There is a note in my phone that reads:
Life is like a string of fairy lights. A series of bright spots strung together by predictable tunnels of gloom.
The bright spots are the bits we live for. Struggling through a mundane work day, I would often find myself day dreaming about summer holidays and all the lovely things that this time of the year brings. Most of that is behind me now, and I am savouring my last free days before I return to work. The memories have been made and it is my duty to keep them alive in the multiplex of my mind. For when it all comes down to it, the bright spots should be all that we remember. It is the lights of the fairy lights that make them beautiful, and not the cables and circuitry that hold it all together.
So here are my Summer Holiday Vignettes. The moments that are worth remembering, the moments that add up to a life well led.
Sharing a “Breezer Bucket” on the balcony of the Lyric theatre with my Mum, my sister Tiges and my oldest friend, Jackie Patch on her annual visit home from China. It was my first day of holidays, and Mum was taking Phoebs and her friend Charlotte to see “Dirty Dancing”. The girls were excited and dressed in their finery. The night was light and airy with a soft breeze that only being close to water will bring you. Everything was ahead of us, it was just the beginning of the holiday season. We sipped our candy pink drinks and talked about nothing and everything. While they were at the show, enjoying Fake Swayze, we met the one and only Miss Marines at another pub for more drinks and more talk. After the show we all caught the Light Rail home together and ate Mum’s box of Quality Streets. Reminiscing about chocolate is a pathway to childhood memories.
Dinner Al Fresco and Al Raino in Johnson Park. Tiges and Josh wanted to get rid of all of their Soda Pony food before closing over Christmas, so they invited us for a “cookout” in the park (they didn’t call it a cookout, but I like the term). When we arrived the boys were doing laps around the picnic table in their pyjamas, clutching lego and vibrating with excitement. We had the best table because no one else was vying for it like they do in the day. The food was serious – way better than I was expecting. It was the Soda Pony menu in the park. We crowded around the barbecue like buzzards and ate burritos fresh off the hotplate. Hot beans, guacamole and beer. Happy cousins banding together. Then the rain came and no one cared because we were all together and having fun.
Christmas Eve in Mollymook. I’ve always loved Christmas Eve, more full of anticipation than a dark raincloud of a summer day. It’s even better when you’re in a holiday town with your family. After sleeping in late, we spent the rest of the day we were on the move, weaving in and out of different activities and different groupings. Last minute shopping in Milton, a raucous game of 10 Pin Bowling in Ulladulla with the three generations, walking Maxine with Dad and the little boys. Dad and I drank a Corona outside on high wooden stools at our holiday house and it was the beginning of a party. When we returned to the main house, everyone was there, the fridge was full of beer and it was a perfect night of fun. Angus wore a big faux-fur blanket around his shoulders and became “The Bison”, thrilling the little boys as he raced around in character. Eating Mum’s Moussaka in the courtyard (“There’s vomit on his sweater already, Mum’s Moussaka”) and then dipping back into that never ending tin of Quality Streets.
Saray’s Pop-Up Alleyway restaurant. After a fun night boozin’ with old buddies, we had the choice: Townie or Sarays. The Townie might have been in with a chance if there wasn’t terrible live music blasting out onto the street – Pide triumphed. We pooled our cash and ordered 4 pizzas between 6, but they’d shut the restaurant down and we had nowhere to eat except on the street. Veve and I were both wandering around independently, sussing out the best doorway to huddle in when we ran into each other in the Buzz Bar alleyway. Our eyes met – perfect! Veve sweet talked the Buzz Bar manager into letting us use his outdoor tables and I ordered a round of 6 bottled beers just before they shut for the night. We then organised the three small tables into one long table with 6 seats and put a beer at each place. When the pizzas were ready, the gang found us waiting in our private pop-up restaurant. Six old friends feasted together, surrounded by beautiful street art and away from the hustle of Enmore Rd. It was a magical moment, like the scene from “Lady and The Tramp”.
What is a beach house without a nautically-inspired, distressed wooden photo frame? Or a star-fish hanging on the wall for that matter? Makers of ceramic lighthouses always know that they have a market for their goods as long as people are decorating their holiday houses.