The holiday is over

Frangipani flower
Frangipani flower

Well, that is it then, holiday over and back to work. Can’t complain too loudly though, with temperatures over 40 degrees celsius in some parts of Australia it is great to be able to work in air conditioned comfort. My poor doggies are melting, throughout the day they move from one cool, shaded spot to another and you can see the relief on their faces when I come home and they can finally lie on the nice, cool tiles.

Bundy the dog napping on the cool tiles
Bundy napping on the cool tiles

Joy to all at Christmas

 

Kookaburra and surfboard Christmas decoration
Australian themed Christmas decoration

Christmas and New Years Eve was spent south of the border in New South Wales. My parents live in the country, surrounded by cows, horses and alpacas, it is a very peaceful place to stay and the nights are so dark that you can easily see the stars. The dogs love it there although they’d be much happier inside with us, but their Nan and Pop don’t allow dogs in the house so Maxi claimed the deck and Bundy decided that sitting on the outdoor table was the place to be. Every morning I took Bundy for a walk down to the river while Maxi got to have a walk through the paddock (her legs won’t carry her very far anymore), on the first morning everything was shrouded in fog, it was magnificent to see especially when the sun’s rays started to burn through the fog and throw a little more colour and light onto the picture.

Dew on a spiders web

Cows

Alpacas

Christmas day was a hot one, after the traditional early morning opening of presents I joined my husband’s family for brunch, watching our nephews playing with their presents reminds me of the excitement I felt when I got my first record player and the soundtrack for the movie Xanadu – I loved Olivia Newton John :-). The heat and the boys desire to try out their new boogie boards drove us to the beach, it was cloudy and windy, the water freezing but we still got sunburned and soon it was time for us to head off to my cousin’s house for a late Christmas lunch. Christmas with my family usually means five types of meat, a tonne of baked vegetables and more desserts than anyone could possibly need, not to mention lots of bubbles and beer. At some stage water is involved, often swimming in a pool however this year it was a water fight using the latest in water pistols (they look more like cannons) and buckets, this is when holding a camera has its advantages.

Nephews on boogie boards
Christmas day at the beach
Flynn's Beach, Port Macquarie
Flynn’s Beach, Port Macquarie

The 2013 National Beach Volleyball tour kicks off in Cronulla, my husband is part of the operations team that organise the event and work started on Boxing Day, December 26 so that is where we spent New Years Eve. Cronulla is heaven for surfers and beach goers, alot of effort has gone into tidying up the foreshore but this Sydney suburb still feels as though it is made for locals and on New Years Eve it was surprisingly quiet. New Years Eve is also our wedding anniversary, this year we celebrated our 5th anniversary and although in Sydney we celebrated quietly with bubbles and delicious nibbles on our hotel balcony, avoiding the crush of two million people on the harbour’s foreshore. New Years Day was spectacular weather wise, the beach was packed and the temperature soared, the lifeguards were going to have a busy day.

View from Rydges Hotel, Cronulla
View from Rydges Hotel, Cronulla
Cronulla beach
Cronulla beach
New Years Day at the beach, Cronulla
New Years Day at the beach, Cronulla

A dog day at the beach

Bundy the dog watching the seagullsHeading to the beach on a beautiful sunny day seemed like a good idea at the time, Bundy could burn off some energy and I could get some Vitamin D and maybe take a few photographs. Byron Bay is a popular spot on the northern coast of New South Wales, once a quiet coastal town it is now booming with resorts, restaurants, boutiques and tourists aplenty. I thought it would be easy enough to find a dog friendly beach away from the centre of town, but I was wrong, after driving around in circles trying to find a specific dog friendly beach all I had come across were nature reserves and ‘no dogs allowed’ signs. Traffic was actually pretty heavy and parking was at a premium, after one too many one-way streets I pulled up outside the Croquet Club, rang my husband and vented about what a shite place Byron Bay is and Bundy had to settle for sniffing the grass and trees near the club car park. Byron Bay isn’t actually a bad place to visit, I just didn’t expect it to be so difficult to find a quiet spot where we could spend quality beach time together.

Rather than give up on the beach idea completely I drove north to Kingscliff thinking that there were dog friendly beaches up that way because we had previously taken our dogs there. It took longer than planned thanks to me unknowingly taking a scenic route that actually had me heading south. Once at Kingscliff parking was a breeze and finally Bundy got to escape the confines of the car. The first beach entry looked promising, but alas a ‘no dogs allowed’ sign was erected and we had to keep walking along the esplanade until we got to a creek that looked good for swimming. Cudgen Creek is a coast waterway that flows alongside the town of Kingscliff, plenty of people swim in the creek and go fishing, Bundy couldn’t do much at all because he had to stay on his lead – this was not an ‘off-leash’ swimming spot. Anyway, at least the little fellow was able to splash around in the water, chase seagulls and do a bit of rock climbing so the day wasn’t a complete waste. Australia seems to have become even more dog-unfriendly in recent years and it really bugs me.

Bundy at the beach

Bundy the dog rock climbing