It began as just someplace warm on my impressively long list of glorious destinations, and turned into an annual love affair. It’s my reward for surviving another punishing Melbourne winter.
I book at the same resort each time. It is nothing special but has the mandatory nautical name as if I needed to be reminded I’m on a beach holiday, and is only a jump away over a disused railway line to get to the beach. The “loyalty” part of the equation applies to the manager, as it is for her alone that I’m compelled to return. She has an eagerness to please that I find quite touching, and I feel that to go elsewhere would be as disloyal as denouncing the King (always prone to total immersion in whatever series I’m currently watching, I’ve now convinced myself of being a nobleman at Versailles!) As if by magic she seems to know when I will be approaching reception. She hurls back the window like the carriage return of an old Remington typewriter. The simplest enquiry on my part is met with such enthusiasm that I feel I’ve just announced that she has won the national lottery. I’m humbled.
I love that I am anonymous here, but everyone still says hello. I love that I can walk forever along the foreshore but don’t feel compelled to take the plunge – unless it’s a million degrees centigrade. I love the weekly market; not just the food but the enormous diversity of locals, “hippies”, backpackers, international visitors of every tongue, and the inevitable southerners – me being one of them, but I try VERY hard to look like a local. The stall holders sell freshly grown vegetables, products made from macadamias, to olive oil, wine and body products, and are in a way the northern cousins of BINDLE’s suppliers.
En route to my nautically-named hide-away I had an occasion to “knock with (my) elbows” bearing a BINDLE gift to old friends. I love the products, I love the presentation, I love that they are local and in this instance a gift from home. I am loyal to the letter.