Saturday, December 24, 2011

The last few days before Christmas

These last few days before Christmas mark a lull before the frenzy that hits Phillip Island over the Christmas, New Year and summer holiday period. The population goes from around 7000 people to about 70,000!

Needless to say, our island undergoes a change. While most visitors behave in an agreeable way, there's also an element of bad behaviour -- vandalism, road rage, uncontrolled dogs and children, bad manners in shops -- -- --. The police are busy; locals tend to lie low.

Therefore, we savour these last few walks along beaches we've had to ourselves throughout December. For the next couple of weeks our dogs will stay home on particularly busy days, not because it's illegal to have them on the beach, rather that we're not prepared to run the risk of other people's dogs rushing up aggressively to our two shepherds on leads. It's too stressful and too much of a risk. Our dogs are not aggressive but they are large and we don't want them subjected to provocation.

Exercise wise, Major and Del will be fine. With at least 12 rabbits living in our garden, the dogs tear around at high speed and then collapse exhausted into their beds on the verandah. As far as we're concerned, we'll continue our beach walks but instead of the focus being on the dogs, we'll be meeting people and beachcombing.

Having kilometres of beach to ourselves is a luxury, I know. All that glistening water for the dogs to swim and play in, all that sand on which to run free. Today was the last day of freedom, with the hordes arriving tonight, tomorrow and Boxing Day.

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