Aloha Moonee, 2025

Hi Mum, hope you’re well.

Went for a surf this morning. It was good. Real good. It was one of those perfectly still mornings when the water is so smooth and glassy it looks almost oily. It even felt a bit oily. Kinda thick. Weird.

Got a few waves. Almost got the barrel of the day but found myself at a critical moment with a McWrap on my face and I couldn’t really see where I was going. Think I hit a dolphin. My bad. Geez they’re slow these days.

I wonder if Council is ever going to build that footbridge over the creek that they promised after that kid got so sick a couple of years ago. I know a lot of us surfers voted against it because we thought it’d encourage crowds in the water, but Yeeeacccchh!, that walk back through the creek these days is awful. It’s all kinda sludgy underfoot.

Remember when we used to walk through the creek and every now and then you’d feel a stingray or a flathead dart from beneath the sand. Made you jump! You don’t see them anymore.

Now you step on something in the creek and you just kinda shiver. We call ’em McTurtles. Don’t know what they are. No one does. Just semi-squishy masses of yuk.

I don’t think you’d recognise Moonee anymore, Mum. The caravan park has really gone downhill. What, with all the litter and sluggish fish and that crab with the third claw — remember that? Man, what a freak! — I guess people just aren’t keen to holiday here anymore. I know the ‘experts’ keep saying there’s nothing wrong with the creek, but … I dunno, I don’t think any of them have actually been here to eyeball it. The mangroves and shorelines are choked with litter; the soldier crabs have all gone; there’s barely any fish, and the ones that remain swim upside down. There’s not even any seaweed.

Remember when they started building that service centre back in 2017? (Yeah, yeah, I know you were against it.) One of the big catchcries from politicians was “Jobs”. But it seems we’ve lost more jobs than we gained, ’cause the tourism dollar is in the toilet. I guess we should have seen it back then, that a mostly automated servo doesn’t really employ very many people. (The three that work there aren’t locals, either, they got shipped in and housed by SkillShare on the proviso that they work for, like, $10 an hour.) And the fast food joint: well, there aren’t too many careers to be had there. Once the feds dissolved the minimum wage and penalty rates in the 2020 Election, well, even management positions don’t really provide a liveable wage.

Anyway, don’t wanna bore you with my jobs hobbyhorse.

Tracey should be back from the Retreat soon. I talk to her most days, but she still seems kinda nervous, y’know. They say it’s just because she hasn’t been getting enough sleep. I guess it is a lot noisier around here than it used to be. I remember when I used to wake up in the night and there’d be a westerly blowing and I’d think Yeah! Offshore tomorrow. Now I dread it, because it brings all the noise from that service centre pounding down Moonee Beach Road. I got woken up the other night by some tool doing doughnuts around the roundabout and then screaming down the front with his stereo blaring. Sound like an old man, don’t I, but Man, I never thought our coastal village would get so, well … , so f*cked up. At least Dad’s not around to see it. I think he’d be sitting on the deck with a shotgun.

Lil isn’t doing too well, I’m afraid. Don’t know what’s wrong with her. The doctor has booked us in for some tests in Sydney. He wouldn’t really say much more than that. Just have to wait and see. She’s such a little trooper, but it makes me so sad to see her struggling like she is …

Sorry Mum, talking about Lil always makes me real upset, so I’ll just say I hope you’re well, and that you seem to have made the right decision moving to Port. Looks like you were right way back in 2016.

I really wish I’d done more then. Moonee might still be a really nice place to live and raise a family if I’d just said “No!”

I’ll write again soon.

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