Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day

12 hours in the life of...
11.01am: Two seven-year olds on the pavement bumble and bump their way down to the beach, balancing a pink surfboard between them. They remind me of Dr Doolittle's Push-me-pull-you.
11.31am: The Aussie flag flaps from the branches of our shade tree, two thongs dangle as weights from the bottom corners. In the foreground the pop and fizz of the first beer being opened. 
12.07pm: 'Packing an esky should be part of the Australian citizenship test.'
1.13pm: Girls unfurled in the shade talk about life drawing classes. Boys clumped around the BBQ talk iPhone apps. And in Australia-ville, all is right with the world.
2.03pm: All about us heads bob in the harbour like corks in a bathtub. Mmm...shark bait.
3.10pm: A frisbee careens through the park skimming a policewoman's right ear.
3.35pm: 'Where's that rock? Are you standing on it? Yeah the water's warm there that's piss rock.'
4.00pm: Wash from a passing speedboat spits a terrier pup out onto the water's edge, all springy and crimplene. Gasping it slips and straddles across barnacle-rocks in a frenzy to follow its master.
5.02pm: New bowler up. 'Look out boys, get ready for the left-arm Chinaman wrong-un!'
5.55pm: A guy wearing nothing but dark blue Speedos parades around the frisbee field. He thinks he's an Aussie Adonis, but really he's just a man, in a park, in very small pants. 
6.45pm: Grasping the hot, metal handrail, a woman in a halter neck sundress bends down to adjust the ankle strap on her 3 inch stilettos. It's 30 degrees. Her feet are sweaty. Blistering. She glances enviously at our barefoot, swim drenched clan.
7.50pm: A trail of coconut snow across picnic blankets leads to the last lamington, standing alone but erect, in the face of the last hot rays of the evening sun. 
8.30pm: Beer. Dusty beach towels. Twisties. Sea salt bodies. Watermelon. Bikinis. Sav blanc. Beach ball cricket. Obligatory dacking at the backpackers barbie nearby. Postcard sunset. Triple J.
9.10pm: The scrape of empty eskies being dragged back into the garage.
11.32pm: Random eruptions of tuneless but heartfelt song from the street below as the last of the revellers find their way home. 
'Thro-oooooooOOOOooo your arms around meeeh.'

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