A Stranger in a Strange Land.
There’s a Blackbird on the lawn, a Common Mynah on the roof line. There’s a Magpie on the back fence, but it’s not a crow, it’s a type of butcher bird. Parrots flash overhead, seeking winter gum flowers. House Sparrows flick from under the eaves to feed on silver birch seeds. A late to bed possum hurries, fleet footed, along a wire. My birthday moves from spring to autumn during the course of a single plane flight. It snows in June. For year after year it barely rains, then in capricious novelty it floods. At Christmas I worry that it will be too hot to sit in the garden. The forest trees keep their leaves all year, and on a hot summer’s day the woods smell of childhood colds, night-time vapours, last night’s pyjamas. A few sky bright shards of childhood memory linger. Skippy. Rolf Harris. People with skin so black that the light seemed to sink into them. Australia seemed so far away that it may as well have been the moon. Manchester was a long way away, Melbourne impossibly so. I only