The saddest moment of the ocean swimming season, we reckon, is the moment we leave Bilgola. Each year, it's an enormous build up towards this beautiful boutique swim, but then it's over in such a rush, the swim, the post-swim drink, the fruit, the barbie, the preso, and our traditional quiet little drink with Billie swim organiser Cap'n Graham Foran.
Billie proves the maxim that the swim is the catalyst for the culcha. The swim is lovely, noice. But the swim is the precursor to a wonderful afternoon on the Bilgola club's front lawn, a manicured, pleasant little verdant oasis overlooking one of Sydney's prettiest beaches. The bar is the best on the circuit, a surf club at last having found a good use for a surfboat: they've cut one in two, longitudinally, and mounted it as the club's bar. Buying a drink there is a culchural experience in itself. Then there's the yarning, the story-swapping, the boasting, the whingeing, the catching up with old friends, the catching up with friends you haven't seen since last week, or since squad last Fridee.
But the entire day happens in such a rush. Then, suddenly, it's over. The swim is done. Everyone's gone home, and we're going home, too. Done for another year.
It leaves us with a sense of loss, like finishing a good book. A blur, like our wedding day.
What did you think?