Living in England, winter has always been something we’ve looked upon with a sense of dread. After a glancing taste of summer and a flash of warmth from the sun it’s time to prepare once again for what seems an eternity of the grey, unending bleakness of our winters.
Winter up in Brisbane however is quite a different story. In fact the colder months are something of a relief to locals as the temperatures and humidity drop to more agreeable numbers. The mercury sits at a steady 20-25 degrees and the onslaught of the summer rain ceases.
That doesn’t stop the good people of Brisbane pretending like they have a proper winter though. No second invitation is needed for a chance to get out the woolly hats, scarfs and ridiculously unwarranted fur coats.
It’s become something of a sport for Lauren and I to gaze at these people as they trudge through a mild, perfectly pleasant sunny morning. The things we do for fashion eh?
So whilst these excessive city dwellers pretend they are experiencing winter we take every opportunity we get to enjoy the mild weather.
It’s been a while since we’d been to a beach and even longer since we last tried our luck at surfing so we jumped in the car with our good friend Iain and drove up to Caloundra on the aptly named Sunshine Coast for a spot of winter sunshine and surf.
With only two surfboards between us and no luck trying to rent a long board, Lauren decided to sit this one out and left myself floating hopelessly on a fairly hectic break.
Last time we surfed I felt ready to move on from the foam boards and try my luck at a fibre-glass board to try learn to drop in on the waves. As ever I was trying to run before I could walk.
It had been a couple of months since our last surf and I really struggled finding any balance on the new short board. After an hour or so of helplessly throwing myself in the waves I surrendered myself to an afternoon of lying in the sun and catching up on some reading with Lauren.
Iain, being a much better surfer, persevered with the waves for a while longer until we packed up and went searching for something to eat.
We packed the surfboards in the car and wandered down the esplanade and stumbled across Coffee Cat, a small al fresco cafe and bar serving up food right on the beach. It was a perfect find, and after sinking a few pints of pacific ale and a good meal we all felt as if we had been transported back to our summer in the lazy surf towns of WA.
After a short session watching the surfers master the break on Moffat Beach we decided to head into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in the hope of seeing the sunset in the East. We whizzed through the mountains, stopped to grab a six-pack of stubbies and swerved down a country road with views over the valley just in time to watch the sun drop below the horizon.
The sunsets in Australia have rarely been disappointing but this one was right up there with the very best. As the sun slowly faded and the sky darkened we were treated to a light show of dark oranges, reds and blacks and the afterglow lasted for a good half an hour giving us ample time to soak it all in on the roof of the car. As we sipped on a cold one and reflected on a day of sunshine, beaches, surf, beer and a glorious sunset the thought of winter was pushed firmly to the back our minds.