I love a sunburnt beach town,
A land of beaching whales,
Of well dressed mums at pick up,
Of mokes and barefoot pain,
I love her star-filled houses,
I love her feeling free,
Her terror in her beauty,
The warm peach sand for me!

(Apologies to Dorothea Mackellar for butchering her fine poem, My Country).

Ah yes, my home town. A place of contrasts. Where multi millionaires mix it with the tradies, who mix with the inheritance set who mix it with the ‘been-here-for-50-years’ people. As time marches by, the trendy people make up more and more of the population. Which is fine but I have been noticing a worrying habit amongst those trendsetters. I will call it, The Philosophy of Denial.

It’s like this: nothing bad happens here, nothing ever will and it is a golden town locked in a bubble of glorious rainbows. I am a bit of a stickler for rules and safety but in my lovely town such thinking is passe. I feel a little bit old fashioned in my thinking (which I am hoping will create a new fashion!)

Yesterday, my son’s school received a letter from someone observing the school kids from a cafe. He was so happy to see that all the kiddies were wearing helmets! He said he has worked in emergency medicine for 20 years and has seen some terrible head injuries from people not donning the old stack hat. Go kids! But then you see the teens, the adults, the parents riding their bikes willy-nilly, hair flying free in the breeze, sun on their face without a care in the world and without a helmet. Bah-bow.

How can primary age kids be so vigilant about bike safety and the parents not give two hoots? Denial. I was talking to my kids about this phenomenon and my daughter said, “I’ll never fall off my bike onto my head”. Hopefully not but helmets are there just in case, like seatbelts. Serious car accidents are thankfully rare around here too but people still wear seatbelts! Huh. Whaddya think?

We live in a spoilt area. Great food, views, community, money (mostly), health, schools and facilities. But it is like we take it all for granted. Like nothing will destroy our piece of paradise. I hope it doesn’t take a huge disaster to burst our bubble. So, northern beachers, safety first, right? Safety first!

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