Memories of midwinter solstice on the beach at Noosa North Shore, camping in Cooloola shire.
A day of magical choices. What to do, swim or sink, clamber up the dunes, read a book, apprendez le francais, sit and chat or stare at the ocean and watch the parade of whales, dolphins and cargo ships. All accompanied by an icecold beer. Well fed and happy. Like milch cows. Ranger Bob has just been through and he has charged us $4 each a night for the camping privilege. I don’t know if his name is really Bob but if it isn't, it should be.
Camp discussion centres around the brown scum at the top of the big seawaves and whether or not it might be whale poo. Another swig of Victorian bitter. The sun shines brightly today after yesterday’s showers. My small bubble tent has just about kept the rain out of my sleep.
I’ve moved from the campsite onto the beach itself to hear better the clatter of the surf and spy upon a frollocking pod of dolphins, cruising in the waters beyond. The beach disappears behind seaspray for miles in either direction. The cliffs of Cooloola national park buttress us from behind. The hills of Noosa gleam at us from the south. Out there straight ahead is the limitless blue of the Pacific. A 4 wheel drive breaks the spell by rumbling down the beach southwards towards the Noosa river ferry, fishing rods dangling precariously from the front. A blue helicopter rudely clatters its way north above the waterline. I stare at sandstained hands.
Time shudders. Another wave of life had brushed past my shoulder. We’re back at Dolly’s. The rocks that matter. Dohles Rocks, peacefully peering out at the Redcliffe bridge near the mouth of the Pine River. Near me are twin reading girls. Backs getting sore. Ice cream on their minds. Because I’m like a magpie of print, seeking from whatever source is handy. A long session in the Kin Kin pub, a lime green stubbie holder.
Daddy, a big smile tells me its time to give the girls a swing push. A four a.m. drive. A week of work. Chaos and men without pasts. Thorn birds, tabernacle choirs and bears, boats and tractors. Legs raised in the air, on parle francais, land cruisers and pellies (the conquerors). There's Bear behind banana trackers and axle grinders, low tide after four, top canoes buckle my shoes. Sound recordings available for use, helmets flash by, arguments about the best way to attract dogs (high-pitched, crinkle palmed, tsk tsk). There. Boy.
Nice cream next. Barking triangles, suttee swingers on the mayor’s walk. Best chips in town. Johnny Walker’s jumbo portions collapse and hit death. The heat borers in the wet, no refunds collidible rights and singdong struggles for supremacy, phone numbers pinkos holding hands soft lights flooding out of t-bone hearts. Demeter twist the black feathered mudgoats. Futu Terita. Paragulls hibba serenely subhuman sounds. Nebos and Gloriouses skin the west. Awake in glockenspiel bastards. Triumph of dogtired wormbaiters originally donated by J & N Dohle.
He-di-hi Kathy 1. Ech. We’ve got the same nombres, hombres. The guillotine of love in the shoreline with yellow petals and beetle combies. Going down to the minuet of muck. Starving glands, nervous herds. Sunday stalls.
Time to take the girls home.