Special Days in Sydney: Sun, Surf, and Sails at Manly

Manly Beach, Sydney

In ninety-six hours, Clive and I will be in the air over Sydney, on our way to Paris.

We’re spending these last precious days at Manly, where we first met for coffee on 10 September 2005 and where, just up the hill from this beach, we bought an apartment together less than three months later.

Manly is unique among Sydney’s dazzling array of beaches: at Manly, you can experience both ocean and Harbour beaches. And they’re only a few minutes’ walk from each other.

Manly ferries amidst the yachts, Sydney Harbour

In this stunning city that captured my heart from the moment I arrived in 1995 (years before, actually, if you count dreams and file folders filled with travel articles), we’ve experienced four major life events in the past three months.

First, we’ve officially begun our new adventure. We’ve sold the apartment we loved so much (a necessary step on the path of our dream); it sold quickly, to our delight, and the settlement (closing) was on 27 October.

Second, in the midst of our overseas move transition, my father died in the U.S. on 28 October. I travelled to New Jersey twice to be with him in his last weeks of life, thanks to Clive who encouraged me and in truly herculean fashion, handled virtually all the tasks involved in packing, organising movers, and managing a million and one to-do’s that must be dealt with in this kind of move.

Our third event was the joyful birth of Ebonie, the first baby girl in many years on all sides of the family. We spent the past week in an activity-filled time with Ebonie, her brothers, and her parents on the New South Wales Central Coast. The roller-coaster of emotions we call life – grief over death, joy over birth – continues.

Now we’re back in Manly, our Sydney home. Our last, but certainly not least, event is soon to come.  We’re hoping the sunshine of the past few days, as shown in these Manly Beach photos, continues.

My son is now on the final leg of his journey to Sydney — having worked his way across the U.S., he’s now somewhere above the Pacific – to join us for three days. Clive’s daughter will be with us as well, as will Clive’s son and his family, including little Ebonie. We’ll all gather at the home of our dear friends and former next-door neighbours.

Why? Because on Sunday, at 5 p.m., with our children giving us away, Clive and I are getting married.

Manly Beach, Sydney

More to come.

17 Responses

  1. OH my Word ….. what such a delightful piece of news to read … The roller-coaster of emotions called life are certainly with you …

    You have been on such a emotional ride in the past few months .. and now this !!

    Woohoooo CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND CLIVE… ♥♥♥ Happy Wedding Day … lots of love Anne xx

    And going to Paris … such a wonderful way to celebrate your wedding day.. ♥♥

  2. Hi Carolyn…

    Anne just told me – Go look at Carolyn’s blog as we began to chat on FB right now.. So, I came over to have a look and was sooo excited to read about your upcoming marriage/birth of Ebonie and your upcoming trip to Paris! YAYYYY!! ALL good news amidst what have been difficult times for you and your family…
    I hope that we can see each other while you guys are here- not sure what your dates here are like or if you prefer to spend time alone together as “newly weds.” But, if you DO have time, just let me know..
    I’ll email you…
    Big hugs and BEST WISHES and lots of love to you and Clive on your Wedding Day!

  3. Congratulations!!!! To both of you and your respective families to be joined formally in marriage. It’s wonderful news and I couldn’t be happier for the both of you!!!! Congratulations and many many wishes for many many more happy years together!!! Will be thinking of you Sunday!

  4. Such wonderful news Carolyn … warmest best wishes to you and Clive on your wedding day and I look forward to seeing you in England as early as we can arrange a get together in 2011.

    Please, please, please … put up a wedding photo as soon as possible.

  5. Dear Carolyn,
    I’m so happy for you, I burst into tears. Imagine that.

    We’ve never met in person, nor heard each other’s voice. I have only the power of your writing to go by. The situations and events of your past and present life are often impressive and always interesting to read about. Most important to me, your character, empathy, intelligence, and generosity come shining through in all your personal writing, critiques, and correspondence. (Did I mention your courage and energy?)

    Congratulations to Clive–I heard somewhere one never congratulates the bride–and heartfelt best wishes to you both. May all your dreams come true.

  6. What wonderful news! It has been a tumultous few months for you and Clive, and this is the best finale ever.
    You have made many hints that your Great Adventure was just that, and now the rest of us know why. I hope your wedding day is wonderful, and look forward to seeing pictures and hearing about it from Gary.
    Best wishes for a beautiful day, and a lifetime of happiness!

  7. You’ve had all the major life stresses — birth,death, moving — all in such a short span of time and yet your writing voice is so calm! Congratulations (or is it best wishes? I can never remember which one is right.)

  8. OHH HOOORAY!!!!

    Good for you and Clive..please tell us all the details – well, not ALL, but you know what I mean!

  9. Judith put it so beautifully — why, I’m sure, we all admire you so much. Happy Wedding Weekend.

  10. We’re waiting for a wedding photo!!!

  11. Congratulations! Best wishes to Clive and you.
    Ebonie is beautiful. What better present for both of you!

  12. Hi Carol and Clive,

    Happy, happy news. Your grand daughter is darling, and I am so pleased for you both. How exciting to have a girl in the family. What a joyful time it must have been for everyone in your family to share in the happiness that you both must feel. I’m sorry your mother was unable to be with you, Carol, but I’m sure she was with you in spirit. I will tell my mother when I speak with her next, and I’m sure she will be so pleased for you.

  13. As Elizabeth and Kim have said .. Photo please 🙂 xx

  14. Dear Carolyn & Clive,

    I came through Facebook first, as I have been ill these past days( I caught cold) and off the blogs.

    This is beautiful news!!! CONGRATULATIONS :)))

    I guess that my “slip” that I did on the roof top of the Centre du Monde Arabe( I called one of you “husband or wife”), only quickly retracting, will be for real!!

    You realize how many friends are happy for you too?!! And we are all waiting to see the pictures 🙂

    This is wonderful. Take it and run and don’t be afraid to take a dizzying spin on that old wheel of life!!


  15. P.S. My error-It is the “Institut du Monde arabe” & not le centre Duh…

  16. Congrats to you and Clive.

    It’s been a long road with many ups, downs, twists and turns. I love that you are making this changed chapter of your life one of love and adventure.

    Good onya, SydWoo. (bet you’ll have fun explaining that one)

  17. My thanks for your comments are belated but sincerly heartfelt, Anne (Oxfordshire), Leesa, Kim, Elizabeth, Judith (welcome! so great to see you here!), Mary, Anne (Paris!), MarthaB, Nadege, Eleanor, Barbara, and Josie (I won’t try to explain SydWoo at the moment 🙂 )

    Clive and I both sincerely appreciate your kind words and good wishes.

    Cheers to all.

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