Wednesday, 7 February 2007

My legs ache after this morning's climb. I intend to keep this low-key and basic. I thought a little stroll around the area would do my legs some good, and keep me out of the way. Wanting to get away from the estuary foreshore, and sample more of suburban Maroochydore, I head up Fourth Avenue, then up Sixth.

This apartment block has just been completed. This is the view from Sixth Avenue, whereas the entrance is on the corner of Melrose and Fifth (hence the name 'Melrose on Fifth'). On the other side of the street is the Melrose Apartments, a singularly low-key affair. On the balcony of one second-floor unit three bare-chested youths are drinking from cans.

Just up Fifth Avenue is Sizzlers ("Tastier") and the car park of the Son Tam Thai Restaurant: "Customers and Tenants only / Others will be towed away at own expense". Opposite the restaurant, across Aerodrome Road, is a Thrifty office and Ken Mills Toyota, which is currently advertising the Aurion V6 ("The game has changed").

I turn east and head toward the Sebel, which dominates this neck of the woods. Next to the Thai place is an Indian joint. The glamourous apartment blocks of yesteryear are the ugly piles of today.

On the corner of Wirraway and Aerodrome is a massive McDonalds. The Sebel takes up a lot of room, as do the huge blocks of apartments on its eastern periphery, facing Alexandra Beach. For property buyers seeking a loan, there's a GE Money office right next door.

Behind Alexandra Parade is a small, quiet oasis for wildlife. Nelson Park "is planted to attract and shelter wildlife" according to the plaque near the entrance. To confirm this as a fact, a bird in a paperbark tree insistently calls ("heckle", "heckle"). There are also coots in the pond, which is covered with lily pads.

Behind the reserve is a vacant lot, fenced off, sporting a sign that reads "Balinese Themed Courtyard Apartments Coming Soon". A small wooden sign has been affixed to a telegraph pole on the corner of Wirraway Street and Okinja Road. "Becky", it reads. It is accompanied by a posy of artificial flowers: yellow carnations, pink roses, lavender. An orange ribbon completes the tableau.

At the corner of Tranquil Place a teenager's voice is clearly heard singing "Hurry up, mum!" over and over. Her mother is chatting through the window of a car by the kerb outside the girl's house.

A family of four walks into the cloistered grounds of The Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a posse of deities: native animals carved into sandstone plinths. Further up Okinja I snap the ultimate bungalow. It is not typical of the street, but its utter lack of pretension and artificial charm makes it stand out among its fellows, many of which are quite attractive.

On the way back toward Cotton Tree, I stop at Macca's for a meal. Then I see two super-sized young men in T-shirts and shorts standing outside the Thai place. It opens at 5.30pm. It's now 5.25 and one of the guys is peering intently into a menu as I turn down Fifth and head back home.


Meredith said...

Not that I'm not enjoying reading about suburban Maroochydore, but I was just wondering if you're planning to visit the beach? Or are you so not a beach bunny that that's a stupid question?

Dean said...

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'Tender Is the Night' the heroine visits the beach daily. There she meets a number of people with whom she will be associated for at least 200 pages.

For my part, I'm more interested in the built environment, because it reflects the tastes and aspirations of individuals.

Maybe I should try going to the beach at least once during my stay here. Today my plan is to walk down the river westward, to photograph the old Queenslanders that are located in those parts.