Australia: A Beach

To reach the beach we walked through the bush from the house (in New Zealand and Australia we call the woods/forest The Bush) down a well maintained path that meanders across a reasonably steep hill and then through a lagoon until accompanied by the applause of wild geese we burst out into the beach.



geese on beach

Going to the waters.  In some of the native american tribes there is a tradition of Going to the Waters for healing. Sometimes a person will go to the waters daily for months until their spirit begins its journey to healing.

young people at beach

As a girl from the beach living on the landlocked prairies of the Midwest I need to go to the Sea. These are my waters. Once a year seems to be enough so far.


I have had the scent of the sea in my throat since the day I was born.  So when the string on my balloon soul is loosened I drift with unerring accuracy and almost thoughtlessly back to the sea.


The rougher the better apparently. This is not a swimming beach. It is a stern Mama this sea.

hat with shells


The favourite part of my dinner last night was a pineapple and mango chutney. Oh and the pulled pork and then there was the guacomale from avocados selected for us by the man at the market just for guacamole, and they were turned into a perfect dish, the amazing cheese sauce that we handed up and down the table in its pot – the salsa! I could go on. mexican

Last night Fede and I baked the Birthday Cake. I will give you the recipe tomorrow.  It is good to be back in a kitchen with Fede. We read each other perfectly step to step.  As though we have been cooking together for a hundred years. It is still there this connection through food. Today will be great.  Our challenge is to take all the remaining food and turn it into a Birthday feast. An all day feast actually.

Tomorrow morning we leave here. And part ways again.  All true happy drags sad behind it.

But this morning we begin with Hugo’s Grandmothers  crepes and champagne. The Kitchen Mamas made the batter last night as well.  Everyone has been instructed to stay in bed as late as they can so there will be no morning snacking before brunch!

I hope you have a lovely day.


42 Comments on “Australia: A Beach

  1. I had no idea you’d always lived near the sea. I’m so jealous. What a wonderful day – shared with wonderful people, along with delicious food – both days!! Thanks for sharing this with us – it’s such a pleasure to read! ; o ) Looking forward to seeing the cake tomorrow !!

  2. That’s a beautiful beach. I spent about 2 weeks in Melbourne, December 1980, but there was a weird chilly spell (reminiscent of England), so I never went to the beach. From there I went to Adelaide and the temperature went from 17º to 25º in a bus ride. I wish I’d had good weather and seen what you have 🙂

  3. I know what you mean about the pull of the sea. I too come from an island nation, and have always found it difficult to be deeply landlocked. When I was in Melbourne, I lived at the beach, and one of the highlights of my day was getting off the train at the end of my working day and filling my lungs with the scent of the sea a block away. All the miseries of the day and the commute just washed out of me. And watching the dawn come up over the bay… You have written so beautifully about this family time, the natural surroundings and the epic meals that bind and cement relationships. Dear C, just a week to go…. :-). My excitement is immense!

  4. I know exactly what you mean about being called to the sea. It must be so hard being landlocked. But what magnificent ocean to fill your soul! I love your description of the walk to the sea, and the applause of the wild geese. Beautiful, including the food. PS I always feel our proximity when you come to the Antipodes – and suddenly we are in the [near-enough] time zone.

  5. Oh the photos of the sea–and yesterday’s skies are breath-taking. As Chicago John described, we are picking up sticks the wind divested of the trees.

  6. Oh, what a beautiful day! The beach is stunning. I imagine there are some fearsome creatures lurking in that water though — great whites, perhaps? Or maybe that’s just media hype, but you do tend to hear a lot about shark attacks in Australia.

    Enjoy all the good food and good company. 🙂

  7. The pull of the Sea . Not a swimming beach no , but I loved your photo as I learned to swim in a “not for swim beach” just like that one 🙂
    Wishes of continuing family fun/great food/beautiful places days . Turtle Hugs 🙂

  8. While reading the first part, I thought of the ending of Les Murray’s poem “The Dream of Wearing Shorts Forever,” about returning to Australia after a prolonged absence. Here are the opening three stanzas (to help set the tone) and then the final one.

