Summer is the beach. We lived 500 miles southwest of Sydney. And after the disaster of 1956, beach holidays weren’t a given, but always, in my mind, summer means the beach. And it’s no wonder.
Despite the notorious poverty of the headmasters of Anglican Prep schools at the time, (Dorothy said Grandpa often balanced the books by not paying himself, and Granny was never paid for the work she did), summer holidays at the beach were a cherished tradition in Ma’s family.
They would take the train down to the coast – and thence by some type of horse-drawn vehicle to the rented lodgings Grandpa will have organised. Curumbin Beach, on what is now the Gold Coast, was a favourite, as was Tewantin, the forerunner of Noosa. Dorothy fondly remembered her father renting rowing boats to take them down the river to the fishing village of Noosa, so the whole family could play in the surf.
Grandpa taught Ma to surf and she was a keen body surfer all her life – only transferring her allegiance to a (body) board in her mid-70s.
And so, with sunshine in our veins, off we went to the beach.