All posts filed under: Beach & Coastal Walking

Dogless in Hound Town

Late September, Sandgate, Australia. A warm, sunny Saturday morning, and the dogs have brought their humans to the seaside. With a languid incoming tide lapping at the seawall, the walkway/cycle path that hugs the rim of the Bay from Shorncliffe to Scarborough is already well populated with cyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, perambulating families and couples, the occasional wretched loner walking his or her own path. And there are the dogs. Dogs of all sizes, shapes, temperaments and religious persuasions, all in a state of high excitement. So many things to do, see, bark at, chase and roll in. Their humans sip their lattes and struggle stoically to keep up. Anyway, it’s exercise. We wretched loners slump grimly on, attempting indifference, inwardly acknowledging our sad and undeniable doglessness. ~ And that’s all the Goat wrote Advertisements

Synchronised Fireflies

Sometimes your mistakes are the best things you take home. Last week I was scurrying about on the rocks below Shorncliffe Pier in the last useable twilight, trying to take long exposures with my camera mounted on a tiny Gorillapod (a flexible plastic tripod). The tide was lapping at my ankles; the rocks were mossy, encrusted with sharp-edged shells, and very unfairly irregular when I really needed a flat surface.  The things I do to keep you folks entertained.

The Egret has Landed

Just back from a few blissful days of doing nothing much at all in the mountains of northern New South Wales. Alex and I stayed with his brother and his partner at their cozy and evolving home in the gorgeous Border Ranges near Kyogle. I’d forgotten how magical and soothing the Australian bush can be. There’ll be a few posts about our time there coming soon… This is how a typical day begins for me in the coastal suburbs of northern Brisbane.

Back Among the Mangroves

As a kid living in a village-like Bayside suburb on the outskirts of Brisbane — one store/post office, a one-teacher school, around 80 houses, many of which were essentially remnant fishing shacks from the early days of the settlement — I was often subjected to jokes about the place from classmates at my “elite” Brisbane high school. I was much smarter in those days, and won a partial scholarship, the only way my parents could have afforded to send me there. I was mingling, generally uncomfortably, with the offspring of lawyers, doctors, graziers, but when I fled each afternoon I hightailed it with relief back to the mud, mangroves and — as the alliterative putdowns went — mosquitoes of our home on the edge of Moreton Bay.

Now Is the Winter of My Dislocation

BRISBANE, ALMOST SPRING, 2014 I seem to do a lot of apologising on this blog lately — here’s your latest serving. Sorry about the unforgivable delay in posting, sorry about taking so long to reply to some comments, sorry for not looking at any other blogs in way, way too long, and sorry for the glum tone I can already feel saturating this post. Damn it, sorry for all the self-pity, too! Anyway, what can I say, it’s a long story. But blogging’s all about the short story and the ever-shortening attention span, so I’ll keep it brief and let the pictures do the whining. I’m back home — I mean, my original home — I mean, the one before New York but after Australia, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. The home town and the one I kinda love, still, even though I really don’t wanna be here right now.

Moreton Island, An Alphabetical Adventure: Q-Z

Well, here we are in nether regions of the alphabet, which was always going to be the toughest section of this journey. But by taking a few liberties with semantics and, well, truth, I have successfully completed my mission and can get on with my life… In unrelated news, my birthday gathering has been postponed a week, giving us some extra time to tame and prettify the backyard jungle. Yesterday was a phenomenally beautiful Saturday, appropriately enough for the longest one of the year and the beginning of Summer. The day began with the haunting call of a mourning dove that signals each new dawn lately, and ended the same way as Kate and I sat by the fire pit (we built a good one overlooking our squash-and-corn patch) toasting marshmallows and drinking brown ale: the (presumably same) dove had settled into the enormous old oak in the back corner of our yard, and kept up its mournful refrain until it finally got dark and the fire had withdrawn to a few glowing embers. An all-round …

Moreton Island, An Alphabetical Adventure: J-P

Zeroing in on my 50th birthday this Monday — too awful to contemplate, but a little gathering here on Sunday night (the one following the Summer Solstice, so daylight shouldn’t be a problem) is motivation to finish some of the dozens of garden jobs that comprise my life lately. Blogging seldom gets more macho than this: must report I’ve spent the last couple of days digging up and transplanting bulbs — daffodils by the hundreds, dense clumps of jonquils, a few tulips, crocus, hyacinth — which is a garden task I managed to avoid back home in the Subtropics. Oddly satisfying, all these delicate incursions with the shovel, the careful levering of great wedges of sandy loam, the probing of fingers into the soil for the onion-like prize… The hard work of the reimagined garden layout has been done; repositioning all these Spring colour-bombs for maximum impact should help me deal with the bleak prospect of another cruel Winter. I’ll put some shots up once this series is over…

Moreton Island, An Alphabetical Adventure: D-I

I would like to preface this post with an expression of deepest sympathy to those wretched bloggers who do not enjoy the optimal blogging conditions in which I created this post: in bed, after coffee, with a freshly-made toasted egg & cheese breakfast sandwich delivered to my Blogging Station by a gorgeous blonde.  That is all. Now let’s dive back into my alphabetical foray along the Moreton coast…

Light Show of the Gods

We have all we need of heaven here on earth ~ Edward Abbey I’m definitely an off-season beach-goer. Songjeong Beach in the last gasps of Autumn was the quietest I’d seen it — and heard it. Except for the half-hearted thumps from a late-night mattress rodeo in the room next door, the Kuhn Motel was pleasingly silent. I still woke at 3:30am — excitement, probably. And 3:30 was extreme even for me, at least in late Autumn. I rose again around 5:00 and hit the road, aiming at the crisply outlined fingernail moon hanging over the ocean, then northwards again up the coast road, Yonggung Temple bound.

A Sucker for a Sunset

Funny how I always seem to be walking north. Well, until I reach the end and turn around… Exams from Thursday till yesterday meant a nice, relaxing few days at work — for me. Exams over, student motivation plummets even lower than usual — and mine with it. My goal is to do nothing in class but play movies for the next month, and little between lessons but read, write, edit and post. Prepare for a Goat that Wrote tsunami!  Meanwhile, in the real world, I am beginning to wind up my affairs here in the Orient. Part of that is saying goodbye to my favourite local landmarks and paths. On Sunday I did a nice farewell hike up Big Ass Mountain. The golden autumnal weather just goes on and on, unbeatable rambling conditions. Let’s hope it hangs in there. Another part is dusting out the archives of unpublished Korean material while there’s still time, starting with the weekend before last, one of the top three or four in Korea for me. Really delightful weather, walking …

Bonfire of the Deities

Please clean the plates, dear The Lord above can see ya Don’t you know people are starving in Korea? ~ Alice Cooper, ‘Generation Landslide’ Schools of rotting fruit bobbing cheerfully at the ocean’s edge. Dozens of half-melted candles in paper cups dumped in the sand or abandoned on rock ledges for the tide to claim…

Goat Killer Trail, Day 10: Pictures

We’re nearly there, readers! I’ll be as relieved as you are to reach that finish line — I have stories almost six months old I’ve had no chance to write up yet! I didn’t write much on my original post for this day. Day 10 was a slow one, as rewarding as the others but with all that asphalt-thumping definitely making itself felt…