My new laptop wallpaper is a picture of the Coogee end of Gordon’s Bay; tiny aluminium boats belonging to weekend fisherman rest against planking like tin toys against a skeleton, as a few souls bake on the hot sand below, and the blue ocean laps at their toes, as the high rocks filled with summer’s drunken snorkelers rise up about them. Summer in the shallow city is upon us, and you remember why someone might still live in Sydney.
As the sun bursts through on a Spring Tuesday 9:36am (there are advantages to be an under-employed freelancer) I wonder if it’s warm enough to crack the clear aqua-marine tinge of Whylie’s Baths.
To get there, from my little office on the rim of Sydney Technology Park, Alexandria, or rather ‘the leafy end of Erskineville’ as the real estate agents prefer to say – those same scammers who refer to Redfern as either ‘East Newtown’ or ‘Western Surry Hills,’ and would happily sell you a holiday house in Baghdad by calling it ‘Middle Eastern Tuscany,’ but I digress…
… to get to Gordon’s for me, assuming I can’t convince a pretty driver to come along, it’s a dull half hour or so on the 370, brimming with wrinklie’s on their way to the hospital, UNSW undergrads worried about exams for subjects that will make them unemployable, NIDA kids combing their hair, and bums and artists like me; that Abruzzian peasant blood pushing me to the beach mid week. Why? Because I can, paisan capisce?
At Coogee I must decide – turn right for the crystal of Whylie’s Baths, or left for Gordon’s Bay, or perhaps a little further and I could go greet the Blue Gropers of Clovelly; those fat little Labradors of the sea glowing past and under me serenely, clumping sea anemones as I dive down and turn over rocks for there, flying through the jelly sky of an alien environment, tempted, like Darwin, to devolve back into the sea.
Last summer there was a girl and some friends in Bronte and it was all decided for me… strange nights with drunken musos and poets, skinny dipping and Wild Turkey (surely the world’s most aptly name beverage), till the joggers came by and broke dawn for us.
This year, with an Inner Western amorossa, all bets, and beaches, are on.
It’s coming onto 10am now; is it warm enough weather to be…?