These beaches – the ones in this gap, the ones I visited during my old life, I had to wait to do them because I didn’t need anything extra to make me sad.
Now, however, it’s been so long (it’s now October 2014) I am the opposite of sad. I’m really very happy in my life and looking forward to the future. Going back to these beaches is now just sort of a pain in the ass rather than a pain in the heart. I don’t care. It doesn’t hurt to look at the pictures so much as it makes me gaze with wonder at this life of old.
Now it’s a matter of just getting them done – the one’s without notes are difficult because I need to scratch away the barnacles and try to remember something of day.
Here’s what I can recall … it was warm but with something a bit cool in the breeze. We again collected Sabra for the journey north. I’d never been to Fishermans and it proved a weird sort of beach. It’s an ocean beach but not a surfing beach – there was a diving class going on, and there were – not surprisingly – fishermen.
We sat, we swam, we watched for the scuba divers. We went for a walk around Long Reef Headland and had coffees at Outpost Espresso – which I remember as good.
Fishermans Beach is in Collaroy which is the Warringah Council LGA, Wakehurst State Electorate (Brad Hazzard, Liberal) and Mackeller Federal Division (Bronwyn Bishop, Liberal).
Writing about our visit to Fairlight Beach is an exercise of memory. If I wrote something at the time I’ve lost it and it’s now August 2014.
April 2013 feels like a lifetime ago in so many ways but I do remember the day. It was hot. We had Mitch’s parents’ car while they were on holiday. We collected Sabra from her flat in Balmain and drove to Fairlight. We found a car park almost immediately. As we walked down to the beach Sabra’s then-fiancé-now-husband, Pietro, rang from Italy. They spoke in Italian and catching a few words I felt my study of the language wasn’t entirely a lost cause.
The beach was crowded. The sand was hot. A tap at the back of the beach was broken and gushed fresh water wastefully. Anita, who lives nearby, joined us. The man with the ice-cream tinny arrived and we got cold treats.
We girls swam. Was Mitch thinking of how to get out of this marriage as he sat on the beach? Or did he merely stare at the glistening blue harbour blankly? If I asked I think he’d say “I don’t know” and maybe that would be true.
Perhaps we shouldn’t meddle too much with our memories by applying later knowledge to rearrange the stories we’ve saved.
We weren’t on the beach long, an hour or so – but I think it was good. I remember it as having been good.
Fairlight is named after Fairlight House which was built by Henry Gilbert Smith on land he bought in 1853. The house was named after a village in Hastings, East Sussex, on the south coast of England. The house is long since gone.
Fairlight Beach is a harbour beach in the Manly Council LGA, the State Electorate of Manly (Mike Baird, Liberal) and the Federal Division of Warringah (Tony Abbott, Liberal). It is som 25.1 kilometres (15.6 miles) from home.