Category Archives: Holidays

A writing holiday at Burleigh Heads

I have just returned from a five week holiday at Burleigh Heads on Queensland’s Gold Coast. It’s a terrific place for a holiday. It’s also a great place for writing inspiration. We had a unit on the headland overlooking the surf breaking against the rocks. Further along was the beach that stretches mile or so to Little Burleigh.

I rose early, listened to the news, and began writing by 8 am.  At 10 am my wife and I listened to the Dutch news on SBS. Then we went for a 45 minute walk along the beach after which I continued writing. Each time I looked up there were the rocks, the blue water, the blue sky, and sometimes the board riders on their waves. The scene reminded me of my visit to Dickens’s house at Broadstairs. He had a writing alcove on the staircase landing which overlooked the sea – The English Channel. Below are some photos of Burleigh in 2015 and 1957.

Sydney in 1940

Huffington Post Australia has posted footage of Sydney and surrounds in 1939/40. The footage is compiled from reels of film discovered recently in a California garage. It is a sensational historical and social find, particularly for someone who grew up in Sydney around that time. I was four-years-old in 1950 and have a good memory of things.  Things had not changed much by 1950, except for the cars, of course. The atmosphere of the war still dominated. Things were very different from now.  It was great to see footage of Manly baths, a popular destination for people living on the North Shore of Sydney, a place we often went to from our home in Lane Cove.

Summer in 1950s Sydney

Lane Cove Gang Dec 1955

It’s summer and the temperatures in south-east Australia are in the 40s Celsius and above 100 Fahrenheit. The country’s climate catastrophists are pointing to ‘climate change’ as the cause.

But I remember the summers of my childhood in 1950s Sydney being unbearable hot. Bushfires raged everywhere. We often went barefoot and without shirts. In the evenings, we played outside until parents forced us in to sleep in bedrooms that were like ovens. No airconditioning then. Pete’s family (third from the left) once slept outside in the backyard, it was so hot. The photo above was taken of the Lane Cove gang in the summer of 1954/55.

Burleigh Heads Queensland – part of my childhood

Burleigh Heads beach on Queensland’s Gold Coast is one of the most memorable places of my childhood. Mum and Dad took us there for the first time in May 1955. It was our second major holiday, the first being to Victoria in 1952. It was a holiday full of adventure. We went up via the New England Highway to Glen Innes and then took the Gwydir Highway down to the coast to Grafton. After Grafton, we had to cross three rivers on a punt. At Burleigh Heads, there was the beach and surf for swimming, the rocks to explore at big Burleigh, and the walk around the headland to Tallebudgera Creek. There was not enough time, it seemed to us, to fully enjoy what Burleigh Heads and the Gold Coast had to offer. We returned to Burleigh Heads. just about every year until I left school. Below are some before and after photos.

Burleigh Head in the 1950s

Big Burleigh May 1957

Burleigh Beach3 May 1958


Burleigh Heads in 2015



Click to enlarge


Been away on holidays

I have been away on holidays on Queensland’s Gold Coast these last two weeks, which brought a stop to updating my website. I am back home now and working to finish it.  While away I succeeded in finishing my chapter on the Coronation on the 2nd of June 1953, and the royal visit in February 1954. People born  after 1970 would have no idea how big these events were for Australians at the time.