Celebrating 22 years

We arrived in the harbour city of Sydney, New South Wales on 17 January 1998. For the first ten years we did not consider living anywhere else.

The face of our chosen suburb, Newtown, gradually threw off its grungy working class garb. Gentrification crept through the streets. Great news for house prices as rough edges of the area were smoothed. For the niche bars, retailers and eateries, rising rents pushed them out.

Pushchairs replaced colourful characters, walking goats and parrots. Foot paths barely coped with the jam of people, spilling from increased apartment living.

Joining the exodus, we made our way, step by step west to aircraft noisy Stanmore then sleepy Petersham before landing in luscious Leichhardt. In hindsight, we should have settled here, instead of chasing the bright lights of Newtown.

Arriving too late to secure a residence we journeyed 917 kms north (570 miles) to Morningside. The vibe in Queensland is more relaxed than we are used to. Ignoring the Summer daylight saving implemented by other states, Queenslanders arise and retire early to bed.

Here we are in the river city of Brisbane, celebrating 22 years in Australia. Uncertain of where life will take us next.

Global leadership, now!

What is reality? Is it this loaf of bread, baked last night? The coffee, I just spilled on the seat cushion, or the butter left from a dropped knife? All of these events happened.

As time passes events become open to interpretation. Beliefs, assumptions and theories challenge reality. A truth for one person, a falsehood for another.

Humans strive for knowledge and understanding, so that they may improve, move forward. Surely this is a good thing? Unfortunately, as a species we are doomed to fail. There is no common direction, other than the pre-programmed need to reproduce and survive.

Civilisations that came before us, thousands of years ago, masters of their time, did not survive. How are we any different? We waste so much time and energy on errant quests. If the leader of a country is incapable of doing their job, replace them with someone who can. Why do we care if individuals survive supposed scandals, brought down on them by the wrath of critics and the press?

Ultimately, the only reality we need to concern ourselves, we are at the mercy of the Universe, the Earth, and Mother Nature. Even though it may be too late, surely it is better to unite in saving the planet rather than focussing on petty power squabbles.

We need global leadership, now!

View from eleven

Eleven floors up, looking north west.

View from the kitchen link, between meeting room and breakout space.

Colleagues wander in and out, to refuel or to linger.

A place to rest my eyes from the intensity of the computer screen, work space, and phone.

Almost Christmas

Thursday evening, time to rest from the struggles and strains of the day. A position of relaxation or exhaustion? You can never really tell from his facial expression.

Faithfully, annually, midway through the second week of December, he emerges from his glittery hibernation. To be dusted off, plumped up and positioned on a shelf.

A gift from Angela, dinner-lady-cook, over two decades ago, I wonder how she fares. In the land of Brexiteers and discontent, I often wonder how many former colleagues fare.

Zombiween

Lazy limbs and bones,

Sluggish to the core.

Stagger, twist and swing

T’ward unknown purpose, all

Insatiable appetite for flesh,

Undiscerning, rich or poor.

Reproductive feedings, leaving

Swathes of blood and gore.

Horrors of imagination conjured in name of fun.

Back to real life, it’s all basking in the Sun!

Layered landscape

ANZAC Square, Brisbane.

Looking north-west from the Adelaide Street side of Post Office Square towards Central Station, facing Ann Street. The Sofitel Hotel on Turbot Street provides a backdrop.

The statue in the centre of the photo is a memorial to Queenslanders who fought during the Second Boer War, 1899–1902.

The memorial features a life-size Queensland Mounted Infantryman. It was sculpted by James Laurence Watts from 1912 to 1919. It is also known as Boer War Memorial and The Scout.