The Thing about Sydney – Frocking Friday the Tenth & Shoeper Shoe Challenge #9

Composition by the Minx (Age 3). Photograph Copyright John Calderwood 2011. All Rights Reserved.

As many of you know if I was cast away on a desert island the person that I would take with me is my hairdresser, Coralie. Not only does she help me in my constant battle against my advancing grey hair but she is a dab hand at handing out excellent and practical advice.

Last week was a bit shit.  Don’t ask me to go into details.  I did that on Monday while the Minx and I were at the hairdressers.  Coralie is an intensely practical person. She listened to me having a bit of a whinge and said:

This is doing you no good. Go home and have a think about 5 things that you are grateful for in your life“.

Then she changed the subject.

So I did. Today I took full advantage of a few of the things that I am grateful for, living in Sydney as we do.

One of those things is the beach, ten minutes drive away from our home.


Ramsgate Beach

The really wonderful thing about Sydney is being close to beaches.

I am at my happiest at the beach. There is something about the sound of the sea that calms me, energises me.

The kids are at their happiest and most creative there, away from the television and the fridge.

As I am sitting there today I realise that the thing about Sydney is – I have learned how much I love and need the sea.  The sound, the smell and the sight of the tide going in and out.  It’s an immutable thing, this ocean around us here in Sydney.

And it heals.

Beneath the mask of solidity that both we and the sea wear, there lies unpredictability, sensitivity, and power. There is much we can learn from the ocean.

Ocean Meditation

Prada Fish Sandals (2005 Summer collection)

Where: Ramsgate Beach NSW
When: 2 pm-ish
What: Mambo White Cotton Embroidered Sun Dress
Bond-Eye Yellow Bikini
(both via

12 thoughts on “The Thing about Sydney – Frocking Friday the Tenth & Shoeper Shoe Challenge #9

  1. I love what you wrote Megan. Although I don’t spend heaps of time at the beach, we are often there during our holidays on the south coast. The pull and push of the tide and the sound of waves always makes me meditative. It’s why I especially love to be near the coast for New Year – the time when I am always feeling especially contemplative.

    Sorry it was such a shit week for you. So many have had bad weeks over the last month – I hope that means good things to come – there has to be some Yin and Yang in life I think.

    Your sea quote bears repeating, knowing what we know about the power of a tsunami. Japan is deeply on my mind right now, I have spent so much time there.

    Beneath the mask of solidity that both we and the sea wear, there lies unpredictability, sensitivity, and power. There is much we can learn from the ocean.

    Thanks Megan, this post hit the right note for me tonight. x

  2. The Minx’s shell creation is wonderful…needs to be printed and framed.

    Indeed, the sea is wonderful. The sound if it pounding the beach at night, its immensee power, and at other times, its serenity. It is full of life and danger. It can terrify and inspire. I have spent a week at sea and have watched the sun set, looking for that fabled last flash. Spent half the night at the stern drinking and laughing with new mates, the night pitch black except for the stars. I understand why people love being at sea. I have never slept so well.

    Paradoxically, I am terrified of being *in* deep water and never swim. My nightmares pfetn involve immense tidal waves (psychologists will tell you why!).

    One of the joys of having kids must be the excuse they give to build sand castles and barricades to hold back the advancing water.

    • My other favourite place to be is on a boat. My husband worked with someone from the Shetlands. Apparently fishermen don’t learn to swim up there. There is no point. If you fall overboard, the icy cold waters will stop your heart before you could complete a single stroke.

      Like you, the best night’s sleep I have ever had was on a boat with friends. On a magical boat trip during which we sailed round Scotland, accompanied by seal, whales and puffins.

    • Gawd only knows what these newfangled notices mean. Probably that I am giving a talk on copyright and the interwebs soon and didn’t want to have someone accuse me of duplicity.

  3. Aaaah… the sibilant susurration of the surf on sand… Perfect ease and tranquility. Agreed. I should go to the beach with my family more often. I like my study too much. I want to take all my books with me.

    Be sure to smother your Celtic skin in sun screen and dip both of the wee ones in a vat of it before each visit. The sun can be harsh.

    • Isn’t that why Apple created iPads? To take books to the beach? Of course electronics and sand don’t work terribly well together.

      Thank you for the sun warning. The 7 year old has never been burned but we frazzled the Minx twice before figuring out that the best time to go to the beach is after 2.30 pm and the best sunscreen is a rashie.

      • I speak from experience. I hardly ever go out in the sun but even incidental sunshine can hurt. I just had a basal cell carcinoma cut out of my forehead. Scary.

        So, no sun between 11am and 2pm.

        LOTS of sunscreen reapplied, especially after a dip.

        A skin check at a proper clinic at least once a year.

        End of lecture.

  4. RE: fishermen and boats above – the sailors on the old Men-o-War weren’t swimmers either. Indeed, they considered it bad luck if one of their number could swim. Presumably they thought the skill might encourage the opportunity and their ship would sink.

  5. I feel the same way as you about the beach. As my daughter said about me yesterday, “My heart is at the beach.”

    I am already planning to spend the rest of my life living near the beach once all my children are grown. I still have a few years to get there since my youngest is just turning 9 (tomorrow!)

    Right now we essentially live in the woods which was great when my older sons were younger as they spent lots of time building forts and playing outside, etc. But I don’t enjoy the cold weather here anymore and, as you said, being at the ocean is incredibly healing, at least for me.

    I hope to have my own little place where I can walk to Mass as often as I like and walk to the beach every day too. I don’t want stuff (a big house, things that have to be cleaned!) to take care of. Give me the sand between my toes!

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