A Day in the Life of a Shanghai Beach Bum on Holidays....

I've just spent the most fabulous four days at Noosa Beach, about two hours north of my hometown, Brisbane. It's a tough life, what with the brilliant blue water, the brilliant blue sky, and the white sandy beach. Here's my typical Noosa day - it's what I daydream about when it's cold, grey and smoggy back in Shanghai. 

10am: It's low tide and time to warm up on the beach in the sunshine, then dive in for a bracing swim in the slighlty chilly winter waters. Yes, this is mid-winter in Australia. 

11am: Raspberry snowcones all round from the cart parked on the beach, because by now it's pretty hot - about 28 degrees. Then some more lying in the sun to warm up after the icy treat.

12.30pm: Lunch at Bistro C - a Noosa institution, right on the beach. You can wander right in from the sand, footwear optional. Big appetite essential, for today's specials - barramundi fillet on pesto polenta with a ragu of tomatoes and pinenuts, or a tangled salad of chicken, coriander, cashews and tofu with sour, spicy nam jin dressing. Big, robust Australian flavours.

3pm: We skip Bistro C's dessert menu in favour of a walk down the boardwalk to Massimo's Icecream. The flavours are all seasonal, so being winter we can choose from passionfruit, strawberry, or lemon fruit sorbets, or one of a dozen creamy flavours - milk and cream, amaretto, creme caramel, bitter chocolate, amongst other irresistable creations. Every one delicious. Nearby, the gum trees are all in blossom and the heavy honey scent is attracting dozens of rainbow lorikeets and other native birds.

5.30pm: The tide has come in and the after-work surfers and paddleboarders have arrived to catch a few waves at the end of their working day. The early sunset casts a golden light over the sand and turns the water a deep sapphire blue.

6pm: The sunset deepens. Fire red and molten gold fill the sky.

6.40pm: The sun sets, the sky begins to darken and the temperature finally drops to a chillier 16 degrees. I've just ordered fish and chips from the takeaway, and we'll sit on the balcony of our apartment listening to the last of the birdsong while we eat. 

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