‘Straya Day 2011

26 Jan

There was no squad last Wednesday as it was ‘Straya Day so Gill and I decided to give the Bold and the Beautiful a go.  Yes, that’s right, we spent our public holiday watching reruns of the soap opera involving the Forrester family’s fashion house.

Actually, the Bold and the Beautiful are a bunch of mates who swim from Manly to Shelly every day at 7am.  They invited one of our Can Too buddies, who put it about a bit (the invite, not our Can Too buddy, Hylton’s happily married with kids).

‘Straya Day dawned and it was pea soup in Manly.  Out of the fog, came some incredible 600 punters, including, talking of dawns, Dawn Fraser, ex-Olympian.  As well as the local Manly member (of Parliament that is).

It was eerie.  A trumpeter lead the assembled fuchsia pink hatted, lycra clad, beach standing throng in a dawn chorus of Advance Australia Fair and then we all 600 of us plunged into the break.

A man called Bruce (well it was ‘Straya Day) came to say g’day and asked us if we were the Manly Can Tooers.  Mature in his years (and ears for that matter or maybe he had blu-tack in them [commonly used to stop water getting in swimmers’ ears]), Bruce is fighting prostate cancer but says that the folk at Manly hospital have told him that it’s everywhere now.  Nonetheless, he slips his tiny frame daily into his full wet suit, straddles his bicycle barefoot, and heads to the beach where he dons his goggles, fins and fuchsia pink hat atop his thickly bearded face.  He said he was 82.  Gill said he reminded him of Compo from Last of the Summer Wine.  He wanted to know how much we had raised and tell us what a great thing he thought Can Too was.  It was awesome to meet him.

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