Sydneysiders, stuck in the city because your country cousins cancelled Christmas concerned you were a COVID-carrier? New Year’s plans went up in smoke like the Foti family fireworks on Sydney Harbour, so you stayed at home in front of the TV with only Charlie Pickering and Jeremy Fernandez at your party?
You are not alone. And if you are not in isolation you are lucky. So many are. So playing Pollyanna’s glad game – turning what might be a negative into a positive – let’s count the ways to spend a summer holiday at home. Sure you can Marie Kondo your socks and undies drawers, organise your photo albums and renovate the kitchen but after two years of at home activities, surely it is time to step out yet stay safe if you are COVID-free. Here are six suggestions:
It doesn’t matter what the weather or temperature is like above water, below water it’s as beautiful as it always is. OK, on the coast you may have to dodge some bluebottles when the north-easterly winds hit, and the high tide from Queensland’s cyclones may have closed some beaches. But the beauty beneath the surface is worth plunging into – at any of our more than 100 beaches.
The marine life is abundant – boasting everything from blue gropers to eagle rays and schools of bream and whiting along the Sydney coastline. The harbour pools, rivers and suburban swim centres are also great places to work on your stroke correction. Some people I swim with told me their instructor told them to imagine a walnut clenched between your butt cheeks to improve your freestyle (a visual I can’t now unsee).
2. Walk (even in the rain).
We are a soft mob us Sydney folk. The slightest scent of rain and we retreat. We are fair weather walkers. Unlike those hardy kiwis and poms, and anyone from cooler wet climes, accustomed to walking in the rain. They mostly ascribe to the maxim there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So put on your rain poncho and head to the CBD. It is a ghost town – especially around Darling Harbour and its plethora of playgrounds, Barangaroo’s backstreets and the empty George Street stores. Rediscover the history of your city. Stop and read the plaques and be inspired by the beautiful buildings.