Not much has happened around here this week. Apart from our usual walks on the beach or The Broadwater, doctors appointments, diet to lose weight (Hmmm. That was important. I started a diet a couple of weeks ago and have not had anything to report until now. Apart from the exercise I am no longer drinking alcohol – well occasionally – reduced carbs – that means potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice, cake, biscuits and breads – smaller meal portions and NO SNACKING. NO jellies, chocolate, crackers with dip, peanuts, chips or corn chips or other tasty sweet stuff such as ice cream and puddings. So far my scales report a loss of 4 Kg. Down from a worst ever 90 Kg. It could be my scales are inaccurate by a Kg but that means I may have lost 5Kg or only 3 Kg. Either way it is an improvement.) All that aside, we stayed mostly at home and avoided the heat.
Sunday 14th February
For a long, long time Donnis has wanted to attend a Hillsong Campus. She attended a Hillsong Conference in Brisbane many years ago with her friends. She enjoyed herself so much she wanted to return. Today was first day of a new Hillsong campus on the Gold Coast and there were no excuses not to attend. A history of the church appears here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsong_Church
The church has global campuses and are linked via video to live sermons, music, prayer and so on from the Sydney office. First impressions were “Gee this is big” as we were shown to a parking spot by volunteers waving light batons. Before we entered the building we were greeted by zealously friendly greeters every few metres. We sat at the back as the noise from the speakers would seriously damage my eardrums and change my heart rhythm forever. From our last row seat to the back of the building it was standing room only. The slick service began, boom, on time and after a couple of religious songs and a G up by the locals, suddenly the giant TV screen on stage had us linked to Sydney where enthusiastic charismatic pastor Brian Houston gave the sermon/commercial for the day reminding us of all the Hillsong campuses there are around the world including China, USA, England and Russia to name a few. He even offered their own brand of a Bible in magazine form – free as we leave the building. In closing we were reminded of putting our tithes and offerings into a special envelope. The building was packed with believers, despite the Pastors father, Frank Houston facing charges of molesting boys. The packed services and the public display of support by the church where they just brush aside any discussion on Frank Houston, clearly shows the church moves on. Afterwards we faced the same gamut of happy degreeters as we left the building. Phew! What an absolutely amazing show of spirituality. At least 2,000 people packed the building. How many churches can lay claim to that sort of patronage? Being a confirmed cynic I could not help but feel this was less a church service than a commercial to show how great the church is. In the back of my mind was a little voice saying ‘ Get em in, get em out and get their money”.
In the afternoon we went to The Seaway Beach which is located at the end of The Spit. A strong southerly wind was blowing – as it has all day. We tried to erect our new and as yet unused beach tent. It soon became a giant inflated kite and threatened to drag us off the beach. We managed to get it rolled and tied into a long sausage five times bigger than the bag it came in. Sigh!!!
This part of the beach has a long jetty running out into the ocean.
There are warning flags and signs not to swim in or around the jetty as twisted currents and rips can quickly get the best of swimmers into trouble. It costs $2.20 to walk onto the pier. The pier was and is used as a sand pumping platform. Despite the warnings people still jump off the end of the pier. Only a month ago a board surfer jumped off the end of the pier in rough seas. He was not seen again. It was several days before his body surfaced on South Stradbroke Island to the north.
This section of the beach is a dogs off leash exercise area and the dogs get to be umm err… dogs enjoying themselves. The remainder of several Klms of beach all the way to Burleigh Heads are either NO DOGS or dogs on leash.
Today I found, quite by accident, a blog page by a man determined to visit and swim in all the Ocean Pools in NSW – other states have such pools as well. His blog indicates there are 60 such sites along the NSW coast. (Another blog puts the number at 100 in Sydney alone – Hmmm! Perhaps it includes harbour pools which are different) It got me thinking. Donnis and I have visited many of those pools and photographed them. We might do a comparison of pools when we go on a road trip planned for April.
The blog link is http://oceanpoolsnsw.net.au/mahon-pool-maroubra-nsw-2035/#comment-64
And another blog by another blogger http://swimmingpoolstories.com.au/2013/07/the-magical-moods-of-maroubras-mahon-pool/
Yet another blogger http://oceanpoolsnsw.net.au/mahon-pool-maroubra-nsw-2035/#comment-64
You might notice all three blogs are about the Mahon Pool at Maroubra. Donnis and I visited the pool and wrote about it at Post 454 in August 2015.