Wasting away again in Margaritaville, there’s a woman to blame… the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett who also wrote Why don’t we get drunk and screw? and Cheeseburgers in Paradise. Legend.
And that woman to blame? She is probably me. I am the one that bitched and screamed about “going on a family holiday” and now we are here it is incandescent. If I could bottle it I could sell it. With a shaker of salt. And lemons that bite.
The weather on the Sports Desk today is balmy, with potential for balm. The truck is arse-up to the beach again, the growl of the surf replaced by painfully typical gentle lapping. Perched on the edge of the rocks at Seal Rocks, the tide sucks and gluts, a living, pulsing beat that marks nature at her finest. From the grommet-filled rock pools, epicenter of teenage bravado and slick with lust and sun-scorched skin, to the rocks, reminiscent of Piggy’s last stand in Lord of the Flies, a blighted, bleached lost space, home to a tribe of vicious kids with a strange hierarchical law – the teenagers are hunting.
The beach is small, at the end of a dirt track, but it is a busy stretch of real estate. The endless parade of the caravanning masses squeal and burn down the hill, acrid smoke marking their arrival at the caravan park. Zippered into conformity, a blue esky for a blue esky, these mobs are families making their yearly pilgrimage to the coast, like Margate. In the bush. And no roads. And fewer Chavs. OK. So it’s not like Margate at all, but you get the drift. It is the destination for a pilgrimage. Some of the craggier tribes, adrift in a storm of hot pink boogie boards, souped-up clackey clackey toys, cheap Chardonnay and snags, have been coming here for over 40 years – with a passion and dedication that bears witness to another life in another place.
This is nostalgia at her hazy best, a prism on the lost years of youth, when the crackle of overcooked skin and a salty tideline around the neck were worn as badges of pride, and when you knew you were living as the park lights dimmed and the cheap wine came out. They flirt, flit and fondle. a license to play extended into the witching hour as parents slumber in holiday mode and the air reeks of fumbled misadventure.
Hello holiday romance!