Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wish You Were Here - Seaforth

In 1985 we came back to visit Australia, to show off the new baby. There was a pilot strike, and my Dad broke his toe in a hotel room and I think it is the first time that my sister Sophie and I got to run around free.

My Dad was at a conference so my Mum, Sophie, myself and baby Imogen went to stay in the tiny town outside Mackay where my Grandma lived. Seaforth was a punctuation mark at that point. Established as a holiday town 80 years before, it was out of fashion.
Weatherboard houses on stilts, a church that met once every two weeks, empty caravan park and miles and miles of beach gently touched by sea that the coral reef takes the waves out of.

We stayed in a house opposite the beach, about a metre and a half of bitumen road and then a run over the grassy dunes. Mum could see us from the balcony, where she sat feeding the baby. Sophie and I were allowed to run down to the beach on our own as often as we liked. We collected coconuts, I saw a cuttlefish for the first time and the washed up bodies of stingrays. We drew ‘houses’ in the sand and invited each other over for dinner. The path down to the beach had a bush growing beside it where the green ants were making a nest, folding leaves over each other. We were petrified of the green ants, they only hastened our run to the sand.

My Mum would come down in the cool of the afternoon and we'd all walk up to the local shop to buy heart shaped ice creams.


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