SUNDAY / 18

PALM BEACHThis last Sunday was a special one. It was, as far as late-autumn nearly winter days go, glorious. The sun was high and full, even at 9, which was when we made the journey north to Palm Beach. An hour or so out of Sydney, Palm Beach is a narrow stretch of land that sees both the coast and the Hawksbury. It reaches north after the crashing waves of Whale Beach on one side, hugging the beautiful and rambling pittwater the other side, near where the Hawsbury spills out to the sea. It's as scenic as you can imagine, and understandably a drawcard for people from all over town.

I spent a lovely summer's picnic there a little while back, ducking salty waves and walking in sandy dunes, but today was all about the climbs of the freshwater and a hearty breakfast. Two of my dearest friends are heading home to Adelaide in a few weeks, home for good, having bought a house there and following their dream for an old cottage of their own and, shortly, a garden full of veggies and chooks. They run their own business and I'm certain that this is the right move for them, one that will bring a whole new world of growth and inspiration.

Before they left they took a morning off packing boxes and we had a long (and yummy) breakfast at The Boathouse. We sat out the back on the deck, listening to the water lapping beneath us, talking about books and family, superannuation and travel and cats and jobs and relationships and health. The usual stuff. We drank lattes and ate crunchy toast thick with avocado and creamy cheese and basked in the sun the way you only can in winter. It warmed me inside and out.