“Hi, I’m H, I’m going to start blogging again without telling anyone and see how long until J notices.”
On that note, we need new codenames. The Superlative got some boxed set of Gossip Girl and apparently calling people by the first letter of their name is a thing. Not a good thing, either.
Have a mountain of things I want to write here because of all the redwinecasking, octoberbusymaking, unicoursestarting, nomadaroundindiaing that has occurred since I last posted, but instead I guess I will content myself with giving you a new creative writing exercise which tickled my fancy last semana.
(This is done better when you are sitting on your balcony with a glass of cheap red in hand rather than, as this one was, in a class full of talented hipsters, many of whom have accents)
First of all, the facts:
Smokey Cape Lighthouse is run by a couple in their 60s, Ned and Fran. Ned is friends with my grandmother, Dawn. They met at bowls, in the nearby town of Kempsey. Smokey Cape is ten minutes drive away from South West Rocks and 1 1/2 hours drive from Port Macquarie, where I grew up. The light still is used every night and there are three houses on the headland- that belonging to Ned and Fran, the keeper’s cottage, and the lighthouse itself. The keeper’s cottage is the house that is rented out. We rented out the back half. It costs $120 a night to rent out, unless it is the months of November through January, when it costs more than this. The cottage has two bedrooms, one lounge room, a kitchen, and a back porch. There is a table in the kitchen. One room has a double bed, the other has a double bed and two singles. From the cottage there is a track down the hill that leads to the beach. It is a fifteen minute walk.
Next, a list of well…unfacts?
Red wine, karaoke, rained on hair, bed sliding, alarms harmonising, alarms being turned off, doorknocking, hitting wasps with a towel, cutting up pumpkin, sitting in an esky, drizzling rain, the lion king, Excalibur, aching cheekbones, nagging deadlines, scolding conversations, big vocabulary, spinning light, a broken windscreen, bins and bins of bottles, the smell of curry, lying awake, koala bearing, people’s grinning faces through the back fence, sitting underneath the window, listening to the conversations outside, wine with breakfast, afternoon naps, Alistair lunch anticipation, big towels, urban tribes, frivolous crime fiction, walking on dirt tracks, an oversized blue skirt, top tens, Jacob music, zee playlist, SLR, insulting exboyfriends, chasing Kia with wet toast, Trem in a hula skirt, five years time, Allysa cutting up rolls, towers of cans, bottles in the fire place, things stacked on mantle piece, a crying H, sitting on wet grass, a frog, boys undressing, plaiting Jacob’s hair, pterodactyl, terrible definitions, a football under my knees, toes tucked under a leg, code names, boys being mean, bargaining with favourite songs, having my dress cut off, cards balanced on sleeping friends, falling off beds, lolling to sleep, running through the rain, in the dark, down a hill, towards a car, in headlights, in lighthouse lights, yellow dress, sodden hair, yelling ‘I’m so happy’
Then combine them. In ten minutes. To which my initial reaction was ‘fuck off’. Because really, ten minutes?
Only those who have never been to the lighthouse come in through the front gate. I used it the first time, and another when Jake and I were chasing a kookaburra around the yard, him with the SLR, me with an amused, voyeuristic scepticism about his ability to take a picture that wasn’t creepy.
Instead, people returning to the keeper’s cottage use the gate around the back. It seems to be for people of the elvish persuasion, and is carved into the rough wood of the fence, so that it frames the beach that reaches right back to Port with a rustic frame, like one that would hang in a house mum decorated. Entering this way is much more fun. Trem discovered it the first day we spent on the back porch when he ’emerged from the wilderness’, his unshaven face grinning in through the hole, ducking under through the tunnel the wood makes, and twisting off the cap of someone else’s beer.
There’s no need to be quiet at the lighthouse. Jake chased Kia up and down the hallway trying to hit her with a wet piece of toast, voices booming and squealing, feet on wooden floorboards, hands banging on walls, towers of bourbon cans unceremoniously toppled, and the caretakers didn’t wake up. I’m grateful to the white, thick walls- Ned and Fran aren’t only the caretakers, they’re my grandma’s friends from bowls, and they’ve already been extra nice in not commenting on the excess of wheelie bins we filled with bottles.
I sleep in the front room, closest to the karaoke, the window over the beach, the wine, in the bed that has wheels. There’s a conveniently J sized ledge above its headboard that facilitates effortless games of ‘bed surfing’, so that we can shrilly ‘surf’ my bed across to the foot of Jakes, toppling off it in the process. Lys and Cam share the double in the middle, and in the mornings we scramble to snooze three sets of alarms, and I try not to wake anyone when I sneak out to make breakfast and win at koala bearing.
We stumble in at various times of the day, cars full of red wine glasses wrapped in tea towels, eskies full of boy drinks, inappropriately Wet Winter Holiday clothing, and five years time themed dress. H is the last to arrive, Jake wakes me up to tell me that Timothy has pulled into the bottom car park and I stand before I’ve really opened my eyes and run into the rain, saturated yellow dress, hair dripping down my face, laughing, maniacally, down the hill, wet grass between my toes, into Tim’s headlights, waving my arms about, shouting. To the car of my friends it probably looked like I was just moving my mouth to whatever words the red wine damn well wanted me to say, but I wasn’t. I was yelling ‘I’m so happy’, over and over, for no other reason than that was all I could think to say.