Sometimes it pays to have a day off. Yesterday, for instance, I had the most wonderful birthday by firstly following the advice of corporate anthropologist Genevieve Bell and getting unplugged. I decided not to turn the computer on at all. Instead I went adventuring. I dropped the car in for a service, removed my excellent folding Brompton bicycle from the boot and headed off to check out the surf. It’s been huge and pretty much unsurfable for weeks but there was a gorgeous rainbow over the headland which I watched until it faded.
Then I rode into Avalove for a little op shop at the Red Cross – a habit I’m trying to curtail because my wardrobe is getting out of control, but not this day. I was looking for a belt to hitch up the fab vintage jodphurs that I’d bought recently at the Capertee ‘Lovely Junk’ shop and managed to find a nice studded leather number just perfect for the job . My revolutionary outfit for the day also included gold converse boots and a flouro pink and orange crocheted woollen poncho which I’d picked up from some kooky Ecuadorian traders in Windsor. The ensemble was capped of with a rasberry beret, the kind you find in a second hand store, and I looked like some kind of strange rainbow myself, fully intent on spreading the joy.
I’d never been to the Avalon Beauty Centre before so I booked myself in for a facial, the first in years. I figured they’d probably find all sorts of strange biological experiments embedded in my pores and have to get out the spack filler to remedy the situation. Better late than never, I suppose. On I treadled to the hardware store for a bag of potting mix which I managed to stuff into my pannier and rolled home with it to do a spot of gardening. The worm farm is cranking but it needed the bottom tray cleared so I extracted some lingering worms then mixed their castings into the soil. Squelching around in the nutrient rich worm ju-ju felt exo and helped keep everything real. I transplanted a lime tree, relocated a tomato plant and moved some as yet unidentified plants into sunny spots to absorb carbon.
It took a good deal of scrubbing to get my hands clean again in order to eat a bowl of leftover veggie soup on the swinging love seat. But once all that was done, I took off on my bicycle again – this time for one of my favourite places on top of Bangalley Head. It’s the highest point in Pittwater and you can see for miles up to Avoca and way out to sea. I was hoping to spy some migrating whales as they’re on the move north again now but all I saw were more rainbows!
Eventually I had to tear myself away from this special high and descend again through the damp bush. Dark clouds were blowing in from the south and I remembered those two loads of washing that were still hanging on the line. It would be a real drag if everything got wet. So I detoured back to the love shack and pulled the gear off the line before tearing into town again. If nothing else, I was certainly getting a fantastic work out.
Sure enough, as I was riding to my appointment, the heavens opened up. I pulled in under a tree and got out my plastic poncho as newly released school kids screamed past me into awaiting parent’s four wheel drives. It was good to get my wet gear off in the salon and drift off under the soothing hands of young Nicole from Warriewood who, like me had recently smashed her finger. She’d damaged her digit in a garage door a month ago. It had been ten days since I’d hurled a log on mine and it was only just starting to feel vaguely normal again. I still can’t type with it and the blackened nail will no doubt fall off soon. EEK!
It was getting dark as I rode along the gushing creek that flows behind Barrenjoey High School into the mangroves of Careel Bay but in the shadows ahead I spied a white-faced heron in my path. I rolled slowly towards it, admiring its sleek elegance until it suddenly took flight across the creek and onto the roof of a neighbouring shed. I felt blessed to have seen it. In fact, the whole day had been a wonderful treat. The planets had literally aligned – Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter had all been visible in the north-east sky that morning under a new crystal moon. And the good vibrations of that harmonic convergence were still reverberating it seemed.
I remember my birthday last year. It was spent painting my flat in E.Bay in preparation for rental. With the job complete I headed up here with the last remaining boxes of my possessions. A year on, I can report that life in the ‘hood is sweet. Today I turned on the computer again to find a torrent of well-wishers on Facebook. I’m feeling the love here in Avalove and I urge you all to get uplugged for a day too. Maybe even come play with me one fine day. It’s really not as far away as you think.