Still getting sand out of my undies

Meredith Jones & Griffin Parker

I’ve been away from the blogosphere, even away from email and facebook and twitter… staying for a week in Tathra, a little seaside town on the south coast of New South Wales, about an eight-hour drive from Sydney. I thought about leaving the laptop and mobile at home, having a ‘proper break’ away from technology to commune with nature and all that, but I ended up packing them, unable to detach. Then, horror, there was no reception at our holiday house! To even get my phone messages I had to strump up to the top of the hill, Sailor puffing at my side, and stand on a little tussock between the police station (a locked portable shed) and Big Al’s Restaurant (an old house, once the Harbour Master’s), holding the phone aloft.

Without the internet my computer was like a big old scallop shell — closed and useless — a dumb white plastic thing. Speaking of bi-valves, gee we ate a lot of oysters. We ended up buying three dozen one day in our greediness for their metallic deliciousness and we ate about 26 of them.  The others languished on the cool bathroom floor for a few days until we took them down to the beach and set them free in a rockpool. I wonder if oysters can reattach, or did we murder them?

We saw whales (I think Southern Rights) flicking and frolicking not far offshore and an echidna and a pair of grey kangaroos.

The Tathra op shop is highly recommended. I bought a jar of carrot marmalade made by Betty McIntyre and a woollen pinstriped waistcoat made for a very small man so it looks good on me. The shop is run by a group of older men gossiping with cups of tea and practically giving things away (‘take it home and try it on, if it fits drop the money in tomorrow’ — heh?)

The Tathra annual Christmas fete was on. A proper fat bearded Anglo Father Christmas greeted us (call me racist and ageist but skinny Indian international students don’t cut it as Santa) with sweeties. The hall was filled with ladies in silly bonnets selling homemade Christmas puddings. I think Margaret Whitlam was there, unless it was her six-foot-one cheery doppelganger.

I loved being with my husband and our best friends and their little boy (who is also ours in a way as my husband is his father). I would have happily stayed on holiday longer, much longer, playing with the little guy on the sand and taking walks with my friends and being asleep by nine. But that aside, I missed my layers of virtualness. I missed my buddies on facebook: the ones I’ve only met once or twice, at a dinner or a gallery opening somewhere; the ones I had love affairs with more than twenty years ago but haven’t seen now in person for a very long time; the ones I’ve never met at all. I’m used to operating on multiple levels now. I honestly don’t think I would have lost anything from the holiday had I been emailing or facebooking or texting as well as swimming and surfing (well, splashing in the shallows with a blow up lilo) and reading Wolf Hall (only 50 pages to go and boy is it good).

What am I saying? Just that I’m glad to be back in my own version of augmented reality — complete with my own layers of virtuality, my own constant communications, my own webs of meaning and connection — they’re part of me now.


3 Responses to “Still getting sand out of my undies”

  1. genevieve Says:

    That’s great, Meredith. You have clarified the loneliness that just reading books sometimes produces in me – it certainly did when I was young anyway. The webs make the connections between all writing stronger, I am sure.
    I am thinking once again of cooling down my blog for a bit, but I’m sure I’ll keep checking in with people. I think that’s where it started anyway for me – producing blog posts was merely an extension of commenting.

  2. librarygirl Says:

    A holiday HAS to include an op shop or three for me and a bonus fete – you ARE lucky. Am going to take Wolf Hall on my holiday – good plane read I hope.

  3. Meredith Jones Says:

    LIbrarygirl just keep in mind Wolf Hall weighs a lot!

    Genevieve thanks for that comment… I hadn’t thought about it in relation to loneliness but, yes, I think the internets do help a lot of people who would normally, because of nature or their vocation, be quite alone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: