Showing posts from July, 2012

From here the world looks like a map.

White fingered frost coated the grass on the lawn. The car was spangled with ice. You could scratch thin dark lines on the car windows; you could have written your name if you had chosen to do so. According to later reports it was the coldest Melbourne morning for almost half a decade. It was cold, even by the hairy chested standards of those who claim that we don’t have real winters in Melbourne. It was, as it happens, a good day to travel. Clear air, clear skies, clear roads. A diary clear of the kinds of things you have to do, but would rather someone else do for you; full of the kind of things you plan to do. Rainbow Lorikeets flew over head, magpies squabbled on the nature strip. The taxi turned up on time and we were on our way north to Cairns, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. That’s about 2317km north. Almost the same as London to Istanbul or New York to Dallas. It’s a long way by any measure, but it’s a good measure of how big Australia really is. You can f

Plan B

When I awoke it was almost silent. I mistook the settling of the logs in the fire for the rattle of leaves and twigs on the roof top. Last night’s wind and rain had passed in the night, leaving the trees a little thinner and the roof a little more cluttered. I wondered if I should put more wood on the fire, but it felt too cold to try and I was too warm to worry. The clock gently talked on the bedside table. Its echo seemed to come from the ticking of the cooling fire surround, time and energy counting down to the cool of the morning. I settled back into the warmth and slept. I was by no means late when I woke again, but it’s hard to remain asleep when somebody stands on your chest. “Morning H”. “Morning D”. I was about to drift off again when the small human earthquake that is my daughter climbed into bed. “Morning P”. “Humphhh” she replies, still more than half asleep. The bed now contained two adults, two children, one bear, one hippo and a large purple unicorn. It w