Avalon Beach on the Northern beaches holds a special place in the heart of our collective family. Once you wind your way along Pittwater Road, and past the “bends” you arrive at this peaceful little haven with a village atmosphere. Okay, the house and land prices are crazy Sydney inflated prices with the consumerism that entails, plus a long city commute. But many locals work from home now, including clever creative folk, so the big commute to the city is not as necessary.
Below: North Avalon Headland
And for a visiting pleb like me I just soak up the views, the beach, ocean pool, cafes and restaurants, and there’s gorgeous Pittwater and Careel Bay on the western side. Plus I have the added bonus of being welcomed by family and friends who live there.
Below: Avalon ocean pool, where we’ve spent many happy hours, and the iconic pine trees.
My family connection is my maternal grandparents, Daniel and Flora Bonnie Jean Bartlett and my Uncle Donald, Aunty Pam and my Mum, Judith, lived in Avalon from the late 1920’s. Back then it was a tiny little hamlet with market gardens, and my Mum even had a horse she’d gallop along the dunes. There is a bench with a plaque inscribed in remembrance of our grandparents and Donald. Aunty Pam is actually named Pamela Avalon Bartlett as she was the first baby born to permanent (Anglo) residents. Of course, the indigenous people beat the “first baby” tag by some hundreds of years!! My parents and youngest two sisters Danielle and Maxine, as well as my sister Donna lived there for many years. Donna’s two children Spencer and Danika were born there. My cousins Allison and Peter Bosley and their daughters, Cara and Gemma, have been there for twenty-five years. The fourth generation continues with Ryder and Lyla, children of Gemma and her husband Ryan Stone.
Below: Lovely Libby Armstrong, right, owner of Beachside Bookshop with PJ Byer and Collision.
And now I have my book Collision for sale in Sally Armstrong’s Beachside Bookshop in Avalon Beach. Libby focuses on Young Adult category – her slogan being she puts the “YAY! in YA.” Nothing is quite as exciting as seeing your published book on the shelves of a book shop! Moreover, Libby strongly encourages YA writers, and the book launch of Kirsty Eagar’s Summer Skin last night was warm-hearted and so much fun. Thanks also to my Avalon family for their attendance, as well as dear Avalon friends Viv Carless and Michelle Flaskas.
Below: Generous-hearted Kirsty Eagar and her latest YA novel, Summer Skin, and PJ