Before the parade passes by

Yesterday was momentous. It was the day, at precisely 10:00 am that the head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics began sharing results of the recent marriage equality survey. I was fortunate to be able to share the moment, with work colleagues and friends. We were gathered around an iPhone, intently watching, as it was streamed live by the Australian Broadcasting Company. 

A majority of Australians said yes to marriage equality. It’s now up to the politicians, to debate and determine if equality will truly be reflected in the legislation. 

Later my husband and I joined friends to participate in the celebrations on the Middle Bar balcony of Kinselas Hotel. Our friend, Meryl anointed me with a glittering rainbow lightening strike. It brought back memories of our excitement of moving to Australia, almost 20 years ago. And of the vibrant and seemingly liberated LGBTIQ community.

In recent years we have increasingly enjoyed the familiarity of our home suburb. Occasionally tasting the declining nightlife, due Sydney’s lock out laws and online dating. 

As I stood looking up at the rainbow flag, gently fluttering over the crowd in Taylor Square, a song from Hello Dolly popped into my head. I could not shake that song for the rest of the evening, it was still there this morning. 

This rendition is outrageous. Resplendent with marching band, a heavenly chorus and Barbra Streisand belting out the lyrics. It reflects so many moments in my life. 

Today is one of them. 

When the parade passes by

Tropical croton 

When living in the U.K. I tried to keep a croton. Attracted by contrasting bright vibrant splodges against the darkest green background, this indoor plant, in the cooler climate, received plenty of attention. Then one day, inexplicably, all of its leaves dropped off. Like other specimens that did not survive my care, the croton species fell firmly into the ‘too hard’ basket. 

Fast forward twenty years or so, I realised that, given the right environment, the croton is relatively hardy. We have two in a pot, in the garden, in Sydney. They seem to prefer being in part shade, tucked in amongst other plants. 

This particular beauty appears to be thriving in its tropical, Port Douglas home. 

Magnificenct Jacaranda

Spring in Sydney, the time when the Jacaranda trees bloom. They barely have had time to loose their leaves before being adorned with sweet, almost unpleasant, purple, trumpet shaped flowers. 

Jacarandas are difficult to photograph, their magnificenct colour being lost against a blue Antipodean sky. I was fortunate to spot this one from a third floor window, while waiting for a meeting to begin.  

November winds and rain will soon scatter the petals. Regally carpeting the ground under the Jacaranda’s skeletal canopy of twisted branches. 

Tropical frangipani

I am used to seeing dome shaped frangipani trees, in Sydney, with plump looking branches and a mass of long, sword shaped, leaves. This example in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland has produced gorgeous blooms, with few leaves and a totured looking trunk and branches. 

Closed-litter Rainbow Skink

After being in Port Douglas for just over a week, the sun came out. While sitting in our courtyard, eating lunch, we spotted three of these fellows. Each keeping to their own patch. When two became too close speedy chasing and tail biting took place. A Google search identified them as Closed-litter Rainbow Skinks (Carlia longipes).

Water lily

For me, this glorious water lily symbolises holiday time in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland. It’s petals and radiant centre can only be seen during the day. As soon as darkness descends, the bloom closes, held tight within a teardrop shaped bud. It serenely stands sentinel over the pond, evoking a feeling of peace and calm. 

This trip has reinforced the symbolism, as it has rained every day.