If you saw my post on Cremorne Point, you will know I am a bit perplexed by Mosman walkers. And so it was with great surprise (and delight) that on my recent ‘left turn’ morning walk, I would say three out of four people actually looked up and smiled. The same walk, the same time of day, the same walking gear, the same hair tied back…….ah ha, but with it being overcast, no sunnies on my face.
And so it seems that Mosmanites are not to blame for their lack of eye contact, it is my sunglasses’ fault. Which is a bit of a shame really because I have had them for years, they are ultra comfy and I loathe shopping. But at least I now know.
And so, feeling particularly upbeat upon my return, I thought I would share a few photos I’ve taken on my left turn walks.
Turning left first takes me past the Mosman shops and I enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread coming from the early opening bakeries.
I then head down Middle Head Road, a wide but quiet street, full of flowering trees and front gardens as big as our entire plot. In spring it is a purple wash of Jacaranda.
I approach the Service houses, just before the Harbour Trust land, and admire the natives in the gardens. They always look so lush and full and encompass every shade of green, blending wonderfully with the bush beyond.
Then, my favourite bit of the whole walk. The road opens out and there is the harbour, the ocean, both North and South Head.
In the morning the sun is rising between the heads and it is a magical sight. The water still, glowing with reflected light, the odd boat sailing past and just green, green and more green on the heads. It is so special to be there at this time of the day. It is almost impossible to believe the city centre is just behind the foreground shrubs.
Down 263 steps through the bushland, I hop and skip as gravity takes charge. I adore the unfurling tree fern fronds which invariably hang over the path, and have to resist the urge to stop and touch their hairy swirls.
I come out at Balmoral Oval cricket ground. If I am lucky, the Child Whisperer might be there. I am in awe of this man. 30 toddlers, in their best Superman/Princess outfits, and he has every single one of them gazing up at him in wonder. If one is side tracked for a moment, his name is called and the child is instantly re-engaged. I’ve never stopped to talk to him, so have no idea of his real name. ‘Child Whisperer’ doesn’t really do him justice; Supernanny has nothing on him.
If I have not been entirely transfixed by the Child Whisper (generally that’s just weekends), I come out of the oval on to Balmoral Beach. I might be lucky and run into an army training session – a dozen fit, young men coming out of the water to commence press ups – but invariably I have the beach to myself.
I pass the Boat House Cafe, with its stunning displays of fruit, plants and flowers, and head along the promenade. A seagull, the odd swimmer and the quiet lapping of the sea.
I’m only by the water for ten minutes, but the energy it transfers to me is electric. I don’t feel sad as I head away from it back up the hill; the water somehow motivates me so strongly that it powers my legs to stride up the hill and home to start my to do list. I’ve never lived near the coast before, but I now appreciate why people say they couldn’t live anywhere else. That huge body of water does amazing things to you.
I walk past my favourite garden, full of stunning succulents (more on that another time) and up Botanic Walk. How ridiculously lucky am I that part of my circuit is along ‘Botanic Walk’? Just a residential pathway but seeing that signpost brings a smile to my face every single day!
I’m really going for it now; it’s a steep path up Raglan Street but I revel in the aerobic exercise. Then back past the shops and home.
I continue to be amazed everyday with the beauty around me and the fact that I actually live here. I always feel inspired by this walk, never ever tiring of it, but seeing a smile on others’ faces rather than a definite head down takes the enjoyment to another level. Sunglasses, you may have to be retired; long may the smiles continue!
PS If you are a Sydneysider, don’t forget to get your tickets to the very special Hidden Open Gardens event, 14-15 March – there are only a few left. Hope to see you there!