It’s easy to understand why people who don’t live in Sydney could fall in love with the idea of it. The books and the magazines make it sound and look compelling. Don’t even mention the TV soapies which deliver it to you in high-definition sun-kissed tans and hyper-white smiles, short shorts and thongs (that’s Havaiana-style flip-flops to the non-Aussies).
I’ve lived here since 2005, having had my first encounter 10 years earlier. It didn’t take then, but after a 9-year stint in London, I found myself back in Australia and this time, Sydney weaved her magic, sprinkled her charm. I still check myself when I say, “More than a decade,” – I re-count from oh-five, and then do it yet again, just to be certain. Can time have really flown by so quickly?
It can, and it does.
For many Sydneysiders, beachside is where it’s at, the ocean the first point of call when the shackles of the office have been thrown off for the week.
I was there yesterday morning to greet the day in customary style, camera grasped firmly in my right hand, while my left was still wiping the sleep from the eyes.
And then, there was that one stranger in Speedos at the Icebergs pool who made me linger a little longer. (I apologise, sir, I couldn’t resist pointing the lens at you more than a few times.) Sunrises make me all kinds of grateful.