The Aussies: Australian Surf Life Saving Championships: Celebrating 100 Years

Saturday 18th April – Australian Surf Life Saving Championships

Tweed Hospital

Having now (after multiple attempts and phone calls) received Bronwen’s discharge report from Tweed Hospital via fax to Bronwen’s doctor (which clearly contradicts the X-rays Bronwen has had since) and having posted a letter which Tweed Hospital never got, getting Bronwen’s doctor to fax a request which Tweed Hospital never got, chatting to the legal clerk (who promptly went on leave), being told by radiology they were unwilling to help, and having a borderline-abusive phone call with someone called Lyn (who is apparently some kind of boss at Tweed Hospital) and still not managing to get anyone to post or otherwise send Bronwen’s X-rays to her or her doctor, we decided we’d have to drive down there ourselves.

We had planned to drive to the hospital, threaten them with all sorts of dire things like releasing worms into their lunchboxes until they gave us our X-rays, and then drive home again, worse for wear and—with the price of petrol nowadays—much poorer. However, in an unexpected stroke of fortune, on the way down while listening to some random radio station on my search for the local triple j frequency, I heard them chatting about “7,000 people at North Kirra Beach”, and found out that the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships are on there at the moment.

Then, getting our X-rays turned out to be uncharacteristically easy—we walked up to the lady at the emergency reception to ask where the main reception was as we needed to pick up some X-rays. She asked us who had left them for us. We said we’d been chatting to Lyn. She said Lyn is the boss, made a call, and we walked to the reception desk and picked them up. It took all of five minutes, if you don’t factor in the hour’s drive.

Australian Surf Life Saving Championships

After getting Bronwen’s X-rays we drove to North Kirra Beach, and had a look at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. Continuing our trend of unexpectedly good luck, we found a (sealed) sachet of sunscreen someone had dropped, which was handy as we’d not expected to be doing anything so hadn’t brought any.

There were lots of people, all of who looked ridiculously fit and tanned, and almost all of which were blonde. They ran into the water, swam around, paddled, dived into the sand to collect little sticks, and generally showed off how fit and strong they were. It made an otherwise boring trip interesting, and it was interesting to see how far they’d come from—we saw the Stradbroke Island lifesaver car, there were plenty of people competing from Perth, and we saw trailers full of boats from Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria.

We stayed until late evening then drove home through the gathering dark, coming across some traffic congestion and a nasty looking five-car pileup on the way back.

A lot of equipment had been brought There were a lot of kayaks Kayaks everywhere The main path down to the championships The road down to the championships The Surf Life Saving Championships The Surf Life Saving Championships People pulling boats out of the water Women being inspected on their lying in the sun skills Women being judged on their hole digging skills Playing the “let’s kick the other women out” game The beach People on the beach North Kirra Beach Paddling in the ocean Rescuing their friends Winning Men run fast Pretty hand movements and a cute little kick of sand Happy to win Running into the ocean in search of sharks Happy to win Bronwen and the 100 sign The championships on the beach A crowd watches the competition An official watches the “Kick Women Championships” The finals in the high speed bury your head in the sand competition were exciting What happens when you lose something valuable in the sand at the Gold Coast Synchronised falling over You won’t believe this one amazing new sport where men watch women fall over! Lots of tents Lots of kayaks People had built a wall to stand on Crowds watching the championships Kayaks stacked up

Sunday 19th April – #QUBE Effect


Bronwen and I drove to Francy’s Patisserie in Rosalie where we met Maz and Emmi and had some breakfast, dropped past Roma Street Parklands which was having “The qube effect”—some kind of play very loud music inside a small box event—then drove home again to continue stressing about America. We’ve got to the point where we have to make some decisions, because it seems it’s not possible to hire a car for an undetermined length of time and drop it off at an undetermined location, meaning we have to actually figure out what kind of car we want, how long we want it for, and where we’re going to end up when we don’t want it anymore. I’ve no idea how to work this out, so I’m configuring IT equipment instead, in the vain hope it’ll keep functioning for the duration of our holiday, while Bronwen reads all about camping in the US.


I stayed up far too late trying to make a fancy responsive tag cloud for Bronwen’s website.

A man plays in a small box An entire band sets up in a small box Bronwen watches #QUBE Effect