We Australians certainly love our beaches. I’m in Lorne, on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria for the weekend and while enjoying the late afternoon sun, placed a little back from the sand, I’m studying the beach’s inhabitants.
First up, there’s one I know well – the body shy. She wants to commune with the beach environment but doesn’t feel comfortable enough in her body to strip down to bathers. She wades in to the waves with her dress tentatively lifted to somewhere near her knees.
Small children build sandcastles or paddle at the edge of the water with mothers and fathers carefully watching over them.
Surfers young and old (and mostly male) throw themselves and their boards against the ocean’s might. I notice that though the day is warmer, they are still in their wetsuits (‘wetties’).
Lots of us just stay on land and just watch the waves’ rhythmical beauty.
I feel the need to eat ice cream and fish and chips – and in any order. I decide to eat ice cream now and fish (or perhaps calamari) and chips later.
A one legged seagull (or a seagull who tucks one leg out of sight!) gives me begging looks as the sun goes down and the sky turns blue and pink and the sea turns to silver.