven Mile Beach. On his own, he reread his favorite parts from Fudge-a-Mania.

We gave him permission to use the office Internet if he wanted. I warned him that it might work slow and he didn't have much time. He dealt with those limitations. But what did he use his Internet time for? He wrote Judy Blume a fan email. I thought that was cute.

I'm actually not sure that it was this day he wrote the email. It probably was though.

In the morning it rained. I did laundry and used the dryer.

I have in my notes that the sun finally came out that day. I do remember that. I just can't remember when it happened. Was it late morning? Early afternoon? Late afternoon?

Who knows.

I do remember that while Tim went on one of his runs, Jack and I went to join the Cronulla folks out in the swampy area behind our cabin. They were fishing. That was a bit hard for me to watch. I'm not against fishing or hunting. I respect it actually. BUT only if it's for food. I frown upon it if it's for sport or fun. And that's what they were doing. They were catching the fish and then throwing them back in. I know some people say that the fish doesn't feel the hook cutting through them. I have a hard time believing that. And even if the hook doesn't hurt, there's the suffering of being out of the water for those minutes. I think it would be equivalent to us being held down in the water.

That might be worse than the hook.

I'm sure the fish-used-for-food also suffers. I guess I just feel better because it's not wasted. Plus, if someone is going to eat fish, I respect them capturing it themselves rather than blindly picking it up at the grocery store.

My other feeling is that although very skilled people may be able to fish without causing much suffering, a novice probably can't. And when the Cronulla people were fishing, they accidentally caused damage beyond repair. There was no evidence of regret or remorse. They threw the fish on the sand where the children could gawk at it.

While the adults fished, the kids and I looked at these clear blobs on the sand. Jack, Tim, and I could never figure out what they were. A type of Jellyfish? Jack suspected that and therefore was a bit weary of them. The Cronulla folks seemed much more knowledgeable about nature than us. I figured they would know. Nope. They guessed maybe it was whale poop. I'm not sure if they were joking or not. The funny thing is when we were kids my parents took us to the beach. There were big blobs on the beach and we called them whale poop too.

Anyway, here's a photo. If any of you can identify it, I'd be very grateful.

Little Girl Cronulla picked one up. When Jack saw that she wasn't withering in pain, he decided they were safe. He picked them up too.

For lunch, we had meat pies. There was actually a cafe at our holiday park. I hadn't expected much from it, but the Cronulla folks said it was good. Of course, I didn't actually have a meat pie. I had a spinach and cheese one. I didn't like it, but Tim and Jack liked theirs. It was then that I realized I don't like pastries with spinach and cheese. I've liked them in the past though. Maybe Australian ones are different. Maybe they use a different cheese? I don't know. It could be simply that my taste changed.

We went back to Scoops for ice-cream. The woman who served us the day before remembered us. She came outside to chat with us.

We enjoyed the sunshine. When Jack was done eating, he played in the grass and picked me a flower.

In the evening, we walked on the beach.

It was beautiful.

The Blue Bottles had finally disappeared. We didn't go swimming. I kind of regret that now. I wish we had grabbed our swimming suits and taken this one last chance.

We did walk in the water a bit. That was nice.

I told Tim about Heath Ledger's afterwards they all went into the ocean water with their clothes on. I think there's something so beautiful about that.  It's very spiritual. A part of me wanted to run into the water with my clothes on. But I didn't. I kind of regret that too. Although if I did it, I'd probably be very uncomfortable.

We had fun anyway. I sang Mamma Mia songs while walking in the sand. I should say I TRIED singing. I really didn't know the words. I think all I was able to do was the first few lines of "I Have a Dream".

We walked back later through the little path in the woods. The Near Palm Beach couple had said it reminded them of the 100 Acres Woods. They called it something like that for their toddler.

Looking at the woods now, it also reminds me of Lost and maybe Gilligan's Island.

One funny thing that happened sometime that day or night. Tracey called me and said Sydney was all booked. Here we have an example of cultural/language differences. When she said that, I interpreted it as meaning all the hotels in Sydney were already filled with people. They wouldn't be able to visit us. I felt strong disappointment and Tracey seemed so damn cheerful. It only took me a few seconds though to realize that she meant that THEY were all booked. They were definitely coming. We were all happy and excited about that!!!

On top of that, my friend from Dubbo and my friend from Ballarat were also planning to visit. Plus, I had some crazy Sydneysiders I planned to meet.

We had so much to look forward to.

If only we knew the horror that awaited us......

Okay. Yeah. There was no horror. I just thought that sounded awesome.... Yeah, I know a writer's group would probably label it as a cliche. I don't care. I like it anyway!


Stephen Moore said...

You got me on the 'horror to come'. I hadn't scrolled all the way down, so had no idea that final paragraph was there. Had a moment of "Oh my god, what happened?"

I tip my hat to you on that one.

And I love the photo at dusk on the beach. It is more than a simple holiday snapshot. It is, to my mind, a peice of art. Framing, compostition, narrative. A wonderful photograph.

Dina said...


lol! I'm glad I got ya!

Thanks about the photo. Tim actually took it. He's REALLY good with photography. He took a bunch of great beach photos.

Gun-bae!!! said...

I agree with Stephen too!

Seriously, thanks...I was a little nervous about not taking my big camera and just using a point and shoot but I liked not having to worry about lugging a big camera around...

Gun-bae!!! said...

By the way...HUGE thank you to Dina for promoting my work's video on her blog!!!

I love her so much!!

Fe said...

Oh I LOVE walking on the beach after a few days of rain. Everything seems clear and fresh and new.

Of course, we can't swim in the city for days after rain, as the drains and sewage outlet pipes have deposited who knows what out there. And it's all been swished around just a bit too much.

But even just a couple of miles away from the big cities it's magic.

But it would have been FREEZING so I'm glad you didn't swim!

Sadly I have no experience with "Whale poo". I have no idea what it could be, other than jelly fish babies or eggs or something. Our jellyfish are harmless you know. It's just the blue bottles that get you.

Hmmmm about the Cronulla folks. That attitude is a common one with people who fish. My heart always does a squeeky pitter patter for the pain and needless waste of of the fish when I see it happening. But... I don't fish and I hate the boys' fishing.

And each day you get closer to Sydney!!

Dina said...

Gun-bae: I love you too. That's why I promoted your video. Love=support.

Fe: I forgot when, but I think we swam in the city after a rain. I forgot about it until after we were in the water. Then I was a bit grossed out.

I'm writing about Sydney now...I'm a few posts ahead. It's funny because this morning I was all sad--really missing Sydney. Then I spent about two hours writing a post. Afterwards, I felt that I had enough of Sydney for the day. I think when I write about the places, I feel like I'm really there. Maybe it's kind of like hypnosis.

Jayne said...

Feral Beast found out from the scientists at the nature club awhile ago that those blobs are clusters of sea-snail eggs ;)

Dina said...


Thank you!! I never suspected THAT.

I hope we didn't harm them by touching them : (

Now I'm going to have to look up sea snails. I'm not sure I know anything about them.

Andrew said...

Dina, I knew they were some kind of eggs, but a teenager is clearly smarter than I am :)

Dina said...


And I shall probably think of that teenager now whenever I'm on a beach! I shall be forever grateful to him.

Jack said...

I want to stomp the eggs

Dina said...


That is horribly cruel of you.

No extra whip cream in your dessert tonight!