Waterside Cafe

March 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Mental Health, Society, Tourism, Ways of Living | 4 Comments
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Jetty cafe Toronto

Beside the boardwalk

tables & bright red chairs.

Clatter of crockery at the kiosk.

Aromas float on a light

salt-seasoned breeze –

coffee, fish and chips, hamburger.

 

Families chatter.Kids jump from jetty

Older folk natter.

Children jump from the jetty

splashing and squealing.

 

White sails glide against

green hills and blue sky.

 

Nearby, small bright-coloured sailsSailability Toronto 01

as small, special boats bob by –

the disabled get their chance

to enjoy what others take for granted.

 

Wavelets carry sun-sparkles landward

where they sssh against the shore.

 

An old man plays old tunesSailability Toronto 02

on a keyboard organ –

soothing background tones,

a grey felt hat at his feet

upturned to receive our thanks.

 

Sunday mornings don’t get

much better than this.

 

 

© Linda Visman

At Jetty Café, Toronto, NSW, Australia 23rd March 2014.

Dobell Park at Wangi, 9th March 2012

March 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature, Writing and Life | 2 Comments
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  The lake before me is a deep, rich blue that pales and changes to a soft gold where the water shoals over sand and pebbles near the shore. The sky’s lighter blue is daubed with fluffy white clouds that sail slowly up from the south. I see a couple of white sails in the distance – it is a perfect day to be out sailing.

The water lapping at shore has a different resonance today as it washes onto the pebbled beach. Instead of the usual shhh, there is a deeper sound; more like an eddy gurgling and echoing into a large drain, or a giant coffee percolator bubbling away.

A dainty black and white peewee saunters past my foot, and seagulls wait expectantly for morsels that I do not have. An Indian mynah hops about, picking up tidbits from the grass, whilst trying to keep balanced on its single leg.

From a nearby old eucalypt comes the tinkling call of an Eastern Rosella, almost drowned by the fractious squabbling of Noisy Miners.

I hear a rooster crow in the distance; something unusual in town these days. It brings back memories of the many years we kept fowls and relished the freshness of their eggs.

My piece of pumice

I go for a walk along the shore, looking for pieces of petrified wood. There was plenty of it around at one time I’ve been told, but collectors seem to have scavenged it all now. I do find a small piece of pumice though, extremely light and full of bubble holes; the lava must have cooled very quickly when it hit the water aeons ago.

I am constantly amazed and extremely grateful that I live in such a beautiful place. I hope that I will never take it all for granted.

 

Do you live in a place that you see as beautiful? Or is there some other place you would love to live? Do you think we too often take for granted the good things we have in our lives?

Pebbles on the lake shore

© Linda Visman, 9th March 2012

Photos: Linda Visman

 

Lake Macquarie sailing, NSW

February 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Writing and Life | 4 Comments
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We find a lovely grassy spot on a hill overlooking the lake so we can watch the action, and park our folding chairs. We have come to see our Careel Association boats sail in their National Championships, but we discover at least two, and possibly three other clubs involved in their own races. The area of Lake Macquarie we can see is dotted with sails.

From a distance, the little Sabots are like white butterflies with wings folded walking on water. Our 18- and 22-foot Careels look almost clumsy by comparison, a bit like moths – though they do sail beautifully. Larger sailing boats and a few motor cruisers make their way grandly through the other racers, avoiding the delicate butterflies and the heavier moths. Small speedboats slash an occasional streak of white, cutting the lake into slices.

Then, streaking through the flotillas like a low-flying dragonfly or a scurrying water strider, comes a mini-hydrofoil under sail. Riding high on two thin legs, it zips past, back and forth, leaving everything else, even the fastest speedboat, in its hardly-discernible wake.

There has been a good breeze in the late morning, but it increases further as the afternoon wears on. The boats monitoring the race buoys dip and bob in the swell, bows to the wind, anchor chains straining – rather unsettling to sensitive stomachs.

Our lake looks a little different when viewed from the heights rather than from the shore or on our boat. We take in the white-streaked sky and hazy distances; the grey, wind-chopped waves, silver-glistening, ever-moving, studded by small whitecaps.

A boarder bends his back to his paddle, a tiny figure almost lost among the sailing boats. Occasionally, wind at his back, he manages to catch a swell and rides if for a few seconds.

A large catamaran, kevlar sails pushing it along at a good clip, is the first of the large boats’ racer to finish; the slower boats trickle in behind. The Careel 22s in our races deploy their colourful spinnakers on the downwind leg, while the slower Careel 18s goose-wing their way behind.

A speedboat trailing a water-ski-er races by, defying both the elements and the flotillas. A late arriving, screaming jet ski barges in but does not stay, preferring to move to quieter waters farther round the lake.

As the sun westers, the lake changes colour from a deep grey-blue to surging, rippling, gleaming platinum. The last race is over and it is time to pack up our seats and head home to change for the race dinner at the club. There, no doubt, successes and near misses and the joys of sailing will be the main topics of conversation.

 

Have you been in a sailing boat? Do you have water and water sports near you?  Would you like to live near a body of water or a river?

© Linda Visman

written on 29th February 2012

(The races were on 25-26th Feb)

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