I don’t know why they did, but they did. As I walked past my local real estate agent over the weekend, the words “Lismore” and “Seachange” jumped out and caught my eye.
As I looked closer, I noticed they were advertising a couple of flats for sale in my very own home-town. And not just a couple of ordinary flats: but one’s I’ve actually been inside. A mate of mine who I haven’t seen in years used to live in the one at the very front.
“Why would they advertise them in Surry Hills?”, I thought to myself, “…and how could they possibly claim a couple of flats in Jubilee Street amounted to a seachange?” I mean, they’re flood-prone, if that’s why they mean.
Also oddly enough, where I live in Sydney is closer to sea than I ever was in Lismore. That said, despite my current proximity to the beach I hardly ever go there. Although I have fond memories of childhood excursions to Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Evans Head and Ballina, I’ve never really been a fan of the beach. I think it was the realisation very early on in my life that, with fair skin, I would never tan, and that going to the beach only ever meant a bad case of sunburn.
But I went to the beach today, “just for something different to do”, as my granny used to say. I started work REALLY early today, and so, finishing equally early, I decided to hop on the bus this afternoon to head off to the beach. I needed to feel some sand between my toes. “Which one”?, I thought as I walked down to Cleveland Street. “Whichever one comes by”, I decided to myself. Seeing a bus with the sign “Little Bay” prominently displayed I hopped on, and changing buses near Randwick ended up at Maroubra Beach.
Although I’ve been in Sydney for over twelve years, it was the first time I’ve ever been to Maroubra. It was always just a little too far, especially when there are far too many other beaches closeby. Coogee, in particular, is a favourite due to the beautiful sandstone rocks.
Maroubra has them too, although they seem much harder, and the beach seems much more harsh, more natural. When you sit on the rocks at Maroubra and look out the headland, all you see is headland. You don’t see the Eastern suburbs sprawl that characterises Bondi, Coogee and Tamarama, to name but three.
In contrast, Maroubra is a far less developed beach front. And while on the other beaches you constantly find yourself surrounded by others, at Maroubra you can find some genuine sense of isolation.
But then of course, after a while, you get a little bored with all that time to think quietly to yourself. Too many voices. Too much self-analysis. It’s just not good for the soul.
I don’t think I’m ready for the seachange option just yet, but I won’t entirely rule it out.