Weekend Photo Challenge – Summer

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.

Ma with Granny and Grandpa, Curumbin, Circa 1925

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.

Ma surfs Alexandra Headland, 1990

And so, with sunshine in our veins, off we went to the beach.

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75 thoughts on “Weekend Photo Challenge – Summer

    • Fantastic, aren’t they? Just imagine Granny going surfing in that? And the hat? I couldn’t resist your beaches, Viv! I love meandering along the beach, on the watch out for finds, or people watching, or having a really hard walk, or splashing in the waves … 🙂

  1. Summer is beach and beach is Summer. Whatever comes in between are just as fun and exciting. Beautiful photos. It’s always wonderful to look back at the past. The photos brings a wonderful nostalgic moment. Thanks.

    • Interesting, I spent some time living close to the sea and found I loved it more in the other months – or perhaps it’s just that I’d never spent much time at the beach in the winter time before – and I really got into it!
      So glad you liked the little trip down memory lane … 🙂

    • Not you too? Sooo glad you weren’t handed a suit like Granny’s! Isn’t it a wonderful old photo – I adore it. I’m always amazed it survived – pretty faded, but basically intact.

  2. Lovely photos…and you’re right, summer is the beach! I wish I had photos of my young days at the beaches of Corpus Christi and Padre Island in Texas. Hot!!!!! Now in Northern California, the beaches are almost always cold, even in summer, but beautiful!

    • It’s not the same, is it? And I’ve become soooo spoiled by these warm tropical seas … Though I do love wandering the beach in the winter, collecting shells, or fossicking in the tidal pools. What a shame you don’t have your old pics – you sure somebody doesn’t have them stored away in a box somewhere?

  3. beautiful – enjoyed your journey down memory lane, as it triggered many reflections of my own. i too have many memories of times at various beaches. always enjoyed it, too.
    thanks for sharing.

  4. I love the sweet, nostalgic feel to this post. I live on the other side of the world (New Jersey, USA) but have the same sentiments about summer: it’s meant to be spent at the beach. Thank you for sharing these beautiful old photos!

    • So glad you liked the little trip down memory lane, Meghan. I’m always amazed we still have the neck to knees photo – it’s now so old it no longer qualifies as personal history, but part of our collective past!

  5. Oh the beach! I agree, it’s definately summer when you’re at the beach…even if it is raining! Love your pictures and the family history. 🙂

  6. what a super post, love the story about your grandparents and mother at the beach, you at different ages, totally gorgeous and archetypically australian 🙂

  7. Great post, I love the 1925 photo at Curumbin. 🙂 Looking out of the loungeroom window this afternoon and I expect that the cloud over the hills is hiding a dusting of snow, now I look at the photo of your sunny Sri Lankan beach… unfair! 😉

    • Not surprised to hear you say that, Ella! It’s lovely how universal our memories of summer and the beach are, and how far back in our histories that tradition extends. Thanks you for your comments:)

  8. It’s a shame I had no camera till the digital age, and no-one in our family was very interested in photography, so unfortunately not much of this sort of record survives for us.

    • I know what you mean. I travelled for ten years without a camera – though I do have the world’s best collection of Post Cards, thanks to Ma, who saved every one I sent home (I must see if I can scan them). I’ve digitised slides from the 80s, and scanned prints from the 90s (but many of these are pretty damaged/degraded), so there are loads of gaps in my travel photos.

      I’m sure Granny and Grandpa didn’t have a camera – this will have been taken by friends and given to them as a keepsake. It’s a miracle it’s survived. It seems both families visited the photographer to record milestones, but what’s remaining is pretty patchy – it’s such a pity because nobody but Ma remembered much family history, either.

  9. What a lovely set of photos and memories! I can almost feel the sand between my toes at the mention of Currumbin and Noosa with happy memories of camping at the end of a very quiet Hastings St!

  10. I could flip through a photo album containing pictures such as these all day long — back when you the first picture you took was the one you kept, and there was no such thing as “editing” or “photoshop”. I especially loved the ones of your Ma.

    I admit, I am not all too familiar with the terrain of Sri Lanka; from these pictures, it looks exceptionally lovely.

    Hope you are having a wonderful Memorial day, Mere.

    • Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend Cara!

      Summer is summer snaps, don’t you think? Of course, that’s the era they’re from, scanned to save them from further deteoration. The one of Ma surfing will always be a favorite, though I can’t see the absolute glee on her face in the shot, it reminds me it was there. She looked more like 7 than 75!

  11. Another lovely post! Love the way you delve into your past for these challenges! Makes it so much more interesting. That first picture is priceless!

    • Ain’t it just! (It’s certainly one of my treasures and I’m so glad it’s digitised and safe from further deterioration.) You know, I’m no photographer, so words and stories make my pictures more interesting – or at least more personal. Glad you liked my idea of summer Madhu.

    • It certainly loooked from your recent posts as though you have a bit of waiting to go yet! but the days must be stretching out, so the earth is feeling it, and that’s what’s important. I wonder how that pasture you showed us a few weeks ago is growing?

      So glad you got into the old pics!

    • One could argue the point that it’s lack of coloue, but I think at the end of the day it’s the lack of clutter, that in fact colour becomes just another distraction – clutter if you will. Glad you liked it. Glad you dropped by:).

    • So glad you liked them Isadora – I think the old shots are infused with something special – or rather they’re simplified to such an extent they become almost universal. Thanks for popping by for a chat:)

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