It was a great day to be by the beach yesterday, and I went down to help out at a Cancer Council event. It was a PR event to raise awareness for skin cancer prevention. The news covered it here. There are some great aerial views here. And industry discussion about its effectiveness here.
1,700 people in Australia die of skin cancer every year, and we got 1,700 beach towels with crime scene murder chalk outlines on them laid out on Bondi beach, representing the number of deaths. Moral of the story: Wear sunscreen, y'all!
The team had been there from 3am to lay down and peg each towel down, but I got there later, to help with the packing up. The Southeasterly started howling through the beach and it was mayhem - towels were being flipped over and volunteers were running up and down the beach trying to straighten them out again. It was quite a sight!
The news crews were all there to cover the event, the TV stations had their helicopters circling the beach to capture the towels from the sky... it was pretty manic. (Quiet, relaxing day at the beach? Forget about it!) Here's a journalist getting a beach babe to pose for him. Wonder if she made it into today's papers.
The irony is... I forgot to put on sunscreen myself. So today, I'm sunburnt and have panda eyes around where my sunglasses were. *Kwa Kwa Kwa* (that's the Game Over sound effect)
Here's what packing up 1,700 towels looks like.
We had to gather them all up and take off all the pegs from each corner. And then of course the mob descended - people actually started nicking towels off the beach! THE NERVE! There were only about 10 or 15 of us to cover the entire area, and the towel-vultures moved in and started grabbing towels from everywhere.
I ended up having to yell at people (UNLEASH MY INNER KALI!) and it wasn't until I said "These belong to the Cancer Council, you're STEALING from a charity!" that some people actually felt a bit bad and put them back.
Human behaviour is so warped and UGLY sometimes.
Still, it was a glorious day to be at the beach, Sculpture by the Sea, an annual art installation project happening around the coastal walk, was on too. But coz it was the last day of the project, it was manically packed. I only ventured far enough to see the first few sculptures then decided to head back. I hate being in a crowd.
Bondi Beach is sooooo pretty. Packed, but pretty. No wonder people make such a fuss about it.