"We Will Fight Them on the Beaches………"
(British WWII PM)
This phrase conjures up survival strategies of a different, non-military nature in our family. It exists in the simple act of our two sons, aged 14 and 12, setting off to go prawning on the beach in front of our house at Saunders Beach, north of Townsville.
"Have you got your reef shoes on?" I ask.
"Yes, Mum, we are going to drag for prawns up near the little creek. I know that that is a favourite spot for stonefish," said Eamon the eldest.
"O.K., but keep an eye on Joe. He is always dropping things and losing things. He lost his new sunglasses the last time he went up the beach with his friend."
"Yes, he's hopeless, but he is just as scared of stonefish as I am. One of his other friends was in a coma for days and nearly died. I think he will keep his shoes on!"
"Speaking of sunglasses. Eamon, make sure that you keep yours on all the time. The doctor said you already have a pterygian, a sun spot, in your eye."
Yes Mum, even though you have always made us wear shady hats. Dr. Agnew said that that if you are spending a lot of time on the water, the reflected glare actually can affect the surface of the white of the eye."
"Well, the only alternative in this climate is to stay inside in the air-conditioning watching TV, which is not too good for your health either", I mused. "I would much rather that you were outside being active on the beach and sailing your catamaran. Neither of you have an ounce of fat on you."
"O.K. Mum. We'll get going now. Let's see - we've got our hats, sunglasses, white overalls for skin cancer and also for protection against marine stingers. We put on our sun block. Will you spray me all over with Aerogard as the sandflies are really biting at the moment."
"Yes, I will. Here's some iced water and do keep an eye on the time so that you won't get sunstroke. Now what else? Oh yes! Dad and I saw some sea snakes when we were out on the catamaran yesterday, so they are around now also. How far are you going?"
"Only about 100 metres up the beach, Mum, said Joe. "We should all have a feast of prawn scampi tonight!"
A normal morning's outing. These are some of the many creatures and elements that:
"We will fight (them) on the beaches……….
© FrancesColl 9 July 2011