Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Photo The Harbour bridge

Photo Kirby

Photo Mel, Kym and Mia at the beach


Don't know if you know Steve Corthine? His parents Sharon and Mark have been life long friends with my parents and have known me as long as I have. Steve's a little younger than I am and whilst both of us were at different boarding schools we often shared short holidays at each others houses when it was impractical for us to fly to wherever our families were based at the time. So there, now you know him ish. Here's a bit more about him. As seems to be the case with a lot of children of the military, he didn't go into the military. He instead went to London to seek his fortune in hairdressing and I've no doubt had his Dad sweating until he moved to Australia, met and married the beautiful Melanie and between them increased the Corthine family by two with supermodel in the making Mia and astro physicist and free thinker Kirby, 6 and 4 respectively. Somehow they also found the time to establish Stevie English hair which has won best small business in Sydney for three years running! It's a slick operation run by smooth operators, the perfect team. Kym of course couldn't resist. We stayed with them for a week that felt like 48hrs. Steve surfs so a few dawnies went down, and Kym thoroughly appreciated her time with a like minded thinker like Mel. Days at the beach, fantastic food, free entertainment (kids), owners of a Salon and a shed full of old surfboards that needed some TLC. Both of us were in our element. Of course they always say (who are they?) "it's not what, it's who" and never a truer word was spoken. Mel contacted their rep for one of the products that they use who then contacted the rep that covers the Sunshine coast who came back with the number of a lady called Yvette who owns a salon and is looking for a senior stylist asap. When I say is looking I should have said was looking. More on this next time!! Mel and Steve, Kirby and Mia thankyou so much. We didn't want to leave but thanks to you we had even more reason to get up the road.

Photo watching the people watching

Watching the coach loads of Koreans watching the flyers were as rewarding as each other. Almost 2hours spent blissfully enjoying the show.

Photo The prancing horses.

The accessories you need these days just to hangliding!?

Photo One day....

Photo NSW

NSW South coast

Delightful right up to saying good bye and thank you very very much, to Jen and Cyril. They didn't want to leave but unfortunately days of the week mean things to some people and the next day was a Monday. They'll be pleased to know that as the sun set and the full moon replaced it the spell was broken. The good weather obviously had other things to do on Monday as well. We woke up and it was windy, wet and grey. Off we went. Point after point we checked to try and find surf protected from the Southerly, eventually Potato point provided the goods. Only two others out and after 10min in the water is was obvious why. It was probably the most like an English surf that I've had since leaving. Cold, grey windy and unruly swell catching you out with wide ones around the point. I shivered. While heading back up the highway we spotted a very small sign for "The Big Bit" look out, for want of something better to do and also with a place to spend the night in mind, we headed up a forest track and up and up and eventually onto a clearing with transmitter and a weather monitor on it. Unfortunately if the view was good we had no idea 'cos we were in the clouds and couldn't see much past the end of the car. One thing it was though was silent and we had an amazing nights sleep.

The next morning dawned clear and bright with stunning views down to the coast, leisurely breakfast and back on the hunt for waves. A couple of surfs on beaches hidden behind points to avoid the wind and more tarmac under the wheels and before we knew it we're only 60kms from Sydney.

Photo Jen and Cyril

Photo Canberra museum

Photo Frankie, Maeve and Milli

The Capital

More people we know! Jen Burleigh is sister to Alice Carden who once "went out with", "dated", etc Kym's younger brother Jon. She's now living and working very hard at bringing up three very young girls with the help of her partner Cyril. Frankie, Maeve and Millie are non-stop hilarity apart, of course, from when they're not. Fortunately they more often than not are the former. We were very kindly offered a room for a few days and we very gratefully accepted. I confess I didn't even venture into Canberra. A house is definitely becoming more appealing day by day and we now find ourselves searching the internet for real estate and property for rent. The end of the journey is imminent and it's palpable. Kym enjoyed a day out with Jen and the girls at the Canberra museum and reported back that it was free and really, really good. Very hands on and great for the kids. Judging by the photo's the building looks pretty cool too.

Jen and Cyril had managed to get a weekend away sans kids so on the Saturday morning with the girls dropped off we headed back down to the beach through the beautiful rolling hills of the Bega valley. It's very reminiscent of the English countryside with green field and Frisian cows ruminating away but something was missing and we couldn't put our finger on it. Afew miles later we twigged it. Boundaries. Here it's all wire fences, no hedges, no walls just massive fields. We'd done a google of of the coast and spotted what looked like a reasonable National Park campsite on the beach just North of a small town called Tathra. The beach was Gillards and it met and exceeded all our expectations. Jen and Cyril arrived before us and found a grassy spot separated from the beach by a short skip through the dunes. At the entrance to the park you could pick up free firewood and pits were already dug at the sites. Kangaroos hopped here and there, smaller things with long noses scurried around, metre long goannas ambled silently around like mini dinosaurs and scared the unwary, tiny blue wrens flitted here and there snapping up flys and chirping away, the sun shone, and the crystal clear waves had sculpted themselves a perfect little left sand bank to hurl themselves onto. Oh and we had beers in the fridge.