Lucky Rolls’ Life of Good Fortune has continued to deliver over the last few days. Let me see:
16/11/2016 --- 1730hrs
I’m 25 now! Shit!
I don’t feel different but it strikes me as a much more loaded age, somehow far nearer to legitimate adulthood than 24, and with less wiggle room to excuse oneself for not having one’s shit together.
Whatever, I had an epic birthday on the weekend with family and friends. Saturday I spent mostly in the kitchen at mum and dad's preparing, before having a few friends over for a killer feed on Sunday.
I really really like cooking. I don’t want for regular living arrangements, but having a full kitchen is one luxury of conventional accommodation that I miss. Cooking in the van requires a more pragmatic approach to food prep - I’ve had a few very touch-and-go experiences running two homemade burners simultaneously and it is asking for trouble - so I have lots of one-pot-wonders. Using an oven again was a real treat.
Monday morning I spent very hungover at work in the morning, then slept it off for most of the afternoon. Determined to give the frustrations of peak-hour a wide berth, I left around 830 heading south to Wollongong.
The drive down was a real treat with empty roads, some good podcasts lined up and a happy head of thoughts. Cruising the ridgeline high above the coal coast is an absolutely spectacular drive even at night, with the twinkling lights of Thirroul and Bulli regularly punctuating the horizon far below.
I pulled up to Sandon at about 930pm. Cloud cover had largely shadowed the evening’s well-hyped #supermoon so far, however its creamy tangerine mass intermittently revealed itself for short intervals, during which the surf conditions could be accurately scouted. Lines of expected south swell were already wrapping their way around the headland, producing infinite silky ramps gurgling away endlessly along the rocks.
Sure enough when we awoke on Tuesday morning it was looking good. Very good. I was excited for Sam - he had joined me overnight in the carpark and his eyes were spinning at the first sight of a really good quality wave running for more than a hundred metres. Over a leisurely coffee we waited for the tide to drop and the crowd to thin before paddling out for an extremely enjoyable session. It was the first of what would be three surfs that day.
We had brunch after at a cafe in Thirroul before cruising north and checking surf spots. Settling at an empty right reef, we parked our vans in a vacant carpark directly in front of the takeoff spot. Navigating a slightly sketchy keyhole we jumped off the rocks and had ourselves a real adventure surf on a dredging right that mostly closed out in front of an exposed shelf.
Surfing that type of wave, alone, in front of steep slopes lush with foliage that cascade down to the water from the ridgeline high above, was nothing short of spectacular. Such was my sense of elation, I had to frequently give myself a conscious reminder that I was within an hours’ drive of Sydney.
Rupert had driven down and met us on the shoreline when we hopped out, and we spent the following hour drinking beer in the sun. As Sammy headed home Rupes and I scored a fun twilight session at an isolated little beach before making our respective journeys back north.
I camped in Chatswood that night, keen for a good morning’s work the next day at TSE. Today’s sunrise produced exactly that result, Sam and I running through old songs from the early days and pumping out coffees to our regulars.
There was residual swell in the water so I drove to Curl Curl for a loooooooong and leisurely session, indulging in the solitude created by an off-putting-but-largely-inconsequential sea breeze. I love how fairweather Sydney surfers can be; as soon as the wind swings onshore numbers in the water drop by about 80%. On a humpday it equates to a completely empty lineup more often than not.
Now I’m sitting down at Balmoral absolutely surfed out, with the sun on my back as I enjoy a cold beer while waiting for a few friends to arrive for a sunset picnic before dinner. Lucky lucky lucky. Treasure the simplicity Rolls, who knows how long this is gonna keep up.
It is surreal to be aware that these will be some of the fondest memories of my life, recognising so whilst they happen. Usually I require the clarity of retrospect for maximum appreciation, but already I know for certain that these are the good ol’ days in the making.