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The Rock-itt : February 2011
this year inexplicably, the main stage was behind things and off a side street. Not unsurprisingly this removal from the main action had an effect on the atmosphere for the various speakers -- including Warringah's Mayor Michael Regan alongside appropriately surfy and Australian music acts. For our own part we meeted and greeted the masses from both our static location and with roaming raids on the unsuspecting public. Myself, David Barr, Sharon Cottle, Anna Clarke-Doyle, Stewart Wauchope and Glenn Fischer -- all coincidently board members at RNB -- handed out flyers for the station, explained our presence and interviewed patrons and stall holders alike. Sadly the previous year had taught us that Australia's internet phone connectivity was far from up to the task of relaying a live broadcast from an outdoor location. An event that had frustrated station technical director Andrew Goodman- Jones so much he changed phone providers -- again to no avail. By the event's official start at 8am, the crowds had already amassed and the always-eerie fog began to make way, though in a curious twist -- one I cannot recall previously witnessing in Australia -- after a brief interlude of blue, the mist returned. Despite a relatively benign start, the heat and almost unbearable 90% humidity took hold quickly, though the proximity of the sea alleviated this somewhat. The most Australia Day of concerns, the thong throwing competition occupied the sand in front of us and all along the promenade in fairground style attractions children were dunked and climbed a plastic mountainous wall. Bacon and egg rolls were consumed by an endless line of patrons, a curiously British pipe band led a parade of local surf clubs, nippers and alike and the spiky jangle of a surf band played out festivities till their eventual close around half eleven. From then on Australia Day revellers occupied the front, some lucky enough to have brought gazebos to shade out the oppressive sun when it occasionally emerged from the pea-souper, whilst Radio Northern Beaches retreated from Dee Why for another year. After the dismantling was complete a baking-hot air-con challenged car carried me home. Six hours of dilapidating humidity had taken its toll and I deferred from any further involvement in our national day, preferring instead to acquaint myself with my much loved couch and the metronome of televised cricket. I should probably not mention that I am a naturalised Aussie from England when saying that but it did add to the immense enjoyment of the one-dayer. Happy Australia Day!