Tag Archives: beaches

Beach Bandaid.

Almost everyday, I take the dogs for a walk at “Dog Beach”. It’s a section of beach between Ocean Beach and Ettalong Beaches where dogs can run off the lead. Not only do the dogs run off the lead but so do the humans.
Somehow having a dog breaks down most of those social barriers and we almost all chat to each other and at least know the dogs by name.

Dog Beach: my daughter inscribed this with a stick in the sand.

Dog Beach: my daughter inscribed this with a stick in the sand.

I am quite surprised by the array of dogs which wag their tails, growl, run, chase balls dog along the beach but it’s like Sam the Old English Sheepdog and his mate Hamish, the Lassie Collie really call this stretch of sand home and the rest of us just come and go. They are such character dogs and you don’t see those breeds often in Australia and I’ve never seen them together before so they really stand out. They have such long, adorable coats, that they’re not the sorts of dogs you usually see at the beach either.

I used to have a Lassie as a child and we had an Old English Sheepdog before Bilbo. He was a rescue dog and much of the time we had him, I must admit, we felt like we needed to be rescued what with the flying slobber and his food thieving ways. He’d steal food off the kitchen bench and swallow it bag and all. As if that was crazy enough, he’d run round and round in circles during a storm, huffing and puffing like a freaked out canine locomotive. His name was “Loopy” before we got him and although we changed it to a more dignified “Rufus”, it didn’t change the nature of the dog!

Anyway, if you’ve been following the misfortunes of the beach since “The Storm”, then you’ll know it took a beating. Trees had been ripped out by the roots and scattered like matchsticks by the violent surf along the beach and the place was looking like a war zone.

Here’s a link to a post written during the storm:https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/a-drowned-rat-in-the-sydney-storm/

Then there was Walking Along the Storm Ravaged Beach: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/walking-along-the-storm-ravaged-beach/

I even wrote a poem: Beach Storm:https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/beach-storm/

A vagrant tree branch on the beach after the storms.

A vagrant tree branch on the beach after the storms.

Well, now it looks like a building site. Part of the beach is blocked off with a row of roadworks cones and there’s a roadworks sign in the middle of the beach and often you can see the bulldozer at work moving mountains of sand to try to save the road. Sandbags have been ordered but this situation is very complex and like any ecosystem, there are things you don’t even consider which are somehow part of the picture and there is so much to consider.

Umina Beach just after the storm in April.

Umina Beach just after the storm in April.

That said, you would be surprised how many engineering experts know exactly what to do down at the beach. Everyone has an opinion. No doubt, even the dogs who have turned all the council paraphernalia as yet another “telegraph pole”.

Isn’t it funny how the less you know the more certain you are? Sometimes, we joke about our son who is only 11 but still has his opinions: “Often wrong but never in doubt”. His peers are much the same so it’s nothing personal. Yet, how many adults are much the same? After all, it would be reassuring to have those certainties but a complex problem is a complex problem and usually ends up needing a multi-disciplinary approach to take in at least most of the angles. There is definitely no quick fix!

So, in the meantime, our beach hovers in a kind of life support but it is receiving intensive care and a lot of love.

We wish it a speedy recovery!

xx Rowena

Byron Bay: Australia’s Alternative Paradise.

As  soon as you exit the Pacific Highway and take the Byron Bay exit, throw your watch out the window and prepare to slow down. You’re now on Byron Bay time. Not only that, you’re about to enter another world where it’s more or less assumed that you’re at least somewhat lateral, alternative, creatively inspired or just plain mad. Well, not quite everyone. Byron Bay is no longer the hippy mecca it once was but despite the yuppie blow-ins, it’s retained much of it’s original character. You might just need to look further afield to find it.

Byron is all about taking the road less traveled...the alternative route. Check out my kids exploring the grass off the well-beaten track.

Byron is all about taking the road less traveled…the alternative route. Check out my kids exploring the grass off the well-beaten track.

