The only boy on the beach

The walk from the Ibis Hotel (not the budget one) to the Domestic Terminal is amazingly short. According to Sharon, the hotel is where the staff car park used to be. I asked where the staff park was now but what she said didn’t make a lot of sense. What did make sense was hearing about her gall bladder removal (“I was going to die!” she assured me).

“Hold on when using the travelater and keep control of your luggage.”

The thought of Sharon’s gall bladder exploding was enough to set me on my way, thankful that my life was happy and explosion free. The discussion of Sharon’s medical issues forced me to to go to the Coffee Club to buy a latte. I then went and joined Ron as we waited for the rest of his passengers for his giant bus.

(While we were waiting, I saw another few thousand Chinese tourists wearing identical blue and white jackets newly arrived in the country. It’s a bit weird.)

He told me he had the big bus because sometimes he had a lot of passengers. This morning he had eight…and one didn’t turn up. So, with seven passengers, Ron drove us to Aussie World where we were split into our various destinations. I was the only one in my mini-bus and chatted with the driver about, of all things, cooking. He was amazed at how his ex-mother-in-law made the perfect crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside roast potatoes. So I told him.

I realised how reconstructed and modern we were. Then he started telling me what he used to call other races back when he was a kid. He told me how he teased his daughter (who is a teacher) by saying certain words which are no longer acceptable. What a jolly chap.

He drop me off at mum’s. It had been a long morning. In order to fill my day with more joy, Mum told me about the day that Uncle Les was born. Apparently he asks her to tell him the story all the time. It goes something like this:

During the Blitz, with bombs falling all over London, Grandma decided to start to go into labour. Grandad ordered everyone (Mum and Uncle Buster) to sit with their backs to the bed rather than go and sit in the bomb shelter which he and Uncle Arthur had built in the back garden, I guess for no real reason.

Grandma probably made a lot of noise but no-one could hear it over the exploding bombs. Mum (aged 7) claims that Grandad suddenly dumped a squalling baby in her arms and told her to look after him because he was her little brother. All she thought was why on earth she had to look after the smelly, screaming bundle of joy that was Uncle Les.

A little later Mum said it was a shame that the story of Uncle Les’ birth hadn’t been recorded somewhere…so there you are.

A little later, Denise came round with Kelly, Jaxon and Maddy and we all set off for Golden Beach. After the Parking Angels presented us with somewhere to park, we staked our claim on the last table in the park. Then Denise, Maddy and I walked the 37 miles to the chippie where we bought lunch.

It shows how far we walked when you realise that Mum continually texted us to see where we’d gone for food. She figured we’d caught the fish and dug up the spuds.

This is Maddy’s sufferance smile

I had some lovely calamari (no, Fi, not as good as Vikings) and salad. Jaxon had crumbed nuggets and chips…though he wasn’t particularly keen on the chips. Not that that mattered because Maddy is a bit manic for chips. I quite fancied Kelly’s salad. Actually, talking of salad, we didn’t have any cutlery so were forced to use the cutlery that nature provided us with. And I can report that it isn’t that easy to eat mayonnaise with your fingers.

After eating, Jaxon insisted that he wanted to go for a swim in “the big ocean” by which he meant Pumicestone Passage. He changed into his swimmers then we walked down to the waters edge.

Jaxon went slightly further but when the water lapped at his ankles, he declared it “super freezing” and ran back.

We thought he was going to run in properly and go for a swim but every time he reached the water, he’d baulk and stop short of getting anything wet beyond the beginnings of his calves. Then, suddenly, he went a little bit further than he intended to. His face was a picture of shock and disbelief. He returned to us wanting to know why he was so wet. Funny kid.

Actually he gave me a maths lesson. He’s pretty good at his addition and quickly proved how rubbish I am. 2+1 has always been a tricky one for me. Cheers, Jaxon.

Anyway, it was a lovely (three mother’s) day at Golden Beach but, like all things, it had to end. Kelly drove home while Denise drove mum and me back to the house for a cuppa and a chat (particularly about Bob’s trip to Jersey which has taken on epic proportions) before Denise left us in order to get some sleep. Maddy made it impossible last night.

Uncle Ronnie rang and chatted to mum for a bit but, basically, the rest of the day/night was spent trying to stay awake (me).

Slightly before I collapsed into a flight induced, sleep deprived coma, Mirinda Skyped me from her walk in the Frensham countryside. It made me ridiculously homesick…even at this distance.

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