    To go home and wear shorts forever
    in the enormous paddocks, in that warm climate,
    adding a sweater when winter soaks the grass,

    to camp out along the river bends
    for good, wearing shorts, with a pocketknife,
    a fishing line and matches,

    or there where the hills are all down, below the plain,
    to sit around in shorts at evening
    on the plank verandah

    * * *

    to be walking meditatively
    among green timber, through the grassy forest
    towards a calm sea
    and looking across to more of that great island
    and the further topics.

    (From “Daylight Moon” 1987}

    The last two words sound rather prosaic, but as one critic * wrote, the poem uses shorts to signal freedom from worldly ambition but also an openness to to spiritual experience. I feel that the farmy signals those two things as well. And from these posts it is clear that you have found them at the beach house also.

    * Ulla Fürstenberg, from her book “Les Murray Country”

  9. Your dinner last night was right up my alley. Love the mango chutney and the guacamole! Your pictures are gorgeous….I can see why you want to go home.

  10. I was born land locked and never saw the sea until I was 14 years old. For the last 30 years the pacific has been my backyard and nourished my soul.

  11. That sounds like a perfect holiday, sun sea family and friends all sharing food & chat around a table. I hope the birthday went well.

  12. I can’t stand to live far from the ocean. I love seeing your photos of the ocean down under! Lovely beach… we don’t have really great sand beaches here in Maine!

  13. Oh Celi – your photos! your food! your words! the joy and loveliness in every single thing has me smiling! What a lovely, lovely trip – and you are right – all true happy drags sad behind it. I had to read that a couple of times, but once i got it, i really got it. Wishing you lots more true happy!

  14. What a joy that Greater Powers smiled upon you and provided such a perfect day: absolutely lovely beach photos! Now Fede has the red T-shirt and Sophie is all in dark . . . but which of your sons was able to be with you? Daresay one of the ‘Wellington ones’ . . . 🙂 ? Oh and you were lucky to get such good avos as the season has not quite started yet . . . . smiles . . . and why does time pass so quickly . . .

  15. Oh, how I miss the ocean and the mountains and the forests…I’m glad you go annually. I don’t think I’d make a year without it myself.

  16. My son, Aaron will be joining you on your farm when you arrive home from Australia. He is very excited about this opportunity and I am looking forward to hearing about his adventures. Enjoy the rest of your holiday with your family.

  17. It looks like you’re having a marvelous time, I’m so happy for you. We were just in Arizona and although the sunshine every day was a very welcomed change from our dreary gloom, I did miss the sea. For me, it is sea and mountains, the mountains are humbling and keep everything in perspective. I hope the birthday celebrations go well! XOXO

  18. I know exactly what you mean about the call of the sea, being raised in South Africa on the Sea Point beachfront. I am actually on my way to South Africa as I type this, sitting in Bordeaux airport for my flight to Johannesburg via Amsterdam. Then to see my daughter in Cape Town and the sea in a week. Can’t wait.

  19. I was a beach baby, too, now living land locked. The natural high I get when I round that corner and see, hear, smell and taste the sea again is like no other. Hope you enjoy your Melbourne stay. I can’t wait to go back to visit.

  20. The scenery deserves your lyrical description and beautful photos. What a treat you have given us. As fpr that meal, I am drooling.

    When living right in the centre of England I used to crave the sight of the sea, but we were never more than two hours away. Now we’re half an hour away but don’t go as often as I’d like, so our Saturday lunch by the sea was special.

    Thank you for taking us with you.
    ViV xox

  21. Lovely photos, and your meal looks so nice! I love the sea too and I am off tomorrow to South Devon for a week by the sea.
    Have a fab time with your family. 😀

  22. Beautiful. I am a sea lover as well and as I type this I am in a small studio apt in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida soaking in the sounds of the waves. There is something about the water that draws me in. I am not a strong swimmer or lover of being in the water but I love being near the water. It is worship to me and I could spend hours unproductively sitting and watching the water make its way to the shore I have a lot of that planned for this week while the hubby works in Alabama and leaves me here for some “me time”. Enjoy your wonderful time away.

  23. Your photos are just lovely – the first one, and the fourth one, with the birds – perfect! And the sixth one down looks like a painting and should be made into greeting cards, or enlarged and framed for wall art. Such fun traveling together with you!

  24. I like that stay in bed rule, come for brunch. The crashing waves are music to one’s ears.

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