Today's the official start of summer here in Sydney. Actually, I've just made that bit up, but with the temperature a lovely 28o, and mercifully with low humidity, it could be. So I'm off to Manly to throw my pale self into the greeny-blue briny. Just need to check there are no sharks, or jellyfish, around to spoil the party.
I spotted a friendly lifeguard, suitably creamed-up against the likely UV onslaught, and asked him if there are any nasties lurking in the water. "Nah, no sharks and the wind's in the wrong direction (i.e offshore/from the west) for the jellies to come over. The temp's perfect. Get in the water..snorkel, surf..enjoy yourself." I nodded agreement, and then apologised for the daft question (the shark bit). ''No worries."
I was told later that someone thought they'd spotted a shark here last week, and screamed a bit. Not surprisingly, a mass exodus from the water followed. A false alarm as it turned out: a dolphin.
If it wasn't for endless ads on Aussie TV telling everyone who's still watching to slip/slap/slop (something to do with protecting yourself in the sun), I'd probably be in the water still, as I don't get that many chances to swim in the sea at home in December, funnily enough.