Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Taking a stroll on Melbourne Cup day

This morning I got out on time - at about 10.15am - and made my way down to Darling Harbour. As I was going down the hill next to the entry to Pyrmont Bridge a guy on a bike riding the opposite way up the hill looked at me and told me to "smile, buddy". Which I thought was unfair so soon after getting out of bed. Maybe he had been up for hours, I don't know. But I had only been awake for about 30 minutes at that point.

I made my way under the bridge past the first of the restaurants - which were already open for breakfast or whatever it is they serve at that time on a weekday - and came across the assemblage of things shown in the photo here where an enormous TV had been set up on the concourse with fake grass and chairs in front of it. Next to the furniture was a TAB van painted green - and there was another van exactly the same further down near the CBA offices - with mostly men in green-and-white striped shirts hanging around. One or two people were sitting in the big padded chairs on the Astroturf. It was a bit early for punting, but everything had been set up in preparation for a big day. Maybe this was what the cyclist had been telling me to smile about.

On Harris Street a butterfly or moth coloured black and yellow dropped in front of me, startling me, as I walked up the street.

I got back home and had some lunch and then lay down for a nap while setting the alarm on my phone to wake me up for an appointment I had later in the afternoon. When I got up I put my clothes back on and went out. I walked down Harris Street to Miller Street, and at the intersection there a Commodore sedan suddenly started flashing police lights, making itself known to the flow of traffic. I turned into Miller Street and walked down toward the Fish Market. At the lights at the bottom of the street was a marked police van waiting for the lights to change, travelling south. When I got to my appointment I tweeted from the waiting room that there were cops all over Pyrmont, to which someone online asked "why". "Melbourne Cup," I answered. 

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