Solid Gold Coast


The water is warm and soft, walking along Miami beach I can see Surfers Paradise through a blue haze in the far off distance, a range of skyscrapers jutting out into the ocean like a piece of concept art from a science fiction movie. I meet with my relative's who I've not seen in years since I was very young. Auntie, uncle and cousins who live here on the Gold Coast. It's an amazing part of the world. It's weird seeing distant family. I found myself looking for similarities and differences, likenesses and behavior that is shared with close family, even though they live on the opposite side of the globe. I meet wives and extended family. Cousin Scott, smart and organised, puts us up and cooks an awesome bbq. Then cousin Neil, larger than life and looking spookily like my dad but younger and with more hair takes me and Bron surfing. I get several mouthfuls of seawater, Bron keeps falling off, but it's all pretty epic fun. I have surfed and had proper auzzie bbq. Result.

I'm getting used to the camper van we've hired, it's a pretty easy drive. We wave goodbye to the folks and head South to Byron Bay. Many have recommended it, not least by brother who spent a fair bit of time here. It's the most chilled out place you'll ever find and the beach just goes on forever. Whatever the modern word is for hippies is, there are many of them here, folks from all walks of life. We check into a campsite and test out the campervan, which is practical and very cosy. I like it. The campsite here is a bit uptight for my liking, I have romantic notions of of fires on the beach and big BBQ's, but there is Wifi here, which seems non-existant anywhere else, but we are on the most eastern point of the entire continent, so it probably to be expected.

The cider here is fucking great. Really dry and bitter, but with a lovely bite. This is good. Very good indeed.

John Cooper
Comedian & artist.
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