At 4 in the morning I drove to the center of town to see some hot air jettisoned into some balloons. Naturally, the place was packed when I got there. Nobody wanted to miss the only thing going this month. Unfortunately, it was a little windy and the balloons just flopped about a bit before being packed away.
“Sorry folks! We’ll try again next year!” the PA crackled and the Canberra residents let out a collective sigh before turning about and wandering off into the great plains of grass and concrete that is Canberra.
The sun briefly rose before hiding behind a thick dome of clouds. Cold wind blew from the mountains and across the artificial lake. Rain fell.
Early Summer evening on the Gold Coast.
Shadows from the highrise towers stretch over the sand the coast is named for. The nor-easterly blows cool on the shade.
There’s not much going on in the surf, but a couple of tradies are having a beer near the showers and chatting about a cyclone havoc on an archipelago far beyond the horizon. It might send a fresh groundswell to these golden shores in the next few days.
Couples walk along the shoreline. Families begin packing up their beach towels to begin the journey home before the shadow reaches the water.
Some people are running. Some dogs are running around. Some guy is flying a kite. A kids sand castle is filled with water by a freak swell. It melts back into the bank.
I think of tall poppies. And Jimmy Hendrix. And the beer warming in my camera bag.
There’s a block with an old house on it for sale on the dunes. I sit on a table on the lawn facing the sea. The house is old, empty, and carries a style i don’t know the word for. A beach shack with fibro board and walls of rounded stones with heavy, rough grouting. Lots of glass jutting out everywhere. It’s a ghost destined for the bulldozer.
I imagine the fat slab of Cocaine Mansion that will be built where I’m sitting
The beer’s warm. I don’t mind.
It still feels like Spring.