Although I’m not far off hitting a half century, I still haven’t lost a child-like appreciation for the tiny rock pools and their ephemeral cast of creatures ranging from small to the miscroscopic. Indeed, I still can’t resist the temptation to stick my finger in the water and poke something. I love fixating on a snail looking for any possible signs of movement, even if it was only a tad of a micro-millimetre. While such rock pools are nowhere big enough to be an octopus’s garden, they have that same sense of awe and magic.
Yesterday, Geoff and I drove to Pearl Beach, which is about 15 minutes drive away. When you look at the featured image, the row of buildings on the adjacent beach is pretty close to home. Map of Pearl Beach
In typical fashion, I’d mixed up the date of the Pearl Beach Food & Wine Festival and we turned up a week late only to find an art exhibition in the hall instead and a half-hour wait for fish & chips. Hence, we ended up walking along the beach and onto the rocks. Well, at least our feet were doing the walking while our eyes were out on stalks with the camera at the ready. That’s right. I’m talking about a real Nikon SLR camera with a zoom lens and not one of those pathetic excuses for a camera AKA your mobile phone.
Personally, I don’t need much encouragement to find spectacular beauty in the everyday, especially when it looks like this. However, knowing that people on the opposite side of the world who’ve never been to Australia, will get to share in these places through my blog, has helped me to appreciate our everyday yet incredible, unique beauty through fresh eyes.
Pearl Beach is located 92 km north of Sydney on the NSW Central Coast and about a 15 minute drive from Woy Woy of Spike Milligan fame. Nestled away from civilization via a steep winding road through the National Park, Pearl Beach has a smattering of beach houses hiding in the bush and a community hall which forms the social hub. Real estate prices are comparatively steep and Pearl Beach has become a bit of a hide out for the rich and famous where they appear remarkably understated, blending into the landscape. There’s also a very strong artistic influence and writers and artists are lurking in the undergrowth, cafe or somewhere along the beach and rock pools. I used to take my kids to playgroup there where Santa would turn up on a vintage fire truck siren blaring. There’s also a yoga group meeting there, which I’m planning to try out in a few weeks after the school holidays. Somehow yoga in Pearl Beach has added appeal and I’ll let you know how that pans out.
Speaking about our trip to Pearl Beach, we had an unexpected detour on the way home. We spotted a sign for an art and garage sale down a side street just before we drove back up the hill towards civilization. If you’ve got to know me at all, you’ll know that I’m an op shop and garage sale junkie and I’m hugely into retro and antiques. Indeed, I’m not really from the modern era.
So, I was delighted to spot a vintage laminex table with original chairs which took me time travelling back to my childhood. I’m sure we had a table and chairs something like that…or perhaps it was my grandparents’. I could almost feel my small self trying to heave myself up and onto the seat…such a battle when you’re toddling around. I managed to resist the table but I did by an antique picture frame which has waratah’s carved into the wood, a wooden box with compartments inside to help me get more organized, an Oroton bag for $5.00 (you beauty!!) and a Companion to Henry Lawson Fifteen Stories, which has a lot of incredible insights into one of Australia’s greatest writers and a few good writing tips thrown in as well. It was written in 1959 and it’s currently sitting right beside me and I want to read and work through it immediately before it gets buried in my other good intentions.
While there’s no photographic proof, a certain no-name violinist gave an impromptu recital at the garage sale to demonstrate a violin which was up for sale. Of course, the identity of this bold, shameless violinist remains a mystery but if you read in between the lines, you might be able to work it out. BTW the demo might’ve had a negative effect because as far as I know, the violin didn’t sell.
So, we ended up having quite an unexpected trip to Pearl Beach and today my husband went back to the garage sale and bought our son a surfboard. Looks like he’ll be extending his wings from sailing on still water to taking on the waves. Bring it on.
What a beautiful place, Rowena. I love the little rock pools too.
The vintage dinette is a terrific find. Hugs.
It must be amazing to swim on that pool so near to the sea.
We sometimes have to stop and remind ourselves of the beauty which is in our own backyards. I also love exploring the rock pools on our beaches – they are so every changing.
That’s a lovely post, and two things stand out. Rock pools: a combination of Jacques Cousteau and rock pools on the beach outside my grandparents house inspired me to become a marine biologist. Spike Milligan: as a gawky teenager I dated his daughter Jane for a few months.
You know what would make a trip to Pearl Beach even better? DOGS!!!
(They paid me to write that.)
I’m not sure what the status of dogs is over at Pearl Beach. Much easier to take them to our local beach, which is a bit overdue too. It’s a perfect day for it though. My son just came back from walking Zac round the streets but I might take the other two to the beach. We’re taken all three before and none have come when called which wasn’t the best.
BTW I’m not surprised the dogs paid you to write that. A few beers went missing from the fridge and your seemingly rather relaxed…
I didn’t know you’re a marine biologist. My 14 year old son has been wanting to become a marine biologist since he was five, although we might be encouraging him to keep his options open and broaden his horizons. What area of marine biology do you work in? I’m like yourself. Have always been mesmerized by rock pools and I know it’s very bad these days but we used to find crabs on the rocks and take them home to die. We knew better then too but there seemed to be plenty of them and the earth seemed to be a bottomless cup. My parents used to have a house right on the waterfront at Palm Beach on the river side and we’d explore the mudflats for hours with the kids and dogs. At low tide, it was our extended backyard. I miss it. Here’s a post: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/exploring-our-borrowed-backyard-palm-beach/
BTW that’s funny that you dated Spike Milligan’s daughter. I have an English blogging friend who finds it rather amusing that I live near Woy Woy after Spike’s jokes. I picked up quite a few of his books from a garage sale. Must get around to reading them along with everything else.
Ditto with exclamation marks!!!
I studied marine biology at Newcastle University having made my mind up at 7 that it is what I wanted to do. I realised pretty quick that there were very few jobs so did an M.Sc. at Bangor University in Fisheries Biology and Management. Then to the Falklands for a year with the Government Fisheries department, then I returned to the UK and worked in freshwater fisheries with the National Rivers Authority. I have been working in the public sector ever since, and more recently with the civil service. I moved from fisheries into environmental communications in 2004 and have been doing that since. Most of my marine biology days exist in memories only.
OMG I think I would of bought way more than I needed including that cute little table for the deck, we had a green one when I was growing up. LOL what a fun day….xx
Beautiful post !! Wishes from the other end ❤✨😍