Saturday, May 06, 2006

Woollygathering on a Bribie beach

The newspaper flutters in the sandy breeze. Headlines of American threats. Who is next in line for a dose of the coalition of the wilting? Who wants a hearty dose of shock and awe? Muzzle the mullahs or gamble on Gaddafy? Whither Syria…who is to be thrown out with the Baath water?

It all seems like an alien nightmare on the clean warm beaches of Bribie. The girls muck around in the shadow of Moreton Island and the withered flesh of middle-aged women walking their manicured dogs. Cargo ship speed on in their passage to the Port of Brisbane while the towers of the fugitive coast beck in another direction.

“Keep off the dunes" is the ignored sign, boys and toys glide down the side, and hide and seek and trod on spiky grasses. Next to me is an empty can of Dulux trade semi Gloss enamel. It’s the “professionals Choice” and it is detritus of Sinead’s profiteering. White sandy paint drips from the sides like fossilised stalagmites. Inside are a cigarette butt and two unknown bush seeds.

The speedboat trundles around the buoy and the man with the boy takes off his white t-shirt and contemplates a dip in the water. The girls remind me of their presence, squealing and shouting further down the beach, their path from me stretched by the effect of the prevailing current.

A long and pretty girl breaks the spell of the sutured flesh and leaves the beach for the benefit of fogies. The surf rescue boat does a slow yellow and orange patrol along the shoreline. My girls stop their play to check out the craft and its orange tonsured occupants.

A nearby beach tent is turned into a noisy Persian bazaar complete with howling hounds, whinging tots and colourful holiday towels flapping in the breeze. I’d haggle with the occupants if I had any dinar. Eventually their dogs cease their yapping, worn out by the sun and the lack of attention.

I check the girls hidden by a dip in the sand but they are sitting pretty at the water’s edge. Girls and boys pass by, cosseted by their parents. A backpacking man walks past with his sandals under his arms. A couple with dog pass in the other direction. The two tented dogs look up briefly in mutual canine interest but they are all barked out. Only then do I see the “no dogs” sign at the entrance to the beach. It clearly doesn’t matter what officialdom thinks out here.

The fluttering paper reminds me of its presence. A random page opens up on the poultry and birds for sale section.

Here I have bargains for you. Day Old Meat, Chicken India Rednecks, proven breeder. Green cheek conure five months old and very friendly. 1 Female Indian Runner duck, Harlequin cross NOT FOR EATING. Major Mitchell mature male, four hand-raised cockatiels, budgie babies, red rump hens, fisher Latino blues, surgically sexed pair of blue quakers, white-faced cinnamon, eclectus parrot, tumbler pigeons, sussex roosters, Ancona, Belgian, Silky Whyndotte, Plymouth Rock and Wheaton bantams. Guaranteed pilkington stock, charolais calf one hundred and eighty dollars, long billed corella (white and pink). Quiet bird in a cage. Super tame rainbow lorikeet. Great companion. Cannot be held responsible for errors or subsequent effects.

No more time for ducks and drakes, I'm getting sunburned.

1 comment:

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