Holidays are here again
When my children were teenagers, many years ago, this was Bribie. Perhaps Bribie has not changed that much. Suddenly the Island is sinking! Or you well might imagine that it would, considering the increase in the number of people here. Yes, it is the Christmas holidays, and at this time of the year the population of Bribie doubles or even trebles. Day-trippers come from Brisbane, the motels are fully booked, and there is not a vacant unit to be found.
The caravan and camping parks are packed, the flapping beach towels proclaiming the enthusiasm of our temporary residents. Whilst this alters the atmosphere of our usually sleepy Island, I am not averse to sharing; it would be churlish to frown in the face of the obvious enjoyment of our holidaymakers. For many families, this is the week or fortnight that they have looked forward to all year, two weeks of sun, sand, and sea, and what better place than Bribie for that laidback family holiday.
From early in the morning small children are busy digging in the sand or paddling in the usually calm waters of the Passage side, the fluorescent colours of their protective sunsuits making them appear to be a cross between little lorikeets and miniature Edwardian bathers.
At high tide, their parents and grandparents venture into the sea for a little gentle swimming, nothing too vigorous, more bobbing than anything else. Small boys and old men try out their Christmas rods from the beach or the jetty with enough fish caught to keep everyone happy. Perhaps fresh whiting for tea; at least sometimes.
If that fails, one of the numerous fish and chip shops can fill the gap, giving Mum a well-earned rest. The bikeways ring to the sound of bicycle bells from new bikes and the thunder of roller-blades from their proud new owners. It would seem that Santa has not failed to deliver. Around dusk, happy laughing families, in their best smart-casual clothes, pass us on their way to the Pubs, RSL or Bowling Clubs for an inexpensive meal, a beer for Mum and Dad, perhaps Coke or pink lemonade for the kids.
Maybe tonight is the night to win the raffle in the meat or fish tray or the big win on the Pokies. If all this seems a little too quiet, dare I suggest boring, then one can leave the Passage or Bongaree side of Bribie and head for the surf at Woorim. This side of the Island is where the testosterone loaded young men with their boogieboards and surfboards hang out, attracting their young nubile maiden camp followers.
Or is it the other way round? Whatever, this is where the action is. Throwdown your beach towel, claim your patch, anoint yourself with whatever turns you, and hopefully them, on, and there is no need to move for the rest of the day except to alternatively head for the ocean, bake in the sun, or maybe catch a quick burger at the café near the Surf Life Savers Club. Not what the dermatologists of Wickham Terrace might recommend, but when you are sixteen or so, skin damage at sixty is eons of time away.
Later in the evening the “catch of the day” may be entertained in the small cinema in the centre of the Island, or further “fishing” take place whilst dancing to one of the live bands performing at the Surf Club or Pub. Of course, all good things must come to an end, and holidays are no exception. Around the end of January, the locals find they can once again find parking at the supermarket and opposite the Post Office. This was summed up nicely by a sign that appeared in a shop window that read, “You can come out now. They’ve all gone home!”