Black metal cashbox

There stands an old gum tree, it’s immense;
Next to land ringed by a solid fence.
Embedded in the trunk very deep,
Black metal cashbox, safely to keep.

Behind a bench, a slight figure forms,
Drawn face, cold grey eyes begin to warm.
‘The grip, scrumpox, burns, warts, sores, or chills?
I’ve tonics, lotions, pills for all ills!’

‘Cure’s on hand for aches, pains, blisters, gout.
Best int’all land,’ voice raises to shout.
‘Tinctures, potions, ointments, aplenty.
Discount to you when buying twenty.’

On emaciated frame hangs down,
A tattered and faded teal plaid gown.
‘Hark my words, come on over’, she sings.
Meanwhile, an unseen bell faintly rings.

Townsfolk give the woman, widest berth.
‘No place for phantoms on this green earth’.
Together, Moon, Sun shine; Winter sky.
Apparition fades at death knell’s sound.

There stands an old gum tree, it’s immense;
Next to land ringed by a solid fence.
Embedded in the trunk very deep,
Black metal cashbox, safely to keep.

Crinoline and lace

The busy arch filled facade of the block sized Treasury Building, conjures up images of crinoline encased ladies, enshrouded in lace.

This late nineteenth, early twentieth century, Italian Renaissance style, former Queensland state government administration building is faced with sandstone ashlar. It glows warmly while basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

Since 1995 this edifice has housed a casino. When viewed in the early morning, traces of the over rouged lighting strike a discord of grotesque elegance. I wonder what will occupy this grand old lady when the nearby newer model is debuted in late 2022.

Embrace the kink

Two years ago, I started this post with just the just title.

As a toddler, I was endowed with platinum blonde curly locks. By the time I started infant school they had morphed into straight plain brown.

When the barnet began to feather flick from my ears and extended well beyond collar length, my three years younger brother, and I were marched to a tonsorial parlour at the junction of Northfield Road and Fellows Lane, Harborne.

There in a bay windowed, cream gloss painted room, containing two adjustable chairs, upholstered in deep brown cracked leather, facing mirrors, we were shorn.

The stout balding, cleanly shaved barber, wearing a white jacket, seemed so very old. I enjoyed sitting high up on a plank across the arms of the chair while my mother reminded him, I had a double crown. I have since learned the unruliness of the left side of my head is due to a cowlick.

Each time we went, my brother and I had the same cut. I discovered today, it is called a mop top, although ours was short at the back. The style did not change until I was old enough to go to the barbers alone.

In my late teens, I admired my brother’s long wavy hair, emphasising his bikie, hard rock, and heavy metal persona. Being the eldest, my lot was one of self imposed responsibility. As previously posted, societal conformity was the order of the day. To hide in plain sight, I chose to wear mine off my face in a quasi Simon Templar fashion.

For forty years, I yearned for curly hair, although never enough to try a perm. Instead, I relied on clipped cuts, gels, mousses, waxes, and creams to achieve straight uniformity.

In 2014, hairdresser, James Burrows was the first to talk to me about my fine flyaway strands. He used sea salt spray, comb, dryer, and powder to create the tidal wave like cut in the picture above.

Brisbane or ageing, combined with inclusion of non usual humans have proved to be the catalyst for realising my dream of wavy hair. The current barber introduced me to scrunch drying, reinforced the use of hair powder, and suggested using balm left over from taming my beard to achieve separation of tresses. A day or two after washing, I am now able to embrace the kink.

Boutique twilight development

Over the last few years we have been casually searching for the perfect place, within budget, to spend our twilight years.

Yesterday, we visited our first boutique ‘50 plus lifestyle resort’. Located 52 km north of home, it is serenely quiet compared to townhouse living with background noise of rail, aircraft, road traffic, and people going about their lives.

The estate is bounded by council owned forest on three sides and is walking distance to a shopping centre.

The complex’s clubhouse, 25 metres lap pool, jacuzzi, bowling green, barbecue area, and outdoor seating are nearing completion.

