Local Chick… Ali Gripper from Maroubra
Maroubra’s Ali Gripper has just released her first book, The Barefoot Surgeon, the inspirational story of eye surgeon Dr Sanduk Ruit. She shares her local favourites with The Beast…
How long have you lived here? Almost ten years in Maroubra, and about twenty years in the Eastern Suburbs.
Why do you live here? The north-easterly wind and the salt water make me feel so alive. I pinch myself that I live surrounded by such natural beauty. A dip at Wylie’s or McIver’s Ladies Baths, or a walk around the coastal track from South Maroubra to Malabar makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the world.
What’s your favourite beach? Maroubra, for its vast, wild beauty. My favourite time of the day is just after sundown. The wind drops, the water goes still and glassy, and a kind of hush falls over the bay.
What’s your favourite eatery? Barzura. I love the corn fritters with crispy bacon and avocado, especially after a yoga class upstairs at The Living Room.
Where do you like to have a drink? Bat Country or Del Punto at The Spot before enjoying a movie at The Ritz Cinema.
Best thing about the Eastern Suburbs? You can go on glorious walks and swims in nature just by stepping out your front door. Within minutes you are surrounded by currawongs or black cockatoos wheeling above in the salty air while the Pacific breakers crash onto the cliffs below.
Worst thing about the Eastern Suburbs? Weekend parking and property prices.
Do you have a favourite sporting team? UNSW Junior Hockey Under 13s. My son gets such a buzz being part of it all.
What music are you into at the moment? Anything classical, played loudly. Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Handel, Chopin, Ravel, Arvo Part, Dvorak… I wrote a lot of The Barefoot Surgeon to Beethoven. The power of his symphonies seemed to match the story.
Who is your favourite person? My son. He is all muscle and bone at the moment, and happiest running about with a pack of other boys. He’s so beautiful that he’s told me to stop staring at him.
What do you get up to on the weekends? Shepherding my son to South Maroubra Nippers, Maroubra United soccer and UNSW Junior Hockey. We love seeing movies at The Ritz and tucking into crepes at The Four Frogs at The Spot afterwards.
What do you do for work? I’m the communications manager for The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, Randwick. I also write freelance stories about artists for Spectrum.
What’s your favourite thing about work? I love the daily chit chat with my team at The Foundation. I like finding, writing and pitching stories to the media about the extraordinary people who work at The Royal Hospital for Women – they are the beating heart of the public health system. For Spectrum, it is a privilege to interview artists and write up their stories in the most compelling way possible. I love making connections with people by writing about them.
Do you have a favourite quote? “Make haste slowly.”
Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast? A little kindness goes a long way.