After work on Friday night I ordered a pizza (yum) and drove through the city to find Lexie. We pointed the car South and left a busy city week behind us. Three hours and two melty Gaytimes later we were at our family holiday house on the South Coast of NSW.
It is a truly brilliant thing to have a place to escape to. The first time Lexie invited me down here, over a customary wine and cheese, I told her I loved her for the first time. Creating the first of many Manyana memories. It's nice here.
The house was bought by Lexie's parents as a tribute to her late grandfather in the 1990s. It has no TV, no wifi and some seriously seventies wallpaper.
I always feel an overwhelming sense of calm when I come here.
Life is slower on the coast.
The wind, sun, ocean and weather limit our movement. You are forced to get back to basics - eating, sleeping and occupying yourself with what nature has to offer.
Two kangaroos hop past the house and nibble on a patch of grass. A cattle dog that lives across the road creeps up, ready for the chase. The other pups continue their game of hidey-chasey, yapping and racing through the unfenced yards. Every now and then a car goes past... And that's about it.
Do we have a beer? It's midday... ish. Might as well finish off the cheese and biccies too. Music on, the sun comes out. I am a solar panel.
I decided to try and figure out the science behind 'going coastal'. Why does a weekend at the beach feel so bloody good?
Salt - 35g per litre - Good old sodium chloride has cleansing, healing and anti-bacterial qualities. It cuts the oil off your skin and hair and helps neutralise your skins PH. Getting punched in the face by a salty wave forces this elixir (sea water) in through your nose, eye lids, mouth and ear holes. Washing out dirt, wax and boogies and sterilising the little cuts and abrasions that allow nasties to enter your circulatory system.
Long story short: Go have a dip.
Minerals - The ocean isn't just great for the Sodium Chloride fan club. When you go for a dip, beneficial amounts of Magnesium, Sulfate and Calcium enter your system. Ever heard of Epsom Salts? We would stick our feet in bowls of it when we had ingrown toe nails as kids. A swim in the ocean is going to soften you up, and it's not going to taint your crockery.
Open space - Obviously the sun and fresh air is good for us. We know this. Less distractions for the mind, less noise, less pollution in the air. But there's more to it than just being outdoors. You walk differently in sand, it forces your feet, ankles, legs, hips, spine and core to wiggle about in awkward ways. This stimulates blood flow to the weekend muscles.
Then you get in the water.
Getting jostled around by waves can be a little traumatic for some. We've all seen the Bondi Rescue team pulling limp tourists out of the sea. But a bit of gentle jostling will do you good. The resistance of the water, the casual exercise of not drowning, the discreet swim-and-pee. When we swim in the ocean we get 'activated' like an almond from a health shop.
Yes, it's a bit chilly right now but your skin will go in to survival mode within a minutes.
But do get yourself in the water this summer and have a jostle-about.
It's a health thing.
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Thanks for your support,
Jimmy and Lexie xx