Easter was hard. I came down with a bad case of homesickness for the first time since I moved to Australia in May.
I almost always spend some of Holy Week at my parents' place in the foothills of the Southern Alps, inland from Christchurch. Easter is a good holiday in Canterbury. Blackberries and apples are being harvested ― and both go well with spiced buns and chocolate. There is a lovely crispness to the air, the Sun is still warm during the day, but keeping a jersey handy is a good idea.
But this year I was in Australia. Australia can get cold: its snowfields are larger than those in New Zealand. However, it is not that cold, and it is not cold yet, even in Canberra. So I was pining for crispness to go with my chocolate and currant buns. To make matters worse, Michele had picked the Eurobodalla coast as the location for our Easter holiday. It is a staggeringly beautiful part of the world, but us more noted for its rainforests than its frosts.
Sadly, neither Michele and myself I had not realised that the holiday destination was going to work with my homesickness. It was not a problem at first. Like everyone else from the ACT we were heading for the coast, down the King's Highway. We stopped at the small town of Braidwood. There we had dinner and a show, watching our fellow Canberrans crawl past, and the odd quiet nose-to-tail with a P-Plater (person on a restricted divers licence).
It was not until we had made our way down the coast to Narooma, set up camp, and started to look around the beach that I became quite homesick. The sand was golden; the water was warm (albeit rough); the light breeze had a tang of salt spray. It was nothing like home.
Saturday was the worst day. The fun of the Central Tilba fair did not linger with me. I was rudely indifferent about Mystery Bay.
Still, the good was far better than the bad. Coffee on the Narooma foreshore was really good, and had a view to match. The Central Tilba fair was fun, and I met a pack dog. The rainforest was beautiful, and contained unexpected surprises both visual and aural. And that was a bad day.
Easter Sunday was quite religious. It started with a servant of Ēostre zipping past on a scooter. We then went up the road to Ulladulla, to the blessing of the fleet ceremony. It was a fun ceremony, with a parade, boats with bunting, men in dresses, and the waving of a moistened mop at the boats. (As much as I make fun of the Holy See, I still crossed myself during the blessing.)
Monday saw Michele and me make our way home, stopping off at some wonderful walks. We found a nice calm beach, but blessedly it was starting to get cool…