Lyn showed us around the available options. All reasonably spacious with higher than usual ceilings, fans, air conditioning, larger kitchens than we are used to, and most importantly, detached and single storey.

All had a front garden and a covered porch. Also, alfresco areas at the rear with around 1-3 m to boundary fenced sides and back. We liked the layouts and finishes of the homes.

Lyn let us know the average age of villagers was 60 to 80 years. Unfortunately, finance may be tricky as leasehold property is unpopular with lending establishments.

Even though I pine for seeing the sky from inside our abode, rather than the three storey house next door, perhaps we are 5-10 years too young to reside in a twilight development.

Recurring dream

Spanning decades, fear’s icy ectoplasm shocks my heart. Destination scene’s known as lucid dream materialises, only the route varies.

Deep within a dwelling, an unobtrusive timber shuttered room. A postern door opens to an unremarkable tree crammed yard. Overgrown spiky, entangled stems, ramble. Daylight barely penetrates the gloom. A sodden carpet of mildewed leaves, twigs and decay smother the ground.

Heady damp earth scent permeates my being as unseen hands claw, scrape, shovel, revealing a petrified hatch.

Dark downward sloping subterranean passage snakes forks, twists. Roughly hewn stone echoes footsteps, breath, rustle of clothing. Stepfather’s flaccid luminescent presence lumbers alongside.

Ever further trudging through the sordid depths. Always aware of being followed, no sight nor sound. At last, cavernous space reveals an ovoid mound. Knowing it’s secret, I turn to leave the cadaver, never will she make thirteen.

If I am not guilty of wrongdoing, why the anxiety of being found out?

Reflecting while writing; perhaps this is the resting place of my innocence and suppressed femininity.

Glamping, sort of

My husband informs me people can’t get enough of tiny houses listed on AirBnB. In this vein we are enjoying a long weekend, 125 km west of Brisbane. Our compact stay comprises a galley kitchen, living/bedroom, toilet, two chair verandah, and spa bathroom.

Perched on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, 700m above sea level, Toowoomba is a country city. The temperature is around 10oC lower overnight and a couple of degrees short of Brisbane’s dailies. Where we chill our room overnight to 22oC at home, we heat it to the equivalent here.

The electric frypan is a hit, serving up mushroom risotto for dinner and scrambled eggs this morning. There is even an espresso machine to get the cockles going.

This is the closest I intend to get to glamping!

A 9000 step site seeing tour around the centre yesterday, enabled us to shake off our humdrum workaday lives and enjoy tree-lined streets and parks.

Last night, as we soaked our weary limbs in the spa, large enough for two silly old buggers, we toasted life. Mountainous foam infused with lavender and rose geranium essential oils and the room lit with pink vanilla scented tee lights perfected our quality moment.

Spiky darkness

Bored dismissive scrolling.
Seditious libel pollutes.
Venomous assumptions flash.
Searing discontent morphs into
Dank depression to distort reality.

Ego aimlessly destructing self
In malicious derision.
Rank regret rots,
Withering to hopelessness.
Despair pervades, to numbness.

Listless countenance portrays
Unreadable amassed barriers.
A carcass weighed down with
Stubborn contrition, shame, guilt,
Misguided pride; inner derision.
Short lived thoughts of rebellion
Come to naught.

Pedestal-ism

Another epiphany in the shower!

I recently realised, when I like someone, I subconsciously raise them up in my esteem. Filling in the gaps in my knowledge of them with vague beliefs and assumptions.

For example, in talking to a personable acquaintance the other day, they told me they were building their self confidence so that they could teach. I was introduced to them at a dinner about two years ago. At the time and since, I have enjoyed their bright personality and cheerful disposition; reading in self assurance.

Reflecting on my presumption of their strengths, I realised how little I knew of them. Their pedestal and place on it was almost entirely a figment of my imagination.

It should come as no surprise, I am sometimes disappointed by others. I am expecting them to fill the roles of fictitious characters on the journey of my life.

Similarly I read reciprocal admiration into relationships. My importance in the life of another is not as significant as the ideal; tearing my heart, ever so slightly.