“There – I’ve fixed it” at The Pipe

Last year, someone in our municipality had a rush of blood to the brain and decided that The Pipe needed  a walkway to the beach.  So they got one of their friends – no I mean – they put the job out to tender and the contractor got busy.

First some guys came and dug a trench through the dune.  Then they dug holes and placed poles.  They mixed concrete by hand and tossed the left-overs aside, next to the path.  Then over the next four or five weeks they slowly built the walkway.  They made a handrail by joining planks end on end with a diagonal nail, which of course lasted less than a week so they came back and put in a long plank.  When they had finished the end of walkway was too high so, to use it you had to walk alongside for a few metres and then hop up.  And of course, once the wind started, the dune filled itself out.  By December the walkway was lightly under sand.  Now, if you want to use it, you have have to climb a dune, slide down the other side where you have a couple of meters of walk-way before you get to leap off onto the beach doing a roll so as not to shatter your ankles.

OK so I have that off my chest.

Carol tells delightful tales of life in New York and her chats with Charlie as they walk their dogs.  Well, my friend, you would love it here.

So here is the walkway.

This morning, instead of surfing I sat on the dune, in the raging South Easter and did this painting.  I was chatting with Cosmic Mike who was trying to decide whether the break called for a longboard or something shorter.

I was attracted to the wind-ripples in the sand.  In the early morning sunlight they made beautiful patterns.  But painting these things is a lot of detail and my colours were drying too fast in the palette and on the paper.  Anyway you can see the walkway disappearing under the dune.

As I was packing up, the painting blew off my board, down the beach.  But fortunately I was able to redeem it.  And here it is.  My palette is slaking behind me and I guess I will just have to live with the sand in it.

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6 thoughts on ““There – I’ve fixed it” at The Pipe

  1. Great story, Stephen, in the tradition of Carol. I often wish I had a Charlie friend to walk the dog with. Ha!
    The painting is perfect to go along with the story. Those ripples in sand ARE hard! I tried them a couple years back in a desert scene and anyone who sees that painting thinks my desert sand is water. Yours like like what they are supposed to be! 🙂

    • heh heh – Carol the raconteur – thanks Leslie. Yes dunes in deserts are hard. The shading is so subtle. Actually, I have not tried this often. The last time was when I lived in Namibia – and that was pretty messy. Maybe we should do glazing for that. As I was painting the ripples I saw that each one as made up of a gradation of shades and colours – mind you as I got nearer the right of the painting I think I started to get the hang of them. There were just so many of them.
      Well I hope you have a good weekend – lots of painting and all. I have had my head down for the last little while to get my marketing up and running for my other world. But this morning I just had to put paint on paper.

  2. oh geez, what typical bureaucratic you know what! I’m sure the wind and rain with have that walkway down in no time.

    I really like the ripples in the sand. I can feel it blowing and moving around. I also liked the title of your post. As soon as I saw it I laughed.

    Hope all is well your side. Stay off that walkway. It looks dangerous.

    • Hey Carol
      Well when I sat to paint I thought of you.
      They fixed our showers, with plastic fittings so the locals won’t take them to get recycle money for brass.
      But now on busy days, the path leading up to walk-way becomes a pool of water and whatever other liquid.
      But it is still a good beach.
      Cheers hey

  3. Hi Stephen! I love the way you’ve captured the sand encroaching on the walkway. My husband and I love to visit Gulf Shores, Alabama (where Jimmy Buffet learned to surf!) and they only build to the first dune. Its OK but I don’t get the point. Doesn’t everyone expect sand when they go to the beach?

    • Yes exactly – there is something I love about kicking off my slops and walking through the dunes, on the sand. There are beaches here where they are doing their best to protect the dune vegetation and they have elevated walk-ways – but this job was just so sloppy. The left overs from the work lay around for months. Anycase – just another story from The Pipe. Actually as I woke this morning I thought two things:
      One was that I could have used a rigger to do the lines
      The second was that early morning as the wind drops is probably the only time to do this view as the sand is trampled in the day.
      I would love to do the ripples again
      Cheers Linda – I will look up Gulf Shores Alabama on Google Earth and take a look around there.

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