Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Une journée du ciel gris

I'm not sure of my French here but it looks accurate. Or is it "au ciel gris"? Can't be helped, but I was reminded of French when I thought back to those days after mum was diangnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 when I was not reading at all because I was just so stressed. After I started reading again I took refuge in books by French people, or about France. I remember I wanted to find the perfect expression of the flaneur - the person who just walks the streets during the day or night observing what goes on around.

Today I was in company. A woman dressed head-to-toe in comfortable, concealing clothing, including what looked like a dressing gown - in pink - and a grey-coloured hijab, turned around the light post ahead of me as I entered Darling Harbour and headed back up toward Cockle Bay Wharf about ten yards in front of me. There was a large crowd of school students with brass band instruments underneath the Western Distributor and she stopped her stroll to take a photo of them in their blue uniforms. Their instruments gleamed gold in the light. The filtered light, because today was overcast.

The other thing about the morning is that it had been raining earlier, which means that parts of the route I took today - which was the same route I take every day I go for a walk in Chinatown - were more fragrant than usual. This was true of the gardens of the old building of TAFE on the corner of Mary Ann Street and Harris Street. The ibis who use the garden leave their droppings on the paths inside it, and you can smell the garden - and hear the raucous birds - from the street. It is not entirely a pleasant smell.

There was a strange fragrance also up near the corner of Fig Street where the Western Distributor crosses over the top of Harris Street, because the trees there have been doing what many species of deciduous trees do in spring - dropping pollen on the footpaths.

My left ankle held up quite well today despite some twinges that manifested themselves when I was near the corner of Macarthur Street where the Powerhouse Museum is situated. When it sent signals up my leg to my brain I slowed down and "tromped" a bit on it, to show it that I was being careful - like an elephant walking - and hoping that it would take this maneuver as a sign that I was conscious of its importance in my daily life. You have to look after your ankles when you are as big as I am. When I got home I had only one slice of bread with avocado and cheese, instead of the usual two. I also had a cup of milky, cold coffee. I picked up the mail from the letter box as I came through the front doors on the street - because the Post Office have changed delivery routines from once daily to once every two days, I am less likely to check the mail than I used to - and opened what seemed important but there was only an election brochure from Clove Moore's campaign office, which I put in the recycling.

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