Spending this past weekend on the beaches outside of Canberra with four Australians was a lesson on how the average Aussie spends his/her summer days. It’s a grueling routine. I shall provide an approximate outline so that you see what I’ve had to go through these past few days.
Wake up early (between eight and nine, or later if your Aussie is more relaxed…), have a cup of coffee.
Collect your thoughts and throw on some ‘swimmers’ (or bathing suit, swimsuit, bikini, or your own preferred term).
Walk down your back garden to the beach either empty handed, or with a kayak, body board or surf board. At this point you’re fully expected to jump right into the ocean. Australia is famous for surfing for a reason – I haven’t seen many (or any?) beaches in Australia yet that didn’t have waves that tower over my head. Also – Oz is surrounded by very large oceans and isn’t all that far away from a very large and icy continent, so the water? Freezing. On Sunday I was told ‘the water was great’ just before my entire body turned numb during my ten minute dip. So, I suppose all I’m saying is, be sure you’re comfortable with you ability to hold your breath as you kick for the surface before you get further than knee deep. You get used to diving into the icy water as quickly as possible, otherwise you look like a scaredy-cat and nobody wants that.
Walk back from the beach, take an outdoor shower, dress and turn on the barbeque. Bacon, eggs, toast, whatever takes your fancy.
Sit around relaxing, preferably with a cold beer in hand.
In a few hours, turn the barbeque back on. Homemade burgers, sausages, some amazing grilled veggies, again the ingredients can be flexible.
Drink cold beer and cheap wine late into the night, perhaps walk back to the beach for a bonfire.
Phew, I think I need to lie down.