Monday, March 12, 2007
Balmy Days of Noosa and Sunshine Beach
Noosa Heads and Sunshine Beach still hold a special place in my heart. These areas were my playgrounds as a child and teenager. I spent seven years living and working in the area before my move to Hinchinbrook Island and my thirteen adventure-filled years in tropical North Queensland. There was a time I believed I would never leave the Noosa area, but life took a sudden turn. I hit a crossroad and turned my sights northward. I don't regret the decision I made at the time and probably would do it all over again, given the chance.
Included in the pictures above is Hastings Street, Noosa Heads, wherein I had my little greengrocery/healthfood store. I made the shop fun, and even though I worked hard in it...it was my 'baby'...there were many hilarious moments.
The other shopkeepers in the open arcade where my store was situated were a friendly lot. I had a huge store-room at the rear of my store, which included a large cold room to hold my precious produce. This 'precious produce' included cartons of beer and bottles and casks of wine. From around 4pm each afternoon, the other shop-holders visited me for 'cocktail hour'. From that time onwards there was a lot of coming and going as they snuck out the back for a cleansing ale or a refreshing glass of grape juice! I think our little shopping centre became the first 'late-night' traders in Noosa, as there were many evenings a spontaneous arcade party erupted during which we all remained open to the public! I'm sure such behaviour wouldn't be allowed today and more's the pity.
I remember one particular day when it had been raining non-stop for a day or so. Hastings Street was deserted because the tourists remained indoors watching television or doing other more enjoyable holiday indoor activities. I decided to have a picnic on the floor of my store! The floor covering was green indoor/outdoor carpet tiles that is reminiscent of grass. I put down a checkered gingham tablecloth, set out various foods, including dips and salads and soon the other shopkeepers wandered in to join me. Those tourists brave enough to battle the weather threw us some strange, bemused looks as they passed by. Some even joined us!
One doesn't have to be insane but it certainly does help!
I had an on-going argument with Mum and Dad Swallow who decided my back room was an excellent 'housing estate' for them to set up home and raise their family. They would commence building their nest and I would knock the nest down before they managed to get it underway, instructing them that there was a far better spot for them outside in a protected nook. Our war lasted over many days, but in the end, I had a victory. Mr and Mrs Swallow relented and saw the wisdom of my choice for their accommodation. I left them to their busy chore of setting up home in the nook. I watched with interest as they studiously erected their nest. Very soon after completion Mrs Swallow laid her eggs. I became intrigued watching the family grow. I learned how the parent birds taught their young to fly. Each day it would be a little further and a little higher until, sadly, the day arrived for the young birds to leave their sanctuary forever.
Through my shop, I met many interesting people. It was difficult for me to sell it, emotionally, but life moves on and one must move along with it.