Yesterday I took Mum’s bike out of the garage and circled the peninsula around its very edge. It was my first time on the new bike track they’ve installed along the river side on the west, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous ride. Once I reached the bridge in the north, I turned off the track and cycled around underneath it. I’ve never been there before, and it kind of looked like the type of place you might get a knife in the ribs late at night. However in the grey light of oncoming evening, it was really quite lovely. Leaving the bike under some marsh bushes, I waded out on the silt to dip my feet in the river. The tide was low and I could get out almost halfway. I looked back down the river towards Stockton, with Newcastle looming behind it, and for a moment felt very far away from things. The moment broke as a car pulled up under the pylons. I sprinted back across the sand and up the rocks to the bike, hoping the two men who’d emerged from the car were unpacking fishing rods and not, say, anything I shouldn’t be seeing. Racing back down the road into Stockton itself, I turned sharply across the peninsula and over towards the ocean, stopping on the verge across from the lot where Mum and Dad are building the new house. I leant the bike against the stairs down to the beach, kicked off my sandals, and hit the pale blue water up to my knees, washing off the river mud. That evening, Mum, Dad and I watched Jeff Who Lives At Home and ate turkey and cranberry sandwiches, and they laughed at each other while making bowls of macadamia ice cream and strawberries. It’s pretty good to be back here.

Yesterday I took Mum’s bike out of the garage and circled the peninsula around its very edge. It was my first time on the new bike track they’ve installed along the river side on the west, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous ride.

Once I reached the bridge in the north, I turned off the track and cycled around underneath it. I’ve never been there before, and it kind of looked like the type of place you might get a knife in the ribs late at night. However in the grey light of oncoming evening, it was really quite lovely. Leaving the bike under some marsh bushes, I waded out on the silt to dip my feet in the river. The tide was low and I could get out almost halfway. I looked back down the river towards Stockton, with Newcastle looming behind it, and for a moment felt very far away from things.

The moment broke as a car pulled up under the pylons. I sprinted back across the sand and up the rocks to the bike, hoping the two men who’d emerged from the car were unpacking fishing rods and not, say, anything I shouldn’t be seeing. Racing back down the road into Stockton itself, I turned sharply across the peninsula and over towards the ocean, stopping on the verge across from the lot where Mum and Dad are building the new house. I leant the bike against the stairs down to the beach, kicked off my sandals, and hit the pale blue water up to my knees, washing off the river mud.

That evening, Mum, Dad and I watched Jeff Who Lives At Home and ate turkey and cranberry sandwiches, and they laughed at each other while making bowls of macadamia ice cream and strawberries. It’s pretty good to be back here.

On Patrol, Stockton Beach, January 2011

I’ve spent most of the last three weeks or so in Stockton, and made it to the beach almost every morning I’ve been here (only missed two). So much easier than going swimming anywhere in Sydney, where I have to work out how to get there, and catch two buses and a train, and take my whole handbag, and leave it on the beach… Here I just grab a towel and hop on my bike and I’m there. I can even leave my glasses and watch in the first aid room. Brilliant.

On Patrol, Stockton Beach, January 2011

I’ve spent most of the last three weeks or so in Stockton, and made it to the beach almost every morning I’ve been here (only missed two). So much easier than going swimming anywhere in Sydney, where I have to work out how to get there, and catch two buses and a train, and take my whole handbag, and leave it on the beach… Here I just grab a towel and hop on my bike and I’m there. I can even leave my glasses and watch in the first aid room. Brilliant.

This is home. Stockton Beach at (very) high tide. While I was at Mum’s over the Easter break my youngest brother managed to wake me up, without fail, before 7am every morning. This turned out alright, because I’d potter around for a couple of hours before jumping on my old bike and riding the few blocks around the waterfront to the surf club where my uncle was on duty as lifeguard. It’s amazing what half an hour in the surf will do for my mood.
Sydney beaches have nothing on this. Uncrowded sand for 32 km, almost as far as you can see, 30m high dunes up north near the shipwrecks, and a big ol’ Great White Shark breeding ground. Did I mention my siblings worked their way through the Jaws series this weekend? I have to say though, after my small mishap on the Central Coast a few months ago, I’m probably more scared of errant currents than sharks.
(photo via wikipedia)

This is home. Stockton Beach at (very) high tide. While I was at Mum’s over the Easter break my youngest brother managed to wake me up, without fail, before 7am every morning. This turned out alright, because I’d potter around for a couple of hours before jumping on my old bike and riding the few blocks around the waterfront to the surf club where my uncle was on duty as lifeguard. It’s amazing what half an hour in the surf will do for my mood.

Sydney beaches have nothing on this. Uncrowded sand for 32 km, almost as far as you can see, 30m high dunes up north near the shipwrecks, and a big ol’ Great White Shark breeding ground. Did I mention my siblings worked their way through the Jaws series this weekend? I have to say though, after my small mishap on the Central Coast a few months ago, I’m probably more scared of errant currents than sharks.

(photo via wikipedia)

Things That Are Less Than Awesome

  • Dial-up internet. Why. Why.
  • Forty-one degree heat.

Things That Are Oh My God, So Great

  • Two hours of solid piano-playing (Not very well. But who cares?)
  • Terrible grand-jetés all the way down the back lane.
  • Watching Grey’s Anatomy DVDs with Mum, always with obligatory cups of tea (I haven’t really followed the series, but she cries almost every episode. Oh Mum.)
  • Stockton sea breezes
  • Baking up an absolute storm (featuring three zillion cookies, plus some banana muffins and chocolate cupcakes)
  • Night time walks along the Stockton breakwall
  • Lots more music courtesy of my sister’s excellent taste
  • My Dad’s camera, which I have gained temporary possession of, and am now using to photograph anything that comes near me. People in my train carriage started shooting nervous looks at me after about the first hour. You have been warned.