One trip EVERY month: January

Marianne at East of Málaga says we take trips at least once a month.  Some of us go to countries at the other end of the world and towns on the other side of the continent.  But we all leave our dwelling places now and then and, intentionally or not, end up in a park or an orchard or a beach we’ve never been to.  Marianne wants to know where we go, where our trips, long and short, take us.

For Christmas I was given The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 9 and over the past days I’ve read six or seven of the stories.  I’ve noticed that, like a good tale, each one builds in tension until there’s a turning point, a part where something bad happens and a solution has to be found.

My piece of travel writing won’t end up in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 10; it was just a happy trip to the south coast of NSW, trouble-free from start to finish.  Just one day, a short holiday.  The only turning point was at our destination, at the end of the afternoon, turning the car homewards.

We like to take our time, to stop and smell the coffee.  So after an hour in the car we typically stop in an old country town, Braidwood, for morning tea.  This day, we found many of the cafés were closed, the owners away for their summer holidays.  But behind the shops of the main street a small bakery-café was still open, operating in an old rusty-roofed cottage, with some empty tables and chairs outside under the grey dry sky.  Under the roof, above the door, out of sight here, some dried bread dough letters form a curious introduction to the bakery: “Fee fi fo fum”.

Dojo Bakery, Braidwood, NSW
Dojo Bakery, Braidwood, NSW

From Braidwood we drove up over the misty mountains and down to the sea.  Our second stop for the day was at Circuit Beach.  Last week you might have seen some photos of my family skipping stones here.  It was a tricky little bay of a beach, with a multitude of flat stones, trunky gum trees and a small cave.

Tall boy, short cave
Circuit Beach NSW

If Circuit Beach is good for paddling and stone-throwing, it’s no good for bodysurfing.  So we moved on to Malua Bay and found a beach divided: a flagged area for swimming, and a no-go zone for swimmers.  My lot said the waves were piddly, and the surfers might have agreed.

No swimming. Unless you don't mind dodging surfboards.
No swimming. Unless you can dodge surfboards.

Real men need real waves, so we drove on till we found a place with a rugged name, Guerilla Bay, where cliffs were steep and corroded, and grey mounds of rock rose above the sea.  But you can’t surf water that’s millpond flat.  It was only good for stone-throwing, which I’ve discovered looks great in black and white.

Guerilla Bay NSW
Guerilla Bay NSW

We hadn’t given up, because there was always the old favourite to fall back on, a beach which deserves its name, Surf Beach.  The sun came out for the first time that day, the others went swimming and I sat on the beach photographing them.  They’re in the water, far out, where real men surf.  And I’m safe on the sand.

Surf Beach, NSW
Surf Beach, NSW

Pretty good day, huh?  It’s worth the two hours in the car to get there, and another hour driving from beach to beach to beach, and the two hours back again.  Back home inland, I laid a few shells on the windowsill to remind me to return to this place of rare pleasure.

But there was another reminder, at my local shop.  They’ve started selling Dojo bread that comes up from Braidwood three times a week.  It’s good bread, but I need my strong arm to get the knife through the tough crust.  Fee fi fo fum.

*****

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Weekly photo challenge: Family

A few days ago a few of us from my family went to the south coast for the day.  We tried four beaches, but this one was the best for skipping stones:  Circuit Beach.  I took these action shots as my husband and two of our sons sent those stones back into the ocean.

Skipping stones 2
Skipping stones, Circuit Beach, NSW
Skipping stones, Circuit Beach, NSW
Skipping stones, Circuit Beach, NSW
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Weekly photo challenge: Window

A window to this artist is not just a transparent barrier between him and the weather.  It’s a place for colours and picture tiles and wooden shutters and an iron grill.  The plaque says:  “In this house the painter Willy Mucha lived and worked from 1940 to 1995.  Friends of Willy Mucha.”  See how he has inlaid some tiles in the wall around the window frame?

I found a small image of one of his paintings and pasted it below.  It’s Collioure in its sunniest colours.

Willy Mucha's window, Collioure, France
Willy Mucha’s window, Collioure, France
Ciel jaune sur Collioure (Yellow sky over Collioure), Willy Mucha
Ciel jaune sur Collioure (Yellow sky over Collioure), Willy Mucha
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Cee's black and white photo challenge: cars

I’ve just stumbled across Cee’s challenge to find black and white photos of cars.  I have just the thing, though I didn’t take the photos.  My father did, way back when these cars were his.  They were taken long before I was born, in a spot near the beach, probably Noosa Heads (long before they solved the sandfly problem and turned it into an internationally appealing resort town).  The first photo is of the family car;  I have other photos of it with my sister and brother as toddlers sitting on the running board (that’s how wide it is!).

My father's car, c1943
My father’s car, c1943

The next photo is of Dad’s ute (short for utility truck).  My mother told me he made the tray on the back to put his tins of paint and work gear in.

My father's ute, c1945
My father’s ute, c1943
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