Friday, 11 July 2008


Life's a beach and all the best beaches I know are in Yamba. This first leg of the trip closes out tonight after a week of sand, water cold enough to send brass monkeys running from the surf, pleasant company and sufficient sun to make it all worthwhile. Last night it was our turn to host the family and although Sue added a ceramic flavour by showing her pottery group's slide show of them building the wood-fired kiln, the evening walked down predictable lines to a late conclusion.

Almost anyone can be the butt of the family's corporate derision, but as was discovered long ago, it's always much better if Sue's brother Lance is the target. He does, after all, lead with his chin! No exceptions last night but lots of laughter and good natured collateral damage. As an outsider, its nice to observe this bunch, who when offered a second chance at being a family only a few years ago, accepted the challenge with courage and have rebuilt what monsters sought to rent asunder. I have a great affection and admiration for each of them and thoroughly enjoy their company.

I managed to clear all of the hurdles the local doctor insisted I jump after some symptoms which wanted to worry me but took me to the doctor instead and I received a clear bill. Thanks to physiotherapy and Sue's willingness to not only tolerate the application but also the smell of Dencorub, I'm fast on the mend. My only attempt at swimming in the surf ended in a popsicle disaster yesterday when I never recovered from a sudden drop in my core temperature after standing to the waist for five minutes in slightly thawed ice - no wonder polar bears are in danger of extinction, their former landmass was surrounding me in liquid form. It took me half an hour and the town's supply of available hot water to warm me up enough to only shiver. Meanwhile, Surfer Girl strode out to the breakers and defied them yet again. What a heroic portrait of life my wife is.

She revealed her softer side today with a visit to the Angourie Environmental and Women's Pampering Centre, courtesy of the generosity of two sisters intent on spoiling her. Hours of massage and herbal tea have transformed her. I'm not sure if she exfoliated or was cleansed or got in touch with her inner woman but she was glowing like the new moon as she floated toward me on the main street. Sam and I visited the doctor instead of exfoliating and if I was glowing in the aftermath, then the radiologist will be hearing from my solicitor.

It's been a lovely week - it always is at Yamba in July with the Gibbens mob. However, Sue and I tire of being in a holding pattern and eagerly await clearance for take of in the morning. First an early call to take Sam to his bus in Maclean at 4:45 - yes that's a.m. - another hour or so of sleep and then we'll be allowing the GPS to point us to Toowoomba via Kyogle and Warwick. In four days we'll be in the Northern Territory.

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