Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum?
Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our three News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. This week’s problem comes from Salamander Bay. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of firstname.lastname@example.org and include your title, initials and suburb.
I’ve a severe case of beach space rage.
It seems every time I’ve ventured to the beach over summer, people/whole families are ready to practically sit on my towel or move in under my umbrella.
Not only has it happened to my family, but I witness it happening to others too, despite there being a whole beach.
What is the go here? Where have manners gone? Am I being too petty?
In his 1923 novel Kangaroo, D.H. Lawrence described Australian beachgoers as “mindless as opossums”.
After receiving your email, I conducted some cutting-edge research with the chardonnay-sippers under my ornamental grapevine, and it appears that Lawrence’s assessment still stands.
They too have been irritated by uncouth hordes invading their personal beach space: thoughtless towel shakers and undernourished budgie smugglers were top-of-the-list irritations.
Something happens when people get a good whiff of salty air and pheromones.
They shed their layers (physically and metaphorically) and revert back to a carefree (some would say barbaric) childhood state.
Lara Bingle hasn’t helped (you don’t look like Lara Bingle do you? If so, no wonder people are throwing themselves on your lap).
When she said, “Where the bloody hell are you?” with her perky chest and vacuous stare, she invited beach bedlam.
It’s been spreading like a venereal disease, from Bondi to Bagnalls, ever since.
So, what you need to do, Mrs AC, is create some firm boundaries.
When I say firm, I mean four tomato stakes and a roll of crime scene tape.
For added impact, get the kiddies to make a ‘victim’ sandcastle and cover it in a white sheet.
I guarantee the general public will stay away, though be prepared for a bit of Port Stephens Local Area Command interrogation between swims.