Thursday, July 5, 2012

Girlfriends and a Beachhouse....Perfect!

A Guilderton pelican "overseeing" the fishermen

Over the years  I have supported, and been supported by, my special girlfriends at my beachhouse.  It is situated only one hour north of Perth and as so is easily accessible for last minute invitations...and spontaneous  visits.

Last weekend I rang my girlfriend, Diane,  at the last minute and said as the weather was going to be perfect, with chilly mornings but twenty degree temperatures during the day (yes, winter in Perth is wonderful!). I was going to head north for a few days and I wondered if she wanted a break from home.  As her husband was away working, she enthusiastically  said yes, and "what can I bring?" A very Australian habit is to take food and wine when staying away with friends.

Diane watching the Moore River flow into the Indian Ocean, a rare occurrence

Saturday dawned with bright sunlight, after a few weeks of grey winter gloom, which renders me utterly despondent.  I would prefer to freeze and wake with snow covered lawns than to have grey, rainy and not terribly cold weather. I'm definitely a summer person.

I loaded up the car with vegetables from my garden, and some other bits and pieces,  including beautiful French cheese; not forgetting the champagne and wine. The dogs sensed that we were heading north once they saw the supplies being put into the boot/trunk and raced around barking madly.

During the drive I listened to my favourite African music;  it has such rhythm that I hum and sing along, aware that the dogs in the back are looking at me incredulously!

By the time I reached Guilderton the chill had left the air, and my spirits had lifted.  Instead of the grey/beige colour of the paddocks which is so typical of summer, the landscape was bright green against a vividly blue sky.

The beach before sunset last Saturday...perfect time for a walk

A quick visit to the nearby avocado farm ensured that guacamole was going to be on the menu; and a visit to the neighbouring organic farm provided freshly picked peas and broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

Shortly after I had completed the unpacking Diane arrived.  She is an amazing woman  who inspires me with her courage and joie de vivre; and her sense of humour is boundless.

Over the years we have laughed together, cried together, told each other secrets and danced on the coffee table at the beachhouse.

The beachhouse does that for people.  The views over the Indian Ocean, and the Moore River are so inspiring that I have seen friends, stressed and/or unhappy, join me on the verandah overlooking the view and within half a hour I see them gain what I refer to as the "Guilderton Glaze"...their eyes focus on the natural beauty and their hearts and souls relax.

The view from the verandah, only 150m to the beach
The Moore River flows into the ocean...another view from the verandah

After Diane left on Sunday I stayed for a few more days.  I am writing a novel and I find that the "block" I can sometimes encounter in Perth is completely removed  when I am there.  I am also working on improving my French and to walk on the empty beach, speaking to the dogs in French, with them not caring about my mistakes or accents is liberating.


They don't mind my French accent as long as they have the beach!

During the days I stayed at the beachhouse before returning to Perth I reviewed my thoughts about friendship.  It is such a gift to have good friends.  Over the past seven months since my relationship breakup my friends have been everything we all want in a friend: kind, sympathetic, cross with me when necessary, a shoulder to lean on, warm, forgiving and unselfish. I am so fortunate that my closest friends are my daughter, son and sister. And to have girlfriends going back to when I was 6 years old is a joy.  I truly love and respect them all.

And as we grow older and wiser I think we appreciate the "different"friends we meet during our journey.  I have a blogger friend in Belgium whom I hope I will be able to meet next year when I visit Europe.  I have a friend in Switzerland, with whom I share a common bond,  who I hope to meet also.  Only yesterday I had an email from one of my fellow intrepid travellers from my trip last year on SV Discovery (The Voyage from Hell... ) to say that the rustbucket of a boat had been refused an operating license.  I invited my fellow intrepid travellers, via a return group email, to be in touch if they were coming DownUnder...our shared experiences encouraged us to refer to each other as friends.


Sunset fishing off the groyne last Saturday

It is a human trait I have found that in the "good times" we tend to take our friendships for granted;  to allow the level of empathy and encouragement we have for them to wane. True friends allow these indiscretions and forgive them.  I am truly blessed with my friendships...

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