Friday, November 25, 2005

The Carlton Beach Evening News

I have omitted to mention a family visit to Carlton Beach in October. We invited ourselves out to Jeff and Anita's place. They tried to put us off with deliberately obscure directions. They live down a gravel lane that branches off a sandy track that is an unsigned continuation of unsealed right-of-way that appears at first glance to be a private goat-path. Gazanias were flourishing everywhere - extremely bright and cheerful flowers that the local Coastcare group are exterminating one by one.

Once we found them Jeff and Anita were extremely hospitable. They live in a very interesting bits & pieces house that used to be Anita's dad's carport. They have a widescreen TV sitting on the sink as there is nowhere else to put it. In about five minutes Anita tossed together a superb mediterranean al fresco lunch. It was an unseasonably hot steamy day. Jeff has several threequarters-finished gazebos so we pulled a tarp over one and ate lunch in the shade of it.

My work colleagues Melinda and Paul were there too and Melinda's daughter and a friend of Jeff's and her little girl. Marcus buttonholed the little girl and followed her everywhere giving her detailed instructions to play various games he invented [which she disregarded].

J and A have dogs. The boys love dogs, so much so that they (the dogs) were eventually fenced away for their own protection.

As we were "at the beach", obviously we had to pop down and put a toe in the water and play a bit of beach cricket. Again, Jeff's sense of the curvature of time and space came into play. When he said the beach is just through there he left out the various hills and dales of burning sand that had to be traversed in between.

After a brief innings or two I spat the dummy and refused to carry an increasingly heavy and tired nearly-two year old back over the scorching dunes. To his undying credit, an impressively fit Jeff Blake ran home and drove our car to the surf club carpark, a short stroll away. We drove home in that mullet-brained mood of too much sun, sand, food, beer, immoderate exertion, patting of dogs and admiring of chickens.

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