Dolphins viewed from Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Dolphins viewed from Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Whale Spout near Julian Rocks, Byron Bay.

Whale Spout near Julian Rocks, Byron Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

As we have family living in the Byron Bay hinterland, we tend to head up to Byron at least once a year and Cape Byron Lighthouse has become something of a yardstick of our kids’ growth over the years as I force them through another round of photos against it’s glowing white fascade. You really do need a good pair of sunnies out there.

Family Photo 2nd July 2010 outside Byron Bay Lighthouse

Family Photo 2nd July 2010 outside Byron Bay Lighthouse

Determination!

Determination!

We always stop for an ice cream at the lighthouse and it's always a race to see whether the kids can finish it before it melts.

We always stop for an ice cream at the lighthouse and it’s always a race to see whether the kids can finish it before it melts.

 

Of

Byron Bay looking North to Mt Warning.

Byron Bay looking North to Mt Warning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of  course, Byron i also renowned for it’s many gorgeous beaches and great surf. However, rather than giving you a picture postcard view of Byron Bay, in keeping with the spirit of Byron, I thought I’d share some of the ephemeral sights we’ve uncovered over the years. You see, when it comes to Byron Bay, anything is possible and you certainly don’t need a permit to be a little different.

Starting off at the beach, we came across a sand sculptor who was building the most amazing creations in the sand. He created this fire breathing dragon, which I’ve photographed here. You’ll notice he’s having a cup of tea and that’s my Royal Albert teacup which I photographed around Byron Bay on a few visits. I’m not ashamed of stepping out beyon dthe flow myself.

 

We met a guy who is a world class sandcastle builder and I offered his dragon a cup of tea.

We met a guy who is a world class sandcastle builder and I offered his dragon a cup of tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also stumbled across this medley of musos and dancers who met up around sunset each evening just as the Rainbow Lorrikeets were churping away in the Norfolk Pine Trees beside the beach.  They sure showed me you’re never too old to boogie!

We stumbled across this random group of whatsy-me-call-its: dancers, musos and hangers on which meets around sunset at the Northern end of the beach. They sure showed me you're never too old to boogie!

Musicians and dancers, Byron Bay at sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

Crepes at the Beach: January, 2011.

Crepes at the Beach: January, 2011.

In January 2011, we had a wonderful surprise when a  group of French backpackers set themselves up just off the beach doing a roaring trade selling crepes…just like you’d see on a footpath in Paris. We felt absolutely spoilt indulging in scrumptious Nutella crepes or lemon and sugar after emerging from the surf. As you could imagine, this thriving little enterprise was operating without Council approval or any form of insurance. That is Byron Bay.

As much as we love the beach, the sun demands respect and so we stay off the beach much of the day. One of our other favourite hangouts in Byron Bay is the park beside the railway. This park has the most fabulous climbing tree, which is a type of fig. It got damaged in a storm I believe and it’s fallen over and now grows along the ground like a caterpillar. This makes for fabulous climbing, especially for really little kids who can reach the branches.

This tree has become something of a magic wishing tree and every time we go there, somebody has stuck something different in the branches and we can’t wait to see what’s there. We’re only talking about simple things like ribbons tied in the branches, a milk crate suspended by a rope but on one visit we came across a very touching artistic tribute by a grieving mother whose son had died in the park and she wants to help young people feel good about htemselves and help all of us feel more love.

Mister in our climbing tree in the Railway Park. Every time we go there, something else is hanging there or decorating the tree. It seems like a magic wishing tree although there's a rough side to the park here with drinking etc. We need to choose our moments wisely when we take the kids.

Mister in our climbing tree in the Railway Park. Every time we go there, something else is hanging there or decorating the tree. It seems like a magic wishing tree although there’s a rough side to the park here with drinking etc. We need to choose our moments wisely when we take the kids.

She decorated the climbing tree with bright yellow flowers and painted the park benches with all sorts of messgaes and graphics. I was still wandering around with my tea cup and photographed it wioth her artworks.

