Monday, July 04, 2005

Feeling a bit better, well, at least the flu symptoms have gone though I still feel like I've been hit by, are they?, neutron bombs that take out the inhabitants but leave the structure intact. & the coughing seems to have torn a stomach muscle or something.

Trying to write when you feel like this is like making telephone calls to people who you know aren't home & don't have message banks. Inevitably the call rings out. In desperation you ring up the weather or other information services, just to hear another computer-generated voice & copy down the data they give you.

I wash some life into my hair, eat a banana as an addendum to breakfast, decide to go for a drive. First time I've been away from the house in four days. Get some petrol, currently $1.11 a litre, then head off to the top of Mt Archer just to hear my ears pop. Well, a bit more than that. Hoped to see the sea without travelling out to it, but all I can see with the cloud about is a bit of space where there doesn't appear to be any land. Looking back, I track the river as it curls into the city, then a straight line through it, then curling away again, sweeping away perhaps, as it heads towards the delta & the salt farms.

I head inland, past the army barracks where the tents have all come down, past the showgrounds still full of petrol tankers waiting to be picked up on prime movers & taken away. An AWACS plane at the airport, & a couple of army helicopters circling around to remind us that it is the 4th of July & some of us are still independent, though for how much longer. The de facto 51st state of rightwing Amerika, but not important enough to qualify as a site for a live8 concert.

Inland, taking the second of the three roads that go cross-country to link up with the highway coming up from the south. I discover a cotton farm, am surprised, didn't think there was enough water to support a venture this near the coast. Several hundred kilometres inland there are cotton farms, with enough water to service them. This one looks a pretty sad attempt.

I don't take Lion Mountain Road but salute the landmark as I pass near staying on the sealed surfaces. Head towards Gracemere, think about going to see the cattle sale but decide against it, cross the Capricorn Highway which heads west & inland, then the Burnett Highway which heads south-west & inland, & finally the Bruce Highway, part of Highway 1, the major thoroughfare of Australia, which roughly follows the coast north to Cairns & south to Brisbane & beyond. To Sydney, sigh, & Melbourne, sigh.

I take a drive past the Woolwash lagoon, still drying up though there has been a little bit of rain. I've realised that it will take a flood to bring the lagoons back up to the levels they were at when we arrived two years ago. This lagoon was black swan heaven when we arrived. Now there are none. No pelicans either. In fact very few water birds.

The Yeppen Yeppen lagoon, just down the road from home, is also drying up, but there's significantly more water in it than in the other lagoons. & more bird life. I divert to look for the pelicans. They find me.


Anonymous said...

well, hope you keep getting better, at least up to Daisycutter strength.

Ernesto said...

These are the things that make me wish I knew how to drive.

Glad to read you are feeling better. Take it easy.

Tom Beckett said...

Yesterday I seemed to have caught whatever it is you are now shedding. Glad to hear though that you are better.

Okir said...

Going for long drives; this is a good sign. I'm thinking of taking off and getting lost for a couple days myself. But I'll get that re-write of my essay to you, first.

; )