Monday, December 17, 2007

After a week of staying indoors to keep cool and working extra at the coffee shop between irksome stints in the shopping mall, by Sunday morning I was really ready to do something fun; to go somewhere scenic; to go for a drive somewhere pretty and to breathe some fresh cool air.

Sadly we didn’t have all day – we had a massage booked for 3pm – so we couldn’t go up to Paluma to swim in Crystal Creek. Instead we drove out to the beach at Pallarenda. It’s much quieter there and – to be honest – a lot more beautiful than the beaches in town, and it’s surrounded by bushland on the hills behind the beach. Perfect.

When we got there we found it was a still day, so no kite surfers to sit and watch. Instead we went for a little walk out to the even more secluded beach further around the headland. Shelly Beach.

Longer-term residents of Townsville (Marny? Tanya?) might know where this is going … but we didn’t. We just clambered around the headland in the mid-morning heat (it was a bit idiot to be out in the sun, really) and enjoyed the views of calm aqua.
We even saw something – a croc? A dugong? Most probably a turtle – poke its head out of the water. Hayden as always tried to capture it on camera. He didn’t succeed.

While we were walking, we kept getting overtaken by single men, each walking alone but with purpose across the beach and around the next headland out of sight (if you click to enlarge the photo to the left you might be able to spot one or three).

We couldn’t work out why there were so many of them, but when we rested in the shade of an old gun placement (left over from WWII I suppose), we saw some graffiti which provided a clue: "Come one come all, come on down to the nude beach and have a Happy Nude Year."

Yep. Turns out that Shelley Beach is Townsville’s unofficial gay nude beach. We must have been the last to know. When I mentioned it to our masseuse in the afternoon, he replied breezily, “Oh yeah, Shelley Beach, it’s beautiful, I used to go there all the time with my,” and then he paused, “er… with my girlfriend.”

I suppose it must still be a bit scandalous to be gay in macho redneck Townsville.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Those are my new red crocs. I bought them last Friday and now I wear them everywhere. It’s terrible. It’s worse than when I bought those enormous unflattering baggy jeans last winter, which I had to do just to stop myself from wearing my trackie dacks to the shops. It seems that I just cannot choose form over comfort when it comes to what I wear.

This does not bode well for my wedding dress shopping which, some of you will be very pleased to note, is the Next Big Thing on my list to do for our wedding. The dress shopping is not going well so far. The shops in Townsville all cater to what the local girls (yes, girls – the average age for a bride in Townsville is about 21) are into which … how to put this? …is something that attempts to span the gulf between trashy and traditional. I was never in the market for the big creampuff of a dress with the astonishing cleavage. I was never going to choose a dress that I’d have to tape myself into.

But as I stand here at our front step, I’m thinking that my chances of finding a dress that is beautiful, classy and not too too uncomfortable are pretty hopeless. At least as far as shopping in Townsville goes. These are all the shoes we wear these days (note that Hayden has the one pair in a neutral tone, and I have six different pairs of thongs to match with different outfits). It’s not as if we had much motivation to wear anything other than thongs. In Townsville the dress code is either daggy shorts or a diamante ball gown. There’s nothing in between.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's Started

Christmas at our place was officially begun on Saturday. (In previous years, Hayden has tried to keep a lid on my pre-Christmas excitement by decreeing that There Is To Be No Mention of Christmas Prior To The Beginning Of The Month Of December. I think he's now realised that that just focusses my energies even more, to start proceedings with a bang and a flourish on the 1st of the month.) Hayden opened the first window on his (home made, with love, by me) advent calendar; I doused the Christmas Cake in brandy and, of course, we put up the Christmas Tree.

Why yes, it is a Real Pineapple Bush Christmas Tree this year.

Its baby pineapple isn't ready yet, but it's got 21 more days to get itself in order. I'm counting.