I am not naturally sporty. School hockey led to two black eyes, broken braces and a rather horrible facial surgery. My netball teachers gently suggested that I "went for runs" instead of joining the lessons, so distracting to the other girls was my lack of coordination.
However, I'm a bit of a waterbaby. Put me in the sea, and I suddenly discover hidden core strength, balancing skills and spacial awareness. This, combined with my adoration of surfer boys, meant that surfing was always going to be the sport for me.
I surfed for the first time when I was 13, and really caught the bug. I got my first job to pay for my first board, and used to escape from boarding school for weekends to surf in Newquay.
As we've been in Sydney, my Ma and I stole away down to Manly to catch some waves.
After a few hours refresher lessons at Manly Surf School, we were feeling brave enough to head out on our own, so we popped in to Dripping Wet Surf Co. to rent some boards and suits. The guys there are really friendly and helpful, and kitted us out with perfect soft boards - these are perfect if you're a newbie, a bit out of practice, or fancy a less strenuous session where you're guaranteed to catch lots of waves.
In no time we were both up on our feet!
We ended up spending a good few hours in the water, periodically crawling back onto the beach to collapse in the sun for breathers.
I'm always so happy and relaxed (if a little bruised and achey) after surfing. However, I'm also always starving.
This is something my Ma and I have in common, so after a few hours, we took back our boards and wetsuits, and headed off in search of food...
Happily, we ended up at Manly Ocean Foods, which serves up award winning fish and chips. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!
We settled down in the sun for an utterly delicious and thoroughly deserved supper before heading back on the ferry to central Sydney.