Tuesday, 18th September


The household was quiet by the time we got up. Life starts early at Collaroy Plateau. By 8-00 am there is the last slam of the front door and we are alone in the house, save (of course) for the cats.

It is Tony’s birthday. The reason we headed for Sydney so quickly. We had decided to head for the City to get a couple of clothing items as some of our clothes have had to be abandoned, having succumbed to the red dust blight. After a bit of a problem with keys, we eventually headed in on the local bus which takes about an hour to meander through the suburbs before crossing the bridge to arrive at the Wynyard central city bus stop..

We were limited on time because we were in charge of turning on the birthday feast, but were delighted to literally run into Kathi, one of our fellow travellers on the trip. We could not believe the serendipity of it all. A minute earlier or later and we would have missed her. After a warm reunion we adjourned to shop together, Lulu Lemon called!

After a fun shop we had a very brief coffee and headed off back to the Northern Beaches, Keith taking the smart new bus all the way (the fast bus stops at the bottom of the steep hill up to the Plateau), while I hopped off at the shopping mall along the way to purchase fizz as our contribution to the evening’s entertainment and get a few bits.

It was a good gathering for the birthday supper. An excellent meal, good company and present opening cannot fail. Nine of us sat around the table. The boys drank beer and a real treat was that Justine opened a bottle of Veuve Clicqout (my favourite champagne) to mark our arrival. It felt very special, but was really the trailer for the big birthday of the week. Coco was to be 12 the next day. Her excitement was palpable……..!

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