Finally Sydney is having a good summer. I’ve been to the beach in the past couple of months nearly as much as I have in the past two summers combined. Typical of Australia though, half the country is on fire. Don’t worry a flood will come along and put them out soon enough.

Yesterday was one of the hottest days for several years and I have to say, while a lot of people were complaining and posting photos on Facebook of the temperature readings in the cars, I was feeling nostalgic. Back in my youth we used to pray for days as hot as yesterday because when the temperature got over 40c (104F) rumour had it that we got to go home. Sadly it never happened when I was there. All I would have done at home is maybe sit under the garden sprinkler to cool down.

My youth was mostly spent on the beach. Just about every day during summer holidays was spent on the beach being lathered in sun screen by my mother, fed with sandwiches from the esky and swimming for hours on end. Once we were old enough to go into the surf by ourselves my sister, myself and our family friends, the hoard of children would grab our boogie boards and it wasn’t uncommon to see about 5 of us all flying down a wave together trying to knock each other off. Sometimes we’d be given some money to go and buy ice creams and we’d run over to the store, careful to tread only on the painted lines on the road as much as possible because it was “so much cooler” than the black asphalt of the road.

One of my fondest memories is of my dad taking my sister and/or I out in the surf when we were able to swim but not very old. He’d take us way out the back, past the breaking surf and we’d splash around and sometimes even catch a wave clinging to his back. On days where the conditions were good, we’d walk out around the rocks to the point where we’d jump in and swim back to shore through the surf. Those days are stored away in the memory banks as some of the happiest of my life.