Posts Tagged ‘water’

Seventh Sense

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

I think I have found my natural calling. This morning, while enjoying a relaxing dip at North Cottesloe beach, I was literally struck by a deeply embedded reaction that could potentially save lives. I am a… Stinger Siren.

There haven’t been many stingers at the beach this year which is great news for super-sensitive-skin me. I have had to spend many summers wrapped from head to toe in fashion-faux-pas rashys whenever I go swimming to avoid being stung by the barbed tentacles of invisible stingers. Once stung, I don’t just react that your average human with a bit of a red welt that disappears by the end of the day. Oh no. Why would I do that? Instead, my skin flares up and hops between pain and extreme itchiness for at least a week. It’s extremely attractive, particularly when I get hit on the face and neck.

This morning, however, I realised that my skin is so sensitive to whatever toxins those creatures send out into the water, that I can sense their presence. While swimming in the water this morning, my skin went prickly and my natural instinct was to stand up and get my body out of the water. And as I looked down into the particularly clear water, there he was. A lone stinger, floating oh-so-innocently yet oh-so-invisibly about half a metre away from me. I had managed to find the one stinger in the entire beach (or it had managed to find me. The bastard.)

He had managed to get one of his tentacles on my skin but nothing anywhere near as bad as the time in 2008 when I had a huge stinger drape itself across my neck, back and chest and I had to peel it off my skin.

So I am now thinking that along with the shark patrols they now have at the beach, North Cottesloe lifesaving club should employ me for Stinger Patrol. Protecting the innocent from the invisible evils of the sea.

I Come From the Land Down Under

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Greetings to one and all from the most isolated city on the earth. Or is it? Some people say there’s somewhere in Hawaii that beats us but I am willing to bet there is more to do in Hawaii than there is in Perth. Well, at least you won’t have to sell you left arm in order to do it.

Perth. I do love this city and every time I come home I realise how nice it is. But then I try and do something or buy something or eat something and I realise that something is fundamentally wrong. I have complained about the prices of food in Perth previously but I am going to do it again. IT IS RIDICULOUS. I can’t afford to live here. Ever. So it looks like France will have to accept me and let me stay in Paris forever. Good plan.

My time in Perth so far has involved various ‘catching up’s with friends and family, helping my Dad build a shed at the Wanneroo Museum, and digging holes in the backyard in order to find a leaking pipe. Even the unsuccessful hole digging has brought an element of happiness to my life. The shed installation involved me, a pair of electric shears and some corrugated iron which is the recipe for GOOD TIMES.

Shed at the Wanneroo Museum

Nice shed.

I do enjoy coming back to Perth and seeing what power tool my Dad give me to try out. We’re going to be making a printing press for me to take back to France as well, so who knows what electric saws/drills/sanders I’ll get to use. I should have been a boy.

I am also remembering how glorious the Australian landscape is with its wide open spaces and clean, clean air. I haven’t smelt the horrible stench of urine for over a week! BLISS!

Perth sky

Look at that blue.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings of last week, I dragged myself out of bed at 7am when the temperature was hovering around 10 degrees, put on my bathers, and went to the beach. Am I insane? Most probably. Did I feel good jumping into the ridiculously cold waters of the Indian Ocean the day after there was a shark sighting? Not particularly. Will I do it again this week? It is likely. The thing is, after you have gone through the pain of getting so cold that it hurts to walk and you finally go home and step into the warm shower, get dressed and have a cup of tea and some breakfast, and then life is good and you want to do it all again! It is a drug – a very healthy, sinus cleansing drug, and as long as my toes don’t fall off then I think I will continue to do it for as long as I can.

L’eau Chaud

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I am currently hoping that a truck with “Techno Hygiene” written on the side is here to fix the hot water. There is currently none. It’s amazing how much you love hot water when you don’t have it anymore. It stopped working yesterday evening and now a building with 80+ apartments has no hot water. Of course, there are also lots of homeless people on the street who also have no hot water. Who knows how long it will take the French to fix it seeing as everything around here takes so long to do. I think I’ll survive but it isn’t my fault if I stink.

What’s in the Canal Today?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

It was a bright and sunny weekend, so lots of ‘outdoor walking time’ was had. Yesterday we headed north along the canal and spotted a few interesting objects floating in the water along the way. I thought I would share these with you. I saw:

Couch in the canal

A couch.

Cans and bottles in the canal

Various consumed beverages.

Estonian viking boat

An Estonian Viking Boat.

During my run this morning I saw a double mattress in the canal. I contemplated using it as a raft to paddle myself home but wasn’t confident on how it would fare in the locks.

Beach Time Fun

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Isn’t it funny how you don’t realise what you take for granted until you don’t have it anymore. Funny sad, not funny ha ha. In Perth I lived a 10 minute drive away from North Cottesloe and would go every morning for a wake-up swim. In Paris, the closest beach doesn’t even look like a beach because it has these weird lumpy bits of rock that you have to walk across and most people just lie in the sun turning into wrinkled, brown sausages. So a holiday to a country with potentially more passable beaches was a tad exciting.

Unfortunately, neither Lisbon or Porto are beachside resorts (although this is also a good thing because I tend to dislike beach side resorts with a passion) so to reach the beach we either had to catch a bus or walk a really long way. We did both. In Lisbon we waited at a bus station with bikini-clad girls and guys carrying bodyboards and headed to a beachside town called Costa da Caparica. Due to a miscommunication between myself and Tom, he had brought his bathers while I had left mine at the hotel, thinking we were just going to walk along the beach. Of course, as soon as I saw sandy coast with clear water and a few small waves, my brain switched to “Swim” mode and I went in search of appropriate attire.

Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica

At least it was cheap. For less than eight Euros I managed to buy a bikini (the first I have ever owned in my life) plus an extra four Euros for a pair of ugly shorts that would cover the fact that the bikini bottoms were very… well… Portuguese. However, it wasn’t until I was striding towards the water in my new outfit that I realised that despite me thinking I had developed quite an impressive tan while in Europe, I was most certainly the whitest thing on that beach. The sand was darker than me. My thighs that never see the light of day were reflecting laser beams of sunlight back to shore and people were cowering in fear. Ok, not completely true but almost. I felt like a Brit who sits in the shade on Australian beaches, looking vampiresque and rapidly turning into a lobster.

Jess at the beach

Please notice the beach and the fact that I am there. Please ignore my weird tan lines, food belly, awful shorts and the couple lying on the beach behind me.

Once I was in the water my whiteness was less of an issue and I managed to enjoy a cold but refreshing swim. It is such a pleasurable experience to have sea water gliding around you. I did have to fight with a few freak waves but the water was generally calm and there were little sparkles of gold floating through it. Delightful.

Our second visit to the beach happened in Porto. We looked at the map and decided to walk along the river edge until it hit the ocean and then head north towards where the map showed beach umbrellas and ‘sand’ coloured patches. The walk was longer than expected but it was really enjoyable, walking along the river and seeing little pockets of outer Porto along the way. Once we reached the ocean things got a bit windy and we discovered that the surf was up with a cold breeze coming off the water. Not very pleasant. So no swimming but the walk along the coast was beautiful.

Porto beach

Porto coastline

The problem was, there was too much wind for me to wear a hat and for it to remain on my head so I walked most of the way without it. Of course, there was then a lot of sun and I’m reasonably certain that the strong winds and sunny conditions were what led to me feeling rather unwell that evening and the following day. But that, my friends, is the danger of outdoor adventures.