Random Fridays: Digging at the beach

Young boy absorbed in his task.

Children have a single-minded absorption in a task that we adults have lost. This little chap in his bright red shirt was determined to dig, no matter what went on around him. The first photo I took of him, just seconds before this one, had a girl running past so close that the sand flew, but he didn’t even look up.



The Hand Slap Game

Hand Slap on the beach, Fiji

Hand Slap on the beach, Fiji

I took this photo on my recent Fiji sailing holiday. We had visited the remote village of Daliconi on the island of Vanua Baluva, and were sitting around on the beach waiting for the boats to take us back to the ship. One of my shipmates introduced some of the children to the Hand Slap Game (also apparently known as red hands, slapsies, slap jack, red tomato or slaps). I wanted to capture the contrasts in their hands — large and small, white and brown, be-ringed and plain, clean and sandy.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Hands

click here for other posts about Fiji

The Changing Seasons – Sydney: February

Here is February's cruise ship. Compare this beautiful blue sky with the imminent storm over January's ship.

Here is February’s cruise ship. Compare this beautiful blue sky with the threatening storm that hovered over January’s ship.

The season of summer continues in Sydney. After the storms and humidity of January, February has been generally delightful: clear blue skies, normal humidity and lots of warm but not scorching days. Today is different — although the sky is a flawless, cloudless blue, the temperature is climbing to a forecast 39C (that’s 102F). As you can imagine, the beaches will be mobbed even though it’s a Thursday!

Hot summer day at Brighton Beach

Hot summer day at Brighton Beach a couple of weeks ago. This wide sandy reach runs along the western edge of Botany Bay.

This February brought the beginning of the Year of the Monkey, and Sydney (as usual) threw a party. You can see my other Chinese New Year photos here.

Chinese New Year flags and lanterns, Martin Place

Chinese New Year flags and lanterns, Martin Place

In the run-up to the The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, ANZ Bank gets into the spirit and converts some of its ATMs to GAYTMs.

Dance flash mob!

I was walking down Martin Place to the train station to go home on Monday, when suddenly music started thumping and apparent passersby began to dance.

Dance flash mob, Martin Place

All together now, big finish! Not sure about the guy in the red shirt, though.

If you can remember the opening sequence of the film “Footloose”, you’ll know why I took these two photos. Well I had to, really, because that song was playing!

Season Markers

These two locations will appear regularly in my monthly posts. As I said in my January post, it’s hard to tell what season it is in Sydney because there are no dramatic changes such as snow and ice. However, these plane trees in Martin Place do lose their leaves, and as I intend to take this shot around 5:30pm each month you’ll see it get darker and darker, and then light again as spring and summer creep up. And while I don’t think any trees in the photo of Sandringham Garden in Hyde Park lose their leaves, the wisteria certainly does, and the flower displays change with the seasons.

Martin Place, 5:30pm

Martin Place, 5:30pm

Sandringham Garden, Hyde Park, 1pm

Sandringham Garden, Hyde Park, 1pm


Do the Stingray Shuffle

Beware of stingrays - Botany Bay (Sydney)

Beware of stingrays – Botany Bay (Sydney)

The net should keep out sharks, but to avoid stepping on an angry stingray you need to do the Stingray Shuffle. If you swim in the waters around Sydney, you’d better be careful.

(As an aside, the stretch of beach on the opposite shore is just along the coast from where Captain Cook first landed from HMS Endeavour in Botany Bay on 29 April 1770.)


Wishing I was back in Vanuatu

Eratap Beach Resort, Etafe,cabana

Eratap Beach Resort, on the island of Etafe. Each villa has its own thatched beach cabana.

After three days of torrential rain and gale force winds, of broken umbrellas and wet feet, of disrupted transport, fallen trees and floods, of a storm billed variously as “Sydney’s storm of the decade” or even (eek!) “Sydney’s storm of the century”, my thoughts turn longingly to the sunny tropical paradise of Vanuatu. Memories of my holiday there led, of course, to recollections of the devastation wrought on that island nation by the recent tropical storm, which put Sydney’s storm into perspective. But my mind turns to pleasanter times.

Outrigger canoe, Lelepa Island.

Outrigger canoe, Lelepa Island. The snorkelling here was astounding: calm clear water, healthy and vibrant coral, a myriad of colourful fish, all accessible from the beach.

Sunset, Eratap, Vanuatu

Sunset from my own stretch of beach.

man surf bodysurf Bronte beach

Suspended – between earth and sky

Just for a moment, these people hang between earth and sky, touching nothing. Gravity being what it is, though, you know they’ll come crashing down!

(I thought it was time for more colour and fun, after my last two rather sombre black-and-white posts.)

Here is another photo of the acrobats – she is standing on one foot on his hands!