My mum has told me several times over my life that I was never a child. That I was born a grown-up in a child’s body and spent most of my formative years looking bored, waiting for the real life to begin.
My not-so-secret affection for Winnebagos (reverse-parked by someone else).
My passion for gardening.
My love of sensible shoes.
My desire to conquer cryptic crosswords – and chess.
(Are you ready to find another blog yet?)
Whilst on holidays, I set free another slightly sad part of my personality. The Twitcher.
There is a back story to this, and it’s all The Builder’s fault. A couple of years ago, he read a review of a book called The Big Twitch (by Sean Dooley) about a guy who sold his house and went on a one-year odyssey to see the most birds ever seen in Australia. I know what you’re thinking – quick, turn the page! But no, The Builder requested it for Father’s Day and, being the excellent wife that I am, I duly stumped up.
One night, with nothing to read other than cereal packets (I had not at this stage discovered the many quality blogs in the world), I picked up the book and began reading. If nothing else, I thought, it will put me to sleep.
I cannot tell you how fascinating this book is. Even if you don’t know a blue-spotted wren from a yellow-chested sparrow (and you shouldn’t because I made them both up), you will fall in love with this book. Well, I did. It’s a quest, pure and simple. It also awakened in me a need to check out what was in my own backyard. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to buy a Bird Guide so I can’t tell you what the little black ones with the orange beaks are, but I do know that there’s a new, tiny little hummingbird type thing that likes to suck the nectar from the salvias.
But I digress.
Aside from being the site of mysteries, Mystery Bay is also a fantastic bush on the beach rural setting. And a bird-lover’s paradise. Kate and Nigel from Mystery Bay Cottages, where we stayed, even provide you with bird seed, with which to draw in the rosellas and the king parrots, the lorikeets, the wrens, and even magpie ruffian or two. If you see something startling, you can record it in the bird lover’s book, which currently contains 50 or so species spotted from the cottages and another 50 or so seen in the bush around the property. There’s even a Field Guide to Australian Birds, and The Builder and I spent a happy hour or so poring over the illustrations, trying to tell a finch from the other birds flying by.