Well Christmas is upon us and our little village of Orford is deluged by holiday makers. Probably three quarters of the homes in Orford are “holiday homes” and only used for weekends and holidays with a lot only being used over the Christmas New Year Period. Now some of these holiday homes are pretty substantial dwellings, they make our little cottage look very small by comparison and those on the waterfront can change hands for $1M or so.
There are about 700 permanent residents of Orford but at this time of the year this swells to between 4,000 to 5,000. For the last couple of days they have been arriving in droves, towing boats or trailers loaded to the gunwales with bicycles, surfboards and various other toys. The preferred car of these part time residents seems to be a black BMW four wheel drive, a useless car if ever one was made! A second wave of holiday makers will descend on us on Boxing Day. A number of properties will be crowded with caravans and tents and what could pass for small refugee camps!
Most permanent residents, including us, do not look forward to this influx over the Christmas period. We are subject to lots of late loud parties by people who do not live here so do not really care about the community. Vandalism and graffiti episodes occur. The one and only supermarket normally runs out of supplies, that is if you can get to it uninjured after working your way through an obstacle course of kids bicycles thrown down all around the entrance.
Then there is the boat ramp. With all the holiday makers boats here the boat ramp can get very busy. However a lot of holiday makers seem to have no idea how to back their boat and end up sitting right in the middle of what is actually a two lane ramp. Others get on the ramp and then decide to pack the boat or check the fishing gear. Instead of it taking what should only be a two minute launch they spend upwards of 10 minutes. They either have no idea or just don’t care. Ramp range sometimes rears its head!
You even have to book to get a table at the local wood fired pizza restaurant.
Still we put up with it because most of the year it is a great place to live and you know that in a few weeks the holiday makers will start to leave.