Anna Brophy

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east:

A year ago, we were happily living in the ‘burbs of Melbourne. My husband’s work needed someone in Sydney and it took us all of about 3 seconds to shout, “YEEESSSS, PLEASE!” and start packing. It was a fantastic decision. Though we miss family and friends down south, we love our new home and I genuinely feel part of something special here in Coogee. We are still pinching ourselves at how fortunate we are to be able to walk to the beach and how quickly we have made some forever friends.

How many children:

We have two little ones; our son is 5 and just about to start school (ME!! A school mum?!! Any advice gratefully accepted!!!) and our daughter is 3 and every bit the threenager. They have different personalities, but are slowly becoming quite the little buddies. In fact, they can even play nicely together now, for nearly 3 whole minutes; 5 even if a biscuit is on offer. This is pretty groundbreaking stuff. He is a big fan of Ninja Turtles and the diva princess likes to dance.

Favourite Park:

I am happy to grab a ball and sandwiches and simply head down to Grant Reserve in Coogee to tire those little legs out. Once they have had enough of running around wildly, screaming as loudly as they can (apartment living will do that), the kids like to play castles amongst the trees on the embankment. I am often a fantastic soldier who gets to sit and keep a watchful eye out for danger. (Super proud of that game; mummy downtime hack.) We also love to go to Maroubra to the Heffron Park Playground; any park with a fence is a winner for us, but I like that my kids are old enough to manage everything here, whilst still giving them a challenge. Santa also just delivered a bike, so its proximity to the Heffron Pedal Park is also fantastic.

Favourite Beach:

I grew up in country Victoria dreaming about these incredible NSW beaches I was seeing on Home and Away.

Whilst we have taken a day trip to see the ‘real thing’, I still feel it’s quite magical propping up anywhere along the coast here. However, this is a tricky one in our household, as my husband wants to bring the kids over to Clovelly beach at every opportunity, whilst I am still smitten by the sparkling Coogee Bay.

I love to bring the kids down in the mornings whilst it is simply sunny (not ghastly humid or burning) and have really enjoyed having picnic dinners down there of late and meeting my husband for a swim after his work. Quite simply; we are spoilt for choice. Not a bad dilemma.

Favourite kid friendly cafe:

We like to pop into Le Petit Café on Dudley St in Coogee. Sometimes, when we are simply walking past, Con has popped out with some marshmallows for the kids. They think he is fabulous.

Favourite Coffee Spot:

Please don’t hate me….but… my name is Anna and I don’t drink coffee…ever. Blah!

Favourite date night place:

I love local and we have so many beautiful places on our doorstep, but sweetheart, give me the seafood pancake from Barzura and I am in heaven…with matching wine, of course. And that view is simply stunning. A cheeky cosmopolitan from Oceans Bar (Crowne Plaza) is also a must on the way home.

Favourite Local Day Out Activity:

Now that the kids are a bit older, we have really enjoyed being able to pack a picnic, slap on the sunscreen and head down to La Perouse for a walk together. We have loved our discovery of the Cape Banks Trail, and have spotted whales, watched the ships coming in and out and spent hours playing down in the rock pools below. No phones, no tablets; just fresh air and conversation.

Favourite Local Shop:

I once managed a morning walk one Saturday, and arrived home with a new dress and a coffee ‘deal sweetener’ for the hubby, all before 9am. I always manage
to find something just perfect at Black Boho and it has really agreeable prices. It’s also a great spot to find some quirky little gifts. LOVE!

Favourite wet weather location:

The Coogee Pavilion is our absolute go to place on a wet day. When the kids start climbing the walls (with me close behind), it is great to get down there, grab a hot chocolate and let the kids play in the kid space at the back. It is safe, contained and a fantastic place for people watching or meeting friends.

Describe an ideal day in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for you?

Is it OK to say it would start with a sleep in? I would get up to a sizzling, cooked breakfast in which I didn’t have to lift a finger. Then we would all head down to Coogee beach and have a play (possibly slipping in a bit of reading for myself) and maybe have a poke about in the shops up Coogee Bay Road.

A few times lately we have hopped on the bus and headed up to the Spot to The Ritz to watch a movie.

If the weather permits, a spin around Centennial Park with the kids on their bikes/scooters is a must. The day might end with some cheeky wine with a friend, or having people around for a BBQ. Finally, the kids tucked up in bed, a cuddle on the couch with my husband, and an episode of our new (old) love, Orange is the New Black. Bliss.

Work or SAHM:

I am a crazy mix of both right now. I am at home with the kids, whilst trying to work when I can. Regularly I am juggling writing my blog or creating freelance pieces, between park visits and swimming lessons. The kids are always my inspiration, so it’s nice to be able to merge my two big passions together. I really began to focus on my writing whilst on maternity leave from teaching, and I am now loving the opportunity to give my dream wings.

Motherly advice:

When the afternoons at home with the kids feel long (because let’s face it, we’ve all been there, right?), light a candle, crank up the radio and dance wildly. And don’t forget; always make sure you have something fabulous coming up on the calendar just for you.

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