straylia day shopping with brighton sculptures

aussie flag at brighton surf clubspot the kangaroo at glenelg beach
Well, I did something I never expected that I would ever do on Australia Day... went to the beach. More specifically two different beaches, Brighton and Glenelg.

And honestly, the difference between the two couldn't have been more marked. Also, being at Glenelg on Australia Day reminded me of exactly why I don't go anywhere near Glenelg on Australia Day.

Part of the problem is that in my head it's not really Australia Day until Monday (actually, to be honest, it's never actually Australia Day in my head) which is when the public holiday is.

sailor boysballs full of sky
The day started out pretty normally... except for the fact that I thought that I'd just drop in to see my nice Mechanic Boys and get them to re-stick my rear vision mirror on. So Ma and I drove down to the supermarket separately, only to find that the place was shut as tight as a drum.

Which was my own fault for not actually booking the car in. But it's not like I have to do a ton of driving... so it will keep until next weekend.

I was also a little disappointed that the Bakers Delight we go to on Saturday didn't have any of the free mini Cheesymite Scrolls. Although I can't really complain too much, since we made out like bandits with free stuff today... we dropped into two other Bakers Delight stores and picked up two lots of Cheesymites, and two sets of random wandering product girlies gave us a pack of apple slices at Brighton and Roadies crackers at Glenelg, plus we got free aoli at lunch and the usual sample chocolate at Haighs.

So I'm not complaining too much.

my favourite of all the brighton sculpturesi also quite liked looking at this too...
We made a quick stop at the bank to drop off my $1100 in coins...

You would think that bank staff would be used to seeing people rock up with a large amount of coins... but clearly not, because they always look surprised when I rock up with a bag whose weight is clearly disproportionate to it's contents.

And even more so once I start unloading the forty or more baggies full of coins.

After they'd counted out the money (actually, they just weigh it, then count the bags) and Ma asked for a yellow plastic pig money box (cute, although I don't know why they have a pig) and we headed down to Brighton to check out the Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures.

life savers as a sculpturevintage life savers from the surf club
And we arrived right at the tail end of the some sort of surf carnival thing...

Which perhaps wasn't as exciting as it sounds since the ages of the competitors fell into one of two camps... "too old to be interesting" (also known as "please stop tanning and wearing Speedos in public") and "kids".

Although there was some eye candy around.

But, er... yeah... sculptures... the reason we were there...

cyborg shellsteel surf
I think I've said previously that it feels a little bit "Sculpture By The Sea Lite"... although this year the weather was better (sunnier) than when we went back in 2011.

Which is both good and bad... good because it made the sculptures more attractive to photograph, but bad because due to it being kinda cloudy when we left my place, I didn't bother taking a hat and didn't bother changing into my shorts.

Both of these things would have made my day better. Especially the hat thing... since I think the top of my head is already sunburned from walking home, so my scalp is currently saturated with aloe vera After Sun Spray.

blue tendrils waving in the breezebrighton's big blue jetty tower
After realising that people were just going to get right up close to the sculptures and not necessarily allow me to get in their easily to take photos, I decided to switch over to my wonderful, stalkerific telephoto lens.

It sounds completely counter-intuitive, but with the telephoto lens I can stand way, way, way back from the sculptures and photograph around the people standing in the way much more easily than I can with a regular lens. And it has an awesomely shallow depth of field when I extend it out, so that always works well with sculptures.

Plus it helps with stalking the beachside hotnesses...

tattooed blonde walks into the oceanfaux bees buzz inside this wood and leather box
I don't know whether I wasn't directly comparing it to Sculpture By The Sea like I did last time (probably more so since that was the first time I'd been to both SBTS and BJCS), or if there were more entries, or better entries, or even if it was just because it was sunnier and there was eye candy around the place, but I really did enjoy myself this time.

I still think that some of the placement of sculptures isn't quite right, and from a photography standpoint I wish they wouldn't even bother putting them around the surf club, since they're generally much harder to photograph.

We also managed to pick exactly the wrong time to check out the sculptures inside the surf club itself, since not only were there a bunch of other people doing the same thing at the time, but they were also presenting the prizes from the surf carnival.

cracked birds in a rusty gumrusted shapes against the beach
After we'd seen everything there was to see, some of it more than once due to the changing light conditions, we headed back to the car in search of an appropriate Australia Day lunch.

I've been wanting to try the burgers from Relish'd (seriously guys, you need to make that URL on your window actually point to a website) since late last year... and since we were just down the road, it seemed like a good idea.

It turned out to be a pretty good plan before we even got our food because even though it was 12:30 or so when we got there, there was only one other person in the place.

relish'd - seven hundred and thirty anzac highway, glenelgrelish'd - the oink burger with egg and beetroot
When we did get our burgers and a serve of chips to share, it was doubly, triply worth it!

Although it was as messy as hell too eat, and the burger did fall apart a little bit (I'm actually taking that as a good thing because it means that the patty isn't compacted to all hell or bound together with any extra ingredients), the whole thing was incredibly tasty. The bun is incredibly light and you don't feel like you're biting through a mattress to get to the burger.

And the chips... big fat, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, chips... mmmmm!

Even Ma said that they were the best chips she's had in a good long while, and she grew up in a fish and chip shop. So she knows good chips.

We will definitely be going back!

a bbq queuegreen and curly and full of water
After lunch we decided to take a wander down to the beach, then back along Jetty Road to "aid the digestion" and generally do that time honoured Saturday activity... "Looking At Things".

I don't know whether it says more about me or about Australia or about Australia Day specifically or about our relationship with the flag, but pretty much any time I see anybody wearing the flag, mostly as a cape, but any item of clothing really, I automatically assume that they're pretty much a bogan or else a little bit racist.

The same kind of goes for people who fly Australia flags on their car on Australia Day... the record today I think was four flags (one on each window).

star holestair words
I'm not sure that there is another country that so easily converts it's flag into a fashion accessory, and then uses that flag as a means of saying "I'm Australian and you are not", whether they say it aloud or not.

Like I said though, that could just be me and the fact that I generally don't go anywhere that there is going to be a large number of people celebrating on Australia Day... and certainly not to somewhere as full on as Glenelg.

In fact, the last time I even mentioned what I did on Australia Day was in 2010, so I'm pretty sure I've just holed up in my apartment watching videos for the last couple of years.

hotness under the towersurf colours
I can't say that I've ever seen that many people on Glenelg beach (I'm totally not a Summer beach person... I don't tan, I don't enjoy laying around doing nothing and I don't like the heat).

And it seemed like every other person was carrying/laying on/in possession of a giant inflatable thong, which was complete weird and random until we worked out that it was for the Havaianas Thong Challenge.

Although as it turns out Glenelg only had 448 of them (whereas Cottesloe in Perth had 2093, which would have been a hell of a thing to see).

meditative beach thoughtsblue glass penguins
Walking up Jetty Road occasionally felt like being a salmon swimming against the current of flag wearing, beach bound people... so it was something of a relief to make it back to the car and head home.

On the way we went past the McDonalds on Anzac Highway which had it's big sign changed to "Macca's", and I actually kinda like it... I know they're not permanently going to change the name on everything, but I love to see those big signs stay as "Macca's" all year round.

So that was my Australia Day... completely atypical, but enjoyable all the same.

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