Here was my chance for incidental flinging from high places. I hadn’t even particularly noticed it on the itinerary of my Western Australian backpackers trip from Broome to Perth. It was the last day of the trip. I was definitely up for it and quietly confident given my extensive experience as a kid whooshing down the dunes at Crookhaven Heads on a piece of cardboard.
This is perhaps where the slight disjuncture occurred between childhood memory, overconfidence and the passage of time. I might have also got a bit too enthusiastic applying wax to the sandboard!
The tour guy looked a bit ashen. He was probably thinking about all those forms he would have to fill out and where did he put those contact details for next of kin. But the sand was forgiving. Nothing snapped, I emerged with no sprains, or strains or bruises.
I retrieved the sandboard, clambered back up that dune and went down again. This time, I remained upright.
The only lingering effect was that my swirling tumble meant that I seemed to have acquired about my person a substantial part of the dune. Sand was embedded in my pores and clothes. My curls acted as a very efficient trap. Despite efforts to brush it all out before getting back in the vehicle, by the time we had reached Perth, a pyramid of sand had formed beneath my seat. I was still shedding it at Perth Airport waiting to catch my midnight flight back to Sydney. There were drifts of it in the recess after my first shower at home.