I do love to be beside the seaside as the song goes. My first visits were to the English seaside towns of Clacton on Sea and Brightlingsea. I still have pleasant memories of rides on the pier at Clacton, beach huts where people sat in deckchairs, Punch & Judy, donkeys, sandcastles and little shops with displays of postcards, buckets and spades and fishing nets on the pavement outside; and of course sticks of bright pink, sticky rock with the town’s name in the centre. Do they still do that I wonder?
Australian beaches were so different, no donkeys for a start but they seemed to go on forever. I was never one for baking myself in the sun on the beach and I found the sand uncomfortably hot to walk on sometimes but I did love to live close to the beach. David and I lived at Hallett Cove in South Australia for more than 25 years. That was a rocky beach and not frequented by visitors as much except for those who came to visit the nearby conservation park and see the rock formations from what was once a glacier. Those of us who lived there enjoyed walking our dogs on the beach and I went there a lot.
David and I also enjoyed driving along the coast. When we went to visit David’s family or Naomi we usually opted to drive a route that took us past the beaches at Marino, Brighton, Grange, Henley Beach and Semaphore. Naomi lived at Semaphore for some years and she and I had a lot of walks on the beach from Semaphore to Largs where we’d stop for ice cream at the kiosk before walking back again. We used to like seeing all the grand old houses and we had favourite places where we liked to get ice cream or fish and chips. Sadly, it’s all different now. The old houses are nearly all gone, replaced by ugly grey McMansions and the old cafes an kiosks replaced by trendy cafes that sell expensive coffees and overpriced meals.
One of the things I did miss living in southern Tasmania was not seeing the sea very often but I learned to love being close to a river instead.
Finally, here I am back at the beach. I always enjoyed our occasional trips to the northwest coast of Tasmania and now I have access to all of it.
Best of all I can walk to the beach every day like I did when I lived at Hallett Cove. Sisters Beach reminds me a little of the beach there but it is beautiful in its own right.