"My street is on fire!"
That was my first conclusion as I stood on my balcony looking at smoke set rooftops and fog-like haze illuminated by cloudless morning sunlight.
"Not just my street, the whole suburb!"
Okay, so fire is a strong word and a bit of a type 1 error, really. There was lots of smoke but no visible flames. No fire engines. No chaos. "The whole suburb is on smoke" is more factual, but less dramatic. "It is a smokey morning" is probably the most accurate/appropriate phrasing but a tad bland given the quantity of the aerosolised carbon and not really a catchy way to start a blog post.
As is usual with these events, everybody else in Coogee (including the hungover guy in dark glasses with the unsteady gait, the homeless guy with a friendly dog, and the 10yr old skateboarder rebelling against his mother's helmet plea) knew that back-burning in the blue mountains was the root cause.
The cool thing about this smoke was that it made the water seem all the more blue. Mediterranean blue. Like a Capri postcard minus the tans, models and umbrellas. There is likely some scientific explanation for this effect which Dr Karl could divulge via a radio consult. Optical illusion, molecular interplay, photophore excitement... I doubt Dr Karl works on Saturday and I don't have his number. He probably doesn't do weekend on-call.
Reasoning aside, every now and then you come across something new which you haven't seen before.
April/may is the best time of year for Coogee as the crowds have thinned and the water is cool but still swimable. This day was made even cooler by the novelty of new.