Beach Days

Yesterday was a very lazy day… I got up rather later than I expected, which altogether wasn’t unexpected :), and meandered around for a bit. I put some washing on and then went walkies to Benton’s Square for cereal and milk, of which there were none. Nearly two hours later, I finally returned… that bloody mushroom city between Craigie road and Bentons road is damn near impenetrable. The real clincher is that it’s apparently numerous separate estates, probably developed by different groups, and thus it’s like little islands, with minimal – if any – paths between them. Grrr.

Anyway, once I’d chowed down on some cereal I became very lethargic, so I sat back and watched TV for a bit. There was a thing on SBS about American boxing in the 20’s and 30’s – Jack Johnson, Joe Lewis, Max whosiswhatsits, etc. It was more or less all B&W, and while I don’t care for boxing itself it was a rather interesting show; primarily because it looked at the politics – sporting, racial, governmental – behind everything.

I particularly liked one anecdote about Jack Johnson though. Apparently he was doing 80mph along some road, and was pulled over by a cop. The cop told him it was a $50 fine for speeding, so Jack handed him a $100 bill and said he was coming back the same way. :D

Eventually though I couldn’t stand the laziness any longer, so I forced myself up off the couch and headed off to the beach. Sket wanted to go to Safety beach, where a friend has a beachbox, and so off I went. I’d become a little confused at some point, however, about timing – I thought Sket had work yesterday, and so I was surprised when she suggested moving to Safety beach instead, implying she was already down the beach (at Mt. Martha). ‘course, when I got down to Safety beach and rang her (just after 2pm) she was still at work. D’oh. :)

Anyway, that didn’t fuss me much – I found a relatively spacious spot and went for a swim. I was in the water for quite a while, since sunbaking really isn’t my thing and there wasn’t much else to do otherwise – I don’t wear sunnies and so can’t really participate in the popular beach sport of Perving. Plus I didn’t have sunscreen, and wanted to avoid burning as much as I could. After a while though it started to get a little cool, with the wind picking up, so I did exit the water. I sat on the beach for maybe an hour or so, covering my face with my towel, as I could already feel myself getting a bit warm. (and it’s just as well I did – I’m afraid to make a facial expression now in case I crack :/ )

While I was sitting there I noticed everyone looking back up at Mt. Martha, and upon following their gaze saw a huge cloud of smoke erupting from just over the hill. Lots of thick, black smoke. It wasn’t clear whether it was just a housefire or something more ominous… while most of the smoke was ultimately white and not particularly troublesome, every now and again a big black plume would rise up as well… that happened probably eight or more times, that I saw, over the course of the afternoon. A firetruck went past, sirens blazing, from down Dromana- or Rosebud-way… but that was quite some time after the first smoke – possibly as much as half an hour. Not a particularly fast response by any measure.

When I finally met up with Sket & Sean, they noted that they’d seen the fire as they were driving past. It was a small grass/bushfire in the reserve, not far from Sean’s house. That must have been a bit concerning for them, although Sean seemed pretty relaxed about it… until I commended him on being so relaxed, which caused him to worry. :)

So anyway, the beachbox belongs to Jenna (sp?), who also has a [presumably just beach-] house in one of the streets behind it. So I met her and her boyfriend Cameron (a.k.a. Oats). They seem really nice; I’d had reservations while heading down there as to whom I might be meeting… not that Sket has bad friends really, just that there’s been a few occasions where friends-of-friends haven’t been all that crash hot.

We played frisbee in the water for a while, before lounging on the beach for a while, chatting, and collectively doing the crossword in some random magazine. Much lounging was had, overall, although I did have a shot on one of the two surf-skiis they have, along with Sean. I was surprised at how difficult they were – in fact, I was just saying to Sean how I’d been kayaking every other week last year, and yet the surf-skiis were quite tricky, when I rolled over. :D

I think that was mainly because I was a bit gung-ho about it… after climbing back aboard I took it a bit easier and more carefully, and certainly once we got past the shorebreak it was much easier – although still requiring a bit of concentration.

