Lismore. Tuesday, 10.20am 'They hang out near Bunnings, you know,' he says, raising a flat white to his lips. I notice his hands shake as he says this. 'Bunnings?' I say. 'Yeah, near Bunnings. In the morning.'
Two lorikeets fly out of the sun, which hovers over the neighbour’s roof, and land in a grevillea near where I’m sitting. Their abrupt arrival startles me (I was thinking about that giant crack in the antarctic ice shelf) and... Read More →
Nimbin. Friday, 6.50pm:The last rivulets of sun have drained from the street and are replaced by a tide of colours as the street lights and the MardiGrass people turn on. Smiles flash from the swirling crowd, and the fashions are more neon than the shop signs.
‘What are you doing this weekend?’ ‘I’m going to MardiGrass.’ ‘Oh...’ MardiGrass – the very word elicits fear and loathing. If it comes up in conversation over latte at a Lismore cafe, people blink, look at their watch and leave.
It’s dawn. It’s Anzac Day. That seems appropriate. The sun is still struggling behind the eastern hill, but the wallabies are already sitting on their tails, tummies facing the hill in anticipation of the warming rays. I’m sad, despite the happy wildlife.
What is this feeling? Why am I wheeling myself over to the kitchen to make another banana sandwich when I’ve already eaten eight, and I’m definitely not hungry? Why do I have the radio on, filling my brain with waffle? What is wrong with me?
Ocean Shores. Friday, 12.10pm They speak their own language, musicians. 'I'm starting here, pedalling it,' the bass player says, demonstrating as he speaks, 'then I'm moving to the sixth.' His fingers are tentacles on the fretless neck of the double bass.
Outside, the rain comes down in symphonic crescendi on the tin roof of my shack in the clouds. Inside, it's Granddaughter's turn. We're playing musical round robin. She, her father, her grandmother and me are taking turns playing a favourite song, in whatever medium you want.
So, when the time comes, I want to be prepared. I hope you are too.When the time comes, it will come rolling in like a dark wave over these green hills. The bird calls will be replaced by the roar of engines, the wail of sirens, and the blat-blat of gunfire.
My place. Monday, 11am The view through my window is lovely. Sure, the grass is way too high, and the bush turkey has dug up the paw paw seedling, but everything is lush. The wallabies have so much green pick to nibble on they hardly move, just the occasional tummy scratch.
The view through my window is lovely. Sure, the grass is way too high, and the bush turkey has dug up the paw paw seedling, but everything is lush. The wallabies have so much green pick to nibble on they hardly move, just the occasional tummy scratch.
So, there I was: happy to be home after a weekend in Surfers Paradise, lugging my overnight bag and shopping supplies up the steps from the Superoo, anticipating a cold beer in the pleasant surrounds of my shack under the cliffs. Great to be home.
The young bloke has no shirt and is wearing pants so low, the bush of his pubic hair sits above the belt-line like a desert plant burnt brown by a still-fierce autumnal sun and tenuously rooted in the pot of his shorts.
Cobargo. Saturday, 11.15pm: My self-inflating mattress is also self-deflating. What goes up, must come down: Newton's law of gravity. I can feel the Earth beneath the mattress. Not only the Earth, but each twig, stone, grass clump, hoofprint and ant poo on it. It's imprinting on my skin.
My garden. Thursday, sunset. I gazed out upon a tree, It grows where I spat the seed, As I ate the fruit, and peed.
Stress. We live in stressful times, I hear. People are dying from stress-related issues, I read. Stress is wrecking families, causing crime, and costing the state a fortune. Modern life is stressful, they say.
Wooyung. Tuesday, 6.50am. The ocean didn't feel more acidic than normal during my morning frolic in the waves. (These days I tend to frolic in the shallows rather than bodysurf the big stuff. I'm scared of sharks. They're hungry, they're angry and they're coming to get us.)
I'm angry. I'm doing that lip thing I do when I get angry. People tell me it's a sure sign I'm angry, and, when they see it, they take appropriate action. Like leave. Or put their cool hand on my trembling one and tell me it'll be okay.
Hobart. Monday, 1.20pm: This is baffling. I look around, but no-one else seems perturbed. People continue to wander from artwork to artwork, heads down, staring at the small screens they're holding, listening to whatever it is that's streaming through the headphones they wear.
I'm not sure what art is, but I've embraced whatever it is for as long as I can remember. The best things about my Catholic upbringing were the stained-glass windows that coloured a dreary morning mass with the love of a god-man. Oh, and I loved the mysterious poetry of mumbled Latin coming from the fat bloke robed in white and gold.
I have managed to get on the highway before the traffic has got too intense. There’s already a lot of cars moving south, but I’m trucking along smoothly. I packed up my Woodford Folk Festival camp last night when the temperature dropped to almost comfortable.
Woodford. Tuesday, 4.10pm: Humans are a diverse lot. As I wander the Woodford Folk Festival in a rare comfort (the summer heat mitigated by a cool threat of rain), that diversity is on show. I find it refreshing.
Oh, come on... On stilts? You have to be joking. Two large men in Indian-type attire (epaulets and turbans) are standing on a metal construction two metres from the ground. They’re ready to jump.
Lismore. Tuesday, 4.35pm: I've made a Christmas resolution. Yes, I know, you're supposed to make a resolution on New Year's Eve, but I gave that up years ago. It was always the same.
Larnook. Monday, 4.03pm I'm flying over verdant fields where neat fences separate the millet from the corn, the cannabis from the sunflowers. I like neat. Neat is nice. The corn and sunflowers wave in my slipstream like a chorus line in a musical. Food and medicine for all. Nature is nice.