 

Tea Cup in the Railway Park, 2011.

Tea Cup in the Railway Park, 2011.

A heart broken mother whose son died in this park wrote these messages on the park benches.

 

Unfortunately, even paradise has it’s underbelly and Byron Bay is no exception. Unfortunately, our beloved park attracts some heavy drinkers who can get quite narky and obviously, this isn’t a suitable environment for the kids. I’ve also heard that there are quite a few rapes.

Thje photo below was taken at the old railway station where I’ve sure homeless people must doss down. Sadly, Byron Bay isn’t just all beautiful beaches, peace, love and serenity.

Sadly, Byron Bay isn't just all beautiful beaches, peace, love and serenity.

On a more poitive note, of course, no tour of Byron Bay is complete without going Kombi spotting. Back in the day, Kombis were all lined up prked along the beachfront with boards on their backs. You can still spot Kombis around town these days but they are obviously thinning out. Here’s one I spotted by the railway station:

In it's heyday, Byron Bay was Kombi paradise with rows of Kombis parked beside the each with boards on top.

In it’s heyday, Byron Bay was Kombi paradise with rows of Kombis parked beside the each with boards on top.

This is by no means a comprehenive tour of Byron Bay. I haven’t evn covered Byron Bay’s famous markets, which sell the very best chocolate donuts that ever walked this planet. They’re more of a cross between a jam donut and a chocolate croissant and just thinking about them is making me feel like getting in the car and driving  North.

While it’s a bit of a thing to climb Mt Warning or to the lighthouse to watch the sunrise, we are better equiped for watching the sunset and this is the prfect way to exit Byron Bay.

The Sun Set Byron Bay

The Sun Set Byron Bay

This is my second contribution to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Bis for Byron Bay.

xx Rowena

I am participating in the A-Z Challenge.

I am participating in the A-Z Challenge.

 

My Dog Post: Lady at Palm Beach, Sydney.

Welcome to Summer in Palm Beach, Sydney on Australia’s East Coast.

Of course, this means that if you’re visiting us from frozen lands across the globe, you’ll need to turn up the heat…a lot!! It’s incredibly hot here and we’re all fighting for a bit of shade. Indeed, a little bit of snow and ice would be most welcome over here!!

Lady...A picture of innocence.

I’m such a picture of innocence.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Lady. Perhaps, you’ve met me before on Mum’s blog. If not, you can meet me here: Introducing Lady  https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/introducing-lady-our-new-dog/

and Portrait of a Lady: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/portrait-of-a-lady/

Perhaps, I shouldn’t have brought these damaging posts back up. Some things are best left buried in the past and never dug up. However, the photos are good and as for the words….I assure you, it’s all lies. Mum has an overactive imagination and a real gift for hyperbole. That might be good for her writing but it hasn’t helped my reputation.

You see, after all of her tales, I’ve actually acquired something of a reputation for being:”wild”, “mischievous” and an all-round “bad dog”. I wasn’t impressed at this complete lack of respect. After all, I was just a dog being a dog….nothing more, nothing less. Now, other mums and dads pull their dogs away whenever they try to say hello. I’ve been deemed a “bad influence”.

After all of that dreadful publicity, I seriously considered suing Mum and terminating her blog. However, if there’s one thing you soon learn as a pup, it’s not to bite the hand that feeds you…especially when bacon fat, BBQ chook and juicy bones are at stake. It’s all part of a dog’s modus operandi to encourage good relations with the family cook..even if that does involve suffering a few indignities on the  world wide web.

Anyway, Mum and Dad are serious disciplinarians. So instead of clearing the road of dead rabbits, I’m on a strict diet of tennis balls. These might thrill Bilbo and turn the usually comatose  mutt into some  sort of Olympic champion, but personally I still can’t see the point. Tennis balls taste nothing like rabbit! Yuck!

