Somehow or other we received a message -- I can no longer recall just how -- that my sister was seriously ill with the Hong Kong flu. We rushed back, the holiday curtailed. My sister recovered (many didn't) and it seems fitting that she should be with me when I returned last month to The Blowholes.
The combers thunder in across the protective reef.
Nearby, the blowholes -- note the little ones poking up through a crack in the rocks
And yes, it is a dangerous coast. People die if they underestimate the unpredictable waves.
On that holiday -- I think on the return because we didn't stop to cook -- I remember lunch in the Dongara Hotel. Cold meat and salad. I can see the oiled wooden floorboards of the cool, dim passageway extending from the front door. I can smell the place still, I can remember feeling so grown up.
Eating out? We never did that. There was never any money for such extraordinary extravagance.
I was twelve years old, and it was the first time I'd ever had a meal in a restaurant (well, the first time if you discount the dining car on the Trans, crossing Australia in 1953. Or breakfast on Kalgoorlie station while waiting for the Kalgoorlie Express because the Trans went no further. That was lamb's liver and bacon, when I was eight...my eyes almost fell out of my head because there was so much on the plate. I finished it all, to my mother's astonishment.)