But then, when you think about it, a kayak is pretty stable, really… it’s quite hard to actually roll one accidentally in calm waters. Whereas a surf ski is no better than a surfboard – probably worse – so when you’ve got no wave underneath you to provide stability, well…

Still, it was fun, and at least now I can say I’ve done it. We didn’t go far – just out a bit then straight back to the beach. Sean realised he still had his sunnies on and immediately worried about losing them if he came off. Bah. Sunnies should be banned. :P

By about 7pm a few of us at least were getting a bit peckish, so plans were made to go… somewhere. It seems collectively this lot are as useless at making decisions as I can be. :) Eventually it was decided that the Rosebud pub would be suitable – there was much discussion on the price of parmas, ergo the selection of a pub. We also apparently wanted somewhere with a big outdoor area, to ensure we could get a seat there, although we sat inside anyway.. :)

I was a bit worried about being a spare wheel, being with two couples of which I only really know one, and didn’t want to overstay my welcome having already crashed their beachbox. The discussion on dinner had been primarily amongst the four of them, with Cameron adding at the end an invitation to me. Sean & Sket insisted I wasn’t unwanted, so I went with them to dinner, against my bitter but not resolved judgement. I think in any case I made my usefulness apparent by offering to drive them all down and back, eliminating entirely the arguments over who would have to drive, and thus not drink. :)

Dinner was good. It was a little pricey – $19 for a parma – although with a buffet salad it wasn’t too bad… plus dessert was only $5 more, and I made sure to get my value for that. :D

Cameron and Jenna are very cute together. Although Jenna scolded Cameron many times for risqué or lewd comments, she usually did so while laughing – or suppressing laughter – in that familiar coupley way. :) They don’t act like a couple who’ve been together for three years – much more like 12 months, or even less. It’s good to see people comfortable with each other, yet still enjoying each other’s basic company so much. I’m almost less jaded as a result. :D

After dinner I decided it was best to head home in any case; I’m not sure what everyone else was doing, but I figured all afternoon and evening with me is more than enough on a first meeting. :) Plus I wanted to get work done today, which meant not having too late a night. And my sunburn was making itself well known by that point – with that curious side-effect of making me sleepy.

Getting home was a nightmare – all roads lead nowhere in the housing behind Safety beach. Essentially you either go along the beach road to Mt. Martha – a very pleasant but slow drive – or all the way back to Dromana to get on the freeway. Completely retarded. So I’ve now explored half that area, while just trying to find a way out.

When I got back to dad’s his car was there, but he was nowhere to be seen and there was only the stair light on. There were several other cars out the front of Jens’ barn, however, and I could see lots of lights down behind it, so I figured there was some party on. I wandered over just to say hi and check that dad was there, but he wasn’t as it turns out, and I ended up sitting down with them for an hour or so. Half a dozen friends of Jens’ that I haven’t met before – Adam & Kirsten, Scott & Nick (Nikki?), and… ‘Rod’ (I think it’s a nickname) plus another girl who’s name escapes me now. They were mostly rather warm and fuzzy from Jens’ fruit cocktails, Kirsten in particular, so the conversation was at times a little pedestrian and loud. :) Still, it was good to sit out and chill a bit… literally as well as figuratively, as by then my legs felt like electric radiators from the sunburn, and the cool night air was kind to them.

I did eventually get into bed some time before midnight, and fell asleep surprisingly quickly given how tender half my body was, but I had constant and very weird dreams as a result.

During the evening I reflected briefly on the past few days, and the warm buzz I’ve had from them. Lots of sun, sand and ocean (well, bay), with good friends and scarcely a worry in the world. Why didn’t I discover this two months ago at the start of summer? :D

This next week though, while I do want to get pop’s catamaran into the water and sailing, I have work to do, and intend to do so. Hopefully I’ll soon know what’s happening with the U.S. visa, one way or another, which will let me make concrete plans about this roadtrip. But I’m not holding my breathe – there’s always that one other thing that rears it’s ugly head – and in the meantime of course life ain’t that bad. :)

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