image by Adam J.W.C

 

I am, we are, beaches bumpkins. Which basically means you live by the bus or the car, you walk, you wear summer gear and drink Campos coffee.

You know the streets up to Newport and you try very hard never to go around the bends. To go west is to spend the day travelling, especially when you don’t know where the heck Doonside is! Ikea is also a day trip, requiring serious babysitting organisation and a list, for you never know when you’ll be back.

You laugh at city slickers who holiday on the beaches. For you this is like any other town (except for the pristine beaches, the awesome cafes and tight community). Summer is a time for a little smugness. To see the tourists flock to your part of the world is a hoot. You feel blessed to be called ‘bumpkin’.

Celebrities frolic along these shores. You no longer stare with awe at the guy from X Factor, Rachel Griffiths, Yahoo Serious or Rachael Beck, locals baby. Yeah! Just another celeb. You toss your hair, like it’s no big deal.  Film locations are in abundance and you check out not the celebs but the food spread. Hmmmm.

Beaches bumpkins love their food and wine and lycra and cool hats and joggers and dogs on or off leads. They love to drive. Buses are for those with time or a broken car. Bumpkin kids think that trains are equivalent to roller coasters! Novel!

Beaches bumpkins fall into many many categories, richies, semi-richies, struggling families, hippies, uni students, surf bums, tradies, English immigrants, American immigrants, bankers, yummy mummies, street dwellers, nannies and retirees. It is a mix that actually works.

The bumpkin lives in the bumpkin shack, unit, house, light house, mansion

Image by Mark Horsnell

or cave with minimum care. An average B.B home is fitted out with the current trends in paint colours, furniture and window decor. Doors are generally open to all, especially if you are a shack, cave, unit dweller. The bumpkin welcomes sand in car, house or cafe and dogs are a must-have in these parts.

There are jokes that the bumpkins tell about never having to go around the bends for in the fore-bends there is a cinema, 3 pharmacies, 20 odd cafes, restaurants a go-go, doctors, dentists, school, shopping centre, vet, ambulance station and a few churches.

There is a mythical tale of an old lady who has stayed in the fore-bends for 40 years. I’d love to know her name, her story and whether fears the ‘big’ world out there or what it is that keeps her on the insular peninsula.

When heading to the city, the tag of ‘Beaches Bumpkin’ morphs into something a little more embarrassing than the idyllic picture I have painted. For example, not long ago I took the day trip into Paddington to have my hair done. I pride myself on always being punctual for such appointments. But due to my bumpkiness, I took one wrong turn in the city and I was 15 minutes late. With head in hand, face beetroot red, I muttered my apologies and uttered those magic words. The words that explain it all to those outsiders; “I am a Beaches Bumpkin, I never come to the city.”

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