So here I am writing my first post on Mum’s blog. Once again, she’s off having a nap and I’m getting up to mischief… business as usual. I thought it was about time I had my turn and shared a few thoughts of my own.

You’ll have to forgive my elementary efforts at applying my paws to this a#@*#  keyboard. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way…thank goodness for spell check. Now, even a computer-illiterate, uneducated scruffy mutt like me can connect with the world. Amazing!!

That said, I’m much more adept at leaving messages on posts of a different sort and I can assure you, that they’ve attracted quite a lot of traffic. After all, I’m a very popular dog. At least, I was before Mum spoke. Although I only attract local traffic and 62 nationalities visited Mum’s blog last year, my stats blow hers right out of the water. I mean, if you want to talk about views, visitors, likes and followers, I’m the undisputed Queen. You might think that as a Lady, I might be getting ahead of myself but I beg to disagree. I’m hot and once I clear up all of Mum’s tattletales, I’ll be back to my old form.

Unfortunately, Mum doesn’t always appreciate my popularity. She’s always in such a rush and just wants to keep walking. Raves on about me lowering her heart-rate. That it’s all my fault that she’s put on weight. She even threatens to leave me at home.

But I’m simply a dog being a dog. That’s all. I can’t help it if  I’ve had an enthusiastic response on my posts. Of course, all these messages are terribly exciting for a dog. It’s the canine equivalent to “you’ve got mail!!” Being a deeply caring sort of dog and a good communicator, I just can’t give a stock standard reply to all my messages the way humans do. Oh no! Each and every message deserves a personal response and I must admit that I get quite thirsty after all that hard work.

However, while Mum doesn’t like waiting for me, the same rules don’t apply to her. When she’s chatting, she forgets all about her heart rate and has no consideration for getting me back home in time for my morning rave at the postman. Oh no! She only stops when she’s ready to stop. If I so much as nudge on the lead, then I’m a “bad dog”. Where’s the fairness in that?I know she writes all about egalitarianism and the golden rule but does she put any of that talk into action? Not on your life. I wouldn’t believe a word of her precious philosophical theories. Besides, she gets most of her material from me and the rest of the family.She doesn’t make it up.

Soon we’ll all be seeking royalties!

Need shade. Lady and Bilbo sheltering from the boiling summer sun.

Bilbo and I sheltering from the boiling summer sun in the shade of the boat house. We’re dreaming of a kennel conversion. .

Anyway, aside from trying to rebuild my shattered reputation, I’ve also jumped online to tell you that we’re on holidays at Palm Beach for a few days. I’m told that Palm Beach is where they film the hit TV drama series, Home & Away, except we’re on the Pittwater side, which is better for sailing than surfing.

I’ve been hard at work since we arrived investigating one of life’s perplexing mysteries.

High Tide, Piitwater, Palm Beach on the way out to go sailing.

High Tide, Piitwater, Palm Beach on the way out to go sailing.

For some strange reason, the water in our backyard keeps coming and going. One minute there’s water and slowly but surely it disappears and this whole new world opens up. I’m not talking about your ordinary puddle, which might just evaporate in the sun. This is a huge body of water….so much bigger than a puddle. Nothing, could drink up all that water. Moreover, that doesn’t explain how the water comes back…even when you factor in the waterworks  Humph! I just don’t get it. Where does it all go? How does it come back? Moreover, what are those scuttling critters who tried to bite me on the nose when I dared to investigate?

DSC_5229

I was watching these critters this morning at low tide.

 

There are so many mysteries in this world for a little dog. My head hurts!

While we’re on the subject of mysteries, what happened to all the rabbits? I found one and as we all know, there’s no such thing as just one rabbit. Rabbits breed like rabbits. There has to be more but even I, the master rabbit hunter of the mighty Tenterfield Ranges,  hasn’t been able to sniff them out.

Humph! As I said, life is full of many, many mysteries!

Love & Doggies Kisses,

Lady