New Year’s Eve at Anglesea

[Updated 8/1/06]

8am

It feels like it is going to be quite a warm day. I head out for my walk
about 8:20.

9am

I’m walking along the main beach and the wind has freshened up from the South
and is quite cool. There are also threatening dark clouds inland. I wonder
what the weather is going to do today.

The South end of the main beach is where you see most of the surfers and
life saving surf ski riders. I was watching a young woman riding a wave in
and how comfortable she was with her ski. It was like watching an accomplished
horse rider and her horse. Just as she finished riding the wave she jumped
up and put her legs over the sides, moving her body to control the direction
of the ski until she was ready to turn it around again. Then I noticed that
there were about four or five girls all on surf skis. All equally comfortable
with the water. When the last one came in on a wave, they all turned their
skis around, jumped up on their knees and paddled out again. It’s great to
see a group of girls. The surf is dominated by packs of male surfers.

11:30am

Most of the dark clouds have gone now and although there are still clouds
around, it is getting warmer.

12:30 pm

It’s getting sunnier, and the breeze has moderated but it’s still quite cool
in the shade. The weather bureau is predicting 42 for Melbourne today with
a change that will drop the temperature by 10 degrees in 10 minutes. That’s
Melbourne for you.

We have come down to The Surfing Albatross [Yes I know
the link doesn’t work – I’ll fix it when I get a chance. I’m on holidays for
goodness sake. I’m allowed to have broken links].
As always they are
taking forever to make coffees. The people behind us left after waiting half
an hour. I got my long black after five minutes but I think that was a mistake.
It was meant for someone else.

Karen [another broken link – just be patient, I’ll fix it as soon as
I can*]
, the new owner, is doing her best but the staff are all new and
inexperienced. Karen is also doing a great Cougar Girl impersonation. When
we finally got our coffees she served us. She had her mobile phone stuck between
her boobs. Not too many people I know would be happy to do that.

When I tell people I’m going to Anglesea for summer holiday, many of them
tell me how nice it is down here but they prefer to come when it is not so
busy. I love it when it’s busy. There is a fantastic buz around the place
today being NYE. This must be the busiest day of the year for Anglesea.There
are people everywhere. Being a nice day, everyone is dressed for the weather
in bright colours with lots of shorts, t-shirts and singlet tops. The buzz
is fantastic. I love it.

2:30 pm

Down to the beach. It is sunny but not too hot. A lovely afternoon with people
really enjoying the beach weather. Colour was everywhere. People lying on
towels all over the beach, people frolicking in the waves. Lots of people
playing Cricket and other ball games while others just walked lazily along
the shore line. It is incredibly envigorating and relaxing to see so many
people enjoying themselves.

3:30 pm

A significant change came over Anglesea between 3:30 and 4:00 pm. At first
it was just a few brief periods where the sun went behind a cloud and it was
quite a bit cooler. But soon the whole sky became overcast and the temperature
dropped a few degrees. The atmosphere on the beach changed quite rapidly as
well. People stopped sun baking and put t-shirts or other tops on. At first
the change was sublte but then became quite obvious. One by one, groups of
people packed up and left the beach. Those that were left were huddled up
into groups rather than lazing on the beach. It was amazing to see such a
change in such a short time.

I did some body surfing, Judy met me at 4:30 and we walked for half an hour
before heading back to the house.

6:30 pm

It’s just started raining. Quite gently just now. I wonder wether it will
develop into something more. So far the shower lasted only a few minutes and
it is fine now.

10:30 pm

The rain didn’t amount to anything and it is now a pleasantly warm evening.
Judy and I are having a quiet one as we do most New Year’s. We watched Polar
Express
which was a bit of fun and perhaps just a little more. We
now have just over an hour left of 2005. It is a year we will be happy enough
to leave behind. Not the worst year of our lives by any stretch of the imagination
but a tiring year. Stressfull for Judy and a year of transition for me. We
have our hopes for the new year and we are both taking a leap of faith. What,
I wonder, will happen?

Midnight

It was amazingly quiet at midnight in our street. For a moment I thought
our clocks must be wrong. I walked down the street to go down to the river
and I heard the people on the corner counting down that last seconds to midnight.
Yep, the New Year has arrived. It was a really balmy night. It felt like the
temperature hadn’t changed since 6pm. I walked all the way down to the beach
saying Happy New Year to shapes in the dark. It was just beautiful. A great
place for some brief reflection. Just to stand at midnight on a moonless night
and look at the ocean. A profound experience. I’ve never done that before.

[* Regarding broken links, I have two problems. One, my server went down
a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t set up all my blogs on the new server
yet. So I can’t link to my photoblog or my Melbourne blog – they aren’t there
yet. Second, I’m doing most of the posting through my mobile phone. I don’t
want to upload photos from the phone because it would cost a lot. So please
be patient. The links will be fixed sometime.]

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