After a steamy, hot morning of gardening, animal wrangling and painting, I flopped onto the verandah sofa more than a bit buggered. I had suggested to Noah that a trip to our local beach – Bermagui – might be nice, especially since the perfect summer’s day lay before us.
Now, oh I was happy just to lie in the shade and read. The thought of wriggling into bathers, hopping into a hot car, and driving 20 minutes was utterly unappealing, no matter what lay at the other end.
But, being the sort of person who has a constant stream of self generated, back and forth conversation in her head, it wasn’t long before I reasoned it was now more than a week into February. Before we knew it, Autumn would be marching on in and these glorious hot days would once again be something we could only dream of.
And here we are living on one of the loveliest stretches of coastline, my beautiful Pacific Ocean almost at my doorstep. How could we not just take advantage of this at every opportunity?
So before I could effortlessly talk myself OUT of it, I marched inside, wriggled into those bathers and called out “Noah, do you want to go for a swim? I’m ready now!” He needed no further prompting and we were winding down the pretty road between Cobargo and Bermagui before Julian even noticed.
Now one thing about Bermagui – if you happen to mention to a local that there’s a bit of a breeze blowing, they’ll reply “It’s always blowy in Bermi!”
So it’s often the way that we leave home hot and sticky and just hanging out for a swim, only to arrive in Bermagui and it’s at least 5 degrees cooler and the minute you plop your hat onto your head, it blows off.
But today that wind was only a gentle breeze and the water was utterly glorious. Cold at first, but so fresh and beautiful that within moments it was pure bliss to be gliding through the water.
There were delightful wee fish darting amongst the rocks with their pretty pink and green plants. Fierce little crabs scuttled back and forth along ridges of honeycomb like rock. Magnificent waves, crashed onto the rocks just metres away from where we swam in calm safety.
And looking further down the coast, there were majestic views of steep, untouched cliffs, and gentle rich green pastures rolling right down to the rocky edges of the ocean.
As I floated on my back, the warmth of the sun pouring through me, feeling deliriously happy, all that chatter in my head was reduced to simply repeating …
“We live here now! This is finally our home! Oh my goodness we are so blessed. Can you believe it – we LIVE here!”
Every time I said it out loud to Noah, he laughed and replied “We do! It’s pretty cool, huh!”
After our swim, we drifted back through the little town – bought gelati at the deservedly famous Bermagui Gelati Clinic – if you look intently at the lower of the three signs, you can see that they simply painted “Gelati” over the previous “Veterinary” – too funny! For a bitingly zesty and fresh treat I heartily recommend the grapefruit gelati. And Noah swears watermelon has never tasted as watermelony as the watermelon gelati.
We were also very pleased to discover that to the left of the Gelati Clinic is HonorBread and to the right, Mister Jones Expresso. Woohoo! We’ll have to return in the morning next time to get our fill of these two delights.
Then we swung on over to the Fishing Co-Op for prawns and flathead for tonight’s supper – a Stephanie Alexander favourite – Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Seafood.
By the time we turned westward for home, misty clouds had settled over our mountains and we arrived home just in time to gather the animals and washing in, light the lamps, and draw into our cosy little home before a light rain fell. It was the perfect end to a lovely afternoon.
Now, my life isn’t all roses by any stretch of the imagination. I get tired and grumpy. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and at other times as flat as a pancake. Sometimes Julian and I bicker, with lots of eye rolling, pointed glares and exasperated sighs – usually on my part – he’s a lot more mature :-) Sometimes things don’t work out at all like I thought – hoped – they would.
Sad things happen – as they do throughout every human’s life – and some days the best I can do is remind myself – and whoever else is nearby – that “this too will pass”. There’s never enough hours in the day – or money in our pockets – to do everything we’d like.
And it’s taken us 20 years of hard work (mostly Julian’s), a second degree and more hard work (mine), and making do (all three of us!) to finally buy our first home.
But I have to confess that since we arrived here at Wombat Hill, things are pretty marvellous actually. I’m sure there’ll be plenty more times when having a good cry will be my preferred option – something it’s taken me 45 years to understand is perfectly normal and not a sign that the sky is about to fall – but for now …
We live here! And there’s so much to love about it.