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Published: January 5th 2019
At the beach and in the sea
(Cj writes): I’ve wanted to “get away” for Christmas for years - and it’s finally happened!
The weather, which had been unseasonably cool at low to mid 20s or thereabouts, suddenly came right and warmed up to very high 20s or low 30s: definitely beach weather (and there was usually a breeze to be had down there too, which was a bonus). So off we went on Christmas Eve for a spot of bodysurfing and games of ‘lets get Bonma under the waves’. The oceanside beach at Manly has great surfing waves (as opposed to the very calm waters on the wharf side beach on the other side of the peninsula, which is where the Sydney/Manly ferry comes in), and there were plenty of surfers and swimmers out there. And the water, whilst fresh to wade in to, is lovely once you’re in properly.
Picnic supper and movie night, as a special treat - we watched ‘Christmas Chronicle’ with Kurt Russell - excellent! Solli, of course, was getting more excited by the minute. By the time it came to putting out the mince pie and port for Father Christmas (wait! Where’s the carrot for the reindeer?! WHERE’S THE CARROT??!!!) she was
dancing on the spot and went to bed giggling.
On Christmas Day morning she’d had strict instructions from Mummy and Daddy to wake Bonma and Bompa first ... so she burst into the ‘cottage’ at a respectable 5:50am “Bonma, wake up! Wake up! It’s Christmas - and HE’S BEEN!!! It took about two hours to discover that she’d get enough Lego to sink a ship, at which point we were allowed breakfast (eggs ‘benny’, as the Australians say - thank you Nik!). Then it was off to the beach again for 4-5 hours before coming back for a late lunch/early dinner of bbq Wagyu steak, prawns etc etc.
Boxing Day was beach day again, all of us taking turns in the sea with the indefatigable Solli, with a picnic lunch.
In the aftermath of Christams there was time for lots of DIY by Steve, including building a new swing from scratch, and hours of dress making by Cathy... All par for the course.
New Year’s Eve was special, but not in the way expected. Like all the other beachfront communities, Manly hosts a 9pm fireworks display for families: people start camping on the wharf side beach from early
afternoon to secure their place. We’d been there for 2-3 hours, along with friends of Nik and Tris, when the sky suddenly went black. The most gigantic thunderstorm erupted at about 7pm - torrential rain - so we all hared off to said friend’s apartment at the other end of the beach where we discovered that we could see not only the 9pm Manly firework display, but also those going off on nearby beaches as well. And, after lots of drinks and dancing, that we could even see the midnight fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well! In fact, it was all so exciting that Nik, Tris and their friends dashed off down to the beach for a spot of skinny dipping while Steve and I stayed with the various sleeping children. A marvellous night for all.
A fairly quiet New Year’s Day (is there any other sort?) - brunch overlooking Manly beach, then on the beach, then away to see Mary Poppins 2 at the cinema. (SC - I was nursing a a significant hangover and passed on the delights of Mary Poppns, preferring to pack instead).
And then the next day we left.
We’re now in
Singapore, on the last leg of our RTW trip. It’s low 30s but very humid - rather like a sauna with added steam bath. But we’ve seen parts of the city that we haven’t seen before - today (Friday) for example we’ve been to the various shopping experiences (both high- and low-end) around Bugis district (heaving with folk, chaotic) and Kampong Glam (the Arab/Muslim quarter - delightful, even pretty. And we have shopped! my word, have we shopped. Our bags were stuffed to bustin’ when we left Australia: we have some real challenges ahead. And we haven’t been to the Chinese Flea Market yet! (SC -The only way we'll stop shoppingis to come home!)
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