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Showing posts from August, 2020

Flowers and fires

The weather on Saturday was gorgeous and Alex was free of tennis, so we took a day trip up into the Blue Mountains. Rather than the motorway, we drove via Richmond to the Bells Line of Road, winding our way up past fruit stalls closed for winter and tiny hamlets selling apple pies and bric-a-brac. We stopped at a country market outside of Kurrajong, a CWA Hall serving meals while old folk had stalls of cakes, jams and cleaning products.  I had only been this route once before, many years ago on a drive from Marsfield to the Parkes Radiotelescope for a meeting. This was a first for the other two. We pulled into the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah, joining a crowd of smartly dressed wedding guests. In our much more casual attire we admired the spectacular views across the mountains from the platform at ths visitors centre, wandered the rock gardens of succulents and proteas, listened to the sound of waterfalls, azed up at the giant girth of the Californian redwo

The city of recurring dreams

There is a place I often dream about. Not exactly a place, because it has many forms, but I know its the same dream. It is away from the capital city, sometimes far, sometimes close. There is always a train, and that's how I know it. The train goes through a quiet landscape. It's grassy plains or around the river of a bushy national park. It follows the coast or a river or neither. The train itself is never new, never shiny and modern, usually just a rail car of a couple of carriages. It may even be a tram in origin, if not in fact. It's the end of a branch line. The location is Australia. It's Rockhampton in the mid-eighties, Newcastle when the train ran to the city centre, it's Yeppoon with its old train line or tiny Keppel Sands which never had one. It's Kurnell which never was. Or it's a hidden suburb down a non-existent turnoff a bit further along our road. Wherever it is, the city has a few characteristics. It's old, a bit run down and it is quiet.