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Originals April 28, 2020July 13th, 2020

Bad Food and Good Surfs

words:    James Royce

words: James Royce

I Miss It. Bad Food After A Good Surf

Look at this doughy bit of sadness. 

New South Wales.

The northern bit of it. But not that north. That’s all I can say. People will get mad if I get into the specifics. A touch below Coffs Harbour. There, that’s all you get. It’s raining, and it’s nearly Easter. It really won’t stop raining. So, so much rain. A big Eastern’s come out of the Middle Of Nowhere, Pacific Ocean. The result of some cyclone over by New Caledonia, I read. Or maybe it was the Cook Islands. It hung out in New Zealand for a bit before it got here. Made a mess over there, everyone’s been saying. Trees bending sideways and cars skidding out and big logs washing up on the beaches. There’s no wind here, though. It’s just the rain coming straight down. 

We drove down one of those bumpy dirt roads earlier just to find a point. And we found it. And it was good. Really good. We had to run across a golf course to get to the beach. There was someone on the short grass swinging his iron, or, maybe it was a wedge. I don’t know. I don’t know golf. I do know they were all by themselves, though. In the rain. Nothing about it made sense. I’m sure surfing for four-plus hours doesn’t make a whole load of sense to someone who doesn’t know the difference between a thruster and a mid-length, though, either. Especially when it’s raining. 

They’ve opened the little hole-in-the-wall bakery at the other end of the dirt road, back by civilisation. Civilisation is just a pub you can smell from the street, a motel with a single Holden Ute parked in front, and that’s it. Oh, and the bakery. It’s serving all the usual gear. Pies, sweets, tea, coffee. You can have free refills if you hang out and eat there. Hang on. What’s this? Hastily tacked to the end of the wall menu on a rough scrap of paper. Looks like the backside of a lotto ticket. Written in capitals, a last-minute addition: ’BUTTERCHICKEN PIE.’ The grease and gravy and other nonsense gets everywhere. I need six napkins for it. It’s not great. But you don’t go on surf trips to get good food, now do you? You go on surf trips to get good surf. If you’re focused on the food that’s just a regular trip with a convenient bit of surfing sprinkled in. I would trade every great, home-cooked, I-don’t-have-anything-else-to-do meal I’ve been eating at the moment for a bit of that bread, gravy, and grey meat business right now.         

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