Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Life in The Shire

Today I would like to enlighten my readers on what life is really like in The Shire. This has stemmed from Mondays nights debut of the dramaledy and without further ado I feel I need not rehash the details of what was portrayed. Three of the ‘stars’ I know and were exactly the type of person you would find in our little country. The rest were all clearly scrounged up from across the bridge.

Growing up as a young kid in the Shire, family events were always celebrated in the national park, after school time was spent at Sutherland Library picking out what new Babysitters Club books to hire for that week and school picnics were simply down to Shelly Beach. Swimming lessons and carnivals were at Sutherland pool where you could be sure to encounter half the school. Parents were friends with the teachers (well my mum was) and there was such a community feel in any school event whether it be the annual school fete or the sports carnival.

As a teen in the Shire house parties consisted of being serenaded by the school boys taking on the likes of Usher, once the UDL’s kicked in we then played our ‘Wild megamix’ cds to create a DIY nightclub in a loungeroom. Majority of party go-ers would be all sitting on the floor in the hosts bedroom while the token couples would all be having a secret smooch. Summers were spent down at the beach sunbaking, or walking kilometres at a time in between friends houses just for something to do. Lunch was at Maccas in Cronulla mall.  Always. Birthday dinners were held at GPK. There was even one summer when Good Charlotte came to North Cronulla and put on a free live concert. Exercise consisted of a walk along the Esplanade at the beach then a coffee in one of the many cafes afterwards.

As an early adult, come festival season buses were hired to transport all 40 of us out of the depths and into the normal inner city parklands (including the token stop at the petrol station along the way). The same bus would be waiting to pick us up and return us all home. After the riots, visits to the beach were not the same so the locals would now hang at secret nooks of beach that only Shire knowledge would allow. Boating along the Port Hacking River with the esky filled with Cruisers whiled away the days. Night time would bring early evening drinks at Northies before heading to Fusion nightspot. Same crowd each time. The comfort of everyone knowing everyone is slightly unsettling however now leaves me feeling odd and lost when I go out elsewhere and cannot recognise anyone. Every new person met in the Shire is another 4 people gained once knowledge and history is discussed of shared friends. An alternate night out is to The Brass Monkey, an underground bar/dining establishment with a small loungeroom type feel hosting live music, the likes of Josh Pyke, Andy Bull, Pete Murray and Matt Corby to name a few. Dinner at El Sol, brunch at Nun’s Pool and cocktails at Zink, and coffee at Grind are just a few of the amazing local places to be seen at.

If you go down to The Shire today what could you expect to find? A tight knit community, the boys all boys boys, good looking and funny; the girls attractive and friendly girl next doors. Footwear is bare foot in summer, thongs in winter. Dress code is shorts and singlets, jumper if you’re cold. The waves would be rolling, surfers can be perved on all day, the cafes are buzzing and a really sunny, happy little ‘country’ would be in action. Am I proud to be from the shire? Yes. Would I settle down anywhere else? No. Because one day I want my kids to have the relaxed, safe and people filled lifestyle I was brought up with. I don’t think anywhere else can match that.

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